More Truth, Less Misplaced Compassion

The following is a response from Mark Houck, TKM Founder and President to the recent article “More Spirit, Less Doctrine” which can be viewed online at Philly.com

While I can appreciate the spirit and the heartfelt sentiment that is contained in Ms. McConnon, Mr. Maguire and Sr. Mary’s op-ed piece, I respectfully and whole heartedly disagree with their mischaracterization of Sacred Tradition, Pope Francis’s words and Church doctrine.

First, it must be said that the Catholic Church is the most compassionate and humanitarian outreach program that has ever existed in the history of the world. The Church does more for the poor and marginalized (including those with same sex attraction) than any other single ministry, charitable organization and denomination.

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A Necessity in Catholic Men’s Groups: The “Challenge”

Catholic mens groups

Blurry, but great shot of TKM men praying the rosary

Growing in virtue is hard.

There, how’s that for a profound statement right out the gate.

Hard as it may be, this is the danger that the Catholic Men’s Groups of The King’s Men enters into across the nation on a weekly basis when we meet to pray, learn the faith, and challenge one another to return the following week a better man. That being said, we’ve all encountered people who will make the same commitment over and over again with seemingly no progress (perhaps we fall into that boat ourselves).

Enter arguably the most underused “C” of the TKM four-C’s; the challenge. Continue reading

Empty Churches on 9/11

What does it take to get America to pray? Thirteen years ago, we had our answer. Now, as time has removed us from that tragic day, with buildings rebuilt and a new holiday on the calendar we walk into so many churches across our country and find them just as we found them on September 10, 2001…empty.

As a veteran, I can’t help but take this personally.

Lord, why do you allow evil in our world? Perhaps the immediate return to Him after September 11 contains some of the answer. Not to say that God saw our land and empty churches and said, “No praying America? I’ll show you!” Sadly, many of our Christian brothers and sisters see God in this light. It is a pollution of the gospel and a projection of our broken humanity onto an unfathomably all-loving and forgiving God.

God never allows evil to happen (that is evil brought on by our free will and cooperation, mind you) without there being a greater glory that can come from it. He’s not in the business of throwing away lives. He is in the business of salvation, and every tragedy that he allows in our lives is meant to draw us back to a deeper devotion, dependence, and relationship with him. He knows our default is to pray in foxholes, cry to him when wounded, and seek him in catastrophe. For some reason, it’s the only thing that makes sense amidst senseless tragedy. Continue reading