The Catholic Man Needs to “Do” More

That’s right!  If you are a Catholic man and you are reading this, you need do more as a Catholic to usher in the Kingdom of God plain and simple.  Okay, now that I lost half of my audience, let us continue.

Jesus said, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48).

During this time of Lent, we do more than we usually do when it comes to prayer, fasting and almsgiving as prescribed by the Church.  I submit that we as Catholic men need to do more praying, fasting, almsgiving, ministering, witnessing, healing, reading Sacred Scripture, attending Holy Mass, going to confession and performing corporal and spiritual works of mercy than any other Christian.  Why? 

We as Catholic Christian men have more daily access to God’s grace than any other non-Catholic Christian on earth.  We do because we have the 7 sacraments of the Church.  As the old Baltimore Catechism would say, “a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to transmit grace.”   The sacramental life of the Church offers us almost unlimited access to God’s daily grace. 

And arguably the greatest reason we have more access than any other Christian is because of our Blessed Mother, “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast” (as cited from William Wordsworth’s poem “The Virgin”).   Mary is indeed the “spring through which all graces flow” as we sing in the old hymn.  St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Louis de Montfort assure us that Mary is a sure and perfect guide to holiness.  Mary’s sole mission is to lead us to her Son.  

We have no excuses but to be better men, husbands, fathers, and better witnesses to Christ in the world.  This should not be the case just during our Lenten journey, but every day and always. 

As Lent is coming to an end and we prepare to disengage from of our daily devotions which we committed to for 40 days or the sacrifices that we offered and successfully fulfilled, I propose that we continue in these practices.  We continue to bear witness to Christ in season and out. 

Now, I know you are saying that is a pious sentiment Mark and I really like your proposed zeal here, but the liturgical calendar is set up the way it is for a reason so thanks, but no thanks.  To you my brother I say, when is there ever a time to give up extra prayers and sacrifice for love of God and neighbor?  Christ would say these are the greatest of His commandments and the whole Christian life can be summed up in living out such.  So if prayer, fasting and almsgiving help you to do fulfill God’s greatest commandments then why would you want to give them up?  Or why would you want to limit this to just 40 days a year? 

As a Catholic Christian man, we will be held to a higher standard than your average Evangelical Christian. 
Again, to whom much is given, much will be expected.  We have been given so much as Catholic men; let us strive to live out our Catholic faith using all the tools and graces available to us.  Especially, let us avail ourselves to more daily grace and ask for Mary’s intercession as often as possible.  Apart from God and His grace, we can do nothing good on our own.  Giving up sweets or beer for 40 days is a great start, but  it is only a start.  Let us continue on from this Lenten journey as we have begun with more prayers, fasting, almsgiving and witnessing to the great gift that we have been given as Catholic men.

TKM Returns to Europe–Switzerland this time

On October 11th, The King’s Men dusted off our passport and traveled to Zurich for a week to give witness, participate and share in a genuine brotherhood that has crossed an ocean.for over a year now.  My host, Benjamin Aepli and lovely bride, Johanna, along with their 8 children, treated me like I was family.  I truly felt like a long lost uncle from America.  Despite our language barriers, Swiss German and English, me and the children communicated quite well.  Of course, Benjamin and his wife spoke very good English, but there was a genuine kindness and charity that was manifest in the Aepli home that transcended words and enabled me to comfortably adjust to the time zone change and easily assimilate to the new culture and surroundings.

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Wing Bowl Ends – Is TKM to Thank?

On October 30th, The King’s Men, Inc. was not sure whether there was a bit of mischief in the news that the Wing Bowl was coming to an end.  We have heard the rumors before that the Wing Bowl was ending only to have the Philadelphia sports talk radio personalities foil such rumors.  But this time, it was no trick that was being played on us, but a tremendous treat that was as sweet as any candy this writer has ever had on Halloween.

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TKM Statement on the Scandal, September 6, 2018

It has become evidently clear to us that our apostolate must join the many voices in the Catholic Church who are responding to the current crisis and recent clerical sex abuse scandal.   The concerns presented from those we serve through our weekly men’s groups, retreats and program offerings calls for a statement on the position of The King’s Men concerning these grave matters Continue reading

Church: It is Silence that Will Convict on Your Judgment!

Here we are dealing with another round of scandal in the Church and most of us are shocked and perplexed to STILL hear that there are more abuse reports coming from our Church here in the West. My wife just read the grand jury report for the Dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton, Allentown, Erie and Greensburg and there is just an outcry among family members for justice, transparency and ousting these clearly homosexual and pedophile priests who are STILL alive and some STILL serving in active ministry.

Twenty-five years ago, I was silent about an abuse that happened to me and 4 boys got abused as a result.

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On the Road with TKM!

After 15 years of doing men’s ministry work, TKM is still rolling and thanks be to God that we are!  So many men have come to conversion and transformation from their time with the apostolate.  One TKM brother recently wrote to me the following:

People love donating to good causes they believe in and yours is helping save marriages, families and men’s souls – there’s not a better reason to give than that.”

I have to remind myself, at times, that our work does make a difference in the lives of men and the Church.  It is easy to forget when the daily grind of sustaining a ministry and supporting a family distracts from all the good that comes from the sacrifice to be a missionary family in full-time ministry.

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing the power of God’s healing touch at the recent Into the Wild Retreat Weekend in Show Low, AZ.  Continue reading

Holy Week = Unholy Behavior

Here we are friends with another Holy Week upon us and the Gospel readings at Mass are filled with the events leading up to the Passion of Jesus Christ.  I am struck by the many men whom we hear at Mass, starting with the Passion Reading on Palm Sunday, who are behaving in the most awful of ways.

Here’s a summary review of the behavior we heard about on Sunday:

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Discerning God’s Will

Knowing the will of God is never an easy task, but one which me must continually take up as men.  Cooperating with God’s Holy Will, I submit, is something that men, in particular, can easily frustrate and get in the way of properly discerning.  I believe men often get in the way of God’s plans because we lack the patience for such.  The God fearing man seeks the will of God for his life because he knows he should, but when the answer doesn’t come quick enough, he will often take a course of action that provides the results that he is looking for.  This becomes problematic for him because God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).  In the end, the man has circumvented God’s will for instant gratification and further delayed the blessings of Almighty God upon him and his family.

What are the best ways to patiently wait on the will of God while pursuing what is necessary for our lives? 

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11th Anniversary of TKM

This month marks the 11th anniversary of The King’s Men apostolate’s full-time outreach to men and the Church. On August 28, 2006, my co-founder and I prayed before the statue of St. Augustine at the St. Rita Shrine in South Philadelphia and asked our patron saint, on his feast, to intercede before God and ask Him to bless our efforts. Indeed, St. Augustine did and God truly has!!!

There is so much to share and rejoice in as I reflect on the past 11 years.  The many conversions, re-versions, transformations, reunifications, miracles and cultural victories are too many to list.  However, in the spirit of giving glory to God for all He has done in and through this apostolate, I will boldly attempt to quantify some of this now:

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Why Do I Need Men in My Life?

 

“Iron sharpens iron and as Iron sharpens iron so does one man for another” (Proverbs 27:17).

This is a much overused quote from Sacred Scripture that men’s ministries, like The King’s Men, have been proclaiming as a mantra for years.  The words may seem a bit trite, but they capture the core essence of most authentically masculine Christian ministries that are attempting to galvanize other men to their cause and mission.  That said, the words may not ring true for all men.  These words may not even trigger any pause or challenge a man to further ponder over.  Men being exhorted to surround themselves with other like minded men in an effort to grow in virtue or their manhood is, for some men today, a completely foreign concept.

Cultural manliness resembles not iron, but has taken on a milk toast form that could hardly pass for anything similar to this heavy metal.  At best, he is aluminum foil–easily crumpled, manipulated and in a word, soft.

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