Men for Life

25 Oct

As Catholic men, we are all too familiar with what Pope John Paul II called the “culture of death,” which treats people as dispensable commodities rather than as persons made for eternity. Every day we are witnesses to myriad offenses against human life and dignity. Many of us respond by supporting pro-life organizations and by participating in the political process.

These responses are extremely important, but they’re not primary. After all, the culture of death is not merely “out there,” cordoned off from “good Catholics” like us. Rather, the culture of death is lurking within us: It is the reality of original sin. The effects of original sin are not only societal, but first and foremost intensely personal.

We’re probably sincere when we say we love Christ and desire to be faithful to His Church. But something may be lacking in the execution, as we frequently do the very things we say we hate (cf. Rom 7:19). Through our sins, we become complicit with the culture of death: We—and I’m speaking here primarily to men—become part of the problem. “Men behaving badly” isn’t just a lousy sitcom. The phrase epitomizes the widespread failure of today’s men to lead well.

Thanks be to Jesus Christ, who through the sacraments imparts to us His saving grace. Yet despite the awesome gift of divine mercy, we still bear within ourselves sinful tendencies that incline us to commit the same sins over and over again. We truly are works in progress–“men under construction,” as our annual archdiocesan men’s conference aptly describes it.

Over the next couple posts, I will discuss what men can do, with God’s grace, to become part of the solution.

This series originally appeared as a feature article published by This Rock magazine.

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