2016 is here! How is it going thus far? If you are like me, your New Year’s resolution might be a work in progress in your mind versus an actual resolution. I am still fleshing out what I am thinking I would like to do this year, hence this blog. The good news is I am thinking about it.
Now, some take an entirely different approach to New Year’s resolutions. For instance, my sister-in-law said she is going to focus on doing things that are spiritual. For her, the New Year is a chance to refocus on her relationship with God and how that impacts others in her life. I like it! I see that as kind of like a pre-Lenten commitment plan. Still, others tend to typically focus on self-transformation such as with their body image and physical health. This is very good as we must always remember that our “bodies are temples of the holy spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). But we must also remember, as St. Paul exhorted St. Timothy, that physical exercises have limited value compared to the spiritual (1 Timothy 4:8).
So you might be thinking what is this blog about? Well, I just had the privilege of having two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) visit my home. I had questions about what they believed when they did their usual Watchtower leafleting and so I scheduled an appointment for a home visit. Yesterday, Desarae and Elizabeth spent 90 minutes with me and my family. Here’s what I learned…
1.) We, as Catholics, could learn something from Jehovah’s Witness zeal. Although, they are very much misled in their understanding of who Jesus is (JWs believe Christ to be St. Michael the Archangel) and the Triune God head, I was very impressed with their desire to share with me what they hold true. When was the last time we as Catholics reached out to a stranger to share what we hold to be true, good and beautiful? Very convicting.
The 84th Annual Educational Conference of the Catholic Medical Association was held in Philadelphia on October 1-3, 2015. The theme of the conference was “Healing the Wounded Culture: Bringing the Wholeness of Healing to Humanity”
TKM President and Co-Founder Mark Houck was invited to give a presentation at the event. The audio of his talk Pornography: The Scourge of Our Times can be heard below.
As we approach All Saints Day, a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church, I am struck by how few Catholics actually see this day and the day preceding it, Halloween, as holy. All Hallows Eve has become a secular holiday whereby little kids dress up in cute little princess and ninja costumes and binge on candy. The older kids dress up in less innocent costumes. Some even dress in costumes which celebrate the dead in less than reverent ways like zombies. Then there are the young adults (teenagers) and adults which participate in Halloween by dressing up in downright raunchy and immodest costumes. Beware of these older kids too. Don’t leave a basket of candy in front of your door with a “Take One” sign as this will be quickly disregarded and dumped into the next ravenous candy crazed boy’s pillow case. Regrettably, I will admit that I might have done the same when I was a teenager.
Most Catholic Men, unless you have been living under a rock, have heard about Bishop Olmstead’s (Diocese of Phoenix) recent apostolic exhortation Into the Breach. With more than 6K shares via social media, which is still not nearly enough, it was hard to go on Facebook or Twitter without tripping over it repeatedly in the news feeds.
As a strong supporter of The King’s Men, having recently brought Into the Wild to the diocese this past June, Bishop Olmstead’s exhortation was filled with the TKM mantra of Leader, Protector, Provider. Reading it was a tremendous affirmation to our mission at TKM, and I couldn’t help beam with a little pride at the indirect endorsement of our work in the apostolate.
Bishop Olmstead gave three societal “contexts” that summarize at large society’s disposition to receiving the Good News of the gospel:
A New Apostolic Moment—A “New Evangelization”
A Field Hospital and a Battle College
Man and Women are Complimentary, not Competitors
In this blog, I am going to focus on the context of “Field Hospital”, and more specifically the following quote. It has tremendous implications to how we evangelize, witness to friends and family who have fallen away from the faith, and continue to move forward with Christ on our own paths to sanctity. Continue reading →
“…They brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities of Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits and they were all healed” (Acts 5:15-16).
These were the words that flooded my mind as Pope Francis quickly drove by me and three of my children on Sunday in Philadelphia. It was beyond words really to describe. I recall seeing pictures of people crying as a pope had passed them by in previous visits and I really didn’t understand why…until now.
On the Feast Day of Our Lady’s Assumption, The King’s Men apostolate declared to the nation, our President and the Supreme Court that godlessness and lawlessness will not be tolerated. The day was 8/15 and the event was the White House Witness. The first wi
tness of its kind; it was a response to the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling on June 26th.
The goal was to draw men and women to the White House for prayer and inspiration. The purpose was to witness to the glory of God’s plan for marriage and family life. The mission was to protect every child’s right to a mother and a father.
TKM brother Chris Tray began our day by summoning all to the White House Witness with his gift of music and his original song for the event: “Hands Up and Pray.” There is nothing like a good song to get the people inspired. Inspired we were!
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.
The White House lit up in rainbow colors after the Supreme Court June 26th Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.
How did you feel when the June 26th Obergefell v. Hodges ruling came crashing down upon our nation? What did you think when our President lit up the White House in rainbow colors that night? Did you have any reaction? Were you surprised by the ruling? Do you feel deflated by it? Are you emotionally flat about it and really not affected at all? I am writing this blog to encourage, inspire and stir you to action.
The battle that most of us were waging to defend traditional marriage is over. We lost that battle. Now, a new battle is set before us. We need to take back marriage. It is ours. Gifted to us by Almighty God; it is our job as Christians to reclaim it for Him. How are we going to do that you might be asking?
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 →