Becoming a Committed Catholic Man

Matthew Christoff

In the Midst of Decay

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Many men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church; the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men” — men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it.

This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating decay of the post-modern culture. The long list of examples of cultural decay is obvious to those willing to look: industrialized slaughter of babies in the womb; the self-sterilization of contraceptives; epidemic promiscuity, pornography and sexual perversion; the avoidance of marriage; rampant divorce and adultery; so-called “marriage” of homosexuals; substance addictions; gender confusion; filth and coarseness in media; the loss of a connection to nature and escape into virtual “reality”; environmental exploitation; rampant materialism; the lost of the dignity of work; racial animas; commercialized gluttony; the dysfunctional political and legal system. Post-modern society is sick.

In midst of the societal decay, there are men who seek the true, beautiful and the good and are working to bring the peace and joy of Christ to the world: Committed Catholic Men. These men have completely committed themselves to the Almighty King, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to His Holy Church, realizing that true manhood is Catholic Manhood. Committed Catholic Men have realized the great blessings that flow from being committed to Christ and His Church.  Committed Catholic Men have made Sainthood their goal and have made their purpose to lead their families and as many as others as possible to Heaven.

Committed Catholic Men realize that behind the cultural decay, lurks Satan. They have come to know that Satan is real, Hell is real, Sin is real and that life is a battle to confront and defeat Satan, the Evil One who is waiting at every turn to devour the unprepared. Committed Catholic Men are not perfect, but take seriously Christ’s call to perfection. It is only in Christ, that Committed Catholic Men find the courage to persevere when they fall into Sin and are continually strengthened for the battle against Satan.

12 Acts of a Committed Catholic Man

Every Catholic man is called to give himself fully to Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. How does one become a Committed Catholic Man? Here are 12 steps to grow in loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ:

  1. Develop a rousing case for why Jesus Christ is your King – If a man is asked to describe why he loves his parents, wife, children or friends, most can quickly rattle off a long list of reasons for his love. But for most men, Jesus Christ is abstract, conceptual or a long-gone historical figure. Many men don’t know Jesus as real, alive and present. Each Catholic man must to be able to give a rousing argument for why Jesus Christ is the greatest Man, and why Jesus is his King. If a man is not convinced about Christ’s greatness to the point of being able to articulate the case, his growth in faith will be stunted, and he will be unable to draw others to Christ. Committed Catholic Men can make the case for Christ. 
  2. Commit to be a Saint of Christ the King – There are no nice people or good people in Heaven, only Saints. Most men have not made a commitment to strive for Sainthood. Men are stuck in mediocrity, and need to raise the bar higher; there is no higher bar than Sainthood. Christ’s first words of public ministry were to “Repent!”; and every man must repent or die. By making a commitment to Sainthood, a man starts with repentance and aspires to greatness; in this, he realizes his own spiritual poverty. In the recognition of spiritual poverty, a man comes to both humbly recognize his need for God’s mercy and to cry out for it. Aspiring to Sainthood changes everything.
  3. Go to Reconciliation at least once a month – While the Church teaches each man must go to Reconciliation at least once a year, any man who is truthful with himself and Christ knows he needs the Sacrament of Reconciliation much more frequently.  Keep a guide to Reconciliation with you, recalling regularly the 10 Commandments. Make the commitment to go to Reconciliation on a pre-determined schedule each month and go to Reconciliation immediately when you fall into grave sin (e.g. when you view pornography). Regular and frequent Reconciliation changes men, for supernatural Grace flows to men during Absolution. 
  4. Pray for 15 minutes every day – Only about a third of Catholic men pray daily; some smaller number, a much smaller number, pray for 15 minutes. How can a man know Jesus if he never talks to Him? He can’t. Commit to get to know Christ the King on a personal basis by approaching His Throne and talking with Him every day for 15 minutes. It is in this personal conversation that Christ will make His will known to each man.
  5. Discover the majestic manliness of the Mass – The Mass is the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith; and yet, the majority of men claim to “be bored by the Mass” and to “not get anything out of the Mass”. This is because they don’t know what is occurring in the Mass: they have little understanding of the manly symbolism of the Mass, a Sacrament that has been devoutly passed down for 2,000 years. They don’t realize that, during the Mass, they are witnesses to the actual Bloody Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If a man doesn’t actively participate in the Mass because of ignorance and boredom, he can’t receive the Graces that flow from the Eucharist. Learn the Mass to such a degree that you can explain it to others, with the reverence and devotion that Christ’s Sacrifice deserves.
  6. Participate in Sunday Mass + 1 – It is the minimum obligation of each Catholic man to attend Mass every Sunday; but only about a quarter of men do so on any given week. This is both a catechetical failure and an outrageous insult to Our King. In addition to attending Mass every Sunday, each man should go an additional step to encounter the Eucharist at least one more time during the week either by participating in daily Mass or by kneeling in Adoration for 30 minutes. Most men have much to make up for, and precious little time; drawing closer to Christ more regularly will help men make up for lost time. A warning: never approach the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin.
  7. Pray the Rosary regularly and carry the Rosary with you – Only about 40% of Catholic men ever pray the Rosary, and only 1 in 10 carry their Rosary with them. Praying the Rosary draws a man closer to our Holy Mother and to her Son, Jesus Christ; it is the manliest of rituals, prayed by the greatest Saints over centuries, in quiet places and amidst the din of the battlefield. It is a manly act of loyalty and fidelity. Commit to carry the Rosary as a sign of your loyalty and faith, and as a weapon against the daily onslaught of Satan — Satan hates the Rosary and fears it. Have the Rosary handy at all times to pray a decade in times of gratitude and stress, relying on the Holy Mother to bring your prayers to Jesus Christ. The Rosary is part of the uniform of the Committed Catholic Man.
  8. Get to know your Patron Saint and Guardian Angel – We believe in a Communion of Saints. Many men don’t have a personal relationship with a Saint or their Guardian Angel.   Many men don’t feel connected to the Church, in part because they are not connected to the Saints, or to the Guardian Angel that Jesus Christ has appointed for each man. Saints and Angels intercede on men’s behalf and stand by to protect and defend men from daily assault of Satan and his demons. Don’t go into daily battle without a Saint and your Guardian Angel guarding your back.
  9. Read Holy Scripture for 15 minutes each day – All of Holy Scripture is about Jesus Christ. When a man reads Holy Scripture, Jesus Christ is with him, not figuratively or conceptually, but in a real and actual way. Jesus Himself came to earth to speak the words of Scripture for all men, across all time, to read and contemplate, drawing strength and wisdom and Grace from His words. Reading Holy Scripture can be done by working through books of the Bible and by reading/praying the Divine Office. A man can’t know Jesus Christ without contemplating His Word.
  10. Be a priest, prophet and king in your home – In the face of a secular culture that attacks valid patrimony, Catholic men need to reassert their rightful roles as priest, prophet and king of their family. We are not talking about being a chauvinistic tyrant, but a true Saint of Christ, with each man serving his wife and children with humble sacrifice, holy example and courageous commitment to lead his family to Heaven. Be a priest by leading your family in prayer. Be a prophet by teaching the truth of Christ and His Church. Be a king by defending your family from the perversions of the culture, correcting them when they fall into error and by leading them the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
  11. Build a brotherhood with other Catholic men in your parish – In Acts 2:43, the Apostles from the earliest days of the Church give the “formula” for Catholic brotherhood: And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. For a man to grow in faith, he must build brotherhood with faithful Catholic men who can challenge and help him grow in holiness. There is an epidemic of loneliness in modern men,  even in regular mass-attending men. Make the commitment to build brotherhood with other Catholic men, particularly younger men — men who are at grave risk as they enter adolescence and move into adulthood. Gather the men of your parish in large groups and small, to pray, to learn, to teach and to serve the poor. Be a catalyst, be a leader, working with your priest. Christ will hold all men accountable for their personal response to His command to “Go and make disciples.”
  12. Commit to tithing and begin to work toward it – The willingness of a man to give his hard-earned money to the Church is a direct indicator of the strength of his devotion and loyalty to the King Jesus Christ. Sadly, many Catholic men give little to the Church, both in absolute terms and relative to other Christian’s gifts to their churches. Tithing is the giving of 10% of a man’s income to the Church including a parish and other Catholic charities. While you may not be able to give a full 10% due to economic constraints, commit to tithing and begin to work toward it, making progress each year, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Right Here, Right Now

Being a Committed Catholic Man is the greatest challenge to which a man can aspire to accept and the commitment can seem daunting. Don’t be deterred; be a Catholic Man! Make the resolution, right here, right now to be a Committed Catholic Man. Print this list off, and post it where you will see it every day. As in all things, start with prayer. Pray that Jesus Christ will send the Holy Spirit to help give you the strength needed to become a Committed Catholic Man. Pray with your whole heart to Christ, and do your best. Our King has promised to answer those who persist in prayer.

Jesus Christ will never let a man down who is committed to Him.

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23 thoughts on “Becoming a Committed Catholic Man”

  1. Excellent article on what it means to be a Catholic man. I’m reminded of something I once read in Peter Kreeft’s book, Back to Virtue, “Virtue comes from the Latin word virtus, which meant manliness, or virility.”

  2. Pingback: Syria: 17-year-old Christian Boy Crucified - BigPulpit.com

  3. I really believe that you fail to make a convincing or scriptural base for becoming a “committed Catholic man.” The world is no better nor worse than in all ages….the internet and social media enhance the spread of the good and the evil that men do and hence we are more aware.

    I feel that the post fails in that there is an absence of encountering the Christ in our daily lives … the advancement of our species depends not upon petty practices of piety, it depends on an actual encounter with the Christ of the Gospel daily. How is this done…well it’s done in a way which most people, even the most “committed” Christians avoid because it’s hard, it’s uncomfortable and it takes us out of our comfort zone, but there is one way that the Scriptures speak about encounter the Christ and you fail to make it the priority…daily encounter with the Christ…here are his simple words to his less that bright apostles:

    Matt 25:43……”I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’44″Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45″Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

    That, my friend, is number one to being a truly committed Christian ….all else with the words of Matthew are in naught. Quite simple, but it takes one out of their comfort zone. Never forget the message of the parable of the goats and sheep. Unless we are with the marginalized, we can never be with the Christ.

    1. Phil D. in your quoting Mt 25: 43…who ‘was a stranger,” who was “naked,” who was “sick,” who was “in prison,” and in Mt 25:44 who was “hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and you did not take care of? The basic question, Phil D., is who IS one of the least of these?” Who are the “marginalized?”

  4. What an odd lot of comments.

    For the most part, I agree with the authors comments. As a married man with two now grown “boys”, I can tell you that without the sacraments of marriage, penance and most especially the Holy Eucharist, I likely would not be writing this comment. I would most likely ended up divorced, estranged from children at best. Alcoholic or dead also a good possibility. No great conversion moment for me. No, Saul of Tarsus me. Only a gradual realization over a years time that the Way is really the only way to live. A matter of choice between trying to be moral and leading a life of light rather than darkness. And, although no one knows better than I what a sinner I remain, I can only say that the sacraments provided as sort of bottom step for me when my life was sinking down due to my own sins and desire to be selfish. The Way is the only way for life.

    Fundamentally, men have a role to play as men in the culture. The author has listed them out and there isn’t much need for me to add to it.

    Pre modern religosity? I don’t even know what that means. Fantasies and superstition, eh? I can only say that the Supernatural in fact broadens my life experience. It IS a greater reality than what the World shows you. Who said that the Supernatural is easy? It’s not. It’s not meant to be easy.

    I can only add that I will continue to pray for those who don’t know Christ. I pray that he holy spirit will open men’s hearts just a little. All it really takes is a sincere and honest desire for a relationship with God THAT is exactly what God made us for.

    +++ad jesu par mariam+++

  5. ” …the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men” — men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it.”
    With all due respect, this is as pointless as saying there are casual American men who do not know the Constitution and don’t practice it.

    1. You do have a weird idea: the idea that gender is irrelevant…and that speaking about men is somehow cliche. I’d also suggest that genderless approaches are not working; the documents of the New Evangelization are largely gender neutral…and lack any specific recognition of the need to specifically evangelize men.

      But don’t take my word for it…see the long list of interviews from top Catholic men’s evangelists at NewEmangelization.com.

    2. You do have a weird idea: the idea that gender is irrelevant…and that speaking about men is somehow cliche

      We’re off to a bad start. Critiquing your use of outdated gender stereotypes implies neither that I think gender is irrelevant nor that addressing gender (or men specifically) is cliche. I’m saying the manner in which you’re doing so borders on parody, and is more reminiscent of (ie. should be left to) the beer commercial / Maxim magazine schtick.

    3. Oh come now Andre B. To assert that men need to become more active in the faith and grow in Catholic faith is not parody. And nothing in what is written in the article is not supported by the teachings of the Church.

      If you have interest, do listen to the interviews of men who have given their lives to the evangelization of men…men who are actively evangelizing Catholic men. These practices are what the Church points to and what these evangelists suggest are what bears fruit in men’s faith lives.

    4. Matthew,

      Oh come now Andre B. To assert that men need to become more active in the faith and grow in Catholic faith is not parody.

      Again, it’s not helpful when you misrepresent what I say. I specifically say that I don’t believe that gender is irrelevant or that addressing the issue in a gender-specific way is cliche. I don’t know how much clearer I can be in saying that it’s *the way* you discuss the issues – not the issues themselves – that borders on parody.

      There may well be a crisis in terms of Catholic men falling away from the Church in greater numbers. I just happen to disagree that coming up with Man-Law-style lists with lines like “majestic manliness of the Mass” (alliteration aside) is the way to go.

    5. Certainly not my intent to misrepresent what you have said. I’m sorry.

      You clearly don’t like what has been presented as effective in evangelizing men; which is based on research with men who actually have evangelized many men. Again, Andre B, don’t take my word for it… listen to 50+ interviews at the New Emangelization website of men who are constructively attempting to draw men to Jesus Christ and His Church.

      So now, to push the discussion along past your critiques about what you don’t like, let’s hear your thoughts about what might work better to draw men to the Church. If possible, please be specific and give some basis for your ideas. I’d really appreciate it.

    6. Matthew,

      You clearly don’t like what has been presented as effective in evangelizing men; which is based on research with men who actually have evangelized many men.

      I don’t want to waste your time – so full disclosure, I don’t play for your team (to use manly parlance).

      However, I will say that if this kind of ‘Catholicism is MANLY’ message is the best you guys can come up with to preach to men, then you might not asking the right questions to get to bottom of why men are leaving the Church. I very much doubt it has to do with the Catholic faith not being presented in a masculine enough manner (whatever that is supposed to me anyways). If 80% of men think that being a good person is more important than being Catholic, and your answer is to just appeal to their masculinity (eg. telling them they need to view Jesus as the ULTIMATE MAN / KING), then I think it’s safe to say you’ll have missed the forest (which should universally apply to both genders) for the trees (as majestically manly as they may be).

      TL;DR – Catholicism either is or isn’t true. If it is, it’s true regardless of gender. Such a transcendent truth shouldn’t need to be debased by shallow appeals to (dated) gender stereotypes.

    7. Andre B.

      Thanks for the honesty. You aren’t wasting my time! I appreciate your comments.

      By the way, which team do you play on?

      I think that you are perhaps being a bit uncharitable in suggesting the the point of the article simply that “Catholicism is MANLY”. That kind of appeal will certainly not work (Hey, we agree!).

      What does work is to teach the truth of the Catholic faith, but to present the faith in ways that men will listen to and respond to. Everything I have been learning from the many men who are in the fields actually evangelizing men is that there needs to be a man-specfic response; men are different than women, they struggle with different kinds of sins, they have different dispositions and ways of thinking/being that is specific to being men and men learn to be men (and Catholic) by being around other men. Any desire to evangelize men that doesn’t recognize the uniqueness of men are bound to flounder.

      I’m grateful to you for your thoughts…and wish you the best!

    8. By the way…I agree with you…”majestic manliness of the Mass” is a bit clunky. Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. What you are actually saying is that this post-modern world is a disaster. I am afraid I would have to wholeheartedly agree. And your solution can be found in a return to pre-modern religiosity, especially on the part of Catholic men. That would probably have a tremendously positive effect on the world. The only problem is that, in doing so, men would have to shun reality and return to accepting fantasies and superstitions.

    The human race has gotten to where it is today along a path that was once filled with religious beliefs and practices that proved to be quite beneficial to our survival and advancement as a species. It didn’t matter that those beliefs and practices were based on fantasy and superstition. What was important is that they worked. But we were supposed to have gone through an enlightenment a couple of hundred years ago that would have kind of negated that approach even if it did work for us in the past.

    Like the song says: “(I) wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”. So now we are stuck without inspirational fantasies and superstitions and realize that all we have left is one another. So we rely on cooperation among one time enemies in places like NATO and the UN. We can’t rely on imaginary friends anymore. We must develop and nurture real friendships devoid of religious, ethnic, sectarian and nationalistic differences.

    1. Bill S,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is a blessing to hear from others who don’t share the Catholic faith…very helpful in understanding different points of view and to also help the Catholic faithful be able to answer questions raised by thoughtful people. Thank you.

      I am curious: given that you think that the religion/Catholicism is “fantasies and superstitions”, what brings you to be a regular reader and commentator on CatholicStand articles?

      Another question has puzzled me, and perhaps as someone who rejects religious beliefs, you can provide some perspective. It seems that a person either finds meaning in God or in some other way of understanding. For many who reject God, they place a great importance on science/scientific method (of course, faith and reason are not at all at cross purposes according to the Catholic faith; see Fides et Ratio). How does a non-believer explain the empirical fact that across all societies and across all time, the vast majority of people have had belief in the supernatural? This includes today; Christians and Muslims make up some 2/3s of the world’s population (for example)? How does someone who does not believe in God explain the consistent empirical studies that show that people with religious practice are happier and healthier than non-believers? These are hard empirical facts.

      Clearly, anthropology (a science), sociological studies (a science) and simple observation suggests that there is a real phenomena that large numbers of people find great benefit from religious belief.

      I’m also curious why many non-believers are so dead set against religion given the work that religious organizations do to improve society. The world is a much better place with the Catholic Church then it would be without it.

      On a personal note: I have had undeniable life-changing encounters with God, in clear ways that have convinced me that God is real and that He loves us (every single one of us). And since my acceptance into the Catholic Church in 2006, I’ve become more peaceful and joyful and my life is full of wonderful friends, men who call me “brother” and mean it. For me, the Catholic faith is true, good and beautiful.

      Your friend
      Matthew

    2. Let me give you a short answer to all yor questions. I believe that most theists find more meaning and purpose in life than most atheists. But I believe that atheists have a more accurate worldview. It is obvious that much of what theists believe is nothing more than fantasy and superstition but it makes them happy and that is why there are so many of them.

    3. “It is obvious”; not really. And to label rational, thinking men’s beliefs as “fantasy and superstition” really doesn’t answer the questions about the empiricism of belief. If God is true, then what is fantasy and superstition is to not believe.

    4. “If God is true, then what is fantasy and superstition is to not believe.”

      No fantasy or superstition is to be believed. The problem with those who pride themselves in counting themselves among the believers is that they refuse to try to separate fact from fiction. They just accept it all as fact. That is so wrong.

    5. “No fantasy or superstition is to be believed.” We agree on that. What we disagree on is Truth.

      Most of those whom I know who have come to faith, aren’t prideful (though, I’d certainly agree that people can get a little smug and condescending sometimes…which is a real turn off). As for me, I take no credit for my conversion and can take no pride in it. My experience is that the Holy Spirit changed me; faith was a gift to me.

      I wish you well!

    6. I should not have used the word “pride”. I wasn’t thinking about it being one of the 7 deadly sins. I meant it in a more positive sense. Let’s say instead that people who feel good about being believers just tend to believe everything that the Church tells them. There is nothing that they will question as being too far fetched. I think the best example is when Pius XII decreed that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven. It was always a tradition but at least it could be thought of as folklore. But on the eve of the space program (1950), people were told to believe that a woman died and was taken bodily up to heaven. Am I the only person that has a problem with that?

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