Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

1/8/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Real men live courageously as Catholics in Christ -- always and everywhere

"Real men are constantly challenged by a culture that is sexually out of control. . . . My dear brothers in the Lord, I know that as married men you are challenged every day. I am writing to you in order to encourage you to remain faithful and to be a hero." "If the house is burning, get a hose and put out the fire. If someone is trapped inside, we need to go in for the rescue. Only the cowards would watch from the sidewalk and do nothing" -- Fr. James Farfaglia

The vital truth about how to live as men in Christ is desperately needed today. 'Man to Man' is straight talk about what matters most.

The vital truth about how to live as men in Christ is desperately needed today. "Man to Man" is straight talk about what matters most.

Highlights

By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/8/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Fr. James Farfaglia, fr. james books, living as a Christian man, human sexuality, marriage, sacrament of matrimony, human love, family life, conjugal love, F. K. Bartels


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) -- Many of the readers of Catholic Online are familiar with the articles written by "The Happy Priest" Fr. James Farfaglia, whose keen insight into the many facets of the Catholic life have proven helpful in our daily effort to thrive in a world so often far-removed from love of God.

When I first had the opportunity to listen to Fr. James during a conference call, what impressed me was his willingness to speak from the heart with sincerity and openness, always doing so with a deep integrity that is borne of a life lived in service to the Gospel. I found him to be someone immanently approachable, knowable and amiable, quickly becoming for me a new friend who yet seemed an old companion.

That same sincerity and openness, mixed with a healthy dose of concrete advice and practical example, sets the tone of his book, Man To Man: A Real Priest Speaks To Real Men About Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. This very readable book -- not long winded or overly complex, which is important for those of us whose schedules leave little time for study -- is available for PDF download.

But why is Fr. Farfaglia's book important for men today? It would not be an exaggeration to say that every man -- Catholic or otherwise -- is involved in a fierce spiritual battle. That is simply the nature of our existence at present. For we live in a militantly secularist society whose false values miserably fail to reflect the proper values of the Gospel. Under attack is the institution of marriage as the indissoluble union of one man and one woman, the nature of conjugal love, the family as the foundation of society and the womb of Christian virtue, and so forth.

Pornography is also on the list. Men face never-before-seen challenges in this moral arena. The high level of pornographic material circulating in the media and entertainment industries, on the Internet, in colleges and universities and the workplace, presents an extremely difficult obstacle to living a chaste life. Consequently, people are often very confused about the meaning of human sexuality, which can result in untold spiritual, physical and emotional damage to men, women and children.

Ultimately, as Fr. Farfaglia points out in his book, love itself is misunderstood. The truth about who we are and how we are to act as men in relation to others is being undermined in contemporary society by what Pope Benedict has termed the "dictatorship of relativism." We live in the age of anti-truth.

What is at stake here is not simply the temporary loss of some measure of satisfaction in life. It is far more. We are speaking about our spiritual well-being, the quality of our life and the lives of those we love and who deserve our respect. We are speaking about eternity -- ours, our wife's and our children's. We cannot flourish as human persons and become who we are destined to be in Christ apart from the truth.

The truth is vital to life in its fullness. If we fail to embrace the truth, we fail to live and act rightly; we thus become less than human, which can have eternal consequences for ourselves and for others. The truth is necessary to thrive as men, to love our wife and raise our children, and to attain to our sublime destiny of eternal beatitude.

It is because of the immensity of what is at stake that Fr. Farfaglia wrote his book. In the introduction he writes: "My dear brothers in the Lord, I am writing this book for you, man to man, with deep love and concern so that you will be happy in this life and eternally happy in the life to come."

In Chapter One the topic of love is addressed: "Today, the word love is equated with sex. For most young people, the words 'to date' mean dinner, movie and sex. For most young American men, if the dinner and movie could be dispensed with, all the better. . . . The damage that this cheapening of sexuality has done is enormous."

But Fr. Farfaglia does not simply list our illnesses, rather he provides sound theological advice on their remedy according to Tradition, Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church. He quotes the saints and the popes, Scripture and the Catechism and contemporary writers. Drawing on more than twenty years of pastoral experience, he writes about how to love and how to live; about the importance of the Eucharist, about the sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders; about conjugal love and human sexuality. In a straight-forward manner, he provides men with the basics of how to survive in a world that is often bent on our failure.

Fr. Farfaglia's book helps to give men the tools to reclaim their masculinity, to live as real men in loving obedience to Christ. Therefore it is an important read for all Christian men -- young and old alike, and especially those who are married -- who are hungering for the truth in order to thrive as members of the one body of Christ.

In September of 2010, Pope Benedict spoke these words in preparation for his apostolic visit to Germany: "Where God is, there lies the future. What this means is that we must restore God to our horizon, the God who is so often absent but of whom we have such great need. You may ask me: 'But, does God exist? And if he exists does he really concern himself with us? Can we reach him?' It is, indeed, true that we cannot place God on the table, we cannot touch him or pick him up like an ordinary object. We must rediscover our capacity to perceive God, a capacity that exists within us."

Man To Man: A Real Priest Speaks To Real Men About Marriage, Sexuality And Family Life is a book about our present and our future. It is about how men can find healing and purpose; how men can thrive in marriage and attain new horizons of love with their beloved wives; and how men can strengthen their families in a society which continues to marginalize and devalue them. It is a book about how men can rediscover their capacity to perceive God, living in and with and through Christ as real men: as courageous husbands, fathers and brothers.

-----

F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at catholicpathways.com

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Malinformed much? Ninety percent of your information now comes from just 6 media sources Watch

Image of Small media outlets are consumed by the large, limiting the variety of expression.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever tried to describe something, but lacked the vocabulary to do it? This is the concept behind Newspeak, a fictional language in George Orwell's 1984. Orwell proposed that by limiting expression, thought itself could be limited. Today, as media companies ... continue reading


Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage struck down Watch

Image of The Virginia case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought by two same-sex couples. Fourteen thousand gay couples also were certified as a class for the suit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit ... continue reading


Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter