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 December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


The Gender Identity Executive Order of President Obama is a Trojan Horse

Image of Most of us are familiar with the story of the Trojan Horse used by Greek soldiers to take the City of Troy. After a multi-year, unsuccessful effort to take the City, the Greeks pretended to retreat. However, Greek soldiers had left behind a large wooden horse. The Trojans found what they thought were spoils of battle, a large wooden horse. They decided to pull it into the City as a trophy of their victory. Hidden inside were an elite group of soldiers. As soon as the crowds gathered to celebrate the victory, they came out of the horse and destroyed the City from the inside.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

To equate how one engages in sexual activities with a member of the same sex - or whether one has sexual attraction to a member of the same sex - with a properly protected status such as race, creed, gender or national origin, in the enforcement of federal ... continue reading


America's best hope for 2016 is an old face: Republican's need Romney to run Watch

Image of While Mitt Romney has not said he will run for president in 2016, those close to him suggest that he will, and he is confident that he can win.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Republican party is doing a great deal of soul searching ahead of the 2016 presidential election season. It's will be tough finding a candidate that appeals to the small but vocal Tea Party, the aging and reactionary ultraconservatives and the large and ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... 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