Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

12/1/2009 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A challenging, provocative, wise, and thoughtful piece of instruction for all men on the subject of supreme importance – their faith.

Far from being just another marriage do-and-don't book, this is a challenging, provocative, wise, and thoughtful piece of instruction for all men on the subject of supreme importance - their faith.

Far from being just another marriage do-and-don't book, this is a challenging, provocative, wise, and thoughtful piece of instruction for all men on the subject of supreme importance - their faith.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/1/2009 (4 years ago)

Published in Vocations


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - As I sit down to write this, there's a giggling tickle-fest going on in the living room. Daddy and his squirming, laughing kiddos are having a great time, and I am delighted. This happens regularly around here. I'm blessed to be married to a man who enjoys being with his children and isn't afraid to show his affection for them. Precisely the kind of dad Fr. James Farfaglia talks about in his new book, Man to Man: A real priest speaks to real men about marriage, sexuality and family life.

What I found when I read this book was much more than the title implies. Far from being just another marriage do-and-don't book, this is a challenging, provocative, wise, and thoughtful piece of instruction for all men on the subject of supreme importance – their faith. It's really a book about the spiritual life, and Fr. James wastes no time in telling readers flat-out that “If you are not going to live a very serious life of prayer and sacramental life, take this book and throw it in the garbage right now. Forget it. Do not waste your time.”

Right away you know this book isn't for sissies. This is straight talk, and Fr. James doesn't pull any punches or beat around the bush. He gets right to the heart of the matter, confronting the difficult topics without fear, always with a pastor's love.

Readers will be rewarded with Fr. James' refreshing directness about the real meaning of chastity, the difference between sex and making love, the difficulties of marriage, the importance of leadership in the family, the role of a father in the home, and most of all, the necessity of a committed life of prayer.

He begins by tackling our culture's obsession with sex and lust and the damage that has done to marital love. We need to go back to square one and learn what love really is, and how true love finds expression in marriage. Many readers may be surprised to see the words “chastity” and “marriage” in the same sentence! Fr. James illuminates the virtue of chastity and shows us how it is not only possible within marriage but essential, for chastity leads us to greater love.

Wives will be glad to know that Fr. James implores men to be tender, affectionate, romantic, and gentlemanly. He insists that husbands must learn to talk with their wives and be willing to listen! Lest the men despair that Fr. is being one-sided, he also reminds the ladies that marriage is not a one-way street, and women must help their husbands to understand them and make the effort to understand their man. He unflinchingly discusses the beauty of sexual love in marriage, and the right way to approach this intimate gift.

As I've said, this book is really a call to live a holy life, and Fr. James leaves no wiggle room in this regard. “Stop living in your head, journey to your heart, and start learning how to love. If you really love your wife and family, stop sinning. Real men know how to love correctly.” He goes down the list of our day's most invasive forms of temptation: the Internet, TV, movies, pornography, adultery, alcohol and drugs, and lays it on the line. If you cannot master the temptation, radical changes must take place. “Fidelity requires manly courage and self-mastery.”

Faithfulness and happiness are simply not possible without a serious life of prayer, and Fr. James isn't shy about telling men they can't make excuses anymore. Prayer can't wait til there's a crisis: “The spiritual life must not be based upon need. God is not a soft drink machine. Nor is God a candy store. It is time to get out of the nursery school and grow up.”

“A serious life of prayer, Eucharistic life, and devotion to Mary are essential ingredients for any real man that wants to be authentic.”

“Not only are we to fight against sin, be it mortal sin or venial sin, but we must also get to the root of our sins and remove the inordinate affections that cause us to sin in a certain way. However, to avoid sin is not enough. We must grow in holiness.”

With loving firmness and encouragement he reminds men, “Remember, the goal of our spiritual life is to become a new person in Christ. It is not enough just to be a 'good person' or to be 'nice.' We are called to be saints.”

I cheered out loud when he talked about the importance of being a gentleman and extending the chivalrous acts of kindness that have sadly disappeared in our society. I actually feel sorry for men today in many ways. Radical feminism has emasculated men and denied them the opportunity to be the men they were created to be. I nodded in agreement when he said, “It is true that a wife wants her husband to be manly. Manliness means that a man is going to be a leader.” Fr. James leads the charge for men to reclaim their leadership role in their homes and families, with the clear understanding that a Catholic husband and father is always a true gentleman who loves unconditionally.

I also loved that he tells men they can't ignore their responsibility in shaping their children's spiritual lives, in forming their character, teaching them good manners, and how to properly interact with the opposite sex. He gently instructs fathers they must be loving and affectionate with their children, and spend a lot of time with them. There's no substitute for a father who's present.

Bottom line, this book is solid guidance for any man who's serious about being the best Catholic man, husband and father he can be. Fr. James is true to authentic Catholic teaching in every way, including the holy obligation that married love remain open to new life. This book is not only worth reading, it's worth giving.

In fact, this book will give in more ways than one. In a fund-raising effort, sales of this book will be used to help start a Catholic elementary school in Fr. James' parish community. Your cost includes shipping, and all proceeds go toward founding the new school. Check out his website at www.mantomanbook.com. Order a copy of this marvelous book and you'll give as great a blessing as you'll receive.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Vocations

We Need Monks for this New Missionary Age Watch

Image of A part of monastic life and spirituality is also labor, immersed in prayer. Monks support themselves through hard work, dedicated to God and caught up in the ongoing redemptive work of Jesus Christ in and through His Church. They follow a

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Monks are a seed of the great renewals of the Catholic Church. Monks are prophetic seeds of the kingdom who always seem to be around right when we need them the most. We need Monks for the authentic renewal of the Church in this hour. Lord, send your Holy ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone: Vocations Are All About Life Watch

Image of Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. Originally from New York, he was ordained in 1988 by Cardinal John O'Connor. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel's Vineyard, the world's largest ministry of healing after abortion. The Vatican appointed him to the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. He also serves as a member of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

This week (November 2 - 8) is Vocations Awareness Week. Since I began my full-time work with Priests for Life over 20 years ago, one of the first things I became aware of was that many young people today are finding their vocation precisely because of the ... continue reading


You Go Into the Vineyard Too! Every Christian Has a Vocation Watch

Image of Priesthood, Diaconate in Christ,consecrated or religious life,lay ecclesial movements, consecrated Christian marriage - every Baptized Christian has a vocation. We just have to learn to live it!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Church is a seed, sign and beginning of the kingdom, making the kingdom present in a world which is wounded by the effects of sin but waiting to be born anew. The Lord continues His work through us. We are the workers in His vineyard. It matters little what ... continue reading


Leadership Conference of Women Religious taken to task by Vatican for honoring controversial theologian Watch

Image of Conscious evolution is a set of ideas developed in the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who addressed the LCWR annual assembly in 2012

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Using blunt language, the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office Cardinal Gerhard Müller rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR for honoring a Catholic theologian judged "seriously inadequate" and for promoting ideas he ... continue reading


A Website for Women to Imagine What a Nun's Life is Like

Image of What's it like? Take a virtual journey as a sister on this new, unique website featuring some of the amazing religious women who provide help to those in need everyday.

By Jennifer Murphy, Communications Specialist, Sisters of Bon Secours

The Sisters of Bon Secours, an international religious congregation of Catholic sisters based in Marriottsville, Md., announce the launch of a unique website, www.LifeAsASister.org. 'Imagine a Sister's Life' allows single Catholic women to imagine what it's like ... continue reading


Trappist monks' spirituality hailed as key to business success

Image of Trappist Monks combine business acumen with spiritual devotion to provide superior workmanship and value to clients.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A spiritual focus on generous service and community is the key to success for the Trappist monks, not only in their business ventures but in all of their pursuits, said a businessman closely acquainted with the order. WASHINGTON D.C., February 26 (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Archbishop José H. Gomez on Praying for Priests and Promoting Vocations

Image of Fathers Manuel Bravo, Chan Woo Lee, Eben MacDonald and Nabor Rios turn to the assembly gathered for their ordination to the priesthood June 2. VICTOR ALEMAN

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

Every priest is a sacrament - a sign and instrument that brings men and women to the encounter with the living God. So in this Year of Faith, we need to refocus ourselves, especially in our families, on helping men to hear this beautiful and noble calling from Jesus. ... continue reading


COL EXCLUSIVE: Fr. Pontifex - See what this priest does to deliver his powerful message Watch

Image of Fr. Pontifex during a recent recording session for

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

He is a growing personality in the Catholic world and represents a new movement to engage the youth and reconvert the lost. Is he the Pope? A new bishop? A pop star? Well, he's not any of these things - yet. However, Fr. Pontifex, may eventually be all three, God ... continue reading


Sisters of Bon Secours Host Project Good Help to Assist Underserved in Baltimore

Image of Volunteers work side-by-side with the Sisters of Bon Secours to assist the poor of innercity Baltimore by serving in a soup kitchen, women's resource center, a community garden and within senior housing.

By Jennifer Murphy, Communications Associate

The Sisters of Bon Secours, an international community of Catholic women religious (sisters) with ministries in healthcare, human and social services, education and spiritual retreats, is welcoming volunteers to participate in Project Good Help®. This annual ... continue reading


Benedictine Monks from Oklahoma Move to Ireland's Stamullen Priory Watch

Image of Stamullen Priory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

They seek to bring healing to a wounded Irish Church. I believe they are a first fruit of her restoration and a sign of her future contribution in a new missionary age. God has not abandoned the Church in Ireland. The Purification of the Church always precedes her ... continue reading


All Vocations News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... 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