by Fr Richard Heilman | January 10, 2016 2:11 PM
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the land …” Ezekiel 22:30
MEN … these are the times in which you and I live … this is the hand we have been dealt. What are we going to do about it?
This past September, Bishop Thomas Olmsted issued a clarion call, in his Apostolic Exhortation, for men to “step into the breach” …
“Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real. It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes.
The world is under attack by Satan, as our Lord said it would be (1 Peter 5:8-14). This battle is occurring in the Church herself, and the devastation is all too evident. Since AD 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, infant baptism has dropped by 28%, adult baptism has dropped by 31%, and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%. This is a serious breach, a gaping hole in Christ’s battle lines …
One of the key reasons that the Church is faltering under the attacks of Satan is that many Catholic men have not been willing to “step into the breach” – to fill this gap that lies open and vulnerable to further attack. A large number have left the faith, and many who remain “Catholic” practice the faith timidly and are only minimally committed to passing the faith on to their children. Recent research shows that large numbers of young Catholic men are leaving the faith to become “nones” – men who have no religious affiliation. The growing losses of young Catholic men will have a devastating impact on the Church in America in the coming decades, as older men pass away and young men fail to remain and marry in the Church, accelerating the losses that have already occurred.
These facts are devastating. As our fathers, brothers, uncles, sons, and friends fall away from the Church, they fall deeper and deeper into sin, breaking their bonds with God and leaving them vulnerable to the fires of Hell. While we know that Christ welcomes back every repentant sinner, the truth is that large numbers of Catholic men are failing to keep the promises they made at their children’s baptisms – promises to bring them to Christ and to raise them in the faith of the Church.
This crisis is evident in the discouragement and disengagement of Catholic men like you and me. In fact, this is precisely why I believe this Exhortation is needed, and it is also the reason for my hope, for God constantly overcomes evil with good. The joy of the Gospel is stronger than the sadness wrought by sin! A throw-away culture cannot withstand the new life and light that constantly radiates from Christ. So I call upon you to open your minds and hearts to Him, the Savior who strengthens you to step into the breach!
Read the rest HERE
54 Day Basic Training in Holiness
“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness” -Pope Benedict XVI
We are calling all of our Catholic men to enlist in this battle. The Basic Training for this army of spiritual warriors will begin during Lent, 2016 (Ash Wednesday, February 10). Trainees will be provided with a 1-2 minute daily reflection on the qualities of excellence. The first 27 days, trainees will read from passages in scripture, quotes from saints and the catechism on one of the following: Theological Virtues, Cardinal Virtues, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The second 27 days will be excerpts from the book I wrote entitled, Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ. We will also ask each trainee to pray a rosary a day, as we offer our prayers together in the very powerful 54 Day Rosary Novena.
The rallying cry as we enter into this training in holiness — “Chase Perfection, Catch Excellence!” — comes from legendary coach Vince Lombardi’s quote: “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Of course Lombardi, a daily Mass goer and a brother Knight of Columbus, was himself inspired by the very words of Christ: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
As saints in training, we not only tap into the heart of living, but we are given the capacity to inspire other souls to engage this raison d’être … the very reason for existence! There is no other real answer to the horror of emboldened evil in our times … we simply must grow an army of saintly men!!
There are a number of ways for you to receive your 54 days of daily reflections …
In preparation for this training, I have just completed writing a book entitled, 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness. All profits go to the Knights of Columbus, and their efforts in faith formation. I worked with the publishing company to offer these in a bulk rate of just $3.00 each, when ordered in bundles of 20 books.
Order your training book HERE.
Order in bundles of 20 HERE.
You can receive daily emails with these reflections. Sign up HERE (coming soon).
You can find them posted each day at RomanCatholicMan.com – HERE.
You can join the Special Forces Training Facebook group, where they will be posted each day. Join HERE.
Other optional training tools can be found HERE.
Step Into the Breach Wisconsin Tour
Here, in Wisconsin, in company with our bishops from around the State, I will be traveling to every diocese to rally men to accept this challenge to “Step Into the Breach” (more details will follow).
As I am the Wisconsin State Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus, my brother knights are stepping up to make all of the preparations as they help to spread the word about the tour. But, this is offered to all men, whether they are a KC member or not.
Friday, February 12 – Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Friday, February 19 – Diocese of Green Bay
Friday, February 26 – Diocese of LaCrosse
Friday, March 4 – Diocese of Madison
Friday, April 1 – Diocese of Superior (Weekend of Divine Mercy Sunday)
Every evening during this tour, in each of these dioceses, will be an amazing night for enlistment in this battle:
Watch this amazing video just released by Bishop Olmsted!!!
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