Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brothers in Battle

My parish, Christ the Redeemer, has a young men's group called MEAT: Men Eating And Talking. The group meets once a month at the parish rectory, and we share our faith with each other over beers and great food. This past Thursday, Matt Fradd was the guest speaker. He runs a website called The Porn Effect, and is dedicated to exposing Pornography for what it is - a sick, disgusting way to objectify women, emasculate men, and damage marriages. It is a method to twist our sexual desire. Sexual desire, a gift from God that should impel us to love, twisted to impel us to lust.

Simple put, Matt Fradd did an amazing job. He tore into the evil of porn, and at the same time affirmed the men who came out to hear him speak: he affirmed the honesty in our struggle, and our will to purify ourselves for the love of God's most beautiful creation: women. Matt was an inspiration, and is definitely battle-ready to take on anything that Satan throws at him. There's an excuse, he said, that people use as an argument for pornography and men's lustful use of it. "Boys will be boys." Matt scoffed when he said this. "Boys will be boys," he said. "Sure. But men will be men."

Men will be men. Men will be men. Taking on the Love of Christ, who commanded us to "love [our] wives as [He] loved the Church" (Ephesians 5:25). And even though I am not married, I am called to love women all the same. So when Matt showed all of us one of his website's t-shirts that says "Love women. Fight porn," I'm sure that the hearts of all the men there were set aflame. A living quote machine, Matt gave all the men another one to ponder on:

"Instead of looking with lust on the flesh of a woman, go to Adoration and look with love on the flesh of Our Lord."

I usually go to the Adoration chapel at a neighbouring parish once MEAT concludes, but this time I went with newfound fervor and purpose. When I opened the chapel door, what a sight. Jesus Christ, in the blessed Sacrament, and 5 guys who had just come from MEAT, all kneeling before Him in adoration. And I immediately smiled. Because in that moment, in those five guys, I saw no trace of boyish immaturity. I saw men, battle-ready to fight for Love. Yes, through adoration, obviously we hoped that we could simply bask in the light of the Son, and receive Grace. But I KNEW that this time, all the men were praying for something else too.

Lord, help me to love women the way you do.

Lord, give all men the strength to use their gift of masculinity to protect women.

Lord, give men and women the strength to see their self-worth, which can only be found in You.

Lord, increase my purity.

Lord, may men and women lift each other up in the virtue of selfless, sacrificial love.

Lord, help men to overcome their addictions to pornography.

Lord, thank you for the beautiful creation of women. Help me to cherish them.




In that time in Adoration, I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am that I am in good company - a good, holy, loving, patiently perservering company of men. If you are a man and don't have a solid Catholic group of men like that, find one. If you are a woman, and don't have a solid group of Catholic women - find one! The men in that chapel and the men at MEAT are a brotherhood, and we are arming ourselves to fight this war. Because the Truth is, we are not supposed to be doing this alone. Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs. I am so grateful that I have strong male Catholic friends who will yell at me, punch me, and awaken me from my deadened senses if I am not letting Christ live in me (Galatians 2:20). And I am so grateful that I have these brothers to affirm me, to support me, and to bring Christ to the world - by eradicating porn, and by simply looking at a woman with love and telling her that she is beautiful.

Groups like MEAT are arming themselves, just as Matt Fradd is armour-clad already. With camraderie, courage, and of course Grace, we are arming ourselves the way St. Paul says we should: with the belt of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and the shield of faith, which will allow us to to quench the flaming arrows of the Evil one (Ephesians 6:13-17).

We are ready to fight for love, and we are ready to win. So to any of the women out there who might be reading this, if there comes a time when a man disagrees with something you are doing, maybe it's just because he's trying to love you. If there comes a time when a man gets upset and wishes something would stop, maybe it's just because he loves you. If we ever walk out of a movie, refuse to laugh at an inappropriate joke, or say we don't want to go to that certain club, maybe it's because we are struggling with our purity, and just want to love you.

We love you.

The Brotherhood of Men, led by the Son of Man. What a manly thing to be a part of.

"There is need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and nullify the savage work of those who think man is a beast. And that crusade is your work." -St. Josemaria Escriva

1 comment:

  1. Jeremy,

    Thank you for sharing this. Inspiring.

    God bless,
    Brian the Younger