Fr. Mike Schmitz "The Marks of a True Christian Man" — Arlington Diocese Men's Conference 2018

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Our first speaker is a priest of the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota

prior to his ordination in 2003 he served as a lay missionary in Central

America with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity a lover of

sports he has completed not one, not two, but three Ironman triathlons in the

past Known nationally for his inspiring homilies

he has become one of the most celebrated Catholic speakers especially in the

world of social media every Wednesday he appears on Ascension

Press which is an online evangelistic platform providing faith-filled content

and reflections on all things Catholic he has preached across the country about

the love of God and the call of Jesus Christ for Saints to be raised up in his

Church it is his ardent desire he says that these Saints will someday redeem

the whole world for Christ at present he's the Director of the Office of Youth

Ministry for his home Diocese and the chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus

Ministry for the University of Minnesota and Duluth gentlemen it is my honor to

introduce father Mike Schmitz

thank you all one thing I'm gonna put this down and then I'm gonna use it

later also I don't mean to embarrass Nico at all but I clarification so

sometimes when people will say hey Father how many ironmans have you done I

used to have the policy of saying well two or three knowing that the answer is

actually two but my response wasn't dishonest I mean it's two or three and

so we just to clarify it's only two so you could say next time like not zero

not one but two I know we already prayed but is it okay I mean I hope you don't

mind if we just pray again just helps me out cause I need the Holy Spirit and I

think we just all ask the Holy Spirit to help all of us this morning to receive

what it is God wants to give us because that's the reality is that every man

here is here because the Lord wants you here he wants to give you something and

I don't know what that is and you might not know what that is but he does want

to give you something and let's just pray a prayer in addition to what our

Vicar General had prayed just asking the Holy Spirit to open our minds and our

hearts in the name of the Father Son Holy Spirit amen

father and have we give you praise and glory we thank you so much for this day

I think you promised so much bringing us here safely I ask that you please send

your Holy Spirit upon the heart into the hearts into the minds of every man who's

here send your spirit of the truth and clarity into our mind that we can know

your will and and know who you are that we can know who we are in you it's in

your Holy Spirit of fire of love into our hearts that we can love you as you

deserve to be loved that we can love those in our lives as

you call us to love them father please transform us by the power of your Holy

Spirit help us to receive what it is you want to receive so we can become the

people you want us to become we make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus

Christ our Lord amen name the Father Son Holy Spirit amen

so a couple of things I want to thank everyone for being here this morning I

know it probably was a sacrifice and there's probably a thousand places

you could be right now other than right here right now and so just it's kind of

like an exercise you might know that some of the people at your table already

you might know that people you're sitting next to but that's kind of an

exercise I won't make you do this again this is the one time if you can just

turn to someone sitting next to you and answer the following question if you

could be right now if you could be anywhere in the world right now doing

anything in the world right now where would you be and what would you be doing

so your game so if you could be anywhere in the world right now doing anything in

the world right now where would you be and what would you be doing just couple

moments they're just gonna discuss amongst yourselves ready go

all right so I'm guessing I'm guessing a lot of you were able to answer that that

question maybe not everyone's able to answer the question but one of the

things I noticed was how awesome 700 men's voices how loudly that gets really

quickly that was like I was gonna start talking to the guy next to me but I

couldn't hear a thing so it's decided to sit quietly what I don't know if I want

to ask but anyone here close by I want to kind of volunteer what what you were

to what you would have said where what's that Aruba do you make a come on want to

take it to Bermuda Bahama come on pretty mama yeah Aruba what any any around

Iceland doing what wrong Iceland traveling around Iceland and eat nice and

Iceland is green Greenland has ice I learned that from the Mighty Ducks 2

yeah dang it you ruined my joke no that's

exactly funny thing is I would say that you know Aruba you've Iceland you

have other places but there's also that that I'm gonna say 5% of people

would say yeah this I mean whenever I asked that question it's roughly either

the smart alecks or the or the completely dunno genuine 5% people would

typically in in a group would say no I want to be right here right now that

means 95% of us

but honestly if you were to ask that if you were if you were to be asked that

question of yourself virtually any time in your life if someone you know showed

up at work and hey if you could be anywhere in world right now doing

anything in the world right now where would you be what would you be doing

they showed up you know normal Saturday if you could be anywhere in the world

doing anything in the world where would you be what would you be doing almost

all of us 95% of us not all of us but 95% of us would probably say the same

exact answer somewhere else doing something else now think about that like

at any given moment all of us if given the choice would be somewhere else doing

something else like there's something off about that I think and it might be

what we're doing is wrong where we are is wrong but it might be something

deeper than that it might be might be the fact that our perspective is off I

still kind of want to start this morning like that is our perspective dialed in

for am I right here right now and do I see that as a gift because the

perspective of a man of faith the perspective of a Catholic man

essentially is this is that I've been given a gift that every single moment

that we're living is a gift and that if I constantly am wanting to be somewhere

else doing something else one of the things that means is I'm missing out on

the gifts that the Lord is trying to give me at this moment in during this

thing because the perspective of a Catholic is I can never find Christ in

the past I can't find Christ in the future the only place I can find

the Lord is right here and right now because the past is gone and the future

doesn't exist yet but if I'm constantly look constantly either looking back or

constantly looking forward I'm missing out on the gift of the present moment

but especially as men how many times are we like not present and that's maybe

what she says a lot to you where you're not there you're not here

you're not with us right now and that's probably true because again we miss out

on the gift our perspective might be a little bit skewed but there's respective

of a disciple of Jesus is is right on and basically what it means our

perspective is is nothing gets wasted nothing gets wasted maybe even in this

moment is not the greatest moment in this place is not the greatest place but

in the Lord nothing is wasted as some of you know who is the Blessed Stanley

Rother is he Stanley Rother now or is he Blessed now? Blessed. Blessed Stanley

Rother from Oklahoma our Bishop was our bishop was was telling me about him a

couple weeks ago a couple months ago and one of the things he noted is he

said yes Blessed Stanley Rother is life he knew grew up on a farm in

Oklahoma and he really struggled in school and really struggled in seminary

in fact I think they made him take a couple breaks because he was not the

most academically sharp guy but during that time during those breaks you know

imagine as a seminarian he'd be like what the I'm supposed to be a priest

like how can I move forward how can God use me if I keep getting sent away from

the seminary to go back to work on the farm they kept sending keep getting sent

away from the seminary to go work on whatever this this project or that

project ultimately when Father Stanley was was ordained they sent him down to

Central America and because of this is remarkable because of the time that he

spent not in formation because of the time that he said okay

Stanley you have to go home and work the farm because at that time that he spent

not where he wanted to be not doing what he wanted to do he was able to actually

teach the indigenous people there the farming techniques that he learned in

those breaks he was able to raise them up in a unique way that he wouldn't have

been able to do unless he had been sent away from what he wanted to do being

where he wanted to be why because the big takeaway and this whole thing is

with God nothing is wasted nothing gets wasted if given to him and so again

especially if this morning if I'd rather be in other places doing other things in

different chairs nothing is wasted because what God is doing right now in

your life and hopefully in my life he's trying to make us into the men he's

called us to be because I don't think I think a lot of us maybe some of you are

already the man God has called you to be but I think a lot of us are still

becoming them in God is calling us to be and so one of the things you know this

morning we're gonna talk about is what are the marks of that kind of man like

not just like what are they where those men do because we could go through the

list here's that you need to do with your checklist of like you do this do

this do that but what are the more what are the characteristics what kind of a

person kind of a man is a mature Catholic man I see that as one of the

questions we want to answer this morning so all of us can be that I think the

first question you have to ask of course is like what is it to be a man like

ultimately at the heart of it what is it what is it what is it when do you know

you're a man and I think if we just kind of take it took a took a beat and like

looked inside he's asked the question those of you who are men that other men

see you as men when did you know you are a man because in our culture there's

very there's it's very rare that there's a moment where someone steps into a

man's life and says okay you're a man now

so we have to kind of guess at it we don't have a lot of those those kind of

those rites of passage that in other cultures they rely upon to say okay you

were a boy yesterday and now you're not anymore

now we're bestowing manhood upon you so we have to guess at it we're like oh I

was a man when I drove my own car like okay that's not true um we all know

that's not true I'm a man when I turned 18 I can buy my

own cigarettes or whatever the thing is sorry I got some scratchy tickets you

know like no that's not being a man 18 years old I went to college maybe I

became a man when I went to college maybe when you got your first job it's

like that's when I knew I was a man had my first my first job maybe it was what

I have a lot of our college students say my first big boy job but still then

they're describing it as a big boy job

maybe was getting married your first child with all that that those options

like but what what's the one common factor what's the one common denominator

the difference between I was a boy and now I'm a man and I don't think it's

external I think it's internal I think the first mark of a man is very very

simple it's um to be an adult is to take a

responsibility like to be to take responsibility I think about the

students that I work with the young men I work with on the college campus they

can be anywhere from 18 years old to about 24 years old because some we have

a graduate school in medical medical school on campus and look at some of

those 18 year olds and I just think of all the scenes of D-Day that I've ever

seen you know the beach of Normandy I think these guys are roughly the same

age the whole you know 18 to 24 years old beyond I think in the Battle of the

Bulge like reading those stories of those men who were there yeah in Europe

or in the Pacific Theater I just think of like those men they're the exact same

age and I think I wonder the question keeps coming up like what's the

difference between those men who served and these men in front of me and I don't

think it I don't think it's it's it's a difference of like wool these men back

in the day they were facing battle they were facing in a conflict they were

really thrown into it I think the difference is our forefathers took

responsibility first thing the first thing we take responsibility for is a

responsibility for ourselves because remember we think about when you were a

child when you're a boy like you don't have to tell me where to go I'll go

there which is one of the reasons why so many husbands and wives ultimately

become a little bit grating on each other

because at first he's like tell me where to go

wife she's like great I will you know actually I'd be

but one of the best sins for men is is gonna be passivity one of

the things that men are at men are inclined what are inclined towards more

inclined toward passivity and one of the settings sins that women are inclined

towards is control and at first in a relationship that works out great you

tell me what to do that's great you you're taking I don't have to do

anything you're gonna take control wonderful awesome she's like great

finally I can take control and like you're letting me take control this is

wonderful and it works out well for a little while and then all of a sudden

what happens is like what the heck how come I don't get to make any decisions

and not she's saying what that why won't you take any responsibilities just start

to do the thing mm-hmm testify because to be a man to ultimately be a man I

need to reject passivity I need to embrace responsibility to be a man

ultimately I need to reject that passivity that's in all of us and to

embrace responsibility again first for myself and then for other people to

embrace responsibility first for myself and then for other people but the

problem of course with that is that um I'd rather be somewhere else doing

something else but if that's you that's not a problem well it is a problem but

it's not a new problem it's actually goes back to the its oldest it's a

tailless all this time and it goes back to that the Desert Fathers say now have

you ever heard of the you heard the the sin of sloth some people say sloth but

that reminds me of that three-toed thing so the sin of sloth or the sin of acedia

a lot of them people think that's a sin of just laziness it's not the sin of

sloth ultimately comes down to this it comes down to I would rather be

somewhere else doing something else

rather than embracing this moment and embracing a respondent irresponsibility

that's been given to me in this moment so the Desert Fathers would write about

this they called acedia the noonday devil because they they were out in the

in the wilderness or how it is in a desert in there a little Hut and they

had already gotten up you know that in the cool of the morning they'd already

said their morning prayers and now what they had to do between 10 o'clock in the

morning and roughly 2 in the afternoon these had to sit there and pray in the

desert under the Sun in a hut they hadn't yet had the meal at the end of

the day but the coolness of the morning has worn off and burned away and now

it's that middle of the day where it's just like nothing seems to be happening

I just want to go somewhere else they said those are the moments when they had

all the great ideas of like you know what I could do I can go back into the

town and I can help so many people and I give you right now is that good I could

go and do this it'll be such a great idea you know I should do right now I

should go and do something else somewhere else which is one of the

reasons why acedia or sloth is not foreign to us we might experience it

every day we definitely experience it in our lifetime since the called a midlife

crisis I mean think about the beginning of one's life there's so much

promise it's fresh it's new it's like what could I possibly do and then you

start a course and chart this course and here in the middle of that day from 10

o'clock to 2 o'clock it seems like nothing's changing nothing's happening I

don't know how to get up and I go to work and I do the thing and like yeah

promotions where it used to happen and innovation used to happen and excitement

used to be there and now it's kind of the same people doing the same thing

every day until I retire not yet there I'm not where I was and something in

this makes me just want to be somewhere else doing something else the desert

Father said when it when a man experiences that in his life the best

thing you can do is to embrace it the best thing you can do is just like say

no I'm planted here like I'm not moving I'm going to engage with this with

everything I've got why because member with the Lord

nothing's wasted in one of the things that gets so frustrating is that

everyone's counting on me now I actually I can not only can I not choose to leave

like I can't leave I imagine a lot of men in this room have experienced this

it's one thing you know it's a it's like it's like Lent right it's one thing

to not eat meat on Friday because you just don't want some it's another thing

to not eat meat because someone else told you not to eat meat and now they're

saying no no it's not an option anymore you can't and you feel like all stifled

like I don't I don't like this as much I'm not free and that's again this mid

life this this is time of acedia I'd rather be somewhere else doing something

else but I can't why because I have to be here I don't I don't even have a

choice anymore if that's you I got I gotta ask you please for your own sake

for the sake of your family for the sake of your parish for the sake of like

society don't leave don't run like embrace it because this is that's when

mature men are formed there's taking responsibility as young man it's

exciting being given responsibility and embracing it as a middle-aged or older

man is less glamorous it's less fun but it's more important it's more important

why because so many of us so many of us happen by that midday had been lulled to

sleep so many missed by the midday band lulled to sleep and I think I was

thinking about this because um in in the Scriptures in in first Peter chapter 5

St. Peter's writing to the community but let's say he's just writing to us he's

writing to you and he says he says as he says came in be sober and vigilant your

opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion lion looking for someone to

devour resist him steadfast in your faith

knowing that your fellow believers in this context your fellow men throughout

the world undergo the same suffering so you think about this your point of the

devil's probably like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour

resist him solid in your faith we realize you know we have an enemy we

have we have the world we have the flesh as

our enemies we also have the devil we have the evil one as our enemy as well

as well as Saint Peter says that he prowls like a roaring lion looking for

someone to devour but it's interesting because I was

looking at like a National Geographic type TV show and it was following a

pride of lions and it was showing how how Lions actually fight so imagine

here's a pride of lions and there's like the alpha lion like that the lead male

at one you know numerous points in that lead males life one of the young lions

the young male lions will come up and and challenge the older lion for to lead

the pride right and it's interesting because they they highlighted this see

how they kind of challenge each other it's really interesting because it's

kind of like how human beings challenge each other at first at least because

what they'll do is the young guy the young lion will kind of walk by the

older line I just got give my shoulder and I was like that's like in the bar

that doesn't happen at a bar you're standing there all of a sudden some guy

walks by and just kind of I'm not gonna move you're like what is this what we're

doing now okay I guess you know but that's all it is it's basically saying

what are you gonna do the young lion comes by little shoulder what are you

gonna do and it always starts subtle doesn't it like when it comes to that

battle the battle we experienced the battle we face especially particularly

when it comes to evil when it comes after us it always starts with like that

what are you gonna do I'm gonna back down you're gonna run away are you gonna

engage if we're lulled to sleep in this kind of sense of like I want to I want

to brace passivity and reject responsibility what are you gonna do but

then the next step is so remarkable is when the lines and end up funny when

that when the when the lead male says okay I'm gonna fight the young guy

coming up and they attack each other what they noted was they don't go for

the face they don't go for like each other's jugulars or anything when two

lions two male lions fight they go for each other's genitals basically the

basically they're trying to castrate the other lion that's that's that that's the

fight right there is all I get that's what they know they

write the male line now know is that if you're challenging me all I need to do

is castrate you and then you're no longer a threat you can't lead this

pride if you are emasculated so all I need to do that's all I need to do I

don't even need I don't need to destroy you you know Scripture devil prowls like

a like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour

no I don't like the Satan doesn't even have to devour us as men all he has to

do is castrate us all he has to do is render us powerless so we're no longer a

threat and so what are the ways what are the ways they in your life in my life

that I've allowed Satan to castrate me meaning I've allowed him to render me

powerless that to Satan he looked at you were me and he says you're not even a

threat are you kidding me you're not even willing to embrace

normal responsibilities of a man much less a mature Catholic man you're no

threat to me powerless that's a lot of us I think because we've allowed that

strength with a lot of that power to be taken from us but the first mark of a

Catholic man is he takes responsibility and he's willing to fight takes

responsibility he's willing he's willing to engage takes responsibility he says

okay I'm not gonna be lulled to sleep I'm not gonna choose comfort over truly

choosing heroism like truly choosing heroism so what's the Catholic man gonna

do he's gonna strive to neck in that second second mark of a Catholic man

he's gonna strive to be competent because we need to be responsible but we

have to also strive to be competent in fact we must strive to be competent

because we need to be men who are men of freedom and men of power need to be men

of freedom and of power but how often do we can feel powerless why because I've

been taken out I've been I don't know what to do I mean I've been driving

embracing passivity for so long that now it comes time someone says 'hey men

got to lead your family like I do it she does it what does it mean lead my family

okay kids were going to church now for now on that's what we're doing you lay

down the law done I told them told them I'm going to church I need to be calm I

need to become competence which means I need to train myself there's this church

word let's now it's Church word but used to

not be a church word if the church the word is asceticism you guys heard of

asceticism asceticism basically means penance you know the penances we pick up

whether it's in Lent or and other times we're alive but I said as an asceticism

originally didn't mean penance ascesis ASCESIS, asceticism, actually

is a Greek word that means training so asceticism is training so Lent, a time of

asceticism not just a hold of time opponents oh gosh I gave up sweetener in

my coffee well really good for you that's wonderful

but is it training because it helped me become as it helping me become more and

more free more and more powerful more and more competent we need to become men

of competence when men of training that's why I'm say St. Paul in his first

letter to the Corinthians chapter 9 he writes this he says don't you know that

all the runners in the stadium they all run the race but only one wins the prize

run so as to win every athlete exercises discipline in every way they do it to

win a perishable crown but we an imperishable one thus I do not run

aimlessly I do not fight as if I were shadow boxing no I drive my body and I

train it ascesis so that after having preached to others I myself may not be

disqualified this recognition of like okay that's what I need to do my ascesis

my self-denial my training is oriented towards becoming a man of competence

doesn't have to be competence in any one particular area because some of you are

really good at computers some of you really got to teach

so we are great at administration some are really good at coaching or whatever

the thing is that you're good at that's wonderful and every man needs to become

competent in something but every single one of us needs become competent in this

one thing in this training of sainthood this discipline of being able to act

when it's time to act people to fight when it's time to fight

to be able to lead the people in our circle when it's time to lead them and

also yes the ability to serve when it's time to serve them because competence

isn't just being that you know the the Big Shot on the block you know

competence isn't just being the one who can do the the big grandstanding thing

competence is I'm able to serve my bride when she needs me to serve her I'm able

to serve my children when they need me to serve them I'm able to serve I perish

when they need me to serve them you're single guy I need to be able to serve my

friends my parents when they need me to serve them

that's competence and that competence is power that that power ultimately is

freedom but I can't get there unless I become a man of ascesis a man of

asceticism a man of training and everything I love that there's a young

man here as well like younger guys because the Good News is it's you're not

you're never too late to start you're also you're not too young to start it

when it comes to becoming competent when comes that training you're not it's

never too late to start but guys it is also you are not too young to start this

training you start this training in asceticism this training of competence

is training of like I don't want it what I want to do now is live in such a way

that when the Lord calls me to something that where he needs me to be there he

needs me to show up ready that I can show up ready so one of my favorite

stories one of here four people in the whole Bible is David from you know the

Old Testament David I love this guy and so you all know the story right there

when David comes on the scene and his first kind of big moment is the

Philistine Giants his name is gonna lie you're awake still um that y'all look

away I'm just kidding um well Goliath challenges the zero Israelite army and

he not only insults the Israelites he insults the Lord

and David here's this is like oh no oh no oh no you are not not only are you

not insulting the Israelite army you are not insulting my God you know the

challenge of course was like let's not have these two armies fight let's just

have two guys fight that way no one else one guy has to die that's it

Goliath comes out and says just send one guy out nobody goes out there no one was

ready to move everyone else what are they someone else is gonna do it someone

else is gonna do it I can embrace passivity and reject responsibility

because someone else is gonna they would be a better fighter anyways than I am I

mean I don't want to say that I'm the guy so you have this passivity have an

inability passivity and powerlessness in the whole Israeli army and then David

comes up and he was just a kid and he says well I'll fight him and I

love this is from First Samuel chapter 17 he goes to sking Saul and he says

I'll fight Goliath and in Saul says this Saul says actually David's first says

let your Majesty not lose courage I'm at your service to go and fight this

Philistine just put yourself in Saul's shoes for just one moment you've been

kind of holed up on this one Hill a looking across the valley of a lot at

the other monstrous army of the Philistines and the monster Goliath has

come down to challenge for weeks and months now and this boy comes up don't

be afraid I'm here

and so Saul responds in the way we didn't imagine him to respond he said you

can't go up against this Philistine and fight with him

because you're only a youth he's been a warrior since his youth but then David

gives this answer that just like it this is what makes me love David

then David told Saul well I used to attend my father's sheep and whenever a

lion or a bear came to carry off a sheep from the flock I would go after it and

attack it and rescue its prey from its mouth like oh yeah like this out David

spends his summers weights now that kind of it's like I played a lot Xbox so like

I know how to do this you know you have no idea on what level and call duty I'm

at like I'm like super like I've been in battle you know whenever a lion or a

bear would come up I would go after it and attack it and risk his prey for his

mouth then he goes on to say if it attacked me I would seize it by the jaw

strike it and kill it and I've served I've killed both the lion and a bear and

this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has insulted

the armies of the Living God I mean think of that boldness but think

of that competence he did not waste his youth

period he'd mean that waste is youth he didn't waste his life he didn't say well

my brothers are off you know fighting but I have to be the shepherd here no

this is training why because perspective God doesn't waste anything there's no

experience in your life that if handed over to the Lord he can't use transform

and make into something incredible here's David I have to be a shepherd so

I'm you know I'm gonna do I'm gonna fight I'm gonna train I'm gonna be

competent I become a competent Shepherd so the later on I can become a competent

warrior and later on can become a competent King everything everything can

be used in your life say well I wasted up till now to then change even handing

your past as broken as it might be over to the Lord means okay Lord you have it

now now you can use it take that straw of mine and weave it

something amazing you can allow him to use this so you and I can become a

kind of people through acesis through asceticism through training the kind of

people that he wants us to meet made us to be it doesn't have to be huge

actually here's the here's a little freebie um it can be something small it

could be something really small could be something so easy that you hate me for

it there's a saint named St. Josemaria Escriva and he's awesome he's so great

but he proposed a thing called the heroic minute and it's one it's really

big one moment really big among our college students who are trying to grow

in competence and trying to grow in that freedom that power because the aerobic

heroic men minute is something that happens at least once every day and it

doesn't hurt anyone to do it but it's incredibly difficult

Josemaria Escriva said the heroic minute is the moment the alarm goes off in the

morning you wake up and get out of bed

he was very anti snooze button

what am I think about think about what goes into that first of all he says it

doesn't hurt it's the kind of penance acesis training that anyone can do and it

will never hurt you like sometimes well I don't want to fast too much because

you know I need to keep my strength up like oh I don't want to give up this or

that because I need to like getting up on time doesn't hurt anybody but it's

very very difficult because it involves at least at least two things it involved

taking responsibility for deciding ahead of time when I'm going to get up that

tomorrow how many times no maybe some of you men are like listen that was the

decision I made fifty years ago I'm good I figured that problem out like

wonderful that's good but not everyone in this room is where

you're at because many people many of us when we go to bed the night before

unless there's something we have to do we don't decide when we're gonna wake up

I'm gonna get up wrong this time maybe if I want to work out maybe I was at the

alarm for early in case I want to say feel like getting up and working out

newsflash you're not gonna feel like getting up and working out

I'm gonna set my alarm because maybe I'll get up and pray tomorrow morning

you know if I have extra time again just this just in you will not feel like

getting up and praying tomorrow morning but the night before in the heroic

minute involves means the night before I decided this is what I'm gonna do this

is when I'm going to get up taking responsibility for my life and the

second thing that involves is integrity in the moment of choice

I've decided ahead of time this is the kind of man I want to be the one who

gets up at 5:15 that's that is me then when the alarm goes off at 5:15 okay

this is this is it this is integrity in the moment of choice because that's the

third that's the third mark of a Catholic man responsibility competence

and integrity integrity I was I was thinking about myself you know in to

praying over this and talking about where I lead a group of men on campus

and we were talking about what is it what what are the character what's the

character of a Catholic man Oh a man that you know I'm grown up and one of

the one of the things was the ability the ability to look another man whom you

respect in the eyes and just meet his gaze like and then seven the young men

were like what do you mean I said because you know Phil came out you're

looking into the eyes of a man you respect and you know if you have some

fracture in yourself you want to look away you want to maybe is this also true

with your brides it is also true with your wife whom you probably love and

respect then if you feel this fracture in your own life and she's looking at

you right in the eyes just like I can't meet your gaze why because I lack this

thing called integrity but there's something about again there's something

about the power of like knowing I've embraced responsibility even as

imperfect as I am and breaks responsibility I've strived to become a

a man of competence in this area of just like no I can

tell myself to move and I will move I have the ability to do what I said I was

gonna do competence not only to have the ability I do it integrity because

competence is the ability to do what you said you're gonna do integrity is doing

what you said you were gonna do every man in this room has been consecrated by

Jesus Christ as a son of God every man in this room has been anointed by the

Holy Spirit and set on mission I don't I don't I don't know if you I don't know

how well all of us have been in pure eyes that but every man in this room has

been consecrated and sent on mission you've all been anointed right because

we know when you were baptized priest places hand on you or the Deacon of the

Bishop with holy oil instead I know you priest prophet and King you're anointed

that anointed one is Christ right Christ means anointed one straw a little

anointed ones a little like Christitoes all consecrated for a mission you

know David was also an anointed one when San where the Prophet came along and he

said no your anointed the next king of Israel and he gave David this mission

and David grew incompetence took responsibility and tried to walk in

integrity but that what happened was something later on as David got older

David stopped walking in integrity and it's also one of the reasons I love

David but it's also one of the reasons it's hard to love David because David

started out so well without embracing responsibility and growing in competence

training himself asceticism and having integrity but then what happened was

this is just it gets deadly you know you you fast-forward a couple chapters and

then what you find is who exchanged in second Samuel second Samuel chapter

11 you see David who's been consecrated and

put on mission living off mission here's what it looks like doesn't happen it

doesn't happen all at once

Chapter eleven second samuel at the turn of the year when Kings go out on

campaign David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel so

pause sometimes I think a lot of times when we think of Kings of you know

kingdoms or nations whatever we often have the maybe not you but I often have

the image of like the the king was sits back you know on his big throne and they

have the palm fronds and they kind of fan him and feeding him grapes kind of a

thing but the real vision of kingship back in the ancient world was that the

king was the one who defended his people the king was a warrior for his people

the king didn't send his people into battle the king led his people into

battle so the king was a warrior for the people and so then you have this first

line in chapter 11 where at the turn of the year when Kings go out in battle

David sent out Joab and his armor bearers while he himself remained in

Jerusalem red flag number one David sent a mission to be anointed what to fight

for his people but he's asked them where else is gonna do this

does that look at David's embracing responsibility no he's embracing

passivity you're gonna do that you're faithful to me you're loyal to me

awesome yeah go out and take care of that meanwhile David remain in Jerusalem

first - one evening David rose from his siesta okay it's not like David had to

stay back listen guys I need to stay back in Jerusalem because there's a lot

of stuff going on I got I got budget meetings I've got some other strategic

we have planning a building like he rose from his siesta while all of his men are

out in the back in battle like what the heck David strike two

now do what you should be doing rose from a siesta and strolled about the

roof of the palace from the roof he saw a woman woman bathing who was very

beautiful red like number three okay walking on your

roof like whoa oh gosh okay ceiling scene you know ceiling scene when I was

growing up we watching a movie if there's ever like something

inappropriate on the on the screen my parents would always say ceiling scene

way to look up so David strolling around the roof of the palace

sees a woman bathing she was very beautiful

okay whoa oh gosh okay never mind what is it was David knew him David that

enquiries made about the woman and was told well she's Bathsheba the daughter

of Eliam and the wife of Joab's armor-bearer Uriah the Hittite and that

woman you think they say okay gosh I didn't realize married woman okay

whatever just cold shower go home you know kind of a thing but then it says

David sent for her think about this like this is here's David anointed on mission

like meant to be great what's the theme call it to greatness

made for greatness and actually embracing that responsibility and living

in that confidence and living an integrity for so long but all doesn't he

just starts to slide all of a sudden he just starts to slide and that slide

starts with I'm not gonna do what I'm supposed to do I'm just gonna stay here

and then when I'm here I'm not even gonna do this I'm just gonna see what

else is on Netflix and it's kind of binge watch some shows and order in and

then there's okay that's inappropriate I should look away now I'm not gonna then

it's like oh no she's off-limits like I don't care he sent for her have

relations with her and then sent her home that's this is the story he sent

for her have relations with her and then sent her home now we have a problem

today with men treating women badly but even this hero in the Bible had a

problem treating women badly

that's why again if you this is a description or maybe a chapter of your

life maybe it's a chapter you're living in right now David still a hero in the

Bible because something else happens but it gets worse before it gets better

because he'd probably know the story comes back who Bathsheba sends word to

him and says I'm with child and so David freaks out David says how am I gonna cover

this up so he tells Joab to send Uriah the husband back to Jerusalem to report

to him how things are going so David eats with Uriah husband of the

woman that he just slept with him got pregnant tries to get him drunk and send

him back home but Uriah is man who's on mission and lives on mission a man of

integrity who lived with integrity and Uriah says no man asleep at the gates

because I can't go home to my wife when my brothers are out in battle David

hears about this and calls him says why didn't you go back to your wife and he

says that he says because far be it for me I'm just a I'm faithful to my

brothers I can't go to see my wife right now because that won't be fair to them

so that night David tries to get him drunk again it sends him back home he'll

get him drunk it got a little frisky and have to go back home but Uriah still a

man of integrity says no I can't I'm living on mission so you have this

man has made for Mission who's living off mission and this man was made for

mission Uriah who's living on mission so much so that what's david do david has

to arrange to have Uriah killed

he sends a note with Uriah to give to Joab saying put Uriah at the front

and when the fighting gets fiercest pull back and let him get struck down and so

here's this great king who from his youth has been a man of God from his

youth there's been a man of responsibility competence and integrity

who in this moment has become now an adulterer and a murderer how to start

you didn't start with adultery and didn't start with murder

it started with I just don't want to do what I'm supposed to be doing I don't

want to be where I'm supposed to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing and

it becomes this slide

the great news is for us and and and for David is that God stopped the slide God

stop the slide and David but it meant something had to be broken

is there a slide going on in your life right now where you find yourself just

like yeah I'm getting closer and closer to that edge I'm getting I'm not you

know I'm not the man I thought I was gonna be if you look at the mark of a

true Catholic man like I don't know I don't know I'm trying to embrace

responsibility I try to become a man of competence but right now I don't know if

I'm a man of integrity because I think I'm a man living on a shadow mission

they were hearing that term for the first time shadow mission years ago I

was reading a book and is recounted the story of this these men on retreat he's

a men's retreat kind of like this but like days and they talked about the idea

of being made for mission but not living on mission and living for a shadow

mission like giving your life to be on this shadow mission instead and and one

of the men it talks about this and prayed about this and that night I'd run

a campfire but when things kind of got quiet he was sat there and he's poking

at the fire with a stick and he said out of nowhere he said just my shadow

mission guys you need to know this my shadow mission is when late at night

when my wife and kids have gone to sleep I go to our computer and I engage in

destructive behavior while the rest of the world can go to hell and the guys

that never on the circle kind of chuckled like haha too much information

but he stopped he said no you you need to know this while my wife and my kids

are in bed I go to our family computer and I engage in destructive behavior

while the rest of the world can go to hell

and that's my shadow mission

here's a man of Jesus a man of Christ a Catholic man is meant to live for others

it meant to live on mission yet so many of us have been taken away castrated MIT

rendered powerless by that shadow mission we're gonna dig n again it

doesn't have to be that doesn't have to be that way that's the fourth mark

fourth mark talking with this young man he's a senior this year he gratis

graduating in two months I said Peter when will you know that you're grown up

when will you know that you're a man after God's own heart and he said I

think this I think I think when I have a hold of my sexuality in such a way that

I never want to use another human being I'm holding my sexuality and I never

want to look at a woman never want to use a woman in the wrong way then up

they don't know that I'm grown up I'm no longer a child nor a boy no longer moved

by my emotions about my hormones but I have control of that of course I'll have

sexual thoughts course on sexual desires but um they're not in control of me

another guy said when I can look at other people and not ask what can they

do for me but when I look at other people and say how can I serve them and

I took both of their answers and I said so basically both of those things are

you'll know you're a man when you're no longer selfish they said yeah I don't

want to use her from my own lusts I don't want to use this person for my own

advancement I'm a longer selfish now but the Christian word for selflessness is

called charity C.S. Lewis writes about this and he says back if you asked

if you asked Christians these days this was back in 1920 or 1930 mass Christians

these days what's the highest Christian virtue they would say selflessness but

he says that's not actually accurate selflessness is a negative thing it's

like holding yourself back from being selfish the positive Christian virtue is

called charity or love it's the first mark forth mark

of a Catholic man is love that he's he's the kind of man who can love and when I

say love it I mean like Valentine's Day like you know like you've buy your wife flowers

or whatever again it's I'm in power to be able to say I will not I cannot I do

not permit myself to use another person for my own gain around pleasure

I want to will the good of the others all those people around me I want to

will their good it's an active thing right it's not passive

I reject passivity I'm embracing responsibility of saying like no I

become a man who actually can love it can love really really well I'm taking

responsibility for this but to live like that would look very different it's live

like that would would would make you look weird that's why it's one of the

reasons I think that one of the things that gets us and though gets in the way

of our being authentic Catholic men a mature Catholic men is because we don't

like looking weird we want to look like everyone else I think of that I think of

how how much that is that's that's driven so many of like so much of what

we do what we wear what we drive where the house looks like the kind of job we

chose say I don't want to blend and I kinda I just look like everyone else I

don't want to stick out to love to truly love like Jesus it says you're gonna

look different and I think that a lot of ways we don't want to look different in

fact um when we start looking different people get freaked out I got an email

but I must been a year ago I got an email from a mom and her son was in

college not our college but at a different College and he had gone to a

Catholic college students conference and she wrote to me cuz she said he came

back from this conference you know she said my sent my sweet my husband and I

sent our son our one son to Catholic high school K through 12 Catholic High

School we paid a lot of money to go send the Catholic High School

then we then he went to this other you know public school because it had a

really good Newman Center and he went to this conference and all of a sudden

explain this to me what happened because now he goes to daily Mass and now he's

in a Bible study and now like in discipleship whatever that is

and now he's looking at moving in with some other men who are Catholic next

year looking at a lease with them and I didn't even know that about two weeks

ago he went on the seminary visit and didn't even tell me till after he got

back what did they do to my son as his member reading this going like okay I

what is happening here I just like she was so upset she was so upset because

her son was wanting to be a common disciple of Jesus and I just kept

looking I had to write back and I honestly I wrote maybe 12 drafts of this

email because I'm like calm down just calm down just calm just delete delete

delete okay rewrite this how would I but basically I head right back and say um

so you spent a lot of money K through 12 sending him to Catholic school because

you wanted your son to be a nice boy you spent you sent your kids to Catholic

school because he wanted to be wanted him to be a good kid you sent you spent

all this time all this effort bringing him to Mass all this time because he

wanted him to be a good citizen who paid his taxes and stayed out of jail but you

didn't send him to this place cause you wanted him to be a disciple of Jesus you just

wanted him to be nice you didn't want him to be someone who

loves you wanted him to be someone who fit in think about that 12 years of

Catholic education thousands and thousands of dollars so that my son

would be a good kid that is aiming way too low way too low and now now that he

actually is taking it seriously the call of Jesus Christ you're freaking out I

said I think the problem isn't with your son I think the problem is with you and

hit Send

and then quickly rewrote another email saying I'm sorry if I was a little too

harsh than that last email eight hours later she had already responded and to

her credit to her credit her heart was open and she was like yeah you're right

she I was just afraid all these other moms that had gone to the school you

know high school with my son all the other moms were talking about how their

their kids were you know living the college life and that was worried that

if he lived like this then he would be weird that he'd be odd but I get it and

that's the thing dads you know man college these days I've been on the

college campus for the last 13 years camp college these these days is so much

different than it was when even I graduated 20 live or 20 years ago so

much different and if your sons or your daughters are not living the average

college life experience that's a really good thing I don't want to be different

I don't want to look if I don't want them to look different again that's

nothing new either that's something new either because I mean think about

Scripture in the Old Testament when when our Lord the Lord God delivered the

people of Israel from slavery and he led them into the Promised Land after 40

years of wandering in the desert he gave them all these rules you're gonna have

to wear different clothing you have to eat kind of different different ends of

food let me think about you you're not going to be able to eat lobster or bacon

then Jesus came and we can eat bacon now

and life is good but you can't you have to have your hair a different way why

because you have to look differently and talk differently you have to live

differently because you're gonna want to fit in but you can't fit in again not

because you're better but because you're mine and Catholic men telling you this

is the truth that if we want to actually be Catholic men in this culture we're

going to have to live differently that kind of love that love is going to look

defiant that's the four plus one mark of a Catholic man in this culture is you're

going to have to be defiant this won't this mom she wanted her son to be a nice

boy she want him to be a good kid and you know what being agreeable and our

culture is really nice being agreed people like people in our culture who

are agreeable I like people I like being agreeable but if you're

going to be a Catholic man you have to be defined as well have to be defined is

the last thing you're going to have to be defiant yeah I live in Duluth

Minnesota which is about as far from Washington DC as you can get I mean it

is kind of the hub of politics and you know Midwest

a lot of important people like rub elbows with you guys no way more than I

do about the state of things I don't want to be alarmist but I think what's

the next thing that's gonna be taken I think if we keep going the way we're

going is religious liberty I mean has already been a number of assaults on

that front but not a lot of push back a bit but not in proportion to the attack

and again I don't want to be alarmist about this but I think the next thing is

gonna be taken is gonna be religious liberty and I don't think it'll make a

difference in the lives of most Catholic men because even if religious liberties

taken away you'll still be able to go to Mass on Sunday that's what you're doing

with your private time you keep in Mass inside the church walls even if

religious liberties taken away you still be able to you know pray a rosary in

private if you want it for religious liberty is taken away nope no problem it

probably you'll still be able to send your kids to religious ahead and drop

them off and not have any conversations with them about what they're learned or

what they didn't learn I just pardon me things like yeah we're never taken away

why because we have it now what the hell are you doing with it I mean everyone in

this room we've had religious liberty for over 200 years

what have you done with it I use it to go to church in the leave Church at

church I use it again this is it the drop my kids off our lives ed let

someone else teach them about who God is I use it to just kind of be like

everyone else and you have I've had religious liberty our entire lives and

I've done virtually I don't know about you're in dear interior life I don't

know the details of your life but I've done virtually nothing with it

why cuz we don't think we need to be defiant just want to live like everyone


hit this cultures winning there's a man um a couple years ago I heard his story

incredible man he grew up in Luzon region of China and in the Lausanne

region of China apparently it's still illegal to be Catholic like the real

Catholic Church and so in order to have Mass they would have to have these

clandestine Masses in the middle of the night or the priest would have to sneak

under the cover of darkness over to their homes and their neighbors who are

Catholic would would join them in secret and all throughout Mass in middle that 3

a.m. they'd have to have you know sentries

position outside the homes watching to see if anyone was coming the authorities

were coming one one night after Mass had wrapped up one of the sentries Ryan had

ran in and sent sound of the alarm so everyone's scattered except this man who

that was his even his family ran away but it was his home so he had to stay

there authorities came in they could tell that

Mass had been celebrated there so they arrested him for the next three to four

weeks they stripped him naked they starved him they burned him and cut him

any I want to point he said that they they had jerry-rigged you know what a cattle

prod is? An electric cattle prod? They jerry-rigged it so you can you can you can mess with

it so it has up to 1 million volts and they tied him to you know the wall and

they just used that cattle prod on various parts of his body saying you

just tell us who the priest is just tell us where the priest is let's just listen

if you tell us where he is you can go home to your family if you tell us where

he is this is all over with if you can tell us where he is then we get you

you're free and this man he's amazing this man is a hero he didn't he didn't

tell cause he knew he knew that if I told where the priest was then my

family won't have Mass for the next who knows how many years and if I tell where

the priest says my neighbors won't have Mass for who knows how many years and we

can't I cannot live without the Mass when they found out they after he knows

only couple weeks they will not break this guy they sent him home anything

about this this man hero this is this was a

couple years ago this isn't like 20 years ago this is more like 10 years ago

this man like a hero for the Eucharist a hero for the church a hero for the Lord

Jesus it's incredible the amount of pain he suffered in fighting for our

Eucharist in fighting for our Lord pretty soon after they sent him back home he and

his family escaped and they came to the United States they don't live very far

from here couple hours and they got to the states in to me immediately was

awesome he said it immediately it was just like we did not only can we go to

Mass every day I can walk my family down the street and publicly walk into a

Catholic Church so they would do that every morning they get up and he would

just he would lead his wife he'd lead his family into mass just rejoicing the

fact that I don't have to fight anyone to get here but he also realized that

you know America is an awesome country and in America more or less if you work

hard you can get more money and if you work harder you can get even more money

so he said I want to provide for my family the way of opportunities here I

never had back in China she started working so hard he's like listen I can't

go to daily Mass with you guys anymore but you take the kids after a couple

years of that I can't a couple months of that he found out that you get some

extra overtime if he worked on Sundays too so we found himself occasionally

missing Mass on Sunday and then it became

he would only go to Mass on Christmas and Easter in the last I heard it was

maybe two years ago Easter like two years ago he didn't even go to Mass and

think about this this man is a hero for the Eucharist and he literally bled for

Jesus's body blood soul and divinity I

know he doesn't go to Mass and the man who shared that story with me he said I

want you to pay attention to this and I'm fighting you to pay attention to

this as well don't miss this or this country what

communism couldn't do what torture couldn't do what being burned and being

electrocuted and being starved couldn't do our culture was able to do and it

didn't even have to try taking this hero of a man and making him absolutely

powerless castrated no longer a threat that man in China was a threat

Satan hate hated hates him that man could lead his family to heaven that man

that man was dangerous and that man was the kind of man who was leading not

only his family but people around him closer and closer to God in this culture

he is powerless he's by this culture he's been castrated in this culture he's

no longer a threat what that culture couldn't do and that battle couldn't do

our culture did and didn't even have to try men here's the reality to be a

Catholic man in this day and age be a Catholic man in this culture in this

world and in this place we're gonna have to be men who reject passivity and

embrace responsibility we have to be men who are actually deep in training and

asceticism in ascesis and saying like every day I want to

trained more and more to be like Jesus we trained more and more to be like the

Son loving the Father men and women men who can not only not only can do what we

need to do we need to do it but do what we need to do when we need to do it men

of integrity and mineral willing to love enough to be different to love enough to

look different to love enough to be defiant my guarantee is if we become men

like that responsibility competence integrity love and defiance there is no

way with our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit there is no way

that this culture this whole world and especially your families won't be

redeemed for Jesus Christ I'll glory be to the Father to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world

without end amen the Father Son Holy Spirit amen