In response to a question asked by one of our RCIA Candidates we first asked our some of our moms to answer the question: what does it look like to thread our faith through each facet of our lives? What does it look like to parent catholic and to work as a catholic and to not allow ourselves to put other things in front of God? Now we turn to the dads to give their insight. These are their answers.
I have far more questions than answers, and far more weaknesses than strengths, and I have failed a lot – so maybe that is a good place to start…
Coming from a divorced family growing up – I never saw a functioning husband and wife work together and raise a family. My mom loved me. My dad loved me. But they couldn’t work together and raise a family, nor did they have a healthy marriage. I used to long for a role model, a Saint to show me the way. I read many books on Marriage and Parenting looking for help, but never found it…
Eventually, God answered my prayer, by sharing with me a simple truth (mercy) and bringing me to a simple Polish nun, Saint Faustina. Saint Faustina reminded the world of God’s gushing, fount of mercy for poor sinners… like me! I have come to trust in God’s message of Mercy, God’s plan of Salvation, the good news of the Gospel. I mean – REALLY believe and find joy in this message of God’s unfathomable mercy!
How to be a Catholic Man today? God brought me to the SMOY Fathers Team to help me pursue the answer. Being around other faith-filled men who are seriously pursuing the Will of God in our marriage, our families, our jobs is both inspiring and encouraging to me. The fellowship and brotherhood of being surrounded by men pursuing God’s Will helps me on my journey!
How to be a Catholic Father today? God brought me to the SMOY Conquest Program (a Father-Son, Catholic Virtues program) 3 years ago with my two sons and I have found it life-changing. Conquest has taught me (along with my sons) to follow Christ’s example and live out authentic Christian virtues such as friendship, sincerity, obedience, generosity, purity, charity, hope, joy, faith and perseverance. We regularly attend and participate in these SMOY Conquest Meetings together, as well as various Conquest Service Projects and Conquest Campouts & Retreats at Camp River Ridge. Each of these programs help to awaken, form, and launch Catholic disciples into the world!
How to be a Catholic Man today? God has made it clear that the Word of God is important. Over the years, I have spent time reading the Bible, studying the Bible, attending Daily Mass (occasionally), and proclaiming the Word of God as a Lector. It is with great joy that I proclaim God’s Word: the gift is in the preparing and studying of the Word the week prior to proclaiming it, the challenge is trying to live it out daily!
How to be a Catholic Father today? When I pray the Lords’ Prayer, I begin with “Our Father…” So maybe there is something about learning directly from God as a Father. Being open and willing to having God Father me, just as I try to father my sons. In order to do that, I find that God works best when I slow down, am still, and just listen. Some might call that prayer. Others might call that meditation. I call it “Silence & Solitude” and I can do this in my car, in any Church, and even in the corner of my bedroom early in the morning before others wake up… “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11)
Honestly, I struggle being a Catholic Man in the world today. This message is an extreme exercise in vulnerability because I do struggle, and am a sinner, and fail a lot. But with SMOY’s Fathers Team and SMOY’s Conquest Program, God has surrounded me with a community of supportive men that I can learn from and grow. And with God’s Word and attempting to live the Mass, and especially just slowing down and turning to God and listening – I am reminded of God’s Divine Mercy which helps me be the Catholic Man, Husband, and Father God created me to be.
Guest Post Written By: Dan DeBrosse
Part 6 will be posted May 29, 2020