Friday, November 30, 2007

Men and Spirituality

There is one thing I have just realised there are very few parish activities that involve men when it comes to prayers and devotionals. Why is this?

Yet, if the Church needs painting or renovating men's hands go up, as they volunteer their time to their Parish. This also includes any outside work.

The father is the head of the home and in some cases the sole wage provider. He faces hardship and temptations everyday.

There will be times when his employer will not appreciate the work the he has done, and where it is simply stressful to continue in a job that he may not like but where he must stay in order to provide for his family.

When it comes to temptations they are everywhere from women who dress immodestly and flirt openly to graphic billboards. There are even young women in the work place who view married men as challenges and like any challenge these young women aim to win.

We are not self sufficient and though women also face their own difficulties and stresses there are groups who can help replenish them. From Rosary groups to young Catholic mothers groups and other woman organizations but where do men go to gain strength and spiritual nourishment?

Perhaps it is time to begin addressing this by starting up prayer warrior groups for men where they can come together and pray for their families, their jobs and resist temptation as well as other important issues.

I know in some cases that men are wary of the 'spiritual' word thinking it to be feminine and yet some of the Church's spiritual giants are men, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis de Sales and ofcoure Jesus.

We see through Christ's example where he would leave the disciples in order to pray to His Father. Prayer was important to Jesus. Why then is prayers and devotionals seen as a 'woman thing?'

Look at your own parish and see how many men have prayer groups/bible studies etc?

If none exist then perhaps it's time to start. It's a very tough world out there, men also need to be replenished and renewed.

In a dog eat dog world, men need to be validated. To have their own 'place' to go in order to replenish their spiritual strength and to share their concerns with other men who are striving to do the best and be the best for their families.

Men need groups of their own. What wife would want to hear that a younger woman may be tempting her husband at his work place? Yet, some men do face these temptations and battle them daily.

Do YOUR Parishes have male orientated prayer groups/Bible Studies?