2 or 3 Updates–about My Campus Apostolate

The campus ministry is going pretty good right now. We got about twelve men’s bible studies. Probably the same amount for the women, probably a few more.

We’re still feeling the effects of SEEK2013, you say how?

SEEK2013

We’re growing in bible studies, Justin just picked up another one. Three out of four of my student leaders that I’m directly over have Bible Studies, we’re working on a bible study for the other one. We’re working on a bible study for one of my student leader’s student leaders.

We’re growing in disciples, we’re asking many many many people into discipleship of Jesus Christ, but also asking men into what we call focus student leaders.

We have new hires on campus. Basically that means we have students we have hired to become focus missionaries, nationally. So they’ll be doing what I am doing, next year. Some will be student interns next year, which they’ll be working next year. They’ll graduate in December work on campus as a missionary for a semester after they graduate.

MEN’S OUTREACH

Men’s Outreach is starting up. You might ask, “how?”

I set up a board of directors, kind of like it’s individual outreach. even though it is what I am particularly involved in; I think it would be good to have input from other people.

How are we going to do with that. We’re going to do different men’s activities. Feats of strength, juggling babies, cards, eating, hiking, camping, fishing. We’re going to be doing distinctly masculine activities to attract men and hopefully the men here are men enough to want to do masculine activities.

But there are other activities that they may not associate with masculinity. We’ll be showing them how they are actually masculine.

You may ask what would that be? Prayer and mortification.

Along with going to play billiards, going and playing cards with the guys, or whatever it may be. Rock climbing and climbing to a the highest summit, which I think is like 12 feet in missouri. After that we’re going to pray, and hold vigils, and we’re going to fast. We’re going to have mortification. Give things up to, not only, grow the kingdom but also to help with temporal needs.

DELTA CHI

Delta Chi, I’ve been heading more and more into hanging out with these guys as the year has progressed.

I don’t have much I can tell you about it, but I do have some inroads with the fraternity. With prayer and mortification this will come about. So, please offer up your prayers and mortifications for my ability to evangelize and insert myself into Delta Chi.

I Suck at Writing

This is a picture of Cardinal Dolan laughing at me for how much I suck at writing. If I do not write about something every Monday, this post that will go up.

The only time I won’t publish something, even if it sucks, is if there is a family emergency or I’m so sick I can’t type.

Image

Act I: My Life Before I Surrendered to His Kingdom

Broken Home

I haven’t always been like a boss. I came from a broken home. I was born out of wedlock, but it went further back than just my mother and father. Great evil stretched back to many generations before me. Some of the stories I have heard, if they happened today would result in United Nations committees and U.N. Peacekeepers being deployed. My situation as a child was what pushed me into sports. Relationships that would normally be used as a tool for happiness instead of Jesus were not here. Some were, but most were not. I pray in thanksgiving every day for that.

My relationships did not make me happy, so I attempted to find happiness in school and sports. At a young age I played sports year round (mostly baseball), not in any extended time have I not played sports since when I first started. My relationships also pushed me, out of fear, to be scholastically excellent. Without top grades, I felt there would be no love. Both grades and athletics came naturally and quickly.

Like a Boss

I wasn’t a friend with many of the students at my elementary school because I did not play sports or do any other recreational activity with them. And, because of that I was not experience in being popular at all. I was bullied as a kid—even for being the largest kid in my school. The brotherhood that I surrounded myself with was really with the kids that I lived close to at my dad’s place, the boys I played ball with everyday. That changed when I went to high school.

Once I was in high school, I was playing football, wrestling, basketball, baseball, and track & field. I soon became a varsity athlete. That afforded me popularity that was quite unprecedented to me. I had no idea how to handle being awesome.

My new brotherhood that surrounded me was now a group of guys that were popular at school. I became super fly. My usual week was school, practice, hang out, and then party on Fridays after the game, and all day Saturday.

Drinking You Under the Table

Before I was in high school I learned how to drink. When I went to my first party I had this talent. I used this talent. I use this talent to drink my friends under the table. This led me to trying to find happiness in partying alongside sports. Not only was I a varsity athlete, I was fun to drink with. I assume for this reason, or the fact that I was broken and mistrusted women, I endeared myself to the girls. Mostly because I am the most none charming man I’ve ever met.

The girls, beautiful and popular girls, afforded me another means to my end, happiness. Though the relationships may have been chaste, they were not always pure. I used them as objects for my own self-gratification by, first, making me feel like a man and second having a girlfriend afforded me more popularity.

I not only objectified my athletic ability in vainglory, instead of giving glory to God, I also used my ability to drink for vainglory, and I objectified women in horrendous ways.

College Recruitment

I played football all four years of high school, but after my junior year my team was invited to go to a camp at my alma mater. At the end, I was given awards and asked to send footage of me playing next season. The coaches would at least let me walk on and try for a scholarship after I had worked with the team. At the end of my senior football season, I started talking to the coaches. Being somewhat stubborn and stiff necked: I decided not to play football in college. The reason was I hated the strength coach for the football team. Dumb reason and I was a punk back then. Though it was probably providence.

Pike, Iron, and Rugby

So, the first semester of school I did not play football. So, being a party monger in high school I looked for the big parties in college to bring me happiness again. This is where I met my best friend, Beau, and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, or Pike’s for short, at my alma mater. They were the largest frat and they also had the best rages. Every night was beer pong, a kick back, or a huge rage. And, having no counter to the rage scene, I quickly started going out 4-6 times a week. Usually going through the weekend. The one thing I did athletically was go to the gym almost everyday. The Pike’s also had a power lifting team, so partying with them and also saw them in the gym everyday. They influenced me a lot that first year. For logistics’ reasons I did not get a bid.

 Another Broken Family

The next semester I came back and I found out that Pike lost their charter at my school. Nevertheless, those guys were my brothers; so being loyal, I still hung out with them when I came back. The frat split up into different cliques, I stayed with the athletes in the frat. We turned into a rugby group and while the other cliques partied less, the rugby clique still raged five to seven nights a week and drank all day during tournaments. I did this through me entire second semester.

At the end of that semester, I realized I still was not happy. The parties, the sports, and the women were a good attempt at happiness. Just not great.


The Lede

++

5 More Things No One Knows Are Ridiculously Catholic, But Should

I’m beginning to develop the belief that you could give me just about anything at all and I could link it to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. And yes, that’s a combox challenge.

++

The Filioque proved in Revelation 22:1

The other day I decided to look into the Filioque – the part of the Nicene Creed that says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father “and the Son” – and as I was casually looking at how the Greek term “proceeds” is used in the New Testament, I came across a fascinating verse in Revelation 22:1.

++

Do You Have a Heresy Checklist? – Here it is

Perhaps the best way to learn the truth about the person and natures of our Lord Jesus Christ is to learn how the ancient heresies got it wrong.

++

Party On! (It’s Okay–It’s Biblical!) – Part 1

Postmodern man– and postmodern woman– doesn’t know how to give a good party. It’s up to us Catholics to reclaim this lost art and share it with the world.

++

Was Mary Saved?

A Protestant friend of mine related his struggle with the Catholic view of Mary’s sinlessless, because Mary herself expressed that she needed a Savior, in Luke 1:46-47, when she proclaimed at the start of the Magnificat, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

++

5 Simple Steps to Get Your New Year Off to a Great Start

Whether or not I write a detailed list of resolutions, I always use this day as an opportunity to get things in order so that the new year starts off smoothly.

++

The Catholic Economy and the “Charity” Crutch

Why are so many catholic services these days sub-par?

++

If the Pope Sold the Vatican, I’d Buy Him a Bigger Palace

If the Pope sold the Vatican, we–Catholics–would build him a bigger palace.

At a soup kitchen I was speaking with a well meaning woman, who had volunteered that day, about the affairs of the Catholic Church. She pondered the question…rather loudly, “Why does the Pope not sell his palace and cars and feed the hungry of world and shelter the homeless.” I told her the above quote. Then, I asked a beggar if he’d rather see the Holy Father in a smaller estate or forgo his rations for a season, he’d quipped that he’d rather forgo seven seasons without, rather than see the Holy Father out of St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope is the steward of the Church’s treasury. But it is his flock’s gifts that built and sustains St. Peter’s Square. Those who love one another give each other extravagant gifts, The Holy Father shepherds us and gives us the most extravagant Gift; we in turn sustain his “Palace.”

LA Bishop Who Fathered 2 Kids Resigns – Why Celibacy is Here to Stay

LA Auxiliary Bishop Gabino

A priest once put it in a homily, the secular world getting upset about our disciplines or small-t-traditions is like getting upset about where we put our toaster. If we leave it, they say there is a better place to put it. If we move it, they yell and scream about us redecorating our kitchen. My question is why in the world are you worrying about a damn toaster in your neighbors house?

B16 accepted LA Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60. The man fathered two children with a woman from another state. Reports came out this morning through twitter and a letter from Archbishop José Gomez. To read comments on the situation and the letter from Archbishop José Gomez you can read them at Whispers In The Loggia.

Celibacy…to stay.

The fact is that celibacy is NOT A DOCTRINE of the Catholic Church, but being chaste is. However, that doesn’t mean we can change it whenever we want. Clerical (as in priests and bishop) celibacy is what is properly called a discipline (sometimes referred to as a small-t-tradition). Basically a cultural tradition.

To clarify, I do think that priests should marry. I am of the opinion with St. Jerome on the subject, I also seem to have his crankiness. However, I am also with the opinion of St. Jerome that what I think doesn’t constitute what the Church should do, but only in fact what I think.

Barbarians and Monks

As far as I can suspect the reason for the Latin Rite’s discipline of clerical celibacy comes from the monks that civilized Northern Europe in the land of the Barbarians (Germanic, Celtic, Saxon, Vikings, people that worshiped Thor, &c.). The first monks were the Desert Fathers, hermits. Well being a hermit is some what dangerous as living alone is usually dangerous. So, monasteries formed to bring together hermits to be alone together.

The monasteries moved to Northern Europe into the dense forests, even fighting of the Vikings (with weather of course). The Rule (you can read the Rule of Benedict) of course for monk priests is that they are celibate. They devote their entire life to Jesus (well the original one’s did, now some do teaching, social work, &c. but they happened to do just work and pray back then) and so were celibate.

As the hermits civilized Northern Europe, the Europeans came to know priests as celibate, because they were exposed to only religious priest, versus parish priests. If a priest who is married would come to Germany at those times, it would be the same as the first time I saw a priest with a wife (Anglican man), shocking and somewhat scandalous.

So, it became somewhat of a local tradition in Northern Europe for priests, even parish priests to be celibate. This tradition came over to America when Catholics from Northern Europe came over.

This isn’t the discipline for all Latin Rite priests, as exemptions for some African priests have been given as some African cultures do not see a man without a wife as a “real man.”

Change

When B16 was in the seminary he, as well, his comrades put together a petition, of sorts, to look into the issue of celibacy within the priesthood. So, the issue is not foreign to the top of the hierarchy. It isn’t taken lightly by all, and definitely not on my part. He has shed light onto the issue last year actually, if you wish to know what the Pope thinks about it.

The issue is with changing something because of sudden cultural norms changing. We have to look at the reasons not only for celibacy but reasons for not having celibacy. Is their sufficient reason to change the discipline. Will it scandalize the laity?

What can’t change

To make matters more confusing, there is one thing that can’t change. A priest cannot marry. You heard me right, this long article and now I’m saying that a priest can’t marry? Yes. The discipline is that a married man cannot become a priest (except for the exemptions), the discipline is not that a priest cannot marry.

As far as I am aware a priest cannot marry, the issue is if married men can enter.

I hope that clears things up. If you have any other questions leave them in the comment box, or holla at me on twitter.

How to Create a Brilliant Evangelization Strategy in 5 Steps

Jesus’ Great Commission? You know, “go and make disciples of all nations”? Well, as a disciple of Jesus, as an ambassador, you are called to fulfill this commission. Doing this process is quite extensive, but simple.

The end of this article you will be able to create an evangelizing strategy because you have learnt the five simple steps below. This is the first part of evangelizing: developing the relationship.

FOCUS' Curtis Martin with Evangelist

Curtis Martin & Four Evangelists

Step #1: Identify the warm bodies…

Your network of people (friends, friends of friends, &c.) is massive. Though you might not quite know how big it is, it is still quite extensive for what you’re trying to do.

Not all of them are your prospects, you’re not going to evangelize everyone. For one, you can’t and the second…some people are not ready. Re-read that…they are not ready. You may have the opportunity to tell them the good news one day, but today may not be it.

Further, we need to define because without an idea of what your prospect is, you’ll get cluttered and won’t focus on your goal. Making disciples.

1. Figure out who your ideal person is, the basic traits they should have is being an influencer and they are willing to influence the people around them. You’ll also want to specify what those people are.

You’re an engineer student who rock climbs and hikes. You have several things to work with, you’re ideal person maybe engineering students, rock climbers, and hikers. You can narrow that down, but this gives you a ton of people to work with off the bat.

2. Figure out where they are located at. You need to hang out with them. Set up times to rock climb, set up hikes on the weekend, go get a beer after a hard test, &c. Figure out where else your people are hanging at? Do they have a Facebook group, are they on Twitter, Foursquare, blogs? Find out and…

3. Search them out. Continue to hang out with them and communicate with them. Have you ever had a random person roll up and start asking personal and private questions. You find it awkward? That’s because it’s not polite.

Step #2: Establish conversation

Pope Benedict being Ambassador par excellence

Ambassador par excellence

Best way to establish a conversation. Help them, recommend something, or buy them lunch, drink, beer, wine, help them with homework, &c. I don’t care how you do it, find your own way or use the ones above.

Communicating one-on-one is really the best way, but you’ll probably be hanging out in a group at first. But, eventually bring your conversation to a one-on-one level.

Ultimately you’ll want to make your conversation to be a frequent conversation. I don’t know how often this will be, I talk to my guys once a week up to every day.

The point is for you to establishing a frequent one-on-one conversation with your prospect.

Step #3: Gain a closer relationship

You can always grow your network, your friends, the areas you hang out, your phone book. But, you need to engage these prospects. It does no good to have a 1000 people in your contact book if you don’t talk to any of them. You are better off if you have ten dudes in your phone and you contact all of them once a week.

Now, it’s definitely a lot easier than it used to be. You have social media, cell phones, twitter, Facebook, and old fashioned social clubs.

Building rapport can be as simple as talking about Catholicism, engineering, rock climbing, &c. whatever they are interested in them. I’d recommend right now a book called Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.

You can also build rapport by hanging out and getting a beer, going out with a group to dinner and a show. And, again you need to have repeated conversations to earn his trust.

St Paul Evangelizing

St Paul Evangelizing with a Sword

Step #4: Develop an actual mentorship

You gotta understand, you can talk to someone everyday, but that doesn’t mean you have a relationship. The more you talk, the more so you’ll form a relationship. Over thousands of interactions you build trust.

You can probably follow a multi-tiered path to develop a relationship with this dude. A friend uses this method:

  1. Meet prospect,
  2. Initiate conversation,
  3. Guide the conversation and go deeper,
  4. and then store and review information from conversation.

Remember too, the more popular you are the less time it takes for someone to trust you.

Step #5: Track value of the relationship

Think about the life of your prospect. The actual life of your prospect. Is he an influencer? How many friends does he have? Are they also social. When someone becomes Catholic, usually others around them become Catholic or return to the Church. When someone starts evangelizing, others around them start evangelizing. Why was St. Paul converted, because he had a following and he could influence others.

He also was a master (with grace) of being everything to every man. He converted whole towns, so much that people fought over who they were followers of and he had to teach them again that they are disciples of Jesus not the Apostle.

Conclusion

After this you should be on your way to finding your next disciple. This isn’t just someone you bring to Mass or Newman Night for free food. These are the people that actively study, pray, and work to bring others into the Church and back to their Mother.

There is more to asking people to be a disciple (and training them), but until then this will get you there and ready to ask them.

Each semester you should look to make a disciple. Every year, two disciples. This is spiritual multiplication, based on Jesus and the Apostles.