On a Tuesday morning some months ago, I woke up without my alarm. I looked at my clock, and it was exactly 5 a.m. Typically this is like finding a forgotten $5 in my pocket; I have a whole extra hour to sleep! But a new thought entered my mind that morning: “You should go to confession and Mass.”
Most Catholic fathers are “good dads” who work hard to provide their children’s necessities: shelter, food, education, etc. But in the baptism of their children, Catholic fathers vow to be great fathers — fathers who teach their children to know, love and serve Christ Jesus.
When people are asked how their prayer life is, most will say, “It could be better.” This awareness of our need to spend more time with God is also experienced in our relationships with our spouses and children. While it is true that we need to spend more time with God and our families, we often miss the most important point: the quality of time spent.
In January, I was on a men’s retreat in the Boundary Waters and had to leave early for a family emergency. My 6-year-old son Isaiah, who had a congenital heart defect and other serious health issues, was admitted to the hospital for his 50th — and last — time. He died the following Friday while holding my hand.
Don’t we all love just a little bit of comfort? We reminisce about the things that bring us comfort: the food our mother made as a child, sitting outside on a warm summer day — and waking up before the sunrise on a Saturday morning for a men’s group.
These men, our brothers in Christ, gathered together to learn about the Catholic Watchmen movement that has begun in this archdiocese. They accepted the challenge to become Catholic Watchmen, pledged to exercise the seven disciplines of the Catholic Watchmen movement and to support each other, and they were initiated as Catholic Watchmen by Bishop Cozzens.
The Catholic Watchmen movement was formally launched at the archdiocesan men’s conference Feb. 27. More than 1,600 men stood up and pledged that they would work hard to provide, protect and lead in their families and parishes. It truly was a moving moment to see that many men stand in solidarity and conviction concerning their Catholic faith.
Is there a such thing as a personal relationship with Christ? The answer is yes! When it comes to encountering Christ and continuing to mature in Christ, there are two aspects that are important: both a personal relationship as well as a corporate relationship. Both aspects of knowing Christ are necessary and should be embraced, fostered and celebrated.