Stepping out of comfort and toward spiritual maturity

| Justin Kortuem | June 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

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.

Wait, that isn’t comfortable!

Pope Benedict XVI said, “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” As Catholic men it can become increasingly easy to stay comfortable or complacent in our faith, our relationships and with our prayer life. It can be easy to look across the aisle and say, “I’m doing pretty well. I go to church, I pray sometimes, and I try to stay out of trouble.”

These were the sentiments of one of the men of Transfiguration in Oakdale before he encountered the Catholic Watchmen movement. Ryan Patet, a young husband and soon-to-be father, was content going to Mass on Sundays, but his prayer life was stagnant. He says, “The Catholic Watchmen have helped me realize what I was missing in my life and have motivated me to address concretely this area in my life.”

Transfiguration has taken the initiative of the archdiocese, with the guidance of Bishop Andrew Cozzens and Jeff Cavins, to help men live a life of greatness. With the leadership of our pastor, Father William Baer, men are being called out of comfort and into greatness. Transfiguration is currently offering weekly men’s groups, a holy hour of adoration on Wednesday nights called the Midnight Watch and monthly gatherings of 50 to 75 men.

Tyler Scheidt, another young adult member of the parish, says: “I am grateful for the accountability brought on by the men through various Watchmen events. As a military guy, I appreciate the themes of duty and honor represented in the Watchmen movement as they ignite a warrior spirit to defend our faith and protect our families.”

Culture change

And as this movement becomes alive in the parish, one of the blessings has been the culture change of the men stepping up and taking ownership not only for their own faith and the faith of their families, but also for the parish.

“There is great solace and renewal of energy in seeing other men supporting one another in our daily faith walk and prayer for our families, as we become stronger leaders in our communities and positive role models for others to emulate in the future,” says another parishioner, Greg Dittrich.

One of the less visible, yet vibrant events of the Catholic Watchmen is the Midnight Watch. This is an hour of adoration that has been going on since Advent every Wednesday from 11 p.m. until midnight. There are from four to 10 men who come every week not only to meet the Lord in adoration, but also to pray for spiritual protection for their families and all those whom God has given them to protect. It has been a powerful time of prayer and a silent shield in the battle we face.

Bishop Cozzens, in addressing the men in March at the annual Archdiocesan Men’s Conference, declared, “We need to become men of prayer so that we begin to see the world the way that God sees, so that we can see who God needs us to be.”

Our lives of spiritual complacency will not bring us or our families to sainthood in heaven. We need to be Catholic Watchmen for the sake of fraternity, accountability and prayer.

Kortuem is the director of family formation and youth ministry at Transfiguration in Oakdale.

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Category: Catholic Watchmen