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Friday, August 19, 2022

Switch of Manliness


Friday in the Octave of the Assumption


John, Chapter 14, verse 27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID. 

Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. 

Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 

World Humanitarian Day[1]


World Humanitarian Day seeks to recognize the compassion and bravery of humanitarian workers. The day also serves to gain international cooperation to meet the needs of humanitarian work around the world.  Humanitarian workers provide life-saving assistance consisting of first aid, nutrition, shelter and help rebuild after disaster has struck. These workers often battle violence, local diseases and hunger while attempting to save lives and provide relief to those most in need. World Humanitarian Day was designated by the United Nations in December of 2008 in an effort to honor the sacrifices of humanitarian workers. It is celebrated annually on August 19, a day that commemorates the 2003 bombing of the UN Headquarters in Iraq.


Today is Afghan Independence Day is celebrated as a national holiday in Afghanistan on 19 August to commemorate the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 and relinquishment from British protectorate status. The treaty granted a complete neutral relation between Afghanistan and Britain. Wikipedia


Catholics in Afghanistan in 2015[2]

What Americans have, which very few people in the world do not, is a decision to make their country what they would like it to be and very real choice for their own future. I think many are losing sight of this. They can’t. We cannot lose sign of this. Just as with America, we cannot ever lose sight of the foundational principles of our Creed, and what they mean.

·       A Father who is in control.

·       A Mother who can help us become Saints.

·       A Son who gives us an inheritance.

·       A faith that is solitary and unchangeable.

·       A faith is universal to all the souls who embrace it.

·       A faith that is unblemished from the lips of Christ.

·       A faith that offers forgiveness, a true novelty among religions.

·       A faith with a family.

·       A faith with hope in the resurrection, and the future of this world and the next.

Our faith and our country are sacred, and we should remember that as much as they have in common, they complement each other. Today, I’m still proud to be an American and a Catholic. Today, and every day, I’ll live my life in service to defend the beliefs of both.

Catholics in Afghanistan in today[3]

The Christian community is very small in the Islamic country of Afghanistan, where Afghan people can be ostracized or can even face violence and death for professing the Christian faith.

There is a single Catholic Church, located in the Italian embassy in Kabul, which is operated under the Catholic mission sui juris of Afghanistan. In 2018, there were an estimated 200 Catholics in the country, many of them foreigners working in embassies.

Fitness Friday-The 5 Switches of Manliness: Challenge[4]

The Vital Need for Challenge in a Man’s Life

So, despite these obstacles and knowing that daring greatly may result in failure, should a man seek to turn the switch of challenge, or should he simply opt-out in favor of a life of safety and convenience? Because sure, striving for greatness benefits society, but nobody wants to feel like they’re being used in a sucker’s game.

The truth is, what’s good for society as a whole is also good for the individual man. When you pursue a challenge, it is true that sometimes you will fail, but the real value is simply found in the striving. Whatever blood, sweat, and tears you expend in the pursuit of greatness, whether you ever reach your goal or not, will be returned to you in the form of greater strength, virtue, and deep satisfaction.

When NASA first sent astronauts up into space, they thought perhaps the zero-gravity atmosphere would do great things for the astronauts’ bodies–that their vitality might increase once they were released from having to contend with all that gravitational pressure. Of course, what they found instead was that without the pressure, their bodies deteriorated, and their muscles atrophied.

The lesson can very easily be applied here: you can try to float through life by shunning challenge and minimizing resistance, but you’ll end up as a soft shell of a man.

Obviously most men these days don’t want to have 100 children. Some may not even want one. Of course nature does not distinguish between the drive for progeny and the drive for sex, and plenty of men still want to have as much of the latter as possible. But whether you’re an unabashed lothario or no-sex-before-marriage man, our primal drive for challenge cannot be denied and left unsatisfied.

The Warrior Dash, a race in which participants run, climb over obstacles, crawl through the mud, and sprint through fire has more than 650,000 fans on Facebook. Whereas men used to get in the dirt to get paid, men now pay to get in the dirt. This is truly extraordinary. Clearly, the need for challenge cannot simply be rationalized away.

How to Turn the Challenge Switch in Your Life

Truly, the biggest challenge for modern men is motivating ourselves to embrace little challenges in a time of peace and prosperity, in order to be ready for a great challenge, if, perhaps simply when, it arises. In a time where there are not too many external challenges that are thrust upon us, a man must motivate himself to utilize every bit of his potential internally, to purposefully challenge himself.

Decades ago, psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with his famous “hierarchy of needs,” which described the ascending level of human needs. Once humans have taken care of their basic needs, like food and shelter, they have the freedom to seek even more from life, working their way to the peak of the pyramid, which is self-actualization.

Self-actualization sounds a little hokey, but it simply means this: “What a man can be, he must be.” In other words, a man at his peak utilizes all of his potential and becomes all he is capable of becoming. So the pursuit of greatness and each man’s peak will look different for each individual man, according to his particular talents, abilities, and desires.

But for every man, it can only be attained by creating challenges for himself whenever possible. It sounds complicated and daunting but remember the mantra of the switches of manliness theory: it’s all about doing small and simple things.

I love what Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness has to say about finding a challenge in your life. Simply do sh** that scares you. Find whatever makes you uncomfortable and do it.

If that bit of advice is still too vague for you and you’re still looking for some specific ways to incorporate the switch of challenge in your life, we provide the following suggestions.

Mental Challenges

·       If you’re in high school or college, don’t take the easy classes just so you can get the easy A. Take classes that will challenge and stretch you intellectually.

·       Read books and articles that challenge your point of view.

·       Make it a goal to read the Great Books of the Western World. I’ve been doing this for two years now, with numerous starts and stops. Some of the reading is dense and challenging, but the effort has been worthwhile.

·       Take up meditation. Learning how to quiet the distracted mind requires discipline and dedication.

·       If you’ve never been a math guy like me, take free online math classes at Khan Academy. I freaking love this site. I’m in the middle of reviewing basic arithmetic but am looking forward to getting started with the calculus stuff.

·       Ask for assignments at work that challenge you. Don’t be the guy who plays it safe and stays ducked under his desk all the time.


·       Make it a goal to pray or meditate every morning and evening.

·       Challenge yourself to read your scriptures for 10 minutes or more a day.

·       Commit to doing several hours of community service each month.

·       Start tithing 10% of your income to your church or to a charitable organization.

·       Take Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues Challenge

·       Join the Catholic Church in Afghanistan.


·       Take up a combat sport like boxing or MMA. Go and train in Thailand. And don’t just do it recreationally, actually sign up for an amateur fight.

·       Sign up for a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder event.

·       Do some gut busting football conditioning drills.

·       Take up intermittent fasting.

·       Do the Universal Man Plan

Social/Emotional Challenges

·       Reconcile with somebody you’ve been estranged with for a long time.

·       Have that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off.

·       Travel to a place that’s way off the map.

·       If public speaking scares the crap out of you, join Toast Masters. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to speak in public.

·       Talk to a stranger.

·       That woman you’ve been wanting to ask out on a date? Do it. Today.

·       Stop seeking for the approval of others.

·       Find your true vocation.

·       Quit shoulding all over yourself. Deciding to do what I chose do in life instead of doing what I thought I should do was one the biggest challenges I’ve overcome.

·       Do you have any suggestions on how to flip the switch of challenge in a man’s life? What sort of challenges have you overcome that have made you feel more like a man? Share them with us in the comments.


Catechism of the Catholic Church




V. The Many Forms of Penance in Christian Life

1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at reconciliation with one's neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one's neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity "which covers a multitude of sins."

1435 Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.

1436 Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. "It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins."

1437 Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.

1438 The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

1439 The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: The fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father's house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father's generous welcome; the father's joy - all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. the beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life - pure worthy, and joyful - of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart of Christ Who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.

Daily Devotions

·       30 DAY TRIBUTE TO MARY 5th ROSE: Two Powerful Armors from Mother Mary, the Rosary and the Scapular

30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Absent Fathers (physically & spiritually)

·       Cultivate intelligent foresight in yourself

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: August

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       "Faith cannot save without virtue"

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary