Fr. Bill Peckman: “Men! Where are you?”

Fr. Bill Peckman: “Men! Where are you?”

By Fr. Bill Peckman:

Men! Where are you?

You are the spiritual heads of your homes.

You?

Yes, you.

I didn’t say you should be, but that you are. The practice of religion and faith is most determined by the attitudes and practice of the dad.

So why do most dads in America either shuffle that responsibility to their wives or just dismiss it altogether? Because in most Christian countries we have bought an essential lie and have for centuries: Being religious isn’t manly. Society has filled us with this canard for a very long time. From Adam sitting silently by as the devil tempted his wife and then blaming his wife for his sin on, we have sat back.

We let the world define masculinity.

The world.

The same world that tells you faith isn’t masculine tells you having premarital sex when you’re a teen is what makes you a man.

The same world that tells you religion is beneath you will tell you that entertaining yourself with the exploitation of women that is pornography is normative behavior.

The same world that tells you the state of your soul doesn’t matter will tell you the size of your muscles and genitalia does matter.

The same world that tells you to not define yourself by faith will tell you money and power do define you.

Ironically, after you have bought the world’s definition of masculinity, they will say you are toxic. They will say you are an oppressor. They will be right. But they are the ones who sold you the bill of goods. They have helped you become a perpetual adolescent incapable of being the man God created you to be.

Why?

Because the devil knows where your proper spot is. It is in that breech between him and your children and your wife. He wants to destroy them and drag them to hell. If he can neutralize you, or better yet, get you to help him, all the better. He knows Christ wants you at His side in that breech. So, the devil will make you ashamed of Christ and Christianity, make you see being in the breech as unmanly, so that you will step aside and let him mow all you are truly called to love and defend. No one serves the devil better than a man full of fear of what the world will think of him.

The devil will give you every distraction. A disproportionate love of leisure (especially sports), sex without love or open to new life, toys, and have you so wrapped in that pursuit that you teach your boys the same exact lesson: your poison becomes their poison.

It is time to quit playing games and letting the devil shame you out of the breech. It is time for you to man up, suit up, and learn what to do in that breech.

My brother priests, do not think for a moment we are above such worldly enticements. The devil knows we are to be in that breech as well, and will tempt us just as he tempts all men to abandon our posts or join in league with him. If we abandon our posts, we encourage the same from the men in our parishes. Instead of being a brother-in-arms, we become a Judas Iscariot.

Last month at SS Peter and Paul we had a men’s night. It consisted of a holy hour (Adoration, Confession, prayer) followed by fellowship over a local watering hole. We are having a second one on the Tuesday of Holy Week at 6:30ish. We have a normally scheduled 6 PM weekday Mass. Come to that too. We men need to shuck off this worldly lie of masculinity and become the faith-filled warriors our wives and children need us to be. The devil will not back off…we have to step up.

N.B. St. Mary of Pine Bluff (Fr. Heilman as Pastor) has held these “Men’s Nights” since 2007. These are held every First Friday night from October thru April. Covid prevented these this past year. We plan to reengage this coming October.

Typically, the ladies are pushing their men out the door to attend these.

Fr. Altman also holds these “Men’s Nights” in his parish. These have made all the difference in the world in helping men to Stand in the Breach as the St. Joseph’s of their families!!