By Daniel Reyes
“Young men these days have no idea how to be a real man!” sounds quite familiar doesn’t it? Perhaps because we have heard it all before, or maybe you’ve thought it at least once, and as painful as it is to hear as a young man myself, there is a level of truth behind that statement.
So I pondered deeply, “What does it mean to be a real man?” and I couldn’t help but think, I don’t want to be a ‘real man’ at least not in the conventional sense. I want to be a good man, a holy man, a man that is willing to love and show love without fear, a compassionate man who is brave yet humble of heart, and a man that who is modeled after the greatest man I have ever known, Jesus Christ. It might be that time where we as Catholics detach ourselves from the idea of a ‘real man’ because what the world says a ‘real man’ is, is not the man I envision Christ wants Catholic men to be. I’ve grown tired of hearing the trope of ‘being a real man’ and how much this generation has lost its way in every seminar I’ve been to that was targeted at young men, but if there’s anything I’ve learnt in reading the bible is that we as God’s creation have always been broken from the first day Adam and Eve sinned, and that has not changed for generations.
It is no surprise to me that this generation of men has its own brokenness to deal with, just as the fathers of the church went through their generation’s brokenness, but to say that we are anymore broken than before would simply not be true. I want to be the change that I want to see in the church for Catholic men, but I also want to do this hand in hand with men of all ages as we are all called to not just be ‘real men’ but good men.
It begins with not pointing fingers on where previous generations fell off or where newer generations falter presently, rather it begins with a collective understanding that we are all short of the example Christ set for us, and we are there to walk with our fathers, sons, brothers to ensure that we all attain his kingdom. All I ask from the wider church is that you pray for us men, that we may humbly serve you and do God’s will in every action we take, so that the Catholic church will only boast of good men.