In a world that berates your masculinity, assumes the worst of you, feeds you unhealthy and promiscuous images, and ultimately strips you apart - the Catholic church stands as a safe ground for our men. I know as I type this out there is a lot of brokenness in the Catholic church as a result of terrible things done by the male leaders in our church. But I want to make it clear before I go any further with this article, that this article is not about the evil and disgusting men of the Catholic faith. There are evil and destructive men anywhere you look. It's sad but it's true. This article is about the good, wholesome, strong, emotional, leaders who DO still exist and the community of good men that the Catholic church provides.
There are plenty of help groups, addiction aids, Bible studies, etc. But what men really yearn for is another good man to follow and walk beside. The Catholic church has made itself very clear throughout hundreds of years the importance of not only feminine women but masculine men as well.
The beauty of the Catholic church is that they embrace and welcome men in their strength as well as their weaknesses and encourage them into a deep deep relationship with not only Christ, but one another, that is founded on accountability, friendship, motivation, and assuredness.
After four years in college, I've experienced nothing like the friendships between the Catholic men on campus. Quite honestly, there's a beauty about it. Women share, relate, and create community almost habitually. Even without faith as a standing point, we do those things. But for men, there's no safe place in this world or on this campus like the men's group. And until there is a safe, consistent place for them to open up and feel comfortable at, men don't just share and relate and strike a conversation about super intentional things.
I was eating lunch with a Catholic, female friend of mine and she said she asked a couple of the men who were not Catholic, but who came to Catholic Bible studies, conferences, and events, why they came. And their response almost always was because of the community they experienced with other men their age. They had never experienced community with their brothers in Christ more than at these Catholic events that they kept coming back to.
So Catholic men, I encourage you to continue leading wholly and justly and constantly remain on the lookout for your brothers in Christ who yearn for more than your average worldly friendship, but a friendship founded in truth and righteousness. And men searching, I encourage you to reach out to that one Catholic man you know and see what happens, see if you experience anything different. Challenge yourself to know and be known by the depths of your heart because I fully believe the Catholic church offers men that, and when encountered, it's the most beautiful and refreshing thing.