The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels. – Pope St. Gregory the Great
This is part 4 of this “Forming a Band of Brother’s” series. If you haven’t read parts 1-3 check them out here.
“Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” – Thomas Aquinas
Men love to be challenged… and it is when these challenges come from other men who are willing to suffer alongside one another that a tidal wave of action builds up and a powerful surge is created.
The next step in forming a band of brothers is steeped in comradery, honor and shared suffering. However, the order by which you build this band of brothers is critical as men won’t be ready to suffer for another if there isn’t some sort of common bond or relationship first.
This is why we discussed the importance of initiating a meaningful friendship in part 3 by honoring another for something good that you see in them and allow him to teach you the path to acquire that thing. It could be one’s business savvy, the ability to work with their hands or a knack for giving their time and being present to others. This will begin a reciprocal sharing of one’s life and is the place where trust and cooperation is born.
Once you have gone through these critical steps you are ready to embark on the next stage which will forge your brotherhood in sacrifice and can set you on the path of being surrounded by a team of men who push each other towards greatness.
The path for this band of brothers to follow is set out for you in a great tool called Exodus 90. Exodus 90 was developed as a way for a group of men to share in the process of acquiring true freedom. Those Catholic Men, who produced the Exodus 90 journey say that “the goal is to achieve the freedom necessary to fully engage the love of God and the love of neighbor”.
When you have found a team to go to battle with it is imperative to set the focus towards the good. I would describe this good as living in such a way that we can become a weapon in Christ’s saving plan for the world through developing virtue.
Exodus 90 is a great starting point for your band of brothers to begin living a virtuous life. It is a challenging 90-day phase in which you are immersed in purification and dying to self while being supported by your band of brothers in order to gain the interior freedom necessary to live the righteous life you were made to live.
Now is the time…take up your cross…freedom awaits you!
I recently listened to an extremely powerful talk called “How to Raise a Man.” The talk was given by Fr. Ripperger. I cannot recommend the talk more. In fact, it may be the most important talk you listen to all year.
The talk centers around the topic of effeminacy. Now, if you’re like me when you hear the word effeminacy you probably think of femininity. In other words… an effeminate man acts more like a female than a male.
Well, turns out this isn’t how St. Thomas Aquinas defined effeminacy. He defined effeminacy as an unwillingness to put aside one’s pleasure in order to pursue what is arduous or difficult.
And, brothers, I hate to break it to you… but if we’re being honest we’re all guilty of seeking pleasure over arduous or hard work. Don’t believe me… take your cell phone out and turn it off for 24 hours. Can’t do it, right? Won’t do it, right? Why is this? One word, brothers. Effeminacy.