Ordinary Men

Note from Ron: The following article was written by long time Intentional Encounter subscriber, Kelly Wolfe. Kelly converted to Catholicism in 2009 after spending most of his adult life as a heathen. He has his beautiful bride to thank for showing him the way, and for giving him the best 3 kids anyone could ask for. Even though he’s on his second Exodus 90, cold showers in an Iowa January aren’t getting any easier.

For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men? – 1 Corinthians 3:3

In his book “Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland”, Christopher Browning describes how roughly 500 middle age, middle class, non-police career oriented men mostly from Hamburg, Germany, can participate and be responsible for the death of 83,000 Jews.

It’s a harrowing book, filled with tragedy that is hard to comprehend at times, and there are no heroes anywhere to be found. How can seemingly normal men commit such atrocities?

As I think about all of this, I ask myself, am I an ordinary man? Would I just go along with everyone else, even if what they’re doing is something horrible?

If I’m really honest with myself, most of the time I want to be ordinary. It’s so much easier. I don’t have as many expectations put on me. I can blend in with life. I don’t need to be noticed, there’s a lower chance of failure. Actually, it sounds pretty comfortable and nice to be ordinary.

But God doesn’t want us to be ordinary. In fact, He calls us to be just the opposite. He calls us to take up our cross and lose our life for His sake. He calls us to live differently. To reject Satan and the glamour of sin.

So what can I do to make sure I’m not an ordinary man? I’m in the middle of my second Exodus 90 journey, and one my brothers pledged to pray on his knees every night. I think that’s a great place to start.  Other ideas include spending time in Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament (this is even a good date night suggestion), going to confession at least monthly, and spending more time actually doing things with your family instead of watching TV or looking at some sort of screen.

We have to constantly pursue our faith. We need to sharpen ourselves against other strong Catholic men. We need to think deeply and prayerfully about who we are and the world around us so that when the time comes we aren’t just ordinary men doing and acting the same as other ordinary men. We need to answer the call with a resounding YES!