I took part, yesterday morning, in a half day retreat for men led by Patrick Madrid, the American Apologist for the Faith. The event took place at Parramatta Cathedral and drew two hundred men of all ages. Many of them commented about wonderful it was to be a part of this masculine company of prayer and faith.
Patrick spoke very easily to this great crowd of men and his talk was warmly received; indeed, there was a discernible response of faith to his strong message.
He spoke first about the three hinges upon which one becomes a man: through mastering one's own body, particularly in the area of sexuality, through overcoming an innate selfishness, and through learning what it is to tell the truth, to be an agent of truth.
Then he spoke about the three levels of conversion which every man is called to undergo, not just once in life, but continually. First, there is spiritual conversion, which he keenly defined as letting Christ act in your life. Then there is moral coversion which hinges upon us turing away from anything which prevents us from being what Christ wants us to be. Finally, he spoke of intellectual conversion which he described as being open to formation - getting one's Catholic intellect in shape.
This tremendous proclamation about genuine masculinity concluded with the call to live the truth, speak the truth, and even to suffer for the truth. For most men, who have wives and families, these are the primary focus of their protecting mission: to protect their families, then to protect genuine culture, then to seek to advance the Kingdom of Christ.
What a fantastic vision of masculinity Patrick Madrid gave to us Sydneysiders! For more information visit http://www.patrickmadrid.com/ .