– Saint Augustine once said that a friend, a brother in Christ, is half a man’s soul. – Ask yourself, why do men like “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Lord of the Rings” and the “Band of Brothers” TV series? Why do they watch them over and over and over?
Why do they talk about them? They want to be in the movie. They want to be one of those heroic men that has that camaraderie. – [Male Voice] Iron sharpens iron. I love that verse. – The reality is, there’s something that men can do for other men, that children can’t do,
That wives can’t do, moms can’t do, but men can do for men. There’s something that men can only get from men. – A true friend is going to be there for you when you need them the most, when you’re suffering, when you’re going through trials. Men have a special bond when they go through adversity, It means a lot and it helps to just say, “Hey brother, I’m here for you, I’m praying for you, I’ll always be here for you.” – The Church has always believed in this idea of a band of brothers. Christ built the original band of brothers, the Twelve Apostles. That’s how the faith is passed along. Sadly, most men in society do not have a band of brothers. One third of Catholic men don’t have a single man
That they know on a first name basis in their parish. Another third only know a couple of men on a first name basis. Men are desperately lacking that bonds of brotherhood within their parishes. – Men across the board, priests, married men, single men, laymen, whatever, we have completely lost
The ability to relate to one another on an intimate level. So many of our problems today are because men are not being vulnerable with each other. They are not sacrificing for one another and they’re not serving. One can have a thousand friends on Facebook,
But you know, when you have to move next weekend, how many of those thousand friends will show up? God is relationship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the end of the day, genuine relationships are an experience with God, and with actual and genuine love. – If men are to have friendships, those friendships
Also have to be unitive. And a unitive friendship is one where we really share our lives with each other. And that means that we need to be a person that’s okay listening to somebody else’s struggle. We’re not afraid of listening to their struggle, we’re not afraid of entering into their life
And walking with them. – To build real men takes men to spend time with men. And to build those bonds of brotherhood that help strengthen men, you have to spend time with them. This idea is something that is really natural and we’ve got a culture that’s kind of made it unnatural.
We need to return to that. – To understand brotherhood in Christ, we would want to reflect on the mystery of Christ becoming man. Sharing his life with us, but also in becoming man, revealing the love of the Father in a new way. God as Father, not just as a distant Creator,
But he’s Father in himself for all eternity, as God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And Christ, in revealing this mystery, also shares his own life with us, so much so as to make us children of the Father in a new way: Brothers, brothers of Christ. – The Eucharist is a sacrifice.
What difference does this make? The Eucharist is the source of our life. It’s the source of our own covenant identity. What is it that members of a family share in common? Flesh and blood. What is it we receive in the Eucharist? Christ’s own flesh and blood.
And because it is the resurrected body of Christ, he who is now immortal, empowers us who are mortal to carry our crosses and not just in the last hour of death, but each and every hour of life. So that we can die to ourselves and die to the world,
And live for each other. And this is what makes us a band of brothers. This is what really fosters fraternal solidarity. – After September 11th, and as a son of refugees, I felt my patriotic call to come back and serve the country and pay back a debt for the freedom that they were able to give and bless my family with. Currently, I’m an Operations Sergeant Major for United States Special Operations Command. I’m a Master Jumpmaster, which is a paratrooper who is in charge of running jumps and running Airborne Operations. We look at ourselves as that archangel, leaping from the heavens, jumping into a combat zone. And landing upon the grounds to free people from tyranny and oppression. I don’t think there’s any better view than that of the heavens above you and the earth below you. Men need a band of brothers, especially in the military. You need someone to be able to rely on. When I was deployed to Afghanistan, the chaplain that was assigned to my unit was Chaplain Father Alan Irizarry. He became my spiritual guide, my spiritual advisor. Well, when we did have that down time,
We were able to make rosaries and we’d bring them over to Father Alan and have him bless them. He helped me learn that I wanted to be a better Catholic. I attended Mass and I went through the motions, I knew the prayers but I didn’t have that drive to learn more.
Father Alan gave me that direction and that purpose to teach others about it. It gave me a reason of why we were doing what we did. A great Catholic friend is someone who is not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong, when you’re doing something
That’s out of line with your faith or when you’re doing something that’s unethical. They’re the one that’s gonna pick you up when you fall. They’re the one that’s gonna move you forward when you’re slowing down. And they’re the ones that are gonna push
You to move past your limits when you need to be, because there are going to be times where we stumble and we fall but it’s those moments where we get back up that really define our character of who we really are. From my military experience, standing in the breach is the most dangerous part of any mission. There have been multiple times that I was in a firefight. Knowing that the person to my twelve or the person to my six was a brother that I could rely on. Do whatever it takes to complete the mission and do whatever it takes to make sure that you don’t fall on the battlefield, is very important.
When someone stumbles, we need to be able to carry them. We never leave a man behind. The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. When we finish Mass, we’re told to be that Eucharist to the world. We must act like Christ and if we can do that, together as a group of brothers, that’s where we can make a true difference. There’s nothing wrong with being individual,
To find out who you are, but there’s always something greater to find a better cause and that should always be Christ. – What people don’t realize is that when iron is sharpening iron, sparks fly. It’s not a pat on the back, it’s metals heated and beaten and then pulled up against another piece of metal and it’s sharp and it’s, sparks are flying, it’s intense.
I’m a beaten up piece of metal and I need you, Father, and I need you brothers, to come alongside of me and help sharpen me. To be used by God as a sword and when that sharpening is taking place, there’s gonna be sparks that are flying. It’s gonna take vulnerability on my part
And vulnerability on yours. But, be a chunk of metal with me. Help sharpen me to be a sword used by Christ. – What’s required for fraternal correction, is an honesty that will engender conflict. But we’re afraid of conflict, we want tolerance which is very soft and sounds good but oftentimes is dishonest and what we need is prophets and men to stand up for the truth and fight for reform.
– If you look through history, one of the things that’s striking is when there’s a group of saints that come forward, they come in clusters or as groups. We inspire each other on. Life is designed to be a team sport. We’re supposed to be traveling together
And in a world of social media, we have a lot of friend contacts but not a lot of human interactions. So, this level of accountability that comes from friendship and the power of what it means to share life with somebody, is something that’s evaporating in our culture
And something that we really want to try to do all we can to foster deep, authentic friendships ’cause it makes us better. – I think it’s valuable to ask the Lord who, where’s a man out there that needs a real friend? And show me who that person is and help me
To approach them in the way that they need. You see it in a lot of men today, that one of the loves that’s missing in their life is this love of brotherhood.