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JPII and St. Nicholas

Friday, November 15, 2013


A Catholic ministry that I have come to greatly respect comes to us out of the Lone Star State from a former energy derivatives trader, Steve Bollman. In the great jubilee year of 2000, he heard a call from God to found "Paradisus Dei", a lay ministry that serves as an umbrella organization for the program I am involved in, "That Man is You". It integrates faith and reason by incorporating the authentic teaching tradition of the Church with science and statistics. Blessed John Paul II, Pope Leo XIII, St. John Chrysostom, St. Iranaeus and many others are regularly referred to when considering male leadership in four distinct roles: morality, spiritual combat, economic stability, and political integrity. Far from being a strictly American or Texan approach to faith, Steve Bollman gets at the heart of the Universal Church by identifying Christ as the standard of virtue and perfection throughout history, including the Old Covenant pre-figurement of Christ in David, God's anointed king.

The first year of the program encourages husbands and fathers to become "men after God's own heart". David himself received this description, even with tremendous responsibility and temptation. He did, in fact, sin grievously--only to repent of his wrongdoing and accept the consequences of his actions. Therefore, besides the four leadership roles listed above, TMIY identifies five leadership traits to accompany the roles:

1)personal responsibility for one's actions
2)develop clarity of thought
3)maintain integrity of action
4)lay a foundation for the future
5)pay the necessary price

Reinforced by the writings of saints and church fathers (see above) as well as statistics and science necessitating the need for contemporary improvement, the program gives men a chance to hear God's continuous call on their lives and consequently discuss appropriate responses in small groups afterward.

Year two, my current course, is entitled, "Light to the Nations" and focuses in on the family. It draws from JPII's writings on the family as "placed at the heart of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death and between love and all that is opposed to love” (Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, #23). Likewise, he called the family the "domestic church" and the "nucleus through which passes all of human history". The timing of this course could not be better for me, as I begin raising my son at the start of my second year of marriage! Indeed, TMIY is timely for many parishes throughout the United States and is recently expanding to pilgrimages in France and Italy.

Speaking of Europe, Steve Bollman does not neglect the effects of 19th & 20th century philosophy on modern thinking. Readily accessible in JPII's Theology of the Body, Steve identifies Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx as the three european architects of the "culture of death" and masters of suspicion. Their influence still plagues the legislation, prejudices, and ideologies of western thought today. In direct contrast to such ideologies, JPII calls for a "civilization of love", the most basic unit of which is the family.

Inarguably, the family is the battleground for either succumbing to the "culture of death" or truly embodying the "domestic church". TMIY's emphasis on male leadership (particularly that of a 'father who is rich in mercy') is much needed throughout the Church to bring about authentic images of Trinitarian communion in marriage and family life. Thankfully, Steve himself and Blessed John Paul II serve/served as excellent examples of 'fathers who are rich in mercy'.


Prolixpatriot said...

slides of TMIY

Prolixpatriot said...

St Joseph

Abe said...

Year of Faith Conclusion 11/25/13:
1)8 month Bday
2)Bringing children into world is an act of faith/promise
3)Abraham as father of faith because he believed in the Resurrection of the Son

Anonymous said...

Gal 4:4-6

Theme: Adoption as sons, vocation in Christ

1) Throughout Scripture: Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, Jesus telling disciples "I will not leave you orphans"
2) Importance of adoption to the "march for life"
3) The Culture of Life vs. Culture of Death
4) Pope Francis' call for "Culture of Encounter" & the Culture of Life

Anonymous said...

Talk 1 Adoption throughout Scripture
Key words:
Adoption= from the Latin: Ad (prep. ‘toward’ )-Optare (infinitive verb ‘to choose’, ‘to decide on’)
Greek=hyiothesía: legally made a son, adopted into divine family
Moses ‘adopted’ into Egyptian royalty, by their decision (Ex.2:10)
Moses flees Egypt and marries Zipporah. He is adopted into the family of his father-in-law Jethro, priest of Midian. His work is as a shepherd for his father-in-law near Sinai, the mountain of God (Ex. 2:21-3:2)
Moses, with his brother, Aaron, decides to follow God’s call: (Ex. 3:3 & 5:27-31)
In turn, Moses adopts Joshua and other judges based on the advice of his father-in-law, (Ex 18:14-18 & Ex 24:13)
Elijah: father of the guild prophets, most likely celibate (1 kgs. 17-)
Calls and adopts Elisha after defying Ahab, Jezebel, and all false prophets with the help of the true God (1 kgs 18-19)
“Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. When Elisha saw it happen he cried, ‘My father! my father!’”(2 kgs. 2:12)
St. Paul as a celibate priest, adopts Timothy (1 Tim. 1:18)
St Joseph adopts Jesus (do not confuse this with the heresy of adoption, Jesus was not adopted by God)
Jesus promises the Spirit of Adoption (Jn. 14:18, “I will not leave you orphans”)
Theme Passage for the Retreat: (Galatians 4:4-6 “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba, Father!’”)
Questions (small group or otherwise):
1) If baptism adopts us into the family of our Father, what is confirmation? Have we committed ourselves as sons of the Father to foster sonship in others?

2) What are the three formal vocations, as men, that we are free to ‘adopt’ in the Church? Do we hear God’s call in any of these directions?

Fun Trivia: Which former Minnesota Twin is the father of the recently traded Detroit Tiger?

Anchises said...

TMIY is quick to call fathers to "clementia" and not just "potestas" per www.jstor.org/stable/3287070