An Advent Invitation to Men

In the heart of every man lies a  question. It’s a question which tugs  at his heart as he prepares for his  wedding day and weighs on his heart  after a rough day at work or a sleepless  night with a crying baby. Every man,  whether he is conscious of it or not,  has a question deep in his heart: am I  good enough? 

I have seen this again and again in  friends, in men I have counseled, and  in my own heart. I’ve seen it in some  of the most confident and successful  men I have ever met and in those  who appear to be toughest and most  callous. We go through incredible feats to prove that we are good  enough. We experience our faults and  imperfections and want to somehow  cancel them out through gaining  influence, success, or affirmation.  Most men simply want to know that  they are doing a good job, that they  are in fact “good enough.” Perhaps  this harkens back to the Fall of Adam and Eve itself. People often blame Eve for being the one to take the  “forbidden fruit.” You have to wonder  if after the fact, when Adam had time  to reflect, he realized that he failed  

We attempt to be self-sufficient when, in fact, we need Christ.

his wife in allowing the serpent to  tempt her. From that point forward,  the hardships of life were a continual  reminder that he had failed. He must  have asked from time to time: “Am  I good enough? Am I a good enough  husband? Am I a good enough father?  Am I good enough for God?” 

Jesus would ultimately be the answer  to that deep and burning question.  Surprisingly, he would show us that  by ourselves we are not good enough.  By ourselves, we fall grievously.  Jesus showed us that he came because  we were not good enough. He came,  however, to transform us. Through  him, we may become not only “good  enough”, but heroic. 

Humble Yourselves Before God

Tragically, men in the U.S. and in most  parts of the world show significantly  less interest in religion then women . (source)  Perhaps  it’s because, as men, we have a  difficult time admitting that we are  not “good enough” on our own. Deep  down we feel our weaknesses but we  try to hide them, even from ourselves.  We attempt to be self-sufficient when,  in fact, we need Christ. 

During the season of Advent, we  remember that Christ came into the  world for us. He humbled himself by  being a helpless infant in a manger.  By this he taught us that “whoever  humbles himself will be exalted”  (Luke 14:11). My invitation to the  men reading this: humble yourselves  before God. Speak to the Lord about  your struggles and faults. Make a good  confession this Advent. Recognize that  you cannot be the man you want to  be without Christ, but with him, you  will become more than you could have  ever imagined. May God bless each of  us as we humble ourselves before him  this Advent.  

Written by: Fr. Patrick Burns, St. Francis Borgia Catholic Parish