Manhood and Mass

This week we started by talking about what it is to be a man. We had an excellent discussion, but unfortunately I can only put down my own notes.

What is it to be a man?

Being a man is more than just age and gender.

Some wise words by Michael K:

A man portrays humble confidence, often without words.

A man respects women and children, always taking the second place.

A man seeks to serve and make others a little more comfortable.

A man works on his faults daily so he can lead others better.

A man makes the hard choice that will benefit others in the long run.

A man is courageous and takes the lead when necessary.

A man loves others above himself.

A man is both a strong leader and a loving servant.

My thoughts:

Someone is a man if he is striving to live virtuously. The etymology of the word virtue means “manliness” or “courage.”

There are seven virtues. Virtues dispose men to act in a way which brings true happiness.

4 Moral Virtues:

Prudence- choosing the right method of conduct, choosing the right thing to do and the right way of going about it

Justice- respecting the rights of others, the rights of God, worshipping God, respecting our parents and superiors

Temperance- regulating pleasure with reason and avoiding addictions- like food, drink, sexual pleasure

Fortitude- moral strength and courage to meet difficulties and continue striving for the good

3 Theological Virtues:

Faith- where our will conforms itself with the divinely revealed truth, not based on intrinsic evidence but because the God who we know has revealed it

Hope- we trust in God and hope to attain eternal life, keep things in perspective

Charity- sometimes this is called love too. Charity helps our soul conform itself to God so that we are more united with Him. God is loved by His own intrinsic goodness and our neighbor is loved because of our love for God.

On top of that, I think that it is especially manly to be able to forgive, especially when it is hard, to give of yourself for others who could use your help, and to be in control of your actions and emotions by staying grounded in God instead of putting our hope in other people or things.

What are some ways that our culture portrays men? Is this fair? Generally we talked about how the expectations that our culture has put on men is way too low.


(again, credit for most of this goes to Dr. Edward Sri and his book “A Biblical Walk Through The Mass”)

Lord, have mercy:

We say Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy three times to reflect the Triune God

What is mercy? Don’t we assume that mercy is necessary in a power relationship, like a king having mercy on his servants? This is different than the mercy of the hurting mercy game. Pope John Paul II compares the mercy of God to that of the father in the story of the Prodigal Son. Let’s read that, Luke 15:11-32. What do you notice about the father’s mercy in this story? The father doesn’t just pardon his son of his offenses but rejoices and embraces his son because he can see the son’s change of heart. It’s about God’s love for us and desire for us to be with him, not a power trip.

God always looks with mercy on a repentant heart.

Many people came up to Jesus saying “Lord have mercy” so that they could be healed. We can have the same intentions.

Often we say the Lord have mercy in Greek, Kyrie Eleison. Notice how originally three different languages were used in the liturgy: Latin, Hebrew “Amen” and “Alleluia”, and Greek. St. Albert the Great, in the 1200s, noted: “the faith came to us Latins from the Greeks; Peter and Paul came to the Latins from the Greeks and from them came salvation for us. And so that we may be mindful that this grace came to us from the Greeks, we preserve even now the very words and syllables with which the divine mercy was first invoked by the people.” It’s pretty powerful to me to think how we are completely indebted to our forefathers in the faith in how we came to know the Lord and celebrate the liturgy.

The Gloria:

This is the song:

Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men of good will. We praise You. We bless You. We adore you. We glorify You. We give You thanks for Your great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. O Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son. O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father: you Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. You Who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. You Who sit at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are holy. You alone are the Lord. You alone, O Jesus Christ, are most high. Together with the Holy Spirit in theglory of God the Father. Amen.

The opening line is the words that the angels sung announcing the birth of Christ in Luke 2:14. In a similar way, the Mass makes present Christmas, Christ is with us.

The Gloria is full of scripture. The entire thing comes from scripture, really. I’d go through it all but there are so many different points to make. A few highlights: it praises the Father, tells the story of Jesus, and then glorifies Jesus “You are seated at the right hand of the Father.”

Gloria is like a joyful response to the Lord have mercy!

A historical note is that at the part where we say “You alone are the Lord.” The word that means Lord was also used to describe Caesar. So in the Gloria we are saying that Jesus is Lord, not Caesar. Many Christians died for this fact.

After the Gloria, the priest prays the “collect” or opening prayer.

Next we move into the first major part of the mass: the Liturgy of the Word.


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