Thursday, November 15, 2007

Are You a Strong Man?

All men are strong. Men are the stronger sex. These stereotypes have weighed in throughout history, and verdict is that men are supposed to be strong. Superheroes, knights, gladiators, soldiers, and athletes are often used to illustrate men’s strength.

When we say that a man is strong, we refer to his physical strength. Today’s society has placed a high value on men who are physically strong and have a muscular build. This is reinforced through a never ending supply of young, buff actors, models and athletes used to sell products to men and women alike.

How do these men get their strength? Well, part of it is a natural gift from God, of course. However, like any gift, it must be developed. Strong men work out regularly to keep in shape and strengthen themselves further.

But there is another type of strength – an inner strength and strength of faith. And just like physical strength, you must work out and exercise your faith daily to get stronger. This type of strength is not embraced by Hollywood and it certainly doesn’t sell products.

But even without Hollywood, there are plenty of examples of men strong in their faith who can serve as role models for us all. Certainly, our Holy Father is a wonderful example. But how many ordinary men do you cross paths with each day who are also role models of spiritual strength? They are all around us. We just need to look a little closer.

As men, we need to exercise to stay physically fit and maintain our physical strength. In addition, we must commit ourselves to daily workouts to strengthen our faith as well and acknowledge that we can do nothing without our Lord. Our current culture encourages us to focus only on ourselves and our own physical needs.

We will never find complete happiness by satisfying only our physical needs because we will always want more. We must get our strength from Jesus. He told us, “Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Let us pray each day for strength to focus on what truly matters most and that we will commit ourselves to a new fitness routine – our own spiritual fitness.

Loving Savior,

I pray that you will help me to gain strength.

Help me to become a strong man—

A man strong in my faith.

Send the Holy Spirit to give me the gift of strength,

and guide me as I struggle to become spiritually fit.

Help me to commit to a daily exercise of my faith,

That with each new day I may become stronger than the day before.


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