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Where Are All The Men?

March 4th, 2019
Peter Santiago
By Peter Santiago read
Posted in Men

Many of my male friends in high school would approach me crying saying, “I will never know my father because he either left, is in jail, or was killed.”

There is a desperate cry in each of our hearts to be seen, known, and loved by a father, and in the absence of fathers, boys are being raised by the messages with which our culture bombards them. For example, the culture says, “they will like you more if you have more money” and “you will be happier if you just have sex.”

So, where are all the men, you ask? The answer: we’re already here, we just don’t realize it yet!

A man’s heart is filled with chambers of loss and love, victory and defeat. We float between near invincibility by our strength and complete weakness with our tenderness. We create stability and safety by our very existence. Our hearts are like Medieval Castles – designed to protect the interior life. The only drawbridge is the freedom to share the content of one’s interior. We all need to be honest with our emotions.

Here are three major ways that men can rediscover their identity:

1.Spend time with other virtuous men. In college, my life was radically changed by being a part of a men’s small group. It was an opportunity for us to share what was going on in our lives and how we could better live out virtue the next week. Now, I can call upon any of those guys and continue to journey through life with them. Find a brotherhood and consistently invest in them.

2. Spend time volunteering. One of my best friends and I decided to volunteer at a juvenile detention center. Once a week, we would ask the boys to share their thoughts and feelings, teach them about virtue, play a sport with them, and pray with them. There are many opportunities out there to be a positive role model in other men’s lives. In taking on a mentor role, we are reminded that our masculinity isn’t for ourselves – it’s a gift for others. Seize every opportunity you can.

3. Offer little sacrifices. The best sacrifices are the ones that no one knows about. Put your phone away and have a sincere conversation with a friend. Sleep on the floor to be in solidarity with the poor. Put a rock in your shoe for a day for all those struggling with a pornography addiction. Take on a friend’s lenten penance for a day to show them how much you love them. These are all ways that we can offer up sacrifices for others. Remember, we won’t find who we are as men until we make a true gift of self.

Our society will never know the love that it is made for if we don’t reach out to the hearts of men. So, let’s set ourselves apart from who the culture says we are. In the face of a loss of trust in men, let’s take every opportunity to remind them that we love by the way we live. It starts with you, and it starts today. Climb to the heights of love!

Peter Santiago
Peter Santiago

About the Author

Peter Santiago is a 2017 graduate of Saint Vincent College with a BA in Politics and Theology. He grew up in Elizabeth NJ. During his time at Saint Vincent College, Peter Santiago met a member of The Culture Project's staff. Peter began to ask him questions about the virtue of chastity, Theology of the Body, and the Culture Project. Peter Santiago was mystified by the message of Theology of the Body because it was unique and attractive. A few years later, Peter answered God's call to serve others as a Culture Project missionary. "We tend to forget that real love requires sacrifice. I believe that beauty originates in self-sacrificial love. I hope that during my time as a Culture Project missionary I can communicate that in word and deed."

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