ALONE

The first step to Christian manhood, in my experience (and by manhood I mean maturity, not just manliness) is to learn to cope with praying alone to God. There are many opportunities to pray together with others, and these are great. Don't get me wrong - the most powerful prayer we can pray is the Eucharist, the Mass, and that's never done alone, right? But mature Christians don't just go to Mass. And Saints don't just pray in groups, as supportive as this experience often is.

When I started taking God seriously, I seriously started taking to God my problems and the problems of the world (at least the few I was aware of at the time). I couldn't think of anyone else to bring them to but God. God alone. I didn't yet have the support networks I now enjoy and recommend so highly to other Christians. But I can honestly say that I believe God did some of my most powerful conversion stuff during that very early period of my spiritual life, when I simply prayed alone to God. I prayed as best I could at the time, and God took me seriously and started doing the heart and soul surgery I required. And so I became what many people could identify as mature very quickly. Yes, I'd say that personal prayer and maturity are directly related, just like water and plant growth.

Men commit, and the first commitment a young man should make - I think - is to pray every day, alone. Mass isn't an excuse to miss out on time alone with God (during Mass you're actually caught up in the biggest heaven-and-earthly celebration in the universe, so it can't be classified as 'alone time' with God).

Take heart, my brothers. Prayer might seem boring, like a chore (or you might already be praying and loving it) but it is the way God will shower His blessings on you and every aspect of your life. I would not be the young man I am today, and I will not be half the man I'm called to be, if I don't spend solid time alone with God each day. In personal prayer we discover that we - as individuals, as men - absolutely need God. And that God is enough.

Luke is a young man who doesn’t know everything but might occasionally know something worth knowing. He loves both the outdoors and the indoors, the sea and the country, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers. But especially loves Jesus, or rather Jesus loves him and he’s trying to love Jesus as much. Luke is 22 and is training to be an MGL priest, in Melbourne, and has had much Youth Ministry experience over the last five years.

Luke is a young man who doesn’t know everything but might occasionally know something worth knowing. He loves both the outdoors and the indoors, the sea and the country, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers. But especially loves Jesus, or rather Jesus loves him and he’s trying to love Jesus as much. Luke is 22 and is training to be an MGL priest, in Melbourne, and has had much Youth Ministry experience over the last five years.