My good buddy from those wondrous, treasured days of chasing oblong and round balls together sends me this book, "Be a Man," by Fr. Larry Richard. My buddy and I both were blessed with 4 years of Jesuit study and thinking habits. Their teaching tried to prepare us for the future -- maybe implant a vision thing. My buddy's eternal vision includes prepping me for Judgment Day, and he thinks reading this book will help prep me for victory when J Day kicks off the final Big Game.
Around page 133, I read the following from Fr. Larry:
Years ago, when that I was an assistant at Saint Luke's Church, I woke up one morning and prayed my morning hour and then had mass. Throughout the entire mass I couldn't stop thinking about how I needed to go to Saint Joseph's Oratory in Canada. God was telling me, "I want you to leave here today. I want you to go to Canada." I wasn't exactly open to the idea because it was January and it was snowing and I have a lot of other things to do. I'd told God, "No, it is snowing. I am not going up to Canada. That's a 7 hour drive. Are you out of your mind? No way!" Finally, after mass I could not fight it anymore, so I went to talk to the monsignor.
"Yes, Larry," he said.
I have to cancel all my appointments because I have to leave today."
"Where are you going?" He asked.
"Canada," I said.
"I know," I said. "I already told God it is snowing. But he said, "I want you to go to Canada.'"
Fr. Larry uses this, similar trying examples, and other conversations with God to lay out how we can be manly and, consequently, more Christ like. I read the book, unimpressed. (Unless, of course, he has video tape of all these quoted conversations with God.)
Then I went to Ethiopia to work on a Habitat Latrine Building Project, digging and lining 10' deep holes, concrete blocking, and tin sheathing them in the slums of Addis Ababa; where people are lacking latrines and instead using scattered two foot deep holes, dug around their minimal compounds, covered by pieces of wood with cut-out holes for squatting over, under which they drop the world's ubiquitous plastic bags into which they pass their latrine business.
After doing a couple Habitat latrines, I went to Nairobi, Kenya for further research on how so many of God's better tanned human creatures and majestic animals run.
There I met another manly traveler who, like Fr. Larry -- I guess, traveled the highways of life in a warmer clime and different way. He was the friendly, always smiling, and helpful uniformed security guard at Nairobi's budget-bearable Paris Hotel.
On the day I hit the road, we had this departing conversation, which made me think of Fr. Larry manning-up after talking with God:
"Do you work five or six days a week?"