Jorge Escala┬┤s testimony

Dear Family,

We had our meeting for the men at Mark's house. In particular I was very pleased by the turn-out and pleased by the response. There was a lot of openness and willingness and interest among the men who were all there.

There was a lively discussion with many questions asked and people wanted to hear what Fr. Jordi had to say and share with us about his vision for the men as husbands and as fathers and our roles. So much interest, in fact, that more than half of us stayed and talked and asked questions and discussed after we had concluded. So I thought that was a very reassuring sign.

I recognized while I was there what good men these are that we have all surrounded ourselves with and that you have all chosen as husbands. Men who are open to the Spirit, open to the Word, and in many ways sacrifice a lot. And perhaps often they sacrifice and offer a lot for their families and for the Church and think not much of it. They just accept it as their role as a husband. And so I think in many ways they are perhaps victim souls and not entirely realizing that they have a lot to offer there. But the Lord sees it and the Lord knows where their hearts are.

And I think the role of a father and a husband is interesting in that it is almost like a dichotomy, there are two sides to what we do -- there is our presence of the home, our priesthood of the home and there is also when we go out into the world and we are in some ways a prophet with a message. And so I think perhaps trying to envision what a man of the Cross is, a Missionary of the Cross is, what it is to be a male part of Love Crucified through the married state of life it is again this dichotomy, and in many ways that is how Christ's life was. There was a very hidden part to his suffering, especially when you think about the agony in the garden.

As husbands there is a very hidden part to our suffering and many times we internalize things and we are faced with challenges and difficulties that we hold on to and keep to ourselves in a very private and hidden way. And that is our role as husbands, to be strong. But we also share in the suffering of Christ of the Cross, or at least we are called to and I think that is perhaps the hardest part for these men, I think especially myself.

I speak for myself when I say that it is hard for me to publicly embrace the Cross and to be Christ when I am in the world and at work. Many times when we are confronted with many challenging opinions and views and attitudes from a very secular culture that is very hostile to the Christian faith and very hostile towards the Word of Christ and we need to, like Christ, carry our Cross in the public square. We have to wear that crown of thorns that is given to us through our priesthood of the home and through our baptism. We need to wear those thorns despite any criticism and despite any ridicule, even when we are ridiculed and spit in the face. That is a challenge and I ask you all to pray for me and to pray for all of your husbands to be able to face that challenge bravely.

We are in many ways like Jonah when we are faced with these opportunities, we run in the other direction, so lest we find ourselves in the belly of a whale, please pray for us. I am very much reminded of Fr. Jordi when I think of this, because many priests are OK with wearing their collar at Church and in a way they are priest of their home when they are there. But when they enter the world they want to wear secular clothes and they don't want to do that. And I pray that we would have priests that are willing like Fr. Jordi. And I praise God for giving you that sense in your heart to go into the world fully embracing your priesthood and fully embracing our Christian identity as we should as husbands and as men. So I ask you to pray for us.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

-- Jorge

 

Love Crucified