"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph 6:11)
While riding the Blue Line to Uptown Charlotte a couple weeks ago, I overheard two women in their late 30s lament about their husbands expending all their free time at home playing video games. Since I don't own a Wii or a PS3, I thought it seemed odd for grown men to park themselves in front of the TV and fight virtual enemies endlessly.
I decided to research the matter, and consulted a local expert: my 10-year-old neighbor.
"What's the most popular video game out there now?" I asked him.
"MW3," he said without flinching.
"Translation?" I responded.
"Oh, Modern Warfare 3. If you're a serious gamer, that's what you play."
The kid was right. When I searched online for "MW3," I learned the game broke all kinds of sales records when it was released last November. However, my most astonishing find was that the average age of video game players is 37, and almost 60 percent of them are men.
Then I asked myself: "What would possess a man my age to spend quality time gaming, instead of romancing his wife and bonding with his children?"
The answer can be found in a man's spiritual DNA.
Men are born to fight.
We are born to fight a spiritual battle against the unseen forces of evil, and to guard our hearts from our natural inclination to sin.
A few years back, I read the book "Wild at Heart," by John Eldridge. It is geared for men and has become a spiritual classic in contemporary Christian circles. Eldridge, a Christian counselor, proposes that God created men to live an adventure, to fight a battle and to rescue a beauty. MW3 and other games in this genre are all about fighting and killing enemies. That's why war games are so enticing and borderline addictive for a large number of men: it feeds into our spiritual killer instinct.
Our masculine soul recognizes we are at war, but we're unsure who we're supposed to fight. That's because the Enemy works in secret, and his attacks are insidious. The Enemy wants to destroy our families by undermining our Christian values and twisting society's gender roles.
We men are commanded and empowered by Jesus Christ to be the spiritual leaders of our households, because our homes are the primary battlefields where this war is waged.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, the second annual Charlotte Catholic Men's Conference will be held at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte. This is an excellent opportunity for all the men in our diocese to come together and pray, receive the sacraments and recharge our spiritual batteries. The conference has a dynamic line-up of national speakers, and Bishop Peter Jugis will celebrate Mass during the event.
Gentlemen, I invite you to prayerfully consider attending the men's conference because this battle we are fighting is real, and we need God's grace to engage in it. "For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:12)
— Rico De Silva is a member of St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte. For more about the upcoming Charlotte Catholic Men's Conference, go to www.cltcnc.org.
Father Shawn O'Neal: In this debate, remember Church teaching on human rightsAs a means to develop a comprehensive plan to reform our nation's current immigration system, a group of senators has introduced legislation formally called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013."...
Father Matthew Buettner: Radical ChristianityRecently, the Boston Marathon came to an abrupt end when two bombs exploded near the finish line. Three young people died in the explosion, including an 8-year-old boy who received his first Holy Communion just 11 months ago. Along with these...
The Poor Clares: Joy and sacrificeSt. Paul was a man passionate with zeal and consumed by love for God and desire for the salvation of souls. His actions and words were geared toward one purpose: the claiming of souls from the dominion of the devil, and the deceit used by him...
Brian Williams:The honest 411 on Vatican III recently had the opportunity to take a class about the Second Vatican Council offered through a diocesan adult education program. While much was covered within a relatively short span of four classes, one subject occupied much of our time...
William L. Esser IV: Love and 'gay marriage'It's always best to get your disclaimer on the table early, so here is mine: I'm a lawyer, I love my Catholic faith, and I love my country. So it should come as no surprise that I have been following the recent "gay marriage" cases before the...
Peggy Bowes: Be the stranger"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." — Blanche DeBois, "A Streetcar Named Desire" I was quietly praying the rosary, holding a "Pray to Stop Abortion" sign outside Planned Parenthood in Winston-Salem, when a delivery truck...
Deacon James Toner: On Christian RealismWe Catholics often find ourselves trying to chart a wise and balanced course between justice and mercy, between solemnity and a touch of appropriate humor, between the classical and the contemporary. So it is with the law of love and the fact...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Warrior saints are found throughout historyRegarding the April 26 letter criticizing St. Nicholas of Flue, I am disgusted that an American would insinuate that a soldier who distinguishes himself or herself in combat is not following...
Who would be worthy?In a letter in the April 26 Catholic News Herald, St. Nicholas of Flue was referred to as someone who "did not follow those teachings" of Christ because he defended the faith with his sword and...
St. Peregrine is a model to followI greatly admire the saints. The stories of youthful saints speak powerfully to me and never fail to captivate me; since I am 15, I can relate particularly to them. When I read the article about...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy