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Why a Brotherhood?

wolfpackThere is something innately manly about being a part of a brotherhood. My friend and colleague, Dr. Phil Chavez, often remarks about when you see dogs at their happiest. “It’s when they’re in the hunt! Running in the pack! They could be slashed and bleeding and covered in muck, but don’t dare pull them out of the pack to nurse their wounds in seclusion.”

It is true, men do get hurt when they are running in the pack. Without a solid mentor or attentive teammate helping out, that hurt may leave a man wondering if he should have ever ventured out of his house. I can remember walking off the field after a football game, looking down at my arm, and suddenly seeing a huge bloody gash in it. I couldn’t recall when it happened, and amidst the tackles and rush of adrenaline I hadn’t noticed it. On showing it to my mother, she gave a maternal gasp, tended to it, and made sure it was clean and bandaged. Dad, on the other hand, was different. “Nice. I remember those. All part of the game. Makes me wish I could throw on the pads just once more.”

Our fathers are the one’s meant to show us the value of the pack—the value of brotherhood. My heart goes out to those men who grew up without a father to dust his son off after a fall, whack him on the rear, and send him bruised and reassured back into the game. That’s where a man belongs—in the pack. Without a good father-figure to send us back to the pack, a young man might fall victim to the comfort of a mother’s nurturing arms while the pack moves on without him.

RH-JesusAndDisciples_DSC_0014This call to brotherhood is a timeless yearning written on the heart of every man. Sheakespear says it best, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.” The desire to enter the battle alongside brothers inspired NFL player, Pat Tillman, to leave a lucrative football career to join the fight in Afghanistan, where he would later pay the ultimate sacrifice. It is this manly yearning for camaraderie and a noble battle that emboldened 6,000 Scotsman to stand by William Wallace at the battle of Falkirk when outmarched nearly three to one. As Christ found it proper to surround himself with a band of brothers, each of us are called to imitate this manliest of men and find our home in brotherhood.

Men, we need virtuous and manly brotherhood. Our very nature as men yearns for it. God’s grace flows though it. If you are alone in the fight, a “one-man wolf pack,” pray today and ask that God leads you to the brotherhood he yearns to give you.