Wednesday 16 June 2010

e5 Men and Male spirituality

By definition, full members of the Sodality are going to be male. It is therefore not inappropriate from time to time to add information about male spirituality.

One initiative you might like to know about is e5 men.

e5 does not stands an area of east London, or a square on the chessboard, or a food additive. It in fact means Ephesians 5 - the fifth chapter of the Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.

The passage that is being referred to is the following:

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself." Eph. 5:25-28

St Paul explicitly lays out the responsibilities of a husband for his wife - "to love her as Christ loved His church, and delivered himself up for her." The standard of love could not be higher, and includes self-renuniation, and a willingness for sacrifice.

Maleness in the Catholic tradition includes bearing a responsibility for women. This is, above all, what male leadership means in the Catholic church. A leadership not of domination or oppression, but of service and self-sacrifice. All men have a duty to protect, honour, and pray for, women.

What e5 men actually do is to make sacrifices - particularly by fasting - for the women in their lives. For married or engaged men, this clearly included their wives or fiancees. But all of us have mothers, sisters, daughters, female friends - they all need praying for. Consecrated women, religious sisters, widows, spinsters - all need prayer and sacrifice. Women in distress or danger, suffering injustice, persecuted for their Catholic faith - all can benefit from our prayer. Women in Purgatory, particularly those who have nobody to pray for them - we can help them.

The group e5 men - founded by Steven Habisohn in the United States, and with signed up members in over 30 countries - explictly commit to fast on bread and water, once a month - the first Wednesday of the month - for the intention of women. Our Lord Himself said that some devils could only be driven out by prayer and fasting. Fasting is difficult - but it is powerful, it is traditional, it is Christ-like.

To find out more, see the website?

One woman who does not need our prayers, but we need hers, is the Immaculate Queen of Heaven:

O Heart most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart.
(The Raccolta, 300 days indulgence)


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