Blog Into the Breach: A Crusade for Manliness by Bert Hernandez “There is need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and undo the savage work of those who think that man is a beast. And that crusade is a matter for you.” – St. Josemaria Escriva There is indeed a need to rediscover authentic masculinity because let’s face the facts. We are living in a world where real men have seemed to have vanished, and they have been replaced by misguided souls stumbling around trying to live up to what they think a man is or worse yet, what society has told them a man is. I can say this from personal experience; I was one of those misled souls and now know how much I didn’t know what it meant to be a man, an authentic man. As someone who struggled with addiction, I learned that the way to correct a problem is first to admit there is a problem. Bishop Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix recognizes this crisis of masculinity and addresses it in his Apostolic Exhortation Into the Breach. If you haven’t read this document, do it now. Seriously, right now! Bishop Olmsted lays out the problem very plainly in the opening of the document. “The world is under attack by Satan, as our Lord said it would be (1 Peter 5:8-14). This battle is occurring in the Church herself, and the devastation is all too evident.” Then he hits us with some very unsettling statistics about the state of our Church today. Followed by the gut punch; “One of the key reasons that the Church is faltering under the attacks of Satan is that many Catholic men have not been willing to “step into the breach” – to fill this gap that lies open and vulnerable to further attack.” Is there a problem with men in our Church today? Bishop Olmsted seems to think so, as do I. As I said before I was part of the problem. So how do we go about fixing the problem? Don’t be afraid! There is hope, and there are answers. As Bishop Olmsted puts it “The joy of the Gospel is stronger than the sadness of wrought by sin!” In Into the Breach three questions are addressed: 1. What does it mean to be a Christian? 2. How does a Catholic man love? 3. Why is fatherhood so crucial for every man? My intention in writing these next few blogs is not to pick apart this document, but to share with you how it has affected me as a Catholic man, specifically a Catholic man in active Church ministry. I hope in doing so, you will feel compelled to join me in this “crusade of manliness” and take back the ground the enemy has gained.