At 4 am Monday morning my alarm clock went off. Actually, my husband’s alarm clock went off. Mine was set for the much more sane time of 5:45 am, the start of a normal day for our family of 8.
Paul loves his sleep and a few extra minutes or hours have always been a cherished (and well earned) luxury for him, when he can get them. There is an exception. Paul’s Regnum Christi encounter team meets at 6:30 am every Friday. A raucous, passionate and intense group of Catholic men; husbands, fathers and professionals who rise early to cap their week with prayer and resolution to change themselves and the world around them for Christ.
This is a group of men who submit to God by conquering themselves and impacting the world around them with virtue and action. They hold each other to a high standard of prayer and behavior, contemplation and action. And they are pretty loud about it. Their team continues to grow and to conquer.
So when one of these conquerors found out he was facing a new battle, his brothers were there. Mike has colon cancer. He’s not sure what stage or what the next steps are, but when he left for the hospital in the darkness of early morning, his brothers did the only thing they could. They let go of their desire to conquer and control the outcome, got up early, stood out in front of Mike’s house, and surrendered themselves, Mike and his family to God’s will in prayer.
Alex Caraballo, one of the other men on the Regnum Christi team, explained it this way:
“As men we want to control everything and during these situations we can’t do a damn thing. So what do a bunch of men do? We get together at 4am, stand outside in the cold and we pray for his family and pray for him that God makes this easier for them. We had to recognize that God has control over all our outcomes, and if we choose to follow him, God can make great things happen. 14 men gave up their need to control and put their brother in God’s hands. Our submission to him for another man truly made us, for this moment in time, a band of brothers. Brothers in Christ with one goal to have this man and his family heal physically and spiritually. Maybe when we prayed for someone else we were the closest to Christ.
Many people may see us out there in the cold and say “They are holy,” but the reality is that you are looking at men who struggle to be good, struggle not to sin, struggle to be the best Dads and husbands. But you can count on one thing. If we just pray for each other it will help each and every one of us become closer to what God wants us to be.
This is a reminder that we cannot do it alone here, and that our prayer and others prayers strengthen us as a whole. Today I saw the body of Christ acting for someone else…. I thank God for being given the opportunity to just give myself in surrender to Christ for someone else. How could we not be reminded of how Christ himself did this for us? Say a prayer for those who feel alone and are hurt. Take 10 minutes to pray for those in your office, home and around who are lost. Pray for them to not to try to control their challenges but to lay it in front of Christ and let him take control.”