It seems in today’s society the deck is stacked against us men. We have television shows that have gone from portraying men as strong fathers to bumbling idiots. We have a society that has portrayed the role of fatherhood as diminished and not necessary. This has led to men becoming misguided and soft when it comes to their roles as fathers and Catholics in general. Thankfully there are a number of books on the market written to help us men keep focused and navigate through these troubling waters. Jared Zimmerer has offered us one such book with his new release Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man.
For this book Jared has assembled twelve men to discuss exactly what authentic Catholic manliness is and how to achieve it. In addition to a few chapters contributed by himself, Jared is joined by Dave DiNuzzo, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Douglas Bushman, Fr. Steve Grunow, Gerard-Marie Anthony, Jesse Romero, Jim Burnham, Kevin Lowry, Kevin Vost, Marlon De La Torre, and Shane Kapler. A diverse group of men coming from different walks of life whose contributions make the books topics wide ranging and thus very complete. The book is divided into five parts as follows: Men of the Catechism; Finding Balance in Mind, Body and Soul; Authentic Roles of a Man; Woman: Bone of Our Bones; and Call to Arms.
There were many chapters within the book that I found interesting and useful. In particular I enjoyed Finding Balance in Mind, Body and Soul. Kevin Vost encourages us men to dive into quality sipritual reading in his chapter “Man Up Your Mind.” In the chapter “Strength for the Kingdom” Jared writes on the importance of taking care of your body in the light that it is a temple and we must be healthy to partake in the battle ahead. Shane Kapler rounds the section out with “Greatness of Soul” where he directs us on the importance of prayer and tips on how to create a routine that fits our station in life.
The ground covered in this book does not stop with those chapters mentioned above. Kevin Lowry delves into how we can live our Catholic faith in the workplace as well as how to be fiscally responsible. Mary plays a crucial role in our lives as men today. Jim Burnham shows us how Mary is our spiritual Mother and protector. Perhaps the greatest struggle facing many men today is pornography. Dave Dinuzzo, Sr. details his own battle with porn and how men can break the addiction. Near the end of the book is a chapter where each of the contributing writers chooses a saint and how each serves as a model for a certain aspect of the spiritual life.
This book is a call to arms for men today. In large part due go the mixed signals we recieve many boys growing to manhood today have no clue what being a man means. We can either set on the sidelines, scratching our heads and wonder what to do or we can Man Up and become the Catholic men and witnesses of faith we are meant to be. As Jared states in the opening chapter:
“The world needs superheroes to emulate and to depend on. The new Catholic Renaissance man can be that hero. Stout in mind, prepared in body and magnanimous in soul, sternly devoted to the masculine aspecs of his Catholic Faith, the new Catholic man will always rise to the occasion of holiness and true freedom.”
Take up this challenge, read this book and use it as the foundation on your own journey to authentic Catholic manhood.
I received a copy of the book for this review from the author, Jared Zimmerer