Catholic Partyin’

Nuns have fun too, but this blog post about being Catholic at a bachelor party.

I’m currently sitting at an airport in Corpus Christi, TX waiting for a flight back home. I just got done spending time with two of my college buddies and their friends for my college buddies’ combined bachelor party. They’re getting married in a month and their weddings are two weeks part. Fun fact: they are each others’ best man. Crazy, huh? I’m quite blessed and honored to be a groomsman in both of their weddings. I love those guys in a total bro way.

In summary, we didn’t live out a plot line worthy of The Hangover 3, but the weekend was still full of adventure and some stereotypical bachelor party things.

I’m grateful that nothing crazy happened like someone harmed themselves or others from being too drunk, no wild cats ended up locked in the bathroom, no one got arrested, no nudity, no one got eaten by sharks, no one got mauled by seagulls and everyone still had lots of fun. I survived the weekend without a pressing need to make an appointment with a priest just to go to Confession, haha.

But without wasting time divulging the details from this weekend, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I saw, heard, and experienced.

Because, being where I’m at now in my Catholic faith…it’s difficult NOT to see the world through a Catholic lens. Even at bachelor parties.

This weekend made me think more about what it means to be a man. Not just any man, but man created in the image and likeness of God. How should he act and think? Does his outward expressions reflect his interior?  Questions like that. I know that, being a guy, we’re built to be easily captivated by woman and her beauty, but it is easy to fall into wanting to satiate selfish desires. Too easy to view her as mere piece of flesh for the eyes and imagination to devour rather than seeing her soul past her outer beauty. And too much alcohol clouds the mind, the heart, and the eyes.

Also, this weekend made me think more about the vocation of marriage. It’s interesting because for the man-about-to-be-married, he realizes that he must share in the life of another person and through that love…ANOTHER person comes to be. But sometimes I get the vibe from couples that married life is more about the husband and wife and not their future kids. And that’s awkward to me. Really awkward.  Also, for the single guy or guy in a somewhat committed dating relationship with friends about-to-be married, it seems that the idea of marriage is like death.

(awkward pause where I don’t do more blogging on the 45-minute flight back home because I’m an aerospace nerd and I was marveling at the wing and engine outside my window and then appreciated the tracts and tracts of land devoted to agriculture as observed from my vantage point thousands of feet in the air)

Why, to some guys, is marriage akin to death, worthy of the funeral march instead of wedding bells?  Is it because a married man is no longer a man free to do as he pleases?  That he can no longer enjoy non-commitment?  That his bros are no longer his highest priority?  Perhaps there is an element of truth of how getting married is like death.  No, it IS death–the death of self.  A man, if is he to live out true masculinity in marriage, needs to be willing to sacrifice his selfishness…his ego…his self-centeredness…his life…for her.  For her good.  To place her above himself.  To heaven.  It’s not easy.  It’s supposed to be difficult.  Where’s the sense of adventure when he takes the easy route of looking and behaving inwardly?

Anyway, in brief summary…there’s a lot to be thinking about in terms of what it means to be a man and what marriage means whenever you’re at a bachelor party.  Worthy for other blog posts, undoubtedly.

Besides all that, there was other Catholic winning this weekend!

A friend I hadn’t heard from in over a year…randomly calls me an an opportune lull in our bachelor partyin’ to let me know that he has opened his heart to learn more about Catholicism.  Needless to say…I kind of disappeared from the rest of the guys for a while and ended up talking to my friend for over and hour to see where he was at and talk more about Catholicism.  Pretty dang awesome.  I’m so stoked to hear about stuff like that!

I feel like I should have blogged about or posted this somewhere…but…part of my devotions in participating in Fortnight 4 Freedom…is to pray a Rosary each day of the fortnight.  I have grown lax in my devoting a Rosary every day lately, and I have a renewed sense of commitment during this fortnight.  Not even a bachelor party stopped me from taking some time to do a Rosary each day!  What was really cool is I even got one of my friends who is getting married to join me for some Joyful praying 😉

Lastly, I heard a Matt Maher song playing on the radio while on a Whataburger run this morning.  Sometimes all you gotta do is turn around!…and head back to the condo after securing some breakfast sandwiches…haha.

In conclusion, I had a pretty awesome weekend.  I hardly get the chance to hang out with my friends from college, and I’m grateful I had this opportunity to spend time with them before I show up as a groomsman for both their weddings next month.  Through stereotypical guy talk and life talk from a guy’s perspective, I’m able to see the wisdom in having a Catholic perspective.  And it’s not that hard to live out my Catholic faith in simple ways so as long as I will it and commit to doing it–while being receptive to those random out-of-the-blue moments, of course.

For ye-who-readeth this blog post, please keep my Future-Catholic-Friend-On-The-Phone in your prayers, that he continues to be open and receptive in all that the Catholic faith has to offer and that his desire to seek truth leads him closer to the greatest Truth of all–God.  Also keep my two College-Buddies-Who-Get-Married-Next-Month in your prayers, that they become prepared to take on the adventure that is marriage that images God’s love.  Lastly, keep the rest of us guys also present at the bachelor party in your prayers, that we learn to live out authentic masculinity.  Deep down, that is what we, guys, all desire to do–to live as real men.

My life is Catholic.
– JD