Origins of the Litany of Masculinity

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

A call to create

Restlessness hits often these days. Early on in life, I confused these deep pitted feelings with scarcity. Swearing they signified my “lack of”, thus pushing me deeper into the need to achieve. It wasn’t until my early forties did I truly begin to understand the deep ache, the desire for something more. 

This restlessness was actually a call to create. The polarizing pull of proving myself versus docility to something greater has waged war on my soul for many years. I am forever grateful to those who have been my spiritual mentors teaching me the difference between restlessness rooted in the world and the stirring of the Spirit calling me to step out in faith. 

The nudging of the Spirit starts off as a faint whisper. Oftentimes, if my interior life is not quiet enough I will completely miss it.

A few weeks ago, my prayer time was filled with an unsettling unease. Previously fearful of such emotions, I am growing into the place of welcoming them with (tentative) open arms. Visions of a warrior woman yielding her spiritual weapons in defense of raged war on those she loved kept coming up in my prayer time.

A call to protect

I felt an overwhelming need to begin to pray for protection for the men in the film courageous enough to share their stories. One of the stories hits particularly close to home. My oldest son shares witness about the effects misguided masculinity had on shaping his identity. As any mother will attest, we are born with an instinct to protect our own.

I have used this “mother bear” passion in the past to destroy those in my path. Not exactly the most “Christ-like” response. Praise God for age, wisdom, and discernment.

The answer to our prayers often lies within each of us. We simply have to be willing to surrender. Silence, solitude, docility, passion and protection were the exact ingredients the Spirit needed from me to create an answer to my petition….”God, protect these men. Especially my son.”  Countless hours of simply sitting, pen in hand, patiently waiting, the Lord finally began to write. 

A call to pray

Saint upon Saint came to mind. Some I was familiar with, others I never heard of. Each one a reflection of authentic masculinity. Each one, his own unique story of sacrificial love leading to holiness. Each one willing to intercede on my behalf to pray protection over these men.

Putting my pen down and reading what was there I realized the poetic prose had the rhythm of a litany. Picking my pen back up, I scratched across the top of my page “The Litany of Masculinity”.

I was terrified to share it with anyone. I mean, c’mon, who the heck am I to think I’m worthy of writing a LITANY! Only really holy people do things like that. The lies of the enemy convinced me that the entire thing was ridiculous. I decided to share it with the one person I trust the most - my husband. And then I shared it with my 3 adult sons. We began to pray it.

The more I shared it, the more it grew into something I couldn’t control.  I shared it with Liz and then Annie, our social media guru. It was Annie who took my idea of the Litany and turned it into a novena that we can ALL pray leading up to the release of the film. 

Congregational prayer adds a layer of depth onto our petition: that we are in this story together. That we are praying the same words aloud and entering into a broader story than just our own experience. Together we are on the journey, living out the story of redemption and resurrection, receiving together the grace, hope and healing that comes from knowing who we are. Together we can pray words that help us understand what it means to re-imagine our lives living in the Light.

Will you join us?

Join us as we pray...

The Litany Of Masculinity

To reject passivity, SOG Emil Kapaun, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

To accept responsibility, St. Augustine, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

To lead with honor, SOG Vincent Capodanno, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

To be used for the greater good, St. Peter, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

To deepen the interior life and test physical limits, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

That I may die, so others may live.

To establish holy brotherhood, St. Maurice, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

To increase in Holiness, St. Pope John Paul II, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

To bind us in true love, Mary Most Holy, pray for me

That I may die, so others may live.

Help me to claim my identity as a man, Jesus, pray for me

That I may sacrifice myself in imitation of you.


Praying the Novena

After 3 years of filming, editing and prayer, The 4th Man has finally launched today, September 29th. WHY did we pick September 29th, after all?? We could’ve certainly used more time, maybe waited til *everything* was perfect, but that’s not what the Spirit was asking. September 29th is the feast of ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL. ⚔️
And not only that, but it’s a day marked by heroic virtue. It’s a day marked by sacrificial love. Why? Because it’s the anniversary of the day a young Navy Seal laid down his life for his friends. 🔥 Spoiler alert: we talk about his story in the film.

Hopefully you've been able to join us as we prayed the novena leading to the launch of the film. If not, you can check out the prayers (with descriptions of the saints) for every day by clicking here. What can you expect?  A NOVENA that will call upon a different saint everyday to pray for virtue and strength. Pray it for yourself, pray it for your husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, friend’s uncle’s grandpa - just join us!

Watch the trailer for The 4th Man and, when you're done, we invite you to learn more about the film.