As a man I was very grateful for Rene's realization that men suffer as much as women from shame. As a facilitator for a group of Catholic men who have regularly met for the last 16 years on Saturday mornings, I can attest to how important is for men to have a safe place to be authentic. I've heard from more than one wife about how their husband's participation in this group has changed the way their husband relates to them. On a personal note, I learned from a mental health therapist that if I could be vulnerable in discussing important matters with my wife, in all likelihood she would be willing to open up and trust me in response. While it was not easy (and sometimes painful), we are now at a place of athuenticity and love in our marriage that 20 years ago I never would have envisioned. Finally, all one has to do is look to the life of Jesus to understand how vulnerability and love are so closely interrelated when the Creator of the universe became one of us as a totally helpless infant, and then allowed himself to be mocked, abandoned, beaten and crucified in order to allow us to share eternity in the loving presence of the Trinity. It doesn't get any more loving or vulnerable than that. One other thing I've noticed over the past 20 years - many men are sad (and exhausted trying to live up to the macho man image) and many women are angry (and exhausted trying to live up to being superwomen). It's really a shame (no pun intended). If we could learn to give up our masques and be real, we all would be so much more content with ourselves and others. Blessings to all of you for a wonderful program and ministry.
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