Leadership in the Church, Reading, and You (Fathers)

Donald Trump has made a stupendous decision to nominate Gen. James Mattis, USMC Ret., as Secretary of Defense.

Here is a video of Gen. Mattis answering questions, especially about leadership.

Fathers: watch this.  We could use this spirit.

♫ Gimme that ol’ Marine Corps spirit! ♫

Mattis suggests looking at the Commandant’s Professional Reading List.  HERE

Couldn’t we use a reliable reading list?

Here are a few titles… just to think about starting to scratch the surface.









About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Knight from 13904 says:

    Spirit of The Liturgy – one of the most impactful books for me on my journey back to the faith. You want to have a deep, deep understanding and appreciation for ad orientem read this book. In Mass we are worshiping the God of the universe and he is coming. Just like day follows night, he is coming.

  2. APX says:

    I stumbled upon the Noonday Devil on Amazon.ca (which I think I purchased by going through your site. At least that was the intent. Sometimes it doesn’t work.). It really is very good with explaining what sloth (aka acedia) is and what it isn’t (ie: laziness) and how to overcome it.

  3. acardnal says:

    Excellent post!

  4. acardnal says:

    I love General Mattis. (FYI, under current law, there are just 40 four-star generals/admirals in the US military. Only four of those are in the US Marine Corp.)

    I found this article from “Business Insider” of quotations of Gen Mattis quite illuminating. HERE I particularly appreciate this one:

    “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

    But don’t take this man’s comments out of context. He is a life long bachelor who has a library of over 7000 volumes. He knows how to fight and win! He reads history and the classics including taking this one to the Middle East while CINC/CENTCOM: Marcus Aurelius “Meditations”.

    Gen Mattis reminds me of the late, life-long bachelor and devout Catholic, Lt Gen Vernon Walters who served as Deputy Director, CIA and Ambassador to the United Nations. He help fund Christendom College in its formative years.

  5. andromedaregina says:

    He’s amazing! The antidote to the sissification of our stupid “safe space” culture, where university students are literally being taught to deal with every slightly uncomfortable life scenario by sitting in a beanbag with stuffed animals eating cotton candy and listen to EDM music. Yeah, that’ll work.

  6. PTK_70 says:

    Priests and bishops form the “officer corps” in the Church; lay people are the “enlisted” members. I didn’t make up this analogy, I remember reading it from St Josemaria Escriva. But in my view, it is spot on. Responsibility, or more descriptively, the taking on of responsibility, is the sine qua non of officership. A brigade or squadron commander is responsible for leading his troops, airmen, etc in accomplishing some assigned task, in accomplishing the mission.

    Catholics are nothing if not true worshippers of the true God. So in the Church, the mission must have something to do with worship. It falls on the “officer corps” of the Church to lead the faithful in true worship.

  7. Kerry says:

    May 2013 Heritage Foundation, State of the World talk: http://www.heritage.org/events/2015/05/mcginley-lecture

  8. Thomas Sweeney says:

    Great video, America is well served by men like him.

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    Every day I discover new ways to enjoy anew our latest election. Here’s another one.
    I had never heard of Gen. Mattis, but I am positive he is as far from whatever Obama put in place as could possibly be. Thank God. There is a lot of work to be done. I feel great knowing Gen. Mattis is on it.
    Now if President-elect Trump follows up with the right person in perhaps the most critical appointment, Director of Homeland Security, we’ll be in good shape. This is key. He’s got to pick someone dead serious about immigration, nothing else will work. That will be his toughest battle, because Democrats are insane.

  10. Jenson71 says:

    Kathleen10, Gen. Mattis was appointed by President Obama to be the head of US Central Command, and served in that position for three years.

  11. New Sister says:

    @acardnal, thanks for the link; excellent.

    Heaven has blessed our demoralized Nation w/ a BEAUTIFUL dose of the masculine for Christmas — DEO GRATIAS! THIS is what the world needs; it’s beautiful to behold. (Even better would be the equivalent in clergy)

  12. New Sister says:

    @Jensen71 — he was, in truth, FIRED (asked to leave) by the Obama admin so sorry, zero credit to POTUS for supporting our new SECDEF.

    But HOW to put two destructive “genies” back into the bottle… women in combat arms and sodomy stricken from the UCMJ. He probably can’t got that far, until our Nation has a spiritual renaissance, but perhaps he will at least end religious persecution for chaplains who faithfully preach God’s Law. Please, let us pray for General Mattis = he will not be universally loved w/in DOD.

  13. Mr. Graves says:

    Fr. John McCloskey put together a reading list some years ago that I’ve always found helpful.


    As an aside, I’ve tried to collect these books in hard copy, not Kindle (which is easy to succumb to for its convenience and portability). I believe every home should have a physical Catholic library starting with the D-R Bible, Catechism, and Orchard commentary.

  14. KateD says:

    New Sister-

    Placing women in combat roles ultimately has a similar effect on population, especially among certain demographics, as abortion. That it also diminishes the effectiveness of our military (in terms of lethality and survivability of combat units), and encourages gender dysphoria must be perceived a bonus by liberals.

    If just that problem were resolved, our nation would be immensely benefitted.

  15. New Sister says:

    @Kate, If I could reverse only one of those two policies, I agree: barring women from the Combat Arms, including submarines & destroyers, would do the most to increase combat effectiveness, which should be the primary litmus test for any DOD policy. (Well, second only to *morality*, combat effectiveness)

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    Sterling idea Fr. Z. Great comments, acardnal, New Sister, Kathleen10 et al.

    The video of Gen. Mattis reminds me of a World War II Marine general. Gen. Holland M. “Howlin’ Mad” Smith is widely considered to be the Father of Modern Amphibious Warfare. He developed training plans and operational doctrine back in 1940-41 for both the Marine Corps and Army.

    Gen. Smith knew there was a time for flexibility, but amphibious operations are much more complex than they first appear. There are certain processes that must occur, certain timetables that must be met, and a unique vocabulary that must be learned and employed effectively. Even then, it’s a close-run thing sometimes.

    No doubt, Gen. Smith would today be a fan of the Church Militant. Today on the deck of his flagship he would stand with a cup of coffee, his forearm parallel to the deck as he drank. He would supervise- all would be in their proper places and properly attired. And on the side of his coffee mug would be printed: “Save the Liturgy, Save the World.”

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