Masculinity

Finding the Virtuous Man

December 28th, 2012

Luc_ViatourAn article recently posted on a new all-things-men site, thrivingmen.com, asked, Are the Virtues Boring? These days, the connotation of being virtuous is being a bore, a kill-joy, a prude, a goody-two-shoes, etc. But is this really the case?

 

The [Catholic] blogger, Brandon Wall, begs to differ and raises an insightful point that I think will encourage us men to muster up the bravery to live a life of virtue.

“What the world doesn’t get is the people who lack virtue are the most static and bleak. The reason being is they always act the same way. They always over or under react. The drunk always gets drunk. The angry man always gets angry. The prude is always seeing the forbidden. They are the ones lacking variety. The virtuous possess a greater spectrum with regards to how they interact with the world.”

What is the #1 challenge facing fathers today?  This is a difficult question to answer for many reasons, especially because all families are different with different issues and struggles.  And yet, I think that some issues and struggles affect most, if not every father of this day and age in particular. Many challenges could possibly qualify including:

~ How does a father talk to his children about sex in a sex-saturated culture targeted more and more towards kids?

~ How much does a father censor what his children are exposed to online, on TV, and with their friends?

~ How does a father impart the value of the Catholic Bible, the lives of the saints, and other elements of faith to his children in a country which is becoming more and more secular?

Greetings my brothers: There are currently 82 members on the blog roll and a few contributors who do not have other blogs. Let’s try and revive this site a bit. Can everyone try and post 1 article in the next 60 days? Lets see if we can have a post a day from now until Christmas? I […]

Today I gave a short talk in a University courtyard on “how guys should treat girls.” As I was preparing my presentation it occurred to me that I really wanted to sit down with a small group of Catholic Dads and shoot the breeze over this  before I wrote or spoke about it. Leaving the topic of […]

“Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell us about God?” – Tyler Durden, “Fight Club”

This quote comes from a movie I wasn’t really fond of, but thinking about this quote hit me.  In today’s society the importance of having a father is becoming downplayed in a lot of ways.  One-third of all children in the U.S. do not live with their biological father, according to fatherhood.org.  Studies also show that living without a father increases the chances for teen pregnancy, child abuse, crime, and poverty.  These children need fathers that are active and engaged in their lives.  What are all of these absent fathers doing?  Why don’t they care about their children?

Man Meets Rosary

April 2nd, 2012

Recently I went to an abortion clinic to pray the rosary with a small group of parishioners, when two of the men pulled these tough, masculine-looking men’s rosaries out of their pockets.  They weren’t the pretty, jewelry-like rosaries that most women use.  They were made for a man and a man’s hands.   Hmmm, I thought . . . there is something attractive about a man that prays the rosary.

Okay, men . . . let me let you in on a little secret: devout Catholic women LOVE devout Catholic men.  It’s true.  This quality is actually attractive. Why is this?  Ever since the Garden of Eden, men have been charged by God with the protection of their wives and their children, both physically and spiritually.  When men fail to lead and protect, women not only feel vulnerable and unsafe, they also feel that they have to “fill in” for this lack, especially for their children.  This creates a stressful burden for a woman that is definitely present in a marriage and creating a strain on it, even if it goes unmentioned or unnoticed.

Rediscovering Masculinity

September 17th, 2011

Gentlemen, I need your help.

The focus of my PhD is the question “is there a Catholic view of Masculinity?” Part of my research is reading on gender identity, particularly relating to masculinity. When I saw that the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRS) have released a discussion paper titled “Protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity” I thought I had better read it. Discussion papers are important stages in policy development in Australia so, when a body as important at the AHRS write a paper on this, you can count on somebody bringing it to parliament sooner or later.

Soft Porn for Women?

September 16th, 2011

The damage pornography does to a relationship and to an individual are well documented. I want to consider here just one of the effects of pornography on a couple and consider a possible problem not identified in most discussions of marriage.

One of the problems of porn is that it presents one partner (usually the man) with an unrealistic view of what to expect in and of a sexual partner. That is, it presents an airbrushed reality with a model who is begging to do things any sane woman would find beneath her dignity. As Simcha Fisher puts it,

If you can summon up a panting beauty just by touching your iPod screen, then why go to the trouble of getting to know an actual woman—learning who she really is, winning her love, and dedicating your life to serving her?

Catholic men need solidarity with other Catholics or they will seek solidarity from the culture instead.

This past Sunday was August 14th – a special spiritual day. It is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the patron saint of my parish. It is also the anniversary of the death of the Venerable Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, of which I am a proud member. His cause for sainthood is ongoing, so I presume August 14th will be his feast day if he is ever beautified.

Stairway to Heaven is a weekly feature exploring how to live our Catholic faith in our culture.

The relationship between Pope John Paul II and his father was one for the ages. There is so much for us to learn from them.

When Pope John Paul II was nine years old, his mother succumbed to a weak heart and damaged kidneys, leaving the future pontiff alone with his father and 23-year old brother who was in medical school.

I’ve been reading a book entitled “John Paul II: A Life of Grace” by Renzo Allegri, which tries to tie together all of the remarkable and providential occurrences in the Holy Father’s life. In the chapter describing the family’s life after Emilia Wojtyla’s death, Allegri paints a beautiful and stirring portrait of Pope John Paul II’s father, Captain Karol Wojtyla, Sr.

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