While I was on the internet this afternoon, looking for good things to pin on this blog’s Catholic boards, I found something interesting. I discovered dozens of sites with hundreds of posts dedicated to affirming, aiding, and assisting Catholic men. Catholic men—are there any left? In our times, there has been a massive erosion of the Catholic Faith, and nowhere is the damage more stark and evident than with Catholic men. The statistics are quite depressing. Pondering on the spiritual significance of those numbers reveals a devastating tragedy. Thankfully, many websites and organizations are now devoted to combating the crisis of the Church’s missing men. Through a return to recognition of the masculinity of the Christian life, the Church may once again reach men with the call of Christ.
What is masculinity? What is it that men are by nature, and called to be by God? This is a topic that I am learning about, and am certainly no expert in. But I do know that men are called to a special kind of strength—physical, obviously, but moral and spiritual as well. They are to use their strength for defending and protecting the innocent, enduring struggles, and sacrificing themselves for the good of others. This is the heroism that parents of days past held up to their boys as principles for growing into a man. “Strength in constant service” is how I think of men’s calling.
This is the masculinity of God’s Son. This is the masculinity of the Faith. This is the masculinity of the Catholic priesthood. Strong, tough, and devoted to God’s service, Our Church and our religion possess the qualities of true masculinity. However, they are not emphasized. How do we reverse this in our homes? How can we help our Catholic husbands, sons, and brothers to persevere? We need to highlight the complete commitment, the strength and resolve, and the total sacrifice that is required of the Christian.
The next few posts will be explorations into this pivotal topic of Catholic manhood: I’ll discuss such things as the importance of recognizing the masculinity of Christ, the muscle and stoutness of the Holy Faith, and the reality that the Christian life is nothing less than a heroic sacrifice. We want to help build up the culture through the Domestic Church, and we can possibly do nothing more important in our Domestic Churches than to form, encourage, and strengthen our boys and men. Spiritually, men have distinct and essential roles in our parish churches and the Universal Church. Let’s join the growing movement to encourage and support the masculine vocations and virtues, one home at a time.
To be continued…