Catholic Masculinity & the Domestic Church

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. Catholic Masculinity & the Domestic ChurchStrong, 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…

6 thoughts on “Catholic Masculinity & the Domestic Church

  1. Great posting! The neutering and then elimination of the male figure in our culture and religious practices is another flanking maneuver in the war against God. As Jesus was submitted to the Father and the man to Jesus and then the woman to the man, this natural and theological hierarchy was disrupted by the rebellion against the authority structure established by God. Of course, just by coincidence, modernism was more than ready to jump into the breach and establish its own structure to replace the fallen one.
    This is why all television programs depict men as inept and irrelevant and why we have altar girls.

    • Thank you for your comment! I, too am appalled by the way the media attacks men with their depictions of them. I believe that when females serve at the altar, this obscures the integral connection of that role to the priesthood. The loss of an understanding of masculinity results in a loss of a proper understanding of Fatherhood. Connecting the dots more and more, I am understanding that all of society’s problems are a crisis of Fatherhood. I think this might be part of what you wrote about the hierarchy. Once again, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  2. I very much look forward to these future posts. You have certainly whetted my appetite. I have seen the error of altar girls for about 20 years now. I know that many see that as a small fish to worry about but I consider it a bellwether or maybe a huge presenting symptom of a huge underlying problem in the Church.

    • Isn’t it amazing how the small issues are really the big ones? Like symptoms of a disease, small indicators add up to a distressing big picture. Young women have an essential role in the Church, but it is not the same role that the young men have. In the future I will be writing more about this. I hope you will enjoy the future posts!

  3. Regarding masculinity and femininity and the notion of a feminized Church: it occurs to me that we hear a lot about mercy nowadays but not much about justice. Related? Many see mercy and justice as opposites. I know they cannot be as God is both. But is it accidental that a feminized Church is pitting the one virtue against the other?

    • I have read that justice is part of mercy. Unfortunately I can’t recall the source of that off the top of my head, I would so like to say it was from Dr. Kreeft or St. Thomas Aquinas, and then sound really smart. True mercy is a very “masculine” thing, bestowed on someone indebted and undeserving by the one who is owed and often in some sort of a superior position. What modern people think of as mercy is ignoring and not acknowledging the debts that must be paid. So it is not that a virtue is being pitted against another virtue, it is a vice (masquerading as a virtue) that is pitted against a virtue.

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