The Dignity of Men – The Catholic Gentleman
My friend Sam Guzman over at the Catholic Gentleman is a keen observer of all things men and Catholic. Here is a recent article that is compelling and must reading for Catholic men.
God made men. Men are good. Men are very good.
Men, it’s good that you want to lead and protect. It’s good that you have a streak of assertiveness that some would label aggression. It’s good that you are bold and daring. It’s good that you want adventure and take risks, and that you’re even sometimes a bit reckless. And that boisterous energy and stubbornness that got you into trouble as a kid? It’s a good thing that can be harnessed for greatness.
To be a man does not make you stupid, or clumsy, or inept. Nor does it make you a clueless moron or bumbling fool, in constant need of rescuing by wise and skillful women.
Men, in God’s order you are the head of your home. You have a unique authority entrusted to you by Christ to guide and shepherd your family. That’s not something to be embarrassed about or to apologize for.
Men have done amazing things in history. We have built great cathedrals. We have explored vast and trackless wildernesses. We’ve sailed the high seas. We’ve explored Antarctica. We’ve rescued damsels in distress, fought glorious battles, evangelized nations, created great works of art, literature, and music. We’ve even worked hard day in and day out to love our wives and raise a family for the glory of God.
Jesus was a man, and he ordained men as his priests and successors. God is always referred to as Father. Masculinity—it is a beautiful thing.
Today, I celebrate the dignity and genius of men. If you’re a man, your masculinity is a gift from God. Embrace it.
Why am I writing this? Am I just on some sort of masculine ego trip?
Because of this article. While there are few things I disagree with in it, I do agree with the overall argument that men are under attack.
As Catholics, we’ve heard a lot about the dignity and worth of women, about their unique beauty and giftedness. This emphasis of the Church on women is wise and good. As radical feminism sweeps through the culture, transforming it in ways rarely seen in the history of civilization, women need an alternative affirmation. They need to be reminded of their inherent beauty and God given vocation, and that they don’t have to be like men to have value.
But in all this quite necessary talk about women, we’ve heard nothing about the goodness of men. I have yet to read an encyclical on men. I have yet to hear a bishop give a discourse or write a pastoral letter on the grave crisis facing modern men. I have yet to read a popular Catholic book on the theology and vocation of manhood (I hope to change that). Why is this?
Perhaps it’s because those who lead the Church have heard the accusation that Catholicism is patriarchal and misogynist so loud and long that they have believed it and become embarrassed by masculinity. Well, guess what, the hierarchy of the Church is patriarchal—but it is not misogynist. There is a great difference. Patriarchy is nothing to be ashamed of, nor should it be an insult.
While I certainly can’t speak to individual prelates, it’s almost as if the Church has kowtowed to the cultural disdain for men and has largely abandoned us. Priests and bishops, please—we need your help.
The last 50 years have been disastrous for men culturally.