Monday, May 25, 2009

VIRTUE: Path to True Manliness, Says Priest

Great article on masculinity by a Dominican priest, Fr. Philip Neri Powell, here.  I've quoted an excerpt below:

It is no accident that P.C. attitudes and behaviors favor aggressive feminist ideals, ideals that are almost always entirely emotive in nature and arbitrarily defined and enforced. The movie "Fight Club" was a run-away hit among college men for a reason: it spoke directly to those impulses and inclinations that feminist P.C. culture wants to eliminate. 

Most of this applies to the Church as well. Why are male religious orders that demand strict discipline, theologial conformity, and allegiance to the community thriving? Orders that promote laxity, theological creativity, and individuality are dying. Yes, the impulse to conformity can be dangerous if not properly tempered by a healthy sense of self, but a healthy sense of self quickly devolves into indulgent narcissism if it is not reined in by a clearly articulated and vigorously enforced duty to the whole. The idea is to grow as an individual within the identity of the group. The moment the individual is dissolved into the group or the group becomes a loosely associated collection of individuals, the dangers become more and more apparent and abuse is more and more likely.

The "Fight Club" phenomenon is a brilliant case-in-point.  I would guess that one could find that particular DVD in over 50% of the men's dorm rooms at Notre Dame when I was there (and that's a conservative estimate).  To talk about "Fight Club" was something of a touchstone or conversation starter among guys, and mutual possession of the DVD was the mark of an unknown but immediately welcomed brotherhood.  Why, you ask?  Because the story embodies masculine disillusionment with an effeminate world.  Effeminacy lacks the redemptive suffering and sacrifice which is, according to Christ and the Cross, the fullness of manhood.  This is also why effeminacy as such is not even feminine, for true femininity by definition includes the pangs of birth - either the natural, physical birth of conventional mothers, or the supernatural, spiritual birth of conventual mothers (with whom I necessarily include those women who, for reasons known only to Divine Providence, have been prevented from having children and are called to offer this malady as a holy sacrifice to God).

Of course, no one is saying anything new here:

To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."  And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." (Gen 3:16-19)

Let us strive to worthily toil on earth, that we may reap the fruits in heaven with Our Lord, Our Blessed Mother, and all the angels and saints.

Quis ut Deus!

No comments:

Post a Comment