Male Spirituality
#21
(06-04-2012, 01:31 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: 2. Is it possible for women to have a masculine spirituality - and vice versa?

Yes. But all I see truly in these types of spirituality is an predominant appeal.

Not sure what you mean by that.

It may be noteworthy to recall that St. Teresa of Avila often exhorted her nuns to be strong like men.

From the Way of Perfection, ch. 20:
Quote:Strive like strong men until you die in the attempt, for you are here for nothing else than to strive.
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#22
Notice it said strong men. Wimpy men need the advice too!  :)
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#23
Strive like strong men until you die in the attempt, for you are here for nothing else than to strive.

We should imitate the physical - natural strength of men in spiritual matters, to achieve spiritual perfection. To use a metaphor, we should become "spiritual muscle men." It's like when St. Paul likens the Christian life to running a race. It's masculine in its language and metaphor, but the message is intended for everyone.
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#24
I think it's possible that male/female spirituality is similar to differences in the spiritual lives of people with different temperaments. Some natural virtues come easier to us, and because of that, we confuse them with supernatural virtues. For instance, I've gt s strong choleric steak and this causes me to admire people who show courage and bravery. However, it can be a step for me to realize that this isn't the same as the virtue of Fortitude, and that someone whom I considered timid might actually have more of that supernatural virtue than someone I'd consider brave.
I think it works the same way with male /female differences and that there isn't really a "male" spirituality or a "female" spirituality, there are simply some natural virtues which one sex will tend to find easier than the other.
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#25
(06-04-2012, 06:21 PM)Anastasia Wrote: For instance, I've gt s strong choleric steak...

Mmmm....choleric steak. Sounds delicious.  :P
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#26
Stupid autocorrect. It never believes me when I try and type something!
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#27
(06-04-2012, 06:21 PM)Anastasia Wrote: I think it's possible that male/female spirituality is similar to differences in the spiritual lives of people with different temperaments. Some natural virtues come easier to us, and because of that, we confuse them with supernatural virtues. For instance, I've gt s strong choleric steak and this causes me to admire people who show courage and bravery. However, it can be a step for me to realize that this isn't the same as the virtue of Fortitude, and that someone whom I considered timid might actually have more of that supernatural virtue than someone I'd consider brave.
I think it works the same way with male /female differences and that there isn't really a "male" spirituality or a "female" spirituality, there are simply some natural virtues which one sex will tend to find easier than the other.

I'm not quite sure what you mean about the virtue of fortitude. St. Thomas, following Aristotle, says that this virtue is about facing death in battle.
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#28
(06-04-2012, 03:18 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote:
(06-04-2012, 02:50 PM)Richard C Wrote: I've never thought about this before, so I'm not sure what I think yet, but I read a really interesting article by Alice Von Hildebrand once where she said that women have an easier path to God because by nature and social training they are more ready to submit and serve than men, and it rang true to me (although democracy and feminism have largely changed this, I think).

Yes, and I agree with her. She says "by nature." I don't have a problem with nature. I wonder how bound up it is with the spirit.. Maybe I see spirit as something different from the soul. That could be another problem. I'll have to get out the Catechism.

Well a person is both body and soul, but do souls have sex characteristics like bodies do? I'd also have to check my catechism. Isn't that sort of what Bl JPII's Theology of the Body is about: that being male or female is part of God's plan for our salvation? I admit, theology isn't my strong point.
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#29
(06-04-2012, 03:44 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: On another level, I'm not sure what a "male spirituality" would actually look like, but perhaps it is a reaction against the increasing feminization of Christianity over the past two centuries or so.

Yes, this is the impression I get when I hear the term "male spirituality." My first impression is that it is mostly reactive in nature and doesn't really exist as a identifiable reality outside of its reaction to the increasing feminization of Christianity.

ETA: I, too, have found myself searching for a sort of 'male spirituality' for this very reason. A great many spiritual books and meditations that I have found seem excessively emotive and gushing to me. Perhaps I will understand this approach one day, but for now I find inspiration in a more contemplative spirituality that avoids lavish praise and dripping sentimentality and focuses more on contemplation, resignation, humility, and compunction of heart. I wouldn't necessarily call it a 'male spirituality,' but I do think that my focus on it is primarily reactive.
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#30
(06-04-2012, 03:44 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: On another level, I'm not sure what a "male spirituality" would actually look like, but perhaps it is a reaction against the increasing feminization of Christianity over the past two centuries or so.

I don't want to open another can of worms, but what happened two centuries ago to launch the feminization of the church? Interesting, because about two hundred years ago is the beginning of what we call the Marian Age or the Age of Mary. Marian devotion, Marian apparitions ( the Miraculous Medal was the first of the new wave of apparitions), also many new religious orders of Sisters were born. Elizabeth Ann Seton established parochial school system in the US about this same time. May Crownings and May Altars, St. Cecilia Rosary Altar and Legion of Mary, all followed. St. Therese "Little Way" was big. Is this what you mean?

I think men's reaction to pull away from anything feminine is neither spiritual nor inborn. I think it's defnitely cultural.  Be that as it may, if men need a space that is wholly male then I understand and say go for it. But don't call it "spirituality." (although I'm not saying you did, crusading philologist)
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