Male Spirituality
#31
I don't know about two centuries, but it was about, what, a hundred and ten or so years ago that modernism started to seep into the Church? You can add a few more decades onto that to account for the rise of Marxism and the spread of anti-traditional socialist ideas in Western culture.

Either way, Christian (ie, Catholic) spirituality has been under assault for at least that amount of time. It seemed to be creeping along at just under the speed limit prior to VII (as I understand), then floored it after the Council. Went hand-in-glove with the secular advancement of male-bashing, it appears. So any references to "male spirituality" seem to be indeed just reactions against all this.
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#32
Even before two hundred years ago, when women religious were cloistered nuns only, St. Vincent de Paul started the Daughters of Charity, women religious involved in active charitable work, teaching, nursing, visible, hands on. The Daughters of Charity were the forerunners of the ACTIVE orders, which really burst on the scene in the 1800s. I know of at least one person on this site who thinks the Sisters “ruined” generations of Catholics. I wonder if many men have a deep rooted resentment of a strong female presence.

As an aside: This morning at Mass I counted the people; there were 19 women and 1 man. This is typical of daily Mass here. If anyone says that men stay away from daily Mass because of all the women, I will laugh. No, I am sure Alice von Hildebrand was right; that women, by nature and social training, are simply more willing to submit and serve.

Bishops, priests, deacons, religious, are called to serve and obey --things we assign to women. Jesus girded his waist with a towel and washed the feet of his apostles at the Last Supper. He was the servant and showed his apostles that their vocation was to serve. Jesus says that in his kingdom the first will be last, the greatest will be least. Perhaps men find this difficult.
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#33
But I'm getting off track...

(06-04-2012, 09:51 PM)Richard C Wrote: 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.

I didn't even think of Theology of the Body. I've never read it and I'm afraid I just know I will never read it. Theology isn't my strong point either.
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#34
Masculine spirituality is something positive – i.o.w., not just ‘reactionary’. It’s found in spiritual states of coldness, clarity, calm, distance, and dispassion. It’s paramount to remember that when we speak of masculine and feminine as spiritual principles, these are analogical rather than perfectly literal terms. And it should go without saying that masculine spirituality is just half the story, but it’s a half that few people talk about anymore, because we lack it and are frightened by it, even see it as somehow un-Christian.
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#35
(06-05-2012, 01:11 PM)Graham Wrote: Masculine spirituality is something positive – i.o.w., not just ‘reactionary’. It’s found in spiritual states of coldness, clarity, calm, distance, and dispassion. It’s paramount to remember that when we speak of masculine and feminine as spiritual principles, these are analogical rather than perfectly literal terms. And it should go without saying that masculine spirituality is just half the story, but it’s a half that few people talk about anymore, because we lack it and are frightened by it, even see it as somehow un-Christian.

Okay. So, keeping in mind that we're speaking analogically and not literally, what does "male spirituality" mean for Catholic men and how is it different from the spirituality of men of other religions, or no religion. I mean, men are natural leaders. Pagan men too. If men, naturally speaking, are kind of turned off by the idea of "serving" - how much comfort can they feel in a religion that is basically all about serving the other, and humility and obedience.
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#36
I wouldn't judge from daily Mass, but more from Sunday Mass. Are there men there? Are there men with their families? I can go to daily Mass twice a week, but many men can't go at all because of work. And many women for that matter. Most of the regular attendees of daily Mass are people who are retired, housewives, or unemployed.

(06-05-2012, 01:03 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote:
(06-04-2012, 09:51 PM)Richard C Wrote: 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.

I didn't even think of Theology of the Body. I've never read it and I'm afraid I just know I will never read it. Theology isn't my strong point either.

The main premise of the Theology of the Body is that sexuality is hardwired into the plan of salvation. God from the beginning created us male and female. When Adam was created, he was simply called "man" ("human"). He was clearly incomplete in that state, which JPII calls solitude, which is essentially how every human finds themselves in themselves. Adam looked around and saw no creature like himself. But when the woman was created he was astounded that there was another creature like him: "This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh [that is, a creature similar to me]; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man [the Hebrew here has a play on word -- ish and isha]. Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. [that is, the man leaves his parents, from which he received his flesh, to be with a woman, by which he will created a new single flesh from them two]." (Gn 2:23-24). JPII is dense, but there is a lot of deep contemplation in it. I admit it was very hard for me to read, but also it is completely orthodox. Most people who talk about ToB have never attempted to read the text. JPII only proposed it as a development of doctrine, and not as something novel to be accepted blindly.
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#37
(06-05-2012, 01:37 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: Okay. So, keeping in mind that we're speaking analogically and not literally, what does "male spirituality" mean for Catholic men and how is it different from the spirituality of men of other religions, or no religion. I mean, men are natural leaders. Pagan men too. If men, naturally speaking, are kind of turned off by the idea of "serving" - how much comfort can they feel in a religion that is basically all about serving the other, and humility and obedience.

Our Lord taught us that leadership was a form of service, so a Catholic "male spirituality" is going to channel men's natural leadership in that direction.
Quote:Luke 22: [25] And he said to them: The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that have power over them, are called beneficent. [26] But you not so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serveth. [27] For which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? Is it not he that sitteth at table? But I am in the midst of you, as he that serveth:

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#38
Absolutely, Jayne. Those who lead in Christianity, serve the most. The pope is called “the servant of the servants of God.” That scripture quote contains probably the biggest difference between the so-called “male spirituality” of Christians and non-Christians. “The Kings of the Gentiles lord it over them.” Ours is not a matter of lording, but leading well.

I think some are redefining “manhood” as leading without serving. Those like Voris who use examples of Crusaders as the ideal Catholic man. It seems like they're on a power trip. I am impressed by men who strive to become better Catholic husbands and fathers, better priests, better laymen. I am confused by those who seem threatened by the presence of women and things “feminine”. Read the following, written by a Protestant in 1992:

Keith Drury Wrote:Most churches cheat men spiritually. Modern evangelical religion has been pretty well feminized for more than a hundred years, at least since the American revival awakening period. Evangelical religion is nice and tender, lifting up a kinder gentler sort of a Christian image for men... as if the idea is a kind of Christianized Allen Alda. Men are supposed to accept this feminized brand of religion as new and improved religious expression.

The trouble is, feminized religious experience won't fully meet the needs of men. A steady diet leaves a hole in a man's religious psyche which gnaws at his insides. Demons fill that hole. The man senses something is missing, but he can't quite put his finger on it. Feminized religion won't meet all his needs -- especially his deepest needs.

Face it, we were raised on the "Sunday School Jesus," a kinder, gentler version of the real thing. We met a Jesus who a nice boy... gentle, meek, mild, quiet, vanilla. He was polite, kind, closed the doors after himself, obeyed his mom, always took a bath. He turned the other cheek, smiled sweetly, shared his crayons, talked softly but never carried a big stick. This cozy Jesus never caught a butterfly -- he just watched them, according to the pictures we were shown. He helped his mother, cleaned up his room, never wiggled in church, said nice things to people, and evil men in a mob said "Crucify Him!" (Go ahead, check the scenes on your Sunday School pictures -- men did it!)

Okay, what happened a hundred years ago that “feminized” evangelical Protestantism? I'm confused. He links it to the Great Awakening, but that gave us Jonathan Edwards and “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” --- anything but gentle, meek, mild, quiet and vanilla! Or maybe he's referring to the Pentecostal movement, which is very emotional. Was there ever a time when Christianity appealed to the masculine –or should I say, our 20th century American ideal of what is supposed to make a man manly? We have always described the Church metaphorically as a “Holy Mother Church.” She nurtures, she counsels, she corrects and admonishes. Is a Puritanical and Calvinistic view of religion more masculine? Jansenism? Islam? Buddhism?

???
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#39
(06-05-2012, 01:37 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: Okay. So, keeping in mind that we're speaking analogically and not literally, what does "male spirituality" mean for Catholic men and how is it different from the spirituality of men of other religions, or no religion. I mean, men are natural leaders. Pagan men too. If men, naturally speaking, are kind of turned off by the idea of "serving" - how much comfort can they feel in a religion that is basically all about serving the other, and humility and obedience.

When I read this, I couldn't help but think of how humility and obedience are virtues not just in the Catholic religion but in the concept of Bushido, the ethical code strictly adhered to by the Japanese Samurai warrior caste. I couldn't help but notice similarities to the Medieval European concept of chivalry, where men of our warrior caste of knight were also expected to be not just brave, but humble, obedient to the Church and to one's local lord, and ready to serve the weak and needy. Both codes upheld moral virtue and discouraged vices and malice. At no time and in no way were the notions of humility, service, and obedience considered unmanly or somehow feminine ideas.

Perhaps some of the reason that modern men find those virtues to be off-putting is because modern civilization is so far removed from ancient ideals?
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#40
(06-06-2012, 12:54 AM)Varokhâr Wrote:
(06-05-2012, 01:37 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: Okay. So, keeping in mind that we're speaking analogically and not literally, what does "male spirituality" mean for Catholic men and how is it different from the spirituality of men of other religions, or no religion. I mean, men are natural leaders. Pagan men too. If men, naturally speaking, are kind of turned off by the idea of "serving" - how much comfort can they feel in a religion that is basically all about serving the other, and humility and obedience.

When I read this, I couldn't help but think of how humility and obedience are virtues not just in the Catholic religion but in the concept of Bushido, the ethical code strictly adhered to by the Japanese Samurai warrior caste. I couldn't help but notice similarities to the Medieval European concept of chivalry, where men of our warrior caste of knight were also expected to be not just brave, but humble, obedient to the Church and to one's local lord, and ready to serve the weak and needy. Both codes upheld moral virtue and discouraged vices and malice. At no time and in no way were the notions of humility, service, and obedience considered unmanly or somehow feminine ideas.

Perhaps some of the reason that modern men find those virtues to be off-putting is because modern civilization is so far removed from ancient ideals?

And our ideas of what is "manly" or masculine has changed, no doubt.
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