Male Spirituality
#51
(06-07-2012, 12:14 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote:
(06-07-2012, 12:06 AM)charlesh Wrote: [Image: praying-the-rosary-sparta.jpg]

Okay, I'm going back to the Catholic Meme thread.

:LOL: :LOL: :LOL: And that would be all 20.. er, I mean 15 decades.. on your knees... arms outstretched!

AND IN LATIN!!!!!

Of course and wearing a hair shirt and after the Rosary at least 20 minutes of self whipping(i forget the word (fleggelation?)
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#52
I seem to have noticed that male spirituality focuses a lot on the Passion.
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#53
Maybe in this point in the game we'll be happy if men have even some spirituality. Outside of my circle of Catholic friends, most males I know are shallow, obsessed with entertainment and sex, and are incredibly effeminate even though they throw off a masculine front. They are really weak and insecure people. That's a broad brush, but it is born out in every day way too often to be denied. I would be happy if men in general started to practice any religious piety of some type. My sister, who is barely practicing the faith, meets these guys that are just AWOL. Same with my sister-in-law who is a traditional Catholic, and quite a catch. She was dating a guy who was just stagnant in life. No passion or vibrancy. No love of adventure. I mean, if you want adventure, have kids. That's a ride. But the "failure to launch" is epidemic.

Notable exceptions notwithstanding.
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#54
It seems to me that there must be differences in spirituality between men and women. In the Catholic worldview, the spirit and the body cannot be thought of as entirely distinct. We are composite creatures. Since "God created us male and female," this distinction of sexes must be as distinct in our spirits as in our bodies. We cannot even speak of changing to a "feminine mode" (e.g. being receptive, etc.) or "masculine mode," as that would be a kind spiritual sex-change.

At the same time, the virtues and vices would have to be common to both sexes, as they pertain to being a good or bad human, not just man or woman. For example, the virtues of courage and meekness belong to both men and women.

I'm really not sure what the difference is, though. Where do we draw the line between spirituality and psychology? or is that a false distinction?
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#55
(06-08-2012, 11:26 PM)charlesh Wrote: It seems to me that there must be differences in spirituality between men and women. In the Catholic worldview, the spirit and the body cannot be thought of as entirely distinct. We are composite creatures. Since "God created us male and female," this distinction of sexes must be as distinct in our spirits as in our bodies. We cannot even speak of changing to a "feminine mode" (e.g. being receptive, etc.) or "masculine mode," as that would be a kind spiritual sex-change.

At the same time, the virtues and vices would have to be common to both sexes, as they pertain to being a good or bad human, not just man or woman. For example, the virtues of courage and meekness belong to both men and women.

I'm really not sure what the difference is, though. Where do we draw the line between spirituality and psychology? or is that a false distinction?

I have a holistic viewpoint. I think ultimately man cannot be separated into parts. So ultimately we are one ("spirituality") [meaning each person is a whole person]. But in terms of how we learn about ourselves and the world, we separate into parts ("psychology"). I think, however, that it is better to aim toward wholeness in all things. We don't have to contradict what we learn about the parts, but they are fulfilled by becoming whole and submitted to the whole person. My opinion, for what its worth.
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#56
(06-08-2012, 11:26 PM)charlesh Wrote: I'm really not sure what the difference is, though. Where do we draw the line between spirituality and psychology? or is that a false distinction?

That's a good question. I don't know. I only know that the Apostles and early Church Fathers did not speak of “male spirituality.” It's a new term and a new concept to me. And I'm trying to figure out what the advocates mean by it. We have already seen that charisms, gifts of the Holy Spirits, virtues/vices are common to both sexes, and our goal is the same – to become the mirror image of Christ. As St. Paul said, “In Christ there is no male or female.” When we stand before God on Judgment Day, God will be looking for the Christ in all of us.

A man could become a holier husband and father, just like a woman might become a holier wife and mother. Our roles are different. But we utilize the same graces in becoming holier. I am thinking that “male spirituality” is a term used by modern men who want “sacred ground” apart from women, so they can figure out what it means to be a man of religion in today's world, so they can talk about things that affect men in everyday life. I'm not at all criticizing that in and of itself. But I don't know that you can call it “spirituality.”

And I definitely think that, due to our fallen nature, much of what is passed as “masculinity” is really machismo, that is, excessive or disordered masculinity, bravado, a show of virility, a sense of male superiority, even if they don't call it that or admit it. But these are not good manly qualities. Some men can't separate that “macho man” mentality from their desire to do the right thing, that is, become a better father, husband, man.

Okay, I'll be back with more thoughts later... maybe a new vent on the Industrial Revolution. Scriptorium, I appreciate your input on this thread. And also the link to the book “Masculine Mystique.” Thank you.
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#57
True spirituality should be Christian whose focus is on Christ.

And in Christ, properly speaking, "there is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female." (Gal. 3:28) Racial, social and gender divisions are put into the background. It is the spirit that matters, not the flesh.
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#58
Thanks Vetus. I still intend to address your earlier post, btw.
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#59
Maybe this is what Scriptorium was talking about in his post about the plight of the western male. Before the Industrial Revolution, people lived on farms or in villages. The wife and children helped on the farm, and in the villages they helped with the family business.

When the enclosure laws and boom in industry came, men were forced into cities to work at the new factories. The hours spent at work – and away from home and family -- were much longer. The cost of living went up and women and children had to work too and again apart from men. Men and women became more isolated from each other. The whole family suffered. Increasing workaholism and alcoholism played a part in robbing many men of their truly manly qualities. It affected society as a whole.

Now that women are sharing their world of workaholism and alcoholism (vices instead of virtues), men are having an identity crisis and it's easy to just blame it all on feminism, instead of looking deeper. I know there always existed tension between the sexes, and things were certainly not equal in the ancient world. As Vetus pointed out, women have difficulty submitting to male authority as a result of the Fall. But, again, in Christ we are a new creation. Christ teaches us to try to rise above our fallen nature and divisive tendencies; to subdue it with grace.
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#60
(06-08-2012, 11:26 PM)charlesh Wrote: It seems to me that there must be differences in spirituality between men and women. In the Catholic worldview, the spirit and the body cannot be thought of as entirely distinct. We are composite creatures. Since "God created us male and female," this distinction of sexes must be as distinct in our spirits as in our bodies. We cannot even speak of changing to a "feminine mode" (e.g. being receptive, etc.) or "masculine mode," as that would be a kind spiritual sex-change.

It is common in the tradition of the Church to speak of the individual soul as "passive" or "receptive" in its relationship to God. Furthermore, it is common to express this truth through the figure of the soul having a spousal, specifically bridal relationship with God. There are good reasons, however, to not cast this truth of natural and supernatural dependence on God in spousal terms nor even in masculine of feminine terms.

1) Passivity and receptivity are better expressed by our filial relationship with God than by spousal terms, because, for example, a wife a does not receive her entire life and being from her husband, nor is she maintained in existence by his will, but rather she receives from him in the intimacy of the conjugal act. Also, no one can be obliged to marriage, whereas a son, by virtue of his being a son, is obligated with duties towards his father. Since all men are obliged to honor and serve God, sonship better expresses our relationship to him. Finally, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, receives more from the Father than any other, and He calls Himself the Son, and the Father calls Him the Son also, which means that our filial bond with God is not only primary but our most august bond for it best images the inner life of the Trinity.

2) Passivity and receptivity are qualities of creation as creation, that is, qualities of any and all contingent beings. Male and female, being aspects of creation, are then then both passive and receptive, and to subsume passivity and receptivity into only the female type would then obliterate, ultimately, all distinction between them.  All creation is some combination of act and potency, and hence is receptive or contingent in a broad ontological sense. To make passivity/receptivity the hallmark alone of the female would seem to deny this truth as well as deny the many active elements of womanhood. To think of maleness or masculinity as defined by action only and femaleness and femininity as defined by passivity, moreover, leads to absurdities such as the following: because a male baby receives milk from his mother, she is being masculine to his feminine because active to his passive.

3) It is psychologically impossible for most men to think of God as seeding them or wooing them or being in a romantic relationship with them. Many great male saints, such as St. John of the Cross, had the intellectual subtlety to enter into the spousal figure and draw much spiritual fruit from it, but it would be a mistake to think that most men, being simpler and not as endowed in grace, could benefit in the same manner, for they would approach such figures in a fleshly and earthly, rather than in a mystical manner. Considering the extreme passions elicited by sexual desire and the loss of reason which it so frequently encourages- even in marital union- their misunderstanding is fairly intelligible. After all, the life of grace consists in knowing God more and willing all that is His due because of His supreme majesty and greatness. But for the common man even the conjugal act has a quality not of knowing but of passion and emotion mainly.

Now, as for whether or not there is a "male spirituality," I suppose the closest thing that could approach such a thing would be the spirituality of the priesthood- but then only because men can be priests.

Pretty much no two people agree on what "being a man" means. Usually when I hear someone say "man up and do _____" or when I read statements like "real men do _____" they are trying to exhort men to do something by appealing to a standard of manliness. But since there isn't any such shared standard, or at least no consciously held one, such appeals just come across as so many empty words.

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