Male Spirituality
#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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Messages In This Thread
Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 01:11 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Crusader_Philly - 06-04-2012, 03:07 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by TraditionalistThomas - 06-04-2012, 03:12 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by CollegeCatholic - 06-04-2012, 03:30 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Sondaar - 06-04-2012, 06:26 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Cetil - 06-04-2012, 08:41 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 10:22 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 10:28 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 10:45 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-04-2012, 01:31 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 02:04 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-04-2012, 02:28 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Vetus Ordo - 06-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 02:40 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 02:43 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Richard C - 06-04-2012, 02:50 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-04-2012, 02:52 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 03:16 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 03:18 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by rbjmartin - 06-04-2012, 04:12 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-04-2012, 04:18 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-04-2012, 05:18 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Anastasia - 06-04-2012, 06:21 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by rbjmartin - 06-04-2012, 06:31 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Anastasia - 06-04-2012, 06:40 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Richard C - 06-04-2012, 09:51 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by INPEFESS - 06-04-2012, 10:53 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-05-2012, 09:43 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Lycorth - 06-05-2012, 10:07 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-05-2012, 12:38 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-05-2012, 01:03 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Graham - 06-05-2012, 01:11 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-05-2012, 01:37 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-05-2012, 02:38 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by JayneK - 06-05-2012, 07:28 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-06-2012, 12:35 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Lycorth - 06-06-2012, 12:54 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-06-2012, 12:58 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by wallflower - 06-06-2012, 01:22 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-06-2012, 09:03 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Aegis - 06-06-2012, 04:58 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Vetus Ordo - 06-06-2012, 06:12 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-06-2012, 09:35 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Aegis - 06-06-2012, 10:27 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-06-2012, 11:46 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by charlesh - 06-07-2012, 12:06 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-07-2012, 12:14 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by The Dying Flutchman - 06-07-2012, 12:21 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by The Dying Flutchman - 06-07-2012, 12:23 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by The Dying Flutchman - 06-07-2012, 12:24 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-07-2012, 09:00 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by charlesh - 06-08-2012, 11:26 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 06-09-2012, 10:58 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-09-2012, 11:25 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Vetus Ordo - 06-09-2012, 11:43 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-09-2012, 11:50 AM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 06-09-2012, 01:33 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Aegis - 06-10-2012, 12:04 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Allan - 06-10-2012, 12:24 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 08-07-2012, 04:30 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by SCG - 08-07-2012, 04:41 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Scriptorium - 08-07-2012, 05:39 PM
Re: Male Spirituality - by Cesar_Augustus - 08-11-2012, 09:08 PM



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