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    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Reclaiming manhood. A rare topic on rare traits, even for Catholics

    The king-leader has a vision of what a group of people ought to do, and makes a plan for them. The good king-leader loves the people, and guides and inspires them. There's also the false king-leader-such as King Herod.

    The warrior is a noble soldier who fights for something greater than himself. A bloodthirsty soldier is a false warrior.

    The lover figure embodies the different types of love: erotic desire, friendship, and at the highest level, agape - the love of the others for their own sake. The seducer, the exploiter is a counterfeit lover.

    The wise counselor listens and guides, and is there to help when people are feeling helpless. There's also the evil magician and the politician who beguiles with language to lead you down a negative path.

    In every walk of life, in war and in peace, men are called by God to be heroes. They want to be activated, to use their natural and supernatural gifts. What is a hero? A man who transcends his own ego, his own fears, and his own selfishness, and makes a sacrifice of himself as a gift to those he's called to protect.

    When you talk about men taking charge and protecting the women and children, some people say, "We tried that!" People are afraid of masculinity because they're afraid of a return to an authoritarian, rigid, society that oppresses women - which was never part of authentic masculinity. To avoid upsetting anyone, many men settle for being nice guys, rather than leaders. But "nice" doesn't cut it.

    To fulfill our responsibility to spread the Gospel and protect family and community, we use what God gives us - starting with the different male and female natures. In The Original Unity of Man and Woman (part of the "Theology of the Body"), Pope John Paul II mentions that the unity of man and woman is a natural "archetype."

    We have to let God develop the archetypes of our nature, which all men have, before we can fulfill our supernatural destiny, which is entrusted to us as Christians. As Pope John Paul II reminds us, by baptism and confirmation, every lay person, even if he doesn't know it, is a priest, a prophet, and a king.

    A priest is called by God to pray for his people and for enemies and sinners, to offer his painful sacrifices for the people, and to stand in the gap between them and God. A priest of the Church does this, and so does the father of a family, drawing on the archetypes of the wise counselor and lover.

    The prophet receives the word of God, deeply accepts it, and communicates it in word and deed, like Jeremiah. He has the energy of the warrior and the love for the people of the lover. He lives God's message in the workplace, in the family, in the church, and in society as an apostle - despite threats, seduction, laughter, or being ignored. We are all called to be prophets, and there can be no wimpy prophets. and


    Blogger TheDen said...

    Hey Joseph,

    I really like what you have to say.

    Actually, here in Detroit, there's a Catholic Men's Conference that addresses these issues.

    There's Audio there that you can listen to.


    February 20, 2006  
    Blogger Joseph said...

    Maybe it's only me that's not hearing about manly training.

    Wouldn't it be great if they were getting to the high school kids with this stuff? Sounds like this is more for engaged men or married men.

    Now that's something I really bet is not happening. I'd love to be proved wrong here. Probably the teachers might think they couldn't relate to the kids on that level.

    February 20, 2006  
    Blogger TheDen said...

    I think it's for singles. When it started, I was still single and a lot of my friends went to it. (I was at a retreat and couldn't go.) I would recommend downloading some of the audio as it would be pretty good to hear. Fr. John Riccardo is a good friend of mine. He did my wedding and my daughter's Baptism. Very holy man and powerful speaker. Wouldn't be too surprised if he's a Cardinal one day.

    You're right though, high school kids need better Catechesis in general.

    Hey, I had to defend you over on my blog the other day. This Protestant guy really took offense to what you wrote. I hope I didn't misrepresent you.

    Talk to you soon.


    February 20, 2006  

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