In my last post, I talked of the importance of culture and religion in developing men, the modern West as to a system encouraging the development of Peter Pans, and the Islamic system as to a system that prompts the development of men into Predators. Now, however, I would like to focus on the positive male characteristic: the Protector. As Supertradmum has noted often, the Protector is rare in our world today. There are very few of this type of men left, and it is a duty for all men, I feel, to grow by the grace of God into a Protector and bring good to the world. I had the wonderful opportunity in my life of knowing a Protector, and it is from this experience that I would like to flesh out an image of this type of man, as a goal to work toward, as it is for me, or as a filter to discern other men by.
The man that I knew and loved is my great-uncle, now quite elderly. I have not had many years with him, but I still have gotten quite the impression of him, and when I was a child my mother would tell me stories about him. He grew up in a good, Christian home, of Norwegian descent and in a small town. Born of two very devout Christians, he was raised with the values of hard work, duty, virtue, honor, and integrity. He lived them out throughout his life, marrying and having three children, and raising them to love God and neighbor. All three model him to this day, and are good people with their own children, and grandchildren. He is the type of man who always worked hard and reaped the benefit of this work by always having more than enough money for a comfortable life. He is the type of man who would walk up to a family member he hadn’t seen in many years, and say to him, “I expect great things of you,” as he did for me when I was young. He is the type of man who has shepherded and been the strength of his wife for twelve and going on thirteen years, through the throes of Alzheimers, visiting her every day to feed her, pray with her, and be with her. He is the type of man who spontaneously and generously gives money to family and friends for a meal or for ice cream, as he did with his young nieces and nephews, and would help anyone in need at any time. He is to this day a pillar and a foundation of his family, a patriarch, and an intercessor, living to see his great-grandchildren growing strong in Christ and supporting generations of people under him like rings on such a great family tree. This is my dream, and this is the type of life that is well-lived as a man. He isn’t perfect, but he models the devout Christian life of a Protector, filled with virtue and duty. He is an inspiration to me, and hopefully he is to you as well, as we all find our way to more fully fit, as a key in a lock, into that place in Christ’s Sacred Heart carved out for us from eternity. JonathanCatholic