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Monday, 14 January 2013

Blessed Karl, pray for us...

“The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church - read on - and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is - in her own mere nature - lease lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence. As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labours to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs.” The Four Loves

A man must assume headship. He must be the authority over his children. We need such leaders more than ever in these days of chaos.

I have written a lot on the male person on this blog.

I grew up with three brothers and a dad.

I have a son.

I was a bit of a tom-boy.

But, I am continually praying for my single, female friends to find real men.

Less and less am I convinced this will happen.

Too many men have abdicated their roles as leaders in society, in the Church, in their families.

They think that being pals with the kids is being a dad.

They think that women can protect themselves.

They think that they do not have to take responsibility for the lives of family members

Blessed Karl of Austria is one of the patrons of this blog. He gave his life for his country.

He was a man. He will be canonized for his holiness, sacrifice and manliness.

His example is one of Christ on the Cross.

He faced the evils of socialism and apostasy in his country. Some men turn a blind eye to such.

They think that they can ignore apostasy, deceit and pride in their friends.

Some even ignore sin in their friends and families.

C.S. Lewis had a few things to say on the character of men, friendship and love. The first I chose is above. Blessed Karl taught by example, but a few words seem apropos.

"Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light." 
Mere Christianity

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” The Four Loves

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” The Abolition of Man

Countries which have a long history of matriarchy have more problems with real masculinity than patriarchies. This might surprise some readers. Matriarchies insist on the women taking control of the household entirely. Matriarchies keep the boys at home too long, turning them into "momma boys". Matriarchies take the power away from men. We in the West find such paradigms funny, but these are deadly for raising boys.

Men must lead not only by example, but becoming strong Catholic men, obedient to Holy Church, but obvious in the prayer life of the family. The kids should see dad praying the rosary, going to Holy Communion, getting to Adoration and regular Confession. Otherwise, words are useless. A weak and pliable dad is a bad example. He will be accountable to God for his over-lenience or misplaced tolerance.

This leads to the lack of discipline of the children and sometimes, the lack of protection for the women. Men need to lead by example and in humility, but not weakness.

To lead is to be able to suffer and to love without counting the cost.  Women friends, do not settle for less....