Try this the next time you’re hanging around with some guys … just ask them two questions:
- What does it mean to be a virtuous man?
- Is it even possible?
I bet that’ll be an interesting social experiment in and of itself …
The Art of Manly Virtue
In a great article posted today over at Catholic Exchange, Mickey Addison explores what it means to be a man in our post-Christian, post-post modern, too-hip-to-be-you uber-snarky 21st century western culture.
Here are some choice quotes:
… men are more often presented as hapless perpetual adolescents or dimwitted loons who stumble their way through life haphazardly and without virtue …
… here’s my offering of manly virtue: work, honesty, respect, self-sacrifice, courage, honor, and piety.
Like all things in the lives of Christians, our model for manly virtue is Christ.
Jesus Christ worked hard all of His life and lived simply. He honored His Mother, He was compassionate to the poor and less fortunate, and He was courageous. On more than one occasion He stepped physically between unjust men and persecuted women. He obeyed the Law, but didn’t shrink from challenging authorities who had become so enamored with the Law itself they forgot its purpose.
Our Lord is the original action hero.
… real men still seek conquest and battle, they just seek it in the service of Our Lord and not in service to themselves.
It wasn’t long ago that the assault on masculinity in the West began … it’s time for real men to take their places in the line and turn back the tide.
While some of our buddies may think the very idea of virtue is pretty funny, and the Desperate Housewives / Dr. Phil crowd may think that men are weak, tempestuous morons to be manipulated and trashed at will, the plain truth is that all men are called to virtue.
Virtue is not some touchy-feely “can’t we all just get along” ideal, it’s the hard-nosed, foundational stuff missing in so many dysfunctional / broken families, churches, workplaces … for that matter, in so many broken parts of our often-decaying society.
Time to Step Up
So let’s take a hard look at the real men that have gone before us, starting of course with our Lord Jesus Christ, and continuing on to St. Joseph and the legion of saintly, manly men who have fought the good fight in days gone by.
But let’s do more than look … let’s step up our game and become real men.