Tap In To Masculine Power

Posted By at Sunday, August 17, 2014

It’s a pretty common view that there is a tremendous underutilization of one of our society’s most powerful resources:  men.  How often do we hear about men being passive or absent or lazy or disinterested?  I have another question:  Isn’t this exactly what the feminist movement wants?  Of course the knee-jerk reply to that is that all the feminists want is equality.  That may have been the case at the onset, but that has been achieved, much to the detriment of our society to the extent it involves removing mothers from the home who have children to raise and care for.  Regardless, it has been achieved.  Women can and do occupy any and every position men do in our society.  So, why haven’t the feminists claimed victory and closed up shop and gone down to the neighborhood bar to have a beer and celebrate like men would?  Because they need to perpetuate themselves much like labor unions who had a place at one time in the business sector but are no longer necessary.

I don’t think you’re going to hear much from feminists about men not carrying their weight.  The feminists have men right where they want them:  being politically correct and silent about women pretty much doing anything they want even if it’s harmful to family and children.  Women who are trying to march to their orders are the ones who are complaining.  Many of these are good Catholic women doing whatever everyone else is doing not discouraged by their Priests or Church communities yet trying to figure out why their lives aren’t so hunky-dory as the stealthily led feminist organizations promised them they would be.  These are the ones who wish the men in their lives, mainly their husbands, are not more engaged and aggressive in their pursuits.

While there is a whole industry of social scientists (who are very well paid to come up with their theories) who are trying to research these phenomena, I would like to state the obvious as to why these men behave in such a passive manner:  Because they can.  I have observed that men generally will rise to the level that is required and no higher.  If we consider when may have been more valiant or virtuous, we may start to wonder what was the difference between the men at that time and men now.  Did they have a different bone structure or a better diet or more advanced mental capabilities?  Let’s take the men of World War II or any significant military event.  How did these men act with such courage?  They were required to.  How about men of the great depression?  They were required to.  How about men during the westward expansion?  They had to. 

Due to the feminist agenda, women can do any job a man can do.  So men aren’t required to do any more than they do.  They can play games and watch sports and play fantasy sports because their wives take care of the household chores and pay the bills as well.  So if any women are wondering why their husbands aren’t more in tune with things or more passionate about anything but football, you may have bought the feminist program and didn’t realize it. 

As Fr. Paul Marx noted if we look at all of the great discoveries and inventions throughout history, we will find that men have made them.  (I often add my two cents that women then put shrubs around them.)  Yet only women have the ability to bring forth the greatest of all creation, another human being.  But feminists have indoctrinated women to claim that this is abusive and they shouldn’t be used as “brood mares."  So they go out and satisfy a lower calling of working for a paycheck instead, all the while believing they are doing good by serving others “using their God-given abilities.”  As GK Chesterton observed they claimed “I will not be dictated to” then went off to become stenographers.  The problem is once they reach their 40s and 50s they see that the greatest thing they could have done with their lives has passed them by, and they are no longer interested in this emotionally dramatized career they now have. 

I have also observed that when men are required to carry the load in a family while their wives stay home and bear and care for children, they do.  A young lady wrote in last week in reaction to our last article saying that she is going to college to have a career not so much because of the possibility of abandonment but  “just in case” the man she eventually marries becomes sick or dies.  Apparently she wasn’t taught that there is inexpensive insurance for both of those possibilities that responsible young families should have (instead of trips to Disneyworld).  Her question shows how effective the feminist movement has been at indoctrination.  The undertone there is that the man just can’t handle it.  He WILL require help.  So it’s often a self-fulfilling concern.  The man marries a lady with a good steady income, and he’s set.  He can coast.  It happens all the time. 

But men are capable of so much more when they are required to be.  It’s time to wake up this sleeping giant in our culture and get it engaged.  There is way too much power on the sidelines not being used.  Due to affirmative action and EEOC policies many large corporations require that so many women fill certain positions or that purchases be made from women-owned businesses.  What happens when there is a man who is better qualified at filling these needs?  He is pushed to the sideline or is left at a lower position and never realizes his potential. 

If we wonder why we are not moving forward as a society and as a country and as a participant in the worldwide economy we may want to consider these very facts.  We may want to look at the leaders in the worldwide economy to see what their sociological makeup is like.  Look at the accomplishments of men throughout history, and look at them today and ask yourself why there is a difference, if you dare.

God bless you+


Just in Case?

Posted By at Monday, August 11, 2014

When we released the article on making the decision of college for daughters that was actually intended for conservative homeschooling Catholic parents (a large portion of our audience), it thankfully got caught up into the mainstream and gave our site quite a bit of traffic.  I still stand by the positions taken in the article for the reasons stated therein.  I was quite validated when before making the case and points for the positions, I first predicted the type of emotional response, and it came as predicted.  Then after listing the common objections and the reasons those objections to not apply, those precise false accusations were hurled all over the internet even though they were spelled out within the document.  This just shows the amount of hatred and disdain the opposition has for those who disagree with them and those that do not wish to place their loved ones into their program.  The uncontrolled violent vitriol displayed showed signs of absolute evil and intolerance.

At this point, I’d like to comment on the last of the common objections that we normally receive to the recommendation of not sending a daughter to college, and only part of that objection.  This would be that parents want to send their daughters to college so that she will be able to support herself in case her husband abandons her, in other words, in case they get divorced.  We can see the feminist agenda in the way this is stated as the full blame is placed on the men in all cases saying that she will be abandoned.  Are the wives never at fault in a divorce situation?  Before going on, another common objection stated to the article was that many of the points also applied to sons, like college being an occasion of sin for them as well.  That is very true.  So college for all of our children should not be an automatic default in the plan for education as the investment advisers would like you to believe.  (Yes they do have a great college fund to go with that.)  But the reality is that some occupations that they will be called to will require a degree.  It all depends on what they’re called to do.  If their prospective occupation doesn’t require it, they also should not go for many of the same reasons as not sending girls.  If it does, it becomes a necessary evil that should be carefully undertaken preferably close to home where the parents can still be involved.  Again the reasoning here is the traditional roles. The husbands have to provide for the family.  The role of a wife and mother does not require college, and college will actually detract from her role.  The obvious reason for these roles is stamped in our very anatomies as the wives are the only ones capable of the august dignity of bearing children.

Regardless, with the enormous divorce rate today, most parents feel justified in equipping their daughters “just in case” her marriage doesn’t work out.  I would like to quote a Priest with whom I shared this “If she’s hedging her bets by getting a degree, then she shouldn’t marry the guy.”  What kind of trust is that of a woman toward her man?  Is she giving herself to him completely without reserve?  It doesn’t sound like it.  It sounds like deep down there is a lack of trust.  This is straight out of the feminist playbook.  They dictate that men are louses and not to be trusted.  Can we see that by a wife hedging in this way she is not giving her heart completely to her husband?  If this is the case, how is a husband to view this?  Do you think that he can sense her distrust?  I would think that he could.  What would be the difference in this and him keeping a “little black book” of ladies’ contact information in case his wife runs off with her boss?

We need to stop and ask ourselves if we really have a Christian understanding and belief in marriage in its sense of being totally giving of self, a complete surrender, totally trusting in the spouse, and a commitment of permanence.  We need to consider what kind of message we’re sending to our children, especially our daughters, about marriage and the role they are to fill in the married state.  Yes, divorce is a big problem, but it’s not simply a single reason of men not being faithful.  There are two sides to every conflict.  There is a significant possibility of lack of commitment in both directions.  If both spouses completely surrender and allow themselves to be vulnerable and become interdependent, a strong bond of permanence is destined to be formed.

God bless you+


Connect with Your Kids

Posted By at Monday, August 04, 2014

I was asked to produce an article about communicating with our kids, talking to them.  I can understand how that can be a challenge, especially now having 3 adult children.  As children age, there are various obstacles that parents can encounter in trying to keep the lines of communication open.  If there has been a good formation of respect for the parents from the children, and they have been trained in obedience then a foundation for good communication will be present.  To regress, the basic setup is if the wife has been submissive to the husband, the children will be obedient to the parents and respect them.

Based on my personal experience with raising children, the challenge with communication comes because the nature of children is that they are in a constant state of flux.  They are always changing, always growing.  The more children you add the more change you’ll experience.  So in our case with a household of 9 members, we see a lot of change all the time.  As mentioned in a previous article, last decade was the flux of regularly having new babies entering the family.  That was its own particular kind of change, but what was pretty stable was they were all still young.  As they began to get older other changes and thereby challenges arose.  So we as parents have to be on our toes, adjusting and overcoming those challenges. 

There are two basic things to keep in mind with communication with our children:  (1) They ARE our children, even though they may sometimes seem not to be, and we know them better than anyone else and better than they know themselves.  (2)  Communication will work with them in much the same way it will work with others we’re trying to connect with. 

So when attempting to connect with any other person, how do you do it?  Do you go to that person and tell them about yourself and all the things you like to do?  I hope not.  As one motivator I once heard says “Me-me-me is dull-dull-dull.”  Of course we ask them about their interests, their desires, their thoughts.  We have to take an interest in our teenage and young adult children.  The world is taking an interest in them.  Their friends are taking an interest in them.  Instead of constant lecturing, we need to transition into communication.  This is not to say that any house rules or standards are to change because of age.  However the rules obviously will adjust for age for things like bedtimes, etc.  The idea is that they are moving toward independence. 

A good tact for communication is to ask them questions about themselves.  Ask them questions about what they think about certain things.  This would go beyond just current events, but more so about day to day living of a person who wants to live the life they are moving toward.  It’s very helpful to put ourselves in their place, and it’s also very easy to do so.  We’ve actually been their age before; they’ve never been in our position.  So we can remember what it was like to be each of their ages.  (That’s a pretty creepy thought isn’t it?  Remember being that age?)  Now you know something of how they feel.  But obviously they live in a different world.  ASK them about it.  Regardless, they have dreams and aspirations that are independent of their lives now with us.  This is not to say that we’ll be estranged from them, but they will do things their own way hopefully following similar principles.  This is the transition we’re trying to make as they grow.  But in our communication with them, we want to make sure that they have understood the principles and the reasons WHY those principles are practiced and that they have a workable knowledge of them. 

Also an important part of communication with anyone, but especially our own children at their ages, is that they want to feel accepted.  They want to be understood.  They need encouragement and affirmation.  At a certain point with older children, we need to begin relating to them on an adult level.  This can be a difficult transition for a parent.  We need to stop being a cop and start being a coach.  Sometimes we may just need to take them to lunch to get caught up, especially if they are busy away from home or have moved out on their own. 

But the basic idea is to keep talking, and with a consistent message.  They will see many variations out in the world, and it is helpful to know that the one they were raised with holds true.  As Jim Stenson, educational consultant, says “We are not here to raise kids; we are here to raise adults.”  Remaining in contact with them and connected to them is vital as they make the transition.

God bless you+


Shield Your Family

Posted By at Sunday, July 27, 2014

When we were married, as in most Catholic weddings, my wife and I prayed before the statue of The Blessed Mother seeking Her intercession in our marriage and family.  My wife remembers that her prayer to our Lady was that She wrap Her mantle around us as protection from evil.  (I don’t recall what my prayer was.)  Recently we were reminded of this when a young Priest visited our home and when giving a blessing to our family before his departure, he also asked our Lady to shield us with Her mantle.  It is true our Lady is a power ally for us in our fight against the evil one.  We pray our Rosary daily as a family and encourage other families to do so as well.  We have ourselves and our children invested in the Brown Scapular and all continually wear one for protection.  Recently, I have become increasingly aware of Her powerful intercession in the spiritual combat in which I find myself embroiled. 

I recall someone saying that an old wise Priest told him that a prayer that is not followed by action is no prayer at all but only a mere wish.  He tells a funny fable that makes a good point.  A lady’s house was infested with cockroaches.  She prayed and prayed and prayed to no avail—they did not go away but only multiplied.  She offered novenas that God spare her of her roach problem but it did not work.  How often do we as families do the same with the more important issue of the eternal souls of our children?  We pray that they remain chaste and resist temptations to sin, but do we protect them from the onslaught of evil dumped on them by the world?  The common reply to this is, “Well you can’t protect them from everything.”  No you can’t, but you can protect them from very many things.  Another is “You can’t shelter them all their lives.”  No you can’t, but you can shelter them for some of their lives and while doing so train them on how to be strong and virtuous amidst the pressures to succumb to immorality.  The prayer we offer must be followed with these actions if we wish that prayer to bear fruit.

The father is placed at the head of the family for this purpose.  This is the reason he must be respected and revered so that his authority remain intact for the good of the family, especially the children.  James Stenson, a Catholic educational consultant, has done extensive research on what he considers to be successful families.  Of course that designation can mean different things to different people.  But when you get down to it, most people want the same things for their kids.  Through his research he found some common traits among the fathers of these families and they are outlined in his book Father, the Family Protector.   He says they were smart.  “Whether they relied on rational, reflective thought about their fatherly role or were moved more by intuition, they seemed to understand what a father is and does.”  (p23)  That knowledge showed up in three areas:  they understand that (1) the main mission of the parents is to build strong character in their children, (2) a father’s main role is to protect his wife and children from harm and (3) a man must have integrity, acting consistently at work and at home. 

There are a few powerful insights we can glean just from these facts.  For one, it doesn’t sound like these men relied exclusively on a prayer (wish) but that if they did pray, they asked for wisdom and guidance on how to act then they acted.  Next, they were smart but not necessarily from academics or experts.  How often do we hear about the child behavioral expert who can’t handle his own children?  These men had care and concern for their duty and had wisdom (again which is a virtue thus can come through prayer) when fulfilling their role in the family.  A lot of this is common sense and just plain love of our children in action.  We have to remember the natural law is written on our hearts.  So many times the “experts” have been indoctrinated and have STUDIED all the wrong material.  They may have academic credentials but no concrete working knowledge of human nature from raising a family.  Mr. Stenson sought out those men who actually did it and were successful at raising good kids.

So if it’s the father’s job to be the head, what does the wife have to do?  Of course she is to enforce the father’s rules while he is away.  But he also says it is important that he listen to her concerns about the children.  They of course have their own intuition and are very sensitive to their children.  I know I tell my wife to let me know when she sees something in our children that is of some concern.  Sometimes I may have already addressed it, but often times I am unaware simply because she is with them more than I am.  Bear in mind, for a mother to be able to do this she has to be WITH her children, which is the principal reason for her dedicating herself to the home instead of a career.

 Additionally, Mr. Stenson offers three bits of advice to the wives (pp.249-251):   (1) Don’t expect your husband to be perfect, (2) don’t expect him to be like a woman, and (3) do all you can to lead your children to respect their father and his authority.  He prefaces these three bits with this statement, “Your husband’s success as a father depends enormously on you.”  It takes teamwork to raise a family.  This is why God created family to be father, mother, and children.  We all have a part to play, and when we each play our position well, we all win.

God bless you+


My Wife is a Genius

Posted By at Monday, July 21, 2014

My wife and I had the fortune this past weekend to have a little down time or alone time as I had to visit the city to take care of a personal matter.  So we took advantage of the opportunity and did a little light shopping and dining at some of our favorite places.  At one of the shops, Missy found this sign, and she so playfully asked me to take a picture of her by it.  She knows she really is a big deal to me, my favorite person in the world.  I don’t often get her all to myself so it’s a special time when I do.  I believe God intended for marriage to be this way originally, and since the fall, for man and wife to enjoy each other’s company and companionship no matter if at work or at leisure.

She’s often very busy tending to our seven children while I toil away by the sweat of my brow to provide for our family.  I got a bit nostalgic this week when I was on Facebook and saw a friend post something about a favorite 90’s song.  I really enjoy high-quality music of several genres, and I find that music is very powerful in that it can take you back to where you were in your mind when you heard that song maybe regularly or for the first time.  So this brought me back to the 90’s and what was going on with me at the time.  I married my girlfriend (as I still call her) in 1990, and we quickly proceeded during that decade to bear 4 children.  I say “we” because I was heavily involved in the process, caring for her in times of sickness, working together rearing the children, keeping the household in order, etc.  Of course the next decade, we had 3 more children, and now we have quite a full house.

As I think of Missy and the beautiful person she is, I am captivated.  Those who know her know why.  She is so genuine and loving, caring for all those around her.  She is one who can really lift a person up, no matter who he or she may be.  I am reminded of St. John Paul II’s letter to women, Mulieris Dignitatem, where he refers to a “feminine genius.”  The Holy Father says “In this sense, our time in particular awaits the manifestation of that ‘genius’ which belongs to women, and which can ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance: because they are human! - and because ‘the greatest of these is love’ (cf. 1 Cor 13:13).”30 

St. John Paul spends a great deal of time in this document on the vocation of women to motherhood.  He says “In this openness, in conceiving and giving birth to a child, the woman ‘discovers herself through a sincere gift of self’…Scientific analysis fully confirms that the very physical constitution of women is naturally disposed to motherhood - conception, pregnancy and giving birth - which is a consequence of the marriage union with the man.”18  I reflect back on the last 2 decades as we were having children, how Missy gave of herself in many months of morning sickness and discomfort in order to give life.  It was a beautiful experience through the whole process of pregnancy to delivery.  Thinking back it seems this may well have been her time of greatest vulnerability and weakness, and therefore her time of greatest need of my strength both physically and emotionally.  She needed the comfort of knowing I was there to care for her and support her in her weariness and fatigue. 

As our children are getting older, Missy is still mothering them all each in very different ways.  As St. John Paul says, she has “sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance.”  She was noticing in recent weeks that in the upcoming school year, she will only be teaching 4 of the kids.  This is quite a bit of change as she had got to as many as 7 at one time.  But even for our graduates she is seeing to it that their needs of a mother are met.  She encourages them, prays for them, advises them, and talks with them.  She’ll drive them to work or to classes and make sure they have whatever they need as they approach these new ventures in their transition to independence.

This is all very admirable and enjoyable to see.  Through all these experiences, she has a lot to share with other mothers of all ages.  She’s doing so now with ladies from across the country and around the world through this Apostolate.  Her videos and blog here on this site are quite popular.  This is yet another manifestation of this sensitivity to all people St. John Paul speaks of in women.  When I was doing my discourses on Mulieris Dignitatem a few months ago and discussed the document with her, she lightheartedly proclaimed, “The Pope said I’m a genius!”  I would have to agree with him.

As I said earlier, it’s nice to have some quiet time with her as she is so occupied in her duties of her state in life.  I’m sure she would say the same of me.  But this genius she possess spoken of by the Holy Father, is most particularly applied to me.  The “sensitivity” she shows to me is especially inspiring.  I am reminded of the creation of the original woman Eve.  God said “Let us create for him a help like unto himself (Gen2:18 DR).”  I have heard a lot of discussion over this term of “helper” or “helpmeet” and what God truly meant at this crucial point in the creation of humanity.  One of the best descriptions I heard was the term “sustainer.”  That would be the ideal description of what Missy is to me.  She sustains me, enlivens me, and keeps me going.  The confidence she has in me, the respect she has for me, and the way she depends on me as her husband calls out the strength and energy in me.  I make sure to take very good care of her not to push her into endeavors outside the realm of her responsibility and gifts.  I encourage her to do the things that will inspire her and avoid the things that will wear her down.  I work and care to sustain my sustainer.  It truly is a reciprocating relationship we have.  As I think about it, she really is a big deal. 

God bless you+


Strong Marriages Benefit Society

Posted By at Monday, July 14, 2014

“This love (eros) is planted within our inmost being.  Unnoticed by us it attracts the bodies of men and women to each other because in the beginning woman came forth man, and from man and woman other men and women proceed…The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together.  Men will take up arms and even sacrifice their lives for the sake of this love.”  This is a quote from St. John Chrysostom’s Homily 20 “On Ephesians 5:22-23,” part of a collection of homilies on marriage called On Marriage and Family Life.  I would think those of us with normal sexual inclinations can relate to these thoughts; I know I can.  I would definitely be willing to sacrifice and give my life for my wife.  She is everything to me, and I want her to be happy and at peace. 

I can relate to St. John’s imagery of welding society together.  I know with the strong marriage my wife and I have and the closeness it provides to our family that if more marriages were like this our whole society would be much stronger.  However today this is not the case.  The promptings of St. John could surely be used some 1,600+ years later.  They are very much appropriate today as St. John was tasked with Christianizing pagans who suddenly became Catholic at the proclamations of Constantine legalizing Christianity.  We should heed St. John’s advice as we are also living in a pagan culture that we are to try to evangelize and Christianize. 

Have we ever considered what our society might be like today if marriages were stronger and families were bound more in the closeness of love?  It is worthy of reflection.  You know, when we are attempting to reach a goal, it is extremely helpful to envision the reality of that goal.  Imagine how many creative thoughts people would be able to have if they were at peace in their marriages.  Imagine how productive people could be if they did not have to deal with the logistics of a divorce and broken family situation. 

St. John goes on “St. Paul would not speak so earnestly about this subject without serious reason; why else would he say, ‘Wives be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord’?  Because when harmony prevails, the children are raised well, the household is kept in order, and neighbors, friends and relatives praise the result.”  Of course St. John lived in very close proximity of time to St. Paul.  Still, if you go right now to your Bible, you will see that this quote from St. Paul at Ephesians 5:22 is STILL the same and has not changed.  Not only that but if you look at authoritative Church teaching for centuries you will see that Holy Mother Church has continued to reinforce this Truth over and over.  The feminist ideology that is so strong in our culture and has dulled the resolve of many faithful Catholics would say that this Truth has CHANGED, and by rule we know as Catholics that Truth cannot change.  Some will also say that this is a protestant interpretation of Scripture.  How preposterous is that!  So our Church taught a protestant interpretation for nearly 2,000 years?  No dear Catholics, be at peace.  Nothing has changed.  Many of us just have not been taught complete Truth.  We have heard many half-truths in the last few decades but we need to seek and dig deeper.

I have personally experienced what St. John attested to in these words along with my wife and children.  We have a very close-knit happy family.  We followed this counsel since very early on in our marriage.  As a man, the peace that comes from having a wife who supports me in my decisions and leadership of our family allows me to think clearly and plan and execute that plan.  Our children see my wife supporting and sustaining me, being agreeable and cooperative.  Children from an early age learn by example.  If they see someone constantly challenging authority or being difficult they will imitate that.  If they see someone being agreeable and cooperative they will imitate that as well.  For us, it has worked quite beautifully.  As St. John says “children are raised well, the household is kept in order, and neighbors, friends and relatives praise the result.”  This is precisely how the connection between wifely subjection and the discipline and formation of the children is made.  For a wife who follows this wise counsel, she will not be concerned when her children get older and become naturally independent and may start to become disrespectful.  Her husband will guard her honor and demand that she be respected, and the children will yield to their father as they have been trained.

Of course this will meet with great resistance with many women of today, as it did in St. John’s time and St. Paul’s time which is why they both preached and taught on it.  We do as well here.  To help make it more understandable St. John points out “Either Paul means ‘as knowing that you are serving the Lord’ (which indeed he says elsewhere, that even if the wife does not obey for her husband’s sake, she must do so primarily for the Lord’s sake); or else he means, “When you yield to your husband, consider that you are obeying him as part of your service to the Lord.  If ‘he who resists the authorities (governments) resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment,’ (cf Lk14:33,18:29) how much more severely will God judge someone who resists not an external authority, but that of her own husband, which God willed from the beginning?”

St. John then warns of what happens when this order is not followed “When it is otherwise, however, everything is thrown into confusion and turned upside-down.  When the generals of an army are at peace with each other, everything proceeds in an orderly fashion, and when they are not, everything is in disarray.”

We each need to decide what we want for ourselves and then act accordingly.  Do we want the eros planted deeply within our inmost beings to blossom into something harmonious and even passionate?  Or do we want to think we are above human nature and try to accomplish the same in our own way, only ending up with “confusion and disarray.”  Heed the counsel of the Saints and the Church and reap accordingly. 


God bless you+


Why Men Fear

Posted By at Tuesday, July 08, 2014

If there’s one thing we’ve learned here while expressing the need for families to return to rightful order for their own good and the good of society, it’s that men are stymied by a wave of fear.  Why would that be?  We live in possibly the most advanced society with all sorts of protection—military protection, police protection, fire protection, animal protection, protection this, protection that, yet we still fear?  How can that be?  What are we afraid of?

Possibly we’re afraid of not living up to society’s expectations of us.  What might those expectations be?  Well we should get a good job, go to work every day, buy a home, save up for retirement, and provide for our kids’ college funds, so they can do the same.  That sounds easy enough, and it really is.  I heard a rather humorous rendition of this during the week by a financial advisor.  He said, believe it or not, all of those things are going to happen.  You probably already have a home because you have to live somewhere.  Whether you believe it or not, you will retire some day.  You may or may not have all the money you planned on having, but you will retire.  And college?  Your kids will go to college if they really want to whether or not you give them the money.  You know, he’s right, because I surely did without my parents giving it to me.

So, I’m not convinced that it is financial fears that consume men.  Actually, the fears they confide in me usually aren’t exclusively financial, if at all.  That makes sense as most men have their finances supplemented by their wives working, so the full weight isn’t on them anyway.  I’ve noticed that many men fear women though.  Our last article well pointed that out.  Shamefully, many even fear their own wives, the soft delicate flower of a person with whom they should share the deepest intimacies.  That seems strange to me but it’s true.  I keep hearing others talk about it over and over.  I notice it out in the marketplace.  One man said of his wife, “It’s just when she gets to screaming and hollering, I just can’t handle it.”  So if that’s the tactic of a woman, what’s a man to do but do anything he has to in order to avoid it?

So if a man’s got to tiptoe around his own home in order not to upset his wife when is he ever supposed to take charge and lead?  The common reply to that even among many Catholics today is that he’s not.  The husband and wife are to be “partners” and both lead.  Well, I’m sorry to tell you but what I just described is NOT a husband and wife both leading; it is the wife being an angry and hateful tyrant.  This is what many men fear, and because of ignorance of authentic Church teaching men are disarmed from responding to it in any way.  We hear a lot of blame against men of avoiding commitment and delaying giving themselves in marriage.  If this is what they see as a genuine Catholic marriage, why would any man want to give himself to such a woman and “love her as Christ loves the Church giving Himself up for her?”  I can see their reason for hesitancy.

The fact is that the Holy Roman Catholic Church still to this day teaches that the husband is head of his wife.  The wife is to be submissive to her husband.  There are no “new teachings” that have replaced the “old,” and there is no “developed doctrine” on family since we’ve become so much smarter now and understand human interaction so much better.  If anyone really believes that, just look at the divorce statistics between the time when husbands were the head of the house and those of now. 

So what’s a man to do?  Choose wisely.  This is for those men who find themselves in that situation of fear of commitment prior to marriage.  That’s a good fear that must be overcome.  It’s good because that should cause you to exercise holy caution.  Make sure the woman you marry will be one who is willing to submit to your lead.  Be sure to discuss it, and be up front about this being the way things will be.  Know that how she treats you in the courtship will carry on into marriage.  Above all maintain objectivity by remaining celibate prior to marriage. 

Men also fear themselves.  While they are to be these leaders of families and carry them on their backs, albeit with the loving and faithful support of their wives, society has things so much stacked against them from accomplishing this.  It is a daunting intimidating proposition.  They fear themselves because of their own weaknesses.  If a man has the guts and determination to do it completely and take it upon himself to rightfully lead his family, it will take everything he’s got and it’s as though he’d better not make a single slip-up because it will all come crashing down.  He is afraid of his own sinfulness and weakness.  It would be hard enough if he did it all right, but with the weaknesses he knows all too well that he’s been fighting all his live, how on earth will he do it?

The answer is Grace.  Grace is the all-powerful strength that kicks in where our own strength wanes.  We received it at Baptism, and we renew it in the Sacraments.  We can lose it with sin and regain it with Confession.  Our Lady stores our graces up for us as we receive the Sacraments and sends them to us when we ask for them.  We just have to ask.  Our Lady of Grace showed many rays of Graces pouring from her fingertips which were those no one ever asked for.  Just ask.  Gain the Graces, store them up, and ask.

Men, we can’t do it on our own, but with God’s grace we can do what He commands and expects of us.  We aren’t expected to do all things, but we are expected to do our things.  Have no fear whatsoever.  Fear is from Satan.  He wants to see you fail.  Look him dead in the eye, and show him you will serve your God to the death.

God bless you+


Equal Dignity is for Men Too

Posted By at Monday, June 30, 2014

Often we’ll remind men here of their duty and responsibility to lead their families.  Obviously there are a multitude of issues and concerns that come up in family life that require someone to keep order and to make correction.  God established an order within the family where the man is the head, the mom is the heart, and the children are to be obedient to them both.  Note that there is only one head, the father.  There is no co-leadership.  This is the Rule for the family.  Any other arrangement is a disorder and deviant, even though many exist in our society.  To try to philosophically approach a matter from deviance would be fallacious. 

That particular instance arose recently when we shared an article regarding immodest dress by girls and women, which advised a solution that aligns with our philosophies here at FIX.  The solution of course is for man to correct his wife and daughters when they attempt to dress immodestly or simply when an article of clothing doesn’t meet the standards of modesty, possibly accidentally chosen.  The wife and daughters are bound under the pain of sin to obey the man of the house.  So it should be a simple enough solution to return modesty to society, at least for Catholic and Christian households.  However, it’s not quite that simple because we observe the same obstacle that the author does and points out in his courageous article:  "I think there are many pastors and church leaders, who, like many husbands and fathers, are afraid to speak up for fear of offending women."  Ah, yes, this goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when Adam failed in his duty to his wife to protect her from evil.

Well lo and behold, don’t you know that a certain commenter comes along and says that a stronger focus should be on custody of the eyes than modesty in dress.  Of course the Church has always emphasized both but today almost nothing is being said or done about immodest dress.  Almost always, the blame is placed squarely on the men for not being in control of themselves.  If that is so, I have to wonder why in the past Catholic schools would place girls and boys in different schools.  Was it because the students are more virtuous today than they were then?  Let’s look at the problems we have with the promiscuity of teens and adults today as opposed to then.  Of course the answer is NO, and the issue is that we have failed to enforce the habit of avoiding the near occasions of sin to the detriment of the faithful.  So when I replied to his comment that women’s dress is out of control and needs to be reined in (by the men) then he starts talking about affronts to a fellow human being’s (woman’s) dignity.  Now this is a man who has on his Facebook profile that he studied at a conservative Catholic university, the name of which I will not mention. 

So this has become the way out of a man assuming his God-given role in the family.  Instead of manning up and taking charge, he is to be passive and allow his wife to lead so as not to deny her of her dignity.  And unfortunately, this is the way papal documents and Church teaching are being misrepresented and misinterpreted even in universities claiming to be legitimate and obedient to the Magisterium.  This is a blurring of two completely different issues—roles and dignity.  If a priest or nun joins an order, they have to be obedient to their Superiors, but they still have their equal dignity as humans.  If a man is in the military, he has equal dignity with his superiors but must be obedient to them.  The idea that the same no longer applies in marriage, especially Catholic marriage, is completely unfounded.  When I reminded the man that doctrine does not change, he had the audacity to say that “doctrine develops.”  Well if that were the case, it does not “develop” by making a complete 180 and going in the other direction.  No, this is a deceptive trick by Satan that preys upon men’s fear of dealing with the closest females in their lives, their own wives and daughters.  It’s to the point that a woman will be more submissive to her boss at work than her own husband and still claim this is supported by Church teaching. 

The current situation within most families isn’t this fallacy of co-leadership, it is the wife running the family.  If you think that’s an exaggeration, just visit your local Wal-Mart and watch the people.  It is a total embarrassment of how many women address their own husbands, the total disrespect and dishonor is deplorable.  Yes, I believe in equal dignity for women AND men.  It seems we're only concerned about equal dignity when it comes to rights to education and employment.  Well God warned about trying to serve God and mammon.  All the while, we watch our marriages fall apart and our children seduced by the evils of the world.  Men it’s way past time that you stepped into your God-given role as leader in your family.  You’ll have to stand before the Judgment Seat of God and make an account of how you fulfilled your vows made to Him at the Altar when you married your wife.  Your role of leadership falls within those vows.

God bless you+


'Til Death do Us Part! ...Really?

Posted By at Monday, June 23, 2014

We believe as Catholics that marriage is Sacred and permanent, at least as permanent as the earthly lives of both of the spouses.  Whenever either of the spouses dies, the other spouse is free to marry again as the existing marriage is no longer in effect.  Other than that, the couple is bound together for life regardless of the circumstances and not free to seek union with another.  If you go to a Catholic wedding, the vows the couple recites should include some reference to permanence like “until death do us part” or “I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”  All Catholics are made to understand that what they are entering into regardless of the verbiage of the vows is a COMMITMENT to the spouse for life.

I’m really not sure what kind of vows or understandings a protestant couple recites or believes or that of a civilly married couple.  But if we look at the divorce rate for all couples in the western world, it is horrific.  Of course you’ll have some starry-eyed people saying things like “it’s getting better” but without considering the number of couples who are living together shacked up in essence test driving each other before taking things any further.  That of course is a huge lie I believe we can all just admit to.  There are so many couples who are living in such an arrangement who are just aimlessly meandering through life not giving any thought to when they are going to make the relationship permanent.  Often they’ll blame it on the cost of the wedding or the bureaucracy involved with going through the Church’s procedures.  But let’s just cut to the chase and admit that we in the western world have a huge problem with COMMITMENT, especially men.

Yet couples will often tell each other what the other wants to hear for them to remain in the relationship as long as they want them there.  Men will tell women that they will always love them, but won’t buy a ring or set a date.  Unfortunately it appears women have bought these lies hook line and sinker at alarming rates.  Apparently they are banking on giving him everything he wants will keep him satisfied and faithful.  Ladies have to wake up and realize that this is a losing proposition all the way around.

If a relationship is based on convenience and pleasure, we can see how quickly each of the members of the relationship will be dissatisfied very quickly.  If we are looking for what we can get out of the relationship, it will be headed for trouble.  You could understand why a lady would be looking for permanence in a marriage.  Once she begins to have children, she will need care, sustenance, and protection for them.  If a man is simply interested in convenience and pleasure, this will be the least of his concerns.  This is why many couples will simply live together and contracept and have as many good times as possible outside of their busy work schedules.  But for a lady, the “biological clock is ticking” and her human nature (hormonally) is going to kick in and remind her that she wants to have children.  Does she believe that since she has tried to fulfill his “needs” all this time that he will suddenly want to have a family with her?  That may seem logical, but I would just ask those same ladies who believe that to look around and see how well that has panned out for other ladies in her circle.  From where I stand, that proposition does not look very promising.

Wow, so what’s the solution?  Sure we here at fixthefamily as well as many websites and movements geared toward driving men to virtue aim to give men a sense of duty in the relationships they pursue with women.  But it appears as long as men are not required to make that sacrifice and strive toward virtue, they naturally will not.  Sure there are a “few good men” but they’re just that “a few,” a small percentage, a minority.  Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said "The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women."

Ladies have got to have an unchanging standard in their relationships with men.  It is simply to remain chaste until marriage to the point of possibly never marrying.  If a man will only stay in a relationship with a woman if she will sacrifice her soul and sinfully please him, what are the chances he has her best interest at heart?  We as Catholic fathers need to instill this standard into our daughters.  Most certainly we need to instill a chaste virtue into our sons, but how much more for our daughters who could so easily be abandoned by a man who is not willing to sacrifice himself for her and the children they procreate. 

God bless you+


The Courage to Communicate

Posted By at Monday, June 16, 2014

We often hear as men that we are to be courageous, and this is true.  In all actuality, courage is not the absence of fear, but actually facing fears and overcoming them.  This is what it means to be courageous.  There are many things that men fear.  It is said that the thing men (and women for that matter) fear most, even more than death is to speak before a crowd.  Another great fear men face is the fear of failure.  This fear often holds men back from becoming everything they can be and from doing anything outside their comfort zone or familiar zone.  But a fear that is not often discussed is the fear of communication, especially with one’s wife.   This is where men really need to muster up some courage to keep a relationship on track.

We know that women love to talk, so they have the edge on communication.  This is because as Fr. Paul Marx pointed out, women are the more social gender.  They are more relationship oriented, while we men are more geared toward things and processes and tasks.  This just means that we have to work harder at relationships.  Obviously the most important human relationship for a man will be with his wife.  His relationships with his children are also of immense importance, and I’ll deal with that in a separate article.  But still those are secondary to the husband-wife relationship since this one is a Sacrament. 

It may be that some couples have even been married for quite a while and still never developed a deeply communicative relationship.  This is very possible especially in cases where a relationship was more physical early on instead of personal.  Of course this happens all too frequently as morality has declined and couples get into sinfully physical relationships before marriage.  This is a principal reason for such a high divorce rate.

But then there are also couples who remain together but never really reach the depth of a relationship they should.  Married life is quite complex and goes through various stages.  As children come along, it adds to the complexity.  As they grow and go through their own stages of life, parents have to be able to guide them through.  A couple really has to be on the same page in order to do this.  A man has to be able to openly communicate with his wife about just about anything.  Of course there are things we don’t necessarily need to burden our wives with or things that should be reserved for the Confessional or spiritual director.  But other than that we need to have an open line of communication, especially about the things that are going on with her.

This can be quite an undertaking for some men.  Many men will often just not want to take the time or effort to really know what’s going on inside their own wives.  It’s possible he may fear what he will find out.  This is where courage comes into play.  Through years of experience, I can tell when something is bothering my wife.  There were many occasions, mostly in the past, where I would have to coax and prod her to tell me what may be bothering her.  As was always the case, once we were able to discuss it and put it into perspective or determine a way to handle it, she would feel much better.  Even better though, the case has always been that each one of these moments or conversations would bring us closer together.  It would build our relationship as a married couple.  It would cause us to love each other more.  This is the reason for the close relationship we have today.  I can tell that she really appreciates my interest in her and my willingness to listen to her. 

So men, if you are running into trouble with this or if you’ve always had this difficulty, it’s time to face it.  It’s not something that can be solved in one discussion.  But the first discussion has to be had.  That one will be followed by many more.  It may be quite painful with some of the heavy burdens a woman can be carrying around.  This may be the reason for your fear.  But face the fear and start today.  Your wife will appreciate you for it; she will love you for it. 

God bless you+