10 September 2013

Late to the party. Again.

I run into a (relatively) new blog, The Catholic Gentleman. It is a worthy read with a worthy goal- encouraging men to return to the church, and reminding them that it is not unmanly to be holy. In fact, nothing could be manlier.

In a similar vein is a website to which i have belonged for year, The Art of Manliness, dedicated to the last arts of being men. The site has a discussion forum as well as many groups including a group dedicated to Catholic Men. The site isn't perfect, but neither ware we. If you think you can help make it better, join.

All too often, the only image men get of saints, including or perhaps especially the male ones, is that of a rosy cheeked plaster statue- a high minded eunuch. That the saints represented by these statues was nothing of the sort does not matter if the statue is all that men see. We need to remember what it is to be men, and that the heart of manliness is in virtue (which is really just the Latin word for manliness). A male without virtue is no man but a mere beast.

Having said that, I saw the other day that the new season of Ice Road Truckers is on the air, and one of my favourite TV guys, Alex Debogorski, is still on the show. He is a man's man. He is big, gruff, rough around the edges, has a belly laugh so infectious it has become a ring tone, as politically incorrect as they come, visits sick people in hospital in his spare time, has about eleven kids, and is a devout Catholic. In the premier this season he is introduced in church on his knees praying. While driving he frequently crosses himself and prays "Jesus, I trust in thee" when he is about to go into danger, which, in his job, is all the time. Is he perfect? Under no circumstances. But he, like the blog and the forums at the Art of Manliness, reminds me that it is possible to be a Catholic and to be a man at the same time.

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