|Men, you are called to be priest, prophet and king of your family!|
That creates real problems when I've bought it for a gift, because I need enough time to read it before I wrap it and give it away. I also can't read it drinking a cup of coffee or eating lest I splatter the pages with brown coffee stains or red spaghetti sauce. And heaven forbid I take it in the bathtub. Who wants a book with water marked, dog-eared pages?
But that's all a digression. This morning I read a paragraph in a book I bought as a Christmas present, The Three Marks of Manhood. It shares a truism, but one many seem to be missing today:
If there is to be a wholesome future for the West, if Christianity is once again to make inroads into a heathen world, then the Christian family must be miraculously restored. For it is the family that will produce the saints of tomorrow, be they bishops, priests, religious, fathers, or mothers. And it is the Christian family that is on the front lines of today's conflict between good and evil: it bears the brunt of that battle as the very last defense against the total domination of the secular and the profane.Who can deny the truth of that paragraph in the light of the redefinitions of the family to include same sex "parents" who obviously can't generate new life. As Lucia of Fatima tells us, the Blessed Mother said the final battle would be over the family. We see it daily.
The psychologist author, G.C. Dilsaver goes through a litany of devastating statistics about the decline of faith, marriage and divorce, cohabitation, single parent families, etc. and then describes what he calls the "specific tonic to rejuvenate the wasted family."
The feminists will rage against it. The effeminate metrosexuals and same-sex attracted will roll their eyes, but:
the restoration of the family, indeed the restoration of ecclesiastical leadership and Christendom itself, is only possible with the advent of a new Christian patriarchal order: the fatherly rule of family, community, and Church....in order to meet today's unprecedented challenge the Christian patriarchal order of the family established must itself be unprecedented. Indeed, the Christian patriarchy must be a new order purified of all selfish motives or worldly modes of brute dominance and based for the first time solely on Christ and his divine commission.No easy task, since the author points out how unfit the current crop of men is for the task. Modern man has "pawned his patriarchy for pleasure" and is "thoroughly inculcated in the values of extended adolescence....For the most part, even remnant orthodox Catholic families are matriarchies."
That reminds me of a sermon a friend described years ago. The priest, a Dominican, told his congregation that the women needed to come down off the cross and the men needed to take their rightful place on the cross willing to sacrifice their lives for their families.
I'm only on the first chapter of the book, but it's clearly one that women should read as well as men. Women are called to assist men to embrace their role of spiritual headship. The old expression that behind every good man is a good woman is as true today as it ever was. As spouses, we are called to make each other better than each of us would be alone. What a challenge and what a blessing!
The book is only 200 pages and the last 50 are appendices. Maybe it would make a good Christmas gift for a man in your life too. Best of all, you have plenty of time to read it!