Among the many crisis in America today, there stands one crisis which gets very little press, but which effects the lives of so many Americans in a negative way. It is the crisis of the American man! Infected with the ways of the world in pride, and in lust for power and possession and pleasure, in pornography, in images which glorify man in sex and violence, and most damaging, in a lie directly from Satan, in manhood imaged without God, lived without the Way of Jesus Christ, American men have turned from their God, from their family, and from their own true purpose as husbands and fathers, to blow like chaff in the wind in a purposeless world seeking meaning in a God vacuum.
The essence of true manhood is...http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07386a.htm
But three men emerge to renew the American man from within!
Today is the solemnity of St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord, husband of Mary the Mother of God, and patron saint of the Universal Church. Much can be learned from Joseph, humble carpenter, faithful husband and Jew, faithful foster father to Jesus. For very little is recorded of Joseph's speech in the gospel, but much can be learned from what he did! First, and foremost, Joseph sought out the will of God. Proof is in his acquiescing to the angel in a dream, deferring to Mary's honor instead of his personal right; in the end, doing what God planned over what his emotions attempted to drive him toward. Faith in the angels revelation, and respect and love for Mary, allowed Joseph to free himself from his own pride and prestige (among the community) to take Mary as his wife, pregnant, with the seed of the Holy Spirit, in Immanuel.
St. Joseph: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm
Divorce, deadbeat fatherhood, and selfishness of time and resources, the result of American men turning from God, can be overcome in the grace of St. Joseph's witness. Repentance is but a prayer away--let us call upon the foster father of the Lord for intercession, for grace awaits!
St. Francis of Assisi is wrongly caricatured as a sissy! St. Francis, correctly understood, was a spiritual lion always on the prowl for the food of God's Will! St. Francis rejected the plans of his father to live a life of power and riches; rather, St. Francis took a veritable leap of faith and ran ragged in search of the poor, seeking to live the gospel, in every moment, in every encounter with the impoverished, living the Life of Christ so closely as to share in the wounds of Christ! No sissy in the man from Assisi! To love God's Creation, even the poorest of the poor, takes courage! For it is easy to 'love' within the confines of comfort. Try loving in the face of human suffering, the cold of night, and the uncertainty of your next meal. Now that is heroic manhood!
Finally, our new Pope, Francis, decided that in his Papal Inauguration Mass he would have the Scripture readings from the solemnity of St. Joseph instead of the readings associated with this esteemed event. This is a further sign that our Pope is like St. Francis in stripping himself of personal glory and robing himself in humble garb in giving the patron saint of the Universal Church preeminence on a day the Pope could have received it himself.
Hopefully, reflecting on these three images of Christ, we, America's men, can learn of the courage and strength which flows from faith in Jesus Christ, which gives hope in His promises, and Love (charity) in His Eucharistic, ecclesial, and poverty-stricken presence.