More than just a lack of masculinity

More than just a lack of masculinity

The discussion of the vice of effeminacy down below is very interesting, although I’m very surprised not to have received more comments objecting to the premise. But I want to expand the discussion somewhat.

The comments have focused mainly on the pursuit of masculine activities, what those are, and how to carry yourself in manly way. But the vice of effeminacy is more than just a mincing walk, a lisp when you speak, and an aversion to sports. Recall that the original article says effeminacy is caused in two ways and that the first one was “where a man is accustomed to enjoy pleasures and it is, therefore, more difficult for him to endure the lack of them.”

Even a man who loves football, has a deep voice, and hunts with the boys can fall prey to this. What’s needed is a masculinity that walks in line with the other virtues. Fr. Paul Shuaghnessyred by the series, one of the “Fab Five” begins his chapter by stressing the importance of a good manly handshake.

Whadda youse guys think, eh?

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scfisch@comcast.net

67.163.235.235
2005-06-28 14:45:35
2005-06-28 18:45:35
Poverty. No wonder Christ insisted that the servant of the Gospel take nothing with him on his travels.
Simplicity of heart vs a divided heart. You can not love God and manna…..
I think the Marine -priest has developed a very accurate test.
Another test recommended by St. Louis de Montfort: Does the priest love Mary?
You can’t love Mary and the things of this world. She, all love of God, Christ and her children; the world, all love of self. She, purity; the world, disorder and selfish love. She, light; the world, dark.

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jenbrown26@hotmail.com
http://totallycatholicyouth.blogspot.com/
68.188.149.186
2005-06-28 14:48:17
2005-06-28 18:48:17
David I couldn’t agree with you more.  We have long gotten too used to the idea the women needed to be men to compete in this world-and there were legitimate discriminations going on, but we went too far. Now we have begun turning men into women-maybe because we lack what women should be in the first place?!

I’m annoyed with QEFTSG.  But it’s also a part of legitimizing the gay lifestyle.  If it’s all right with hetero’s who once would RUN from anything that hinted at gay, then we’ve conquered that final frontier, so to speak.

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frbobcarr@earthlink.net
http://stbenedictsomerville.catholicismanew.org
146.115.121.18
2005-06-28 14:49:11
2005-06-28 18:49:11
Well Dom, a sufficient warning. Such a vice is present in married life as well. All Catholics are called to use worldly good with a sense of detachment. Priests who engage in self-indulging behaviors can be problematic but so can married people who do the same.

It is not healthy for any Catholic to be engaged in this vice.

One of the greatest problems in America is that it is based in prosperity, but Catholicism is rooted in moderation. Any Catholic who buys into the prosperity idea of America, the ordained, religious or single or married lay needs to look at that and re-align his priorities.

By the way, Liberalism is rooted in the vice of effeminacy.

For those who ask, I do not use air conditioning. I do not own a TV, VCR or DVR, or DVD and I drink only under the most strictest circumstances.

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manwithblackhat@yahoo.com
http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com
205.130.230.13
2005-06-28 15:48:16
2005-06-28 19:48:16
“One of the greatest problems in America is that it is based in prosperity, but Catholicism is rooted in moderation. Any Catholic who buys into the prosperity idea of America…”

A lot of “conservative” Catholics fit into that category, if you ask me.

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29355

kellycmjl@msn.com

65.129.40.27
2005-06-28 16:20:10
2005-06-28 20:20:10
Could we possibly slip in the “mannerisms” of the macho man?  In some of the third world countries these characteristics of men have led to a history of abuse of women….and yet, usually these men are raised by mothers where they can do no wrong.  Oftentimes, when such are ordained, they have a bunch of mistresses and easily rationalize it.  I have a friend (woman) who is 6’ tall.  She says that some of her best male friends in college were these macho, Mediterranean types or Latino, because, even though normally pretty short in stature, they all believed they were 6’5”!  So many of her other male acquaintances always appeared noticably self conscious of the height difference when together, making her feel that she had to slump to be accepted as “feminine”.  So, should more emphasis be on personhood as JPII emphasized…or do certain unattractive qualities (to the culture) always have to be considered mostly as crosses one has to live with?

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patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 16:38:09
2005-06-28 20:38:09
Father Carr, you prime the discussion pump, but I’m confused.  I, for one, buy into the prosperity idea of America.  I think some quarters of the Church have taken the kernel of truth in Bl. Mother Teresa’s maxim that “God has not called us to be successful, but to be faithful” and turned into something else—a ho hum attitude toward success and excellence.  The bland fare produced by the USCCB is a prime example.  As far as professionalism and excellence goes, we set the bar low and promiscuously forgive ourselves when we fail to meet it.  “Lackluster but nice” has unofficially replaced “heroic and lasting” in the Catholic lexicon.

With all due respect,  since when is Catholicism “rooted in moderation”?  Was St. Francis of Assisi a moderate?  St. Maximilian Kolbe?  Was Jesus in Gethsemane, or when cleansing the Temple, or bellowing at the Scribe and Pharisees (“brood of vipers!”) being moderate in any sense?  It seems to me that attaining personal sanctity requires something quite the opposite of moderaton.

I think the overlap between America and Catholicism lies in the striving for excellence.  Americans are famously generous; you can’t support many importantcauses if you’re broke.  It’s the old cliche, “I’ve never gotten a job from a poor man.”

Are there dangers to riches?  Can we fall into a spirit of self-indulgence?  Of course, as our Lord warns.  But if moderation has a place, it’s in the prudent stewardship of God’s gifts and of the rewards of our own labor.

I agree with you that liberalism is rooted in the vice of effeminacy.  It’s also true vice versa.

I still say God bless the man who invented air conditioning, 15-year-old single malt, and hand-rolled Cohibas.

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ethanmccarthy@yahoo.com
http://suburbanpriest.blogspot.com/#
66.30.165.178
2005-06-28 16:44:01
2005-06-28 20:44:01
O.K. Dom, hunting and fishing may not make the priest less effeminate.

Anyway, how far must one live a life of simplicity?  There are degrees of simplicity.  If you are a Capuchin, you would probably live a much more radical simplicity than a secular priest who may own property.  On the other hand, I know a few secular priests who live a life of far more radical simplicity than the average Capuchin or even a Carthusian.

I think what is required of all Catholics is good judgment.  We all need to decide what we need to fulfill the obligations of the vocations we have been called to live.  The key to making a good judgment is conform onemment_type> 0 0 29361
patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 16:57:05
2005-06-28 20:57:05
Sorry for the double post.  Sorry for the double post.  Never again.  Never again.

PS:  Amen, Father Clark.  And deft use of eschew.

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ethanmccarthy@yahoo.com
http://suburbanpriest.blogspot.com/#
66.30.165.178
2005-06-28 17:01:37
2005-06-28 21:01:37
What makes the word “wonderful” effeminate?  I’m not going to let some freaky homosexual subculture dictate the use of the English language.  For example, the definition of the word “gay” is happy.  Now we can’t even say the word without thinking of homosexuals.

Regardless, I agree with you on Marty Haugen’s show tunes.  Salmon is my favorite fish to eat on Fridays. ;- )

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patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 17:08:32
2005-06-28 21:08:32
Nothing.  Wonderful is a perfectly good word.  In moderation.  My primer lists only its overuse, or an overemphasis on the n.

And good answer on salmon!

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29364

niggle13@yahoo.com

24.136.156.119
2005-06-28 17:57:03
2005-06-28 21:57:03
>>* own more than five pairs of shoes.

Athletic footwear exempted, of course, otherwise I’d be in trouble with my running shoes, indoor soccer shoes and outdoor soccer cleats, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, and golf spikes.  Good thing I don’t bowl ….

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29365

patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 18:04:37
2005-06-28 22:04:37
You’re fine, Nguoi.  Now, if you told me you had five pairs of golf spikes, or if you only don the tennis shoes if they color-match your wrist sweat band….

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29366

vjmorton2001@yahoo.com
http://cinecon.blogspot.com
66.44.54.217
2005-06-28 18:18:45
2005-06-28 22:18:45
Um … what if ABBA is your favorite group?

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29367

bwjphotos@yahoo.com

63.100.44.98
2005-06-28 18:43:02
2005-06-28 22:43:02
For those who ask, I do not use air conditioning. I do not own a TV, VCR or DVR, or DVD and I drink only under the most strictest circumstances.

Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking, even daily.  In many areas of the world, wine is a perfectly normal drink to have with, for example, the evening meal.  It’s taken on a special character here in the Puritan States of America, but I would not deem a priest effeminate who happened to have a glass of wine each day.  I think the question of effeminacy would hinge rather on what kind of wine—fancy and expensive, or ordinary table wine that most average folks would have.

But then again, could this last distinction I made even be somewhat superficial?  I know not a few priests who are quite manly, who get their hands dirty and do guy things and don’t walk funny or speak with a lisp, but at the same time they also have an extensive collection of fine wine or drive a nice car.  I wouldn’t say that they are effeminate collection – especially if he lives in a poor parish.  But what if he has a wealthy parish, and this is one of the ways that he can identify with the people in order to win them over to the Gospel?  If we see that he has a wine collection, or a nice car (just two examples out of many possible ones), does that mean that we must assume that he never practices self-denial, is probably quite soft, and so forth?  I think we have to be careful here.

Thoughts?

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patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 18:47:44
2005-06-28 22:47:44
Victor, ABBA is a special case, I admit.  If you eevr tapped your toe to Waterloo or SOS, you’re fine.  If you bought an ABBA album thinking that the women were pretty hot (cfr the glass helicopter cover shot), you’re fine. 

But……if your taste runs more toward Mamma Mia, or if you soiled your immortal soul by seeing the Broadway show by that name, or if you adore the musical collaborations between Tim Rice and the men of ABBA, I’d say you got the vice.

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vjmorton2001@yahoo.com
http://cinecon.blogspot.com
66.44.54.217
2005-06-28 18:57:13
2005-06-28 22:57:13
Patrick:

You know the only thing more shameful than you remembering that album cover?

Me remembering the title of the album you’re talking about (ARRIVAL, for those of you in Rio Linda).

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patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 19:09:01
2005-06-28 23:09:01
Bryan:  You bring up very important distinctions.  I’d say hobbies, even expensive ones, are generally good things.  The materialistic vs effeminate difference is more subtle since there’s overlap.

But:

Swishy walk = effeminate
Bragging about the Lexus = materialistic
Gushing in speech, esp in description = effeminate
Insisting on only $2000 Calloway golf clubs = materialism

The vice under discussion has more to do with the “womanly” way a man carries himself, and the things he focuses on, eg, caring more about a pro ball player’s battle with coke addiction than his batting average.  Enjoying fine wine is not necessarily a sign of the vice, but endlessly rhapsodizing about its delicate floral nose might be.  Again, living in a well-appointed home can be a good thing, but would a manly man have to pick out every color of every fabric for every room?

Horse is now very close to death by beating.

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patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-28 19:12:08
2005-06-28 23:12:08
Victor:  LOL.

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lawrence.stich@sbcglobal.net
http://dad29.blogspot.com/
68.254.169.47
2005-06-29 07:11:47
2005-06-29 11:11:47
Ummmnnnnhhhhh….

My aunt (+2003) was a member of the SSND’s.  Just like the Orthodox Jews, the SSND’s had a rule which limited their earthly possessions to “what fits in a steamer trunk.”  More than that you simply don’t need.

SSND’s took a vow of poverty and most on this thread did not—but Orthodox Jews did NOT take a vow of poverty.  They do OK. 

The rule is at least good food for thought—has been for me (although not too effective—just my small-arms collection would take up half of the trunk.)

As usual, Pope B-16 has made an insightful comment (on an unrelated topic) which also provokes thought.  It has to do with the nexus between ‘cult’ and ‘culture.’  The Catholic culture SHOULD grow organically from a rightly-ordered ‘cult.’

One can reverse this, imperfectly:  “Show me your things and I’ll tell you what you worship.”  (Are your ‘things’ the candlesticks which you gave the Parish—or the 4th bathroom in your 4500 s.f. house?)

Further, the connection between luxury and effeminacy would seem to include (or maybe spring from) narcissism.  It’s not a coincidence that Ratzinger condemns the “horizontal” liturgy—the liturgy of “me, me, we, we.”

When you recall the prominent names associated with the construction of this ‘horizontal’ liturgy, things sort of fall into place.

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pauln420@aol.com

205.188.116.78
2005-06-29 07:23:52
2005-06-29 11:23:52
On this note, in regards to that priest I spoke of, who’s now at Emmittsburg:

I visited the rectory to meet with another priest when I was getting my marriage “normalized”.  I saw the younger priests’ room, because it was just off the kitchen.  He slept on a mattress on the FLOOR.  That showed me what kind of priest he was.

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29374

mlalexand99@yahoo.com
http://againstallheresies.blogspot.com
70.19.248.195
2005-06-29 08:51:01
2005-06-29 12:51:01
Wow, Paul N.

Let’s face it having a wine collection or a fancy car is not inspiring for your congregation and does not set a good example b/c it screams SELF INDULGENCE. And by its very nature if you have a “collection” of anything costly like wine isn’t that the antithesis of detachment? Somehow turning water into wine at a wedding and having a wine collection are not in the same ballpark.

I always speculate that in a marriage noting who has the nicer car (the husband or wife) says a lot about the quality of the man.  I’ve always had the safer, better car b/c I drive our children around- which are our treasure on earth.  Another good way to practice detachment is to drive cars without air conditioning. Good for you and the children b/c it is small thing to offer up.  Maybe someone can help me with this but I cannot recall a single saint who had a wine collection.

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29375

dom@bettnet.com
https://www.bettnet.com
192.168.1.1
2005-06-29 09:07:23
2005-06-29 13:07:23
St. Louis, King of France, had an impressive collection, I’m sure.

But your point is well taken, Mary. Perhaps it would be better to ask what religious- or priest-saint had a wine collection.

We expect more from our priests and religious, because it is indeed a higher call, and places a greater demand on them.

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frbobcarr@earthlink.net
http://stbenedictsomerville.catholicismanew.org
146.115.121.18
2005-06-29 10:31:04
2005-06-29 14:31:04
Patrick, thanks for your posts and I greatly enjoyed both of yours posts on the symptoms of effiminacy. I will not say they were wonderful. As for the comments on the other post:

Moderation is what I use to describe the use of things Fr. Jim Clark (Hi Jim) gives a great example of it. Yet, as far as spreading the gospel, that requires passion. Which you cite well. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your comments on the lack of passion. I just published a book where I address that among other issues and I am writing another one now to build upon what I wrote in the first.

American Catholicism is horrendously bland, it is awful and what comes out of the USCCB is the blandest c$%p we have. But so is American Catholic Publishing.

A story—We tried to get published an english translation of a book that is in its 27th printing in Brazil and contacted two major Catholic publishers. Both said no because the writer, one of the most passionate thinkers in the Church today, is not known in the US. They are afraid they will lose money. Hence the reason why I will not publish through American Catholic publishers. The system becomes one of self-feedback that creates terrible mediocrity over and over again.  The USCCB is just as bland which does not help the situation at all. Fr. Richard McBrien, Fr. Donald Cozzens, Fr. Richard Rohr will all make money for publishers, while powerful people in other parts of the world are silenced in the US for fear they will not.

We need less passion for things and money and more passion and trust for Christ. Just as you said Patrick. But I won’t say what you said was wonnnnnnderful.

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29377

frbobcarr@earthlink.net
http://stbenedictsomerville.catholicismanew.org
146.115.121.18
2005-06-29 10:37:33
2005-06-29 14:37:33
Bryan Jerabek, you make a good point, however one of the wisest pieces of advice I ever heard is one I learned from a priest friend of mine while I was in the seminary. I have adhered to it since. “Alcohol and celibacy do not mix.” 

I rarely drink and only under the most controlled circumstances if I do. (I am also a former problem drinker from my non-Catholic days. Anheiser busch lost lots of money when I quit drinking. So that history and fear of returning to it remains with me all the time.)

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29378

KMcEvilly79@fightingillini.com

199.217.139.111
2005-06-29 11:04:54
2005-06-29 15:04:54
Fr. Carr,

You comment about liquor and celibacy struck a chord. In the Belleville scandal nearly all of the 13 accused and dismissed were fond of the sauce. The few that I knew had healthy liquor cabinets as well.

I’m told that Bp. Braxton has eliminated the hard stuff at the Bishop’s residence.

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29379

patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-29 12:28:25
2005-06-29 16:28:25
Father Carr:

Who wrote the Brazil book?  In my limited experience, Brazil churns out leftist liberation theology gunk, or powerhouse orthodoxy stuff.

Fr. Richard Rohr…vice of effeminacy…er, oh, nothing.

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29380

patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-29 12:34:16
2005-06-29 16:34:16
Father Carr:

Who wrote the Brazil book?  In my limited experience, Brazil churns out either leftist liberation theology gunk, or powerhouse orthodoxy stuff.  It’s a whole universe down there.  Most people don’t know it’s the country wth the largest Catholic populace in the world.

Fr. Richard Rohr…vice of effeminacy…er, oh, nothing.

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patdavecoffin@socal.rr.com
http://seizethedei.blogspot.com
67.115.86.87
2005-06-29 12:36:25
2005-06-29 16:36:25
Stop me before I double post again!  Bwahahahah!!!!

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29382

frbobcarr@earthlink.net
http://stbenedictsomerville.catholicismanew.org
146.115.121.18
2005-06-30 16:07:34
2005-06-30 20:07:34
Hi Patrick, The book entitled in portuguese A Biblia No Meu Dia-a-Dia was written by Father Jonas Abib, one of the founders of Can8 Archbishop Sean O’Malley has announced another change to his parish closing plans, allowing St. Thomas parish in Salem to remain open. This decision has some personal meaning because I was on the parish closing comittee in Salem and St. Thomas wasn’t one of our recommendations. However, when St. Thomas was chosen and one of our recommendations, St. James, was left open, I agreed with that decision. (I was also criticized by name by the former pastor for remarks I made on this blog about the style of worship at their parish, claiming that what I wrote meant that their people wouldn’t be welcome at my parish.)

The change leaves Salem with 5 Latin-rite Catholic parishes and 1 Eastern-rite. One of the 5 Latin parishes serves a primarily Polish immigrant population. Even so we just don’t need 5 parishes to serve the Latin-rite community, but the politics have trumped practicality. I can see part of the argument, that St. Thomas serves both Salem and the neighboring town of Peabody. And part of the new announcement is that St. Thomas and Our Lady of Fatima parish, which serves a primarily Brazilian immigrant community and is about 200 yards away, will have to come up with a merger plan. Our Lady is in a heavily residential neighborhood and I can’t imagine that they will keep them open.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
27 comments
  • Poverty. No wonder Christ insisted that the servant of the Gospel take nothing with him on his travels.
    Simplicity of heart vs a divided heart. You can not love God and manna…..
    I think the Marine -priest has developed a very accurate test.
    Another test recommended by St. Louis de Montfort: Does the priest love Mary?
    You can’t love Mary and the things of this world. She, all love of God, Christ and her children; the world, all love of self. She, purity; the world, disorder and selfish love. She, light; the world, dark.

  • David I couldn’t agree with you more.  We have long gotten too used to the idea the women needed to be men to compete in this world-and there were legitimate discriminations going on, but we went too far. Now we have begun turning men into women-maybe because we lack what women should be in the first place?!

    I’m annoyed with QEFTSG.  But it’s also a part of legitimizing the gay lifestyle.  If it’s all right with hetero’s who once would RUN from anything that hinted at gay, then we’ve conquered that final frontier, so to speak.

  • Well Dom, a sufficient warning. Such a vice is present in married life as well. All Catholics are called to use worldly good with a sense of detachment. Priests who engage in self-indulging behaviors can be problematic but so can married people who do the same.

    It is not healthy for any Catholic to be engaged in this vice.

    One of the greatest problems in America is that it is based in prosperity, but Catholicism is rooted in moderation. Any Catholic who buys into the prosperity idea of America, the ordained, religious or single or married lay needs to look at that and re-align his priorities.

    By the way, Liberalism is rooted in the vice of effeminacy.

    For those who ask, I do not use air conditioning. I do not own a TV, VCR or DVR, or DVD and I drink only under the most strictest circumstances.

  • “One of the greatest problems in America is that it is based in prosperity, but Catholicism is rooted in moderation. Any Catholic who buys into the prosperity idea of America…”

    A lot of “conservative” Catholics fit into that category, if you ask me.

  • Could we possibly slip in the “mannerisms” of the macho man?  In some of the third world countries these characteristics of men have led to a history of abuse of women….and yet, usually these men are raised by mothers where they can do no wrong.  Oftentimes, when such are ordained, they have a bunch of mistresses and easily rationalize it.  I have a friend (woman) who is 6’ tall.  She says that some of her best male friends in college were these macho, Mediterranean types or Latino, because, even though normally pretty short in stature, they all believed they were 6’5”!  So many of her other male acquaintances always appeared noticably self conscious of the height difference when together, making her feel that she had to slump to be accepted as “feminine”.  So, should more emphasis be on personhood as JPII emphasized…or do certain unattractive qualities (to the culture) always have to be considered mostly as crosses one has to live with?

  • Father Carr, you prime the discussion pump, but I’m confused.  I, for one, buy into the prosperity idea of America.  I think some quarters of the Church have taken the kernel of truth in Bl. Mother Teresa’s maxim that “God has not called us to be successful, but to be faithful” and turned into something else—a ho hum attitude toward success and excellence.  The bland fare produced by the USCCB is a prime example.  As far as professionalism and excellence goes, we set the bar low and promiscuously forgive ourselves when we fail to meet it.  “Lackluster but nice” has unofficially replaced “heroic and lasting” in the Catholic lexicon.

    With all due respect,  since when is Catholicism “rooted in moderation”?  Was St. Francis of Assisi a moderate?  St. Maximilian Kolbe?  Was Jesus in Gethsemane, or when cleansing the Temple, or bellowing at the Scribe and Pharisees (“brood of vipers!”) being moderate in any sense?  It seems to me that attaining personal sanctity requires something quite the opposite of moderaton.

    I think the overlap between America and Catholicism lies in the striving for excellence.  Americans are famously generous; you can’t support many importantcauses if you’re broke.  It’s the old cliche, “I’ve never gotten a job from a poor man.”

    Are there dangers to riches?  Can we fall into a spirit of self-indulgence?  Of course, as our Lord warns.  But if moderation has a place, it’s in the prudent stewardship of God’s gifts and of the rewards of our own labor.

    I agree with you that liberalism is rooted in the vice of effeminacy.  It’s also true vice versa.

    I still say God bless the man who invented air conditioning, 15-year-old single malt, and hand-rolled Cohibas.

  • What makes the word “wonderful” effeminate?  I’m not going to let some freaky homosexual subculture dictate the use of the English language.  For example, the definition of the word “gay” is happy.  Now we can’t even say the word without thinking of homosexuals.

    Regardless, I agree with you on Marty Haugen’s show tunes.  Salmon is my favorite fish to eat on Fridays. ;- )

  • Nothing.  Wonderful is a perfectly good word.  In moderation.  My primer lists only its overuse, or an overemphasis on the n.

    And good answer on salmon!

  • >>* own more than five pairs of shoes.

    Athletic footwear exempted, of course, otherwise I’d be in trouble with my running shoes, indoor soccer shoes and outdoor soccer cleats, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, and golf spikes.  Good thing I don’t bowl ….

  • You’re fine, Nguoi.  Now, if you told me you had five pairs of golf spikes, or if you only don the tennis shoes if they color-match your wrist sweat band….

  • For those who ask, I do not use air conditioning. I do not own a TV, VCR or DVR, or DVD and I drink only under the most strictest circumstances.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking, even daily.  In many areas of the world, wine is a perfectly normal drink to have with, for example, the evening meal.  It’s taken on a special character here in the Puritan States of America, but I would not deem a priest effeminate who happened to have a glass of wine each day.  I think the question of effeminacy would hinge rather on what kind of wine—fancy and expensive, or ordinary table wine that most average folks would have.

    But then again, could this last distinction I made even be somewhat superficial?  I know not a few priests who are quite manly, who get their hands dirty and do guy things and don’t walk funny or speak with a lisp, but at the same time they also have an extensive collection of fine wine or drive a nice car.  I wouldn’t say that they are effeminate collection – especially if he lives in a poor parish.  But what if he has a wealthy parish, and this is one of the ways that he can identify with the people in order to win them over to the Gospel?  If we see that he has a wine collection, or a nice car (just two examples out of many possible ones), does that mean that we must assume that he never practices self-denial, is probably quite soft, and so forth?  I think we have to be careful here.

    Thoughts?

  • Victor, ABBA is a special case, I admit.  If you eevr tapped your toe to Waterloo or SOS, you’re fine.  If you bought an ABBA album thinking that the women were pretty hot (cfr the glass helicopter cover shot), you’re fine. 

    But……if your taste runs more toward Mamma Mia, or if you soiled your immortal soul by seeing the Broadway show by that name, or if you adore the musical collaborations between Tim Rice and the men of ABBA, I’d say you got the vice.

  • Patrick:

    You know the only thing more shameful than you remembering that album cover?

    Me remembering the title of the album you’re talking about (ARRIVAL, for those of you in Rio Linda).

  • Bryan:  You bring up very important distinctions.  I’d say hobbies, even expensive ones, are generally good things.  The materialistic vs effeminate difference is more subtle since there’s overlap.

    But:

    Swishy walk = effeminate
    Bragging about the Lexus = materialistic
    Gushing in speech, esp in description = effeminate
    Insisting on only $2000 Calloway golf clubs = materialism

    The vice under discussion has more to do with the “womanly” way a man carries himself, and the things he focuses on, eg, caring more about a pro ball player’s battle with coke addiction than his batting average.  Enjoying fine wine is not necessarily a sign of the vice, but endlessly rhapsodizing about its delicate floral nose might be.  Again, living in a well-appointed home can be a good thing, but would a manly man have to pick out every color of every fabric for every room?

    Horse is now very close to death by beating.

  • Ummmnnnnhhhhh….

    My aunt (+2003) was a member of the SSND’s.  Just like the Orthodox Jews, the SSND’s had a rule which limited their earthly possessions to “what fits in a steamer trunk.”  More than that you simply don’t need.

    SSND’s took a vow of poverty and most on this thread did not—but Orthodox Jews did NOT take a vow of poverty.  They do OK. 

    The rule is at least good food for thought—has been for me (although not too effective—just my small-arms collection would take up half of the trunk.)

    As usual, Pope B-16 has made an insightful comment (on an unrelated topic) which also provokes thought.  It has to do with the nexus between ‘cult’ and ‘culture.’  The Catholic culture SHOULD grow organically from a rightly-ordered ‘cult.’

    One can reverse this, imperfectly:  “Show me your things and I’ll tell you what you worship.”  (Are your ‘things’ the candlesticks which you gave the Parish—or the 4th bathroom in your 4500 s.f. house?)

    Further, the connection between luxury and effeminacy would seem to include (or maybe spring from) narcissism.  It’s not a coincidence that Ratzinger condemns the “horizontal” liturgy—the liturgy of “me, me, we, we.”

    When you recall the prominent names associated with the construction of this ‘horizontal’ liturgy, things sort of fall into place.

  • On this note, in regards to that priest I spoke of, who’s now at Emmittsburg:

    I visited the rectory to meet with another priest when I was getting my marriage “normalized”.  I saw the younger priests’ room, because it was just off the kitchen.  He slept on a mattress on the FLOOR.  That showed me what kind of priest he was.

  • Wow, Paul N.

    Let’s face it having a wine collection or a fancy car is not inspiring for your congregation and does not set a good example b/c it screams SELF INDULGENCE. And by its very nature if you have a “collection” of anything costly like wine isn’t that the antithesis of detachment? Somehow turning water into wine at a wedding and having a wine collection are not in the same ballpark.

    I always speculate that in a marriage noting who has the nicer car (the husband or wife) says a lot about the quality of the man.  I’ve always had the safer, better car b/c I drive our children around- which are our treasure on earth.  Another good way to practice detachment is to drive cars without air conditioning. Good for you and the children b/c it is small thing to offer up.  Maybe someone can help me with this but I cannot recall a single saint who had a wine collection.

  • St. Louis, King of France, had an impressive collection, I’m sure.

    But your point is well taken, Mary. Perhaps it would be better to ask what religious- or priest-saint had a wine collection.

    We expect more from our priests and religious, because it is indeed a higher call, and places a greater demand on them.

  • Patrick, thanks for your posts and I greatly enjoyed both of yours posts on the symptoms of effiminacy. I will not say they were wonderful. As for the comments on the other post:

    Moderation is what I use to describe the use of things Fr. Jim Clark (Hi Jim) gives a great example of it. Yet, as far as spreading the gospel, that requires passion. Which you cite well. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your comments on the lack of passion. I just published a book where I address that among other issues and I am writing another one now to build upon what I wrote in the first.

    American Catholicism is horrendously bland, it is awful and what comes out of the USCCB is the blandest c$%p we have. But so is American Catholic Publishing.

    A story—We tried to get published an english translation of a book that is in its 27th printing in Brazil and contacted two major Catholic publishers. Both said no because the writer, one of the most passionate thinkers in the Church today, is not known in the US. They are afraid they will lose money. Hence the reason why I will not publish through American Catholic publishers. The system becomes one of self-feedback that creates terrible mediocrity over and over again.  The USCCB is just as bland which does not help the situation at all. Fr. Richard McBrien, Fr. Donald Cozzens, Fr. Richard Rohr will all make money for publishers, while powerful people in other parts of the world are silenced in the US for fear they will not.

    We need less passion for things and money and more passion and trust for Christ. Just as you said Patrick. But I won’t say what you said was wonnnnnnderful.

  • Bryan Jerabek, you make a good point, however one of the wisest pieces of advice I ever heard is one I learned from a priest friend of mine while I was in the seminary. I have adhered to it since. “Alcohol and celibacy do not mix.” 

    I rarely drink and only under the most controlled circumstances if I do. (I am also a former problem drinker from my non-Catholic days. Anheiser busch lost lots of money when I quit drinking. So that history and fear of returning to it remains with me all the time.)

  • Fr. Carr,

    You comment about liquor and celibacy struck a chord. In the Belleville scandal nearly all of the 13 accused and dismissed were fond of the sauce. The few that I knew had healthy liquor cabinets as well.

    I’m told that Bp. Braxton has eliminated the hard stuff at the Bishop’s residence.

  • Father Carr:

    Who wrote the Brazil book?  In my limited experience, Brazil churns out leftist liberation theology gunk, or powerhouse orthodoxy stuff.

    Fr. Richard Rohr…vice of effeminacy…er, oh, nothing.

  • Father Carr:

    Who wrote the Brazil book?  In my limited experience, Brazil churns out either leftist liberation theology gunk, or powerhouse orthodoxy stuff.  It’s a whole universe down there.  Most people don’t know it’s the country wth the largest Catholic populace in the world.

    Fr. Richard Rohr…vice of effeminacy…er, oh, nothing.

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