Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life: What is it for a Wife & Mother?

Life: What is it for a Wife & Mother?

What is life? Is it a biological definition about hearts, cells and oxygen? Is it a list of things to do composed at the end of the day for the following day? Is it duties, dreams, desires? And about what level of life are we talking? Is there a different level of life to be experienced depending on those daily tasks? If you are a wife and mother your definition of life may be defined by those in your life. The vocation of wife and mother is a most noble and honorable calling by God. But are we experiencing it at the surface level of stuff to do to keep life going, or embracing it at a deeper level with understanding of the choice we made? Keeping the laundry done, the groceries bought, the meals prepared, the kitchen clean, the diapers changed, the beds made, the floors swept, the bathrooms sanitary, the shirts pressed, the boo-boo's bandaged all the while making time for your hubby before you're exhausted, getting the dog groomed and giving time to each individual child can make a woman stop and wonder, is this life?? Is this what the vocation of marriage and parenting is all about? For a time, yes; yes it is. This is the service we have been called to do for our husband and for our children and mostly because God asked us to and we said yes. Were there times our Blessed Mother might have thought, "what the heck have I agreed to do?". Probably not, because she was without sin and did not question what God had asked her. But, like us, she made a choice. That choice then required her to be obedient and most of all trusting that God would not ask her to do something beyond her capabilities. So where does that leave us? We are not sinless, but we were given a choice. We chose. Now, like Mary, our lives are not our own. They are at the service of our husband and children and therefore, at the service of God. Our life has become something bigger than ourselves, than our dreams, our wants, our wishes, our fairy tales. We made a choice to except the plan God has for us in our vocations. At that time we gave Him our life to do with what He asks. For a time, this life might be difficult, dreary, mundane, frustrating. But isn't life a sequence of events happening for a greater purpose? Each load of laundry, dirty diaper, and dishwasher full of dishes is one step along the path of life God has planned for us that we chose when we, like Mary, said yes.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Traditional Man

Modern men have become what they fear the most. They are afraid to seem weak yet are more in touch with their 'feminine side' than any other generation. They fear to stand out yet want more attention given to them than they deserve. They say that tradition is dead but for some reason the idea of honor, which is extremely traditional, still tugs at their hearts. They want to be from the school of 'hard knocks' yet allow their son's to wear 'skinny jeans' and v-neck blouses. Why has the traditional standard of manliness all but left our civilization? Is it because of confusion, no role models, or worse, downright hatred of traditional masculinity?

The John Wayne types have left the cinema, the George Washington's have left politics, and most fathers are sad excuses for men, where is it that we can turn to in order to find the genuine article? Manliness is something that is very hard to describe, and rightfully so. It is something that must be shown and lived in order to define exactly what it is. If the father of the household isn't living up to his God-given role as a man and spiritual head of his household, there are very few examples to be looked upon as true, traditionally masculine men. But, there is still one place that has had a 2,000 year tradtion of manliness!

I recently had a conversation with someone about the men's conference coming up in November and we were talking about Fr. Joe Classen. This man is one heck of a guy's guy! He is an avid hunter and just recently I found out that he is also a weight lifter. But the number one thing that puts all of his masculine energies to the forefront is that he is a priest! He was stunned that a priest would be such a man! I think we lose something when we forget that our priests are still and always are men at heart. They joined the priesthood to save the world! If that's not manly I don't know what is! These are men that we must look up to and hold in such a high regard that we would never dare succumb to the pressure if the world to think of them as out of date or over-rated. Sacrifice, honor, bravery, courage, front-line warriors, they are the traditional man's man!

People are always complaining, "Where have all the good men gone?" Well I have an answer for those that do not know: They are behind the alter putting their own minds, bodies, and souls on the line for you! As unworthy as we all are, they still fight for the good of our country, our Church, and for your very soul! Priests are the men that stare evil down every day and do battle for their flocks. We must encourage them to continue in their struggles and to step up when we dare not! If being a real man depends on how much you sacrifice for the betterment of this world then we need look no furthur than the man in the confessionals!