Friday, July 29, 2011

Loss and Redemption of Renaissance Men

A renaissance man is a gentlemanly scholar who has a wide array of many different talents and interests. He is well versed in manners as well as the ability to defend and protect. A renaissance man has an interest in many fields. The motto 'Jack of all trades, Master of none' is laughable to the man with more vision than most. The Renaissance man has a want, almost a need, to learn about his surroundings, to know and to feel what true love is and to find out if and when it exists. He has a deep appreciation for beauty; beauty of nature, poetry, literature, and human dignity. Well versed in the Word of God and easily held accountable when one needs a friend. He holds himself at a much higher standard than he holds the others around him. Knowing of fallen human nature he has mercy and forgiveness flowing from his heart yet a stern position held upon his own manners and sinful nature. He has an extensive knowledge of how to defend himself and how to keep his body at its pinnacle. He can see the unknown through the lenses of faith, reason, and the sciences. He feels just as comfortable in a tuxedo as he does in a camouflage fatigue aiming a rifle at a white-tail buck from 100 yards away.

When a person speaks with him, that person is left with an everlasting impression of the most passionate yet humble man with the aptitude to truly listen. He is willing to pay attention to the opinions of others yet forms his own off of objective truth. He does not care about the fads of his time, all the while having more sensibility about the falsehoods of the sad broken world that he was born into. He strives to be the best with the abilities and talents given to him from an Almighty Creator yet never wanting the fame or fortune associated with today's celebrity worshipping culture. He longs to know, love and serve something greater than he is, and that fulfillment of his desires is found within his Catholic faith.

Are there still men out there that are striving to live up to such a lofty lifestyle? Or are most men sneering at someone like this and considering his way of life a sham? Is this something that can be revived with our world? I think that it can and that true leadership into the real change that we all need depends upon it. I fear that we no longer are striving for the well rounded human being in today's society. If a person is not specialized into a field he is looked upon as a dunce. Intellectual curiosity has all but left the typical male today, as well as a deep appreciation for tradition and classical rhetoric. The ancient philosophers as well as the greatest minds of the so called 'dark ages' have left us with an everlasting ancestry of men who desire to know about their surroundings as well as why they exist. Whether it be the need for survival, a round table discussion of virtue or Bach's Mass in B minor, or leading a crowd in prayer and devotion, the real man is ready for anything, even death. It seems that men today are in great need to revive and restore the tradtional values and morals of the greats. Our current society fills our curiosities with garbage and tells us that it is gold. But we have to see things for what they are garbage can only beget more garbage, a mind filled with secularly materialistic nonsense could never write the next 'Wealth of Nations' or compose the next 'Mythopoeia'. If we are going to save our world from possible disaster we have got to start with ourselves.

The redemption of the Renaissance man is in the ability of finding one to emulate, and in finding one to emulate the best place to look is at who raised the ultimate Renaissance man. Saint Joseph is our ultimate example of becoming the all-around best we can be. In him we find strength, courage, knowledge, appreciation of beauty and ultimately the ability to raise the Divine Renaissance Man. Strength can be found in St. Joseph mentally, by overcoming all of the obstacles that he approached, physically, because he was a carpenter, and spiritually because he raised the rabbouni that would teach the world how to love. He showed an appreciation for beauty in his longing for and marriage to the most beautiful creation God has given us in our blessed lady, Mary. He knew what it took to protect his family physically as well as spiritually. He had a love for the simpler things in life and the knowledge of how much hard work can truly pay off in the end. He had the love of poetry as he was well versed in Scripture. Nothing could deter him from his faith. His ability to listen was proven when an angel appeared to him in a dream and he followed his divine orders without hesitation. He was able to woo the most feminine and exquisite woman known to man yet was able to control his passions as he knew that the womb of Mary had a special and divine purpose that he was unworthy of. He possessed the kind of wild tranquility that our Lord craves in a leader. He has an unparalleled knowleadge of the savior of the world. The decisive example of the contemplative life fused with the heart of a soldier of God produces the Renaissance man for the ages. It is extremely challenging in today's world to slow down and take in everything that is useful and beautiful but we do have an example of how to take these lofty goals to heart.


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