Sunday, August 12, 2007

That Man Is Me?

Via Father Stephanos over at Me Monk. Me Meander, a recommended article for men of faith, The New Catholic Manliness.

In it, Todd Aglialoro mentions something he finds commendable from a family ministry based in Houston, Paradisus Dei, entitled, ”That Man Is You.” A rigorous three-year process, "That Man Is You" is not a "pastoral" program for those who want their hands held. Rather,
“Men respond to a challenge,” founder Steve Bollman says. “To offer them a ‘soft’ program doesn’t take into account how men work.”

So Bollman set out to provide that challenge—with early morning prayer groups; with demanding “covenants” that call men to be self-sacrificing leaders in their families; and with an intellectually rigorous 68-week program, spread over three years, that unites science, Scripture, theology, and spirituality in a “thinking-man’s quest” for the full truth of what it means to be a man—and a man of God. To date, more than 5,000 men in Texas, Canada, and satellite programs nationwide have participated.
Hmmm. Sounds like something the Three Mass'keteers might endorse and enjoy. Note well: Take time to read "The New Catholic Manliness" mentioned above. It includes such sub headings as "Toward a Crunchier Catechesis," that describes many new seminarians not engaging in psychobabble, felt banners, and "Jesus our friend."


David Nybakke said...

For me, Aramis, I am going along saying yes, yes, and particularly yes to Bollman and his "That Man is You" program, then I get to the close of the article and well, I have to admit I just don't think so.

There is so much here that begs for strong "manly" Emmaus Road Initiative and the Girardian approach to life. Self- sacrifice is used a number of times in the article which opens the door to grappling with the most difficult of issues - our being and subjectivity - what it means to be a person of God!

I think our pressing issue to date is not gender differentiation, but what it means to be a person with ontological density. Articles like this seem to give the impression that females are going along just fine, no need or concern of an identity problem with them - it is us guys that have all the problems - we just get guys flexing muscles and protecting us from those bad adherents of Islam and the world will be peace and love. This seems a sure setup for getting us into a mimetic double-bind.

I do think that "soft" programs don't work, but I have to say I also believe that "soft" programs don't work for women either. I think that there is a war out there for our souls and that we all need to roll up our sleeves and get serious about being Catholic.

Imagine a tough and demanding 68-week Emmaus Road Initiative calling us forth to give everything that we have for God - to help one another be accountable for our task of being holy - to love God with our all and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Holy, Holy, Holy.

Athos said...

Yeah, I'm with you, Aramis. I don't think that anyone unassociated with the insights of Girard, Bailie, Williams, Bellinger, et al can truly offer more than the same old same old. It isn't the processor or how it is measured; it is the degree to which one is at one with the Word made flesh by way of the Sacraments.