A Father’s Advice: On Vulgar Readings and Social Expectations

A group of men together might have reason to face, and discuss shameful things, but to force it in speech upon women is to assault them, and anyone who says otherwise, doesn’t have any respect for the feminine soul – plain and simple.

There was a time in our culture that just speaking that way in front of a lady would require a physical defense of her – a good punch in the face – why? Because any man who is so clueless needs that kind of response before he begins to understand the seriousness of it. (Obviously that means is not open to us anymore.)

Also, just because some or a particular woman are not offended does not justify it. As the popes have said – and I’m paraphrasing – “isn’t that proof that something good has already been destroyed…”

Anyway, while Aristophanes is bad, Chaucer is worse, for he surrounds his sexual crudity in Christian context.

The best argument from the perspective of Christian social virtue, which only is of benefit to those who are sincere in their desire for developing Christian social virtue, is St. Paul, when he tells the Christians to stop engaging in vulgar speech, and that they should not so much as mention shameful things among themselves. Maybe Catholic colleges should spend more time reading the epistles.

There are those who are desensitized because of our culture who will not understand, but will respect your position. There are those who are corrupted by our culture, who will attack you for it because you are essentially calling them barbarians. But it doesn’t matter. Manhood does not require one to overpower one’s opponents, but to stand firm, like a rock, in peace and conviction, so that all those who wish to be protected and secured to that rock can depend on it. Men come to the defense of others so that others may be free. It is not a matter of forcing anything upon anyone, but protecting those who wish to be free to pursue truth and goodness.

  . . . the peace I mention is not the peace of inaction, or silence, but the peace of confident action, steadfast commitment to virtue, and silencing our own interests (and sometimes our tongue) for the good of others. It is a lifelong practice . . .

Don’t be alarmed, your instincts are very good, and correct. It’s comforting for a father to read such thoughts from his son because my instinct toward our modern society is to wince as we let you face it and hope you don’t be too bruised by it.
But I trust God will  look after you, and give you a humble and patient heart so that you learn things in the right way.
The only danger to you is the threat of the absence of peace in your heart as you try to live in accordance with these instincts.

Always remember that the best practices in gentlemanly behavior are founded in true charity for others, are conducted in the peaceful mannerisms of a quiet strength that never forces itself on others, (but stands in force in defense of others) and can stand up to the disturbances that are tossed at it.

Be peaceful, my son!

Eyes of the Rose

We’ve looked before in the darkness,
And daylight – they were the same;
In prayer or conversation,
Or silence – watching the rain,
The sunshine, clouds of evening,
A soul beside me dwelt,
In cold and snow, tiredness, pain,
In all moments I felt,
The glance of a thorn, and breath of a Rose.

I looked and loved what lived beyond,
Within, inseparably from the soft
And blooming beauty of Divinity’s shadow,
A soul far closer in her nature to angels
Than that of my own. A jewel, a treasure,
Sanctuary and tabernacle of God and new life,
Of others immortal, eternally being.

The surface is fair, both lovely, mysterious
Beneath lies the true Beauty, revealed with care;
Through the eyes of the Rose with peaceful love,
I saw there imprinted the Image of God.

The White Rose

One silent evening, towards Summer’s close,
I walked alone through darkening fields,
Saw by chance, hidden by trees
A group of bushes, gnarled and thorned,
But looking closer, was pleased to see,
On each thorned branch rested a rose.

Several rose-trees together growing,
One flowering blood-red, another gold,
But the one upon which I rested my sight:
The rose of shimmering, pure white.
Reflecting in it’s simple hue,
All colours bound and intertwined,
Symbolic of every virtue:
A rose of white, for purity,
For courage and eternal love,
Reverence and humility.

I heard as though it spoke to me,
And knew then, what I ought to be.
I shed a tear for my past sins,
Asked our Lord from me to take,
The thorns ’round my soul,
Their roots to break.

Long stood I there in fading light,
Pondering over this simple flower.
A gift from God, precious and sweet,
Growing from the ground at my feet.
Breaking rock, barren and dry,
Reaching out to sun and sky,
Growing, climbing towards God’s throne,
Doing that which His men will not,
Living always, Heaven to own,
While His great love, we all forgot.

It still is wonderous to me,
That man to make a choice is free;
That we alone, of all God’s creatures,
Have ever sinned and shunned His love;
That I see proof of Virtue’s power,
By looking at this little flower.