Virility comes from the Latin word ‘vIr’ which means man. Virility then is described in dictionaries as that which is marked with manliness or “marked by strength or force”.
We see evidence all around us with gender confusion, the acceptance of gay lifestyles, the morphing of the feminine into masculine role play and a host of other slippery slopes that seems to bombard us like shells exploding in a besieged citadel which clouds the air, confuses and disorients us. Our lives get more difficult after many years of warfare and we become, for a lack of a better expression, battle fatigued.
To some extent the world has always been the domain for such evils but since the advent of Christ, His Church has been our refuge from the fog of war which is always raging outside its doors. It was a haven for the injured, the confused, the sorrowful, the suffering and the war weary soldiers that seek nothing short of peace; a peace that this world cannot offer.
I offer for your discernment two articles published today on the internet as background for what I am writing; for I think they give us a strong indication of the state of things at present and they provide a worthy foundation which desperately needs to be built upon should we want to preserve this refuge. For if we are serious about preserving the Church then we must continue to encourage and attract our boys to the auspicious duties of the priesthood and promote its manliness. For there is nothing more attractive to young men and boys than virility especially when it is coupled with a life of holiness.
Sermon by Father Konrad zu Loewenstein, FSSP about the essentials of the Faith that are not being taught or even talked about anymore in our Churches
Vesting in Lavender by Anthony Esolen about the lack of virility in the priesthood and the manliness that was once a presumed character of the priest
Rather than repeat what is stated in these two articles, perhaps it would be best if I simply open the discussion, should one want to participate, in what we, mere laymen in the Church, can do to aid in the recovery of virility and vitality that seems to be missing.
I might suggest, in short, some of the following:
- Better education and examples of manliness and its self-sacrificial nature in our search for holiness
- Restoring the sanctuary of our Mass to the consecrated men who need to lead the way in exemplifying this life in both word and deed
- Instilling our boys by providing them a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood and the privilege that is being offered them to even set their foot inside the sanctuary reserved for the Holy Sacrifice
- Taking a stance, whether popular or not, to fix those things that are broken; such as our hymns, our nonchalant attitudes and our outrage at clerics who do not live up to the expectations of their office
- Changing our focus from the politics of the world to the attaining of Heaven and the avoidance of Hell
- Insistence that our priests teach, even the hard lessons of the faith, rather than taking the easy route of constantly stroking the egos of the laity
- Returning to the obedience of Faith
There are many other things here which could be said and I am starting to think that men, above all, need to step up and start mentoring, either by example or by lecturing young boys (perhaps as a part of the youth programs in our parishes) about what it means to be a man: a real man. But one thing that I am fairly certain of is that the virility of life in the Church is under attack and if we want the Church to survive then we must fight to restore it.