Tag: motherhood, mothers

Virile Distress

Virile Distress posted in Eleison Comments on March 20, 2010

Let me make no apology for coming back on a profound disorder of our wretched times: the dominance in public of women over men. That woman – the mother – should be queen in the home over things of the home – nothing more normal. But when she queens it in public, then there is something seriously wrong with the menfolk: they are giving to the women no lead or direction towards God, and the womenfolk are reacting, as is their nature, instinctively.

It is an intelligent young man from a distant land who reminds me of the problem. He observes around him that there are many more publications for women than for men; that in schools which are co-educational all the way to university, the girls, being more docile and diligent, regularly get better marks than the boys, who are in general disordered and do not apply themselves. My young friend asks, is co-education such a good idea?

He observes that it results in the girls succeeding better in school and coming out on top as the new “stronger sex,” manipulating the new “weaker sex” now at the mercy of their beauty. In all domains of the emerging “civilization of woman,” women are taking over the positions of leadership. Even to have children, a laboratory will now enable them to do without men, who no longer mean anything. Men are a failure. My young friend concludes with the agonizing questions: “What are the rules for being a true man? What is the meaning of virility? How should the strength of men differ from the strength of women? What is the truly “strong woman”? And the strong man?”

My dear young friend, you were born into a Revolutionary world which is defying God, and therefore seeking to overthrow the nature and natural order of things as God created them. God’s basic design is as follows: he created man and woman with profoundly complementary natures to marry and so populate the earth, in order to populate Heaven. To woman he gave superior feelings to be the heart of the home by having and looking after the children. To man he gave a superior reason to be the head of the home, and to lead all the family to Heaven. She is designed for domestic life, in the family. He is designed for public life, in society.

Therefore as much as the woman and mother should be listened to and heeded in affairs of the family for which she was gifted (see Proverbs XXXI for the Word of God’s own portrait of the truly “strong woman”), so little should she normally be seen or heard in public affairs, for which she was not made. The problem today is that godless and gutless men leave a leadership vacuum into which women almost have to flow, good women reluctantly. My dear young friend, pray 15 Mysteries a day of the Holy Rosary of the Mother of God, maker of true men. Fill yourself with God, with God, with God, and then you will be able to give to women the three l’s which they absolutely need: to be listened to, to be loved, to be led. Without God, you will have them walking all over you.

I am absolutely serious about 15 Mysteries a day. No less is needed.

Kyrie eleison.

Christmas Fear

Christmas Fear posted in Eleison Comments on December 26, 2009

So Christmas Day has come and gone once more, reminding us of the great joywhichOur Lord brought to the entire world by His Incarnation and Birth, but especially to his Mother. At last she holds him safe in her arms where she tends to him like a mother, but where she also adores him as her God. Alas, who that has an inkling of religion cannot lament how the world around us cashes in on the joy, but in large part forgets the God?

In this respect the joy of Christmas today resembles the smile of the Cheshire Cat, especially in capitalist lands (but Pius XI observed back in 1931 that capitalism was extending all over the world – “Quadragesimo Anno,” 103–104). Readers of “Alice in Wonderland” will remember how the smile of the Cat could still be seen when the rest of the Cat had disappeared. The substance is gone, but the effects linger, at least for a while. Belief in the Divine Child is being killed off all the time, thanks especially to Vatican II, yet the joy of Christmas is lingering. This is partly because God, being supremely generous, commemorates each year the Birth of his Son amongst men with a flood of actual graces, to which many souls respond by being a little nicer than they are at any other time of year, but it is partly also because joy is enjoyable. This is rather less secure.

For as the true worship of God continues to disappear, and with it any true grasp of what the coming of the Saviour meant, indispensable for our eternal happiness, so the joy of Christmas is being reduced to the commercialism and carousing we all know. The smile cannot indefinitely survive the Cat. Even the nicest of NIFs (Nice Internal Feelings) cannot survive indefinitely without their object. If Jesus Christ is not God, let alone the one and only Saviour of mankind, why rejoice in his birth? I love my Nifs, but if they are based only on themselves, sooner or later they will collapse, leaving only a sour taste of disillusion behind them. I may love feeling all “Christmassy,” but if I am reacting to my feelings instead of to what they are based on, I am heading for some emotional collapse or other.

It is the difference between sentimentality and sentiments. Our Lord was full of sentiments, when for instance he met the widow of Naim, distraught over her only son being carried to the grave (Lk. VII, 11–15). But there was no trace of sentimentality in Our Lord (nor, I declare, in “The Poem of the Man-God”), because the sentiments are never being sought out for their own sake. His sentiments were always stirred directly by a real object, eg the widow’s grief, which put him vividly in mind of what would be his own Mother’s desolation when he himself was being carried to the grave.

Subjectivism is the plague of our times, i.e. man shutting out objective reality in order to re-arrange it how he likes it subjectively within himself. Subjectivism is the heart and soul of the Neo-modernism now desolating the Church. And subjectivism cutting off the mind from its outside object necessarily engenders sentimentality in the heart, because it takes away from the heart all outside object for its sentiments. Capitalist Christmas will finally be killed by sentimentality. Either men return to the true God, to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the true importance of his Birth, or the collapse of some of their nicest Nifs, the “Christmassy” Nifs, risks leaving the little that remains of “Western Civilization” with one more reason for suicidal sourness.

Kyrie eleison.

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer posted in Eleison Comments on December 19, 2009

Here is some good news for Christmas, drawn from England’s “Catholic Herald” of Dec. 11: a report from the United States tells that the present economic recession is helping marriages. The recession began towards the end of 2007. In that year the divorce rate in the USA was 17.5 for every thousand married women. In the following year it was 16.9. Lessons at what Americans call “The School of Hard Knocks” are costly, but they sure teach!

“Marriage in America: The State of Our Unions 2009” is the title of the Report published jointly at the Institute for American Values, University of Virginia, by the Center for Marriage and Families and the National Marriage Project, whose director, Brian Wilcox, wrote the Report. He says that millions of Americans have adopted a “homegrown bailout strategy,” and “are relying on their own marriages and families to weather this storm.” As our new-fangled world collapses, so the old proverbs come back into their own: “Every cloud has a silver lining”; “Blood is thick and water is thin”; “There’s no place like home.”

Another piece of evidence quoted by Wilcox to prove that the economic crisis is helping marriages is the decision of many married couples to get rid of credit card debt. As reported by the Federal Reserve Board, Americans have reduced their collective revolving debt by 90 billion over the past year. Wilcox says the recession has revived the “home economy” as more and more Americans are growing their own food, making and mending their own clothes, and dining out less often: “Many couples appear to be developing a new appreciation for the economic and social support that marriage can provide in tough times.”

Husbands, behave like men, and turn to your wives for support. Wives, glory in your womanly gifts which men do not have in anything like the same measure, and lean on your husbands for strength. A man without a woman is normally a zero (yes, zero!). A woman without a man is normally even less, an incomplete zero, or an open U. But put the U as support beneath the zero, and you suddenly have 8! On the Miraculous Medal, is not the Cross of Our Lord shown resting on the M of Mary? To go through with his Passion Our Lord chose to renounce all his divine Strength. But could his humanity alone have performed our Redemption without the human support of his Mother? Never!

Not many economists have any common sense, but the few that are not living in la-la-land all see this recession getting much worse yet. Mothers, re-learn domestic skills. Fathers, re-learn vegetable gardening. All lovers of truth and reality, strengthen not only family ties, but also neighbourhood ties. It is going to be a question of survival, and our governments and media are not going to help, on the contrary, unless they seriously change direction. “Our help is in the name of the Lord,” figuring at this time of year as a powerless human baby. Yet this baby is the Almighty!

Kyrie eleison.

Wimbledon Gladiatrixes

Wimbledon Gladiatrixes posted in Eleison Comments on July 4, 2009

Since the window of my present habitation looks out in the distance over Wimbledon Park, I have been seeing for the last week or so crowds of sports fans often camping out overnight to get good seats for the world’s top tennis tournament held every year close by. Example pulls. One evening I went myself for a few hours.

Evening entry is neither to the best seats nor to the best games – as an air stewardess once unforgettably said to me, “You can’t get champagne for beer money” – so I saw none of those singles matches which are the greatest spectacle in the noble sport of tennis: one mind, will, and strength pitted in single combat against another in an eminently skilful contest, as of two gladiators, only without the bloodshed. However, I could watch part of several men’s and women’s doubles games, two against two.

All the men I saw playing were dressed to my surprise in virtually knee-length shorts, which one supposes therefore cannot hinder a tennis-player. Yet the dress of the women-players reached at most halfway down the thigh. Of course nothing seemed more normal, indeed a number of the female spectators were dressed even more briefly. Now the weather was hot, but are there no menfolk left to tell their daughters, sisters, wives – or mothers! – that such dress is fit for the eyes of a husband only?

Yet another problem was going unnoticed, still more serious. Tennis is then a gladiatorial sport in which a thundering service, powered drives to the baseline and vollies punched away are at a premium, making physical strength and stamina, a fighting spirit and the will to dominate all-important. These being male prerogatives, naturally the women do their best to imitate men, which may flatter macho pride, but do we men ever stop to think how we are de-naturing our womenfolk by admiring and encouraging them to gladiate? The one gladiatrix who might have looked graceful the other evening turned graceless the moment she prepared to deal out or receive balled thunder!

So here is a practical question: when a woman commits herself to championship tennis or any other male-enhancing sport, can she regard as anything other than a nuisance to be got rid of, that sometimes crippling reminder each month from God that she was designed for the continuation of the human race? Scorning or blocking her fertility, how can she foster it for maternity? Can then the countrymen of Wimbledon, Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows, etc., be surprised if their native birth-rates are collapsing? Have they any right to complain if their countries look like being taken over by immigrants in a not too distant future?

Kyrie eleison.

Sinister Fashions

Sinister Fashions posted in Eleison Comments on November 8, 2008

There reached me today an interesting letter from a German wife and mother in her early 50’s, who was born and bred in Communist Czechoslovakia, but who by motherhood and the grace of God found her way out of the modern scene and back to traditional values, to the Catholic Faith in particular. Now she is planning to help write a book about her experiences and conclusions. Here are two paragraphs from her letter:

“Thanks to my previous career as a photographic model, I came to know what goes on behind the scenes of fashion design. It is shattering to realize how trends in fashion are forced on women with one deliberate end in view – the destruction of their femininity and the stripping away of their dignity as women.

“Every year from Paris and Milan to London, fashion-designers put on display ready-to-wear clothing in which any ‘fashion-conscious’ woman is presented almost exclusively as a male or a woman of the street. One glance at a fashion-magazine like Vogue is enough for one to sense the all-embracing dictatorship of fashion, which brooks no resistance from behind its twisted mask of sensuality and provocation.” Strong words!

The womanliness of woman, tied to her natural destiny as mother, is so deep-seated in human nature that it is one of the last bastions to come under assault by the enemies of mankind. If the good German lady follows up their trail behind the scenes, she will stumble upon that massive plot against God and man which reaches back many centuries, and of which today’s onslaught on womanhood is all the more furious for being, as the plotters sense, one of the last battles they must win to achieve their final victory, as they think.

In this relentless war, one pressing need is to fight on today’s battlefields and not only on yesterday’s. Mother of virgins, Mother of mothers, obtain for the projected book to enable many souls to see how to take some first steps off the road to eternal damnation.

Kyrie eleison.

Children’s Treasure

Children’s Treasure posted in Eleison Comments on June 7, 2008

Do mothers know – do they still want to know – what treasures they, and they alone, can lay up in the hearts of their children? Here is a charming reminder from a young poet of the Irish countryside, born in the last years of the 19th century, who died on the eve of World War Two, Michael Walsh. The poem is entitled “Roses”:

Roses of evening – O loveliest of roses

Falling in music as the night came down –

To me the most familiar sound of childhood,

My mother praying on her beads of brown.

Evenings at home – O evenings long remembered!

Sunset on the meadows – moonrise on the snows,

Be it June or December – twilights that descended

To low soft music of a falling rose!

Of all the memories of a quiet valley

That haunt me, haunt me in this dusty town,

But one remains – the loveliest and the sweetest –

My mother praying on her beads of brown!

What a mother can give to her child in its earliest years cannot be replaced by the father, nor even at a later date by a beloved spouse. Both of them come upon the heart made, or unmade, by the mother. The key to its unmaking is her self-centredness, or selfishness, arising often today from the pursuit of her own fulfilment – how little does she know! The key to its making, and to that profound veneration in which mothers are naturally held, is her self-sacrifice, or selflessness. See in “Roses” how deep in the child struck his mother’s forgetting herself in God!

Kyrie eleison.