On the Catholic Priesthood

Friday October 04, 2019

A Man who is a man....

not only in stature and years, but in the full and perfect sense of the word, is the glory of our nature, of the human; and the life which he leads is an honor to the religion that has made him what he is, and a source of salutary influence to all who know him, bay, even to the world at large. "Every noble life," says Ruskin, "leaves the fiber of it interwoven for ever in the work of the world." The example of such a life gives light and strength to men when they are tempted to despair, and inspires them with courage to grapple with difficulties and struggle till they achieve success.

There are those who. though they reach maturity, and even old age, remain mere children in character. They have no stability or firmness of mind, and they are as froward and impatient as in the days when they played with toys. Impulse and unworthy motive rule them, and they know not what it is, in the practical details of conduct, to be guided by principle. In a Christian, whose very name signifies one who denies himself and follows Christ, it is childishness to live for the pursuit of pleasure, to love display, to cherish thoughts of vanity, to be greedy of men's praise, and to seek deliberately after the enjoyment of comforts and luxuries. There are multitudes of young men who do all this, and moreover, live in sin and under the yoke of sinful habits. in weakness of Character they are veritable children, and yet they call those men fools, and milksops who, with steadfast energy, strength, and courage, overcome themselves and, in the highest sense, "scorn delights and live laborious days." No one, man or woman, merits the name of Christian who has not attained manhood in Christ and put away the childishness that is swayed by inefficacy of purpose, the fear of ridicule, and the inordinate desire of visible things, as if life on earth were never to end.

Source: Within the Soul: Helps in the Spiritual Life, a Book of Little Essays, by Fr. Michael J. Watson, S.J. 1914

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