Monday, March 01, 2010

Vir ecclesiasticus

Vir ecclesiasticus has two words, vir and ecclesiasticus. Both are important. Being a fan of things ecclesiastical should never be an excuse to neglect or ignore one's basic humanity. We need to cultivate basic human (and, for men, manly) virtues as well as developing an aesthetic or even theological taste for the distinctively Catholic realia (to use the sociological term). Grace builds upon and perfects nature. We need to attend to both.

I think about this in reference to a conversation I had with a home school mom about the importance of learning things like cooking, sewing, knitting, woodwork, gardening and in response the the emphasis on basic manly virtues at the Men of Christ conference the other day. In fact, I'm enough of a Chestertonian distributist to believe that if we cultivate in ourselves and our children such crafts, we will be somewhat more immune from the vicissitudes of the global economy. Heck, if you have bushels of home grown potatoes in your basement over the winter, you won't worry about the price of potatoes.

It is hard to make your own contact lenses, however.

All of this may seem disjointed, but it all hangs together. I'll try to post a more coherent version of these thoughts at length.


Joe said...

Hmmm, I've never seen any of those things to be unmanly, but I'm thinking that this is your point? Traditional martial artists are taught to cultivate a sense for the arts, gardening, choosing fine teas, etc. We have to be careful about how we define "manly," since the popular conceptions of manliness in the U.S. seem to be distorted, at least in my opinion. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this.

Robert Gotcher said...

You misunderstand me completely. I am talking about two different things: practical arts (the examples of which I cite are not particularly feminine in my estimation), and manly virtues, examples of which I didn't give.

Joe said...

Okay, you are right. I misunderstood you. So, I'll wait for further elaboration :-).

And I have a question but perhaps I should hold off until I've read more from you.