Certainly the most heartening news of late is that one of our own American bishops understands the towering importance of masculinity, and of forming bands of brothers. Uniting ourselves with Jesus (the true Man in Full) as we take up the sword of the Spirit, is the best way to show a blinded world the burning glory of the Eternal Father.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted heads up the Catholic church in our nation's 6th largest city: Phoenix. His recent exhortation to the men of the diocese is a trumpet blast.
"Do not be fooled by those voices wishing to erase all distinctions between mothers and fathers, ignoring the complementarity that is inherent in creation itself. Men, your presence and mission in the family is irreplaceable! Step up and lovingly, patiently take up your God-given role as protector, provider, and spiritual leader of your home."
"The joy of the Gospel is stronger than the sadness wrought by sin! A throw-away culture cannot withstand the new life and light that constantly radiates from Christ. So I call upon you to open your minds and hearts to Him, the Savior who strengthens you to step into the breach!"
"Since the Church as 'field hospital' after battle is an appropriate analogy, then another complementary image is appropriate for our day: the Spiritual Battle College. The Church is, and has always been, a school that prepares us for spiritual battle, where Christians are called to 'fight the good fight of faith' (1 Timothy 6), to 'put on the armor of God', and 'to be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil' (Ephesians 6:11)."
The voice of one bishop speaking to men as men ("Pray Brethren") is worth a hundred speaking to the sisters and brothers ("Ladies and Gentlemen") that we hear so often. Almost all of Christ's discourses in the Gospels were addressed to bodies of men or that select band of brothers: the Apostles. Such language, instead of encouraging an audience of spectators and consumers, shapes by the proclaimed Word a public of men acting together to play our role in salvation history and the life of our nation.
The three loves of men -- as friends, as husbands, and as fathers -- is quite unlike almost any episcopal documents of the last several hundred years, not because he urges us to be good husbands and fathers but because he understands that masculine fraternity (the love of brothers) is the relationship that is missing in the struggle against Satan.
Take a look at the entire Apostolic Exhortation.