"All men have an instinct for conflict, at least all healthy men!" Hilaire Belloc
Advent is the time of preparation for the Lord's coming. However, in these days it is a time of partying and purchasing...and little in the way of penance. Just try and live a penitential Advent and you are sure to become distinct in your circles. Through your penance and refraining from parties and feasting, you may even make an enemy or two, who simply cannot tolerate your "fanaticism".
Maybe you take your friday fasts seriously...causing you to refrain from meat at a friend's home. Maybe you have made the hard choice to avoid perverted media and have had to refuse to attend a movie with a friend that you know contains morally offensive content. Or could it be that you have even had to limit certain family members from visiting your home because they cannot watch their foul mouths or dress immodestly? Again, it is no hard thing to make enemies when one takes one's faith seriously.
Modern men, unfortunately, in the name of tolerance and false peace and been trained to stuff away their, "instinct for conflict". We have learned to only allow it on the ball field or on the political floor. We have been forced to contain our virility during its surging years on teendom, and have thought it inappropriate to "fight". Long gone are the days when a wise father would counsel his son to "stand up for himself" and would take him out to the barn to train him in the fine art of boxing. This is not surprising in a day when the weak have degraded their manhood by taking up guns as some sort of new machismo. The real problem is not guns, nor fighting, it is rather the loss of real strength and true manhood.
I still remember a precious scene in the movie, "The Bells of St. Mary's" in which the mother superior trains a little boy in the art of boxing. She has witnessed him pummeled one too many times and knew that he needed to develop the ability to stand up to his bully. After some training, he finally gets his chance to fight back and gives his taunter a good knocking. In the end, the two boys shake hands and go share a soda, and also share a great moment of true masculinity...the ability to fight and forgive.
In these days, men need to develop a firm sense of identity in their faith and masculinity. Men should be willing to fight for what is right and true, and most of all develop into defenders of faith and family. It is not enough to be on the sidelines living out a fantasy through modern sports or toys, we must embrace the real battle...that battle for the souls of our family, the soul of our Church, and the soul of our Country. We cannot be afraid to have enemies, just as we cannot be afraid of the fight!