This Advent has been encouraging thus far, even a couple of bishops in the U.S. have reminded their flock that Advent is a time for preparation and penance, not a time of partying and decorating. We only have to look at the bareness of most Catholic church sanctuaries and the color of the vestments to be reminded that this is something akin to the season of Lent. However, without male leadership in the home establishing the proper order and traditions, it is too easy to be caught up in the emotional tide of shopping, decorating, and baking. Let us men re-establish the true way to celebrate Christmas...and patiently wait for the Day of His Nativity, the 25th!
It is so difficult for men these days to establish themselves as the spiritual leader in the home. Spiritual matriarchy has reigned for so long that most men see praying and devotions as womanly. The truth lies in the traditions of our faith. St. Francis celebrated Christmas with the first official Nativity scene, or Creche. Moses, Joseph, David, and St. John the Baptist were spiritual giants and were definitely not effeminate!
This idea that real men only know how to pray while hunting or fishing is a bunch of excuses made by weak men that refuse to lead their families to holiness and sanctity. These men only know how to serve themselves and forget how important it is that they leave behind their own desires and stretch themselves as servant-leaders. As I have said before, it is not optional for the man to be the spiritual leader in the home...it is a God-given calling. Let's make this Advent a time to grow our own spiritual life by dedicating time to prayer, reading, and penance, so that we may become the leaders we know God is calling us to be.