A most un-feminist catechesis on the Duties of the Married from a 19th century catechism October 21, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, manhood, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
I have long held a concern that feminist rhetoric has resulted in silent downplaying of, and even deviations from, what was once widely accepted Church Doctrine on many matters related to relations between the sexes. The exerpts below from the Spirago-Clarke Catechism of the 1880s (updated in the 1900s) may be very controversial to some, but I believe they were completely normal and acceptable to virtually all in the Church in the time in which they were written. Given that, perhaps we should all carefully consider the degree to which we may have, inadvertently or no, come to accept certain claims of radical feminism over the past several decades. Certainly this catechesis is a marked rebuke to things like the readings of the Novus Ordo, which were carefully crafted to excise such “problematic” portions of Scripture such as St. Paul’s direction to women in I Corinthians and Ephesians.
Some of the below may appear pretty strong. It may make some mad. But I have to say that only illustrates my point, even as realize that I, as a man, may still hold certain “liberated” ideas. You may also note how strongly the very counter-cultural (for today) catechesis below is supported by Sacred Scripture.
Consider the below a tonic for the noxious emanations of the modernists at the Synod:
The following are the duties incumbent on married persons: It is the duty of the wife to obey her husband, as the man is the head of the family, the representative of God.
That a man is superior to the woman is shown by the fact that he was created first, and the woman was only created of his flesh, and as a helper for him (I Cor xi:9). The man being the head of the family, the woman is subservient to him, as the members of the body are to the head. The Apostle says: “As the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wife be to the husband in all things” (Eph v:24) [You sure won’t find THAT anywhere in the Novus Ordo readings!] The woman is commanded to cover her head in the church, to indicate that she is under the dominion of the man; whereas the man uncovers his head, because there is no one over him but God (I Cor xi:10). [Well, this is one of many reasons for veiling given by St. Paul] The wife ought to fear her husband (Eph v:33), that is to show him the deference due to him. After the Fall, God ordained that the woman should be under her husband’s power, and should yield him obedience (Gen iii:16), because Eve lusted after power, and ate the apple first. The husband therefore has every right to rule his wife, but he ought to rule with kindness, gentleness, and leniency, for she is in one sense his equal, having been made out of flesh taken from his side. Therefore St. Ambrose bids the husband to remember that his wife is not to be treated as a servant, that he must not make his authority felt to be a burden. Besides the woman, being the weaker, can claim to be gently treated (I Pet iii:7)…….As the representative of God, the husband has the right of controlling the household. The angel did not appear to Mary, but to Joseph, when the flight to Egypt was to be made, because the husband’s duty is to rule and govern. [Even given the most exalted wife ever possible!]
The husband and wife owe to each other love, fidelity, and mutual aid in all circumstances of their life.
Husbands ought to love their wives, as Christ loves the Church (Eph v:25), as their own bodies (Eph v:28), as themselves (Eph v:33). The love of husband and wife ought not to be purely natural love, like that of the lower animals, nor a purely human love, like that of the heathen, but a holy and supernatural affection, like that of Christ for the Church, and of the Church for Christ. Hence they ought each to bear with the infirmities of the other patiently and indulgently, or generously close their eyes to them……The wife will influence her husband for good far more effectually by silence, meekness, and prayer than by reproaches. St. Augustine tells us that his mother did more for the conversion of her husband Patricius by the saintliness of her life, than by her words. Dissensions between husband and wife ruin their happiness; without peace at home nothing pleases, even amid all the luxuries wealth can command. Married people owe fidelity to one another (Heb xiii:4).
They ought scrupulously to guard against every appearance of unfaithfulness, and avoid familiar intercourse with persons of the other sex. For where jealousy enters, all conjugal happiness is at an end. St. John Chrysostom is of the opinion that the direst poverty, the most incurable malady, fire and even sword, are lesser evils than jealousy. The Jews used to stone the unfaithful husband or wife, for they considered adultery a no less heinous crime than murder (Lev xx:10). St. Paul declares everlasting damnation to be the portion of adulterers. The married must not defraud one another of the conjugal rights (I Cor vii:1-5), but they must abstain from excesses inconsistent with the sanctity of their state (Tob vi:17), and only keep in view the object indicated by the angel to Tobias (Tb v:22), otherwise the devil will prevail over them (Tb v:16). To the duty of mutual aid it appertains that husband and wife should live together, and that neither one nor the other should avail himself or herself, if contrarieties or calamities overtake them, of any pretext to leave the other; they are bound to assist each other in the training of their children, to succor each other in illness, to aid each other to bear more easily the ills of life, and to perform their religious duties with greater facility.
Eve was created for the sole purpose of helping Adam; for God said: “It is not good for man to be alone, let us make him a help like unto himself” (Gen ii:18). It is, however, a sad misfortune when the wife is not a support but a cross to her husband; when instead of lightening his burdens, she only adds to their weight. Almighty God declares that a really good woman is a treasure of inestimable price (Prv xxxi:10), far above the most costly jewels.
So…..will some folks take issue with that? I never quite know. Sometimes things I think will be very controversial pass by with nary a comment, and things that I think are inoffensive, even obvious, attract a lot of controversy. We’ll see, I guess.
Note also the rebuke of so many modernist proposals at the Synod.