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Ep. 78—Three Marks of Manhood, Pt. 1: Patriarchy Purified—G.C. Dilsaver

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 18, 2020 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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There is a great need for Catholics to acknowledge the timeless Biblical and Magisterial teachings about the headship of fathers over their families. Yet St. Paul’s simultaneous call for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church—that is, to the point of death—is sometimes treated as an addendum when in fact it is the very essence of Christian patriarchy.

In his 2010 book The Three Marks of Manhood: How to Be Priest, Prophet, and King of Your Family, the “father of Christian psychology” G.C. Dilsaver upholds the natural and supernatural basis of male headship while describing how it must be purified of pagan, dominating and selfish elements. The path to true Christian manhood is through the crucible of humiliation. Against the notion of the rigidly masculine and “active” man, Dilsaver also insists that receptivity is the basic condition of the creature regardless of sex—hence the maxim of Catholic mysticism that the soul is feminine in relation to Christ.

This is the first part of a two-part interview.


[2:48] Christian patriarchy is about devotion to the feminine as something sacred

[4:29] Self-sacrificial love as the essence of headship

[10:25] The need to purify male headship in an exclusively Christian spirit rather than returning to a historical model from past Christian civilization which retained pagan elements

[13:35] Inseparability of the hierarchy and sacramentality of marriage

[17:37] Magnanimity—greatness of soul, greatness of cause, tempered with humility

[21:43] Receptivity, not fatherhood, intrinsic to all creatures; the soul is feminine in relation to Christ; woman as pure distillation of creatureliness

[28:32] Men need to learn from the specifically feminine aspects of Mary’s greatness

[33:02] The problem with stoicism and machismo

[37:37] The scepter of self-discipline and the insufficiency of acquired virtue; necessity of humiliation and love in the present moment

[44:40] Initiation of young men vs. young women

[50:33] Dangers of getting married young just to get married, without self-knowledge


The Three Marks of Manhood

Psychomoralitics website

Psychomoralitics book

Celebrating God-Given Gender

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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