The Personalist Project

Last night in the midst of an attack of insomnia, I read this beautiful and moving talk by John Barger, of Sophia Institute Press. Before he became a publisher, Dr. Barger earned a PhD in philosophy under Josef Seifert and John Crosby.

The talk is an exhortation growing out of personal experience—experience of his personal transformation as a man, a husband, and a father, and consequently of the transformation of his marriage.
It is full of deep insight and timeless wisdom.

But I wonder whether anyone will agree with me that it is also somewhat dated?
I mean, his description of the way Catholic husbands habitually view women, including their wives, strikes me as no longer true. It seems to me that “JP II husbands” are generally as different from the earlier generation of husbands as “JP II priests” are from an earlier generation of priests.

Comments (3)


#1, Apr 18, 2010 9:37pm

It is dated. I think women these days are affected by feminism and so think they can wield the same authotiy as men. Men on the other hand seem to be weaker assuming less responsiblity and moral strength.

Katie van Schaijik

#2, Apr 21, 2010 8:10am

I’m surprised by your response, amator.  Mine was nearly opposite.  What struck me is that whereas 20 years ago it was normal for even Catholic husbands to think it was right and proper that they domineer over their wives, the Catholic men of my generation—on the whole—think and act very differently as husbands.  They know that marriage is mutual self-giving and mutual deference, and that they are meant to be companions, not authority figures to their wives.
The “JP II husbands” I know inspire me all the time by the way they not only put in full days at work, but come home with the idea of relieving their wives of the burdens of housework and childcare.  They’re also much more sensitive to and supportive of the fact that their wives may have interests and talents beyond the domestic realm that ought to be developed…

Joan Drennen

#3, May 5, 2010 7:54pm

Thanks for linking this talk, Katie.
I know what you mean about its datedness, but overall, it contained valuable, honest testimony.
It is interesting to read about a marriage headed for divorce saved by a man who finally made himself present within his wife’s inner life. The two lives couldn’t merge before this.
Unable to spare her from her sufferings, by participating in them and accompanying her, he valued her, and everything changed.
I loved how he saw the connection between loving the feminine and loving God.
Feminism or not, I find liberty in owning and sharing my weaknesses as well as my strengths, and security in a man at home with both.

Sign in to add a comment, or register first.

Forgot your password?