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But for women, the physical and even painful signs of the feminine connection to motherhood come more naturally, since, even in an age of contraception, women experience these signs in their bodies, beginning with menstruation.

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Leon J. It is important to frame a rite of passage in its full context — the exit from boyhood into a brotherhood of men — and not just in its sensational and ceremonial aspect i. Traditional rites of passage for boys occurred during adolescence, commonly understood as beginning around age twelve.


The Catholic human geneticist Gerard M. If we focus too much on the sensational, physical, and experiential, we will likely create silly or harmful caricatures of a real human need. Young men are people and not machines, so we need to understand the transition into manhood as more of a birth than a programmatic process. Allan Bloom, a great American philosopher and classicist, rightly connected adolescence with the true birth of man and his general education, since humans enter a unique period of formation during puberty that animals do not:.

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

In all species other than man, when an animal reaches puberty, it is all that it ever will be. The greater and more interesting part of his learning, moral and intellectual, come afterward. When animals reach puberty, the transition from birth to adulthood is basically over, and they can get on with life — eating and mating. Sadly, for boys today, adolescence may be the end of boyhood, but it does not signal a smooth transition into mature character and belonging.

African Ceremonies: PASSAGES

We communicate to boys that to be a man, an adult, is to have the license to sin. Some men find ways to do this without hurting others, but the really manly men are the ones who are able to thrive on and display their sins without consequence — think rappers, womanizing tycoons, or gangsters. If this is all there is to mature adulthood, why bother? Why not avoid responsibility and enjoy a carefree life of sin?

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In other words, why not remain in ongoing adolescence? Older generations do not have the outlets and means to pass on their wisdom and life, and younger generations lack the means and openness to receive it.

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  5. Our issues are in our very idea of tradition, culture, identity, and belonging. In other words, men are suffering from immaturity and insecurity because of the very anthems of the modern era. Jason Craig works and writes from a small farm in rural NC with his wife Katie and their four kids. Transforming Love.

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    Prepare for the Coming of the Lord. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Email Login. Catholic Exchange. Initiation : usually the actual rite or ceremony.

    Women marry a lifestyle, not the man

    Subscribe to CE It's free. Author and scholar Ronald L. He has even played a homemade didgeridoo an Aborigine wind instrument and worn a mask of feathers during ceremonies he organized for friends.

    Both were born at home with the assistance of a midwife, which provided the freedom to play music, serve tea, and formally recognize the drama of childbirth. With a birth, there is already a sense of awe and danger and mystery inscribed into the event. People are searching for meaning, for communal solidarity. Unattended passages become spiritual sinkholes.

    Grimes is probably the most important contemporary figure in ritual theory alive today.