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medium_7589898380The genius of woman is to acknowledge the person and to foster and nurture life (see Mulieris Diginitatem by Pope John Paul II). So, what is the genius of man? Pope Saint John Paul said that the genius of man is to uphold the genius of woman (see Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert, chapter 8: Human Love). How do we do that? St. Paul gives us a hint in his letter to the Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” And how did Christ give himself up for the church? He was crucified for her! He suffered and died for her. Suffering is the key to the genius of man….

“Now, Christ extends the invitation to suffer to each member of his Body, the Church. And as men in particular it behooves us to accept this invitation so that we might attain our genius as men: to suffer so that others may live. By uniting our sufferings with Jesus Christ crucified we can embrace our crosses, we can find meaning in our pain and sorrow, and we can acknowledge our suffering because we won’t feel helpless. By suffering we can pave the way in the lives of our wives, children, family, and friends for God’s grace to work more powerfully than we ever could on our own.”

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photo credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks.