Modern man is insecure. He lacks confidence in himself and others. He is afraid of many things: loneliness, commitment, rejection, responsibility, failure, judgment, confrontation. Unlike the virile men of the past, carving out new cities, new inventions, and new ideas, modern man makes his way though the world timidly, minimizing his role as much as possible.
Of course, it’s not all his fault; there are quite a few reasons for his insecurity. First and foremost, he lives in a feminized culture that actively seeks to suppress his manliness by eliminating male role models and male virtue. Lacking support, he becomes prone to all kinds of addictions like pornography, videogames, alcohol, and television. These vices consequently bring shame and delusion, causing him to not only detach from reality, but also fear it.
The crisis of insecurity holds serious consequences for many men today. It limits one’s accomplishments and drags down his spirit. Quite often, it also prevents him from forming meaningful relationships with friends, family, spouses, colleagues, and even God. Alienation is a normal state for modern men, though some might prefer to call it “freedom” or some other euphemism. They’ll desperately try to claim that they’re happy—after all, popular culture keeps telling them that they’re happy. They’ll just have to force themselves to ignore the gnawing inadequacy and guilt that haunts them.
Fortunately, a good portion of men have come out of this false kind of existence. After all, one can only deny his nature for so long; something inside will inevitably give out. Aptly characterized as “taking the red pill,” a reference to a scene in The Matrix in which the main character Neo takes a red pill that allows him to see reality instead of a computer-generated illusion, these men have decided to turn to reality and see their male nature as it really is, not as society attempts to redefine it.
As a result, they have quickly discovered the insecurity stifling modern man and have developed various plans of action for other men to follow. The good plans usually involve cultivating good habits in order to give men confidence and eliminate feelings of uncertainty, like weight training and fitness, reading good (manly) books, learning hobbies, and making male friends. The bad plans—which unfortunately outnumber the good ones—usually preach male chauvinism, feminist bashing, selfishness, and, of course, sleeping with as many attractive women as possible. Obviously, the good plans can do some good in restoring a man’s confidence while the bad ones usually worsen his insecurity.
However, the best solution for men ridding themselves of insecurity is and always has been the same: become a practicing Catholic.
As Jesus explains in the gospel:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Mt 7:24-27).
Most Christians will apply this quote to any person hoping to build their life on the foundation on Christ’s truth rather than the world’s. The Catholic Church will go even further and identify the “rock” as Peter upon whom Christ Himself founds the Church and sets up apostolic succession. Keeping these interpretations in mind, men may also see Christ and His Church as the key to strengthening their own nature by providing a strong basis upon which to build their identity.
Long before the sages of the “manosphere” started recommending plans for men to recover their masculinity, the Church has offered the supreme plan of life along with the proper resources. In Her holy scriptures and in Her history, She provides men with many models to follow. In them, men work hard, show courage and strength, and live wisely; in Christ’s Own life, these virtues are shown in all perfection.
In the Church’s sacraments, men can receive the much-needed grace to improve themselves, taking to heart the truth that “grace perfects nature.” Men who struggle with pornography and other such hang-ups will find the means to break the habit in the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion. Boys entering adulthood and assuming the responsibilities particular to men will find endurance and boldness in Confirmation. To supplement the sacraments, the prayers and spiritual exercises bequeathed by the saints can provide an effectual means for prudence and resolution.
In addition to building up men spiritually, the Church’s scholars have left men a great wealth of literature to improve their minds. A man educated in the Catholic intellectual tradition has little to fear from those who question him in any way. He has in him the greatest philosophers, poets, musicians, artists, and scientists the world has ever known. Because of them, he knows about life, and, more importantly, he knows how to live it.
Indeed, it is only the Catholic man who can truly embody the independence and happiness natural to him. Although others may recommend advice in a piecemeal fashion, only the Church presents the whole truth for lost men. Instead of dallying with particulars, She follows Christ’s advice to pursue the Source: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:33).
So, if any male suffers from insecurity, he should go to Mass and pray sincerely to God. Not only will this save his masculinity, but also his soul.