There is no question that men today, more so than in previous generations, are challenged with mixed messages about what it means to be a man. This is especially true when it comes to love, marriage, sexuality and family life. In his book Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life, Fr. James Farfaglia encourages men, specifically married men, to be faithful, authentic, mature, coherent, and heroic – to embrace and live out their masculinity as God created it to be lived. A review from American Life League’s Judie Brown:
Father Farfaglia has taken a subject that is much maligned in today’s sexually saturated culture, that of being a man’s man, and has turned it back toward the Lord and His design in a way that is both captivating and challenging not only for men but for every Catholic. Understanding God’s design for a union with Him through marriage is fundamental for a couple considering matrimony, but particularly for the male in this age of feminized masculinity. That is perhaps the most important aspect of this book for it dignifies man because he is masculine, he is strong and he is Godly. It is my hope that every young Catholic considering marriage will read this with an open mind and a heart for truth.
What does a celibate priest possibly know about marriage, you might wonder? Fr. Farfaglia explains:
Celibacy is a special gift from the Holy Spirit, a charism. It is a beautiful gift for the Church. When he is faithful to his calling, the celibate priest, in and through his body; i.e., through his very physical reality, is a sign or a witness not only of his total gift of himself to his bride, the Church, but he is also physically, through his body, pointing the way to the eschatological reality of eternal life. “For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven” (Mark 12: 25)…
Despite popular belief, marriage and priestly celibacy are not polar opposites. Just as a man and woman who are called to marriage sacrifice themselves to each other as a gift, the priest, in a covenant of spiritual matrimony, sacrifices his entire being to God. Having sacrificed their entire lives in service to the Church, celibate priests have a greater knowledge and understanding of the self-giving love that is required for a lasting, healthy, happy marriage than most of us ever give them credit for.