The Manliness of Reason


Oftentimes, the pursuit of learning and living in accord with the truth we study is portrayed as “weak,” “nerdy,” or “unmanly.” A life lived in pursuit of and formed by wisdom, however, in the words of King David, will make us “be strong” and show us to be men. A good father wants his son to grow up in wisdom, strength, and righteousness. It lets us see wickedness and lies and stand up to them. Men of integrity know how they ought to live and can defend it. Such men are men of wisdom. And so, David, awakened from his age and despondency calls Solomon to the manly life of reason, and we are called to the same.

This manly life of reason demands discipline: we cannot lie around and distract ourselves with aimless pursuits. Rather, just as we need to exercise to train our bodies, so do we need to discipline and train our minds. We need to study: reading books, engaging in good conversations with wise men and women, and pursuing the truth as a fraternity. We need to study the teachings of the Church and especially spend time studying the moral teachings that God has entrusted us: how ought we to live? We cannot rely simply on our gut or what the crowd does. We need to form our minds to be ready for the tough decisions. And if we do so, we will be worthy men directing our own lives and our homes: men, like David, after God’s own heart.

Ask God today to give you the strength to pursue the manly life of reason and to read and study well to form your minds so as to be a worthy son in the kingdom of God.

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