Today, we continue our conversation with author, professor, and Catholic gentleman extraordinaire, Dr. Taylor Marshall! If you missed Part 1, be sure to read it—he shares some compelling insights into manhood in the modern world (Did you know that if you don’t shine your shoes, you’re a scrub?).
Dr. Taylor Marshall and his wife Joy have seven children and live in Dallas, Texas. He is the author Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages, which you can receive for FREE by visiting his website: taylormarshall.com.
8. Men face more temptations to impurity than ever before. Do you have any advice on combating sexual sins?
I have a wonderful wife and that makes all the difference. Joy and I have been married twelve years. We’ve literally grown up together. When your wife is your best friend and you get along, temptations are rare. Being chaste and pure is not merely about “not doing” but about honoring and cherishing your spouse. Not only do I know want to sin against God, I also would never want to hurt Joy. The marriage bed is sacred.
Sometimes, however, that pretty woman jumps into your purview. When that happens I pray, “Precious Blood wash over me” and look away. You can also pray to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and add St Maria Goretti and Saint Philomena for good measure. These are saints of purity.
I also begin and end every day with “Three Hail Mary’s for Holy Purity.” This is a very old Catholic tradition – which has been forgotten. I believe that Our Lady fortifies me with special graces in this regard – only because I ask for them.
Most importantly, men need weekly confession and a good spiritual director.
9. What role does strong liturgy play in the life of the Catholic man?
I like to say that man is not so much homo sapiens as he is homo liturgicus. We are liturgical by nature.
I sense that men don’t connect with liturgy because it has become effeminized in America. The music is very feminine. The touchy-feely “hold hands” mentality has entered into our liturgies. Men are distrustful of it. Even the vestments look feminine.
I attend the Latin Mass with my family. The Latin Mass, I feel, is the perfect balance between the masculine and feminine. It expresses human nature more fully, because it is more transcendent. It’s more Romantic – and I mean that in the old school sense.
10. You have a strong devotion to Our Lady. How can men grow in holiness through devotion to the Blessed Virgin?
All the saints say that you must have a deep devotion to Our Lady to be a saint. Medieval chivalry and medieval Marian devotion go hand in hand.
A man must always live, work, and pray as if he were under the gaze of a Mother.
11. You recently founded the Scouts of Saint George. Can you tell us about this apostolate and why it is needed?
I was an Eagle Scout and loved Scouting. It was one of the last bastions of protected masculinity in America. However, it’s ruggedness has been eroding for decades now.
I founded a Catholic version of Scouting because I want young men (and their fathers) to reconnect with the outdoors. It combines male friendship with virtue and toughness. It’s a winning combination.
If you’d like to learn more, visit www.scoutsofsaintgeorge.com
12. Who is your favorite saint(s)?
Saint John because he was under the cross and because he was closest to Mary.
I also love St Gabriel, St Jude, St Thomas Becket, St Blaise, St Josemaria, St Dominic, St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis, St Anthony, St Peter, St Paul, Sts Joachim and Anne, and of course Saint Joseph.
13. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Single Malt Scotch. I like Oban because it’s my father’s favorite. I also drink Dalwhinnie and Glenfiddich. I like Lagavulin when its a cold night or when I’m hunting.
If I drink a blended scotch with ice, I like Chivas best.
I’ll drink beer and wine with meals. I generally don’t enjoy cocktails.
14. You smoke a pipe. How would you respond to those who criticize smoking as unhealthy?
When I was 19 or so I made a rash vow to God that I would never use tobacco again. I was smoking too much. But I loved the pipe. I hadn’t smoked since then.
About a year ago, I discovered tobacco free pipe mix. It’s made of herbs (no not marijuana), such as mint, willow bark, bearberry, etc. It’s made by Native Americans. I assume that it’s healthier than tobacco.
There’s just some thing marvelous about smoking a pipe. It’s the closest thing to a toy for men.
15. What are some of your manly hobbies?
Blogging is first. I don’t know if it’s per se manly. I used to homebrew beer almost every weekend. I got pretty good at it. I’ve backed off on brewing for the moment.
I love fly-fishing. I caught nine rainbow trout just the other day on the Los Pinos River in Colorado.
As the kids grow older, camping is on the A list. I enjoy Dutch Oven cooking and have assembled some nice recipes. I also smoke meats. I do brisket, pulled pork, and even smoked turkey.
Hobbies are a great way to acquire and keep male friendships going. Brewing beer, camping, and smoking meet-ups require you to spend time with a bro doing something cool. Great conversations emerge.
A big thank you to Dr. Marshall for taking the time for an interview! He is certainly a gentlemanly role model for us all. Be sure to check out his blog at www.taylormarshall.com.