Human culture is in a state of collapse. We have gone from a culture of life and love to a Culture of Death and lust, and this can only result in the disappearance of human civilisation because death cannot generate anything and lust is simply gratification.
If we look at the world around us today we will see that rather than pursue the eradication of problems we pursue the eradication of persons: babies are killed by abortion (removed limb by limb), while the terminally ill are killed rather than having their anxiety and pain relieved. Any society that eradicates persons rather than their problems is following the Culture of Death.
As for the Culture of Lust, we are misusing the word love here. Love today means ‘emotional attachment’ rather than seeking the good of the other, which real love cannot help but seek. Love-making has been replaced by lust-relief: lust-relief excludes the complete sharing of oneself and one’s life with others because our life-giving properties are withheld by non-procreative acts (contraceptive sex and homosexual acts). The most either of these activities can lead to is shared living arrangements.
What we have today then is a culture of killing and of lust; in the ‘killing culture’ we have come to accept the killing of babies, the sick and the imperfect; and in the ‘lust culture’ we have embraced contraception and homosexual activity, and in both ‘life-generating’ is excluded (thus there is no ‘love life’ only a lust-life).
With each of these comes the exclusion of family, and with the loss of the family comes the loss of human society since it is in the ‘family community’ that learn to give and take when seeking to fulfil our own needs (where we learn the give and take needed in the wider community of human society).
The killing-culture and lust-culture are not new; we are not undergoing a modernisation of society but a return to ancient Greco-Roman paganism wherein babies were left to die of exposure if they were handicapped or the wrong sex, and where men and boys were free to vent their lust with one another –it was even considered good for boys to be initiated into sex by acts with older men. So society is not progressing but regressing.
How can we overcome the eradication of the true human society, which is structured around a culture of family and life?
First, we need to challenge our clergy -especially the Pope and Bishops- to remain faithful to the teaching of the Tradition and to impose adequate penalties for the failure to maintain the Tradition in word or deed. The attempt to call to the deeper part of man by the language of invitation rather than condemnation has failed; it took no account of the damage at man’s core where original sin leaves its wound.
It has to be said that we lost the culture of family and life because over the last fifty years our Bishops have accommodated secularity; ever since Humanae Vitae they have opened the door to secular opinions and allowed them to displace The Faith from the Church at large. Thus, the majority of Catholics working in the professions of the media, politics, journalism, entertainment, education, health care and science were not required to stand up for The Faith over the decades, and so followed the secular agenda themselves for reasons of ‘career prospects’ -and in the false understanding that The Faith itself was changing.
This was bound to follow from the changes made in the Mass because the Mass was central to Catholics back then: it gave us our identity and formed our community; it was the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross and the source of our salvation. (Vatican II was supposed to affirm these things, but the liturgy which followed the Council seems to have destroyed them: communities are divided over which kind of music they will have, while Mass itself is perceived as a celebration of the community with the Risen Lord rather than a propitious commemoration of the Saving Sacrifice). As a result, the assumption made by many was that if we could change the Mass, the very heart of The Faith, we could change anything.
We now urgently need a new crop of Bishops who are courageous and humble enough to swell the number of those who have held and continue to hold to the Tradition. And we need those future Bishops to ensure it is followed in the Church committed to their care. I thought I was theologically scandalised by the Bishops of the last fifty years but I realised in prayer that what I am is disturbed that they have allowed so many souls to lose their way, and in fact, they have led them off ‘The Way’ from the front.
Second, we need to ensure we are fully and wholly educated in both secular subjects (law, medicine etc) and in The Faith, so that we can bring the light of Truth to bear in the workplace, especially in the media, politics, law, journalism, entertainment, education, health care and science. Only when Catholics truly believe in The Faith, live by it and apply it to their work in these professions will we recover true human civilisation in the culture of family and life.
Third, we need to know how to answer in short, sharp -and if possible- penetrating terms, suitable rejoinders to the rationalism of the secularist/atheist. I once gave a few ‘sound-bite’ responses I had found useful to retain my integrity as a Catholic, to Andrew and our R.C.I.A. group when moral irregularities were presented as good. Andrew later shared that in a staff discussion about IVF at work he voiced a challenge to IVF: “I can’t agree with it because I’m Catholic”. The retort was that “people have a right to a child and the Catholic Church of all things would push that because it doesn’t agree with abortion and contraception”. Andrew’s sound-bite response was simply, “We can’t have a right to a person; persons are a gift, not property”. The discussion ended there. We need to develop more of these one-liners and make use of the broken-record technique in our exchanges (repetition of the phrase like a needle stuck on a vinyl record) so we can make the necessary challenge to this disastrous culture of death and lust that has taken hold of today’s society.
On the subject of abortion, when those who are pro-choice say 'what about when a woman has been raped? ', a good answer is: 'if YOU had been conceived as a result of rape, do you think that YOU should have been aborted? 'ReplyDelete
Thank you, Pauline.Delete
Yes, these 'hard cases' need their answer because they are so frequently the cases quoted.
Fantastic post, Father.ReplyDelete
I think your second point is particularly important. The Church needs a body of men who are specialists in every field and who are utterly obedient to the voice of Peter. These laymen must penetrate and renew the temporal order according to the Spirit of the Gospel. Catholic doctors, lawyers, and teachers etc must work to rebuild our culture and advance the social reign of Christ the King. We've all got to do our part to resist this evil culture of death.
Thank you, Philip.Delete
Yes, solid education ion both the faith and in the professions is vital to re-evangelising the culture for Christ, as is our duty.
I think the point about giving tools to our youngsters is core too, since if they cannot answer the criticisms of the world they will be over-awed by the world, and lost to the world.
I agree. The world imposes immorality on our children through the mass media and liberal education. We need to combat this social engineering by providing solid formation and prayerful example.ReplyDelete
Parents can't hand this responsibility to Catholic schools and parish priests. They have a moral duty to educate their children in the Faith. And a good start would be the family Rosary.
Thank you, Philip.Delete
Well said: it is social engineering that has brought us to this point of collapse. Sadly, many Catholics at a senior level have gone along with it and promoted its agenda in education and catechesis, then celebrated its self-aggrandisement in the entertaining, self-affirming liturgy.
Culture has collapsed in the West because Christianity has collapsed, especially Catholic Christianity. In the great family, that is the Church we have in the hierarchy, Fathers who have made themselves enemies of the Truth under the guise of compassion and mercy. These consecrated servants of our holy Mother, have sided with trendy causes and secular ideologies, and have favoured enemies who continue to undermine the Judaeo-Christian morality which underpins Western Christian civilization.ReplyDelete
I'm obviously in full agreement.
An old priest who used to serve in our parish said that it is difficult to get our view across to non-believers because they start from the premise that we are 'barmy' and it is in moving them from that position which is the central problem.His solution was to behave so well and generously that they begin to take us seriously as individuals and then listen to us with respect. We have to show them goodness in action and then they will take our views seriously however we phrase them.ReplyDelete
It is when our views don't appear 'barmy' to the world that we should worry. I would say just state them (asking for the aid of the Holy Spirit) with the hope that they will make sense to the hearer at some point in their lives even if only at the end even if they mock them when delivered.
(Not strictly related but....) A 'non-religious' friend reported to me, with a mixture of admiration and amusement, that his Catholic father-in-law had converted nearly half of the local Jehovah's Witness Chapel when the two who originally called at his door could not answer his points and sent others do 'deal with him' who sent others etc. I wish that I had met him and been able to ask him how he did it.
Thank you Lepanto.ReplyDelete
I agree: until we are no longer seen as 'barmy' we will have no impact. That is why we need solid Catholics reintegrating into the professions.