January 5, 2010

Who will save Western Civilization?

Like most of you, I have the feeling that somehow things have gone off the tracks while we are being hurtled through changes most of us don't like at all or can't comprehend.  It's a sense of unreality - that we have lost something important and we don't  know what it is or how to get it back.  These are dark days for Western Civilization though almost nobody seems to want to defend it anymore.

Just before the end of 2009, Pam Geller quoted Geert Wilders in Dooming Europe
The Europe as you know it from visiting, from your parents, or friends is on the verge of collapsing." Geert Wilders said this in a speech he made in the U.S. last year. He went on: "We are now witnessing profound changes that will forever alter Europe's destiny and might send the continent in what Ronald Reagan called 'a thousand years of darkness.'" This applies not just to Europe, but to America as well.

David Warren writes
Let us start as grimly as possible in the present: with my conviction that things do not look very promising for our civilization. For two generations (and according not only to me) we have been watching catastrophic moral betrayal and collapse; and worse, the spread of a lethal apathy toward it.

The building and rebuilding forces of our society -- essentially church and family -- are by now almost everywhere under organized legal, legislative, and propaganda assault from the sterile vanguard of the atheist Left. The poison mist of "political correctness" swirls over our psychic landscape, and the great joyous and unifying truths which animated Western Christendom continue to be supplanted, both practically and symbolically, by the envious Big Lies of the political "activists."

But we have not lost access to the means of recovery. The wisdom upon which our Christian civilization was built is available not only through books still in circulation, but through surviving monuments such as her cathedrals, her art and her music and her poetry and even the hard core of her sciences. Surviving customs, such as Christmas and Easter, rekindle constantly with their true meaning; surviving language continues to carry centuries of folk wisdom in an unconscious stream.

 Daguerre Bare-Ruined-Choirs

Deacon Dean Fournier goes further and says the Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age
The collapse of the West will not be remedied by any political party or philosophy. In the United States, gripped by the lies of a culture of death and use, we do not need a “conservative revolution” as some pundits maintain. We need a Christian revolution. It was the Christian Church which gave us the understanding of the dignity of every human person because we are created in the Image of God. From that came the understanding that we all possess fundamental human rights. Yes, the American founders carried such a notion into a bold experiment in ordered liberty but they did not come up with it on their own. They derived it from Western civilization and the influence of Christendom. That is the the influence of the Church. That is also why the seemingly inevitable collapse of the West can be averted, but only through the resurgence of the Church in the Third Millennium. It is the Church which is the vehicle for true progress. Christianity is the antidote to the descent into a new barbarism arising out of the neo-paganism currently masquerading as liberation.

Pope Benedict’s summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation. In short, we need a new Christian foundation for the West. The Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age. The Dictionary tells us that a prelude is “an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter.” The Year that was and the Year that will be are a just that, a prelude, there is much more to come.

Father Julian Carron, a Spanish priest and professor of theology at the University of Milan in a commentary in the December Magnificat asked whether  salvation come through something so small as faith in Jesus.
It seems impossible that all our hope can rest on belonging to this frail sign?  The promise that only from this can everything be rebuilt seems scandalous.  Yet men like Saint Benedict and Saint Francis started from that.  They began to live while belonging to that branch that had grown through time and space – the Church – and in this way became protagonists of a people and of history.  Benedict did not face the end of the Roman Empire with anger, pointing his finger at the immorality of his contemporaries, but rather witnessed to the people of his time a fullness of life, a satisfaction – a fullness that became an attraction for many.  This became the dawn of a new world, small as it was (almost a nonentity compared with the whole, a whole that was in total collapse, but a real world.  That new beginning was so concrete that the work of Benedict and Francis has lasted through the centuries, has transformed Europe and humanized it.

Posted by Jill Fallon at January 5, 2010 12:01 AM | Permalink