godlessness

1984 Attracts

1984 Attracts posted in Eleison Comments on January 26, 2008

When in a small publication of the Society of St. Pius X in England – circulation about 500 – an article recently appeared describing the police-state fast closing in on Great Britain, the British authorities complained to SSPX headquarters in Switzerland! It gives one to reflect . . . .

As people have today less and less religion, so they have less and less reason to control themselves. If I believe neither in God nor in any moral law, nor in any after-life, eternally rewarding or punishing my observance or non-observance of that law, why should I put any brake upon satisfying my selfish desires in this life? But a society of such egoists must turn into a jungle of human beasts devouring one another.

Therefore where the people have neither faith nor internal self-discipline, they must welcome any external discipline enabling their society to survive, e.g. (or i.e.) a police-state. As seminaries close, so prisons must open. Today, prisons can hardly be built fast enough.

Now in any such dissociety of course there will be villains fabricating reasons to impose and extend the police-state for their own nefarious purposes. 9/11 is a classic example. However, even in the case of 9/11 there might have been amongst the authorities some honest men who said, “Lies and fabrications are nasty, but how else can one govern a modern population?” Alas, they would have had a point!

So the police-state may be a bad substitute for godliness, but where the people are godless, such a State may appear to be the only way to hold a society together, and whoever opposes the police-state will then appear to be anti-social. In this respect the defenders of modern police-states may mean well, and not deserve blame.

However, let them have no part in tomorrow’s persecution of Christians towards which today’s police-states are being steered! The Catholic Faith upheld by the SSPX is not in fact their problem, but it is, of their real problem, the true solution.

Kyrie eleison.

Decortisone

Decortisone posted in Eleison Comments on January 5, 2008

The essential illness of today’s world is godlessness. Purely natural philosophy without a supernatural dimension is by no means sufficient as medicine, but it can well analyze how human nature has been ravaged over the last 500 years by mankind’s turning away from the true God of supernatural Revelation.

Such a philosopher was the Belgian Marcel de Corte. Born in 1905, his writing career as a philosopher began in the 1930’s with serious studies of the tried and true philosophy of Aristotle, but from World War II onwards he turned his attention more and more closely to the world crumbling around him. He died in 1994.

In his last three full-scale books, “End of a Civilization” (1949), “Man against Man” (1962), and “The Mind in Danger of Death” (1968), he shows a close familiarity with modern poets and thinkers such as Kant, Marx and Nietzsche, but he had not abandoned Aristotle, on the contrary. In the light of that age-old philosophy, illuminated from above by his Catholic Faith, he makes a profound natural diagnosis of the modern illness.

The central point of that diagnosis is that out of the Renaissance dividing Faith from life, and out of the Reformation dividing spirit from flesh, there arose RATIONALISM, in which abstract thinking first spurns, and then returns to crush, concrete human living. That is a deep-down explanation of why we now find ourselves in a world of computers, electronics, technology and science which has less and less understanding of, or sympathy for, flesh-and-blood human beings. However, the man who pretends to be an angel turns into a beast, says the old saying, which is why we observe today the electronics being filled with more and more bestial material.

De Corte’s remedy? To restore the wholeness of man by the humble living of ordinary concrete daily lives, which today, he says, can only be done with the grace of God. And he comes back to “the greatest Saint of modern times” (said Pius XI), St. Therese of Lisieux and her “Little Way.”

God was there first, of course! He gave the solution which the philosopher afterwards understood. May God have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison.