October 23, 2006

On a Darkling Plain

If there is any time that calls for the clear sight of moral discernment, it is this moment. People are anxious, and they should be, because they are sensing the ubiquitous symptoms of a culture in decay. For centuries, the society of the Renaissance and the so-called "Reformation" has stood as an over-arching culture over Europe and the New World. But now, the energy of this culture is leeching [sic] into decadence, and the pillars of Church and the classic world are disappearing from view. Loyalties to society in general are giving way to liberation movements and interest groups. Violence and crime occur on the neighborhood level in too many neighborhoods, and too many of the victims are children. Governments are full of good intentions, but have less and less power to achieve them. Our economy is built on mass production, and we are required to consume in mass quantities. Self-discipline and respect are evaporating values, as our celebrities appear in ever-increasing levels of unkemptness, undress and disordered lives. In the arts, the hero has largely disappeared: literature is filled instead with characters possessed by self-loathing and a hatred of life. The visual arts have turned away from the sublime, and are now typified by Andy Warhol's minimalist definition: "Art is what you can get away with." Relationships are characterized now by demands and financial contracts, instead of commitment and joy. Too many children can now be described as "semi-orphan"--they are members of families with no stability, no rituals and customs, and not even a consistent set of parents.

* * * *

Is it not up to us, who are living at end of this civilization, to listen to Heaven enough, to witness its Vision, so that we can "know what is right" on this Earth?

--Fr. John Tobias

No comments: