My brother Al’s post on the rotting culture around us has prompted me to write this post to second his frustration and sense of isolation. As in the days of the collapse of the Roman Empire or the inter-war years in 20th century Europe—there is universal agreement from both right and left that something is deeply horribly wrong at the heart of our culture. Most observers agree that Christianity in the West is rotting away while Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and atheism are all enjoying tremendous revivals. As my brother Al points out in his post on the cultural rot, the signs of decay are all around us from the newspaper headlines to the cashier at the local supermarket. Like the poet said…the best are all demoralized and the worst are filled with a passionate conviction and fanaticism.
What is to be done? The Roman Catholic hierarchy which should lead a revival and a counter-offensive as in the days of Pope Urban, instead protect pedophiles or are championing the liberal bromides spouted by Western elites who hate Catholicism to its core.
Where can we look for hope? To God and to history. Prayer and work. When we look at history there have been several ages in which the Church leadership was utterly corrupt and unreliable. In those cases, saints arose and WITHOUT REPUDIATING ALLEGIANCE to the Petrine office, led a revival in the church that lasted for centuries. I am thinking of the Irish monks who evangelized all of Europe in the dark ages when it was in the grip of the pagans and of the Arian heresy and Catherine of Sienna; St Teresa of Avila, St Benedict of Nursia, St Bernard of Clairvaux, Ignatius of Loyola and many others.