If the culture is to survive and flourish, it must not be severed from the religious vision out of which it arose — Russell Kirk
The United States exists because of its culture, whose essence is deeply religious.
In his “Memory and Identity,” St. John Paul II reminds us that, “Man lives a really human life thanks to culture… Culture is a specific way of man’s ‘existing’ and ‘being’… Culture is that through which man, as man, becomes more man, is more.”
Man cannot be fully understood without Christ and religion.
In his unforgettable speech in Communist-occupied Poland in Warsaw on June 2, 1979, the late Pope explained, “Man cannot understand who he is, nor what his true dignity is, nor what his vocation is, nor what his final end is.
“He cannot understand any of this without Christ… Therefore, Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude of geography… The history of people. The history of the nation is above all the history of people. And the history of each person unfolds in Jesus Christ.”
America teeters at the end of an era.
Cultural revolution destroys our tradition, history, education, manners, customs, and life-giving tradition. Books have given way to television.
Telephones have replaced face to face conversation. Social media have taken over our life.
Consequently, a crisis of family has enveloped us.
With values and morals at the crossroads, our country faces social and individual disintegration. Critical race theory divides the people and dismantles America.
In his famous “The Great Liberal Death Wish,” Malcolm Muggeridge warns us: “So we press on through the valley of abundance that leads to the wasteland of satiety, passing through the gardens of fantasy; seeking happiness even more ardently, and finding despair ever more surely.”
According to America’s preeminent 20th century philosopher Russell Kirk, “To most observers, T.S. Eliot among them, it has seemed far more probable that we are stumbling into a new Dark Age, inhumane, merciless, a totalist political domination in which the life of spirit and the inquiring intellect will be denounced, harassed, and propagandized against: Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ rather than Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ of cloying sensuality.”
Democratic freedom of liberal society, ostensibly so vaunted by our elites, often translates into attacks on religious belief. God and truth are fingered as putative threats to liberty. For many secularized, our culture has no connection with the love of God.
As Eliot argues: “Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negative: the artificial, mechanized or brutalized control which is a desperate remedy for its own chaos.”
Be ready for this and learn how to push back. The truth is that culture is deeply and irrevocably intertwined with faith. Religion gives meaning to life and provides the framework for a culture.
Therefore, it’s impossible without religion to understand the contribution of the United States of America to the development of men who pass through this land. It is impossible to understand America, its history and culture, without God. The exclusion of religion from this One Nation under God of ours is a hostile act against man.
Our future remains unknown. Yet, the believers hope for a sign from God.
Our nation experiences many cunning passages and dark corridors now but the past shows there are miracles that unexpectedly can reverse the course of history.
By a great effort of the people’s will our culture could be reanimated, faith resurrected, and religion boosted with new found strength.
But again, all remains in the hands of God.
Finally, as the most remarkable historian Christopher Dawson aptly avers in his “Religion and Culture,” “the events of the last few years portend either the end of human history or a turning point in it. They have warned us in letters of fire that our civilization has been tried in the balance and found wanting — that there is an absolute limit to the progress than can be achieved by the perfectionment of scientific techniques detached from spiritual aims and moral values. . . .
“The recovery of moral control and the return to spiritual order have become the indispensable conditions of human survival. But they can be achieved only by a profound change in the spirit of modern civilization.
“This does not mean a new religion or a new culture but a movement of spiritual reintegration which would restore that vital relation between religion and culture which has existed at every age and on every level of human development.”
Amen to that.
In the end, I venture to remind you individuals will respond by God. And nations are made up of individuals.
Without individual faith, there will be no collective resurrection of America.
Monika Jablonska is an author of “Wind from Heaven: John Paul II, The Poet Who Became Pope.” Her next book on Saint John Paul II is forthcoming in 2021. She is a lawyer and a literary scholar living in Washington D.C. Read Monika’s Reports — More Here.