Friday, April 27, 2007

Send us more like this guy

I'm becoming more and more aware of just how lucky -- well, OK, that's not quite the word -- we are to have Benedict as our Pope in these days. The times cry out for a devout man with enormous learning, a very logical mind, and an ability to write so convincingly and winningly that the world must grudgingly admit that, after all, the Catholic faith has never lost its fundamental connection with reason. So, that's who God has sent us. For example, take this bit from Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures (Ignatius, 2005):

In the age of the Enlightenment, the attempt was made to understand and define the essential norms of morality by saying that these would be valid etsi Deus non daretur, even if God did not exist. ... At that time, this seemed possible, since the great fundamental convictions created by Christianity were largely resistant to attack, and seemed undeniable. But this is no longer the case. ... [T]he attempt, carried to extremes, to shape human affairs to the total exclusion of God, leads us more and more to the brink of the abyss, toward the utter annihilation of man. We must therefore reverse the axiom of the Enlightenment and say: Even the one who does not succeed in finding the path to accepting the existence of God ought nevertheless to try to live and to direct his life veluti si Deus daretur, as if God did indeed exist. (pp. 50-51)

Very apt, especially in an era when powerful forces are moving to make the United States and the UK into utterly secular states.