Friday, October 16, 2009

"Is there no virtue among us?"

I believe our Church took a terribly wrong turn when, beginning after Vatican II, it de-emphasized the cultivation of individual virtue (as an expression of the love of Christ) and threw all its attention upon cultivation of the Corporal Works of Mercy (i.e., feeding the hungry, relieving poverty), but in a very peculiar way -- by cultivating the power of the government to coerce from unwilling donors the counterfeit of Christian charity via taxation and redistribution -- that is, socialist solutions to societal problems.

So I guess I'm agreeing with James Madison, who said in 1788:

Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks -- no form of government -- can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea...

Had the Church concentrated on its immemorial task, bringing individuals to a love of Christ which would express itself in sacrificial love of neighbor, we would have a much healthier nation now, and ironically, the conditions of social justice which are so often prayed for would be far closer to realization -- through the virtue of sacred Charity in millions of ordinary people.