We sure live in perplexing times.
I think we will make it through, barely…. sometimes crawling and clinging, God willing, we will get to the finish line, dusty but intact.
I worry deeply about my grandson’s generation and those following, who will have only grown up in a society where relationship to and confidence in a world of free thought, faith, belief, reverence for beauty, and respect for tradition will be obsolete. The words “endowed by their creator” will be vague and seem antique as Charlie and Jack are indoctrinated by group-think to believe THEY are the ultimate source and summit of their lives. They will wonder, “what creator?”
Perhaps a new “dark age” ’will invade our culture. The concept of living, doing and giving for something greater than the here and now will be outdated and the memory of faith and culture will vanish.
But perhaps, a remnant will survive (like those intrepid monks on isolated, craggy Irish islands) who managed to remain faithful, in the midst of of long odds, to the core substance of the prime mover, the Judeo-Christian God as endowing all humans with freedom and inalienable rights, that there exists an objective truth in which all creatures live and breath.
When all seemed lost, the world appearing darkest and the deposit of western civilization hung in the balance, that handful still inscribed, illuminated, and repaired by the flicker of a dim candle. As it was 15 centuries ago, perhaps in our own day, when the powerful invading hordes of barbarians (fundamentalism, relativism, political correctness, victim mentality, moral subjectivism, faithlessness, ignorance) have stripped and pillaged and burned and destroyed, the spark will have been protected and cherished.
Lonely souls scraped out a life on a rock called Skellig Michael in the fierce Irish sea, centuries ago, shivering in frigid stone cloisters for endless dark days. Just as they kept the flame of faith and culture alive without knowing Aquinas or Michelangelo or Mozart or Notre Dame would follow, there will be our own keepers of faith and culture, waiting for the treasure to be recovered and brought to life anew in a fresh renaissance as yet unknown.
Julie Conway is a Catholic philanthropist and volunteer extraordinaire, Phi Beta Kappa, mother of three, grandmother of more. She writes from Chicago.