By Fr. Michael J. Stinson
FSSP North American Superior
August 2020 Anno Domini
Dear Friends of our Fraternity,
The mentality of Western civilization has always relied on the external world to be a safeguard for the determination of truth. If a person was to ask three others where a particular coffee cup is, one may reply that it is in the cupboard; another may answer that is it in the cellar; and the third may say that it is in the dining room. Faced with different answers, the person would then go and check and, finding the cup in the dining room, is able to say which response was true. In other words, the correct answer was discovered to be in accordance with external reality. Nor would this have changed if all the responses agreed that the cup was in the cellar; not finding it there, with a little persevering effort, the cup would eventually be found in the dining room.
Our modern age seems to be locked in the final stages of a concerted war waged against this fundamental principle of truth. We have all witnessed an escalation in recent months. The tearing down of statues and monuments is the visible manifestation of the tearing down of this last pillar of Western civilization that defines truth as the conforming the mind to reality. The destruction of monuments is an effort to break from the past, to redefine it, to bury it or dig it up from the roots. Without a history, we are left free (so it is thought) to determine and define a new path. But with the past cut off, unable to know where we have been, how are we able to know where to go? To change the past is to change the reality of the present. If truth is not to be found in reality, then it must be found elsewhere. In the case of Communism, “truth” would be defined by whatever the party line is for the day; in our country today, this same sentiment prevails within the propaganda the biased media relentlessly distributes to support a party line that seeks to redefine nature, economics, marriage – the entire social order – with the Catholic Church evidently as the final target.
We should not be surprised, since Western civilization is the product of Christianity, a veritable social and moral order founded upon God’s loving Law as manifested in nature and divine revelation, courtesy of Jesus Christ on
the authority of the Catholic Church which comes from Him. Remember that the world view of one who believes
in Christ and lives accordingly will be radically different from one who does not believe, has rejected, or simply hates Him. The violent efforts we see to cast off the past and redefine it is yet another instance of Christ’s words coming true in the parable of the pounds: But his citizens hated him, and they sent an embassage after him saying: We will not have this man to reign over us. (Lk. 19:14)
Nonetheless, we know that the lies of propaganda can never squelch the efforts of hearts searching for the only Truth that can set us free – and there are many, whether they know it or not, and He is never far from any of us. Strive always to be faithful, in season and out of season, and let us not underestimate the power of good example, knowing with great faith and confidence that, after we may have suffered a little while, the truth cannot be buried long and will always rise again stronger and more glorious than ever.