Election Day Thoughts

“Cultures are constituted by the union of the living and the dead in rituals of living memory. Never before … has the authority of the past been sacrificed with a more conscious effort of forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is now the curricular form of our higher education.”

– Philip Rieff

What Henri de Lubac wrote in the late 1970s on the subject of the role of the Church is worthy of an extensive quotation:

“Every notion which tends to bring down the supernatural order to the level of nature tends, by that very fact, to mistake the Church for the world, to conceive of her after the model of human societies, to expect her to change even in her essential structures and her faith in order to suit the world’s changes – and this is indeed what is taking place among a number of our contemporaries. In the past a theocratic temptation may have threatened; today, on the contrary … the secularist temptation has come to the fore very strongly … The Church of Christ’s primary, essential irreplaceable mission is to remind us constantly, opportune, importune, of our divine supernatural vocation and to communicate to us through her sacred ministry the seed, still fragile and hidden, yet real and living, of our divine life.”

But de Lubac was quick to reassure his readers of a source of strength which is all too often overlooked, both in the life of the Church and in the life of any healthy nation which has had the good fortune to have fallen under the Church’s influence:

“[The Church’s] spiritual leaders will always be able to count on the backing of the humble and simple among the faithful who spontaneously discern, under the action of the Spirit of God, those things in the Church which are at the service of the Gospel, and those things which would empty it of meaning and smother it under other interests.”

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