Sunday, April 24, 2005

Benedict and Francis

Blue Goldfish points us to the role of the MONASTIC. I agree 100%. I would add that Francis of Assisi is the greatest monastic leader. I am convinced that the rediscovery of how to live the gospel as a "religious" community is the key to the 21st Century Reformation.

Gideon Strauss quotes Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue with this quote:
A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of the imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead - often not recognizing fully what they were doing - was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached that turning point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us. And if the tradition of the virtues was able to survive the horrors of the last dark ages, we are not entirely without ground for hope. This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a God, but for another - doubtless very different - St. Benedict.

It is for precisely this reason that the call is not so urgent to save the political realm from its fallenness, but the urgent and vital task, the task at hand, is to shore up the church. The renewal of the church is a foundational necessity that MUST precede the preservation of civility (i.e. civilization). If the church does not take serious the need for reformation, if the church loses it's saltiness, how can the church renew the culture?
God help us as we dig deep and seek to build high,
God Bless,

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