Thursday, March 8, 2012

Surviving the Catholic / Christian Apostate Age - C.S. Lewis

When Christians deny basic tenants of the Faith many do not go quietly into the night. I have noticed "recovering" Catholics are the worst at this. I suspect the effects of Sacraments they have received might have some to do with the tiresome "rage" machine among other quirks.

Which brings me to fascinating post Msgr. Charles Pope has done on this blog up at the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. See Remarkable and Lesser Known Insights by CS Lewis on the Loss of Faith in the West .

This deal with a series of letters all written in Latin between C.S. Lewis ,and Rev. Fr. Don Giovanni Calabri. They were just published in Enlgish in 1998 , but still I suppose are unknown among many.

Msgr Pope takes a look at a few of these letters , and the inisght of Lewis seems prophetic. I thought this was interesting:

Quae dicis de praesenti statu hominum vera sunt: immo deterior est quam dicis. Non enim Christi modo legem Naturae Paganis cognitam negligunt. Nunc enim non erubescunt de adulterio, proditione, perjurio, furto, certisque flagitiis quae non dico Christinaos doctores, sed ipsi pagani et barbari reprobaverunt. Falluntur qui dicunt “Mudus iterum Paganus fit” Utiam fieret! Re vera in statum multo pejorem cadimus. Homo post-Christianus non similis homini pre-Christiano. Tantum distant ut vidua a virgine….(est) magna differentia intra absentiam sponsi venturi, et sponsa amissi! (Letter 23, March 17, 1953)

What you say about the present state of mankind is true: indeed it is even worse than you say. For they neglect not only the Law of Christ, but even the Law of Nature as known by the Pagans. For now they do not blush at adultery, treachery perjury, theft and other crimes, which I will not say Christian doctors, but the Pagans and Barbarians have themselves denounced. They err who say: “The world is turning pagan again.” Would that it were! The truth is, we are falling into a much worse state. Post-Christian man is not the same as pre-Christian man. He is as far removed as a virgin from a widow….there is a great difference between a spouse-to-come and a spouse sent away.

Certe sentio gravissima pericula nobis incumbere. Haec eveniunt quia maxima pars Europa apostasiam fecit de fide Christiana. Hinc status pejor quam illum statum quem habuimus ante fidem receptam. Nemo enim ex Christianismo redit in statum quem habuit ante Christianismum, sed in pejorem: tantum distat inter paganum et apostatam quantum innuptam et adulteram. Ergo plerique homines nostri temporis amiserunt non modo lumen supernaturale, sed etiam lumen illud naturale quod pagani habuerunt. (Letter 26, Sept 15, 1953)

I certainly feel that very grave dangers hang over us. This results from the great apostasy of the great part of Europe from the Christian faith. Hence, a worse state than the one we were in before we received the faith. For no one returns from Christianity to the same state he was in before Christianity, but into a worse state: the difference between a pagan and an apostate is the difference between an unmarried woman and an adulteress….Therefore many men of our time have lost not only the supernatural light, but also the natural light which the pagans possessed.

Father Pope gives some good insight into this letters with his own contribution. For instance he notes"

The pagan world was a virgin waiting for her groom. The modern West is an adulterous divorce’ cynical, angry and “so through” with Jesus. It is hard to know how the secular West will come round. Will she die in her sins, or will the miracle of broken, humbled heart emerge? Pray! Fast!

But C.S. Lewis has a game plan :

Sed Deus qui Deus misericordiarum est etiam nunc non omnio demisit genus humanum….Non desperandum. Et haud spernendus numerus (apud nos) iam redeunt in fidem….Equidem credo laborandum esse non modo in evangelizando (hoc certe) sed etiam in quadam praeparatione evangelica. Necesse est multos ad legem naturalem revocare antequam de Deo loquamur. Christus enim promittit remissionem peccatorum: sed quid hoc ad eos qui, quum legem naturalem ignorent, nesciunt se peccavisse. Quis medicamentum accipiet nisi se morbo teneri sciat? Relativismus moralis hostis est quem debemus vincere antequam Atheismum aggrediamur. Fere auserim dicere “Primo faciamus juniores bonos Paganos et postea faciamus Christianos. (Letter 26, Sept 15, 1953)

But God who is the God of mercies, even now has not altogether cast off the human race. We must not despair. And among us are not an inconsiderable number now returning to the faith. For my part, I believe we ought to work not only at spreading the Gospel (that certainly) but also to a certain preparation for the Gospel. It is necessary to recall many to the law of nature before we talk about God. For Christ promises forgiveness of sins, but what is that to those who, since they do not know the law of nature, do not know that they have sinned? Who will take medicine unless he knows he is in the grip of a disease? Moral relativity is the enemy we have to overcome before we tackle atheism. I would almost dare to say, “First let us make the younger generation good pagans, and afterwards let us make them Christians .

In many ways this appears what the Pope and other are trying to make an attempt to do. The new Court of the Gentiles etc.

Good stuff. Read it all.


SJ Reidhead said...

Incredible stuff. Using a portion of it for the devotional I'm allegedly writing.

The Pink Flamingo

James H said...

Oh Cool. How afar along with your devotional are you

rahul said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you

How to claim ppi from lloyds