I’ve read a lot lately about the incredible moral shift that has taken place in this country, and which has been greatly accelerated by the last two administrations. Make no mistake. This began a very long time ago, and has happened many times before. Students of history will tell you there truly is nothing new under the sun.
Depending upon what you’ve read and understood, the Dark Ages generally refer to the time when the light of classical antiquity had been extinguished, when the heights to which Mankind had risen; science, art, education, and spirituality, had all been largely lost. “Enlightened Humanity” survived apart from the general population in a cloistered “Wayward Pines” existence. Much of what we know and revere of our past today was preserved and brought to us by Monks living in isolation. They went into a time capsule, an Ark of sorts, and emerged around 1000 A.D. with the spark of civilization still burning. Everyone else suffered short brutal lives of death, disease and want.
The era began with the fall of Rome. She is all around us, we’ve borrowed from her engineering and social programs, her political system, and her war machine. In more than one sense, we have tasted Rome, and she is in us. As are her foibles, failures, sins and inadequacies. I understand that the Fall of Rome was a process, a 200-300 year period in which Rome progressively lost control of her territories, military, political, and financial power. In the end, Rome was conquered by the very barbarians she enslaved and used to protect her walls, fight her wars, wait her tables, plough her fields, and bake her bread. She was a multicultural phenomena who fell apart under the weight of her own diversity, centralized power, wealth, and decadence. Self-determination is a hard dream to exterminate, it is born anew counteless times every generation. For it is an echo of the life spoken of by God.
So here are we are today, in our “Rome”. Most good men with a listening spirit can hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Darkness is coming, Death is coming. Barbarians are coming. And the dream of self-determination is rising again along side of these.
Perhaps survival happens again by exercising the “Benedict Option”, living a life apart from the culture, wholly disengaging where our consciences tell us there is a a better way. Maybe that’s not enough this time, perhaps this is the end of the age and the next light we see will be The Light of Life, Jesus Christ.