Thursday, July 26, 2007

No Faith in Reason

I had a rather long e-mail discussion with someone today about how it seems that in Victoria and in Canada in general there is a certain complacency towards what the Church teaches. Many say "I believe it" but stop there and refuse to engage to come to a deeper understanding of the truths of the Church.

This seems to me to be thoroughly un-Catholic position. If you look at the great Saints, they attempted to understand God to the best that their abilities allowed. They yearned for Him and wanted to know Him to a greater extent, even those Saints who weren't as smart as the great Doctors of the Church.

What is the result of the Church in Canada? We have adapted ourselves to pacifism, fideism, and just a general desire to not engage the Church in what She teaches so that they can come to know Christ more deeply.

I am not saying that we are all called to be great intellectuals, not all are called to that. But there is a reason why the Church has always valued the Saints, because they have used their gift of reason as best they could. There is always a reason. That is the beauty of the Church. St Peter writes "Be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is within you". We must be prepared to give the reasons we are faithful to the Church and Her teachings! In fact, our faith is a reasonable faith because the Logos IS Reason! Reason became incarnate in the world, He gave meaning to the world.

Now I do not think that this pacifistic fideism is a result of the Church and Her teachings, but rather a result of the Canadian culture in which we live. There is a false view of tolerance in which relativism runs so very deep. And this creates an idea that if we are to be tolerant, we cannot subject a person's most deeply rooted beliefs to the test of reason. This leads to a lack of desire to wanting to engage our gift of reason on that front and thus on all fronts. Fundamentally, Canada has lost her faith in reason.

It is this idea that reason is primary in man that we need to rejuvenate in Canada. We need to show everyone that there is joy and beauty in desiring to know God in a deeper manner. We need to show that our faith IS reasonable. We need to reform the Universities, bring about journals to discuss public issues on the public square, we need think tanks, we need to engage the culture. We need to show the culture to beauty of reason and the joy that comes out of it. There is a reason there are not great achievements as of late in Canadian culture. When a culture loses its pride in reason, it loses its sense of beauty and excellence. When a culture does this, it begins its downward spiral towards destruction.

Look at the great Renaissance's of the Middle Ages, specifically the 9th and 12th centuries. These are times in which the gift of reason was seen as the central means for expressing man's love for beauty. It is this that created great cultural achievements. It is time for a new renaissance, a renaissance of reason. Let us not have history look at the 21st century as a time of cultural decay, but of cultural renewal in which the culture brought about a change in all aspects of society. Let us regain our faith in reason.


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