“Their effort was not to transform the world around them in the light of their faith; their will was that they themselves be transformed – and therefore accepted – by that world.”
Some years ago I read The Jesuits by Malachi Martin, a former member of The Society of Jesus, finding compelling answers to many outstanding questions which explained how those who practised the traditional Catholic Faith became – especially in places of theological instruction – indoctrinated by purveyors of modernism. The author’s quote above is shown, not to denigrate Jesuits, but to remind the reader of what is at stake: the eternal destination of souls. What Catholics needed more than ever was a faith strong enough to resist heresy and world-wide apostasy. What they got was capitulation to the values of the world from the top down.
The zeitgeist of modernity swept all before it including those who had hitherto been at the vanguard of a traditional Catholic faith. Within a decade of Vatican II it was decided the teaching of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Thomas Aquinas were out of step with liberal and fashionable views so the rules had to change. In fact almost everything changed in the headlong rush to embrace secular humanism. The modern Jesuits argued that they ought to focus primarily on the needs of the poor and oppressed seemingly forgetting that their essential vocation is the eternal salvation of souls in and through the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to the Holy See.
The long range forecast for the counter culture of the 1960s was hopelessly optimistic: all you needed was love. The Jesuits had love but the success of their religious order was based on religious discipline and faith in God. For over four hundred years Jesuits stood on the margins of societies and cultures transforming the world and many lives for the better. Yet despite this endorsement of their success the Jesuits decided to transform themselves. The result was a descent into the values of the world and quite often this meant embracing the values of Karl Marx and Marxism.
Jesus said the poor would always be with us not in a callous sense but to remind us that our salvation was more important than material things. For my own part I know that the poor have always been with us because of our own sin; but eternal salvation is not about sociopolitical issues. The message of Jesus is not about issues relating to inequality, a subject secularly sanctified by the unconscious Marxists in our midst. Every soul is equal unto God, but the context is not egalitarianism. God created a world that reveals inequality and the distinction of things for what is pleasing to God is not Marxian ideas on social justice but the perfection of the soul and the avoidance of sin.
A Jesuit Priest gifted with a traditional faith and the writing of Saint Thomas Aquinas is likely to have known these words taken from The Summa: “Therefore it must be said that as the wisdom of God is the cause of the distinction of things, so the same wisdom is the cause of their inequality… . Hence in natural things species seem to be arranged in degrees; as the mixed things are more perfect than the elements, and plants than minerals, and animals than plants, and men than other animals; and in each of these one species is more perfect than others. Therefore, as the Divine Wisdom is the cause of the distinction of things for the sake of the perfection of the universe, so is it the cause of inequality. For the universe would not be perfect if only one grade of goodness were found in things.”
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