Modernism, is the belief in progress and from the Catholic standpoint, it posits that dogma can evolve and that truth is provisional. As an ideological position, it has received its impetus from the theory of Darwinian evolution that has produced detrimental effects on the life of religion resulting in a state of nonfaith. In the estimations of the modern mind, it is natural science that is the source of truth, the most reliable method at arriving at knowledge, the sole interpret of reality limiting thus, the radius of reason to the sensible and the quantitative irrespective of any philosophical considerations and metaphysical notions concerning the Divine. The problem that humanity faces, is the fact that metaphysical theology has ceded the place to naturalist theology, philosophy has been relegated to an obsolescence and replaced by natural science to the point that, humanism has disappeared from the human horizon, for naturalism in the positivistic sphere is essentially materialist and reduces the human nature to an animality that admits no spiritual principle within the human person but rather explaining every phenomenon of reality in terms of matter and energy, time and space resulting thus, in the apostasy of reason in which eternity disappears and the spirit loses its reality.
The task for humanity is thus, the recovery of the spiritual dimension of the human person and its recognition in the intellectual domain in order to once again reveal the human being as an incarnate creature where body and soul, form a unity, and where reason reflects the spirituality of man. Only by the admission that truth need not necessarily be merely empirical, but that through the heritage of culture, tradition, religion, and philosophy it is possible to arrive at certain knowledge about man, the universe, and reality, can man arrive at the wisdom he sorely seeks in his scientific experiments and in his domination of technology. It is in essence, a paradigm shift, demanding a transition from praxis – that is, doing – to esse – that is, being – in the anticipation that through the spiritual life man can arrive at the domestication of the inherent tension of the human condition and the transfiguration of suffering into happiness, for man is a rational creature that in the pursuit of the good, inherently seeks happiness.
Civilization appears as the final path of the human person, a road by which he travels towards his eternal destiny. It is possible to state, thus, that true humanism demands the restoration of culture, in the overcoming of the private interest and into the re-infusion into society of a common way of doing, thinking, and believing that is possible only if man can once again elevate his conception of culture as art, as an artistic activity concerned with beauty over efficiency, harmony with nature over mechanical law, and a community of persons as opposed to an association of individuals. This is a programme that demands a renewed introduction to religious faith as the end of man, and his presentation into a spiritual world that provides the temporal existence with the transcendent purpose that would animate its activity. In the end, there remains the hope that man can overcome his blindness, and open his soul to the breath of a spirituality that seeks to assure his welfare and contribute to the common good, found indeed, in Catholicism where the human person finds a home, a Mother, a Teacher.