A reflection on history

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“Domine, quo vadis?”, Annibale Carraci, 1601-1602

A reflection on history ought to convince the human mind, that, there is an evident mystery at work within human temporal life. The controversy, concerning human origins only appears to unveil the central question of the issue of history as it raises the important matter as to whether it is the fruit of an unplanned process, an impersonal mechanism, and in fact, a law of conflict, and in truth, the product of chance and chaos. The cosmological model of the Big Bang seems to affirm, that, the universe had a definite beginning, and that, since those 13 billion years ago, evolution has driven it to produce more perfect forms. And so, the question arises as to whether evolution is a true force in the historical process, that is, whether evolution has a purpose, for it is difficult to admit of the primacy and of the importance of history without a faith in its transcendent purpose. If indeed, natural history has no purpose, it can be asked why it produces more perfect forms, indeed, why the universe moves towards animation, reason, and spirituality. It can be stated in the affirmative, that, evolution conceived as a force of progress, perfection, and direction, is a true power of natural history, for if the data of the naturalist revelation is correct, the universe is directing towards spirituality, towards the realization of civilization, towards the final possession of wisdom, in the contemplation that, in the end, all things work for the good of all. Hence, natural history has a purpose, a certainty, and it is up to humanity armed with that belief to work out that purpose, aided by Divine grace.

Human history is evidently, a Tribunal, an opposition between opposed forces, a Judgement of the darkness by the omnipotent Light; as such, there is an inherent drama, a certain tragedy that forms the character of the human condition to the point that, sometimes, man appears struck by solitude, war, misery, discord, sin, death. The true meaning of human history from the Christian point of view, is encountered in the Cross of Jesus Christ. In the life of the God among men hidden to the world, appear gems of teaching that educate man on the reality that, evil is overcome only when man surrenders to God, in the realization, that, God reserves to His Justice, the Judgement of the world, of evil, of sin, of death. In this perspective, history is only meaningful when lived in relation to the model of Jesus and His Church: these, together, are the workers of history, the agents of salvation, the powers of redemption that assimilate within human culture all its living elements unto regeneration and new eternal life. The Incarnate Word, figures as the substance of the human condition found in the sharing of the bread and of the wine; He becomes in these substances, medicine for the diseases of man, of society and the viaticum for the earthly pilgrimage, who therefore, elevates the human condition to the Divine life of the Holy Trinity: Love.

The Last Judgement, figures as the Triumph of the Divinity over Antichrist, and the final rebellion of evil. History, here, is heightened to a supernatural war, that seeks to, supplant Eternal Light with electromagnetism, with sorcery, with madness, with imperfection. In the contemporary society, subsists the manifest desire to erect a society that is forgetful of God, an atheist society in fact, furthermore, a Communist society that opposes the Kingdom of God on the Earth, that is, the Catholic Church. The world appears, thus, determined to develop its own utopia according to false teachings, for they breed darkness, nonfaith, and discord. The question remains to be determined as to whether peace is possible for humanity: can man, with all the resources of human psychology and the capital of human technology realize the universal kingdom of peace, the achievement of the final state of civilization without Divine assistance?

The answer of the Petrine office, is that a utopia that is realized without reference to Christ, is inherently inhuman, for it seeks to eliminate human suffering without an appeal to charity.

“Since man always remains free and since his freedom is always fragile, the kingdom of good will never be definitively established in this world. Anyone who promises the better world that is guaranteed to last forever is making a false promise; he is overlooking human freedom. Freedom must be constantly won over for the cause of good. Free assent to the good never exists simply by itself. If there were structures which could irrevocably guarantee a determined and good state of the world, man’s freedom would be denied, and hence they would not be good structures at all.”
― Pope Benedict XVI, Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi

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