Skip to comments.Leo XIII: “Without Faith, Liberty Degenerates into License”
Posted on 12/27/2012 7:22:12 AM PST by marshmallow
The good and wise Pope Leo XIII never condemned an error without commending a truth. In this series on Catholic Social Teaching, then, I believe I should follow the Holy Fathers example. Its easy to inveigh against what Leo condemns; more rewarding, though, to reveal the beauty of what he commends. In this essay, then, prescinding from his affirmation, in Aeterni patris (1879), of the principle that grace perfects our nature, his defense of Christian marriage in Arcanum divinae (1880), and his condemnation of a radically secular state in Humanum genus (1884), Id like to take a few small steps toward recovering what it means even to have a society, let alone a Catholic one. To this end, behold the famous painting by Jean-Francois Millet, The Angelus.
It well deserves to be loved. A man and woman, farm-folk hoeing potatoes, pause in their hard work to pray. The noonday sky casts a glow about them. On the earth we see the potatoes, some of them spilling out of a burlap sack. Theres a wheelbarrow nearby, with a few full sacks on it. The man has doffed his wide-brimmed hatwide-brimmed, for work in the sunand holds it against his breast. The woman folds her hands in prayer. They bow their heads. Just visible upon the far horizon is the spire of a church. The title, The Angelus, brings all the motifs together. It is the moment of Emmanuel: and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
What would the secular mind understand about this scene? A man and woman are praying. Well, thats their business. Theyre poor. They should be given public assistance. Not much else, Im afraid. Lets take the motifs one by one.
First, it is a man and a woman. They are married; the....
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Thanks for the post. Good read.
Without precisely knowing it at the time, that is why I stopped identifying with Libertarianism some twenty-five years ago. It is sterile and faithless.
Great post MM.