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Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Devolution Question Yet Again And Some Maritain

I first learned about devolution from two men-one a major in the Army and the other a famous Catholic priest. They talked about the growing stupidity of people across the world as a planned and also, physical de-evolution of the species.

Lately, this idea, which I have written about before on this blog, of devolution, has become more obvious to me.

  1. Young people who have never heard of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission or the Council on Foreign Relations. Amazing.
  2. Young people who have never, ever thought of the spiritual side of humans, who either ignore or deny the soul and are, therefore, practical atheists, denying the Spirit of God.
  3. Catholics who have never read one encyclical, not even Humanae Vitae.
  4. Catholics who do not know that there are four Eucharistic Prayers, many movable feasts, or who understand the liturgical year. and worse, do not read to find out. They do not know one can buy a missal, and are not interested in doing so.
  5. Young people who do not believe in natural law philosophy.
  6. Young people who have never studied American or Western History, or taken any other Humanities course.
  7. A complete lack of the ability to do mental math among the younger generations.
  8. Reading difficulties of those under sixty, causing serious problems with basic pronunciation and understanding of content which has been read.
  9. The inability to debate or discuss rationally.
  10. No sense of the goal or end of human beings and not interested in the big question of why we are here.
  11. Complete lack of interest in foreign affairs, geography, or world events.
  12. Complete lack of interest in eating in a healthy manner, thus creating an unhealthy body while still young.
  13. An interesting lack of common sense which I, as an ex-Montessori teacher, where children do practical things and learn common sense, plagues the younger generation.
All of these problems of thinking or living or degeneration I have met in the past three weeks. There are more examples, but these I have seen and experienced more than once in a short period of time. 

De-evolution is not merely a physical problem, but a spiritual problem. Why it is a spiritual problem is that the soul is the form of the body, which means that all movements of the intellect need to be under grace in order to be truly in God's will and effective. The Maritains note that those in the active life, which would include most of the laity, "have a more pressing need of prayer" and that the active people should "ask of the divine mercy the grace of a sufficient intensity of interior life for their very activity, at least in its mode of production, to proceed from the superabundance of their contemplation..."

Devolution is a direct result from a lack of commitment to a life of prayer in the active life, and spiritual sloth. The Maritains, in this little jewel I have been reading, quote St. Augustine. "The love of truth seeks a holy repose, the necessity which love imposes accepted justified toil...If no duty be imposed on us, let us be busy with the study and contemplation of truth; and if labours are laid on us, charity itself obliges us to accept them. Even so, however, the sweet contemplation of truth should not be abandoned, for fear that with the disappearance of their sweetness, we should be overwhelmed by our necessities."

Devolution happens when reflection ends. Man was created as a thinking, reflecting animal, an animal with an immortal soul, will and intellect. To ignore all or any create a bestial condition of emotional responses to stimuli instead of a studied, virtuous response.

To state this simply, spiritual sloth and indecision in following Christ and His Church lead to devolution. The mind becomes dulled by sin and excess.

Prayer and intelligence being the process of purification leading to perfect charity.

The Indwelling of the Trinity, given in baptism, but absent without baptism, gives each one of us the ability to contemplate, to decide to follow Christ, to love. Those in grace do not devolve or degenerate.

2 Peter 3:18Douay-Rheims 

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and unto the day of eternity. Amen