In several homilies during this past month, I have been referring to Secularization as a virus that latches itself on one’s way of thinking and replicates itself in one’s life-project and finally takes over the human being when it takes hold of one’s life-style. After all, “secularization” is a world-view, not a philosophy. It is “caught” not learned or taught. It is something like a ZeitGeist that characterizes the post-World War I and II periods: man’s ambivalent sense of triumph over matter translating itself into a conscious antagonism towards the “spiritual.” “Matter can be controlled, so why still worry about something that is non-material,” the saecularizzati seem to say. “This-world is what matters. There is no such thing as a world-above-or-after-this-one.”
Thing is, the assumption of the saecularrizati is based on a reduction. And when you reduce reality into just one of its parts, you end up with a distortion. It is like “atheism” in that it assumes the tangible and the immediate as that alone which is real. It refuses to acknowledge what transcends human capacity because it sees “human capacity” as the limit of reality. Once more it declares that since man is the center of the universe, then it is man that sets the boundaries of that universe.
It is human hubris, this thing called “secularization”. And there is a cure for it for every poison contains its own antidote. John Paul II has been harping about it during the whole of His Pontificate: Secularization while putting all its weight on the human and what it is to be human, fails in one thing: to change man totally1. It will never take out the hunger of the human heart for the One whom it wishes to call “Father.” It is this hunger in man that will eventually free him from the illussion of greatness and worth that secularization wants to crown him with.
1 To change man totally, secularization must destroy him first and then redesign him from the bottom up. When John Paul II in his Redemptor Hominis marvels at the re-expression of man in Christ, he was at the same time hinting at the inability of any human system to recreate humanity.
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