Looking back at our Catholic heritage is not possible unless we
have a “family” to look back to. God is a family of Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit dwelling in the Catholic Church in love. Our own Christian
families are just as much a part of our past as we are also part of the
family of God, His people and His Catholic Church. This means that we
as Christians have blessings that we can be more than thankful for!
Where did we as Catholic Christians get our faith in the first place?
The answer of course is our good Catholic Christian families and Holy
Mother Church. Our immediate goal is heaven.
It is our
Catholic Christian culture from the last 2,000 years, especially
engrained in the European and American environment by brave, inspiring,
and holy people who were part of religious faith-filled families. There
would be no Europe like it has emerged on the continent with its
Christocentric culture if there had been no monasteries to preserve the
good things of the Greco-Roman world. St. Patrick, St. Benedict, St.
Basil, and other monks began securing the traditions of the past and
incorporating them into the world we know today.
the Catholic Church and its strong leadership of the past–even amidst
human failings and sins–there would be no Christian culture today. Not
only monks of the past but mendicant orders such as the Franciscans,
Dominicans, Carmelites, and Augustinians have added to the tradition of
the Benedictines and others. Unlike the early monks, the friars of the
13th century were not only homebound but also traveling missionaries
spreading the Word of God to other lands. It was a difficult task,
amidst the endings of a feudal society that was being replaced by a new
period where man emphasized himself as all important in the
The barbarians of the earlier centuries
had been easier to tame and to be incorporated into the faith then the
pagan Romans with their central government, which fell in the 5th
century in the West and the 15th century in the East. Due to
differences, the West would be distinct religiously, politically, and
culturally than the East. The Church would suffer a schism between East
and West which still affects the world today.
division in the 8th century that took place was the influx of the
Moslems into Spain and to the shores of Europe. It took the Reconquista
of El Cid and the monarchy of Ferdinand and Isabella, Catholic rulers
of Aragon and Castile united to oust the remaining Moslems and the Jews
from Spain in the 15th century. The Inquisition would do its part of
getting rid of heresy but it is not as horrible as many historians make
it out to be for anti-Catholicism was tearing away at the Church.
the Renaissance came, humanism placed man as most important and instead
of the beautiful Gothic Cathedrals, the age returned to the Greco-Roman
model of man in a perfect form in art. However, many gorgeous artistic
works about God and the saints were still made–such as the paintings
of the Creation and Fall of Man on the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel,
Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and others. The Catholic
Church even survived the terrible Protestant Reformation with a revival
by the Council of Trent in the 16th century.
forces throughout Catholic Church history tried to sink the “boat of
St. Peter” and his successors, such as the early Arian heresy, other
historical incidents, and then the modern intellectual movements of
atheism, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. But what is so
prevalent today is that man has turned away from the legacy of
Christianity and the culture of the past that Europe has inherited.
a wealth in spiritual living man has gained from the wisdom of the
Catholic Church! There are many examples that one can give, but to cite
a glorious and monumental happening, it is necessary to point out the
threat to Europe and the 1571 Battle of Lepanto. The faithful people
prayed the rosary with Pope Pius V on land, and sustained the faith of
the Christian oarsmen rowing through ships with rosaries in their hands
as they fought the mighty Turks. It was a battle for the faith of
Europe. Afterwards, Our Lady of Victory, Our Lady of the Rosary was
Today there is a new threat. It involves not only the Moslem but the lack of European faith.
must turn to God. Pope Benedict XVI, as well as Pope John Paul II, have
warned that relativism, materialism, and modernism is what is bringing
ruin to the civilization, faith, and Christian culture of Europe. The
European Union will not, as George Weigel points out, allow the
faith-filled Cathedral to even be a part of the newly secular Cube. He
knows as well as many other experts that Europe is
wasting away. Catholic families have only one child, at best, on the
average. Churchgoing and prayer are just sidelines. Many churches have
been closed. The European Union will not even allow the word
Christianity to be mentioned in its constitution.
Benedict XVI is trying to bring the people back to the faith. Moslems
are growing at a faster rate then Christians in Europe. Relativistic
living will not bring us back to our Christian roots, when picking and
choosing teachings of the Church. God wants us to abide by all of them.
The new heresy of materialism states that our gods are made by
modernism and technology. Perhaps this is one of the worse heresies of
Have we learned from the past? Do we want to preserve the Christian past? “Without God, we can do nothing”.
Battle of Lepanto of the 16th century was not won by arms alone, and
today’s battle will be lost by a bloodless revolution by the Turk
inside the gates of Europe. Only a last minute turning to God will
bring about a change.
This article was submitted for publication by a user of 4marks.com.
Publication of the article does not constitute an endorsement of the
specific opinions by 4marks.com.
This article may be reprinted with permission just by including the following credit:
"This article is reprinted with
written permission of 4marks Magazine and is part of the 4marks.com network
which offers a variety of online services to Catholics, including our online
program, Catholic Trivia, Temperament Test and single Catholic
service. To learn more about any of our services or how 4marks is helping
Catholics connect online in order to deepen their faith offline visit