When a Culture is in the Process of Denying its Own Roots...


When a culture is in the process of denying its own roots, it becomes most important to know what these roots are. We had best know what we reject before we reject it. […] We are not a culture that never understood what a human being was in his nature and in his destiny. Rather we are a culture that, having once known these things, has divided against living them or understanding them. Indeed, we have decided to reject most of them, almost as an act of defiance – as an act of pure humanism – as if what we are is not first given to us. We have let an empty future that we propose to make by our own standards become the idea over and against a real past that revealed to us what man really was and is: namely, a being open to wonder who did not create himself or the world in which he dwells.

James V. Schall, S.J.

from the Foreword to Leisure: The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

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