Crossroads: “Turn Around and Take the Other Path”

Performing the duties due to men and to God, the necessary worship, are indispensable virtues for the healthy maintenance of society.

Newsroom (05/04/2022 10:40, Gaudium PressIt is no easy task to try to explain the accumulation of events that have taken place over the past few days; on the one hand, there are too many events; on the other hand, the lines of a single article are consequently too short.

To name a few: the almost four million Ukrainian refugees that have been forced to emigrate to neighboring lands;[1] the disturbing statement by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, that seeks to clarify the prevarication between Russia and Ukraine, pointing out that there are “no signs of real seriousness” in the diplomatic talks to end the war;[2] the financial fickleness that has plagued many countries, European and American, as a result of the sanctions imposed on Russia, etc.

All this points to a situation that is quite unwanted by contemporary man: instability and fear.

These incidents – to call them such – have, however, the value of signs. They are merely attempting to straighten out or reform a situation whose outcome seems to be ignored even by its own promoters, and they have proven to be as ineffective as they are numerous.

However, the biggest problem is that many fail to put their lens on the true and only lens capable of showing them the target (the solution): God.

If man seems to be sliding downhill, would this not be the moment to remind him of those truths more supernatural than human, contained in the Imitation of Christ: “If now it seems that you succumb and go through confusion that you did not deserve, do not be irritated by this, […] lift up your eyes to heaven, to Me, who can deliver you from all confusion and insult, and give to each one according to his work.

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Such failures, far from doing harm, will produce good; like a remedy – bitter and sometimes indigestible – they will cure many of the diseases in which a great number of (Catholic) men are mired.

You, reader, how long ago did you see so many people piously praying with crossed arms – and here I stress the importance of the adverb, piously – for the future of humanity?

But, if in the past you had also prayed for the present, would we have the situation we have today?

* * *

Perhaps by recalling a certain forgotten truth we can elucidate the etiology of the human and natural catastrophes we have suffered: the social virtue of piety and the virtue of religion make up the panoply of virtues associated with justice, as Scholasticism teaches. [3]

Firstly, justice towards God by rendering him due worship, religion. Secondly, piety towards men, through honest activity in the great network of duties that some have (or owe) to others, according to the degree of hierarchy corresponding to each individual.

In this sense, if religion toward God is lacking, how can there be piety among men? Social misfortunes will be consequences of this imperfection.

As an antidote, that from the present ungodliness among men, religion towards God may arise; provided that you, too, reader, are able to recognize your wrong path – if you are on it. And, in that case, “progress will mean turning around and returning to the right path,”[4] promoting from the evil of war the rebirth of stability and order, goods that only virtue can attain.

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By Bonifácio Silvestre.

[1] Cf. data supplied by Europa press.

[2] Cf.

[Cf. SANTO TOMAS DE AQUINO. Summa Theologica. II-II, q. 101, a. 1. Sao Paulo: Loyola, 2012, 3rd ed.

[4] LEWIS, C. S. Mere Christianity. Translation. Gabriele Greggersen. Rio de Janeiro: Thomas Nelson Brazil, 2017, p. 60.

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