What Remedy is There?
What today’s society really lacks are elites and especially moral elites. What is missing are those elites par excellence, where families still retain a memory of their forefathers, still value their reputation for honesty, and still desire to serve as models for society.
So much has been done that has concretely ruined the prestige of true elites. If no work is done to restore them, nothing can be done.
In the name of favoring the more modest classes, society has become increasingly egalitarian. This led to the progressive crushing of authentic elites and the gradual disappearance of those structures and values which provided the element for the genesis of authentic culture and leadership.
Thus deprived of authentic leadership, society is gradually disoriented and increasingly tending toward chaos as time goes by.
The Only Real Solution
One could argue that many, who rightly see the lack of religion as the root of all evil, could begin to practice religion and thus slowly eliminate corruption. However, the fact is that many of these same people will not take a leading role in spreading religion because they see that insisting on an atmosphere of austerity and moral severity would oblige them to change their own way of life.
These people are comparable to that of certain gamblers. They will agree that illegal gambling is harmful to the welfare of the country. However, they still gamble because they do not wish to change their ways.
Putting an end to the situation described above calls for an essentially religious apostolate that attracts Divine Grace. This apostolate, with the help of grace, must really touch people’s minds and souls and achieve real conversion. Such conversions would be the starting point whereby something could be done.
However, these conversions are obviously extremely difficult in times of general immorality when people are attached to the advantages vice brings them and have, therefore, little propensity to abandon their bad life.
To delve into the most obscure nooks and crannies of the problem, a complete solution lies in finding apostles like those described by Abbot Jean-Batiste Chautard in his famous work, The Soul of the Apostolate. They must be endowed with real interior life, desirous above all to see the accomplishment of God’s will and designs on earth as it is in heaven.
They must be apostles who draw others with their example, move people with their word, and strive to make the laws of the state in accordance to those of God, thus changing people’s behavior. In short, the action of these authentic apostles can really touch souls. If these correspond to grace, they will convert.
And to convert, contemporary man must be docile to the recommendation of Our Lady to mankind at Fatima in 1917: they must pray and do penance.
Adapted from a lecture given by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira to TFP members on 12-4-1993. It was not revised by the author.