February 14, 2017

C.S. Lewis on the Fragility of Civilization

C.S. Lewis
One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting.
— C. S. Lewis
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Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful
And kindle in them the fire of Your love

V: Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created

R: And You shall renew the face of the earth

Let us Pray:

O God, Who instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The reference to fire reminds us of the Holy Spirit’s essential role in the creation of the world, ("moving about the face of the waters," see Genesis 1:2) and also of the Church. In the Acts of the Apostles the Holy Spirit appears as “tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:3) enabling the disciples to spread Christ’s Gospel the world over.

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