Our educational system has introduced into the world people who no longer understand the society they are living in. This system is destined to destroy our civilization and already it has begun to do so. It is useless to blame the politicians, business people, lawyers… We have given many of our young people the first push to set them on a carrier of criminality. It is our own fault if the streets are full of juvenile delinquents. It is time to mend this madness. It is time to gather together these young people, who are so valuable for society, and feed them from the sources of Life.
If the results are not good – who among us can claim to have no responsibility? We should all examine ourselves and look again at our philosophy of life. Since we reject the teachings of religion it is difficult for us to realize how bad are the worst distortions brought about by secularism. Pushing religion away from our life means reducing culture to erudition, life to technology, science to technical manuals. It means depriving the human spirit of the values of the spirit. It means taking from society its constitutive principles which allow it to cohere and survive, removing from it the criterion of choice between good and evil, along with a sense of responsibility and the awareness of guilt. A culture without God is a culture without the idea of an infallible judge, and so it is one that gives clear and constant sanction to any kind of human act. And a citizen who does not believe and ignores any eternal sanction is easily drawn to abuse his or her neighbour. The person learns how to make a machine and ignores how he or she is made. Such a person knows how the atmosphere can be used, but has no idea what use the soul is.
Educating, forming others for life, is lighting a flame. If we wish to form young people capable of being raised above financial gain and sensual pleasure, we need lift them up with a faith that is superior to material goods and sensuality. The person is raised by a superhuman impulse, not one that creates a superhero, but one that confirms the likeness of God in that human being. This upward urge is called the love of God and of its own nature it expands its love to other people. It generates hunger and thirst for righteousness and the young person, longing for these, brings this hunger to society.
The flame once lit must be fed and the young person should be trained to guard and increase its heat and its light. He or she is in need of an education that does not remain infantile, but takes place in the midst of life and death, which is to say in everything necessary to create a blaze and give light. The light needs to be fed, and what feeds it is many things: words, books, recitals and above all the examples and the witness of experience. This living flame opens us to experience divine grace which urges us to seek out those who suffer most, who are the least able, the weak, the defeated, the scorned, to make up for what they lack with what we can give. It is necessary to strive to act like this, as it is necessary to strive to keep healthy, even when we are sick, indeed precisely because we are sick. We must all work together to bring about a social order of peace and strength, of co-operation and altruism, and we much become promoters of truth.
Igino Giordani, La società cristiana (Rome: Città Nuova, 2010, first pub. by Editrice Salesiana, 1942).