When St. John Paul II visited Los Angeles in 1987, he referred to culture as “all that which reflects the soul of a nation”. The root word of culture is the Latin word “cultus” which means worship. A culture will be defined by what a society ultimately worships; money, sexual license, consumerism or God and a life for others in imitation of Jesus Christ. This past Monday, May 18th, we celebrated the 100 birthday of John Paul II who called for the re-evangelization of culture, to make it more human and more humane as its members looked to the end and purpose of our earthly life, union with God. The International Institute for Culture was founded to respond to that call.
The Faith has always shaped culture throughout the centuries. All of secularized western culture still slows down and takes a breath on December 25th whether those who do take a pause believe in the birth of a Savior or not. Anyone in contemporary American society knows what a Good Samaritan is, whether or not he or she has ever read our Lord’s parable of the man who had fallen among thieves but was helped by an outcast Samaritan.
The Feast of the Ascension has also had its influence as can be seen Catholic Bavaria. It is a paid religious holiday but quite significantly it is also commemorated as Father’s Day since it was the day on which Our Lord returned to His heavenly Father. Keeping Father’s Day tied to our heavenly home helps to keep our focus on our ultimate goal and encourages us to avoid anything that would keep us from achieving it.
To all our fathers, who ought to be reflections of our heavenly Father, may the Lord bless you and your families. A blessed Feast of the Ascension! Happy Father’s Day!