As Pope Benedict Emeritus rightly observed, we live in a post-Christian culture. The salvation of Christ which was rapidly spread across the known world in the first few centuries by the saints, martyrs, and Christian families of the Early Church, peacefully conquering the great Roman Empire, and building the greatest civilization known to man, has been all but destroyed, from within, within the last few centuries. God has been cast off as an unnecessary superstition, a childish belief, that the self-proclaimed enlightened mind of modern man has no use for, pridefully relying instead upon his inflated but severely flawed understanding of science, truth, morality, justice, and what a modern society should be. But as we should have learned from the lessons of the Israelites, whenever they turned their back on God, He hid His face from them, and withdrew His providence, blessings and protection. It was not until the people and their leaders took that first step, like the prodigal son, and turned back to God, that He ran out to meet them, with love and mercy, restoring them to His Chosen People. The time has come for we as individuals, families, a Church, and a formerly Christian culture, to take our first, small steps, to return to God in contrition, repentance, and hope that He will again bless us, and accomplish great things that we could never accomplish without Him.





       Look for one example to St. Francis of Assisi. He didn’t set out to change the world, or even the Church, only to change himself. He wasn’t a great theologian, or even a priest, but he gave it all up to live as Christ did, to have an intimate union with Him. He was by all measures, radical and countercultural, even in a far more Christian age. By becoming the light of Christ in the world, he drew others to himself, and to Christ, lighting the flames within the hearts of others, so that the whole world was set ablaze. And what was the result of the efforts of this simple friar-perhaps the single greatest Century of Christianity, the Thirteenth Century, a rightly-ordered society with God and His Church at the very heart of the culture. Had he not answered the call in his heart, and lived up to the mission God had created him for, the world would have been far worse off, millions of souls would have been lost, and no one would have heard of the wealthy merchant from the Middle Ages named Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone.



     In order to reclaim the culture for Christ, we must begin by strengthening our families and churches, which have been the bulwarks against the decay and decline of our civilization. It's no coincidence that the civilization is quickly advancing from decline to fall, at the same time the traditional Christian family is under attack, its morality and authority undermined, its very nature redefined, and the overall role of the family and the Church being encroached upon and performed by the State. What do we then do to reverse this seismic secular societal shift, so that those who simply go with the flow are not eternally lost? As St Bernard of Clairvoux explained,  we must be reservoirs, first being filled with the living waters of our faith before overflowing its abundance upon others, rather than shallow canals that quickly dry up whenever they do not receive. We first must start with ourselves, deepening and filling our spiritual reservoirs, before we can fill our families and our parishes. Only then can our families, as faithful, moral, countercultural witnesses on fire with and aided by God, go forth and change the world. Then when our families more truly reflect the image of the Holy Family, can we make our churches, our family of families,

more accurately reflect the family of God. Then when our house and God's house are in order, united in our defense of our faith and morals against the constant attacks of a godless culture, can we be the shining, attractive beacons of hope the world longed for by the hearts of many. When we as the domestic and universal church practice what we preach, and preach what Jesus preached, authentically, mercifully, zealously and without condescension or hypocrisy, then can we regain the moral high ground, and reclaim this post-Christian culture for Christ.

     The secular culture has been quick to cry “separation of Church and State” in pushing God and religion out of the public square, and in so doing, His relevance in our daily lives, even though this “separation” is found nowhere in the Constitution. In fact, this wall of separation was erected and foisted upon an unwilling nation by rabid anti-Catholic, and KKK member Justice Hugo Black in the 1950’s. So what do we do in the face of this direct assault against the very founding of this once-Christian nation? Not only do we have to do our part to return Christ as the King of our Civilization to His rightful place, but more importantly and immediately, we have to eliminate the greater divide, the impregnable wall of separation between Church and Home. 

      For the family, the Domestic Church, no longer functions as an extension of the Church, reinforcing the faith and morals of those entrusted to its care. For those of us who are parents brought these precious souls into the world, and we are and will be held responsible for getting them back to God-for we have been given much, and much will be required of us. We need to make our homes, schools of prayer, fasting, faith, and love, making it a sanctuary from the profane that surrounds it, and a satellite of the Church. How do we do this, and what does this look like? Just                     to see some helpful, practical, and creative ways to renew our families and incorporate new family traditions that your family will welcome and enjoy. 

      Once we get our own houses in order by simplifying, incorporating devotions, talking about and living our faith, and through the necessary maintenance and spiritual spring cleanings every household requires, only then can we go out to zealously, courageously, and joyfully change the world-and who doesn’t want to do that? Changing the world sounds like an impossible task, though we all agree it needs changing, and it is impossible for mere mortals, but not for God. He’s done it before throughout history, in every age, by raising up faithful men and women, at the exact moment when we needed them most. And if He accomplished His will and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, even conquering the great Roman Empire without firing a shot, with simple fishermen, tax collectors, persecutors, and zealots, He can accomplish great things through us.

      In an era of even greater darkness, we, like St. Francis and tens of thousands before us, need to be these flames of faith, to attract others, to ignite these tepid souls, and cause the renewal of the face of the earth. We have to be ambassadors and soldiers of Christ, the Ecclesia Militans, winning souls for Him, not by proselytizing or theological arguments, but by the very witness of our lives of humility, authenticity, charity and joy, which are magnetic and attractive to others, who will want to know and have what we have. That’s how the early church did it in a culture which was equally opposed and hostile to them as our post-Christian culture is to Catholicism today

      For we all were created for something greater than ourselves, each given a specific mission written on our hearts for the building up of the Kingdom of God. If we only do what we ought and answer that call that the deafening static of the world and its prince seeks to stifle, together we could again become the beautiful mosaic of Christian Culture, the City of God and a beacon to a world in desperate need of hope. To those who are or want to be set ablaze by the fire of Christ’s love, and are looking for what to do with this great, all-consuming conversion experience, for ways not to hoard, or put under a bushel, but to give away this gift you have received, then keep reading, and be the primary teacher of your family you were created to be.


       This transformation of ourselves, our families, our parishes, and the world cannot be accomplished without the grace of God, especially the abundant graces we receive at the Holy Mass and the seven Sacraments of the Church. The Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation are the keys to the Kingdom of God, given to St. Peter and in every age since, and must be at the very heart of our personal and societal repentance, reparation, conversion and renewal. And look around. We’re not alone. We’re not part of some exclusive club, some privileged, neo-Gnostic, enlightened elites. We’re just some of the millions of souls that have responded to God’s call to conversion, and it’s up to us to help get others to respond to Him as well. There’s a renewal going that we’re not in charge of- it’s a religious revival run by God. He’s the Hound of Heaven pursuing souls to save, and we are merely called to be His humble workers in the vineyard. Think about it. Even as recently as a generation ago, were there as many men and women who would comfortably discuss their faith with others? Look at our own experiences, and those of our friends and neighbors, and how these conversions had begun and continue.  Is there any doubt that the Holy Spirit is actively working in the world at this moment when we desperately need Him? But we have a long way to go, for in far too many situations the quickest conversation ender is to mention the name of Jesus. We live in a very sinful time, where its destructive power has a great hold on far too many. But where sin abounds, as it clearly does today, grace abounds even more-so soak it in, get off the bench, and get in the game-for the stakes couldn’t be any higher. For this is the Superbowl of Souls, and unlike the big game where tens of millions gather to see who wins, then almost immediately forget both the outcome and the participants, this epic battle, of the Lamb versus the Dragon, has eternal consequences, yet too few seem even to care. It all changes, now, beginning with a personal fiat to accept God’s mission, the reason you were created, doing your part in the redemption and reclamation of the world for Christ.

III. Restoration Of The Culture