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The Decline of the Family (1)

The family is the foundational structure of society; every society, pagan or Christian. As the family goes, so goes the society. This is seen in many ways, and history books record this (often without even knowing what they are doing). Obviously, not all societies in the history of the world have had the same view of marriage, but almost all have seen the covenantal bond of a man and woman coming together in an exclusive union as something that is to be protected for the good of all.

I have given a lot of thought to the patterns that we see in our land. If we are headed toward societal collapse, then I want St. George to be an oasis of hope in the midst of a horrible societal disaster. If that disaster is going to come, we must take up our cross and be willing to help others find hope and truth. That is our calling as the Church of God Almighty.

We cannot perfectly predict what our future holds, but there are a few things that can help us better to see the patterns of other societies in the past and seek to do what we can to prepare ourselves for whatever the Lord has in store for us. We can trust Him to help us in the worst of circumstances, and point us in the right direction. Sometimes those helps come from society around, and connecting them with Catholic truth can give us a very clear idea of where we are headed.

Sociologist and historian Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures. Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture Zimmerman studied. Remember, this was written almost 80 years ago, long before the current spiral was clear. He saw many of these things and (essentially) pointed them out to us. It appears that we did not pay much attention over the last 80 years (or maybe some chose to ignore it?!).

More to follow...


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