Vita Primitiva

A few thoughts on this Saturday morning in early September, which I hope finds all our readers well.

Peruse Paula Adamick’s take on the Church in China, a troubling harbinger of what the future may hold, which is a lot like the past: A Church dominated by secular forces, with their own messianic zeal, a zeal with which the Communists in particular are filled. And such a ‘secular messianism’ is a hallmark of the Antichrist (cf., the Catechism, #675-676). What the future holds, I know not, but as the Chinese proverb has it, may you live in interesting times.

And, in light of the upcoming Amazon synod, whose working document praises the wisdom of indigenous and primitive societies, from whom we may learn much, and who even have ‘revelation’ of a sort, read Maureen Mullarkey’s description, rather, a first-hand account of an early anthropologist, of what life was – and is – really like in such places bereft of the benefits of Christian civilization. There is a reason why we are called to subdue the Earth and tame its wilds. Man is the pinnacle of the material, created world, and it befits him to act as such, not mired in mud and filth, with a life that Hobbes described as nasty, brutish and short. Hobbit holes, as such, filled with all the comforts of home.

A life that was rather nasty, but not by any means short, is that or Robert Mugabe, who passed away the other day as a mid-nonagenarian, after leading his country of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia – named after explorer, miner and philanthropist Cecil Rhodes of the eponymous scholarship – into economic and totalitarian misery. Mugabe began his career as a ‘liberator’ against the oppression of ‘white farmers’ who, whatever else was said of them, could indeed farm, and turned primitive Rhodesia into the jewel of Africa. Mugabe turned things around, but not in the right direction, and Zimbabwe is now one of the worst places in the world to live, mired in poverty, inflation and stagnation, back to the mud and filth. All the while, Mugabe himself lived a life of insouciant opulence. May God have mercy on his soul. And we should pray now that the nation may begin a resurgence, if they accept all that is true and good, hard work and a life well-lived, to make a nation so.