Faith in the Good

Faith in the Good August 1, 2016

PierreWe have lost faith in the idea of self-government that animated European nations since they began to take form in the high Middle Ages. Simultaneously … we have lost faith in Providence, in the benevolence and protection of the Most High; or, if these expressions appear really too obsolete, we have lost faith in the primacy of the Good. … And yet the two operations of freedom are inseparable, as are action and hope. Every action, and especially civic or political action, is carried out in view of some good, especially in view of the common good. This common good, which depends upon us, is nevertheless bigger than us, too big for us. We are tempted to appropriate it wholly for ourselves… We can also, doing what depends on us as best we can, decline to appropriate this good that is greater than us, and, softening our pride a little, suspend internally our action in order to confide the common good to the Agent who is greater than any action and than any human good. As vacillating and prone to fail as we are, it makes sense to put our common goods, so mysteriously substantial and durable, under the protection and the direction of Providence… We address the Most High from the site of our action and for the common good of the city of which we are citizens…

To read Ralph Hancock’s newest translation Beyond Radical Secularism: How France and the Christian West Should Respond to the Islamic Challenge by Pierre Manent, click here


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