St. Thomas Aquinas equated said in the: “God, Who is the first principle of all things, may be compared to things created as the architect is to things designed (ut artifex ad artificiata).” Commentators have pointed out that the assertion that the Grand Architect of the Universe is the Christian God “is not evident on the basis of ‘natutal theology‘ alone but requires an additional ‘leap of faith’ based on the revelation of the Bible.”
The purpose of this blog is two-fold. First, to inform Christians and non-Christians alike about the threat to our society: the West’s moral vacuum, which has led to a de-Christianization of society and the facilitation for Islamists to impose their animalistic sharia tenets. Second, as St. Augustine communicated in his epic The City of God, to encourage everyone to promote and embed the teachings of Christ in society, which in the end is the only way to combat and overcome the aforementioned dual threat we face today.
This message, which the world so desperately needs to hear today, can only be achieved if one is full heartedly willing to seek and live by Christ’s teachings, which cultivate and nourish a change within us; it is one of abandonment in trust and ardent devotion to the our neighbor: is the source and origin of our being and life.
This blog’s image that is taken from a frontispiece of a French Bible (c. 1220-1230), known as the Codex Vindobonensis, God using a compass in the act of creation — sacred art often used the image of the Son of God instead of God the Father in order to highlight the teaching of the Holy Trinity. For many medieval scholars, science, especially geometry and astronomy, was linked directly to the divine. The compass in this 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God’s act of Creation. He has created the universe after geometric and harmonic principles, to seek these principles was therefore to seek and worship the truth: God. The freemasons, who have appropriated for themselves such symbols and reconfigured the notion of the Great Architect, erroneously believe that we as human beings cannot conceive “the Absolute Truth of the Great Architect.”
THE CITY OF GOD – ST. AUGUSTINE
In 410 AD, a pivotal moment in Western history, the Vandals, under the command of their king, Alaric, captured the city of Rome. Rome was known as the Eternal City because the Romans thought that it would literally never fall, and the year 410 shook this belief to its foundations and ultimately led to the collapse of the Roman Empire. The world itself seemed to have been destroyed, and everyone sought answers about what to do and what to believe in. Those who adhered to the waning pagan faith were quick to blame the Christians, claiming that the gods had abandoned Rome because many Romans had forsaken them and taken the new faith. These Romans claimed that Christians were not patriotic enough because they asked people to serve God rather than the state, and they advocated forgiveness toward enemies. More important, they said the Christian God had failed to protect Rome, as he should have done, since Constantine had declared him to be the one true God. The angry wrangling between the two communities prompted Augustine to begin writing The City of God in 413 AD.
Augustine created a theology of the self in The Confessions, and in The City of God he initiates a theology of history. He uncovers a wide-ranging explanation of history that begins with creation itself, moves through the turmoil and upheaval of man-made states (the City of the World), and continues to the realization of the kingdom of God (the City of God). In effect, The City of God is a completion of the project he began in The Confessions, where he traced the progress of the self toward completion in God. Likewise, human society finds completion in the realm of God. Along with a theology of history, Augustine seeks to put together a Christian philosophy of society. In other words, he gives the various areas of philosophical inquiry, such as ethics and politics, a unity in the universality of divine revelation. History completes itself in divine law. The philosophers of the past, such as Plato, had all said that a person does not owe full and absolute loyalty to any earthly society, and Augustine rigorously critiques this concept in the light of Christian doctrine. He states that the Scriptures alone can instruct human beings about the highest good and the highest evil and that without this guidance, human endeavor has no purpose.
Augustine presents the four essential elements of his philosophy in The City of God: the church, the state, the City of Heaven, and the City of the World. The church is divinely established and leads humankind to eternal goodness, which is God. The state adheres to the virtues of politics and of the mind, formulating a political community. Both of these societies are visible and seek to do good. Mirroring these are two invisible societies: the City of Heaven, for those predestined for salvation, and the City of the World, for those given eternal damnation. This grand design allows Augustine to elaborate his theory of justice, which he says issues from the proper and just sharing of those things necessary for life, just as God freely distributes air, water, and light. Humankind must therefore pursue the City of Heaven to maintain a proper sense of order, which in turn leads to true peace.
In effect, The City of God is a challenge to human society to choose which city it wishes to be a part of, and Augustine sees his task as clearly marking out the parameters of each choice. Augustine concludes that the purpose of history is to show the unfolding of God’s plan, which involves fostering the City of Heaven and filling it with worthy citizens. For this purpose, God initiated all of creation itself. In such a grand plan, the fall of Rome is insignificant.