We often discuss the downslide of our civilization and our humanity here. I am in awe of the fact that the older generations seemed to be larger than life is today. From the founders of this great nation to the generation that fought for freedom in the First and Second World War, we seem to not be able to fill their shoes. Seems we are becoming little people, with little minds, little courage, little in the way of moral values and, of course, little feet.
Of course, we stand on the shoulders of giants so we have that going for us. It makes us feel far bigger and greater than those before us but if the truth be told we have become lesser men over the centuries and few of us can stand up to the preceding generations.
It seems peculiar to me then, that we seem to esteem ourselves and speak of ourselves in superlatives because we have, of course, the use of things like cell phones, computers etc. that were the products of the work done by our forefathers in science.
The same can be said about the loss of stature of great religious leaders and saints like Padre Pio, the evangelist Billy Graham, the contemplatives like St. John of the Cross or Teresa of Avila. And what about great teachers totally dedicated to the faith such as Abp. Fulton Sheen?
Yet, over and over, we seem to want to diminish the worth of those who went before us and to argue with them (conveniently since they can’t respond and show off the ignorance of these new upstarts) and at times even make fun of their antiquated ideas. Nobody seems to imagine that perhaps, just perhaps, they had it right and we are the ones that are foolish enough to want to turn theology and social norms upon their respective heads.
I admit it, folks. My feet (size 11) are too small to fit into my late father’s size 8 loafers. And perhaps I misunderstood what Randy Newman was singing about in his strange hit song, Short People, back in the 70’s. Maybe he was pointing out how diminutive we have become and we seem to be getting shorter and smaller and less rational as the years go by.