A war of cultures

Thus we become mature persons, with a great capacity to do well. Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College, tells us graphically that there is a war going on which affects all people without exception. This is not a war of guns and goons and gold or a war of economics, politics and military strength. But rather a war of cultures. This war of the spirit that involves individuals with flesh and bones like each unique human being is. The two cultures at war can be generally described as the culture of the spirit that leads to life and the culture of materialism that leads to death. Simply put, it is a war between good and evil.


Then he says that we cannot remain neutral in this war. We must clearly take sides. And we ought to take the side of the culture of life. If we want to win this culture war, we must know who our enemies are. Kreeft tells us that we have two real enemies. First “our enemies are demons. Fallen angels. Evil spirits. So says St. Paul: We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of wickedness in high places.” Second, our enemy is ourselves when we become like devils through a life of sin.


And in the end, Kreeft tells us that now that we know that there is a war going on, and we know who our enemies really are, we must then know what weapons to use to win the war. And here Kreeft talks precisely about what I just mentioned earlier. We must acquire virtues to grow and nourish our souls and strengthen it to defeat our enemies and do well to all. Kreeft graphically calls this weapon: holiness or sanctity.


He writes: “The weapon that will win the war and defeat our enemy. All it takes is saints. You can become a saint. Absolutely no one and nothing can stop you. It is your free choice. Here is one of the truest and most terrifying secrets I have ever read (from William Law’s ‘Serious Call’): If you look into your own hearts in complete honesty, you must admit that there is one and only one reason why you are not a saint: you do not wholly want to be.”


We must be willing to pay the price to be a saint, to be a virtuous person and not a vicious one; To spend our lives honoring God above all and serving all people selflessly; To make selflessness a way of life; To practice that highest virtue which is charity.


So, we nourish our souls when we acquire virtues. We must do this through our freely performed acts: Those that are subjectively performed by us and through which we subjectively value what is objectively good for man as defined by the moral law. Thus there is a perfect compatibility between the subjectivity of personal behavior and the existence of objective moral norms.

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter