Fr. Thierry de Roucy
Overall, it is money that rules the world and the destinies of the vast majority of men. The poor try to be less poor—understandably so—and the rich try to get richer. And every effort, every decision, every worry, is driven by a desire to possess. In short, the mainstream culture is a culture of money. As a result, money prevails over politics . . . prevails over tradition . . . prevails, not surprisingly, over metaphysics.Since its inception, Heart’s Home’s modest ambition has been to spread a culture of friendship, and this may sometimes bring about conflicts. Friendship in the slums . . . friendship among family members . . . friendship in society . . . friendship among politicians. . . . In order to create such a culture—which is nothing less than the “Trinitarian culture,” as St. Thomas reminds us in his marvelous essay on Trinity—it is not enough to say: “Love each other! Love each other abundantly!”; It is not enough to settle the conflicts brought about by greed or even to try to set an example. Rather, we must contend against our self-centeredness; or, expressed more positively, we must cooperate in the shaping of the true self of every human being. This is because, between a true self and a person who is self-centered, there can be no true friendship, let alone between two self-centered people. The more it grows, the more Heart’s Home defines itself as a place for education. Heart’s Home realizes that it must not only educate its volunteers and friends, but also its leaders. And in order to express a true self, that is to say, in order to become a true person, it is not essential to be trained in sociology and political science, or to take psychology and language classes. What matters is that our freedom grows. And our freedom can only grow when we make decisions that correspond with the profound nature and the specific destiny of our humanity—and when these decisions are supported by Divine Grace.
In our societies, many things depend on this education in true freedom. The successive crises we have lately experienced are undoubtedly rooted in a lack of proper education: education within the home, education within the school system, education through the media. It is interesting to stop from time to time and try to concretely consider what kind of adults our television programs and our universities are shaping . . . what kind of will, what kind of intelligence, and what kind of emotional expression it is that movies, video games, music lyrics, and magazines are developing in our kids and teens. It makes our heads spin just thinking about it! A single image or set of lyrics young people are exposed to would certainly be enough to rattle many of us! And while it is true that the media does not determine how we act, its influence is becoming stronger and stronger; This certainly does not help at all in the building of this culture of friendship and peace to which we are so attached . . . just look at the fruit mass media is bearing!
Now, while it is important to acknowledge the situation for what it is, it is useless to continue lamenting over it! We need to return to truly loving others, because true love, offered by a true self, which is truly free, begets true freedom. We need teachers who can deeply nourish our intelligence. We need to propose experiences that enrich our humanity. We need to offer beautiful things that eyes and hearts can contemplate.
Every second the world is called to be made anew, our humanity is called to be reborn, our freedom is called to be constantly strengthened in Christ. This is the price we need to pay for a true culture of friendship.