The Return of Piety

The Covid Crisis and the looming world-wide Depression will bring all the assumptions of the ideologies on which our modern world is established come crashing to earth.

The first assumption of the modern world is that “piety” doesn’t exist. Piety, the recognition of a higher authority above man and the honour paid to one’s natural superiors is and has been, destroyed by modern ideologies.

The first binding of piety is to God or one’s tribal gods (the first three of the 10 commandments): to give at one time or another during the day or year, due recognition that one’s existence is owing to a superior being – to recognise ultimate authority over one.

The second binding of piety is to honour the authority of one’s parents, kith and kin (the fourth commandment): recognition of one’s being stems from the generation of one’s life from father, mother, and relations. This recognition of the authority of one’s kith implies honour paid to all those who share the culture built by the great extension of one’s relations through time, space and place. One should honour – give pious expression to one’s extensive kin, one’s country, one’s flag, etc.

The third binding of piety is to the law justly applied by the traditions of one’s kith and kin, and ultimately emanating from the first binding of piety: one’s gods and the nature of man. Piety – honour paid to the nature of man is to be recognised as authoritative.
To deny piety is to deny nature itself, to deny the very concept of authority.

Now modern man denies the binding power of piety and being bound by the authority of nature itself. Man is not free to make his own rules regarding who he should act, or obey. Any examination of the nature of man reveals fundamental rules – authority underlying the very existence of piety. It has been said that the Laws of Nature, the moral code is writtten in the very hearts of men. To disobey or undermine those laws by rationalisations conveyed by our culture is to offend the source of all authority. One of the laws of nature is that disobeying the law will be punished. This belief in the punishment of those who break the rules is universal. This of course implies that after death justice asserts itself.

So, when the man-made institutions and ideologies of the state fail, nature will reassert itself. The husband should be given the acts of piety owed him by his wife, against the dictates of feminism, and that includes the ending of fault-less divorce; parents should be able to assert their authority over their children without question or hesitation. People will have to turn to their kin for support. 30 year-olds without work will have to return home and accept the authority of their parents and elderly relations without complaint regarding the clash of their modern cultural habits opposed to those of the past. Kith and kin will need to gather more frequently and support each other and form financial and social support communities. We will need to rediscover our cultural roots ridding the secularising impious influences attached to them.

Piety to God will need to return and only those religions which have strong traditions now will survive. The cultural-Christian will disappear and be replaced by those who accept the full authority of their religious beliefs in their lives. The attitude of accepting religious beliefs which one agrees with under the assumption of free choice – “cafeteria Catholicism and Christianity” will disappear.

The Muslim religion will be strong as will the small but growing traditional Catholic communities given some extra support by the growing number of Evangelical Protestant communities. The youth will continue their increasing choice for authentic worship rather than that of their Baby-boomer parents and grandparents. Fewer will watch TV, the news, and attend films which continue to air the old tired ideologies which undermine piety.

The result will be the survival of those who become pious! Pious to God, to family, to their religious communities, and to their common cultural practices devoid of secular distortions over the past. All secularisations of Christmas and Easter will have to be ignored – Santa and the Easter Bunny will have to go so that all emphasis is to welcome back St Nicholas and the birth of Our Lord at Christmas and the Passion and Resurrection of Christ at Easter.

Of course, the outward new display of strong religious belief will bring with it growing persecution from both individuals and the state. That is already happening and it will get worse. All we can appeal to is that the same rules apply to all: if the Muslims can take over whole streets on Fridays, then so can Catholics on Sundays!

Middle-earth Revisited Another version....

Everyone of us hobbits had to carry a ring around our necks. It weighed us down through our lives, muddied our thoughts, weakened our bodies to death hoping that one day we were to be freed. And some of us were called to carry our personal ring up Mount Doom and throw it into its depths.

It was, indeed, a struggle to get rid of it. The ring was embedded in our hearts and souls and minds and thoughts. But we did. We threw it away.

The life-long weakness remained though. The yearning for its false comforts left traces in our hearts. But such solace we received by the elves sustained us.

We ate lembas bread through the days until our departure; we listened to and sang their songs in the glades of Lothlorien; in Rivendall, we researched and charted the paths outside the ring; we preserved the wisdom of the elves; transcribed their music; we wrote our memoirs; we honoured our Lady Elbereth Githoniel and wore her phial round our necks; and yearned for the promises of Iluvatar.

And then we finally were called to the Grey Havens and off to the West Isles we went to wait for better days to come.

The Shire did not survive. In the next Age, the world of Men destroyed Hobbiton as they destroyed everything they touched. The King did not return.

Then, after another long Age, we returned. Tom Bombadill and Roseberry met us at the dock, and escorted us to the New King.

Gone was every trace of the past. The Misty Mountains had become gentle hills. The Great Forest, now of gentle wide-spanning branches, had spread right across the earth, with glades of the gold and silver trees of Lothlorien separated with lush pastureland. As we walked, time and space seemed to slow down. Distances seemed short and yet expansive. Days seemed like hours yet timeless. We felt no tiredness, no hunger, no thirst. We seemed to fly along the ground.

The forest trees moved apart as if to welcome us. The Ents had met their wives and the thrumming of their joy echoed in the forest among the lilt of Elvish song.

We could see others in the far distance in front and behind us making their skipping way on the same journey.

At last we reached the land of Gondor, or where it used to be. And there behold was a new City: a city of golden columns and towers reaching up to the sky. Trumpets welcomed us as we hurried to the gates of the City.

And there: a huge mass of hobbits, elves and men gathered with one joyful voice of expectation.

And there he stood on the dais: the King, glowing in white and shimmering behind him the High Queen of Heaven: Elbereth-Githoniel. And above, the Valar renewed their lost song.