Detaching oneself from the past causes uneasiness, anxiety, and instability

March 22, 2012

From the homily of Paul VI during a Mass he celebrated in the patriarchal basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls on November 2, 1963:


“We are accustomed to looking ahead, ignoring the merits of yesterday; we are not lavish in gratitude, in memory, in consistency toward our past, nor in the respect and fidelity due to history, to the actions that follow one another from one generation to the next. Often the sense of detachment from times past proves rather widespread; and this is cause for uneasiness, anxiety, and instability.

“A healthy people, a Christian people, are much more faithful to those who have gone before; they look to the logic of the events in which their own experience must be formed, and they do not hesitate to give the necessary tribute of recognition and just appreciation.” (Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, Vol. I, pp. 276-277.)


Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents V, pp. 492-493.




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