Returning to the Wellspring

May 12, 2014

As the stage is set for a great storm, our common peril forces us to look for a vision of life that will serve to unify the nation. We believe this vision will not be inspired by economic reforms, financial policies, or government programs. The question remains as to where we must go to find the ideas that will inspire our return to order.

Karst spring of the river Rhume in Lower Saxony, Germany. Photo by Tola69.

Karst spring of the river Rhume in Lower Saxony, Germany. Photo by Tola69.

In our times of crisis, we would do well to repair to the wellspring of our Christian culture in the hope of rediscovering those spiritual values that gave us birth. We should look beyond our materialistic vision and turn to what Johan Huizinga calls “more and higher values than the mere gratification of want and the desire for power. These values lie in the domain of the spiritual, the intellectual, the moral, and the aesthetic.”*

Painting by William Powell Frith

Painting by William Powell Frith

In this spiritual quest, we must avoid the idealized inventions of great philosophers or the complex schemes of sociologists. We must reject the rigid ideologies of modern thinkers who have constructed ideal systems without any link to reality, much to the detriment of mankind. We must embrace instead those ideals, principles, and values that have always served to inspire and unify men. They are ideals that are connected to reality and manifest themselves in the diverse customs, traditions, and ways of life of a people.


* Johan H. Huizinga, In the Shadow of Tomorrow (New York: W. W. Norton, 1936), 40-1.



John Horvat, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 311.


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