Sr. Mary, Star of Evangelization, SSVM
Less universally, however, will the multitudes agree on the make-up of the original order that ought to be restored. The proposed solutions range from “Do whatever feels good” to a well-meaning but rather vague sense of “fraternity” and “equality.” So long as one doesn’t insist on spouting condemning truth-speech or imposing dogmatic and restricting moral criteria, humanity will find its way to harmony and happiness, to some type of restoration to the best version of mankind; or so the world seems to think.
The object of the intellect is Truth, reality: things as they are. The object of the will is the Good, a rightly-ordered possession of the being of things. The appetites are given that the whole human person, body and soul, may participate in his experience of reality. They are necessary for the performance of a fully human act.
Man, in his original ordered state and in his current disordered state, possesses these faculties by nature. The disorder is found in the reversal of the hierarchy, in man’s being “flipped upside-down,” as it were. The intellect ought to lead, providing the light of truth to the will, that it may give itself to what is truly good. The emotions are meant to be subject, handmaids of man’s spiritual faculties, accompanying man’s free choices, that he may delight in Truth and Goodness.
The spiritual powers of man’s soul, his intellect and will, were meant to have precedence, to be the guides on his journey. Their perfection is his perfection.
In fallen humanity, however, the hierarchy is inverted. Man leads with his emotions, with his passions, with his bodily (and therefore lower) appetites. These passions draw the will to themselves and their disordered desires; the will in turn “convinces” the intellect to assent to unreality, to accept ideas not based in truth. Man’s unrestrained and darkened appetites thus become a danger to himself and to society.
The consequences of man’s rejection of God as Creator, the designer and architect of human nature, lead to the attempt to exalt the creature in order to fill the void. Man, the designed, in rejecting the hierarchy that depends on Absolute Truth, seeks to usurp the place of the Designer by re-defining his very nature and end.
What man is called to be – the perfect human ideal – is also known to us, however: in Jesus Christ, God-made-man, who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) and in His perfect reflections, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints.
The restoration of the world to a proper order will only happen through the restoration of the Kingdom of God, through the restoration of Christ to His throne.
Sr. Mary, Star of Evangelization presented on this topic at RESTORE '22 as part of the March for Life Weekend and Restore Conference.