How pitiful is an intelligence used only to make excuses to quiet the conscience.

Ignazio Silone, in Bread and Wine

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When I think of the odd circumstances of this electoral year, I begin to think of Ignazio Silone’s novel Bread and Wine.

In the novel the main character, Pietro Spina – a former Communist, returns to Fascist Italy which is under Mussolini’s rule.  Spina is a man adrift – fallen away from church and estranged from government.

He is a man alone and at sea.  He has no home, or property, or work and he is hunted by the police.  He is without any means of affecting the world around him.

He is much like the disaffected voters in our midst – yes, like the Unprotected Class.

Yet, he is certain that there is a mysterious significance to his life, that a silent sacrifice has historic and eschatological consequences, even if he does not know what they will be.  He lives by faith!

He makes this case: church or no church, we have a prophetic impact, and that civil order and life with others depends on faith.

Yes, he confirms the Christian’s view – he confirms that faith in God is the center of life, and central to society, culture and governing.

Pietro Spina is the Unprotected Class and as such he fits today, for he proclaims a vital truth: without faith at the center of life, nothing goes well, meaning is lost, decline is assured, folly and unhappiness are guaranteed.

Yes, for Americans this is absolutely confirmed; for, we were established on one foundation and that is faith.  We are those who believe in God, Our Sovereign.

If our last six decades of increasingly godless enterprise, ideas and escapades have taught us anything, it is the lesson of Pietro Spina: we live by and in faith.

Faith matters more than anything.  It informs as nothing else can.  It guides as no one else is able.

Now, more than ever, reach for faith, follow those who are led by faith.

The consequences of not doing so at this time are most ominous indeed.

Shalom.

 

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