Fr. Jeffrey Kirby: The Two Paths

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By Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 4, 2019

Fr. Jeffrey KirbyIn life, we see two currents. The Lord Jesus described them as two paths: the wide way and the narrow way. Saint Paul developed this notion further by describing the battle between those with fleshy hearts and those with spiritual hearts. Saint Augustine, the spiritual protégé of the Apostle to the Gentiles, crafted a whole theology based on two cities: the City of God and the City of Man. Echoing the Lord’s wisdom, the Doctor of Grace saw that the two cities were formed by two different loves. One city sought to love God, His law, and our neighbor – while the other city was stuck in narcissism.

Pope Saint John Paul II translated these notions into more contemporary language. In his monumental 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (in several respects, a substantial and amplifying “sequel” to Pope St. Paul VI’s earlier Humanae Vitae), the beloved pontiff coined terms now common to a deep Catholic understanding of our times: the culture of life and the culture of death. In these expressions, the saint-pope was once again showing that there are two paths and two loves in life. These paths and the loves they denote give rise to not only “cities,” but also cultures. They mutually feed on their own loves. ….