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  Global Views
Two Cities
Special Contribution
By Agustín Perez Cerrada
Augustine of Hippo (354-430), also known as Saint Augustine, was an early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy.

It seems that in our world we have originated two opposng thoughts with regard to Saint Augustine. Many people are attracted to the Catholic Church in view of their unity in doctrine and the moral authority of its teachings. However, we see that Catholics fall into infidelity, become absorbed by moral relativism and leave religious practice. The outside noise can override the inner silence that faith needs to grow.

The respect for human life from conception to death; the dignity of the person; the central character of the family or the sanctity of marriage, and solidarity are determining factors for that dilemma. In this game we must not forget the pressure exerted by media content, on their programs and through advertising, which contributes to the loss of morals or the strength of family values, perhaps without the person being aware of its influence.

In many cases it seems that the faith has ceased to have the support of reading the doctrine of the Sacred Scripture. Pope John Paul II in his letter "At the beginning of the new millennium", is still saying that "it would be a contradiction to settle for a mediocre life, lived according to a minimalist ethic and a superficial religiosity". The childhood experience of walking on the edge of the pavement shows us how the road disappears but in this case, faith is not a game.

In that letter, Pope John Paul II continues his warning that those adhering to this practice would not be mediocre Christians, but "Christians with risk" which "would be the insidious risk that their faith will gradually erode, and perhaps they will surrender to the seduction of the substitutes, even welcoming alternative religious proposals and tolerating extravagant forms of superstition."

Personal experience will show examples of these situations that would surely not have been produced from one moment to another. For example, the fall in the temptation of evil or the election of an inappropriate behavior model is not something sudden, it happens little by little. First, there is something insignificant, then injected with moral relativism, it is transformed into something that moves us away from the first way, displacing the old habits with others that make us a different person.

The ability to act with principles that ensure the dignity of the person has deteriorated. For example, we have shortly gone from respect for human life to widespread abortion, research in embryonic stem-cells, artificially fertilized and then sacrificed, and euthanasia. We have made marriagea less consistent contract; to be able to be broken by the mere will of any of the parties. This is a Copernican revolution that some people may find themselves vulnerable to the misconception that it is an inexorable change of the development of the times.

Perhaps, the replacement of personal ambition for collectivism, of the truth for relativism is the more relevant transformation in our times. We have been instilled with the notion that beliefs are to be relegated to the personal and intimate fields. As a result of this, people are reluctant to express or transmit their convictions to others, and worse when such transmission is omitted in the family. In this breeding ground of the loss of identity, the unbelief carries its roots. If we have something in the heart it has to be transmitted. The inaction shows our weakness of faith.

The crossroads that leads us to the two cities is complex since it is repeated from one stretch to another and indicators may not be sufficiently explicit. For this reason, we must take a risk in the best decision, knowing that the risk of losing grows when we are not awake and drowsy by siren sons: what is close enough to touch to the light is hidden and deletes in the twilight.






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