'Anybody who supposes that the Dark Ages were plain darkness and nothing else and that the dawn of the thirteenth century was plain daylight and nothing else, will not be able to make head or tail of the human story of St Francis of Assisi. The truth is that the joy of St Francis and his Jongleurs de Dieu was not merely an awakening. It was something which cannot be understood without understanding their own mystical creed.
The end of the Dark Ages was not merely the end of a sleep. It was certainly not merely the end of a superstitious enslavement. It was the end of something belonging to a quite definite but quite different order of ideas. It was the end of a penance; or, if it be preferred, a purgation [...]
Viewed merely in an external and experimental fashion, the whole of the high civilisation of antiquity had ended in the learning of a certain lesson: that is, in its conversion to Christianity. But that lesson was a psychological fact as well as a theological faith. That pagan civilisation had indeed been a very high civilisation. It would not weaken our thesis, it might even strengthen it, still unrivalled arts of poetry and plastic representation; it had discovered its own permanent political ideals; it had discovered its own clear system of logic and of language. But above all, it had discovered its own mistake.
That mistake was too deep to be ideally defined; the short-hand of it is to call it the mistake of nature-worship. It might almost as truly be called the mistake of being natural; and it was a very natural mistake.'
Thank God that the Dark Ages were consigned to history. The 21st century laments the period as a time of superstition, paganism, sorcery and worship of 'Mother Earth', calling upon strange gods and goddesses to conjour up environmental miracles so that the land may bring forth an abundant harvest for the World and so that the Earth may weep nor howl no more.
Oh, hang on! What's this?! A UN Executive has just invoked Mayan Goddess, 'Lyxchel', at the Global Warming Summit in Cancun, while the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is openly discussing prosecuting countries for 'ecocide' and 'crimes against biodiversity, nature and Mother Earth'. According to one report, 'Even more alarmingly, some supporters want to prosecute ''climate deniers'' who oppose actions to combat global warming as eco-criminals!'
It's beginning to look like 'progress' is means becoming decidedly regressive!
St Francis of Assisi, pray for us!