September 2014 Print

Book Review: To Build the City of God

Book Review: To Build the City of God by Brian McCall

By Fr. Dominique Bourmaud

“I want to be free, I want to be me!” This cry for freedom became frontal and confrontational in the 1960’s with the pacifist movement and the sexual revolution. No Pope and no God! No laws and no authorities to which we will ever submit. These were the cries of the Revolution, a worldwide movement orchestrated by high powers which have instituted a regime of total liberation and personal independence.

Is man an isolated, voluntaristic, autonomous individual, as modernity would have him? Or is he subject to natural, social, and transcendent orders? The revolt, successful ever since the French Revolution, has come full circle after two centuries. We are presently reaping the ripe fruit of this denial of order and nature and laws which used to be sacrosanct and the pillars of society: Altar and Throne; divine and human authority.

In this compilation of various conferences touching on daily societal issues, especially economy and politics, Mr. McCall is not afraid of treading on touchy grounds. Besides the hot questions of marriage and family, and how to survive in a system largely grounded on usury, he deals a blow at Big Brother, the Made in China cage, and the poor politics of the Unaffordable Care Act.

The modern world has erected a monstrous edifice on false principles, which, through its own intrinsic nihilism, is hollow to the core. Given time, it must collapse, and so with clarity and insight the author points the way for Catholics to live always under the reign of Christ and to bring His kingship to a world increasingly desperate for the only Way that can truly bind us in temporal solidarity and transcendent communion. The intent of the book is best described by Dr. John Rao: “In the face of cynicism and despair, the supreme importance of Truth for the happiness of individuals and the polis; and in a society that desperately requires correction and transformation in Christ, the need for men and women to be in the world but not of it.”