The Last Word
In the year 1858, year of Lourdes, year of the priestly ordination of St. Pius X, future Bishop Freppel developed the first Church apologetic work from St. Justin. He analyzed the slide from the original belief in a unique God, monotheism, to the belief in many gods, the same polytheism as practiced in today’s India, and pantheism which is the divinization of nature and of man.
Error has its logic, just as truth has. The starting point of the fall from monotheism to polytheism is clearly original sin, which darkens the intellect and the will. Then, impressed by the wisdom found in creation, by the power of nature, and through a false notion of person—which is the logical connection between all these errors—men started to divinize the effects of God’s attributes, rather than to see the Maker Himself in them. Listen to Divine Wisdom:
“All men are vain, in whom there is not the knowledge of God: and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand Him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman: but have imagined either the fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world. With whose beauty, if they, being delighted, took them to be gods: let them know how much the Lord of them is more beautiful than they: for the first author of beauty made all those things” (Wis. 13:1-3).
What was said of the ancient Greek religion can surely be applied to other pagan beliefs, to Hinduism, as well as modern day worship of Mother Earth. “Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: ‘Behold this is new’: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us” (Eccles. 1:10).
Baptism, by removing original sin and bestowing sanctifying grace, enlightens the intellect, and through the gift of wisdom, helps it to see in creatures the mere ladder to ascend to the contemplation of the beauty of their Creator.
“Go and baptize all nations!” This order is still very much valid today!