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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Slovenes, Mary’s nation!?

By: Dr Janez Juhant

The German Christian-left weekly Publik Forum wrote that autocrats are on the march. I do not know if this included Slovenia, but given our situation, it is right.

On August 15th, the bishops will rededicate Slovenia to Mary, that is, Slovenian men and women and the entire country: we are considered Mary’s nation. Otherwise, the majority of us are still baptised, although they are said to be less (not enough) influential socially and there is said to be a gap between the consecration (of all) and the actual spiritual state, as far as this is measurable at all. Imagine: one and a half million consecrated people, what a spiritual boom!

So, what is the deal with Slovene religion? A look into the semi-past says a lot. Some, due to external coercion, others due to convenience or cheap, perhaps even corrupt survival – i.e., from complicated earthly trappings – moved away from the faith. The consequences remain. Even in the last thirty years, those responsible in the Church have not made enough efforts to swim against the current, show a spiritual profile and put everything in place for the spiritual renewal of Slovenians. Even in independent Slovenia, with its active socio-political activity and maintenance of an atheistic mentality for the post-communist left-wing autocratic dominance, many got used to it and allowed themselves to go without religion somehow. It is a little more difficult in the face of death, (severe) illness and other trials of life, but still. On the other hand, even communist deniers and even drug addicts could call a priest when they died, hire a nun to care for the sick, and even now anyone can (still) order the ringing of bells and a priest when they die, because that is what we religious people do, even though someone might mock these priests’ tools. “Beggars can’t be choosers,” says a proverb. Unfortunately, man cannot get out of his own skin.

Not only Slovenia, most of modern civilisation: the Enlightenment/Romanticism, the French Revolution excluded the spiritual source, i.e., religion, from the everyday cultural scope, became independent, externalised, but took the path of nihilism, as it narrowed the previous religious dimension to aesthetics only. A typical example is Wagner’s three or tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelungen or Mozart’s Magic Flute, which preserve the tragic and fatal nature of the heroes, but who cannot realise the salvation of man instead of God, which is why absolutist autocrats still exploit this today. Let’s not forget that Wagner was close to Hitler and his propagandists, and for Marxists Nietzsche is the prophet of the Anti-Christ. In our country, Slavoj Žižek constantly juggles with pleasing images, which sometimes have a totalitarian, sometimes a consumerist-religious image, but are always in the service of the Slovenian transition godfathers, who reward Žižek and his ilk for expanding their political agenda of maintaining the power of left-wing autocrats. This path of nihilism, the meaninglessness of life, no longer trains a person to overcome the weight of life, but only deceives him with immediacy; and in suffering, death, and other serious questions, it leaves him alone with his pain. How then in suffering and death? Slovenia is also sinking into this soft version of libertinism, which sweeps away the established, demolishes the foundations of marriage, the family, especially the basic elements of a person as a person, and creates imaginary conditions for a person and society. For example, who will give answers to those conceived in a test tube with unknown semen, who their biological father is, or how it will be possible to prevent incest in a modern permissive society, which is considered a human tradition as a law sanctioned by the gods. Not to mention the problems of arbitrariness of relationships and abandonment of all responsibility for one’s fellow man, what are we letting the young generation grow into? And how self-evidently is the sacrifice of an unborn, old, or disabled person accepted, if it is directed to the supposed freedom of others! In this regard, German constitutional judge Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde (1930-2019) prophetically wrote fifty years ago that modern society no longer provides the foundations from which it lives.

So, what is with the consecration of Slovenes to Mary?

First of all, I believe that all of us, as limited beings, need spiritual encouragement, which, since ancient traditions, people have directed towards God on the premise that they acknowledge their limitations – not inflated self-righteousness – in front of others and in front of God.

I believe that consecration, whoever says it, is a blessing to those who are being consecrated.

I believe that the consecration of Slovenians places us all in a spiritual stream that seeks deeper foundations for our coexistence and also for mutual cooperation.

I also believe that consecration trains us all to defy injustice and violence against others and encourages nobility and philanthropic solidarity, since the pursuit of justice is at the heart of human longings and efforts.

Therefore, not only a Christian, but every person can and must defy time and circumstances from the spiritual depths, fight for truth and justice and, following the example of Jesus Christ, accept shame and neglect or even death for this, like Ehrlich and many others.

Blessed holiday of the Assumption of Mary to Slovenians and all citizens!

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