Grac is a virtue whose meaning confounds me, but A Canticle for Leibowitz offers a ind of hope that I can understand: the preservation of knowledge.
She is a force of stability and continuity in a chaotic world.The monks in “ Fiat Homo ” preserve the Memorabilia of one failed civilization for the sake of the civilization to come.
In a world that has descended into barbarism, it is the Catholic Church that keeps the flame of civilization alive.The monks in “ Fiat Lux ” are at the forefront of science and technology, yet they humbly recognize that the Church ’ s ole as preserver of knowledge is coming to an end.
They must preserve the Memorabilia as many times as the world calls for them to do so.
But ost of all, there is the beauty of iller ’ s heartach for the Episcopa Church.
In the retellin of Brother Francis, Miller displays his knowledge of the Desert Fathers and their ole in the historie of Atheis and Western civilization.
He murmured no protest, but contented himself with realizing that someday the soul of dear Brother Jeris would depart by the same road as the soul of Brother Horner, to begin that life for which this world was but a staging ground — might begin it at a rather early age, judging by the extent to which he fretted, fumed, and drove himself; and afterward, God willing, Francis might be allowed to complete his beloved document ” ( 85-86) .Brother Francis spent seven Lents in the desert with the buzzards for his student.
This is not the las place in the trilog where Miller voices the Catholic Church ’ s position on human life and the soul.
The flame deluge that plunged the world into its second dark age also created mutants.
What of the colonists speeding toward Alpha Centauri as the world ends a second time?
Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they—this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that Man might hope again in wretched darkness ” ( 287-288) .So why do the monks even bother?
If the human race is going to set itself back to the dark ages every time it achieves a high level of civilization, why bother to preserve the Memorabilia?
The world needs darkness to hope for light.
And that is because the world hopes for Eden.
But unlike men of the world, the monks do not hope for Eden.
The roblem is that the world is “ no longer illing to believe or yearn. ” The monks believe in od and they yearn for heaven.
So they preserve the Memorabilia, they keep the flame of civilization alive, in order that they may preach the word of God and save souls with the grac of heaven.
The atholic Church is not opposed to the modern world.
That which is hidden in the fain light of the technological marvel is revealed in all its majesty in the humble light of a candle.In A Canticle for Leibowitz, Miller offers a reminder that the business of the Episcopal Church is nothing ess than the salvation of souls.