The Permanent Things!

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says, “The more things change, the more we need to rely on the things that never change.” Perhaps at no time in history have we lived in a time more disconnected from history.  One odd phenomenon of the way in which we think of time is that we think of prehistory in terms of huge epochs of millions of years like the Mesozoic Era.  When we get to human history, these time periods get smaller and cover only thousands of years (“Bronze Age”, “Iron Age”).  Then, the nearer we get to the present, we begin to think in centuries such as the 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries.  When we arrive at the 20th Century, we think in terms of decades like the 50s and 60s.  And, in recent years, we start to talk as though each year is a separate era in Earth’s history.  And with the advent of computers, we have started to talk as though months and even weeks and days are somehow radically discontinuous bits of time. The result is a radically ephemeral view of life, as though whatever Britney Spears is doing at the moment is the apex of all human progress.  That can be dangerous since a culture with no memory is a culture that is begging for the first two-bit demagogue who can steal our souls in exchange for a quick-fix to the crisis du jour.  The only way out of that fixation on the fads and fripperies of the world is to fix our minds on the eternal.  We will never discover the will of God by watching the flicker of pop culture emitted by a generation of people with the attention span of fruit flies.  We can only be rooted in the Permanent Things by being rooted in God.  For he is the only Permanent Thing.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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