I’m a big fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood — particularly movies made in the 1940s and ’50s. I could spend a whole day watching Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando and Jimmy Stewart.
With the exception of gangster and war flicks, Hollywood reflected an idyllic America in those days. I doubt that this really was our country’s golden age. I suspect these films just glossed over society’s troubles. But one thing is certain: The troubles of the 1950s or even the turbulent ’60s pale in comparison to those of the 21st century.
In the pages of this magazine we try to bring a Catholic perspective to our day’s challenges—everything from Islamic terrorism to the U.S. Supreme Court’s wrong-headed attempt to redefine marriage. We are making progress in the culture war when it comes to abortion, but losing on religious freedom.
I don’t think America — or the world, for that matter — ever had a “golden age” where most people were able to prosper and live in peace. While that’s a noble goal, it’s not reality. We live in a fallen world where there will always be a struggle for justice, peace, success and happiness.
As faithful Catholics, we know where to start in building such a culture of life — a culture based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. And Legatus members are doing so at Wyoming Catholic College, Ave Maria School of Law, by providing opportunities for Hispanic children, and by coming to the aid of young girls in Africa.
Our strength and passion to build a culture of life flow from our relationship with Christ — something backed up by our own experiences and by science. A recent study proves that people of faith have more “sustained happiness” than those who seek other forms of social participation such as volunteering, playing sports or taking a class.
A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center found that the secret to sustained happiness lies in participation in religion. “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life,” an author of the study said.
The answers to our society’s ills can only be found in Jesus Christ. Since we know the answers that most do not, it’s incumbent upon us to share Jesus with others. We cannot fail. Our world depends upon it. So does our eternal destiny.
PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.