Yes! I am a Radical

Down to the Roots

I was once thrown out
of a Knights of Columbus meeting
because, as the K. of C. official said,
I was radical.
I was introduced as a radical
before the college students
of a Franciscan college,
And the Franciscan Father added
“I am as radical
as Peter Maurin.”
Speaking in a girls’ college
near St. Cloud, Minnesota,
I was told by Bishop Busch,
are up in a tree
and you are trying
to go down to the roots.”

Poor Conservatives

After another meeting
I was told by a sociologist
“I still think
that you are a radical.”
And I told the sociologist
“We have to pity
those poor conservatives
who don’t know
what to conserve;
who find themselves
living in a changing world
while they do not know
how to keep it from changing
or how to change it
to suit themselves.”

Radically Wrong

Monsignor Fulton Sheen says:
“Modern society is based on greed.”
Father McGowan says:
“Modern society
is based on systematic selfishness.”
Professor John Dewey says:
“Modern society
is based on rugged individualism.”
When conservatives
try to conserve a society
based on greed,
systematic selfishness
and rugged individualism
they try to conserve something
that is radically wrong,
for it is built
on a wrong basis.
And when conservatives
try to conserve
what is radically wrong
they are also
radically wrong.

A New Society

To be radically right
is to go to the roots
by fostering a society
based on creed,
systematic unselfishness
and gentle personalism.
To foster a society
based on creed
instead of greed,
on systematic unselfishness
instead of systematic selfishness,
on gent1e personalism
instead of rugged individualism,
is to create a new society
within the shell of the old.
Modern society
is in a state of chaos.
And what is chaos
if not lack of order?
is not a science,
it is an art,
the art of creating order
out of chaos.
All founders of orders
made it their personal business
to try to solve the problems
of their own day.
If religious orders
made it their business
to try to solve the problems
of our own day
by creating order
out of chaos,
the Catholic Church
would be the dominant
social dynamic force
in our day and age.