Sheen's extraordinarily insightful, interpretation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son is historical rather than moral. The younger son is Western Civilization. After many long centuries in union with the Father's House, the Church, Western Civilization finally asked its Spiritual Father for its share of the inheritance--spiritual capital in the form of the eternal truths necessary for salvation. Western Civilization began to spend the spiritual capital which the Father's House had given to it. It was not all spent at once, nor was it all spent in the same place, nor with the same friends. In our own day, it has spent its last penny--a belief in the necessity of religion, the existence of moral absolutes, and the individual's obligation to a Personal God. How it can find redemption is the substance of these Lenten meditations.
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