What is it that made Western Civilization the greatest of Civilizations? The short answer is Divine Providence. For some, however, the this short yet profound answer might require longer explanation.
First, let me start with an analysis of the old prayer of the Church for the Emperor:
O God, who prepared the Roman Empire for the preaching of the Gospel of the eternal King, extend to Thy servant, our Emperor, the armoury of heaven, so that the peace of the churches may remain undisturbed by the storms of war. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
The meaning of the opening of the prayer is clear. According to the long-held belief of the Church, God so ordered history not only that the Roman Empire would rise, but that the Church, “the Chosen People of the New Covenant”, would itself become “Roman”, after a fashion. Its institutions would always be Roman, if in the diverse and sundry ends of the Earth it would adapt existing cultures. Rome itself ceased to be a culture, and became in itself the unifying civilization which held together the many cultures under its imperial banner.
Before continuing it is necessary to clarify certain points about History. The prevailing views of History see it either as eternally progressing in a Positive Evolution, often resisted but always inexorable, or as the equally inevitable machinations of material forces doomed to repeat with no point or purpose. The truth is that History is progressing. It has been progressing since the Incarnation, it is progressing to its End, its purpose. History has been guided by the Hand of God to the Salvation of Man, and its ultimate end is the Second Coming of Christ.
Returning to the question of why the West is great, it is now easy to dismiss the wild ramblings of certain self-proclaimed “white supremacists”, particularly those devoted to Nordicism. In its pre-Christian state, Nordic civilization and even culture left much, very much to be desired when compared with the “black” Ethiopian kingdoms, let alone Imperial Rome.
Yet even Rome itself was not enough to rise to such a greatness as to forever change the fate of the World, for as Chesterton puts it in The Everlasting Man:
There was nothing left that could conquer Rome; but there was also nothing left that could improve it. It was the strongest thing that was growing weak. It was the best thing that was going to the bad.
…if there had been a God, surely this was the very moment when He would have moved and saved the world.
Which is exactly what happened.
Qui propter nos hómines et propter nostrum salute
Descéndit de cælis
Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto
Ex María Vírgine, et homo factus est.