If there was a factor unity that kept the West through all periods of its history, it is the liturgy. The liturgy opens the soul to a vision of life and meaning that transcends the misfortunes of this vale of tears.
Historian Christopher Dawson explains that “Whatever else might be lost, and however dark might be the prospects of Western society, the sacred order of the liturgy remained intact and, in it, the whole Christian world, Roman, Byzantine and barbarian, found an inner principle of unity. Moreover the liturgy was not only the bond of Christian unity. It was also the means by which the mind of the gentiles and the barbarians was attuned to a new view of life and a new concept of history” (Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture, Sheed & Ward, New York, 1950, p. 40).