Oil is pretty important... in fact, way important. When you run super low on oil (or fail to change the oil regularly every 5000 miles or so) the oil can't do its job and things wear out. When things wear out, they just don't last long. When main bearings wear out, the crankshaft can move in undesired ways. When that happens, the front and rear main crankshaft seals wear out fast, and the car leaks more oil. Its a never ending cycle.
I've actually seen a car that was built with incorrect spacing at main bearings. The car would start, the engine would show a low oil pressure light, the car would make lots of noise. As the bearings got way hot, they would expand, things tighten up and the oil pressure would increase; the engine would run well for a minute or so. As things cooled down, the bearings would shrink again, oil pressure would drop and the cycle repeated. Obviously the car required a total rebuild.
I do have to ask. Where is the oil going? Is it leaking on the ground, or burning out the exhaust pipe? Both are bad, but if the car is low mileage, and its burning out the exhaust pipe, that may not be a crazy expensive fix (likely rebuild heads and replace valve seals...)
How many miles on this car? My suspicion is that a 1997 Honda Civic should last around 200,000 miles or so (perhaps 220,000) assuming regular maintenance including oil changes. How many miles on this vehicle?
Its not really magic, but exactly how many miles did you expect to get out of this car? Your car is now officially 20 years old... (and more likely 21 years old... )
Now if you really like the car, and the mileage is high and want to keep it, perhaps an engine rebuild is in order. You could probably rebuild it yourself for under $1000, assuming you had tools and knowledge. If not the rebuild would be pretty expensive...