26 May 2024

IN LUMINE FIDEI: 27 MAY – MONDAY AFTER TRINITY SUNDAY


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 27 MAY – MONDAY AFTER TRINITY SUNDAY: Dom Prosper Guéranger: Having by His divine light added fresh appreciation towards the sovereign mystery of the august Trinity,...

27 May, The Chesterton Calendar

MAY 27th

One Sun is splendid: six Suns would be only vulgar. One Tower of Giotto is sublime: a row of Towers of Giotto would be only like a row of white posts. The poetry of art is in beholding the single tower; the poetry of nature, in seeing the single tree; the poetry of love, in following the single woman; the poetry of religion, in worshipping the single star.

'Tremendous Trifles.'

27 May, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism

CHAPTER VII. Of Humility

26 Jan. 27 May. 26 Sept.

The first degree of humility, then, is that a man, always keeping the fear of God before his eyes, avoid all forgetfulness; and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded, bethinking himself that those who despise God will be consumed in hell for their sins, and that life everlasting is prepared for them that fear Him. And keeping himself at all times from sin and vice, whether of the thoughts, the tongue, the hands, the feet, or his own will, let him thus hasten to cut off the desires of the flesh.

28 May, The Roman Martyrology

 

Quinto Kaléndas Iúnii Luna undevicésima Anno Dómini 2024

On the morrow we keep the feast of the blessed Pope Gregory VII, a right stout champion and defender of the freedom of the Church, of whom mention is made upon, the 25th day of this present month of May.
May 28th 2024, the 19th day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

In Sardinia, the holy martyrs Emilius, Felix, Priam, and Lucian, who contended for Christ, and were crowned.
At Chartres, in Gaul, the holy martyr Caraunus, who received martyrdom by being beheaded, under the Emperor Domitian.
At Corinth, the holy martyr Helconides. She was first tried with many torments, under the President Perennius, in the time of the Emperor Gordian then was tortured again under the next President Justinus, but was delivered by an Angel. At length her breasts were cut off and she was thrown to wild beasts, and tried with fire, and thereafter finished her testimony by being beheaded.
Also the holy martyrs Crescens, Dioscorides, Paul, and Helladius.
At Tekoah, in Palestine, the holy martyrs, monks, who were massacred by the Saracens in the time of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. Their sacred remains were gathered together by the country-folk, who treated them with great reverence.
At Paris, [in the sixth century,] the holy Confessor Germanus, Bishop [of that see.] How saintly he was, how worthy, with what wondrous works he shone, hath been written by Fortunatus, Bishop [of Poitiers.]
At Milan, [in the fifth century,] the holy Senator, Bishop [of that see,] very famous for his graces and learning.
At Urgel, in Spain, [in the sixth century,] the holy Justus, Bishop [of that see.]
At Florence, [in the year 1002,] the holy Confessor Podius, Bishop [of that see.]
℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
℟. Thanks be to God.

Meme of the Moment

Meme for Memorial Day

Green Toryism

Mr Neal reviews How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case For An Environmental Conservatism by Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL.

From Throne, Altar, Liberty

By Gerry T. Neal

How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case For An Environmental Conservatism by Roger Scruton, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 457 pp.

What colour is conservatism?

The answer to that question, historically and traditionally, has been blue. To be even more precise, it has been royal blue. To be conservative is to be on the side of tradition, custom, religion, old and established ways of doing things, the ancient constitution of church and state. Historically, this has meant that conservatives have defended royalty against modern forces that seek to do away with it. For this reason, the official colour of the Conservative Party is the colour long associated with royalty and aristocracy, blue.

Here in Canada, however, there are those who believe that the traditional conservatism of Britain and Canada shares common ground with the political left in their mutual suspicion of classical liberalism. Those who identify as conservatives, but who wish to emphasize this perceived common ground with the left, borrow the colour of the radical left and are known as “Red Tories”. (1) They could not have picked a left-wing symbol that is further removed from what conservatism stands for. The red of the left stands for the blood spilled in violent revolution.

With the publication this June of How to Think Seriously About the Planet, by philosopher and true blue Tory Roger Scruton, a new colour is contending for a place on the conservative banner: environmental green.

We have become accustomed, in recent decades, to think of concern for the environment as being the intellectual property of the left. The left encourages this, claiming the environmentalist movement as its own, and denouncing the right as supporting the despoilers of the environment. Conversely, conservatives have often been willing to concede the environment to the left. We find it difficult to take seriously the concerns of environmentalists when they so often seem to be hysterical alarmists who resemble Chicken Little running around warning everybody that the sky is falling.

In How to Think Seriously About the Planet, Roger Scruton makes the case that concern for the environment would be more at home on the right than on the left and outlines a conservative approach that he convincingly argues would handle the matter of the preservation of our physical environment better than the leftist approach currently favoured by the environmentalist movement.

He begins by addressing the matter of the left’s perceived monopoly on the environment, and saying that “that image is highly misleading”, a contention he backs up by providing a brief outline of the history of the environmentalist movement in Britain and the United States, showing how conservatives were involved from the beginning alongside those of other persuasions. If this is the case, why do conservatives and environmentalists so often seem to be at odd with one another?

Environmentalists distrust conservatives, Scruton says, because they “have been habituated to see conservatism as the ideology of free enterprise, and free enterprise as an assault on the earth’s resources, with no motive beyond short-term gain.” (p. 7) This seems to be a very accurate diagnosis, one which shows that the environmentalists have erred both in the way they see conservatism and the way they see the free market. This error is not entirely their fault, however, because many “conservatives” have contributed to this understanding of conservatism and the market. It is, however, an error because conservatism is not first and foremost about the free market.

If conservatism is not “the ideology of free enterprise”, what is it?

Scruton writes:

Conservatism, as I understand it, means the maintenance of the social ecology. It is true that individual freedom is a part of that ecology, since without it social organisms cannot adapt. But freedom is not the only goal of politics. Conservatism and conservation are two aspects of a single long-term policy, which is that of husbanding resources and ensuring their renewal. These resources include the social capital embodied in laws, customs, and institutions; they also include the material capital contained in the environment, and the economic capital contained in a free but law-governed economy. (p. 9)

This is an excellent short definition of conservatism (2) that shows exactly why conservatism and environmentalism should go together. Conservatism is about preserving and passing on a heritage we have received from past generations to future generations. That heritage includes the sort of things conservatives have traditionally valued, which Scruton in the above quotation describes as social capital, but it is also includes the sort of things environmentalists cherish, our physical surroundings, places and the beauty and life contained therein.

If conservatism is about preserving what we have received from past generations – social institutions, associations, and customs, our physical environment, economic and political freedom, etc. – and passing it on to future generations, it follows that conservatives will understand the purpose of politics in these terms. Scruton says that the purpose of politics, as conservatives understand it, is “to maintain a vigilant resistance to the entropic forces that threaten our social and ecological equilibrium” and that it “concerns the maintenance and repair of homeostatic systems – systems that correct themselves in response to destabilizing change” (pp. 9, 11). Left wing groups and movements, on the other hand, tend to see the purpose of politics as “mobilizing society towards a goal “ (p. 34).

This left wing tendency can clearly be seen in the environmentalist movement today. The response of many environmentalist organizations, to potential threats to the environment, is to sound the alarm and try and rally society behind the cause of saving the environment from those threats. This means that environmentalist causes tend to be conceived of on the largest scale possible causing environmentalists to look to government action on the highest level possible as the solution. Scruton believes that a conservative approach, that treats the environment as homeostatic system to be watched over and adjusted from time to time to maintain the equilibrium would be more appropriate and that the left wing approach is a significant cause of the ineffectiveness of this kind of environmentalism. (3)

The objection can be made that today we are dealing with environmental problems on a scale so large that they require large scale government action. Currently, the issue that is most likely to be pointed to as an example of such a problem is climate change. In his second chapter, Scruton addresses this objection. After pointing out that it serves the interests of those who believe in extensive government action and control for problems to be treated like world threatening catastrophes, and that previous alarms such as Paul Ehlrich’s predictions about global overpopulation and – ironically – the global cooling warming of the 1970’s preceded the current concern with global warming, Scruton addresses the hot topic of anthropogenic global warming. He presents the claims of those arguing for a worst case scenario and those of the skeptics, treating both sides with respect. The greenhouse effect was established as a scientific phenomenon as far back as the 1860’s, he says, and global warming and cooling are both “fairly routine occurrences”, with human activity such as the release of greenhouse gasses being one of many factors that contribute to both. If the worst case scenario is true, however, if the survival of our species is under an immediate threat by the emission of greenhouse gasses, the action that it will be necessary for us to take will require collective cooperation, which he argues is best rooted in a sense of community. “It is precisely to the definition and maintenance of this ‘we’” he writes “ that conservative politics of the kind I shall defend is directed.” (p. 68)

Perhaps the most important theme of this book is the question of what motivates people to act in ways which preserve the environment. There are various motivations to act in ways which harm the environment, but these tend to be variations of the basic human desire to pass the costs of our actions onto others while claiming the benefits for ourselves. Environmentalists recognize this motivation, especially when they see it in the actions of large corporations, but, as Scruton points out, the capacity for governments to export their costs onto others and into the future is much larger. So what then would motivate us to bear the costs of our actions ourselves and to act in ways which will preserve our environment and the natural capital and beauty contained within it for future generations?

Scuton’s answer, in one word, is oikophilia. This word, which seems to be of Scruton’s own coinage, and which is derived from the same Greek word as the more familiar English words economy and ecology, means the love of home. That means more than just the love of the building you live in. The oikos, Scruton writes, “means not only the home but the people contained in it, and the surrounding settlements that endow that home with lasting contours and an enduring smile” and it is a place “that is not just mine and yours, but ours” (p. 227). In explaining how oikophilia is a motivation to preserve the environment, Scruton points to the classic expression of conservative thought in the antirevolutionary writings of Edmund Burke. Burke saw society as being an association in which past, present, and future generations are united, and concern for future generations is a duty owed to past generations. He taught that people belong to “little platoons” – small social associations such as families, churches and clubs and it is in the intimacy of these associations that public affection is born and spreads outward. Scruton draws out the environmental implications of these ideas – out of love for our ancestors and descendents, in our little platoon in society, we are to dutifully maintain the home/oikos we have inherited from past generations and to pass it on to future generations.

An obvious implication of all of this is that the work of maintaining and protecting the environment ought to be done on the local level. Throughout this book Scruton is a consistent advocate of local groups and communities acting to preserve their local environment as being preferable to attempts to protect the environment on a global scale. Government has a role to play in preserving the environment, but it can also contribute to the problem of environmental irresponsibility when it confiscates the problems and responsibilities of smaller groups, generating moral hazard.

The idea that environmental responsibility is rooted in oikophilia has implications for how we conceive of the environment itself. A home is not something that we find for ourselves in nature untouched by man. Scruton is critical of the idea in American environmentalism, of thinking of the environment as wilderness, something to be valued for not being influenced and shaped by man. Nor is a home something that we value only for its utility, its usefulness to us. We build, shape and decorate our homes, which we value for their beauty as well as their utility, and try to make as aesthetically pleasing to ourselves as possible. If our environment, our surroundings, is to be cared for as a home, this means that we will be as concerned about how it looks as we are in conserving the natural resources contained within it. In his eighth chapter Scruton shows how concern for beauty, connected with a sense of the sacred, has traditionally inspired people to care for their surroundings. He indicts modernism in architecture for creating buildings to stand out rather than to fit in to an aesthetic whole and indicts functionalism for designing buildings that become obsolete when their original purpose disappears.

How To Think Seriously About the Planet will probably meet with objections from two quarters – the kind of “conservative” who seems to believe in nothing but the free market and the kind of environmentalist who is wed to activism, government control, and international agreements – both of whom agree about little else, but would come together to dismiss Scruton’s classical conservative notions of tradition, loyalty, and the home as antiquated mysticism. For those of us who still share these ideas, however, this book makes an excellent argument for the care and upkeep of our physical surroundings as part of the heritage we hold in trust for those who will follow us.

(1) In the United States, states that tend to vote Republican are called “red states” and states that tend to vote Democrat are called “blue states”. This is unrelated to the Red Tory phenomenon in Canada.

(2) For his much more in depth explanation of conservatism, see Roger Scruton’s earlier The Meaning of Conservatism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1980).

(3) Another such homeostatic system, according to Scruton, is the market economy under the rule of law. While free enterprise and national loyalty are frequently condemned by conventional left-wing environmentalists, whatever problems exist within a national market are exacerbated by attempts to replace the market with socialism, or to create a market that transcends national boundaries. Scruton explains why this is. In each case accountability is removed increasing irresponsibility. In a socialist economy laws fail to hold enterprises accountable because they are owned by the same entity that makes the law. In an international free market, multinational corporations are not accountable to any one set of laws. This same unaccountability, Scruton also notes, exists among environmentalist NGOs, which, unlike traditional civil associations, “often exist purely for the sake of their goals” (p. 28) and neither respond to nor desire feedback from their supporters and are accountable only to themselves.

Pictured: Sir Roger Scruton

Compline

From St Thomas Aquinas Seminary. You may follow the Office at Divinum Officium.

A Pilgrimage of 20,000+ Traditional Catholics in France


Kevin, Dan and Lea from Germany discuss the large annual pilgrimage in France, from Paris to Chartres.

Solemn II Vespers ~ Trinity Sunday

From St Thomas Aquinas Seminary. You may follow the Office at Divinum Officium.

The Holy Rosary

Sunday, the Glorious Mysteries, in Latin with Cardinal Burke.

Anarcho-Monarchism


Angus Rhodes - Hi Charles, what are your thoughts on Anarcho-Monarchism? Could this be a way to introduce more left leaning people to the idea of Monarchy?

Where Should Adult Students Get Started?


Advice to adult students on where they should get started if they are interested in pursuing a classical Catholic education.

Bishop Warns That Francis Embodies The Spirit Of The French Revolution

The Mystery Of The Most Holy Trinity | Dom Prosper Gueranger

The Fascinating History and Symbolism of Trinity Sunday

The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity was the result of the Arian Heresy, which denies the Trinity, claiming Christ was just a created being.


 
From Aleteia

By Philip Kosloski

Initially, this feast wasn't celebrated after Pentecost and took a few centuries to find its place in the calendar.

After the celebration of Pentecost, the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church continues to meditate on the great mystery of God through the feast of Trinity Sunday. The Sunday following Pentecost has been dedicated to the Holy Trinity for many centuries, but was not always celebrated by everyone in the Church.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, initially this Sunday was known as a Dominica vacans, with no specific focus or theme. At that time there was no particular feast celebrating the Holy Trinity, but soon enough there arose a need for the Church to further define her beliefs in God.

A heresy known as the Arian heresy began to spread in the 4th century, disputing the traditional Christian belief of one God in three divine persons. The bishops of the Church decided to compose a Mass in honor of the Trinity to reaffirm the belief, but it was not given a specific date in the calendar.

By the 8th and 9th century, however, the Church found a perfect place. The St. Andrew Daily Missal explains how Sunday was the most fitting day.

Sunday is consecrated throughout the year to the Holy Trinity because God the Father began the work of creation on the “first day,” the Son made man rose from the dead on a Sunday morning, and the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday.

Besides celebrating the Trinity in some fashion on each Sunday, there also grew a need to fill the “vacant” Sunday after the feast of Pentecost. This need was heightened by the fact that ordinations occurred during this time and there existed no specific liturgy. As the St. Andrew Daily Missal explains, “The feast of the Holy Trinity owes its origin to the fact that the ordinations of the Ember Saturday, which took place in the evening, were prolonged to the next day, which was Sunday and had no proper Mass at that date … [a votive Mass of the Holy Trinity] was celebrated in some places on this Sunday; and since it occupied a fixed place in the liturgical calendar, this Mass was considered as establishing this Sunday as a special feast of the Blessed Trinity.”

Celebrating Trinity Sunday after Pentecost also allows the Church to further reflect on the mystery of God after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. This helps us see the connection that if we truly want to understand the Trinity, we need to have the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can never fully understand who God is on our own and desperately need his guidance and inspiration.

The Trinity is one of the most fundamental beliefs of the Catholic Church and so it is fitting that we dedicate a particular Sunday to that mystery.

Pictured: Icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev, ca 1400

Chestertonian Realism as the Cure for Modern Insanity

Chesterton followed in the footsteps of Aristotle and the Angelic Doctor in his realism, but he is far more accessible than his mentors to the average reader.


From Crisis

By Kennedy Hall

The Modernist denies fundamental truths of reality. To resist it we must embrace a Chestertonian realism.

Having written a book on Modernism—still in the editing process—I have, at this point, become something of an expert on the subject. I do not relish in this fact, as Modernism, being the “synthesis of all heresies,” is a web of insanity and confusion. Perhaps you have seen one of those police dramas or thriller shows with that classic trope of the detective who stays up all night piecing together evidence on a display board; in the morning, his colleagues come in to find him—hair disheveled, coffee cups everywhere, ashtrays filled with cigarettes—and he says, “I did it! I figured out who killed him!” The poor man has solved the case, but he has almost lost his mind in the process; it is very dangerous to enter into the mind of a killer in order to catch him.

I can relate to this man in the story because it has been quite an unnerving process to study deeply the mind of the Modernist, who is, in many ways, as or more deranged than the murderer. You see, a murderer is probably saner than the Modernist because the murderer is a realist. The murderer believes in life and death—thus, he kills his victim; the murderer usually believes in right and wrong—thus, he kills the victim because he believes he has been wronged by him; the murderer believes that justice is real—thus, he runs from the law; sometimes the murderer is even a moral man who believes in sin—thus, he confesses his crime to the police in order to alleviate his conscience.

Modernists believe—if we can say they believe anything—that reality has been bifurcated into a dualist Cartesian theater of the interior and exterior life that are independent of one another. Descartes said cogito, ergo sum—I think, therefore I am—and turned reality upside down, making himself the starting point for reality, thereby relativizing all exterior truth. The mad Modern philosopher who adopts Descartes’ dualism takes his cold, hard subjectivism as a cold, hard fact, not realizing the futility of adopting subjectivism objectively. 

Kant took Descartes’ dualism and turned it into a whole philosophical school based on the notion that active and vital experience of things was a measure of the truth of a thing. Kant was not an objectivist, but he was, in a sense, logically consistent in a world of illogicality and positive subjectivism. Hegel followed in Kant’s footsteps—if they really were footsteps because there would be no way of knowing if Kant had objectively stepped—and applied the evolutive aspect of a proto-Darwinian metaphysics wherein thesis and antithesis smashed together as opposing forces to synthesize opposites into a composite of solidified contradiction. For Hegel, truth began in the subjective, but it was objectively synthesized by the active process of a Hegelian synthesis. 

Henceforth, all truth, to use the term loosely, became an evolutionary process governed by the blind laws of nature that had neither telos nor common sense. The metaphysical evolutionist became the biological evolutionist, and reality became ever more absurd. Not only did the interior life of man govern reality based on his changing personality and self-actualization, but the physical underpinnings of live reality were no longer solid or stable. Evolution in metaphysics destroyed reality as it had always been understood. Chesterton said as much in Orthodoxy

[Evolution] means that there is no such thing as an ape to change, and no such thing as a man for him to change into. It means that there is no such thing as a thing. At best, there is only one thing, and that is a flux of everything and anything. This is an attack not upon the faith, but upon the mind; you cannot think if there are no things to think about. You cannot think if you are not separate from the subject of thought. Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am.” The philosophic evolutionist reverses and negatives the epigram. He says, “I am not; therefore I cannot think.”

This madness was picked up first by the Protestants—which should be expected, considering heretics always believe strange things—and was adopted by Modernist Catholic scholars. Pius X’s crusade against Modernism was fierce; but, in a sense, it had come too late. This is not to criticize the holy pope but only to admit that reality had been destroyed long before the Hammer of Modernists was given the opportunity to define the greatest heresy in the history of the Church.

Modernism is the greatest heresy because it is more than one heresy; it is a meta heresy, a Platonic Form of heresies. For the honest heretic of yore, detestable as he was, he was at least an honest man, if we can say anything good about him. Arius was a proud devil, but he believed in devils. The Albigensians were bastard dualists, but they believed in dualism. Calvin damned mankind with his double predestination, but he damned real men to a real Hell. Luther was a maniac and an idiot, but he really believed everyone else was an idiot but him.

Chesterton tells us that modern man suffers from insanity, and he is correct; but Chesterton was writing to men of Modernity who were just becoming Modernists. In our day, we would be so lucky to be around mad modern men. How much easier it would be to discuss philosophy and religion with a maniac; this would be quite the luxury. However, we are now in post-Modernity, where Modernism is passé. 

In post-Modernity, men can no longer be called insane because for a man to be called insane he must first be called a man! Post-Modernists, the chimeric off-spring of the old Modernists, have grown so tired of reality that even the unholy trinity of Descartes, Kant, and Hegel are too intolerant. 

Descartes is too restrictive because he called himself “I,” which is intolerant to those who prefer to be called “they.” Kant is too bigoted for the post-Modernist because his nominalist categories of external realities presuppose that anything can be categorized, which is probably racist. Hegel’s Darwinian metaphysics is unacceptable to post-Modern Man because it is a philosophy of violence; the notion that the fittest idea could survive the metaphysical evolutionary process is really a form of intellectual colonization that is reminiscent of the tyrants who gave savages running water and indoor plumbing.

Notwithstanding the post-Modern world that went beyond sanity and insanity like Nietzsche went beyond good and evil as he ventured into his aged imbecility, the cure for this meta-madness is the same as Chesterton’s prescription for the madness of turn-of-the-century England: “Every remedy is a desperate remedy. Every cure is a miraculous cure. Curing a madman is not arguing with a philosopher; it is casting out a devil.”

But how do we cure a race of men who do not believe in cures or madness?

Well, as crazy or beyond crazy as our race has become, the cure is still the same. The cure for anti-realism is realism. Funnily, we can find common ground with the old Modernists who now seem like conservatives and appeal to experience. Modernists are heretics about experience because they believe the experience of religious feelings is the measure of religious truth, but it is not experience itself that is heretical.

To exorcise the devil of post-Modern foolery, we must go medieval. I do not mean that in the colloquial sense of the term where the era of Christendom is seen as a dark age of ruthless incivility, but rather, in the sense that the Middle Ages were a time of realism and beauty. 

We need to unplug from rationalism and fill our souls with heavenly and beautiful things. Have you ever noticed that styles of art that are called Modernist—in the aesthetic and not theological sense—are just as ugly as their theological counterpart? The great unnamed saints of history who built cathedrals and palaces did not accomplish what they did because they were experts in computer science or algorithms; they created the greatest architecture the world has ever seen—or will ever see—because they built for the sake of beauty.
The Gothic cathedral is only a building after it was first a dream. Modernists cannot build Gothic cathedrals because they cannot dream of cathedrals; nay, Modernists cannot even really dream, they can only analyze dreams. They cannot truly create because they can only produce; they cannot truly live because they can only experience vitality.

Lest anyone suggest that the pursuit of beauty is impractical, we should compare the longevity of the aqueducts and Notre Dame to the shelf life of modern buildings that are ugly and always being repaired. Our ancestors built for God; consequently, what they built will last until the consummation of the world.

Modern man has lost all sense of beauty, especially natural beauty. This can be seen plainly in the grotesque vestments modern priests wear. Rather than wearing drab green cloaks during “Ordinary Time” that look like they are made from polyester curtains, traditional priests wear silken chasubles during the Time After Pentecost that appear as summer fields turning from shimmering green to shining gold. The loss of the sacred has meant the loss of beauty. Therefore, if we desire to recapture the sacred, we must chase after that which is beautiful.

Ditch modern music and its syncopated rhythm and allow the heaven-sent flittering of Baroque crescendos to recalibrate your spirit. An afternoon spent in a sunroom with an espresso and Vivaldi will do more to rid your soul of Modernism than almost anything. A walk through a crimson forest in October will teach you more about Creation than any theologaster blowhard lecturing you about theistic evolution. The smell and feel of an old Chesterton novel will satisfy your soul more than any viral video. The touch of a transcendental vintage to your lips will teach you more convincingly why Puritans are heretics than any apologist could hope to.

You may think that studying the inner workings of the Universe will show you the Divine Hand and may provide some insight, but we do not call God the Mathematician or Architect like the Freemasons; He is the Author of Creation, and His great work is a poem and a song. Chaucer and Dante will guide you through the heavens more than any physicist. 

Chesterton said it best in Orthodoxy

Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess players do… Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion… The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

Free yourself, dear reader, from Modernism by purifying yourself of the unholy intellectual and artistic milieu that birthed this monster. Modernism is from Satan, and Satan is a dragon and must be stabbed in the heart and beheaded. Take up the sword of St. George, and amputate this gangrenous growth from your soul once and for all.

25 May 2024

The Miracle of Dunkirk (26 May - 4 June 1940)

Today is the first day of the 84th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Dynamo, the 'Miracle of Dunkirk'. The BEF and their French Allies that were successfully evacuated amounted to 338,226 effectives, including approximately 120,000 French. They would live to fight another day and would return in force, to beaches called Gold, Sword, and Juno, a bit south and west, almost exactly four years later.

If you can watch the newsreel below or read the poem without tears in your eyes, you've not a drop of English blood in your veins!

Here is a short animated film about it:


And footage from British Pathe from the actual evacuation and its aftermath. 


Besides the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy vessels involved in the evacuation, there were about 850 'small ships', private boats from ketches to yachts, that helped bring the soldiers off the beach. The poem below catches the 'Spirit of Dunkirk''.

Dunkirk

By Robert Nathan (2 January 1894 – 25 May 1985)

Will came back from school that day,
And he had little to say.
But he stood a long time looking down
To where the gray-green Channel water
Slapped at the foot of the little town,
And to where his boat, the Sarah P,
Bobbed at the tide on an even keel,
With her one old sail, patched at the leech,
Furled like a slattern down at heel.

He stood for a while above the beach,
He saw how the wind and current caught her;
He looked a long time out to sea.
There was steady wind, and the sky was pale,
And a daze in the east that looked like smoke.
Will went back to the house to dress.
He was half way through, when his sister Bess
Who was near fourteen, and younger than he
By just two years, came home from play.
She asked him, “Where are you going, Will?”
He said, “For a good long sail.”
“Can I come along?”
“No, Bess,” he spoke.
“I may be gone for a night and a day.”
Bess looked at him. She kept very still.
She had heard the news of the Flanders rout,
How the English were trapped above Dunkirk,
And the fleet had gone to get them out
But everyone thought that it wouldn’t work.
There was too much fear, there was too much doubt.
She looked at him, and he looked at her.
They were English children, born and bred.
He frowned her down, but she wouldn’t stir.
She shook her proud young head.
“You’ll need a crew,” she said.
They raised the sail on the Sarah P,
Like a penoncel on a young knight’s lance,
And headed the Sarah out to sea,
To bring their soldiers home from France.

There was no command, there was no set plan,
But six hundred boats went out with them
On the gray-green waters, sailing fast,
River excursion and fisherman,
Tug and schooner and racing M,
And the little boats came following last.
From every harbour and town they went
Who had sailed their craft in the sun and rain,
From the South Downs, from the cliffs of Kent,
From the village street, from the country lane.
There are twenty miles of rolling sea
From coast to coast, by the seagull’s flight,
But the tides were fair and the wind was free,
And they raised Dunkirk by fall of night.
They raised Dunkirk with its harbor torn
By the blasted stern and the sunken prow;
They had reached for fun on an English tide,
They were English children bred and born,
And whether they lived, or whether they died,
They raced for England now.
Bess was as white as the Sarah’s sail,
She set her teeth and smiled at Will.
He held his course for the smoky veil
Where the harbor narrowed thin and long.
The British ships were firing strong.
He took the Sarah into his hands,
He drove her in through fire and death
To the wet men waiting on the sands.
He got his load and he got his breath,
And she came about, and the wind fought her.
He shut his eyes and he tried to pray.
He saw his England where she lay,
The wind’s green home, the sea’s proud daughter,
Still in the moonlight, dreaming deep,
The English cliffs and the English loam
He had fourteen men to get away,
And the moon was clear, and the night like day
For planes to see where the white sails creep
Over the black water.
He closed his eyes and prayed for her;
He prayed to the men who had made her great,
Who had built her land of forest and park,
Who had made the seas an English lake;
He prayed for a fog to bring the dark;
He prayed to get home for England’s sake.
And the fog came down on the rolling sea,
And covered the ships with English mist.
The diving planes were baffled and blind.
For Nelson was there in the Victory,
With his one good eye, and his sullen twist,
And guns were out on The Golden Hind,
Their shot flashed over the Sarah P.
He could hear them cheer as he came about.
By burning wharves, by battered slips,
Galleon, frigate, and brigantine,
The old dead Captains fought their ships,
And the great dead Admirals led the line.
it was England’s night, it was England’s sea.
The fog rolled over the harbour key.
Bess held to the stays, and conned him out.
And all through the dark, while the Sarah’s wake
Hissed behind him, and vanished in foam,
There at his side sat Francis Drake,
And held him true, and steered him home
 ✠✠✠✠✠
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget. Lest we forget!

An article, Evacuation of Dunkirk, from Historic UK.

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Today's Holy Mass from SSPX District of Asia. You may follow the Mass at Divinum Officium.

St Eleutherius, Pope and Martyr ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

St Philip Neri, Confessor ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

Trinity Sunday ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

St Eleutherius, Pope & Martyr

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year

This twenty-sixth of May is also honored by the memory of one of those early Pontiffs who, like Urban, were the foundations of the Church in the Age of Persecution. Eleutherius ascended the Papal Throne in the very midst of the storm that was raised by Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. It was he that received the embassy that was sent to Rome by the Martyrs of Lyons’ and, at the head of them that were thus sent, was the great St. Irenæus. This illustrious Church, which was then so rich in Martyrdom, would offer its palms to Christian Rome, in which, to use St. Irenæus’ own expression, it recognized “the highest Sovereignty.” (Against Heresies, Book 3, Chap 3)

Peace, however, was soon restored to the Church, and the remainder of Eleutherius’ pontificate was undisturbed. In the enjoyment of this peace, and with his name, which signifies a Freeman, this Pontiff is an image of our Risen Jesus, who, as the Psalmist says of him, is free among the dead. (Psalms 87:6)

The Church honors St. Eleutherius as a Martyr, as she does the other Popes who lived before Constantine, and of whom almost all shed their blood in the Persecutions of the first three centuries. Sharing, as they did, in all the sufferings of the Church, governing it amidst perils of every description, and seldom or never knowing what peace was—these three and thirty Pontiffs have every right to be considered as Martyrs.

A special glory for Eleutherius is his having been the Apostle of our own dear Country. The Romans had made Britain one of their colonies, and thus brought the island into intercourse with the rest of the world. Divine Providence chose the peaceful years of Eleutherius as the time for uniting it to the Church, at least in some measure. This was the 2nd Century. But later on, our England was to become the Island of Saints; and this same day gives us our second Apostle—St. Augustine.

Eleutherius was born at Nicopolis in Greece. He was a Deacon of Pope Anicetus, and was afterwards, that is, during the reign of the emperor Commodus, chosen to govern the Church. At the beginning of his pontificate, he received letters from Lucius, king of the Britons, begging him to receive himself and his subjects among the Christians Wherefore Eleutherius sent into Britain Fugatius and Damian, two learned and holy men; through whose ministry, the king and his people might receive the Faith. It was also during this Pontificate, that Irenæus, a disciple of Polycarp, went to Rome, and was kindly received by Eleutherius. The Church of God was then enjoying great peace and calm, and the Faith made progress throughout the whole world, but nowhere more than at Rome. Eleutherius governed the Church fifteen years and twenty-three days. He thrice held Ordinations in December, at which he made twelve Priests, eight Deacons, and fifteen Bishops for divers places. He was buried in the Vatican, near the body of St. Peter.

Thy name, O Eleutherius, is the name of every Christian that has risen with Christ. The Pasch has delivered us all, emancipated all, made us all freemen. Pray for us, that we may ever preserve that glorious Liberty of the Children of God, of which the Apostle speaks.  (Romans 8:21) By it were we freed from the chains of sin, which consigned us to death; from the slavery of Satan, who would fain have robbed us of our Last End; and from the tyranny of the world, which was deceiving us by its false maxims. The New Life given to us by our Pasch is one that is all of heaven, where our Jesus is awaiting us in glory; to lose it would be to return to slavery. Holy Pontiff! pray for us, that, when the Pasch of next year comes, it may find us in that happy Liberty which the fruit of our having been redeemed by Christ. (Galatians 4:31)

There is another kind of Liberty of which the world boasts, and for the acquiring which it sets men at variance with men. It consists in avoiding as a crime all subjection and dependence, and in recognizing no authority except the one appointed by our own elections, which we can remove as soon as we please. Deliver us, O holy Pontiff, from this false Liberty, which is so opposed to the Christian Spirit of obedience, and is simply the triumph of human pride. In its frenzy, it sheds torrents of blood; and with its pompous cant of what it calls the Rights of Man, it substitutes egoism for duty. It acknowledges no such thing as Truth, for it maintains that Error has its sacred rights; it acknowledges no such thing as Good, for it has given up all pretension to preventing Evil. It puts God aside, for it refuses to recognize him in those who govern. It puts upon man the yoke of brute force: it tyrannizes over him by what it calls a “Majority;” and it answers every complaint, that he may make against injustice, by the jargon of “Accomplished Facts.” No—this is not the Liberty into which we are called by Christ, our Deliverer. We are Free, as St. Peter says, and yet make not Liberty a cloak for malice. (1 Peter 2:16)

O holy Pontiff! show thyself still a Father to the world. During thy peaceful reign, thy throne was near to that of the Cæsars, who governed the Seven Hilled City. They were the Rulers of the world, and yet thy name was revered in every part of their Empire. While the material power held the sword suspended over thy head, the Faithful of various distant lands were flocking to Rome, there to venerate the Tomb of Peter, and pay homage to thee his Successor. When Lucius sent ambassadors from his Island, they turned not their steps to the Emperor’s Palace, but to thine humble dwelling. They came to tell that that a people was called by divine grace, to receive the Good Tidings, and become a portion of the Christian family. The destinies of this people, which thou wast the first to evangelize, were to be great in the Church. The Island of the Britains is a daughter of the Roman Church; and the attempts she is now making to disown her origin are useless. Have pity on her, O thou that wast her first Apostle! Bless the efforts which are being everywhere made to bring her back to unity with the Church. Remember the faith of Lucius and his people; and show thy paternal solicitude for a Country which thou didst lead to the Faith.

St Philip Neri, Confessor

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year

As we have already said, Joy is the leading feature of the Paschal Season—a supernatural Joy, which springs from our delight at seeing the glorious triumph of our Emmanuel, and from the happiness we feel at our own being delivered from the bonds of death. This interior Joy was the characteristic of the Saint whom we honor today. His heart was ever full of a jubilant enthusiasm for what regards God; so that we could truly apply to him those words of Scripture: A secure mind is like a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15)

One of his latest disciples, the illustrious Father Faber, tell us in his beautiful treatise, Growth in Holiness, that Cheerfulness is one of the chief means for advancing in Christian perfection. We will therefore welcome with gladness and veneration the benevolent and light-hearted Philip Neri, the Apostle of Rome, and one of the greatest Saints produced by the Church in the 16th Century.

Love of God—but a love of the most ardent kind, and one that communicated itself to all that came near him—was our Saint’s characteristic virtue. All the Saints loved God; for the Love of God is the first and greatest of the Commandments: but Philip’s whole life was, in an especial manner, the fulfillment of this divine precept. His entire existence seemed to be but one long transport of Love for his Creator; and, had it not been for a miracle of God’s power and goodness, this burning Love would have soon put an end to his mortal career. He was in his twenty-ninth year; when one day—it was within the Whitsun Octave—he was seized with such a vehemence of divine charity that two of his ribs broke, thus making room for the action of the heart to respond freely to the intensity of the soul’s love. The fracture was never made good; it caused a protrusion which was distinctly observable; and owing to this miraculous enlargement of the region of the heat, Philip was enabled to live fifty years more, during which time he loved his God with a fervor and strength which would do honor to one already in heaven.

This Seraph in human flesh was a living answer to the insults heaped upon the Catholic Church by the so-called Reformation. Luther and Calvin had called this holy Church the harlot of Babylon; and yet she had, at that very time, such children as Teresa of Spain and Philip Neri of Rome to offer to the admiration of mankind. But Protestantism cared little or nothing for piety or charity; its great object was the throwing off the yoke of restraint. Under pretense of Religious Liberty, it persecuted them that adhered to the True Faith; it forced itself by violence, where it could not enter by seduction; —but as for leading men to love their God, this was what it never aimed at or thought of. The result was that, wheresoever it imposed its errors, devotedness was at an end—we mean that devotedness which leads man to make sacrifices for God or for his neighbor. A very long period of time elapsed after the Reformation before Protestantism ever gave a thought to the infidels who abounded in various parts of the globe; and if, later on, it organized what it calls its Missions, it chose a strange set of men to be the apostles of its Bible Societies. It has made a recent discovery—it has found out that the Catholic Church is prolific in Orders and Congregations devoted to works of Charity. The discovery has excited it to emulation; and among its other imitations, it can now boast of having Protestant Sisters of Charity. To a certain point, success may encourage it to persevere in these tardy efforts; but anything like the devotedness of Catholic Institutions is an impossibility for Protestantism, were it only for this reason—that its principles are opposed to the Evangelical Counsels, which are the great sources of the spirit of sacrifice, and are prompted by a motive of the Love of God.

Glory, then, to Philip Neri—one of the worthiest representatives of Charity in the 16th Century! It was owing to his zeal that Rome, and Christendom at large, were replenished with a new life by the frequentation of the Sacraments and by the exercises of Catholic Piety. His word, his very look, used to excite people to devotion. His memory is still held in deep veneration, especially in Rome, where his Feast is kept with the greatest solemnity on this twenty-sixth day of May. He shares with Saints Peter and Paul the honor of being Patron of the Holy City. His Feast is there kept as a day of obligation. The Pope goes, with great solemnity, to the Church of Saint Mary in Vallicella, and pays the debt of gratitude which the Holy See owes to the Saint who accomplished with great things for the glory of our Holy Mother the Church.

Philip had the gift of miracles; and, though seeking to be forgotten and despised, he was continually surrounded by people, who besought him to pray for them, either in their temporal or spiritual concerns. Death itself was obedient to his command, as in the case of the young prince Paul Massimo. The young Prince, when breathing his last, desired that Philip should be sent for, in order that he might assist him to die happily. The Saint was saying Mass at the time. As soon as the Holy Sacrifice was over, he repaired to the palace—but he was too late; he found the father, sister and the whole family in tears. The young Prince had died after an illness of sixty-five days, which he had borne with most edifying patience. Philip fell upon his knees; and after a fervent prayer, he put his hand on the head of the corpse, and called the Prince by his name. Thus awakened from the sleep of death, Paul opened his eyes, and looking at Philip, said to him: “My Father!” He then added these words: “I only wished to go to Confession.” The assistants left the room, and Philip remained alone with the Prince. After a few moments, the family were called back; and in their presence, Paul began to speak to Philip regarding his mother and sister who had been taken from him by death, and whom he loved with the tenderest affection. During the conversation, the Prince’s face regained all it had lost by sickness. His animation was that of one in perfect health. The Saint then asked him if he would wish to die again?—“Oh! yes:” answered the Prince, “most willingly; for I should then see my mother and sister in heaven.” “Take then,” said Philip, “take thy departure for heaven, and pray to the Lord for me.” At these words, the young Prince expired once more, and entered into the joys of eternal life, leaving his family to mourn his departure, and venerate a Saint such as Philip.

He was almost continually visited by our Lord with raptures and ecstasies; he was gifted with the spirit of prophecy, and could read the secrets of the conscience. His virtues were such as to draw souls to him by an irresistible charm. The youth of Rome, rich and poor, used to flock to him. Some he warned against danger; others he saved, after they had fallen. The poor and sick were the object of his unceasing care. He seemed to be everywhere in the City by his works of zeal, which gave an impulse to piety that has never been forgotten.

Philip was convinced that one of the principal means for maintaining the Christian spirit is the preaching the word of God: hence he was most anxious to provide the Faithful with apostolic men who would draw them to God by good and solid preaching. He established, under the name of The Oratory, (not to be confounded with the Oratoire de France) an institution, which still exists, and whose object is to encourage Christian piety among the people. By founding it, Philip aimed at securing the services, zeal and talent, of priests who are not called to the Religious Life, but who, by uniting their labors together, would produce great good to the souls of men.

Thus did he afford to Priests, whose vocation does not lead them to the Religious State, the great advantages of a common rule and mutual good example, which are such powerful aids both in the service of God and in the exercise of pastoral duties. But the holy apostle was a man of too much Faith not to have an esteem of the Religious Life as a State of perfection. He never lost an opportunity of encouraging a Vocation to that holy State. The Religious Orders were indebted to him for so many members, that his intimate friend and admirer, St. Ignatius of Loyola, used playfully to compare him to a bell, which calls others to Church, yet never goes in itself!

The awful crisis of the 16th Century, through which the Christian world had to pass, and which robbed the Catholic Church of so many provinces, was a source of keenest grief to Philip during the whole of his life. His heart bled at seeing so many thousand souls fall into the abyss of error and heresy. He took the deepest interest in the efforts that were made to reclaim those that had been led astray by the pretended Reformation. He kept a watchful eye on the tactics wherewith Protestantism sought to maintain its ground. The “Centuries of Magdeburg,” for example, suggested to his zeal a counterbalance of truth. The “Centuries” was a series of historical essays whereby the Reformers sough to prove that the Roman Church had changed the ancient Faith, and introduced superstitious practices in the place of those that were used in the early ages of Christianity. A work like this, with its falsified quotations, its misrepresentation and, not unfrequently, its invention of facts, was destined to do great injury; and Philip resolved to meet it by a work of profound erudition—a true history, compiled from authentic sources. One of the fathers of his Oratory, Cæsar Baronius, was just the man for such an undertaking; and Philip ordered him to take the field against the enemy. The Ecclesiastical Annals were the fruit of this happy thought; and Baronius himself, at the beginning of his 8th Book, acknowledges that Philip was the originator of the work. Three centuries have passed away since then. It is easy for us, with the means which science now puts into our hands, to detect certain imperfections in the Annals; at the same time, it is acknowledged on all sides that they form by far the truest and finest History of the Church of the first twelve hundred years—which is as far as the learned Cardinal went. Heresy felt the injury it must needs sustain by such a History. The sickly and untrustworthy erudition of the Centuriators could not stand before an honest statement of facts; and we may safely assert that the progress of Protestantism was checked by the Annals of Baronius, which showed that the Church was then, as she had ever been—the pillar and ground of the truth.  (1 Timothy 3:15Philip’s sanctity, and Baronius’ learning, secured the victory. Numerous conversions soon followed, consoling the Church for the losses she had sustained. And if, in these our own days, there are so many returning to the ancient Faith—it is but fair to attribute the movement, in part at least, to the success of the historical method begun by the Annals.

Let us now read the Liturgical account of the virtues and holy deeds of the Apostle of Rome in the 16th Century.

Philip Neri was born at Florence, of pious and respectable parents. From his very childhood, he gave evident promise of future sanctity. While yet a young man, he gave up an ample fortune which he inherited from an uncle, and went to Rome, where he studied theology and philosophy, and devoted himself wholly to the service of Christ Jesus. Such was his abstemiousness, that he frequently passed three days without eating anything. He spent much time in watching and prayer. He frequently made the visit of the Seven Churches of the City, and was in the habit of spending the night in the Cemetery of Calixtus, in the contemplation of heavenly things. Being ordained priest out of obedience, he devoted himself without reserve to the saving souls, and, even to the last day of his life, he was assiduous in hearing confessions. He was the spiritual father of a countless number of souls, and in order to nourish them with the daily food of God’s word, with the frequency of the Sacraments, with application to prayer, and with other pious exercises, he instituted the congregation of the Oratory.

He was ever languishing with the love of God, wherewith he was wounded. Such was the ardor that glowed within him, that, not being able to keep his heart within its place, his breast was miraculously enlarged by the breaking and expansion of two of his ribs. Sometimes, when celebrating Mass, or in fervent prayer, he was seen to be raised up in the air, and encircled with a bright light. He looked after the needy and the poor with an all-providing charity. He was once rewarded by a visit from an Angel, who appeared to him in a beggar’s garb, and Philip gave him an alms. On another occasion, when carrying loaves to the poor, during the night, he fell into a deep hole, but was drawn forth by an Angel without having sustained any injury. So humble was he, that he had an abiding dread of everything that savored of honor; and he was most resolute in refusing every ecclesiastical dignity, though the highest offices were more than once offered to him.

He possessed the gift of prophecy, and could miraculously read the inmost thoughts of others’ souls. Throughout his whole life, he preserved his chastity unsullied. He had also a supernatural power of distinguishing those who were chaste from those who were not so. He sometimes appeared to persons who were at a distance, and assisted them in moments of danger. He restored to health many that were sick and at death’s door. He also restored a dead man to life. He was frequently favored with apparitions of heavenly Spirits and of the Blessed Mother of God. He saw the souls of several persons ascending, amidst great brightness, into heaven. At length, being in his eightieth year, he slept in the Lord; it was in the year of our Redemption 1595, the eights of the Calends of June (May 25th), the feast of Corpus Christi, after having said Mass with extraordinary spiritual joy, and at the very hour which he had foretold—which was shortly after midnight. The miracles, wherewith he had been honored, being authentically proved, he was canonized by Pope Gregory XV.

Thy whole life, O Philip, was one long act of Love of Jesus; but it was also one untiring effort to make others know and love him, and thus secure the End for which they were created. Thou was the indefatigable Apostle of Rome for forty years, and no one could approach thee without receiving something of the divine ardor that filled thy heart. We, too, would fain receive of thy fullness of devotion; and therefore we pray thee to teach us how to love our Risen Jesus. It is not enough that we adore him and rejoice in his triumph; —we must love him: for he has permitted us to celebrate the various Mysteries of his Life on earth, with a view to our seeing more and more clearly how deserving he is of our warmest love. It is Love that will lead us to the full appreciation of his Resurrection—that bright Mystery which shows us all the riches of the Sacred Heart. The New Life, which he put on by rising from the Tomb, teaches us more eloquently than ever how tenderly he loves us, and how earnestly he importunes us to love him in return. Pray for us, O Philip, that our heart and our flesh may rejoice in the Living God! (Psalms 83:2) Now that we have relished the mystery of the Pasch, lead us to that of the Ascension; prepare our souls to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; and when the august mystery of the Eucharist beams upon us, with all its loveliness in the approaching Festival—the very day that ushered thee into the unveiled vision of thy Jesus—intercede for us, that we may receive and relish that Living Bread, which giveth Life to the world! (John 6:33)

The Sanctity that shone in thee, O Philip, was marked by the impetuosity of thy soul’s longing after her God; and all they that held intercourse with thee, quickly imbibed thy spirit—which, in truth, is the only one that contents our Redeemer’s Heart. Thou hadst the talent of winning souls, and leading them to perfection by the path of confidence and generosity. In this great work, thy method consisted in having none; thus imitating the Apostles and ancient Fathers, and trusting to the power of God’s own word. It was by thee that the frequenting the Sacraments was restored—that surest indication of the Christian spirit. Pray for the faithful of our times, and come to the assistance of so many souls that are anxiously pursuing systems of spirituality which have been coined by the hands of men, and which but too frequently retard or even impede the intimate union of the Creature with his Creator.

Thy love of the Church, O Philip, was most fervent: there can be no true sanctity without it. Though thy contemplation was of the sublimest kind, yet did it not make thee lose sight of the cruel trials which this holy Spouse of Christ had to endure in those sad times. The successful efforts of heresy stimulated thy zeal: oh! get us that keen sympathy for our holy Faith, which will make us take an interest in all that concerns its progress. It is not enough for us that we save our own souls; we must, moreover, ardently desire, and do our utmost to obtain the advancement of God’s Kingdom on earth, the extirpation of heresy, and the exaltation of our holy Mother the Church: if these are not our dispositions, how can we call ourselves Children of God? May thy example urge us to take to heart the sacred cause of our common Mother. Pray, too, for the Church militant, of which thou wast one of the bravest soldiers. Shield with thy protection that Rome which loves thee so devoutly because of the services which she received at thy hands. Thou didst lead her children to holiness during thy mortal career; bless her and defend her now that thou art in heaven.