Sunday, September 29, 2013


Silvana De  Mari
An Open Letter to Pope Francis from a famous writer of children's books, Silvana De Mari, slightly edited.

Dearest Papa Francesco,

I address you in a familiar manner because I now realize how much you love being an ordinary person, without frills, without gold and without ermine, an ordinary person, like anybody else.  An ordinary person who likes to watch soccer.  An ordinary person who like many chat amiably in the airplane … A common person like many others.  We need a Pope .

Forgive me, dear Papa Francesco, not to call you, your Holiness, I believe you to be a delightful person, the ideal neighbor, but we need a Pope.  They kill Christians as dogs.  Your Holiness, between a soccer game and the kissing of a disabled child or two, could you do a little something more in line with your role?  In the last couple of hours 10 churches have been burned in Egypt.  Could you do something?

Perhaps put on your trappings, the gold and ermine, which are not trash, your Holiness, but are symbols of 2000 years of history and with that “stuff” go to Egypt instead of watching soccer? It's not just Balotelli who wants to talk to you, there are also the parish priests of the Catholic churches in Nigeria that would have something to say, I mean those who survived; those already dead have nothing to say.

At a time when Christianity is under attack as never before, we need Holiness in a Pope.  We need someone to appoint as the first problem the Christians massacred in Nigeria and Christians massacred in Pakistan during an Easter homily, because they’re but now they’re dead, and why Holiness were they were killed, and with them the freedom to human dignity?

Holiness, I don’t want to teach you how to do so, I understand that you are a professional when it comes to Christianity and I a fledgling amateur, but sometimes it happens that amateurs are brighter in judgment.   Noah's Ark, for example, was built and run by amateurs, while the Titanic was built and guided by professionals.

I do not want to jinx you with the comparison, but Christianity gives me the impression of the Titanic.  The iceberg is called Islam: you say it's so good and spiritual, if you say that as an expert, it may be so.  But, I insist, the captain of the Titanic was also an expert, one of the best.

St. Peter was an amateur, however, for half his life he'd been a fisherman, zero theological studies, a duckling compared to you.  St. Peter said to the Romans that they, as human beings, of course, were brothers, sons of the same God, but that their religion was false.  His task was to convert them or die in the attempt of converting them to the one true faith, not finding merits in a false faith so that those who are born into it never leave it. St Peter died in the attempt, but eventually converted them. Should not this be your role? Convert to Christianity. Or die in the attempt .

On the island of Lampedusa you need had to utter a single sentence I bring the love of God. Throughout the Koran the word love is not mentioned once. It would have sufficed. On Lampedusa you bowed in front of the "spirituality" of Ramadan, you bowed to Islam, and you represent Christ. He Who represents Christ does not bow before anyone: I am the way , the Truth and the Life.

I am the Life, the Truth and the Way, but no matter what efforts to evangelize, even to proselytize, because it appears so much all religions are equal; Your Holiness, in my Gospel it does not say this.  Or is yours is a different gospel, or there is an excess of professionalism that is crushing.

St. Peter to the Romans had said that they, of course, were brothers, but that their religion was false. He was killed because of saying this.    Holiness people die. People are murdered. People die a horrible death. You go to watch soccer. We need a Pope . Someone who is the heir of Jesus Christ and St. Peter, someone who is willing to be hated . Because it's all here. Jesus Christ was killed by people who hated him. St. Peter was killed by people who hated him. Anyone Who is fighting for a cause, will be hated.

Whoever tolerates everything the opposite of everything with the usual happy face is a conniving. We cannot be loved by all, if we stand for something. If I remember correctly it is also written in the Gospels. Do not be afraid to be hated. Your predecessor was hated a lot. Also sentenced to death by a fatwa after his Regensburg speech, Osama Bin Laden had decreed his death.

You are loved by all, Your Holiness. Are you sure that's an advantage? I think the time has come to be hated. Put on all your trappings, which are not trash but symbols of 2,000 years of history, give the weight of those 2000 years, and go to Cairo, and fight for Coptic Christians, and weep over their burned churches and then go to Syria and then later to Pakistan. Then, if you have time, you can also go to a soccer game but I don’t think that time will allow it.  We are at the darkest moment of Christianity since the beginning of time.  We need a Pope .

[With thanks to Anthony Fraser]

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Rembrandt's The Raising of Lazarus


[This article by Jean Vaquié was published originally in the counter-revolutionary journal Lecture et Tradition1 in 1990 and then in issue 156 of Action Familiale et Scolaire (AFS). It was subsequently issued as a supplement to AFS No. 225, February 2013. It was published in English in Apropos No. 21, Lent 2003. We may consider it as a charter for the current counter-revolutionary struggle. The author outlines there three superimposed battles:

• that of maintenance which has as its object the safeguarding the remnant of Christianity which still remains. It is called the lesser battle;
• that of supplication called the preliminary battle;
• that of the transfer of power allowing the return of Christian social order. It pertains directly to God and is called the greater battle.

The lesser battle and the preliminary battle must be conducted simultaneously and by the same combatants. It is important not to waste our human forces against an enemy who today is all powerful… but also important that we use to the full the spiritual weapons which the enemy lacks. This is the merit of this article which demonstrates this very clearly. Although the article naturally refers to the situation in France, there are lessons for all who are engaged in the counter-revolution because the power of the revolution prevails in all our countries. It has lessons too for the fight against Modernism in the Church. (Translation by ASF & MT.) It is now posted on the Apropos website, )]  [Note from Blog Editor: this article is available in pdf form at the Apropos site.

The Two Battles

It is becoming more and more obvious that the counter-revolutionary struggle takes place on two levels.

1. First of all we have to fight to preserve the final positions which remain to us. It is only too apparent and necessary, to preserve our chapels, our few monasteries, our schools, our pub1ications, our associations, and more generally our hope of salvation and the orthodoxy of our doctrines. We have are thus involved in a series of small battles which we cannot avoid in order to conserve what we have.

Indeed, we find a mention of these fights in Holy Scripture itself. St John the Evangelist, under the dictation of ‘He that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars ‘, that is, under the dictation of Our Lord, addresses himself to the Angel of the Church of Sardis by saying: ‘Esto vigilens et confirma cetera quae moritura erant ‘which means ‘Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die' (Apoc.3:2).

The Church of Sardis, we know, corresponds to our time. This admonition, ‘Strengthen the things that remain’ is therefore addressed to us - Heaven expects us to protect the things that remain. This formulates our mission. This constitutes our daily counter-revolutionary struggle. Such is the lesser battle, a defensive battle, a battle of maintenance.

2. But over and above these innumerable defensive commitments, an even more important battle has begun the objective of which is the transfer of power. ‘I will reign in spite of my enemies ‘. Who among us could have forgotten this laconic but formal promise, which Our Lord made to St. Margaret-Mary in 1689? To her alone, it could be enough. But it was renewed, during the 19th and 20th centuries, to a great number of mystics, and in particular to Madam Royer. And when one considers the vow resulting from the repetition of the promise, one can affirm that the reign of the Sacred Heart was promised to us under oath. We can therefore be assured that today Our Lord is operating mysteriously in His own way, to extirpate the power of the Beast and to establish His own reign. This mysterious fight, of which He is the essential agent, constitutes the greater battle with that transfer of power as its main objective.

These two battles both correspond to the Divine Will. We believe we can no more escape from one than the other. They are intermingled because they are both supported by the same combatants who thus have two different battles to fight. It is of prime importance to distinguish between the two battles because they do not have the same objective and consequently they are not susceptible to the same strategy. In particular the part which falls to God and that which falls to men differs greatly from one battle to the other.

The reluctance to accept this, which one notices among the leaders of groups, results from most seeing these as the one and the same battle and confusing the secondary objectives, which are those of the lesser battle, with the main objective which is that of the greater battle. We would like to examine more closely what the respective strategies of these two superimposed confrontations are exactly.


How do we conduct this “battle of maintenance"? Because of its historic roots, it presents a certain number of peculiarities from which ensue tactical constraints for the leaders of groups. They cannot engage in any kind of action because their initiatives are confined within certain limits and constraints which we shall describe in the following four paragraphs.

•      Fundamental anti-revolutionary dynamism

The real strong forces of France were always anti-revolutionary. The initial gift made to our country was its Christian monarchy. The secular republic is a punishment arising from the sins of the people “propter peccata populi ". The spontaneous tendency of France is not towards the republic but towards restoration. Our Nation particularly wishes to return to that initial gift. Such is its fundamental dynamism.

This instinctive rejection of the revolution is particularly perceptible today. We see unmistakably a revival of strong forces. So much so that traditionalists, noticing the rise of anti-revolutionary potential, consider themselves powerful enough to face, with a good chance of success, the trials of strength which would pit them against the revolutionary powers that be. And it is necessary to recognize that, theoretically, they are right, because the elementary reaction of the nation, when one considers it in isolation, is a powerful and particularly current phenomenon.

However, in opposition to this fundamental current “the Adversary " has woven a tight network of revolutionary constraints which are totally artificial, but which imposes itself in an absolute way. Legal power belongs to this network, and, a fortiori, to the “occult power” which is the well-known inspirer of it.

The skill of our politicians, which is considerable, consists essentially in making France vote in opposition to its fundamental dynamism. Here we have with utmost clarity the fruit of their labour and it is remarkable. France is like a mount dominated by a rider who seeks only to exhaust it. It no longer has the strength to throw him. In short, the constantly renewing anti-revolutionary energy of our country is ceaselessly neutralized, mutilated and inverted. New anti-revolutionary generations are mown down as soon as they arise. And France goes through one purge after another. The “power of the Beast" although essentially utopian due to its nature, has become, in fact, irreversible. The current drive of anti-revolutionary dynamism mustn’t give us any illusions. It will befall the same fate as previous ones. We should prepare for a new purge.Such is the first peculiarity of the lesser battle: to know that it is enjoined by a minority which is naturally strong, but humanly powerless. It is important that leaders of groups are aware of this first difficulty. Fundamental anti-revolutionary dynamism is real, but it is neutralized by a practically insuperable revolutionary apparatus.

Unfavourable legal position
Traditionalists are aware of the importance of defending God's laws against the power of the Beast. It is from this that they derive their inspiration and confidence. But they imagine too easily that this principled stance gives a position of legal superiority over the secular State.2 They take to the streets brandishing the Decalogue and the Gospel and accuse the State of having broken them. They present them before mayors, prefects and ministers saying: "It is your duty, by divine law, which is above all human laws, to forbid abortion, euthanasia, [same-sex ‘marriage’], public blasphemy, the construction of mosques and the massive naturalisation of Moslems".

But do we not see that it is now a bit too late to be making these speeches. It was necessary in the first place to have opposed the constitution and secularisation of the State. To be precise, this secularisation was obtained in 1958 thanks to the votes of Catholics. It was Catholics who tilted the balance towards the definitive apostasy of the State. Pushed on by their bishops — themselves manipulated by the future Cardinal Villot, then the Director of the Secretariat of the French Episcopate, they voted, en masse for the secular constitution proposed by General de Gaulle. It is a bit late in the day to demand from the Godless State the recognition of God's laws.

In the "everyday" battle which we must undertake we are reduced to the means of secular legality which, besides, will become more and more rigorous, and always reducing further our means of defence.

A Socialist legality is in place in which Christians and their God will be considered as public enemies. We understand that such a situation is vexing for traditionalists and their leaders.

If, however, under the context of exploiting a divine, imprescriptible law, we were to begin a war of principle against the secular State, we would transgress the limits of the lesser battle by entering the field of the superior battle which requires a very different strategy as we will see.

Maintaining our lamps
The everyday battle is not a decisive battle. The traditional forces committed to it do not have the means to effect such a breakthrough. Their appropriate ministry is to protect 'the things that remain which are ready to die.'

When the Master comes it is necessary that He finds us vigilant. He specifically asks us not to disappear, not to waste forces or lives which are His and which He will need, because the combatants in the lesser battle, as we have already pointed out, are the same as those of the superior battle which aims at the transfer of power. Placed by Providence at the pivot of both phases, they have to engage in two battles which are simultaneous in time but different in their objectives and in their strategies.

We will see in the superior battle that God's part dominates and completely obliterates that of man. But should we conclude from this that the "divine part" is unimportant in the defensive battle.

Certainly not. Without the assistance of Heaven, without the help of the Holy Angels and our patron saints, how could we get through the inevitable stages of a civil and unfamiliar war which we can summarise in a few words: provocations, destabilisation, hostages, reprisals, informers, public and secret tribunals, political terror, personal vengeance, inflation, bankruptcy and anarchy.

One of the essential conditions to maintain what would be a humble lamp during this complex and austere period, is the constant raising of the soul to Heaven to obtain at all times the indispensable protection required.

God's part is not therefore unimportant in the defensive struggles.

A Strategy of Prudence
Concerning the conduct of the defensive battle, two preliminary observations are necessary:

•      This battle has only secondary objectives;
•      No exceptional divine assistance is promised.

Consequently, the lesser battle must be directed according to the usual processes of human government. If our recollection does not deceive us, St Thomas will point us in the right direction.

We are told that one evening he arrived to spend the night in a monastery where they were electing an Abbot. ‘We elected the most learned!’ they told him. Saint Thomas objected: ‘If he is the most learned, then let him teach!’ The monks began the election again. ‘This time we elected the most pious.’ ‘If he is the most pious’, he said, ‘then let him pray’. They began the election again for the third time ‘We have now elected the most prudent’. ‘Then, if he is the most prudent, at last, let him rule!’

The defensive battle must be led with prudence. Now the same St Thomas, in another passage, accepts, that in the case where a people is seriously tyrannized, the prospect of a revolt has a certain number of conditions which are summarized as follows: It requires that the remedy, that is to say the revolt, is not worse than the evil, that is to say the tyranny, it intends to overthrow. If the revolt leads to more disadvantages than benefits, it exceeds the limits of prudence, and one should avoid resorting so as not to aggravate the situation.

Defensive activity can, at certain times, require acts of boldness. The traditionalist fight has already supplied it with some memorable examples and it is likely that it will supply it with others. We merely say that these acts of boldness should not be undertaken on impulse or on the toss of the dice which would be rash. They must involve a degree of reflection and prudence. This is absolutely indisputable.

The virtue of fortitude, which rests in the soul, is altogether different from physical strength. What does it serves us if we have a soul full of moral strength, if we do not have, in our hand, any material force with which to implement it? The virtue of fortitude alone does not give us the power to intervene.

When the opponent is most powerful and when he prepares a new purge, simple common sense demands that one recommends, certainly not inactivity, but prudence all the same!

We have just shown the difference between, on the one hand, the secondary objectives - to know how to maintain the ultimate traditional positions which constitute what is at stake in the lesser battle, and on the other hand - the main objective which is to know how to extirpate the power of the Beast which is the aim of the greater battle.

Many shall not want to recognise this distinction. They will say and they already say, ‘There are not two battles, there is only one. The transfer of power can result only from a succession of small basic victories from one day to the next. This transfer is a long term affair; our recovery can be only very slow. It is utopian to expect an abrupt outcome’.

The leaders of groups who argue thus are going to expend their main effort on secondary objectives, those exactly where our opponents, strong in their socialist legality, sit in wait for them. Our opponents, indeed, will seek, as they usually do to make us lose our cool and draw us into conflict. And it is likely that they will succeed in doing so, in part at least, causing large parts of the traditional defence to be breached.

Madam Royer, apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart and a privileged soul, writes prophetically: ‘The French will arrive at the borders of despair’. This expression clearly indicates that she does not envisage a "slow recovery", but rather a succession of setbacks.

Such is the prognosis, very pessimistic, it is true, that we can make regarding the lesser battle. We will see that it is not the same regarding the greater battle which we shall discuss now.


•       A double objective

The greater battle has a double objective:
     o The extirpation of the power of the Beast;
     o The restoration of the power of divine right.

Now, this double objective is radically impossible to attain by the current, remaining, anti-revolutionary minority, neutralized as it is by the Masonic apparatus. However, we know, thanks to the promises which were made by the Sacred Heart to St Margaret-Mary and to so many other privileged souls, that this battle is already taking place invisibly and progresses inexorably towards the victorious end which is reserved for it.

What do we know about the likely progress of this battle?

We know two things for definite:
     o It is led by the same minority on which the lesser battle already weighs heavily;
     o It will end by a miracle of resurrection.

We are going to examine, in the following two paragraphs, the respective place and role of this minority and this miracle.

- The Few

Those that understand God's plan and who seek to comply with it, form, one will agree, the " few " to whom Our Lady of Salette appeals when she says ‘ Fight, children of light, you, the few who can see’.

What is the significance of this minority, in terms of the supernatural order, and what can one expect of it in our earthly fight?

God always saves himself a "few” in whom he puts the faith in reserve. He often even entrusts it to a single man. For example Moses had only his staff, and his faith, to take the Hebrews out of Egypt. David, too, had only his sling and his faith, to overcome Goliath. Also, at the time of the Incarnation, a single family was perfect, the Holy family, the head of which was St Joseph.

This " reserve of faith” being established, God intervenes personally only at the last minute, when all human hope is lost. It is quite evident that a “Saviour " saves only when everything is lost.

So that the display of divine power is made manifest, it is necessary that the “reserve of faith" is merely insignificant. But it is not necessary for the reserve of faith to have completely disappeared.

There is a providential disposition here that requires to be well understood.

It would seem nevertheless that, if there remained absolutely nothing, absolutely no more faith, if God had no more “witness" on earth, His power and His triumph would be more obvious every time it is brought to bear to restore His works ruined by human negligence.

But it is necessary to understand that if God keeps for Himself a tiny outpost as it were, a single man, a single family, a "few"; it is because He does not create anew today. He makes his earthly works with "nothings", but not with "nothing". He operates with the remnant, that is with unimportant things, with mere nothings which remind us of the nothingness out of which He brought forth creation. But nothings, which are not however nothingness.

Such is the supernatural role of the "few" evoked by Our Lady of Salette: a tiny remnant which God intends to use to restore what was abolished. What is its value now in the earthly battle? And first of all can we assess it quantitatively?

The "few" about which we speak, is simply a minority that God Himself establishes and which He increases or decreases in number as He thinks fit. He recruits this minority where He wills and not only from among those who may imagine themselves, rightly or wrongly, to be the appointed elite.

Does this minority have to refrain from any proselytism to remain a closed minority? Such a limitation would be impossible to realize and moreover it would not be desirable. A moderate proselytism is necessary. It reveals a healthy vitality. It is necessary only that it restricts itself to proselytizing with a view to discover souls already providentially prepared in a pre-established harmony.

It would exceed its normal limits if it was transformed into a noisy, mass-media propaganda machine.

We will try to discover, as far as possible, what the role of the “few" is in the greater battle. But we shall understand this role all the more if we have first of all examined under what sort of conditions the “miracle of the resurrection”, which the few seek, is likely to occur.

A miracle of resurrection

When one synthesizes predictions which religious archives have kept track of since the origins of Christian France, one is soon convinced that we are entitled to wait, for divine intervention in favour of the former monarchy, today destroyed, and which we could indeed call a miracle of resurrection.

Who is thus promised resurrection?

Firstly the monarchy abolished for two-hundred years. But France also, which, deprived of its leader that is to say its head, died to grace in as much as nation. And also the universal Church which has fallen to the power of her opponent and which herself is almost in a state of mystical death.

To understand what has to occur, we are quite naturally led to recall the archetypal resurrection and to examine Lazarus’s resurrection as described in chapter 11 of St John’s Gospel. The four phases of this extraordinary event will suggest to us what might too be the four phases of the resurrection of royal France.

The four phases of the raising of Lazarus

•      First phase
Jesus, knowing what He must do, travels slowly and reflectively to Lazarus’s home at Bethany. He meets Martha and He asks her at once about her strength of faith, because such is a precondition for the resurrection of the one who has just died: ‘I am the resurrection and life … Believest thou this? (v.25-26)’. And Martha answers: ‘Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the son of the living God, who art come into this world.’(v.27)

And she believes it, not by adhering to a magisterial doctrine, which has yet to exist, but through human faith, just as Charles VII will believe in Joan of Arc’s voices. This absence of skepticism in Martha, this confidence, opens the way to the exercise of divine power.

•      Second phase
Jesus then, approaches the tomb. It was a vault and a stone was rolled in front of the opening to seal it. Jesus said ‘Tollite lapidem ‘, remove the stone. This work, indeed, does not fall to God because it is within the capacity of man to execute. That is why the Word Incarnate does not do it.

We notice also that the stone is an obstacle between Jesus and the corpse which is to be returned to life. We shall see later what meaning this obstacle has in terms of our particular interpretation.

•      Third phase
This is the essential phase. Jesus shouts in a loud voice:

‘Lazare veni foras!’ ‘Lazarus come forth!’ (v. 43). He does what only God can do: to bring the dead back to life. We shall find this essential phase in the process of restoration.

•      Fourth phase
He who had been dead came out of the grave, his feet and hands bound in bandages. And his face was wrapped in a shroud. Jesus said to them: ‘Solvite eum et sinite abire'. (‘Loosen him and let him go')(v. 44). Once again it is the people who carry this out because the untying of bandages is work which does not require the intervention of the Divinity.

These, therefore, are the four phases of the archetypal resurrection: ‘Ego credidi’, ‘tollite lapidem’, ‘veni foras’ and ‘solvite eum’.

The events we await are made clearer and more understandable when one views them in the context of these four phases. That is what we now intend to do.

We had already witnessed a less startling episode but one having a similar meaning when Jesus had resuscitated Jarius’s twelve year old daughter. ‘But he taking her by the hand, cried out, saying: Maid, arise. And her spirit returned and she arose immediately. And he bid them give her to eat’ (Luke 9:54-55)

Here too, one sees that the divine operation of resurrection comes first. Then and then only, do the people do what falls to them to do: to give food to the resuscitated child. In this miracle, the work of giving food to the girl corresponds to the work of undoing the bandages in the raising of Lazarus.

The four phases of the restoration

-      Ergo credidi

We cannot avoid the preliminary test of confidence. Do we consider Jesus capable of restoring the monarchy which He Himself formerly founded at Reims? Many today do not believe it. But there will always be a "few" to believe it. On them rests the responsibility, not to carry out the restoration, but to make it possible, to open the way for it. To open this way, it is necessary to begin by believing in the power and mercy of Our Lord: Omnipotens and misericors Dominus.

We are in a situation completely similar to that of Martha. We do not follow a magisterial doctrine either, because the restoration of the monarchy is not a truth of divine faith. If we believe in it, it is only ‘of human faith’. The Church does not require us to do so, but we believe in it because reasonable proof has been given to us.

-      Tollite Lapidem

There is no divine intervention before the stone has been removed. To remove the stone is to remove the obstacle which prevents God from intervening. And this obstacle is the inadequacy of our desire and prayers.

Why must we ask Our Lord, so insistently, for an intervention which He Himself announced to us and which He is longing to grant to us? Such alas is the economy of grace. It defies human logic.

To help us to accept this logic of grace, let us note that Word Incarnate Himself, for whom nevertheless the universe was created, is subjected to the necessity of “applying”, that is to say, to ask for His own inheritance. ‘Postula a me et dabo tibi gentes hereditatem tuam and possessionem tuam terminos terrae’ (‘Ask of me and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost part of the earth for thy possession’) (Ps 2:8). This inheritance returns to Him by right, but to enter into ownership, it is necessary that He asks for it.

If the titular heir has to ask for His inheritance, all the more must we, who are insignificant, ask for a restoration to which we have no right in strict justice. True, it is promised to us, but it is not owed to us.

The promised Messiah must always be wished for. He would not appear in a country which would be indifferent to Him. He always needs a few who await him. It was already necessary to desire Him under the writ of the old law. The same necessity remains today for us who await His coming in majesty: He has to be desired before all episodes which are prefigurations of His "Second Coming".

In Scripture, the Word Incarnate is often called the desired of the nations. It is necessary to desire Him, Him and all whom He sends "at the appointed times" to prefigure Him and to prepare for Him. And the King of the Sacred Heart is exactly one of those.

Our Lord invites us therefore to a real ministry of desire. He gives us cause to participate, according to our rank, in the providential government over Christendom in perdition.

What sort of activity is this ministry going to demand of us? To open the way to divine intervention, it is necessary that the sum of these desires reach the required level. To remove the stone is to remove the obstacle between Jesus and the corpse. It is also to meet the required level of desire and to allow the divine action to be exercised.

-      Lazare veni foras

There is no possible restoration without divine intervention. There is no human means to resuscitate, either a four-day-old corpse, or a monarchy abolished for 200 years and loathed by a secret society organized on a world-wide scale.

We have to be persuaded that the resurrection we await is first of all God’s work. It is intended to give witness to the glory of God as was already the case in the raising of Lazarus: ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it’ (John 11:4). Now God is jealous of his glory: ‘gloriam meam alteri non dabo’ (Isaias 42:8) (‘I will not give My glory to another’). Or yet again, in Deuteronomy (5:9): ‘For I am the Lord your God, a jealous God’. God saves for Himself the glory of the resurrection. As a consequence, we have to fade away before Him, so as not to take anything of His glory.

-      Solvite eum

After God’s action, will come ours. Because ours will come too, but only later, just as it occurred with the untying of Lazarus’s bandages and with the food given to Jarius’s daughter. What shall we have to do then? Doubtless many things. It is even likely that ‘the harvest indeed is great but the labourers are few' (Matt.9:37). But we have no knowledge of those tasks now. They are locked away in the secrets of the future. The text says only: ‘Let him go’. This expression implies that God will give to the King of the Sacred Heart an inspiration according to the new circumstances. We shall only have to allow ourselves to be led.

Briefly then, the “greater battle ", the one which has for its objective the transfer of power, is delivered by Our Lord alone. It is His personal work. And, moreover, who apart from Him could accomplish it? Indeed, it is primarily a question of depriving the Beast of his power, against which man is powerless. It is necessary at the same time to proceed to the second foundation of a monarchy of divine right. All of which can be implemented by God alone.

However, our Divine Lord, as we have seen, intends that the "few" intervene to remove the obstacle, which prevents divine action, and even, to a certain extent, to start that action.

We have called this preparatory work, “the preliminary battle”

This work is a real battle because it has to overcome general hostility. It is this preparatory phase that we would now like to examine in more depth in so far as that is possible.


Our analysis has finally allowed us to distinguish three superimposed battles:
•      that of maintenance, which is at the bottom and which we have for that reason called "subordinate";
•      that of supplication, which we call "preliminary", because it opens the way, and finally
•      that of transfer, which is the main objective and which is exclusively within the remit of divine    competence.

It is the battle of desire and supplication which we will address now, in this third and last part.

Whose responsibility is this battle and who will take up the fight? It falls to “the few” who, at the same time, undertake the battle of maintenance. It needs men of action to assume the battle of maintenance, and men of prayer to participate in the battle of supplication. Let us agree that these two stances are difficult to reconcile.

We have already noted this characteristic, which is essential on the psychological level, because it explains the differences in the appreciation of priorities.

To which should we attach the greater importance, action or prayer? This is a problem we cannot escape. We cannot do anything about it: the situation is such that at the moment there is taking place simultaneously an earthly rearguard action and a preparatory heavenly battle. And it is the same people who are involved in both.

This problem of the cohabitation of the man of action and the man of prayer within the same combatant is resolved when one remembers that there is a time for everything. (Eccl. 3:2). A time for prayer which must come first and a time for action, which has to follow. A time for the “hidden life” and a time for “public life ".

What is certain, it is that the battle of supplication is reserved for the "few" who preserve faith, and not only faith in the dogmatic truths, but also confidence in the promises of restoration. This confidence is necessary because the purpose of supplication is precisely to obtain the realization of these promises.

Let us see now against whom this “preliminary battle" is directed. However strange it may appear it is directed against God. It is necessary to make an assault on heaven. It is a God who must be swayed. And it is God Himself who gave us the weapons against Him. These weapons are prayer to which must be added penance which gives wings to prayer. Through them obstacles are removed, the stone before the grave is removed, and the divine decision to be merciful is finally taken.

Now we are mindful that this divine decision is awaited. The Husband delays His coming. All the works of Jesus Christ on earth, ecclesiastical as well as temporal, are eaten away from the inside. All that remains are only appearances and nevertheless God does not give, at least for the moment, obvious signs of indignation. That is because the level of desire has not reached the required level. God waits. Scripture tells us that he is ‘slow to anger’.

Those who fight the preliminary battle are comparable to the wise virgins who put some oil in their lamps, the oil of prayer which keeps watch during the night. But the Husband always delays coming because the supplication is not strong enough. There is a grave defect here that has to be corrected. We agree gladly that it is necessary to pray, but we don’t do so, at least not with the intensity which is required.

Every morning the Church repeats to us, at feet of the altar, the invocation: ‘Et clamor meus ad te veniat ‘. Our souls must therefore create a real "clamour". Perhaps one day a collective clamour but certainly an individual clamour today. But we are still far from our goal. We display only a tepid desire for it. And in this condition we contribute to the general spiritual lethargy that surrounds us.

In attempting to pierce the vaults of heaven and bring down divine power and mercy we shall not be treated any better than Our Lord. Now it was Our Lord’s cry, uttered before he gave up His spirit, which pierced the vaults of heaven and brought down the Holy Ghost fifty days later. And this cry was drawn from Him by pain. It is to be feared that our clamour will only reach sufficient intensity when it is made in response to pain. However, let us fear nothing, let us remain confident. Hardships and trials are always accompanied by their corresponding graces.

The state of extreme anxiety we suffer concerning the pervasive destruction of all of Our Lord's earthly works engenders a real spirituality, that is to say, a particular type of devotion. Because our soul is consumed by this fear which erases and surpasses all other feelings, it has became impossible for us to think of anything else, so unprecedented is the situation. Such also had to be the state of mind of Joan of Arc who sadly contemplated ‘the great pity of the kingdom of France’.

What is the axis of this “spirituality of combat "? On what concerns and on which main hope is it centred? Everything finishes where it began. The ends of the most Christian realm will be an enlarged image of its origins. France and the monarchy will end in a miracle just as they began with one. It is the twofold zeal of our origin and our end which is going to order our spirituality of combat, our particular devotion at a time of crisis.

‘Iniquity has inundated the earth, it is only iniquity. To which saints shall we pray?’, Dom Caliste suddenly exclaimed this in the middle of a deep silence during the office at Cluny Abbey, in 1751, thirty eight years before the revolution. We shall pray to the saints of our origins and to those which the Church has given us as defenders. They will make us produce their spiritual fruits: St Denis, St Martin, St Rémy, St Hilary, St Clotilde, St Geneviève, St Louis, St Joan of Arc, St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, second patron saint of France.

As a rule we shall pray to the Holy Angels. They will communicate their desire to us for the revelation of the Word Incarnate which is called: ‘Desiderium collium eternorum' (the desired of the eternal hills). The eternal hills are the angels. One calls them hills because they are elevated on high.

The angels are good guides. They do not go astray. They are not animated by their own spirit, but by the Holy Spirit. They make nothing of themselves. They await God’s will of which they are content to be the messengers: ‘ Benedicite Domine omnes angeli ejus Potentes virtute, qui facitis verbum ejus - ad audiendam vocem sermonum ejus ' (‘ Bless the Lord, all ye His angels, you that are mighty in strength, and execute his word, heartening to the voice of his orders’). (Ps 102:20)

Nothing is more advisable today than to mix our desire with those of the new choirs of angels -strength through unity. Let us attract their attention. How do we attract the attention of the angels? We do so by being like them. One attracts the attention of St Michael by humility, which is his cardinal virtue.

The most effective devotions are those which address the Person of Our Lord, His Sacred Heart, His Precious Blood, His Holy Face: ‘Show us Your Face and we shall be saved’ . His Sacred Head as seat of Divine Wisdom. Each one of us will choose whichever of these devotions we are most spontaneously drawn to.

The King of the universe has always recommended that, to reach Him, we should go through His mother, whom He established as “Mediatrix of all graces” and who participates, as Queen, in His government. The Virgin Mary is the "neck" which connects the mystical "body" with its "head". She is called "Tower of Ivory" and “Tower of David"3, because the neck is tower-shaped. In modern times, she has shown herself to chosen witnesses, showing both her solicitude and anxiety in the face of the rise of iniquity while fulfilling too, under our very eyes, the celebrated prophecy contained in the Canticle of Canticles: ‘Quae est ista quae progreditur quasi aurora consurgens, pulchra ut luna, electa ut sol, terribilis ut castrum acies ordinata?’ ‘Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array.’ ( C.of C. 6:a)

As for practices, we can list three which are particularly in harmony with the “spirituality of crisis” which is ours:

The practice of Holy Hour, of the Mass of first Friday of the month, and of the Communion of Reparation on five, first Saturdays of the month.

Holy Hour was instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the last hours of his earthly life. It is made on the Thursday night before the first Friday of each month. It consists of meditating on the Agony in the Garden of Olives. One can obtain great strength from this practice.

The Mass of the first Friday of the month was strongly recommended by the Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary. It is most efficacious in preparing for the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart from which one can expect a torrent of graces upon our country.

The communion of reparation for the five first Saturdays of the month was requested by the Virgin Mary of Lucy of Fatima. It has the aim of making amends, and great benefits may be obtained from observing it. These practices are certainly not easy, especially for those at work. Furthermore, it is well known that the devil is determined to prevent them. We should look forward to overcoming this opposition; it belongs to the rigours of a holy war.

Let us therefore resolutely exercise this ministry of supplication and desire which is suggested to us. It is by far the most useful thing we can do at the moment. And let us adopt the spirit of expectation which Scripture, and following from that, the liturgy asks us so often: ‘Expectans expectavi Dominum’ (‘With expectation I have waited for the Lord’) (Ps 39:2). We have but to ask and await the appointed time.

Even God's silence must be adored, because it has its raison d’etre which escapes us.

Three words to remember in conclusion:

Confidence, peace, and constancy...

Jean Vaquié ■


1 Lecture et Tradition, BP1, 86190 Chiré-en Montreuil, France.
 2 [In real terms they have a superiority over the secular state but they are constrained in their fight within the secular legal system which does not recognise any law superior to man-made law. Editor, Apropos.]
 3 [Footnote by Editor of Apropos: Solomon in the Canticle of Canticles says: ‘Thy neck is as the Tower of David, which is built of bulwarks; a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.’ This perhaps should inspire us to seek from Our Lady both the weapons and the bulwark of defence in the battles ahead.’]

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


by Timothy J Cullen

The word means “symphonic” and it was used to describe the soul by Hildegard von Bingen, O.S.B. (1098-1179), named a Doctor of the Church by Benedict XVI in 2012, one of the more remarkable personages of the Middle Ages, perhaps best known for her musical compositions.
Below is a link to a piece taken from “Music for a Knight,” a compilation of medieval music recorded on the Naxos™ label, a “budget” label that is a treasure trove of medieval music.

The medieval mystic and polymath, poet and Benedictine abbess was for all practical purposes unknown in this writer’s youth and did not come to his attention until the late 1980s, at which point he first purchased a recording of her “Spiritual Songs,” the first of many such purchases. Those who appreciate medieval music, particularly choral works, will be given goose flesh the first time the—trite but true, there’s no better word for it—angelic harmony hits the ear. One never tires of the work of this remarkable composer.
Her history makes it all just that much more haunting.
Hildegard is customarily referred to as a saint, though she has never been formally canonized, although curiously she was among the first persons for whom the Roman canonization process was officially applied. Nevertheless, after four separate attempts were begun, they each remained uncompleted. She does, however, have a feast day, 17 Sept., which coincides with that of the Commemoration of the Imprinting of the Holy Stigmata on the Body of St. Francis.
A visionary—literally—from an early age, culminating at age 42 with a vision she believed to be an instruction from God, to “write down that which you see and hear” according to a 2002 biography, Visionary Women by Rosemary Reuther.  Hildegard took heed and wrote of her visions in Scivias, her first theological text, from which the illustration beneath is drawn, depicting the flame of the Holy Spirit entering her mind.

Illustration from Rupertsberger Codex des Liber Scivias.

           Scivias was the first of three theological texts written by this extraordinary woman, extraordinary not just in her time and place but in any time and place. She worked for some thirty years on these texts. In addition to this, she wrote some seventy musical compositions, many of which have been recorded. These works are monophonic, but the single melodies soar, each more haunting than the last. 

It’s the sort of music one listens to by oneself, sunk deep in a chair, eyes closed, transported.


That should possibly be the headline of the recent New York Times article on the Clown Prince of the Catholic Church, Timothy Dolan.

"I'm so happy I don't have to talk about queers and abortion anymore...not that I never did."

The happy story is here.

The Cardinal is relieved by the Pope's calamitous interview.  He is relieved because he no longer has to find the courage to speak like a Catholic on major issues which are destroying both the world and the Church.  Not that Dolan ever said much of anything about these matters during his long and uninspiring career as a Churchman, but now he has his "cover" from Rome and is happy and relieved that he no longer has to obsess about unborn children being shredded to pieces by abortion butchers or about sodomites who are bringing the stench of sexual perversion into the mainstream.

Now that you have been relieved, Your Eminence, please relieve resigning your office and spending your remaining days on earth in a monastery, or somewhere where you can review your disastrous performance as a Catholic leader and make your peace with God.  Anywhere, as long as you are away from Catholics who are clinging to the Faith by a thread.

And thank you, Your Holiness, for giving the enemies of the Catholic Church more ammunition with which to attack her.

The Church will win in the end in the sense that God the Father will win in the end.  The Church will be restored because it is always restored after terrible trials.  Even this hideous time will pass.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Newman as a young man
Anthony Fraser over at the APROPOS has written another timely article which, as his work so often does, puts paid to many misconceptions of today's Catholic faithful.  In this piece he takes a look at certain warnings that were issued by John Henry Cardinal Newman.

A sample:

"It was the late Fr Calmel OP who warned us against papolatry –  a frame of mind, alas, which has blinded many to the defects not only of the longer serving conciliar and post conciliar Popes of Vatican II, but also to the fruits of their labour, the conciliar revolution, which one suspects is soon to be canonised along with both John XXIII and John Paul II.

Newman reminds us that defects were not lacking in the Apostles too. He recalls that Our Lord chose His Apostles from a cross-section of society - from the humble fisherman to the tax collector and that He worked with the metal He had at hand.  Newman notes:‘The especial grace poured upon the Apostles and their associates, whether miraculous or moral, had no tendency to destroy their respective peculiarities of temper and character, to invest them with a sanctity beyond our imitation, or to preclude failings and errors, which may be our warning.’

One can easily believe this in respect of Judas’s failings and fatal errors, but also concerning Peter too whose thrice denial of Our Lord evokes emotions in all of us who have betrayed Our Lord in our sinful lives. But it was Peter also who was the subject of Our Lord’s harshest rebuke: ‘Get thou behind me, Satan’ – a reminder that the Apostle chosen by Our Lord to head His Church could stray from a correct reading of his Master’s mind.

The Holy Father’s recent comments regarding “triumphalism” have been taken by some traditionalists to apply to traditionalists alone, while others consider that, on the contrary they apply to progressives. In view of more recent comments, we suspect the former – a view which seems to be endorsed by progressives themselves. The initial confusion arose from the word “triumphalism” which was used in the conciliar era by progressives as a nasty swearword, comparable in effect to the word integriste, to denigrate all that the pre-conciliar Church stood for. In the political arena it has a like term “fascist” which was a socialist swearword to attack any political opinion to the right of Marx, Lenin or Trotsky. If one uses these words today one can expect to be misunderstood.  But just as the grace given to the Apostles did not preclude their failings and errors, these too are not precluded in pontiffs. One should always bear that in mind especially when a pontiff’s opinion or asides bear none of the hallmarks of pontifical authority.

Failings – A Warning
Newman advises us that these failings of the Apostles serve to provide us with a warning:  ‘Moreover, the definiteness and evident truth of many of the pictures presented to us in the Gospels serve to realize to us the history, and to help our faith, while at the same time they afford us abundant instruction. Such, for instance, is the immature ardour of James and John, the sudden fall of Peter, the obstinacy of Thomas, and the cowardice of Mark. St. Barnabas furnishes us with a lesson in his own way; nor shall I be wanting in piety towards that Holy Apostle, if on this his day I hold him forth, not only in the peculiar graces of his character, but in those parts of it in which he becomes our warning, not our example.’

Read the rest over at the  Apropos Editor's Blog page.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


It would appear, I say appear, that not even the silent screams of unborn infants being torn to pieces is very high on Pope Francis' priority list of things to be worried about.  He has just allowed himself to be interviewed again and the interview appears on the America site.

I can come to no other conclusion other than that the diabolic disorientation continues apace.

Here is the New York Times, reporting on it with jubilation:

Weep for the Church, and the children of the Church, abandoned.

Already many blogs and commentators are lining up to put a happy, positive spin to the interview.  It is hard to judge which is the more pathetic, the interview itself or the convoluted attempts to defend it.  Some people evidently cannot distinguish a pat on the back from a stiletto in the back.


Pope Pius XII:

 "I am concerned about the confidences of the Virgin to the little Lucia of Fatima. The persistence of the Good Lady in face of the danger that threatens the Church is a divine warning against the suicide that the modification of the Faith, liturgy, theology, and soul of the Church would represent.

"I hear around me partisans of novelties who want to demolish the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her adornments, and make her remorseful for her historical past. Well, my dear friend, I am convinced that the Church of Peter must affirm her past, or else she will dig her own tomb..."

(excerpt from a letter he wrote to his friend the Count Galeazzi)

[with thanks to]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Masonry's stooge and Europe's laughingstock
The nonentity who rules France today, the puny in mind and body Francois Hollande, is not happy with the Russian deal to stop the unjust war against the Syrian people.  Like the obnoxious and often-ignored little child who stands on a makeshift platform and demands to be acknowledged as someone of importance, the delusional Hollande wants the world to look at him as an Important Leader.  He wants war, and he wants it right now.  Tomorrow will not do.  Because of that he sees himself as the man of the hour.

He is nothing of the kind.  He is an arrogant and very small bully who barks and bellows and wants to see more dead Christians and Muslims so that he can manufacture some kind of image as a Very Important Person.  And why not?  As Freemasonry's point man in France he must be dedicated to the destruction of order, of beauty, of common sense and the Church.  As such he joins Perfidious Albion as another enemy of Christendom.  [Please note that when we speak of "perfidious albion" we are not referring to the good and the noble that still exists in that beautiful land, once Our Lady's Dowry.]

This is the same cretin who shoves the filth of sodomy onto his nation, blithely ignoring the overwhelming majority of his citizens, blithely ignoring even simple decency.  He has rightly been called by his own people a fascist, a war-monger, a persecutor of the Church and a twerp.  We would add that he is merely another of Mr Obama's poodles, though for the life of us why any leader would wish to do the bidding of such a man as Obama is beyond our comprehension.  But the USA wants war, which is why - despite Russia's efforts to prevent it - they are arming the rebels, lying about the realities of Syria and, as usual, doing the dirty work of another notable regime while at the same time lining up as many poodles as they can to support them.

Mr Hollande has many lethal toys to play with and his trigger finger is very itchy.  He wants to play with those toys very badly.

The Little Man of France wants to scuttle Vladimir Putin's efforts to protect innocent Syrians from being annihilated.   We could merely laugh at him for his efforts but we must never underestimate the powers that be who still want Syrians to die.  While Hollande is nothing those he serves are not nothing, and they are determined as are all men driven by evil.

Can Mr Putin still stop this madness?  Let us hope he can.  Thus far he is accomplishing this with a few prudent moves that will save lives if he is successful.  Failing that he does have warships in the Mediterranean.  Perhaps that fact will contribute to some sanity.

St Louis IX, pray for France.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


....instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh they would have brought the Christ Child a copper penny, a stick of air freshener and a jar of very cheap hand lotion.

(With thanks - "Kerr's Musings" at the APROPOS site)


Lindsey Graham addresses his constituents
An excellent article by Pat Buchanan on that great Warrior, Senator Lindsey Graham (R, Tel Aviv):

You must understand that Senator Graham likes to see blood, preferably Muslim blood, drenching the entire Middle East and if innocent Christian blood (or innocent Muslim blood for that matter) gets spilled in the process of achieving Lindsey's "Christian Zionist" dream, well so be it.  If you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs.

The Christians of the Middle East in any case do not hold much interest for the Senator, as they are unlike the Bible-slapping Dispensationalist kind of which Mr Graham is one.  Mr Graham can trace his brand of religion from God knows where; the Christians of the Middle East trace theirs from Christ.

But it is tiresome talking about the Senator.  One can only hope that he will be put out to pasture at the very earliest opportunity.

McCain, Bibi and Lindsey: The Axis of evil?
Here are some photos of Bagdad, before and after Lindsey Graham:

Friday, September 13, 2013


Jean Madiran
[We are once again indebted to Anthony Fraser over at the APROPOS website for this translation of more of M. Madiran's exceptionally clear thinking. It is a long but extremely important discussion of the Natural Law as written in men's hearts.  As we have just lost this exemplary Catholic thinker we think it fitting to reproduce more of his thoughts.  Additional articles by him are in PDF form on the APROPOS site.]


(What follows is from a speech delivered by Jean Madiran to the Fourth Congress of the International Office held at Lausanne Switzerland from the 31st March until the 2nd April 1967. Translated by A S Fraser & Geoffrey Lawman. This article appeared in Apropos No. 17, 1995. The Apropos website may be found at )

This introductory report on the Natural law which I am going to present to you is simply a sort of elementary course recalling the rudiments, the more fundamental and common elements. It will not be, by any means, an exposé of my personal ideas, that is supposing I have any (save perhaps a few in the final observations). I wish only to reiterate the ordinary doctrine of the Church on the Natural Law: and this common teaching I have taken from St Thomas Aquinas, the Universal Doctor. One finds besides that the Second Vatican Council, for the first time in the history of ecumenical councils, has explicitly recommended a particular Doctor who is none other than the Universal Doctor.(1) It is substantially and often literally, his doctrine which I undertake to explain to you.

But, as this doctrine was only explained by St Thomas, not as a complete text, but scattered throughout his works, with some parts here and some nuances there, the order of explanation will of necessity be mine. This may well give rise to some imperfections which will arise neither from the Doctrine, nor from the Universal Doctor, but rather from the simple student here before you, not proud at all, believe me, at having to address you about a question on which the salvation of man directly hinges. In examining ‘politics’ from the perspective of the natural law we are examining it in fact from the perspective of salvation and the economy of salvation - from the perspective of salvation which God offers and brings to the human race.

The very name of the ‘International Office(2)‘ recalls this question since it invokes the natural law. What is this natural law? And why do we call it both natural and Christian. The answers to these questions are found in the ordinary doctrine of the Church concerning the natural law.

Let us recall, first of all, how the natural law fits into the economy of salvation. As you know there are three things knowledge of which is necessary for Salvation. But the degree of knowledge required is in proportion to our abilities and means.

Knowledge of the contents of the penny catechism is sufficient at the lower levels of education. It is not adequate at the level of a university professor. The level of moral and religious knowledge required of each person is in proportion to his knowledge of matters profane, his personal vocation and his state of life.

There are three things knowledge of which is necessary for salvation:

1. Knowledge of what we must believe - the Credo (The ‘I Believe’).
2. Knowledge of what we ought to desire - the Pater Noster (the ‘Our Father’).
3. Knowledge of what we must do - the law.

Faith concerns what we have to believe, hope what we have to desire and charity what we have to do and that is to love always. You will recognise in these, the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

I. Definition of the Law
We have arrived immediately at a first definition of the law: the law is what we must do.
But why must it be done? In whose name must it be done?

A law is normally defined as a reasonable command, made in the interests of the common good and promulgated by legitimate authority. This appears clear if one considers human laws, those which the legislator decrees for application in society.

But this definition holds good for the moral law also. The law is not a commandment concerning a single individual in particular. It has as its aim, a good which is common to many. It presupposes a community, a society. As you know, life in society is not simply a physical necessity. For man it is a moral duty imposed by God by which he must seek his natural and supernatural end in community with others. Our supernatural destination calls us to membership of the Communion of Saints, or the Church in Heaven, of which the common good is God Himself.

The law, therefore is what must be done in the light of the common good, and it must be done because the author of the law is God Himself, Creator and the Last End.

II. The Four Laws

Four laws exist in the moral order, three of which have been promulgated by God, and a fourth which is a false law - one promulgated by the Devil.
1) Firstly - the natural law is that light of reason placed in us by God since our creation. By this natural light we know what we must do and what we must avoid.
2) The Devil then intervened and superseminavit has sown in man another law, a mockery of a law, contrary to reason and contrary to the common good: it is called the law of concupiscence or the law of sin: In the state in which man was created by God, the flesh obeyed reason (the flesh, that is, in the broader sense - the body, the sentiments. imagination, desires etc.)
After his first sin, delivering man over to the Devil, the latter implants the law of concupiscence in man: the flesh no longer submits to reason. And even when man continues, by his reason, to recognise and seek good, he is inclined to evil by concupiscence. That is what Ovid meant when he wrote, 'Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor.' (even though I know better, I continue to do the wrong thing.)
St Paul said exactly the same thing. He made the same observation from experience: 'I do not the good that I wish and I do the evil that I do not wish' (Rom VII, 19). Thus the law of concupiscence fights against the natural law and destroys the order of reason.
It even succeeds in almost completely obscuring in us the light of the Natural Law, for many reasons the most obvious of which is that stated by the moralist, 'if we do not live as we think, we end up thinking as we live.'
3) God has come to man's aid and has re-established the light of the natural law by promulgating respectively:
a. The Law of Moses revealed on Sinai.
b. The law of love, the law of Christ, contained in the Gospel.

From the Law of Moses we will concentrate on the moral element, which is universal and unalterable, i.e. the Decalogue. The other part of the Law of Moses is the ritual element which by nature was temporary.

The Law of Moses is said to be a law of fear. It enslaves, creating slaves of the law, whereas Christ’s law of love makes men free. The law of fear tends towards temporal benefits, the law of love towards eternal benefits. The law of fear is burdensome, the law of love is light. But the law of love did not come to abolish the law of fear, it came to fulfil it. That is, to bring it to the fullness for which it was intended.

It was necessary to recall briefly these fundamental ideas in order to place the natural law in its historical and moral context in the economy of salvation.

Historically, the natural law was itself, in the beginning, an integral part of the act of creation. It was promulgated then by God in that He inscribed it in the structure itself of the nature He gave us. Each created thing therefore has its own natural law: This natural law is that each creature should love its Creator above all else. The whole universe naturally loves God above all, but it loves Him in its mineral or vegetable manner. One would require to be a poet here to do this justice, or a painter or musician, because such is the highest function of art when it portrays material things. It is not simply a matter of taking a photograph of them, otherwise the photographer would do a better, more exact job than the artist.

Nor is the artist called on to make the presumption and quite unrealistic effort to portray material things as more beautiful than they are, as if God had been an inferior artist. The artist's task is the mysterious one (impossible to express in words) of showing that a landscape, the curve of a river, the design of a tree render in their own way to the Creator, a testimony which is a testimony of love.

Because he is endowed with reason and will, man's natural law is to love God above all with his reason and will, that is to say, freely. Because man is a free being who has the power to follow or not to follow his nature; the natural law of man is a moral law.

After the fall, God promulgated man's natural law anew, this time under the form of a written law; the Decalogue. Then, by the work of the Redemption, he perfected the promulgation of the Decalogue in a threefold manner:
a. He promulgated the law of love for which the Decalogue was ordained.
b. He gave us the way to fulfil the precepts of the Decalogue: by love and not fear.
c. He gave us real strength to meet the requirements of the Decalogue - this we lack in the state of fallen nature as a result of sin.

III Three ways to know the Natural Law

From what we have said it is already evident that there are three ways in which the natural law may be known.

1. The first and most certain, and sufficient in itself, is to resort to the Decalogue, which the Church generally taught in the Catechism under the heading ‘Commandments of God’. ‘The Decalogue’, ‘the Ten Commandments’, ‘The Commandments of God’, the ‘Natural Law’ are four names for the same thing.
Each of these names has besides its own justification. Each one says something which the others do not:

The Decalogue
These are the ten fundamental precepts of the Natural Law, those which were revealed by God to Moses and to the Jewish people.

The Commandments of God
This name reminds us that God is the author of the Natural Law.

The Natural Law
Makes two things clear:
a. These are not commandments which are external to us, they were written in our nature and they guide us towards the good which is connatural to us, the good to which our nature aspires and which completes it.
b. These commandments are able to be discovered in the absence of all divine revelation by natural reason, therefore, for those that are neither Jew nor Christian, there exist two other ways to know the Natural Law.

2. The Second Way:
The light of reason. All the precepts of the Decalogue are accessible by natural reason, - only it is necessary to state that whereas this is theoretically possible, it is not always in fact a practical possibility. It would entail a long and laborious philosophical undertaking, and everyone is not an Aristotle. It would take a long time, and much reflection, which carries with it the risk of error because, if human reason is capable of knowing the natural law, it is not infallible - it is also capable of error.

All men know with immediate perception the 'first principle of practical reason' which is expressed by the dictum 'It is necessary to do good and to avoid evil', and also the general imperatives such as 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. But to arrive by reason at a clear and certain knowledge of the ten commandments of the Decalogue, while possible in itself, is very difficult in fact.

3. The Third Way:
To consult one's own human nature.
We are not talking here about the knowledge arising from reason, but a knowledge called connatural, a knowledge which is almost spontaneous and as it were instinctive. The natural law is written in the heart of man - this is the expression of St. Paul. Let man therefore consult his heart and the natural inclination of his heart: but let him be very sure that it is its true natural inclination. In the state of fallen nature which is ours since the sin of Adam, under the yoke of the law of concupiscence which inclines us towards evil, such a consultation risks often being illusory, chimerical or false.

These two natural ways moreover, most often go together, the one helping and clarifying the other. In this respect the natural law is called the unwritten law - the unwritten law of the ‘Antigone’ of Sophocles - by distinction to the written laws of the human legislator. For anyone who is neither Jew nor Christian, the natural law is indeed a law which isn't written anywhere save in his reason and in his heart. Greek thought had attained a very high and sometimes a very certain conception of the natural law. Very certain, since Sophocles' Antigone gave her life to obey the natural law which was precisely conceived as a law superior to human laws.(3) If the human laws promulgated by the State contradict the unwritten law, one must disobey the human laws and obey the unwritten law, if necessary at the cost of one’s life. Whatever progress we have made we find ourselves today in analogous circumstances where the political law contradicts the natural law. But for us the natural law is not only the ‘unwritten law’; for us it is the Commandment of God, duly formulated and written, and our duty is therefore clearer. It is better to obey God than man.

IV The Content of the Natural Law

We have already said that the natural law comprises the ten Commandments of the Decalogue, with this distinction: the Decalogue is to the natural law what the Penny Catechism is to the Christian Faith.

All the Christian Faith is encapsulated in a concise catechism, if it is a true catechism. But this content of the Christian Faith may be deepened and developed in dozens upon dozens of volumes without ever achieving a complete statement of the subject. This work is the task of Saints, Doctors and the Magisterium of the Church and, under their guidance we must all meditate daily on the import of the Faith.

At the same time, there is nothing in the Natural Law which does not refer back to one of the ten commandments of the Decalogue. It is essentially the task of philosophers to study in finer detail all that conforms to reason and the nature of man.

As this is not a Congress of Philosophers, but a Congress of Christian and Catholic citizens, we will not study the natural law any further in any of the perfectly valid philosophical formulations that have been worked out so far. We are going to refer directly to the Decalogue.

The Ten Commandments were inscribed on the two tables of the law. On the first table were the first three commandments which concern our natural duties to God, on the second table, the seven other commandments which concern our natural duties towards men.

The First Commandment
'I am Lord thy God: thou shalt not have strange gods before me.' In the Catechism we learn this through the formula: 'One God alone shall you adore and you shall love Him absolutely.'(4)

The Second Commandment
'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.'

The Third Commandment
Thou shalt cease work so as to be able to render God visible worship.
(This is not expressed in the formula you know, but we will return to that.)

These three commandments belong to the natural law. The first commandment formulates what we naturally owe God in our hearts. The second commandment formulates the respect we naturally owe to God in our words. The third commandment states that we are naturally required to consecrate some time and certain external signs of respect to God. I insist that this is the natural debt which owe towards God, Creator of our nature.

These first three commandments are written in our nature and in our hearts, and we can understand and justify them by a proper use of our reason. To put them in parenthesis would gravely amputate the natural law and irreparably disfigure it.

Concerning the third commandment, let us be precise: It is indeed natural reason which enlightens us on our duty to make certain external acts in honour of God. But nature does not tell us what this visible act of worship should consist of, or what rites to follow. It belongs to the positive prescription of human authority and to Divine authority to fix the precise rites by which this visible cult should be rendered to God.

In the law of Moses, the specific prescription of the ritual was naturally announced in these terms:
'Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.'(5)

Likewise in the Catholic formula of the Commandments of God, the specific prescription of the ritual was also announced in similar terms:
'Thou shalt keep Sunday by serving God devotedly.' (6)

But for those who are neither Jew nor Christian, neither Sunday nor Sabbath have any significance. The Sabbath and the Sunday belong to the ritual order of revealed religion and commemorate God's rest on the seventh day of Creation. (They prefigure besides the 'eternal rest' found in the Beatific Vision.)

Setting that aside, for those who are neither Christian nor Jew, who have neither Sunday nor Sabbath: the third commandment doesn't lack relevance for them altogether. At the level of the purely natural law, of a purely natural morality - that is to say quite apart from any reference to a rite positively fixed by a revealed religion - the Third Commandment sets forth the natural obligation to render to God a visible cult in ceasing work in order to devote a certain time to Divine things. It is in the nature of man to consecrate a certain time to all sorts of necessary things - food, sleep, etc. and therefore to consecrate a certain amount of time to God. This is a natural moral commandment which is universally essential. But those who are neither Christian nor Jew will be unable to find any precise guidance either from nature or reason, about the form this visible cult must take.

The first commandment of the second table is the fourth commandment which says:
'Honour thy father and thy mother, that thou mayest be long-lived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee.'

This fourth commandment sets out the moral basis of temporal life in society. It is, so to speak, the basis itself of the ‘social contract’. Without it, a society has no ‘constitution’. Any society which is not founded on it is no longer a society. It is moreover the only commandment in the Decalogue with an explicit promise of a reward - and of a temporal reward (but don't forget that all the commandments of the Decalogue aim to guide us, if we observe them, towards those temporal goods which conform to our nature.)

'To have long life' can moreover, and must be understood in different ways, but all of them temporal. It covers all facets of temporal life. It may perhaps mean living to a ripe old age oneself, or to have a long-life through one's descendants, or again to live long in the memories one has left behind one: all these meanings are valid, and there are others besides. For a life is ‘long’ says St Thomas, when it has been ‘well spent’: This is primarily a measure of its quality and not necessarily of its duration on earth.

The first three commandments indicate our natural debt in relation to God Himself. The fourth commandment indicates the debt that we owe to those who are the natural mediators of God around us. What God has given us, He has given through them and by them: our physical life and our moral life - that is - our life and education. We owe naturally a cult to God, from whom all good things come including existence itself. We owe naturally a cult to our parents, who are the instruments, the free instruments and the natural mediators through whom God gave us life and upbringing. This is certainly not the same cult we owe to God, but a cult nevertheless, a cult proportioned to its object. And by this 4th commandment we owe a cult, a reverence to all those to whom we are beholden for anything in the field of life and education, the parents of our parents, our ancestors, our elders, benefactors and rulers, the great men and women of our nation - the great men and humble servants of our country, our civilisation, of humanity.

In passing from the first to the second table of the law we have thus passed from the cult of God to the cult of man. One hears much talk about the ‘cult of man’. It always existed. It is profoundly natural. It is commanded by the natural law. But the cult of man is not the cult of the self - neither individually, nor collectively, here is its difference from the modern heresy. The natural cult of man is the reverence paid by filial piety to parents, ancestors, elders, benefactors, rulers and heroes. It is a cult rendered to those greater than oneself.

On entering this world man is completely in debt. What we have and what we are we have received from others. We must also take account of what we make of our lives, that too is important because we will have to render an account of what we have done with our lives. But what we make of our lives is nothing in comparison with what we have freely received. Even the most extraordinary genius owes to himself neither his existence nor his genius. It is never possible for him to render all that he owes to God the creator and to those natural mediators with God, parents, ancestors, forebears, elders, rulers, the great men and humble servants of our country and civilization. All the commandments of the Decalogue have justice as their object, which consists in rendering to each what he is due. But the first four commandments concern a justice, which is of necessity incomplete and imperfect, and by which we cannot succeed in rendering all that is due: natural religion is this imperfect justice which we render to God; filial piety is this imperfect justice which we render to our parents, our country, our civilization. Our life in this world, our temporal life, our social life, - our political life is largely determined by our natural situation, our inborn indebtedness which we can never fully repay: we must fully acknowledge this if we wish to take our proper place in the real order of things, and which inspires in us a natural virtue somewhat analogous to the supernatural virtue of humility. To forget, fail to recognize, or deny this situation is to build a make believe society on the basis of an unreal vision of man and to condemn oneself infallibly from ever having that long life on earth which Our Lord God has promised us.

We obviously don't have the time here to study all the precepts of the Decalogue one by one; their richness is inexhaustible, and all aspects of life both social and moral would require to be examined. But I have the already said enough about it for you to at least appreciate that the mandatory basis of all natural politics lies in obedience to the commandments of God without omitting a single one. Please take to heart this ‘line of investigation’ as one says nowadays, and you will be able to ascertain and deepen your appreciation of the truth each day of your life. Let us venerate the commandments of God, so that they do not become for us a dead letter or a meaningless formula, when in fact they hold the whole secret of temporal life.

All the commandments of the Decalogue have as their object natural justice, which is the indispensable basis of life in this world, and they have love as their aim. They were ordained to love, they are destined to the two precepts of supernatural charity: the love of God and the ‘love of our neighbour’.

Let us understand properly what we mean when we say that grace does not suppress nature, but heals it and elevates it. Or when we say that charity does not abolish the law but fulfils it. Charity is above and beyond the law of justice, it surpasses it but does not deny it. We are told in Scripture that the love of neighbour is like the negative test of the love of God: whoever says he loves God whom he cannot see, and who doesn't love his brother whom he can see is a liar. This does not mean that the love of God amounts to or is confined to the love of neighbour but that in all cases if there is no love of neighbour there is really no love of God.
Similarly natural justice is akin to a negative test of supernatural charity. Charity is not limited to fulfilment of the natural law. But where natural justice is not respected, or where it is not observed, then we do not find true charity.


We have said that one can know the natural law, even outside the Church, but not without difficulty and the risk of error. What does it profit man to know the law naturally, if he does not naturally have the power to observe it? Nevertheless it helps man to desire, expect and search for help and salvation outside himself.

But to reply to the question, we quoted above the teaching of Ovid and that of St Paul: 'For the good I will, I do not.' Is man without grace unable to accomplish any good? He certainly cannot accomplish any supernatural good. Supernatural good is beyond the power of nature alone. But can he not accomplish any natural good? Catholic doctrine does not make such a claim. Man without grace is able to accomplish the prescriptions of the natural law but subject to two serious reservations.
1. When he fulfils the precepts of the natural law without grace he fulfils them having regard to what is commanded but not in the manner in which they ought to be fulfilled. He fulfils them by a spirit of justice which is a spirit of fear: fear of losing the temporal benefits, which derive from the natural law. ( This is not an immoral spirit, it is legitimate but limited. He does not accomplish them through the love of God.)
2 Further, man without grace is able to observe some precepts of the natural law, sometimes one, sometimes another, but not all of them. In other words, he is not incapable of good, but in the state of fallen nature he is not capable of all the good that is connatural to him. He is no longer capable of all the good which is inscribed in his nature. He is able to build houses, plant vines, be just to his neighbour, honour his parents and live in society. But societies which have only the natural law i.e. those which have not progressed beyond the natural law to the law of Christ.) do not arrive at its full observance. Man without grace – but with original sin, and under the law of concupiscence, is like an invalid: an invalid is able to make movements, he is not dead, but he is neither able to make all the movements that a healthy man can make nor in the manner of a healthy man..

In particular, man without grace is incapable of loving God above all things through this natural love, this love, if I can say so. of justice ( rather than charity) which is in his nature! The very foundation therefore of the natural law is thus at risk of disappearing, more or less, from his eyes and from his heart. Reason is able to present God, for example, as the Immovable Prime Mover and to conceive that this Prime Mover is the most important thing and the most worthy of being loved. Nevertheless this Prime Mover will remain firmly abstract and firmly indifferent in comparison to all those highly attractive and suggestive things which present themselves to us in daily life under the reign of the law of concupiscence. That is why the grace of God does not only come to raise us to an order superior to that of nature, but also comes to heal our wounded nature. Hence the double function that we recognise in Grace: It restores nature (gratia sanans) and it raises it to the supernatural order (gratia elevans).

Such is the very simple principle I have sought to remind you of in this introductory report. It is a very simple principle but virtually indispensable. Finally I will present some personal observations.


These are grouped around two objections:

Objection 1
The Decalogue is, of course, very important, but it is much too general. It does not resolve the
particular problems which present themselves today.
Certainly, it is not the law which resolves problems. It is we who have to resolve them one by one. Below I put forward three successive observations on this question.

A. Frederick Le Play, the great 19th century economist and the author of such words as Social Reform in France, European Workers, and The Essential Constitution of Humanity spent a great part of his life visiting most European countries on foot as a means of thoroughly studying the social and economic problems of his time. His experience led him to the conclusion that the absolutely indispensable conditions for economic prosperity (i.e. a real and lasting prosperity) lay in respect for the Decalogue; and that the principal cause of economic and social crises is that the Decalogue is not respected. There thus exists, a direct and vital relationship between the law in its general principles and particular concrete situations. It is important to grasp this fact.

B. The Decalogue is an objective rule, that is to say, it does not depend on the human will (individual or collective). It is a law that we receive with our nature itself; and not one created by man. We touch here on the fundamental error of the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1789 which affirms that; 'The Law is the expression of the general will.' That Declaration claims to affirm imprescriptible rights; but as these are founded on nothing other than the general will, they can be modified or abolished.

This is the sin of Adam raised to the nth degree: man claims to create law for himself. But man cannot promulgate his own law, he receives it from the Creator, he finds it in his created nature. His only function is to recognise it and apply it. The human laws of the State have as their function, to specify the natural law according to the diverse conditions particular to time and place.

C. The application of the natural law is not automatic. Law is by definition general, whereas the actual situations in which one finds oneself involved are particular by definition. Take for example, the classic example of the object held in custody which one is under an obligation to return. A friend gives me a very beautiful dagger for safekeeping, a collector's item. When he comes to ask for it back, I have every good reason to think that he wants to use it to kill his neighbour. I therefore postpone returning it. The commandment has not been abolished by the particular situation, as ‘situation ethics’ would have us believe since it denies the existence of general principles and universal laws. Particular situations are unable to abolish the commandments in any way, but they do pose the problem of knowing which commandment takes priority in a specific case. In this example priority is given to the 5th commandment prohibiting killing or being an accomplice in such a crime.

The fifth commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’, is never abolished by the particular terrible situation of war. It is precisely because of this commandment that during war, unless we are savages, we cannot kill whenever or whoever we wish. Between the general law - always general, and the particular case - always particular - it is obviously necessary to use the intermediary of that moral commonsense that the theologians call the virtue of prudence: not to avoid the law, but to discern which of the principles of the law it is just to apply in a given situation. The law does not address itself to robots who will apply it mechanically. It is addressed to free and responsible beings who will apply it in conscience and according to its spirit of justice.

It is necessary not only to have an exact knowledge of the law, but also an exact knowledge
of the situations to which one applies it. And this exact knowledge of situations is not ordinarily found in books: it is to be found in personal experience arising from situations. Apart from extraordinary speculative geniuses, and the saints who have equally extraordinary charisms, it is only experience which allows us to truly know concrete situations. To conduct ourselves in a just manner we must have both a knowledge of the natural law and knowledge of situations, and if we have no experience of the situation in which we find ourselves, it behooves us to seek advice from those who have that experience. The advice of experienced people is not merely nor primarily a useful practical consideration or an efficient technique: it has a moral value, it is a moral necessity. That is why the person who will address you about war and the natural law is at the same time an illustrious serviceman, a great citizen and a Christian thinker. Admiral Paul Auphan, whom you will hear on Sunday. If he was only a warrior or only a Christian thinker, and was not in addition a great citizen, because remember that war is a political problem too, he would be very likely to fall either for the barbaric theories of total war, or for the illusion of conscientious objection, both of them contrary to natural morality.

I have given this truly exemplary example, because at a more modest level each of us in our daily lives has to do much the same thing: to apply the natural law, never blindly, but in the domain of our responsibility and competence, in spirit and in truth.

Objection 2
At the beginning of this Congress, someone asked me rather sceptically: The natural law, now that is a very obscure and controversial question. Is there such a thing as the Natural Law?

Modern Philosophy is very uncertain on this point. It no longer manages to discern or to admit the existence of a natural law and often radically rejects the very notion. This is indeed a grave problem: but a problem for philosophers, and for Philosophical Congresses. This is not a congress of philosophers and certainly not a congress of ‘modern' (7) philosophers.

If by misfortune we are not capable of knowing what the natural law is by reason, then we can know it by faith and the teaching of the Church. That is why the natural law is the object of Divine Revelation - to help us overcome the weaknesses in our reason. The same goes for the existence of God. By natural reason we are able to know that God exists. But if as a result of a decadence of spirit our philosophy is not capable of knowing with certainty the existence of God then at least faith affirms, with the certitude it has, both God's existence and His law. When reason fails, then faith comes into play, by a sort of subsidiary action, to take over (from natural knowledge) in giving us an understanding of those things necessary for salvation.

This is not to say that we have no philosophical answer to the philosophical uncertainties and errors of modern philosophy. But, firstly this is not our task here, and it is certainly not my task. Secondly, for us, the existence and content of the natural law does not depend on the issue of such a philosophical debate as it does for modern philosophy which is neither Jewish or Christian. We will take note of the doubts of modern philosophers for their sake and with a view to offering them some help in their philosophical thinking.

But we will not entertain these doubts ourselves. We who have received the gift of faith and at the same time knowledge of God's law have no right to allow our certainty to be shaken by such doubts.

Whatever sympathy we might have for the modern philosopher, or whatever desire we have to help him, we cannot blind ourselves on his account, nor close our eyes to the degeneracy of natural reason to which he bears witness. Chesterton hit the nail straight on the head when he wrote that: 'The most dangerous of all criminals today, is the modern philosopher, freed from all laws.'

Freed from the natural law and from the supernatural law, being no longer Greek, nor Jewish, nor Christian, the modern philosopher has nothing to teach us. (Except perhaps by accident, and then on secondary or anecdotal points only.) On the contrary he is for that reason, the most dangerous of all the criminals, the most pathetic of all the ignorant, the most unhappy of unhappy mortals. He lacks the very essentials of philosophy.

He has returned to barbarism, since the absence of law is the very definition of barbarism. Intellectual and moral barbarism can be defined as ignorance or misinterpretation of the natural law ( a misinterpretation which culminates in the Marxist denial). According to St Thomas, man without the natural law becomes, pessimum omnium animalium. the most wicked and the worst of all the animals. And Chesterton is thinking along the same lines as St Thomas when he affirms that the modern philosopher, who has freed himself from the natural law is in this respect the most dangerous of all criminals.

The lay doctor - or the ecclesiastical doctor who does not recognise the natural law has become pessimum omnium animalium. We know nothing of his personal culpability. God alone knows it and God alone is his judge. But such a one is objectively a public criminal.

If the light of reason fails you concerning the natural law, don't bother yourself, don't worry, ask God for the light of faith. God does not refuse the light of faith to those who ask for it.

.1 [Alas, M. Madiran was not aware, at this time, that the ‘all pervading characteristic of post-conciliar theology…is precisely…the rejection of Thomism as a philosophy’ to quote Romano Amerio in Iota Unum, p.535. Added by Editor, Apropos.]
2 L'Office international des oeuvres de formation civique et d'action culturelle selon le droit naturel et chrétien. (The International Office of Associations for Civic Education and Cultural Action in Accordance with Christian Principles and the Natural Law.)
 3 King Creon of Thebes decreed on pain of death that as her brother had died 'as a traitor and rebel', his body should be left to rot unburied on the battlefield. For Antigone, love and natural piety outweighed this command; she defied him, performed the funeral rites and gladly died. (Trans.)
4 Here and later, Madiran is referring to the rhymed verse version of the commandments taught to French children. (Trans.)
5 The author distinguishes here between Saturday (the Jewish day of rest i.e. the 7thday of Creation) and Sunday (first day of the week), though he does not mention it as the day of resurrection. (Trans.)
6 See footnote 4.
7 What we call modern philosophy is not the whole field of contemporary philosophy: but that part of contemporary philosophy which has broken completely from both traditional philosophy and the common experience of humanity.
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