November 29, 2019

To Flee or To Fight...What Is Right?

The Marquis of Valdegamas-Juan Donoso Cortés

I've used the below quote from the Marquis before as it has been prescient for a variety of reasons concerning things Catholic. And it has become so again...

There has been talk, especially on Social Media, of Catholics who appear to desire leaving the Catholic Church - or that have actually left - because Her current state of affairs is not to their liking (or just because:Francis). Father Z had an excellent post this past week that dealt with this mindset quite well...and quite harshly, as was needed. There is not much more that I can add to Fr. Z's excellent reply but I'm going to anyway as I believe it apropos to the occasionI urge my readers to apply these words to the current conflict raging within each of us, as well as that within Holy Mother Church. We should also all remember that we are Roman Catholics, confirmed in our Faith as foot-soldiers of Christ, and as such, we simply cannot flee in the face of the enemy. More importantly, we cannot seek shelter outside the confines of our the quote and you will understand why this must be so. 

I hope the words will give Grace, strength and courage to those who may be in need. All emphasis to the original is mine:

"There is no man, let him be aware of it or not, who is not a combatant in this hot contest; no one who does not take an active part in the responsibility of the defeat or victory. The prisoner in his chains and the king on his throne, the poor and the rich, the healthy and the infirm, the wise and the ignorant, the captive and the free, the old man and the child, the civilized and the savage, share equally in the combat. Every word that is pronounced, is either inspired by God or by the world, and necessarily proclaims, implicitly or explicitly, but always clearly, the glory of the one or the triumph of the other. In this singular warfare we all fight through forced enlistment; here the system of substitutes or volunteers finds no place. In it is unknown the exception of sex or age; here no attention is paid to him who says, I am the son of a poor widow; nor to the mother of the paralytic, nor to the wife of the cripple. In this warfare all men born of woman are soldiers.

And don’t tell me you don’t wish to fight; for the moment you tell me that, you are already fighting; nor that you don’t know which side to join, for while you are saying that, you have already joined a side; nor that you wish to remain neutral; for while you are thinking to be so, you are so no longer; nor that you want to be indifferent; for I will laugh at you, because on pronouncing that word you have chosen your party. Don’t tire yourself in seeking a place of security against the chances of war, for you tire yourself in vain; that war is extended as far as space, and prolonged through all time. In eternity alone, the country of the just, can you find rest, because there alone there is no combat. But do not imagine, however, that the gates of eternity shall be opened for you, unless you first show the wounds you bear; those gates are only opened for those who gloriously fought here the battles of the Lord, and were, like the Lord, crucified."                

(Essays on Catholicism, Liberalism, and Socialism, 1879.)

For the record, I agree with Fr. Z....stand and fight. We all have as models Our Lord's Blessed Mother, St John and the Holy Women who remained at the foot of His Cross throughout Our Lord's agony...can we do any less while, today, he is being crucified anew?

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