Category: Eleison Comments

Austerlitz Battle

Austerlitz Battle posted in Eleison Comments on August 18, 2007

I love battlefields. Silent monuments of the battles of past ages, they are turning-points of history where men were ready to die so that their cause might prevail. Men will not usually die for trifles. They will often die for their religion, where their highest and deepest convictions are at stake. In fact whenever men are ready to die for a cause which does not seem to be religious, that cause can often prove upon examination to have been, in effect, their real religion. What is life? Battles tell!

So when several months ago I found myself purely by accident within a half-hour car-ride of the battlefield of Austerlitz, I had myself as soon as possible taken out there. Austerlitz, in the now Czech Republic about 70 miles north of Vienna, is where on the wintry Sunday morning of December 2, 1805, Napoleon achieved one of his greatest military victories by crushing with his Revolutionary French army the numerically superior joint Austrian-Russian army of the Third Coalition mounted against him. After the battle, featured towards the beginning of Tolstoy’s famous novel “War and Peace,” Russian survivors limped back to Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire both lost much territory and was forced to pay a large war indemnity. French Revolutionary presence and influence made a major advance on the map of Europe. To this day a Paris railway station carries the name of Austerlitz (like Waterloo in London).

How did Napoleon achieve such a victory? Mainly, as one learns on site, by the “Lion’s Leap.” Soon after battle was joined, he struck hard at the weakened center of the Coalition line, broke it in two and overwhelmed the strong but now surrounded enemy left wing. Had the “lion” struck at the center because he guessed or knew that the enemy were weak there? The history books probably say it was his military genius. On the battlefield one learns that the “lion” was tipped off . . .

Engraved in the bronze presentation mounted for visitors on the hillock from which Napoleon commanded the opening of the battle is the fact that on the night before, he received a visit from someone who revealed to him the Austrian General Weyrother’s plan to mass the Allies’ attack against the French right wing to cut off their retreat to Vienna. This concentration to the south is what weakened the Austrian-Russian center. In effect, one could say that the visitor provided Napoleon with his victory. Who was he?

A French spy? An Austrian traitor? Very possibly neither and both. In other words, a Freemason working for the triumph of the liberal Revolution over the still Christian empires of Austro-Hungary and Russia. In nearby Austerlitz Castle, which gave the battle its name, an exhibit for tourists shows portraits of the generals who took part in the battle. On the side of the Coalition, they are all older men, aristocrats, looking serious and responsible. On the French side they are all younger men, few if any aristocrats, with a wild gleam in their eyes. Truly, a new world taking over . . . And the Christian world

today? –

Kyrie eleison.

Get Real

Get Real posted in Eleison Comments on August 11, 2007

The state of mankind today is desperate. The mass of human beings in the nations that – alas! – lead the world are living not in God’s reality but in a dream-world of their own making, which they then impose on reality. There will soon be a hefty reality check, and it is one check that will not bounce!

Take for instance how Western women – and men – who can do so, fight the reality of their ageing. While God certainly designed the beauty of youth to ensure that marriages would continue the human race, he never designed this beauty to last into middle – or old! – age as an ongoing temptation. Is there not something pathetic about how wives – and parents, grandparents – can feel forced to look as young as possible, as long as possible?

Or take finance, a reality now looming. All the Western nations are deeply in debt. The United States in particular was technically bankrupt in the early to mid-nineties, yet its insane borrowing has gone on and on. On June 7, the US national debt stood at nearly nine trillion dollars. The annual interest on that debt is 406 billion dollars a year, or well over one billion dollars every day. The debt is increasing at the rate of 1.38 billion dollars every day.

Within the USA, here summarized is how one realist describes the financial situation: “The Credit Market has dislocated, liquidity has evaporated, and if the Federal Reserve intervenes once more in an effort to save the Bubble Economy, the day of reckoning may be delayed but it will only be the harsher. Confidence in “Wall Street finance” has been shattered because the manic bubble in Credit Insurance, derivatives and guarantees is bursting, the manic bubble in leveraged speculation is in serious jeopardy, and the currency markets are a derivative accident waiting to happen. It has been a senseless Credit and speculative orgy. There will be a very, very heavy price to pay.”

By whose fault? That of the money-men and their hidden masters? Of course. But who allowed themselves to be suckered into believing in easier and easier money? Unreal investors!

By the fault of the politicians and the same masters? Of course. As one US Congressman recently said, he and his colleagues are unhappy because they deep down know they have heavily indebted their children tomorrow to get re-elected today. But who did the re-electing of such free-lunch politicians? Unreal electors!

So what should Catholics (and not only Catholics) do? Get real. Fasten seat-belts. Get out of debt (Rom. XIII, 8) as far as possible, as soon as possible, though it may be too late. And prepare to thank God for the coming reality check, because it will be rather healthier for the salvation of souls than today’s Goldilocks economics.

Kyrie eleison.

Motu Proprio – III

Motu Proprio – III posted in Eleison Comments on August 4, 2007

A number of good souls cleaving to Catholic Tradition are not happy with Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio of four weeks ago, despite its being apparently benevolent in words and deeds towards the old and true Mass of the Catholic Church.

As for the words, they say the Motu Proprio and the letter to the Bishops accompanying it are full of contradictions nullifying the benevolence. As for the deeds, they say that the supposed liberation of the Tridentine Mass is still so hedged about with restrictions that it is hardly a liberation at all. In brief, the Motu Proprio would be one more modernist manoeuvre to deceive the SSPX in particular, and to break down its so far stubborn resistance to the new-fangled Conciliar religion.

For myself, I readily grant that the double document is full of contradictions and restrictions, and, as far as Rome is concerned, it was most likely designed – even sincerely! – to help bring the SSPX and its fellow-travellers “back into the fold.” So be it. Yet objectively, the fact remains that the Pope has declared that the old Mass was never abrogated, which is a tremendous admission on Rome’s part. Also, objectively, individual priests all over the world can now pick up the old Missal and practise the true Mass, at least in private, without fear of being “disobedient,” which opens the way to a flow of true grace, as incalculable as it may also remain – private.

So, as for fear of the Motu Proprio being a trap, here is a comparison. The SSPX (and companions) occupy a fortress on top of an impregnable mountain (the unchanging Catholic doctrine and liturgy). Below in the plain all around the fortress, the modernist enemy are suddenly observed to be making a gesture as though they do not want to destroy the fortress after all. Should there be rejoicing inside the fortress?

Certainly, say I, on two conditions! Firstly, the gate of the fortress should absolutely not yet be opened (except to genuine “deserters” from modernism). Secondly, nobody inside the fortress should rejoice or behave as though the war is over. It has, unless God intervenes, a long way to go. But on those two conditions . . . .

Kyrie eleison.

“Pascendi” – I

“Pascendi” – I posted in Eleison Comments on July 28, 2007

In a little over one month’s time, on September 8, all Catholics who rejoice in Pope Pius X’s resistance to modernism will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of his great Encyclical letter, Pascendi Dominici Gregis (in English, “Feeding the Lord’s Flock”).

I think it is essential to come to grips with the central doctrine of Pascendi if one does not wish to lose one’s footing in today’s crisis of the Church, ongoing and by no means over, on the contrary.

In brief, Pius X says that thanks to delinquent modern philosophy (both reflecting and promoting modern living), the human mind has become unhooked from objective reality, and is spinning around inside the subject, fabricating whatever he wants and then imposing it on his surroundings. One name for this stupendous error is “subjectivism.” Truth becomes what I say it is. This is such insanity that I can only survive by applying it only selectively. For instance two and two will be four when I need them to be (e.g. in designing an aeroplane); they will be five when I want them to be (e.g. in choosing a religion).

Now when this error began in the universities, over 200 years ago, a lot of peasants living on the land still had a lot of common sense. But today a lot of city-dwellers have little or no common sense left, and a mass of quite ordinary people are subjectivists, indeed so many that they are no longer the exception, they have become the rule. Whereupon it is that much more difficult for them to realize that they are – objectively – insane. They can well think – subjectively – that they are perfectly sane.

Such is surely the case with many – not all – modernist churchmen, and I would include Pope Benedict XVI amongst them. So he can be objectively insane from the standpoint of the Catholic Faith, and yet subjectively in a kind of good faith. What does this “good faith” matter if he is objectively way off the mark? What matters is that he thinks he is normal and in the truth, so he behaves as though he is, and so he persuades many Catholics that he is. Here is why this crisis of the Church is so terrible – so many cardinals, bishops and priests cannot believe that they or their Pope are in any way off the mark.

Conclusion? – I need not believe that they are not at all cardinals or bishops or Pope, because when virtually everybody is insane, they are that much less necessarily aware that they are not sane. So I can treat the Pope with all the charity and respect due to his exalted position, and I can rejoice in all the objective good that he does, for instance in the recent Motu Proprio but I will do nothing, but nothing, to associate with his insane Conciliar belief-system until it is clear as clear can be that he repudiates both Vatican II and his subjectivism.

Read Pascendi! Kyrie eleison.

The Cinema

The Cinema posted in Eleison Comments on July 21, 2007

The world is in terrible shape, on the brink of a Third World War which will be immeasurably more horrible than World Wars One or Two. How did the world get to this point? It is useful not to think that it is a shallow problem with a quick-fix solution, so here are a few thoughts on how a common feature of modern life, the cinema, can have contributed.

The following quotation is from Franz Kafka, the famous Czech writer of about 100 years ago, in the early days of films: “Cinema upsets the way we see things. The speeding up of movements and the rapid succession of images necessarily means that they escape our vision. It is no longer our eyes that take in the images, it is the images that take over our eyes. They overwhelm our consciousness. Cinema means putting a uniform over the eye which wore no such uniform before. The eye is the window of the soul, and films are like steel shutters over that window.”

What would Kafka have said about television? Let that pass. What he is saying here about the cinema is that it short-circuits the mind. The human being is composed of body and spiritual (non-bodily) soul. Accordingly man’s way of knowing is composed of bodily sensing and the spiritual mind’s thinking. So the human mind works – only works – from sensations, constantly reading within the sense-data the intelligible content inside them that it alone can read. Therefore any serious upsetting of men’s sensing is bound to upset the working of our minds. For instance, to flood our eyes (and since Kafka’s time, also our ears) with a too rapid succession of images and sounds will be to wash out our minds (Kafka says, “to overwhelm our consciousness”).

Too many films, too little thinking. Too little thinking, too little truth. Too little truth, too many lies, and through them a Third World War to enable the liars (as they hope) to take over the globe. It is we who have not wanted to think. We have only to take our medicine.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison.

Motu Proprio – II

Motu Proprio – II posted in Eleison Comments on July 14, 2007

After many false reports of an imminent publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio on the pre-Conciliar rite of Mass, at last it appeared on July 7, under the title of Summorum Pontificum.

Amongst Catholics holding to Catholic Tradition, it has in the last week met with a mixed reception. On the one hand throughout the Society of St. Pius X, for instance, a Te Deum was sung out of gratitude for everything in the document which favors and to some extent sets free the old rite of Mass. On the other hand Catholics who distrust anything and everything coming out of Conciliar Rome, some to the extent of disbelieving that Benedict XVI is even Pope, have little difficulty in discovering in the Motu Proprio the numerous contradictions which reflect Pope Benedict XVI’s vain attempt to reconcile Catholicism with the intrinsically anti-Catholic modern world.

Now the contradictions are certainly there, because while the Pope cleaves in his heart to the old liturgy of his pre-war Bavarian childhood, he believes with his Conciliar mind in the reconciliation of irreconcilables, such as Catholicism and the revolutionary world all around us. However, as the proverb says, Rome was not built in a day, and Catholic Rome will not be rebuilt in one day. In fact will it take anything less than a flood of the wrath of God to wash the modernism out of this Rome’s Augean stables? One may wonder.

Nevertheless, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Given the terrible official persecution of the true rite of Mass ever since 1969 when the Novus Ordo was introduced, surely two things at least in the Motu Proprio were worth a Te Deum. Firstly, the official, Papal, public recognition that the old Mass was never truly suppressed. We always knew it, but now every Catholic knows it in the Universal Church. What a change of perception that must entail! And secondly, a certain definite freedom for Latin rite priests to celebrate the old Mass, at least in private and to a greater extent than before also in public.

Let us pray as much as ever for the Pope, if not more, that his Bavarian heart continue to push his Conciliar head in a Catholic direction!

Kyrie eleison.