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Remembrance Day for the Suicide of Europe

A Holy Day of Opportunity

November 11th is a great holy day of opportunity. For centuries it has been the traditional Catholic Thanksgiving of Martinmas, which is a great time to feast and make merry with friends, family, and all your children. Since rebuilding Christendom is all about the children, make sure you make lanterns and teach them St. Martin’s lantern song. As Plese noted in his excellent series on restoring Catholic customs, Martinmas is also the “second Catholic Mardi Gras” of the year, because it ushers in the great St. Martin’s Fast, or Nativity Fast, leading up the great feast of Christmas.

We live a time of darkness that will only become light when all of us first and foremost head the call of Fatima to “Penance! Penance! Penance!” Perhaps more than any other Martinmas, we have this great opportunity to take upon ourselves some fasting and penance for Christmas this year and make it a yearly practice. What time like the present to restore an old custom of penance? The antiquarians and Modernists who designed the Novus Ordo wanted to “restore customs” of the early Church, like “communion in the hand,” but in reality they wanted to cherry-pick tenuous historical evidence to fit their own agenda. Why don’t we do a real restoration of old customs and restore the Nativity fast?

How many of us have lamented that our bishops and the pope have not heeded Fatima, but ourselves have only taken up the bare minimum of the daily Rosary and First Saturdays? Would we not do well to take upon ourselves greater penance in the spirit of Fatima? Our Lady urged the holy children to “make sacrifices for sinners.” Shall we not do penance, then, also for our bishops, the pope and our secular government leaders?

The Holy Ghost declares, If my people had heard me: if Israel had walked in my ways:  I should soon have humbled their enemies, and laid my hand on them that troubled them (Ps. lxxx. 14-15). And again,

The Lord hath uttered his voice before the face of his army: for his armies are exceeding great, for they are strong and execute his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible: and who can stand it?  Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning (Jo. ii. 11-12).

As the Desert Fathers teach, fasting is only the beginning of the spiritual battle. Yet through it we join ourselves to the Lord’s army against the world, the flesh and the Devil. (Tomorrow morning’s article will expound upon this for the American Veterans Day.)

Turn to the Lord, Christian soul, and beseech Him for the grace to undertake some penance according to your state in life, but beware, too of the schemes of the Devil in this regard.

Remembering the Suicide of Europe

Yet on this day, on Martinmas, the great festival of lights and thanksgiving, we remember that modernity brought us the suicide of Europe. That is what Benedict XV called the Great War, or “World War I” which ushered in the great evils of our modern epoch: the sexual revolution (first begun in the “Jazz Era”), the uglification of the world (ugly churches began to be built in the 1920s and 30s) and the neo-Modernist regime in the Church under which we now suffer. It was during the Great War that Our Lady of Fatima warned of the spread of the errors of Russia, and after the war these errors spread more and more, because of our lack of penance. Then came the punishment of World War II.

The modern unborn holocaust, with all other evils we now face had one origin. It is the result of our grandfathers and great grandfathers failing to heed the message of Fatima to penance. To this day, Martinmas is a civil holiday of commemorating various national myths of the earthly empires which are bound to crumble, founded on secular ideas more than His Majesty. For, says the great Pontiff of Christ the King, “everything must crumble that is not grounded on the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus.”[1] Thus penance is the only way out. The Cross is the only path to Resurrection.

For there is still some glimmer of true patriotism on this day. A good love of country and nation, which is a true virtue, under God Almighty. On this day in the United Kingdom as in the Commonwealth, we celebrate Remembrance Day and the glory of the sacrifice immortalized by Horace: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori [It is sweet and fitting to die for the homeland]. These men indeed embodied the sacred dictum of Our King: Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends (Jn. xv. 13). Those who died are true heroes who deserve our love and respect, and those who survive have merited our undying support to this day. This true patriotism is the seed of true repentance. But we cannot repent if we do not remember what happened.

The First Sexual Revolution

For who remembers concurrently the suicide of Europe? Who remembers what mystery of iniquity was afoot unless we see through the eyes of Fatima? Christopher Dawson, the greatest English historian, already understood after the Great War that something radical was happening. Earthly empires were spreading the errors of Russia in the form of sexual revolution. This was especially true of the Soviet and American Empires, because Soviet Communism and American Capitalism both had, wrote Dawson in the 1930s, “the same cult of the machine and the same tendency to subordinate every other side of human life to economic activity.”[2] As a result, “civilisation is being uprooted from its foundations in nature and tradition,” making it vulnerable to the demonic spirit of sexual revolution.[3] This, warned Dawson, was altering the very fabric of society:

A society can undergo a considerable transformation of its economic conditions and yet preserve its vital continuity, but if a fundamental social unit like the family loses its coherence and takes on a new form this continuity is destroyed and a new social organism comes into existence.[4]

The Anglican Church had buckled under this sexual revolution when they allowed contraception in 1930, prompting Pius XI to issue one of his greatest encyclicals, Casti Connubii, condemning this destruction of Holy Matrimony and predicting the objectification of woman. This was the beginning of our whole regime of pornography that claims thousands of slaves (both spiritual and physical) across our world today.

The Great War was indeed the suicide of Europe, for after the men had killed each other by the millions (with women and children as collateral damage), a “carnage solely for economic interests” (said Benedict XV), the errors of Russia were implanted into the heart of European and American families, and this poison has now engulfed the world.

Lest We Forget

Yet in the very horror of God’s wrath meted out to our grandfathers and great grandfathers in World War II, there was still a glimmer of hope. Dawson called this more terrible war “The Judgment of the Nations” in one of his most important books written during that conflict. What was this hope? It was the dogma of the Image of God in man, which was still retained in seed form even in the Anglican occupation of Catholic England and the secularized American Republic. This is why Dawson noted during World War II that “whatever the defects of their own social systems, Britain and America stand today as the bulwark of the freedom of the world.”[5] This was the glimmer of hope against Nazism and Communism, because both errors per se obliterated the inviolable dignity of the human person and the Image of God in man, and thus were tools for the errors of Russia. This is what formed the post-war optimism and gave the foundation for what Kennedy Hall calls “the post-war council”: The Second Vatican Council. But we will treat on this subject in its proper place.

On this Remembrance Day, we may see this glimmer of hope publicly as government officials pay homage in some small way to Almighty God and to a true patriotism that formed the heart of the supreme sacrifice. Even in the most secularized societies in which we live, this day gives occasion to see the Image of God in man, and through it, the Father in Heaven Who formed him out of the dust of the earth. As the Holy Mass says, God “in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restore[d] it.”[6] This restoration is offered to man if he repents.

Perhaps there are no more poignant words to call every English-speaking patriot to penance—whether English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Commonwealth or American—than Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional. As contributing editor Charles Coulombe noted recently, it was at the height of the British Empire’s power that Kipling penned these immortal words in 1897, which serve as a warning to every earthly empire which, consumed with hubris, rises up to make a name for itself (Gen. xi. 4) apart from Christ the King. It is this truth from Kipling above all that must be remembered on Remembrance Day, lest we face the fearful judgment of Almighty God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. x. 31). (Hear Mr. Coulombe’s recitation by clicking here.)

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!


Photo: Unsplash.

[1] Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris (1937), 38.

[2] Christopher Dawson, Enquiries into Religion and Culture (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2009), 214-215.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Dawson, Judgment of the Nations, 11.

[6] Offertory Prayers: Deus, qui humánæ substántiæ dignitátem mirabíliter condidísti, et mirabílius reformásti.

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