The will to pauvre

“So which is true?” — an interrogator asks, — “Your profession of Friday, July 24th, or your profession of Friday, July 31st? Your ‘V for Victory’ cultural warmongering, or the grim resignation a week later?”

My irritating response was, “Both and neither.” Both, if you take each on its own terms; neither, if you were looking for a manifesto.

For the definitive position, I would refer gentle reader to the opening passage in the Gospel of John; and bid him read with unstraying attention. For the Last Word is the First Word, as it explains. (Go to a traditional Latin Mass, to hear it said in the right position.)

But “we the peeple” are only dealing with the moment, as I touched upon yesterday. (I’m one of them peeple, incidentally.) We are acting, sometimes, within external contradictions, or more usually, trying to crawl around them. Yet I, at least, see no contradiction between fighting the good fight, and losing. That they may exchange positions in heaven — these “winners” and these “losers” — was vouchsafed by Our Lord.

(One should also check in with the Beatitudes, from time to time.)

Duty requires us to stand up for our faith, when as now it is mortally challenged, and to stand for our beleaguered fellow faithful, rather than slink away and hide. Yet we should fight meekly, like the Crusaders of old, for the worthy cause, and not for ourselves only. Perhaps we forgot, when the days were sunny, positions we held when the nights were dark.

While I’m in favour of free markets, low taxes, free speech, and all the falderal of current political conservatism, they are not ends but means. I wish we had more leaders in the Church who could spell this out smartly — we still have a few — because our troops are misdirected when our leaders sell out. I would like to hear the occasional war cry, and not just requests for social distancing. I do wish I could hear a bishop, sometimes, telling Nanny State what to do with itself, or reminding moral dwarves that Christ outranks them.

And now we are in a big rumble. The Culture War was something declared on us, when our lives and churches were invaded by these stinking, statist trolls. Their motives are demonic, but we leave that to God: for our purpose can only be to destroy them, in the near term. The pulverization of the Left and all its projects, would be good for us, and in itself, but also good for the leftists. Here let me resort to the “argumentum ad Hitlerum”: we did the Germans a favour by getting the Nazis off their backs. Had we been pacifists, and surrendered, we would only have gone to hell with them. There is no holiness in surrender, except to God. It is our duty to “bend the knee” to no other.

Yet it is not a strategy, but an attitude I am defending. High prudence in these matters is not easy; for not only cleverness, but wisdom is required. Low cunning will not save us from the pain we fear. It only adds ignominy.

And so — Deus lo vult, as it says in the Gesta Francorum.