"She was not a guilty woman, neither was she a saint; she was an upright, charming woman, a little frivolous, somewhat impulsive, but always pure; she was a queen, at times ardent in her fancies for her favourites and thoughtless in her policy, but proud and full of energy; a thorough woman in her winsome ways and tenderness of heart, until she became a martyr."
"We have followed the history of Marie Antoinette with the greatest diligence and scrupulosity. We have lived in those times. We have talked with some of her friends and some of her enemies; we have read, certainly not all, but hundreds of the libels written against her; and we have, in short, examined her life with– if we may be allowed to say so of ourselves– something of the accuracy of contemporaries, the diligence of inquirers, and the impartiality of historians, all combined; and we feel it our duty to declare, in as a solemn a manner as literature admits of, our well-matured opinion that every reproach against the morals of the queen was a gross calumny– that she was, as we have said, one of the purest of human beings."
"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely there never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like a morning star full of life and splendor and joy. Oh, what a revolution....Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look which threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded...."
~Edmund Burke, October 1790
A Note on Reviews
Unless otherwise noted, any books I review on this blog I have either purchased or borrowed from the library, and I do not receive any compensation (monetary or in-kind) for the reviews.
Atheists often accuse Christians of embracing their faith as a sort of wishful thinking to give psychological comfort in a cold cruel world. John Zmirak responds to one such challenge, describing the inconveniences of faith. I have had similar debates with a relative (on the Irish side) who claims that religious belief is merely a comfort for those who are afraid to face the void. No. Faith is not comfortable, although it has its moments. I do not believe what I believe because it is a comfort. I believe what I believe because of the overwhelming reality of revealed truth. To deny what has been revealed by God through the Church would be foolish and insane for me. To accept it only because it feels good would not be faith but sentimental drivel. To take up the cross means enduring contradictions. It is a lifelong struggle. Yes, there is love, but it is often unfelt. Yes, there is joy, and overall peace, but joy and peace are often hidden guests. Yes, there is hope of heaven, but sometimes heaven seems far away, even when one stands at the threshold. Faith is challenging, for it demands accountability. To believe in Christ requires all of oneself. To believe is to say with Saint Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. But I believe and am convinced that you are the Christ, the Son of God."
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