Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Alone Among Mine Enemies

 From Crisis:

What became of Sir Bedivere? One of Tolkien’s childhood friends, Geoffrey Bache Smith, took up Bedivere’s story in a poem he worked on amid the bombs and rats and poison gas in the trenches of the First World War. The lonely knight stumbles upon a hermitage where he discovers Arthur’s own bishop, now in hiding. The two are shortly joined by the penitent Sir Lancelot, who had been Arthur’s greatest friend before committing adultery with Queen Guinevere, leaving Camelot vulnerable to attack.

Together, the ever-faithful Bedivere, the repentant sinner Lancelot, and the holy, persecuted cleric hold a light to the darkness around them. Together, they remain faithful in a faithless world, holding fast to the beauty and goodness of the past for the sake of a future when they know Arthur will return and beat back Britain’s foes.  

So too must we. Western civilization and the Church have survived destruction over these many millennia because of the Bediveres and Lancelots and their bishops who chose to be faithful to the truth, to preserve the beauty, and to hold on to the good that had made the better days worthy, no matter how badly the odds were against them. Geoffrey Bache Smith did not live to see the end of the war or the brief peace it restored. But he went to his death in No Man’s Land believing strongly that all was not lost forever. (Read more.)


From The National Catholic Register:

Fruitfulness, like a well-tended garden, can be seen. It has fruit, and this fruit finds a way to manifest itself in our material world. It enlivens the heart; it inspires the mind; it stirs up wonder in the deep; it makes us want to reach for the good, the true and the beautiful. It is the spirit that animates the Song of Songs and that longing of the soul thirsting for God. And it is the slaking of this thirst when we meet God in the Eucharist, in the confessional, in our charity to others and the charity of others to us. These are the things that power and control can never replace. These are things that merely checking off a box can never give to a soul. These are the elements that are the true calling card of the Church — fruit in the form of building, wonder, joy, peace, excellence and true charity. Gratefully, we do still have the witness of good priests and bishops who live this fruit and shine brightly in this corrupt and complacent age. 

It is silence that keeps the men who have abandoned their vows in power and props them up. But changes of heart, as everyone in 12-step programs knows, don’t usually come about while riding high, but only when everything comes crashing down. It is a mercy for a man to see his weakness, to see that without God he can do nothing.  

Our silence isn’t doing these men any favors anymore, but perpetuates the lie that somehow it is their own doing, cleverness and personal charm that has gotten them to this point. And, of course, they are not the true enemy, but the devil who both tempts and accuses them. As a Church, perhaps we are being allowed to hit rock bottom so that we will know the truth about ourselves and can begin to rebuild anew. (Read more.)


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