Continuing the Fight

August 01, 2023

The following is an editorial by Fr. Alain Lorans, SSPX.

Nouvelles de Chrétienté #202 has been published. Here is an overview.

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, whose 150th anniversary of birth and 100th anniversary of beatification are celebrated this year, has been patroness of missions since 1927, and secondary patroness of France since 1944 (as is St. Joan of Arc, whom she venerated).

Let us not rely on her titles of glory, as if they exempt us from making a personal and constant effort, as if they allowed us to be militant by proxy … Let us ask ourselves whether we are the worthy heirs of little Thérèse. She died at 24, cloistered and fervently missionary; and we, alive but so often resigned.

The Carmelite saint of Lisieux is an admirable example. She can become a formidable reproach for us. Let’s look at her at work during the Great War [WWI], on the front. In this issue of Nouvelles de Chrétienté, let us read the letters that officers and soldiers addressed to Pope Benedict XV to hasten her beatification.

Those who wrote were those who generously sacrificed themselves, because Thérèse, whose medal they wore, encouraged them from heaven to defend their invaded country. She was with them on the front lines.

The First World War is over and the Second World War is over, but can we consider ourselves demobilized today? In the Prologue of his Spiritual Journey, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was not inclined to rhetorical effects, did not hesitate to describe the conciliar crisis as World War III.

The missionary archbishop deplored it with sadness. “The disasters caused by these three wars, and especially the last of them, are incalculable in the domain of material ruins, but even more so in the spiritual realm.”

An he explains: “The ruin of Christian institutions” and the deep penetration of “liberal and modernist doctrine into the governing bodies of the Church” are destructive. The effects of this war are before our eyes: the multiplication of laws against unborn life; laws against marriage and the family; the collapse of vocations; and the desertification of churches.

Faced with this dramatic situation, would St. Thérèse remain inactive in heaven? No! She beats the reminder, mobilizes energies, shakes timid souls. She exhorts us to carry out our daily mission, to faithfully carry out our duty of state as a father and mother, as boss and employee, as baptized persons in the service of an earthly city that must not be “the more or less well air-conditioned antechamber of hell,” as Fr. Calmel said quite bluntly.

To serve is an honor; to abstain feebly from serving is a disgrace. And we know the punishment reserved for deserters in times of war. In 1914-18, men stood up to defend their earthly homeland, in this third conflict will there be only cowardly beings, refugees in the back to defend the Church? Those that the Poilus called in their rough but expressive language, “pen-pushers”?

St.  Thérèse: do not allow us to embarrass you. Obtain “courage and strength and faith” for us so that we may have “the zeal of combat.” Continue the good fight for the Faith.