The story is told of the great Catholic monarch of Spain, Queen Isabella (1451–1504), that when asked once what she wanted to see in a painting, she replied “a priest saying Mass, a woman giving birth and a criminal being hanged.” In other words, everybody has a part to play in life, and they should play that part and not another. We can only imagine what she would have said about a world in which priests celebrate eucharistic picnics, women freely contraceive and abort, and criminals are sentenced to shorter and shorter sentences in prisons resembling luxury hotels. Today “Nothing is but what is not” (Macbeth, I, 3).
Today many people sense that modern life is false, but few can see why “nothing is but what is not,” or why “Nothing is real, And nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields for ever” (Beatles). They observe police oppressing, journalists lying, pharmacy poisoning, lawyers cheating, politicians betraying, women self-sterilising, youth suiciding, teachers corrupting, doctors killing, and so on and so on, and worst of all, priests apostatising. It is not difficult to see around us a disordered world which is the exact opposite of the right order that Queen Isabella had in mind for Spain. But the disorder is so disguised as to resemble in the present the right order of the past, so that few people can work out where the disorder comes from, and many give up the attempt to track it down, settling down instead among the material comforts that it has to offer. For instance many a Rock musician makes good money by screaming at the bad fruits of materialism, but few if any go after its roots, so that most end up as quite comfortable materialists, part and parcel of the falsity that they recognised correctly in their money-making days.
In the words of the old song, “Why, why, why, Delilah?” Because people have so gotten rid of the presence of God in their lives that they have no inkling that His absence is the problem. And if ever they do have an inkling, then for the same reason that they got rid of Him in the first place, they will now look anywhere rather than in His direction for the solution. Yet it was Christ who created, towards world’s end, that Christendom which lifted civilisation to unprecedented heights in the Middle Ages, and of which “Western civilisation” is the Christ-less successor. But, as readers of these “Comments” know, Christ-endom without Christ is “-endom,” better spelt as “end-doom.”
But “end-doom” has to compete with the Middle Ages, otherwise men will want to go back to Christ. Hence the appearances of Christian law, hospitals, parliaments, etc., must be maintained even while the substance is emptied out. Hence over the last 500 years a series of “conservatives” who conserve nothing but the last conquest by the liberals. Hence a long procession of hypocritical politicians outwardly right-wingers but in fact left-wingers, because that is what the peoples want – leaders who will appear to be rendering homage to the remnants of God and of Christ, but who in reality are serving the Devil by making way for ever more freedom from God and from Christ.
Hence the Church’s Second Vatican Council, maintaining the outward appearance of Catholicism even while replacing it with the reality of modernism. Hence the Society of St Pius X’s Chapter of six years ago, pretending to maintain Catholic Tradition even while preparing to subordinate it to Vatican II. Hence the Society’s Chapter of 2018, dethroning the architect of the 2012 Chapter only to reinstate him right next to the throne. Hence a Chapter representing not the reality of the situation of Church or Society, but that which risks turning into another video-game, rigged to tranquillise those resisting the Society’s march towards Conciliar Rome even while protecting that march. Please God, we are wrong.
And so, is there a solution if the whole world is rigging video-games? It is impossible that Heaven could have left us without one. Ever since the Middle Ages Our Lady has given to all of us the Rosary. More recently, She has given us the devotion of the First Saturdays. We neglect Her remedies at our peril.