While it was a worldly force that may have found its way into the Church regardless, modernism, the mother of all heresies, a philosophy that eschews the supernatural aspects of the faith, began creeping into the Church early in the last century. That is, if not all the way back to the “Enlightenment.” Regardless, it was finally powerful enough to exert its influence in the 1960s, coinciding with the Second Vatican Council. As the world became post-Christian and less supernaturally aware in the decades following the counsel, this toxic worldview spread within the Church with less suspicion and increasing vigor.
Today is the Feast of Saint Benedict, a great and holy day in the calendar of the Church. If you make the smallest effort you will be able to learn all about this man and what he accomplished in his life, which is highly encouraged.
At the Traditian Order we are particularly grateful for him and his life because, as Rome was falling and holiness was scarce, he brought together the western monastic movement. The holy then, could go into the monasteries and nunneries, away from the falling civilization around them that seemed doomed to erode into paganism once again. There they would learn, work, worship and, perhaps even unknowingly at the time, preserve an entire culture.
The parallels to this age are unavoidable. Western civilization now seems to be passing into a “post-Christian” era of increased chaos and neo-paganism that is hostile to tradition and the faith. Perhaps the mainstream can be re-converted for Christ, but very likely it will take more time than we think.
In the meantime, anyone considering the life of a monk, nun or friar should take that decision very carefully, because prayer is the most important work of this age. Those who cannot, though, have other options. Humbly, the Traditian Order is one of those options.
Our mission is to learn, defend and pass on the faith and traditions of the Church. There are some 80 members and we are looking for people who can help with some of the lifting in this weighty cause. We are looking for members, we are looking for leaders. Leaders who look at Saint Benedict and understand what drove him, because that very drive changed the world.
It is a world where the average person does not know what the plants that feed them every day even look like, a world where many would not know how to grow a beneficial herb if you handed them the seeds and pointed them to the soil, where people have stopped being responsible stewards of the environment and instead started ignorantly worshiping it. The relationship of humankind and nature is a long one, with faith-based traditions that must again be brought to the attention of the distortion-filled modern world.
With this in mind, the Traditian Order opens its page on our site containing information on nature, the environment and the politics and misinformation that surround these isssues. On our site you will now find In Horto Traditian, a page dedicated to collecting our articles and information about what the faithful have been taught, learned and need to know about nature, horticulture and environmental traditionalism (which will also be the title an August column of Traditius). In addition, we have started up a Facebook page, also called In Horto Traditian, for discussion of these issues. Finally a guild is being formed for interested members of the Order to join to help learn, defend and pass on these traditions.
Please check out these resources and let us know what you think!
Medieval Horticulture, Part 2: In The Garden of Charlemagne. A sequel to: Medieval Horticulture, Part 1: Monastic Herbalism
In 476 A.D. the Emperor Romulus Augustus was overthrown by the germanic hordes and any order that the Roman Empire had brought to Europe for centuries was finished. The fall of Rome in the west would cast the former territories of the Empire into centuries of ignorance and squalor, we are told, particularly the areas farthest from it. This is the accepted history, and it is an enormous oversimplification.
Just a few decades later, after all, one of the germanic tribes, the Franks, were unified under one king, named Clovis I. Unlike the other tribes, which were mainly Arian, the Franks were Catholic due to Clovis’ wife insistence and his conversion on Christmas Day in 508 A.D.. The germanic tribes would continue their chaotic rule over much of the former Empire in the west, for a time, but in 768 A.D. a man named Charles rose to lead the Franks and re-establish order. Charles would go on to conquer the other tribes, and became Holy Roman Emperor. Even during his life he was referred to as “Charles the Great” which translates in French, of course, to Charlemagne.
The events in Ireland this week have been much discussed. While there are a thousand perspectives on it, though, one truth cannot be denied: Abortion is an unnatural act. That is to say, it is literally an act against creation, and writ large it exposes a terrible failure of humanity itself. We have so distanced ourselves from the nature of God that we, collectively, think we can deny it, blind ourselves to it, overrule it. But we cannot, and the evidence of that fact is everywhere, if we care to look for it.
God is ever creating the universe and we are all a part of that. Creation, after all, was not just In The Beginning but is also now, right now. The unmoved mover by His stillness keeps everything in motion, alive, creating, being. From atoms to the universe itself, everything is in movement. It is ingredient in the nature of things, ingredient in the world we live in, clear from the simple observation of creation.
God’s infiniteness cannot be constrained by His stillness, for it is infinite, so instead it drives all that is around Him, all that He has created and is creating now. God Is. He Himself said to Moses: “I AM WHO AM. Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you.” And that is the key point of the matter. It is not central that He was Creator, it is central that His is Creating now.
In this whirlwind of motion, of being, of infinite infiniteness He created all of us, individually. Human beings are special. They are not like the animals, not even like the angels. We are a part of a great experiment called Free Will. Infused by God with a soul at the moment of our creation, we each represent a facet of the infiniteness of God. A unique sliver of the everything that God is, we were put into the world to cope, thrive, suffer and, eventually, exist forever. Every finite human being is connected to God in their soul, and by God to everyone else.
All of this is to say we are all children of God, he is the Father of Creation—not just the creation back then, but the creation of this moment. As such, in such a whirlwind of divine fecundity, how could we die? Alas we cannot. We too are eternal, not infinite, but eternal. We can return to our Maker during this life and recognize Him or we can freely reject Him. All of our choices decide the matter. All of our attitudes. All of what we Will during this time we are given, this time we are tested.
It is in this perspective that the matter of taking an innocent life must be viewed. In the midst of a universe of creation, of motion, of love, of endless moments alive with life, it is a choice to end another’s earthly existence. It is a choice to go against the movement of God, the instinct to create, to move, to dance, to live, to love.
The life ended, on this plane of existence, is violently treated but it is eternal. But the simple fact that we can offer such a choice, given what we have been told and shown for so long, is even more unthinkable and unnatural. It is a rejection of the God that Is. Nature is demonstrating to us how to be, hinting, prodding, revealing. To end an innocent human life is to reject these messages, to deny the nature of creation that moves like a wind around us.
The sad vote in Ireland last week shows we are much farther from where we are supposed to be than we can even imagine.
Printed simultaneously in the Traditian Order and Traditium.
Some say the monastics of the Middle Ages merely kept good records of the classical era, preserved them, copied them, and made use of them. Others say they developed many skills and a great deal of information themselves through trial and error. What cannot be doubted, though, is that monks and nuns of medieval times had records, gardens and medicines for the practice of herbalism. Indeed, they were the practicing masters of it, particularly the Benedictines, and they held and built this treasure of knowledge for over a millennium, with some continuing to do so to this day.
Ancient Rome used herbs as part of its medical system. Indeed, the Roman Army took seeds with them along the way so they could plant and use them when they dug in at a particular location. The system itself came mainly from Greek discoveries, particularly Hippocrates and his followers, and it is well recorded that the Hippocratic humeral system was used by Ancient Rome. This system held that an excess or deficiency of any of four bodily fluids in a person, called humours, had a direct effect on their health and attitude. Herbs were among the things that they thought could restore balance to the humours. While the system was flawed in its foundational assumptions, the trial and error involved in it led to discovering many herbs and plants that helped the body to heal itself.
On October 13, 1917, your great, great grandfather and grandmother sat together on a sofa somewhere in the world as a miracle was filling the skies in Portugal. In the days that followed they heard the news, practically everyone worldwide heard the news, that a genuine miracle had occurred, and the most unlikely thing had happened.
The sun had danced around the sky and been witnessed by a crowd of between 30,000 and 100,000 people, including media, there to see it. It was, in many ways, the biggest news story in the world. To repeat: The sun had danced around the sky. Is it possible? It would hardly have been a miracle if it was possible. Did it happen? There is no court system in the world that does not allow witnesses to establish truth. There were thousands of witnesses. The sun had danced around the sky.
What could lead to such an event?
Continue reading “So You Seek A Miracle?”
When you look closely at history it’s quite odd to see the fashions of particular ages. In certain periods certain trends, certain philosophies, seem to be all the rage. That they could believe the things they did in the past just seems ridiculous to us in our current, enlightened age.
After all, we are in an enlightened age of mercy, an age where the idea that anyone will be judged is anathema, an age where pagan and heterodox beliefs are bubbling to the surface again in the name of conforming to the age around us. Such is tolerance.
When bathing in such waters, it is good to keep in mind, though, that God does not deal in fashions. He is fully for mercy while he is fully for justice. Indeed, both at the same time, eternally so, and without contradiction. While our age and our leaders focus on tolerance, mercy, love and acceptance, there is a part of all of us, indeed even the modernists, who know that God–while he loves all and is infinitely merciful–is also infinitely just. We live in the age of Who Am I To Judge? But God will judge. Christ was very clear, indeed, He spoke of Hell more than he spoke of most issues.
Fear of the Lord? This age might consider it a horrible thing to fear the God of Love, but it is the eternal beginning of wisdom. You cannot do as you please, make yourself God and expect to go unjudged. The times teach this, and in doing so they can deceive. You will be judged, by timeless standards, by God who has been so very clear. He may be merciful, but do not try to BE Him, do not try to take truth into your own hands, do not assume that you are in control.
History shows that there are some who write off the God of the Old Testament, or claim that He was some other God, but He was not. The Old must be reconciled with the new to find the eternal, the balance, the ageless truth. You are not God. You will be judged. Entire peoples have been judged. Who, the Hell, are you?
Soak in the age, for God is in fact mercy, God is in fact love. But do not forget that He is also, equally, justice, and judgment. Do not forget that this age is no less susceptible to fashionable philosophies than any other. The times tell us that we stand atop history, that we can create our own truth. That is the fashion. There will be a time when people look back on it and wonder how anyone could believe such a ridiculous thing.
Your eternal soul is on the line. Pursue balance, fear God and seek wisdom.
It’s said that there are places on Earth that are just a bit closer to God. That holiness can more fully embrace you in these places. Consolation can be experienced almost directly. The breath of God’s Love can be felt on the cheek.
These are the Thin Places.
For the agents or military of one nation to cross another sovereign nation’s borders and do damage to people or property is war. It is not an intervention, it is not a police action, it is not a pre-retaliatory counter-attack. It is war. That said, war is not always wrong. It can be justified, or even necessary. But if it is not justified, it must be condemned. Those are the lessons of history.
It is almost a reflex. A mystic is a leftist, a radical, a danger. Unpredictable during their life, and acceptable only after their death when it is sure that they will no longer say anything outlandish or unpredictable, mystics are to be embraced only after much time has passed.
Equally reflexive is the idea that mindfulness, that is the ability to see the present moment, through the cloud of ego and with any clarity at all, is completely a Buddhist occupation. Or Eastern at least. Or scary. Best castigated for a few centuries until it is clear that it is safe to favor it in some way.
How radical, how anti-traditionalist, how very novel, would it be to say that it is the traditional Catholic Church that is the best proponent of clarity, the best antagonist against the vagaries of ego and its many lies and deceptions, the best of the West, without the least need to nod to the East. It is our tradition to fight the untrustworthy ego, to embrace the rough mystic, to take as our own the truth wherever it might be as our own, then to sort out over time how the pieces fit together.
They are not, though, always so far afield. Within the great traditions of Western Culture are the truths that can nourish and sustain. The frenzied desperation of believing in self alone offers no peace, and each individual, should they consider it, knows this in their heart and soul regardless of where they were born, anywhere on the globe.
We of the Traditian Order see one of the primary missions of our Order as deprogramming the current culture of modernism and relativism. The modern popular culture, after all, has a belief system all its own, and it’s an odd one. The high priests in the media and universities dictate it, their obedient student radicals enforce it, and their adherents in the culture apply peer pressure to those who do not conform.
This system is obviously dysfunctional to the objective eye. That is, the modern popular culture de-emphasizes and slowly destroys those things that define and hold together a civilization: family, faith, tradition, even the idea of objective truth or the clear fact that fundamental differences exist between male and female. Its adherents, though, suspend their disbelief, discount the evidence against their assertions, and live with a level of cognitive dissonance that is unlike any before it in history. Where this all started is a different story, but the fact that we live in an odd time with unsupportable beliefs is plain.