Monday, June 22, 2015


From the beginning my Church has been what she still is and what she will be until the last day: a scandal for strong spirits, a disappointment for weak spirits, and a test and a consolation for interior souls who seek only me. Indeed, Brother Martin, whoever looks for me there finds me, but that is where I must be found.

And in the Church I am more hidden than people think, or than some of my priests want to make you believe - harder to find even than in the little stable at Bethlehem, for those, that is, who do not approach me humbly, in the tracks of the Magi and the Shepherds.

For it's true that they've built me palaces, with endless galleries and peristyles, magnificently lit by night and by day and thronging with guards and sentinels. But, to find me there - the same as on that ancient road of Judaea buried under snow - the cleverest among you still has only to ask me for the one thing necessary: and this is a star and a pure heart.

Just think of it! After fifteen centuries, you still see people everywhere who boast of being better than others, simply because they belong to me. You'd think I'd chosen them for their beautiful faces and their lovely souls! Poor children! 

Anyone can suffer for the Church, Brother Martin. It is necessary to suffer through her!

The only way of reforming the vices of the Church is to lavish on her the example of one's most heroic virtues. It's quite possible that Saint Francis of Assisi was not any less thrown into revolt than Luther by the debauchery and simony of prelates. We can even be sure that his suffering on this account was fiercer because his nature was very different from the monk of Wittenberg.

But Francis did not challenge iniquity; he was not tempted to confront it; instead, he threw himself into poverty, immersing himself in it as deeply as possible along with his followers. He found in poverty the very source and wellspring of all absolution and all purity. Instead of attempting to snatch from the Church all her ill-gotten goods, he overwhelmed her with invisible treasures, and under the hand of this beggar the heaps of gold and lust began blossoming like an April hedge.

Ah yes, I'm well aware that in these matters, comparisons aren't worth much, especially when seasoned with a little humor. Would you still allow me to say, however, in order to be better understood by some readers, that what the Church needs is not critics but artists? When poetry is in full crisis, the important thing is not to point the finger at bad poets but oneself to write beautiful poems, thus unstopping the sacred springs.

Bernanos, Brother Martin


  1. Beautifully stated!

    Especially true is that we often suffer not nearly FOR the Church but so very often THROUGH her.
    "A certain Fr. Clarisac often said: ' It is not only necessary to suffer FOR the Church, but very often at the very hands OF the Church.' "

  2. I first read of the Holy Father's aplolgy to the Waldensians yesterday. May our Father in heaven hear my thanks for this!

  3. Father D I absolutely ADORE your blog! I thank God ever day I've found it! And thank GOD for Pope Francis too! He is SUCH a breath of fresh air, after all the terrible crud of the last centuries!
    Now that he's REALLY getting things moving and people actually THINKING, don't you agree its high time to ditch all these outmoded ways? Not only allow us Catholics to divorce and be still communicants, but we NEED to change it up! Let people marry who they LOVE, God is love, he doesn't care if its two men or two women! And the RIDICULOUS ban on birth control is so foolish. Finally, I hope, we'll see women priests in my lifetime( though there's not much time of it left!)
    The Church is here to GUIDE people, not tell them just ONE way. Christ is holy, Mohammad and Buddah are God's children too! THANK GOD we have a Pope like Francis

    1. Hate to break it to you: Everybody's been saying that since the 60s. Including Catholics. Have you just come back from Jupiter?

    2. No, 3:21 PM is probably a newly 'ordained' Unitarian clergyperson equipped with a vision at least as expansive as the Galaxy.

    3. So, no need to worry about going to Mass or trying to be good anymore, then. Every kind of belief system and behaviour is as good as any other - "Who am I to judge?". The Pope has made all things new in Christ. (Oops, don't mention Christ. Judgmental by implication).

      Well, that's a weight off my mind. On the negative side, seems I've wasted my life. What a bummer.

      Is everybody who reads this blog retarded?

    4. Simple-sword, is your economy of salvation really so monstrous that you SPENT YOUR ENTIRE LIFE BEHAVING just because you were TOLD to? And now you're pissed that you could have just been bad and still gotten away with it?

      Do you have the moral development of a four year old?

    5. @736, I wanted to say similarly to sword but being obedient to teachings of a church is more deep and profound than merely doing as you are told.

      A believer carrying teachings into adult life to me is without blame... Those to be condemned are the life ruining charlatans and hucksters who are selling Christ's free gift.

    6. ".....being obedient to teachings of a church is more deep and profound than merely doing as you are told". That's basically what Eve said to Adam.

      If you are going to condemn the Church for making rules, you had better get the family Bible out and chuck it in the fire while you're at it. The Sermon on the Mount, sifting the wheat and chaff, fires that never go out. It's all in there, I assure you. I've read it.

    7. Simple, I'll leave it to you and yours to burn books... Lord knows, you have the experience in burning much more than books including but not limited to William Tyndale for the offense of what? Printing the Bible in English?

    8. Simple, one further... You demean the Pope's "Who am I to judge?" quote... May I ask who do you think you are to judge?

      Many religious systems are equal or superior to yours.

    9. "Every kind of belief system and behaviour is as good as any other - "Who am I to judge?"."

      You and all of us know what that quote means, so what are you trying to accomplish?

    10. Hi all!
      You quote me: "Every kind of belief system and behaviour is as good as any other - Who am I to judge?".

      The first part was me putting words into the mouth of liberals - the sort of thing that a liberal might say. The second part was Pope Francis' comment about gays, which I applied in a wider sense, as a rhetorical device. Maybe my dry Brit humour doesn't travel well.

  4. On 'Integral Ecology' the petulant Lard Ass, choking on more than his Sth Chicago take-away Chinese, lets fly at JoAnna after she called his hubis and manipulation:

    JoAnna says:

    23 June 2015 at 11:15 AM

    Card. Wuerl attacked Rush? On the contrary, it was the other way around! Card. Wuerl’s comments were very polite and reasonable.

    Lacy Boy on an overdose of low grade Clerialism: [Apparently your ear isn’t tuned to how prelates talk.]

    Rush, however, told outright lies about the content of the encyclical (and when a caller called him on it, citing paragraph 188 to prove that Rush’s attacks were inaccurate, he KEPT lying). Does it concern you at all that Rush was caught in a lie that was very demonstrably false but would not concede it? I find it very troubling, personally.

    Lacy Boy: [You’ve leapt to a rash judgment about what troubles me or what doesn’t.]

    I don’t see anything troubling about the term “integral ecology.” Everything on this planet is interconnected – humans, animals, plants, the environment. The state of one can affect the state of another.

    Lacy Boy:[Perhaps there is a lot about this discussion that you haven’t figured out yet. Reading comments for while might help you out. In the meantime, while waiting for more comments, re-read the top entry.]