I. Open Up the Jewel Box!
(The Remnant, November 15th, 1990)
Our Lord chastises the pride and misdirected piety of the scribes and pharisees by reminding them of the People of Israel’s inglorious custom of rejecting prophets sent by God to instruct, guide, and defend them. We cannot help but wince, along with the Nicodemuses in Our Savior’s audience, as we recall the episodes from Scripture and Tradition to which the Prince of the Prophets alludes: a constant preference for the lies of mountebanks and time-servers when the truths of an Amos or a Michea were available; Manasses’ hacking of Isaia in two; the stoning of Jeremia by his fellow Jews after the capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple took place precisely as he had foretold.
God sent jewels to His chosen ones in the form of the words and actions of His prophets. All these jewels are stored, forever, in the spiritual treasure house of the Church, whence we may freely and inexhaustibly call them forth, both to admire their beauty as well as to wear them into battle to dazzle the enemy. If, that is to say, we have sufficient knowledge to locate them, and the good sense and courage to bring them out of the jewel box when their place in the treasury has been discovered.
Revelation ends with the last book of the New Testament, but the prophetic spirit leading heroic souls to stand guard on the watchtowers of the City of God has never been withheld from Christians. Every faithful believer, sinner though he may be, speaks and acts with the spirit of the prophets when his words and deeds courageously and consistently affirm the infallible teachings of Holy Mother Church, and the logical consequences flowing from them. The achievement of every heroic Christian enters into the treasury of the Church as yet another gem enriching Christ’s Mystical Body; a precious stone which may be of special use to believers faced with difficulties resembling his own. If, that is to say, they can find the key to the jewel box and have the will to open it.
We Catholics to whom Providence has entrusted the thorny—but exciting—mission of dealing with a revolutionary world in full-scale disintegration, are fortunate in having available the words and actions of a group of extraordinarily prophetic sons of thunder to serve us as special examples and guides. Glittering brilliantly amidst these our modern jewels is the work of Louis Veuillot (1813-1883) and Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio (1793-1862). Frenchman and Italian, peasant and aristocrat, layman and Jesuit priest, both men were as different as the world could produce them, but united as friends, writers, and editors of journals in a passionate love for the Catholic Faith. Year after year, working in the Parisian newspaper l’Univers and the Roman periodical La Civiltà Cattolica, these two watchmen and their associates developed their teaching on the contrasts between the banquet promised mankind through transformation in Christ and the mess of pottage delivered through the victory of the Revolution. A simple logical deduction from the theories and behavior of the enemies of the Incarnation of their own day led them to warn vigorously of what they knew would be coming next: genetic engineering, abortion, the destruction of everything beautiful in art, architecture, and literature, and the ultimate creation of an Empire of the World in which every exalted human aspiration would be suffocated under a mountain of filth.
Yes, the prophetic spirit of Veuillot and Taparelli d’Azeglio made their achievements jewels in the crown, and incredibly important for us as we try to understand and fight the anti-Christian Empire of the World whose character they so accurately predicted. But how many of us know of their existence? Or their names? Their ideas? Their deeds? Or how to locate their particular jewel box within the treasure house?
Few. Few, indeed. For, like the prophets of the Old Testament, these men of prophetic spirit have been ridiculed, silenced, and forgotten, their places as watchmen on the towers taken by prophets-after-the-disaster who preach the need to continue down the road to a mess of pottage whose failure to nourish has more than amply been confirmed.
Traditionalist Catholics must look for teaching and guidance from the jewels in the crown, lest we reject a prophetic spirit whose truth has been made clear by a century of horror; lest we waste our energy blindly groping towards the beginnings of a critique of a Revolution already far better understood by men of genius before us; lest we, through ignorance, be led astray by false prophets with easy answers and find ourselves helping to dish out a mess of pottage at a soup kitchen filled with poison.
It is my hope to publish a series of articles in The Remnant discussing contemporary issues with reference to the writings of our great prophetic comrades-in-arms. And I am certain that when you start to see the profundity and beauty and immense usefulness of what they have to say, you will run to others who are looking for the best possible arguments to defend and advance the cause of the Faith, thrust the key to the treasure house into their hands, and beg them, too, to open up the jewel box and adorn themselves for battle.
Return to main page.