FEAR or FAITH? FRIGHT or FLIGHT?
Welcome Eagles to the New Crusade!
Will thou help defend the Fortress of Faith?

BOOKMARK us & check in DAILY for the latest Endtimes News!
SPREAD WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY!

Monday, June 30, 2014

TradCatKnight Newsletter (June, 2014) “Fight the Good Fight!”

TradCatKnight Newsletter (June, 2014)
“Fight the Good Fight!”



2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.


Brethren, let us remember this day St. Paul an ex murderer turned into an Eagle by the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He saw with the Eyes of charity and his wings of faith and hope sustained him throughout his many journeys and afflictions. Let us call to mind this day that there are many “fights” that man will engage himself in but are they “good”? St. Paul preached Christ crucified and this was his only joy, comfort and glory in the early Church where he was commanded to spread the gospel. And is this same command from Christ any different in reality to what we have been called to do whether clergy or laity? Yea, we have for us a model of the “good fight”. Many men this hour fight and compete for greater profits, for a more esteemed position, for worldly honors or for the latest car model. Men will drive themselves into bad health all for the sake of things BUT they will give no notice to the Creator of “things” by which we receive anything at all! The “good fight” has ends in eternal life by keeping the proper norm of Faith, a Faith, which is being trampled upon by her enemies who are seeking their religion of “absolute equality”. Therefore, the “good fight” is for the Faith and is nothing less for it deals with our immortal souls. It deals with the Source of our happiness and rest which is in Jesus Christ. It is not even a fight for greater spiritual gifts or favors for even this is imperfect and does not show that the soul is willing to love the Lover Himself for Who He is! Will we be able to say I have fought the “good fight” or be accused of fighting for selfish cause? This supposed “gain” of anything less than Christ Who is our ALL. 


St. Paul journeyed many lands all for the love of God because in union with Christ he followed the course plotted out for him. This is where true joy stems from knowing that we keep the course. It is not in the latest gift or favor or experience for such are sometimes given to those who are truly weak in Love and need a “boost” from the Divine to carry onward to spiritual marriage. He first journeyed within before he journeyed the world and battled himself in his “blindness” that he may be relieved of his carnal sight in exchange for the inner eyes of an eagle. St. Paul helped to flourish the Faith and we will have to fight the “good fight” not only to maintain It, but then after chastisement, to further increase it in the world. Therefore, start now & be bold have no fear but spread your wings. St. Paul said “my course” and this of course, ought to be interpreted as finishing the course God has willed for us. In a self -centered and self- absorbed modern world how many finish their own course and not Gods course for them! They only find out at deaths door that they shall plummet off the cliff as a lemming into the Abyss beneath but all the while thinking themselves to be an eagle. Man alone is wretched and in need of the Divine Wind to keep the eagle flying in the blue skies above and yet do we thank God for this every day? Will you now start to be more serious in your interior journey by taking more serious this proper understanding of “my course? Do ye seek to please yourself or satisfy the Immaculate & Sacred Hearts?
Verily, will we be able to say I have kept the Faith? Since Vatican II there is a new modernist faith. Can those following Vatican II objectively say they are keeping the Faith? Answer, In the Negative and we can only pray for invincible ignorance to excuse those following blindly the prelates and Popes since Vatican II. Keeping the Faith to St. Paul fueled his heart and soul; it was worth more than even his own life. It caused him many afflictions and sufferings of which he was most grateful for. And yet how many of us complain and murmur when we are given a little cross to carry for the day. How many complain when what God allows interferes with our own selfish will and desires. Complaining cost the Israelites to continue on in circles prolonging their reach to the Promised Land. The Promised Land is spiritual marriage with Our Lord in seventh floor of the Fortress of the Soul in this life and ultimately the Beatific Vision in the next. God will want to see who will “keep this faith” unto the very end when all hell breaks loose on earth but will we not have the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts to carry us thru? Can we say I battled and fought; I finished His Will and kept the Faith? This is what St. Paul would ask every Catholic believer this day. Do I love myself that much so as to deny the ancient Faith of all times in order to fit in with the Vatican II Modernist’s of this “passing day”. Nay, in this interior Way even in the open blue skies in spiritual marriage with Our Lord there is always more we can expect. Therefore, let us close our eyes and envision ourselves at the end of this cliff as a little eagle and spread our wings wide and then open our eyes! Fear or Faith; fright or flight what shall it be? Self or His Sacred Heart, our Source and End. If you are only willing to give God 90% then you should not expect to fly off of the cliff. For the 10 percent of self you will retain is enough to cause you to plummet. It is all or nothing good friends. #EagleoftheFortress.




“Fight the Good Fight”

Fight onward O’ Soldiers of Christ
In this darkness of night
For a battle is not won until
All the enemies have perished out of sight
Press onward in loves holy course
In the Catholic faith which takes us into flight
Be willing to say as testimony in loves confession
I am ready to bleed and lay down my life
Have clear vision in grace to take a stand
For truth is truth it is either black or white
Will ye stand on the edge of cliffs in fear
Or will ye leap and rest upon the divine Wind
So that ye may reach His Heart in the unknown heights
To whom do you love and what will ye die for
Is not eternity enough of reward
To fight the Good Fight?


1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith: lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast confessed a good confession before many witnesses.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bishop Williamson- Cardinal Pie – I

Number CCCLXIII (363)
June 28, 2014

Cardinal Pie – I

Cardinal Pie (1815–1880) was a great churchman of 19th century France, one of the great defenders of the Faith against that liberalism which was eating up the world from the French Revolution (1789) onwards. Pope Pius X kept his works by his bedside and read them constantly. No doubt the Cardinal’s profound grasp of the key ideas driving the modern world played a major part in enabling Pius X to obtain a 50-year reprieve, say from 1907 to 1958, for the doomed Catholic Church.
Doomed? But the Catholic Church cannot be doomed! True, by God’s protection it will last to the end of the world (Mt. XXVIII, 20), but at the same time by God’s Word we know that by then the Faith will scarcely be found on earth (Lk. XVIII, 8), and that it will have been given to the forces of evil to defeat the Saints (Apoc. XIII, 7). These are two important quotes to bear in mind in 2014, because everything around us today tells us that the followers of Christ must be prepared for one seeming defeat after another, e.g. the fall of the Society of St Pius X. Here is what Cardinal Pie had to say on the matter, some 150 years ago:—
“Let us fight, hoping against hope itself, which is what I wish to tell faint-hearted Christians, slaves to popularity, worshippers of success and shaken by the least advance of evil. Given how they feel, please God they will be spared the agonies of the world’s final trial. Is that trial close or is it still far off? Nobody knows, and I will not dare to make a guess. But one thing is certain, namely that the closer we come to the end of the world, the more and more it is wicked and deceitful men who will gain the upper hand. The Faith will hardly be found on earth, meaning that it will almost have disappeared from earthly institutions. Believers themselves will hardly dare to profess their belief in public, or in society.
“The splitting, separating and divorcing of States from God which was for St Paul a sign foretelling the end, will advance day by day. The Church, while remaining always a visible society, will be reduced more and more to dimensions of the individual and the home. When she started out she said she was being shut in, and she called for more room to breathe, but as she approaches her end on earth, so she will have to fight a rearguard action every inch of the way, being surrounded and hemmed in on all sides. The more widely she spread out in previous ages, the greater the effort will now be made to cut her down to size. Finally the Church will undergo what looks like a veritable defeat, and the Beast will be given to make war on the Saints and to overwhelm them. The insolence of evil will be at its peak.”
These are prophetic words, coming truer by the day, not at all pleasant to admit, but anchored in Scripture. A wise Anglican Bishop (Butler) said in the 18th century, “Things are what they are. Their consequences will be what they will be. Why then should we seek to deceive ourselves?” Notice especially how the Cardinal foresees the impossibility of defending the Faith on any larger scale than just the home. Not everybody agrees that we have already reached that point in 2014. I might wish they were right, but I have yet to be persuaded that with disintegrated people one can make an integrated society. Contrast with us democratic citizens of today the Roman centurion in the Gospel who understood a chain of command and recognized naturally the authority of Our Lord (Mt. VIII, 5–18) – how Our Lord praised him!
Patience. See next week how the Cardinal himself reacted to what he foresaw. He was no defeatist!
Kyrie eleison.

Friday, June 27, 2014

"And the Earth Shall Swallow Up..."

TradCatKnight Presents: "And the Earth Shall Swallow Up..."
INTENSE short video on the sinkhole Phenomena in these endtimes!
*Takes me about 4-6 hours to make a video for you all, PLEASE do your part and SHARE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RNokFM5R90

 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Feast Day of the Sacred Heart!

Devotion to the Sacred Heart is but a special form of devotion to Jesus. We shall know just what it is and what distinguishes it when we ascertain its object, its foundations, and its proper act.

Special object of the devotion to the Sacred Heart

The nature of this question is complex and frequently becomes more complicated because of the difficulties arising from terminology. Omitting terms that are over-technical, we shall study the ideas in themselves, and, that we may the sooner find our bearings, it will be well to remember the meaning and use of the word heart in current language.
(a) The word heart awakens, first of all, the idea of a material heart, of the vital organ that throbs within our bosom, and which we vaguely realize as intimately connected not only with our own physical, but with our emotional and moral life. Now this heart of flesh is currently accepted as the emblem of the emotion and moral life with which we associate it, and hence the place assigned to the word heart in symbolic language, as also the use of the same word to designate those things symbolized by the heart. Note, for instance, the expressions "to open one's heart", "to give one's heart", etc. It may happen that the symbol becomes divested of its material meaning that the sign is overlooked in beholding only the thing signified. Thus, in current language, the word soul no longer suggests the thought of breath, and the word heart brings to mind only the idea of courage and love. But this is perhaps a figure of speech or a metaphor, rather than a symbol. A symbol is a real sign, whereas a metaphor is only a verbal sign; a symbol is a thing that signifies another thing, but a metaphor is a word used to indicate something different from its proper meaning. Finally, in current language, we are constantly passing from the part to the whole, and, by a perfectly natural figure of speech, we use the word heart to designate a person. These ideas will aid us in determining the object of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
(b) The question lies between the material, the metaphorical, and the symbolic sense of the word heart; whether the object of the devotion is the Heart of flesh, as such, or the love of Jesus Christ metaphorically signified by the word heart; or the Heart of flesh, but as symbol of the emotional and moral life of Jesus, and especially His love for us. We reply that worship is rightly paid to the Heart of flesh, inasmuch as the latter symbolizes and recalls the love of Jesus, and His emotional and moral life. Thus, although directed to the material Heart, it does not stop there: it also includes love, that love which is its principal object, but which it reaches only in and through the Heart of flesh, the sign and symbol of this love. Devotion to the Heart of Jesus alone, as to a noble part of His Divine Body, would not be devotion to the Sacred Heart as understood and approved by the Church, and the same must also be said of devotion to the love of Jesus as detached from His Heart of flesh, or else connected therewith by no other tie than that of a word taken in the metaphorical sense. Hence, in the devotion, there are two elements: a sensible element, the Heart of flesh, and a spiritual element, that which this Heart of flesh recalls and represents. But these two elements do not form two distinct objects, merely co-ordinated they constitute but one, just as do the body and soul, and the sign and the thing signified. Hence it is also understood that these two elements are as essential to the devotion as body and soul are essential to man. Of the two elements constituting the whole, the principal one is love, which is as much the cause of the devotion and its reason for existence as the soul is the principal element in man. Consequently, devotion to the Sacred Heart may be defined as devotion to the adorable Heart of Jesus Christ in so far as this Heart represents and recalls His love; or, what amounts to the same thing, devotion to the love of Jesus Christ in so far as this love is recalled and symbolically represented to us by His Heart of flesh.
(c) Hence the devotion is based entirely upon the symbolism of the heart. It is this symbolism that imparts to its meaning and its unity, and this symbolism is admirably completed by the representation of the Heart as wounded. Since the Heart of Jesus appears to us as the sensible sign of His love, the visible wound in the Heart will naturally recall the invisible wound of this love. This symbolism also explains that the devotion, although giving the Heart an essential place, is but little concerned with the anatomy of the heart or with physiology. Since, in images of the Sacred Heart, the symbolic expression must dominate all else, anatomical accuracy is not looked for; it would injure the devotion by rendering the symbolism less evident. It is eminently proper that the heart as an emblem be distinguished from the anatomical heart: the suitableness of the image is favourable to the expression of the idea. A visible heart is necessary for an image of the Sacred Heart, but this visible heart must be a symbolic heart. Similar observations are in order for physiology, in which the devotion cannot be totally disinterested, because the Heart of Flesh toward which the worship is directed in order to read therein the love of Jesus, is the Heart of Jesus, the real, living Heart that, in all truth, may be said to have loved and suffered; the Heart that, as we feel ourselves, had such a share in His emotional and moral life; the Heart that, as we know from a knowledge, however rudimentary, of the operations of our human life, had such a part in the operations of the Master's life. But the relation of the Heart to the love of Christ is not that of a purely conventional sign, as in the relation of the word to the thing, or of the flag to the idea of one's country; this Heart has been and is still inseparably connected with that life of benefactions and love. However, it is sufficient for our devotion that we know and feel this intimate connection. We have nothing to do with the physiology of the Sacred Heart nor with determining the exact functions of the heart in daily life. We know that the symbolism of the heart is a symbolism founded upon reality and that it constitutes the special object of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, which devotion is in no danger of falling into error.
(d) The heart is, above all, the emblem of love, and by this characteristic, the devotion to the Sacred Heart is naturally defined. However, being directed to the loving Heart of Jesus, it naturally encounters whatever in Jesus is connected with this love. Now, was not this love the motive of all that Christ did and suffered? Was not all His inner, even more than His outward, life dominated by this love? On the other hand, the devotion to the Sacred Heart, being directed to the living Heart of Jesus, thus becomes familiar with the whole inner life of the Master, with all His virtues and sentiments, finally, with Jesus infinitely loving and lovable. Hence, a first extension of the devotion is from the loving Heart to the intimate knowledge of Jesus, to His sentiments and virtues, to His whole emotional and moral life; from the loving Heart to all the manifestations of Its love. There is still another extension which, although having the same meaning, is made in another way, that is by passing from the Heart to the Person, a transition which, as we have seen, is very naturally made. When speaking of a large heart our allusion is to the person, just as when we mention the Sacred Heart we mean Jesus. This is not, however, because the two are synonymous but when the word heart is used to designate the person, it is because such a person is considered in whatsoever related to his emotional and moral life. Thus, when we designate Jesus as the Sacred Heart, we mean Jesus manifesting His Heart, Jesus all loving and amiable. Jesus entire is thus recapitulated in the Sacred Heart as all is recapitulated in Jesus.
(e) In thus devoting oneself to Jesus all loving and lovable, one cannot fail to observe that His love is rejected. God is constantly lamenting that in Holy Writ, and the saints have always heard within their hearts the plaint of unrequited love. Indeed one of the essential phases of the devotion is that it considers the love of Jesus for us as a despised, ignored love. He Himself revealed this when He complained so bitterly to St. Margaret Mary.
(f) This love is everywhere manifest in Jesus and in His life, and it alone can explain Him together with His words and His acts. Nevertheless, it shines forth more resplendently in certain mysteries from which great good accrues to us, and in which Jesus is more lavish of His loving benefactions and more complete in His gift of self, namely, in the Incarnation, in the Passion, and in the Eucharist. Moreover, these mysteries have a place apart in the devotion which, everywhere seeking Jesus and the signs of His love and favours, finds them here to an even greater extent than in particular acts.
(g) We have already seen that devotion to the Sacred Heart, being directed to the Heart of Jesus as the emblem of love, has mainly in view His love for men. This is obviously not that it excludes His love for God, for this included in His love for men, but it is above all the devotion to "the Heart that has so loved men", according to the words quoted by St. Margaret Mary.
(h) Finally, the question arises as to whether the love which we honour in this devotion is that with which Jesus loves us as Man or that with which He loves us as God; whether it is created or uncreated, His human or His Divine Love. Undoubtedly it is the love of God made Man, the love of the Incarnate Word. However, it does not seem that devout persons think of separating these two loves any more than they separate the two natures in Jesus. Besides, even though we might wish to settle this part of the question at any cost, we would find that the opinions of authors are at variance. Some, considering that the Heart of Flesh is connected with human love only, conclude that it does not symbolize Divine love which, moreover, is not proper to the Person of Jesus, and that, therefore, Divine love is not the direct object of the devotion. Others, while admitting that Divine love apart from the Incarnate Word is not the object of the devotion, believe it to be such when considered as the love of the Incarnate Word, and they do not see why this love also could not be symbolized by the Heart of flesh nor why, in this event, the devotion should be limited to created love only.


Foundations of the devotion

The question may be considered under three aspects: the historical, the theological, and the scientific.
(a) Historical foundations
In approving the devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Church did not trust to the visions of St. Margaret Mary; she made abstraction of these and examined the worship in itself. Margaret Mary's visions could be false, but the devotion would not, on that account, be any less worthy or solid. However, the fact is that the devotion was propagated chiefly under the influence of the movement started at Paray-le-Monial; and prior to her beatification, Margaret Mary's visions were most critically examined by the Church, whose judgment in such cases does not involve her infallibility but implies only a human certainty sufficient to warrant consequent speech and action.
(b) Theological foundations
The Heart of Jesus, like all else that belongs to His Person, is worthy of adoration, but this would not be so if It were considered as isolated from this Person and as having no connection with It. But it is not thus that the Heart is considered, and, in his Bull "Auctorem fidei", 1794, Pius VI authoritatively vindicated the devotion in this respect against the calumnies of the Jansenists. The worship, although paid to the Heart of Jesus, extends further than the Heart of flesh, being directed to the love of which this Heart is the living and expressive symbol. On this point the devotion requires no justification, as it is to the Person of Jesus that it is directed; but to the Person as inseparable from His Divinity. Jesus, the living apparition of the goodness of God and of His paternal love, Jesus infinitely loving and amiable, studied in the principal manifestations of His love, is the object of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, as indeed He is the object of the Christian religion. The difficulty lies in the union of the heart and love, in the relation which the devotion supposes between the one and the other. Is not this an error long since discarded? If so, it remains to examine whether the devotion, considered in this respect, is well founded.
(c) Philosophical and scientific foundations
In this respect there has been some uncertainty amongst theologians, not as regards the basis of things, but in the matter of explanations. Sometimes they have spoken as if the heart were the organ of love, but this point has no bearing on the devotion, for which it suffices that the heart be the symbol of love, and that, for the basis of the symbolism, a real connection exist between the heart and the emotions. Now, the symbolism of the heart is a fact and every one feels that in the heart there is a sort of an echo of our sentiments. The physiological study of this resonance may be very interesting, but it is in no wise necessary to the devotion, as its foundation is a fact attested by daily experience, a fact which physiological study confirms and of which it determines the conditions, but which neither supposes this study nor any special acquaintance with its subject.

The proper act of the devotion

This act is required by the very object of the devotion, since devotion to the love of Jesus for us should be pre-eminently a devotion of love for Jesus. It is characterized by a reciprocation of love; its aim is to love Jesus who has so loved us, to return love for love. Since, moreover, the love of Jesus manifests itself to the devout soul as a love despised and outraged, especially in the Eucharist, the love expressed in the devotion naturally assumes a character of reparation, and hence the importance of acts of atonement, the Communion of reparation, and compassion for Jesus suffering. But no special act, no practice whatever, can exhaust the riches of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. The love which is its soul embraces all and, the better one understands it, the more firmly is he convinced that nothing can vie with it for making Jesus live in us and for bringing him who lives by it to love God, in union with Jesus, with all his heart, all his soul, all his strength.


Historical ideas on the development of the devotion

(1) From the time of St. John and St. Paul there has always been in the Church something like devotion to the love of God, Who so loved the world as to give it His only-begotten Son, and to the love of Jesus, Who has so loved us as to deliver Himself up for us. But, accurately speaking, this is not the devotion to the Sacred Heart, as it pays no homage to the Heart of Jesus as the symbol of His love for us. From the earliest centuries, in accordance with the example of the Evangelist, Christ's open side and the mystery of blood and water were meditated upon, and the Church was beheld issuing from the side of Jesus, as Eve came forth from the side of Adam. But there is nothing to indicate that, during the first ten centuries, any worship was rendered the wounded Heart.
(2) It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Through the wound in the side of the wound Heart was gradually reached, and the wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of love. It was in the fervent atmosphere of the Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries, in the world of Anselmian or Bernardine thought, that the devotion arose, although it is impossible to say positively what were its first texts or were its first votaries. To St. Gertrude, St. Mechtilde, and the author of the "Vitis mystica" it was already well known. We cannot state with certainty to whom we are indebted for the "Vitis mystica". Until recent times its authorship had generally been ascribed to St. Bernard and yet, by the late publishers of the beautiful and scholarly Quaracchi edition, it has been attributed, and not without plausible reasons, to St. Bonaventure ("S. Bonaventura opera omnia", 1898, VIII, LIII sq.). But, be this as it may, it contains one of the most beautiful passages that ever inspired the devotion to the Sacred Heart, one appropriated by the Church for the lessons of the second nocturn of the feast. To St. Mechtilde (d. 1298) and St. Gertrude (d. 1302) it was a familiar devotion which was translated into many beautiful prayers and exercises. What deserves special mention is the vision of St. Gertrude on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, as it forms an epoch in the history of the devotion. Allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Saviour's she heard the beating of the Divine Heart and asked John if, on the night of the Last Supper, he too had felt these delightful pulsations, why he had never spoken of the fact. John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need of it to rekindle its love ("Legatus divinae pietatis", IV, 305; "Revelationes Gertrudianae", ed. Poitiers and Paris, 1877).
(3) From the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, the devotion was propagated but it did not seem to have developed in itself. It was everywhere practised by privileged souls, and the lives of the saints and annals of different religious congregations, of the Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians, etc., furnish many examples of it. It was nevertheless a private, individual devotion of the mystical order. Nothing of a general movement had been inaugurated, unless one would so regard the propagation of the devotion to the Five Wounds, in which the Wound in the Heart figured most prominently, and for the furtherance of which the Franciscans seem to have laboured.
(4) It appears that in the sixteenth century, the devotion took an onward step and passed from the domain of mysticism into that of Christian asceticism. It was constituted an objective devotion with prayers already formulated and special exercises of which the value was extolled and the practice commended. This we learn from the writings of those two masters of the spiritual life, the pious Lanspergius (d. 1539) of the Carthusians of Cologne, and the devout Louis of Blois (Blosius; 1566), a Benedictine and Abbot of Liessies in Hainaut. To these may be added Blessed John of Avila (d. 1569) and St. Francis de Sales, the latter belonging to the seventeenth century.
(5) From that time everything betokened an early bringing to light of the devotion. Ascetic writers spoke of it, especially those of the Society of Jesus, Alvarez de Paz, Luis de la Puente, Saint-Jure, and Nouet, and there still exist special treatises upon it such as Father Druzbicki's (d. 1662) small work, "Meta Cordium, Cor Jesu". Amongst the mystics and pious souls who practised the devotion were St. Francis Borgia, Blessed Peter Canisius, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, of the Society of Jesus; also Venerable Marina de Escobar (d. 1633), in Spain; the Venerable Madeleine St. Joseph and the Venerable Marguerite of the Blessed Sacrament, Carmelites, in France; Jeanne de S. Mathieu Deleloe (d. 1660), a Benedictine, in Belgium; the worthy Armelle of Vannes (d. 1671); and even in Jansenistic or worldly centres, Marie de Valernod (d. 1654) and Angélique Arnauld; M. Boudon, the great archdeacon of Evreux, Father Huby, the apostle of retreats in Brittany, and, above all, the Venerable Marie de l'Incarnation, who died at Quebec in 1672. The Visitation seemed to be awaiting St. Margaret Mary; its spirituality, certain intuitions of St. Francis de Sales, the meditations of Mère l'Huillier (d. 1655), the visions of Mother Anne-Marguerite Clément (d. 1661), and of Sister Jeanne-Bénigne Gojos (d. 1692), all paved the way. The image of the Heart of Jesus was everywhere in evidence, which fact was largely due to the Franciscan devotion to the Five Wounds and to the habit formed by the Jesuits of placing the image on their title-page of their books and the walls of their churches.
(6) Nevertheless, the devotion remained an individual or at least a private devotion. It was reserved to Blessed Jean Eudes (1602-1680) to make it public, to honour it with an Office, and to establish a feast for it. Père Eudes was above all the apostle of the Heart of Mary; but in his devotion to the Immaculate Heart there was a share for the Heart of Jesus. Little by little the devotion to the Sacred Heart became a separate one, and on 31 August, 1670, the first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated with great solemnity in the Grand Seminary of Rennes. Coutances followed suit on 20 October, a day with which the Eudist feast was thenceforth to be connected. The feast soon spread to other dioceses, and the devotion was likewise adopted in various religious communities. Here and there it came into contact with the devotion begun at Paray, and a fusion of the two naturally resulted.
(7) It was to Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a humble Visitandine of the monastery at Paray-le-Monial, that Christ chose to reveal the desires of His Heart and to confide the task of imparting new life to the devotion. There is nothing to indicate that this pious religious had known the devotion prior to the revelations, or at least that she had paid any attention to it. These revelations were numerous, and the following apparitions are especially remarkable: that which occurred on the feast of St. John, when Jesus permitted Margaret Mary, as He had formerly allowed St. Gertrude, to rest her head upon His Heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of His goodness, and that He had chosen her for this work (27 Dec., probably 1673); that, probably distinct from the preceding, in which He requested to be honoured under the figure of His Heart of flesh; that, when He appeared radiant with love and asked for a devotion of expiatory lovefrequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour (probably June or July, 1674); that known as the "great apparition" which took place during the octave of Corpus Christi, 1675, probably on 16 June, when He said, "Behold the Heart that has so loved men . . . instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of mankind) only ingratitude . . .", and asked her for a feast of reparation of the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, bidding her consult Father de la Colombière, then superior of the small Jesuit house at Paray; and finally, those in which solemn homage was asked on the part of the king, and the mission of propagating the new devotion was especially confided to the religious of the Visitation and the priests of the Society of Jesus. A few days after the "great apparition", of June, 1675, Margaret Mary made all known to Father de la Colombière, and the latter, recognizing the action of the spirit of God, consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart, directed the holy Visitandine to write an account of the apparition, and made use of every available opportunity discreetly to circulate this account through France and England. At his death, 15 February 1682, there was found in his journal of spiritual retreats a copy in his own handwriting of the account that he had requested of Margaret Mary, together with a few reflections on the usefulness of the devotion. This journal, including the account and a beautiful "offering" to the Sacred Heart, in which the devotion was well explained, was published at Lyons in 1684. The little book was widely read, even at Paray, although not without being the cause of "dreadful confusion" to Margaret Mary, who, nevertheless, resolved to make the best of it and profited by the book for the spreading of her cherished devotion. Moulins, with Mother de Soudeilles, Dijon, with Mother de Saumaise and Sister Joly, Semur, with Mother Greyfié, and even Paray, which had at first resisted, joined the movement. Outside of the Visitandines, priests, religious, and laymen espoused the cause, particularly a Capuchin, Margaret Mary's two brothers, and some Jesuits, among the latter being Fathers Croiset and Gallifet, who were destined to do so much for the devotion.
(8) The death of Margaret Mary, 17 October 1690, did not dampen the ardour of those interested; on the contrary, a short account of her life published by Father Croiset in 1691, as an appendix to his book "De la Dévotion au Sacré Cœur", served only to increase it. In spite of all sorts of obstacles, and of the slowness of the Holy See, which in 1693 imparted indulgences to the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart and, in 1697, granted the feast to the Visitandines with the Mass of the Five Wounds, but refused a feast common to all, with special Mass and Office, the devotion spread, particularly in religious communities. The Marseilles plague, 1720, furnished perhaps the first occasion for a solemn consecration and public worship outside of religious communities. Other cities of the South followed the example of Marseilles, and thus the devotion became a popular one. In 1726 it was deemed advisable once more to importune Rome for a feast with a Mass and Office of its own, but, in 1729, Rome again refused. However, in 1765, it finally yielded and that same year, at the request of the queen, the feast was received quasi officially by the episcopate of France. On all sides it was asked for and obtained, and finally, in 1856, at the urgent entreaties of the French bishops, Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the universal Church under the rite of double major. In 1889 it was raised by the Church to the double rite of first class. The acts of consecration and of reparation were everywhere introduced together with the devotion. Oftentimes, especially since about 1850, groups, congregations, and States have consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart, and, in 1875, this consecration was made throughout the Catholic world. Still the pope did not wish to take the initiative or to intervene. Finally, on 11 June, 1899, by order of Leo XIII, and with the formula prescribed by him, all mankind was solemnly consecrated to the Sacred Heart. The idea of this act, which Leo XIII called "the great act" of his pontificate, had been proposed to him by a religious of the Good Shepherd from Oporto (Portugal) who said that she had received it from Christ Himself. She was a member of the Drost-zu-Vischering family, and known in religion as Sister Mary of the Divine Heart. She died on the feast of the Sacred Heart, two days before the consecration, which had been deferred to the following Sunday. Whilst alluding to these great public manifestations we must not omit referring to the intimate life of the devotion in souls, to the practices connected with it, and to the works and associations of which it was the very life. Moreover, we must not overlook the social character which it has assumed particularly of late years. The Catholics of France, especially, cling firmly to it as one of their strongest hopes of ennoblement and salvation.
Source: New Advent


Please be sure to Watch my extensive Meditational Series on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St Bernard: (Military Orders) In Praise of the New Knighthood Part Two

St Bernard: (Military Orders) In Praise of the New Knighthood
Part Two
 
The following passages are taken from a treatise written in the early 12th century by the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, on behalf of the fledgling Knights Templar. It might be viewed as a combination of exhortation to the Knights, and advertisement to the population in general. Officially it is an answer to a letter written to Bernard by his friend Hugh de Payens, one of the founders of the Templars. 
 
CHAPTER THREE
ON THE NEW KNIGHTHOOD
BUT THE KNIGHTS OF CHRIST may safely fight the battles of their Lord, fearing neither sin if they smite the enemy, nor danger at their own death; since to inflict death or to die for Christ is no sin, but rather, an abundant claim to glory. In the first case one gains for Christ, and in the second one gains Christ himself. The Lord freely accepts the death of the foe who has offended him, and yet more freely gives himself for the consolation of his fallen knight.
The knight of Christ, I say, may strike with confidence and die yet more confidently, for he serves Christ when he strikes, and serves himself when he falls. Neither does he bear the sword in vain, for he is God's minister, for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good. If he kills an evildoer, he is not a mankiller, but, if I may so put it, a killer of evil. He is evidently the avenger of Christ towards evildoers and he is rightly considered a defender of Christians. Should he be killed himself, we know that he has not perished, but has come safely into port. When he inflicts death it is to Christ's profit, and when he suffers death, it is for his own gain. The Christian glories in the death of the pagan, because Christ is glorified; while the death of the Christian gives occasion for the King to show his liberality in the rewarding of his knight. In the one case the just shall rejoice when he sees justice done, and in the other man shall say, truly there is a reward for the just; truly it is God who judges the earth.
I do not mean to say that the pagans are to be slaughtered when there is any other way to prevent them from harassing and persecuting the faithful, but only that it now seems better to destroy them than that the rod of sinners be lifted over the lot of the just, and the righteous perhaps put forth their hands unto iniquity.
What then? If it is never permissible for a Christian to strike with the sword, why did the Savior's precursor bid the soldiers to be content with their pay, and not rather forbid them to follow this calling? But if it is permitted to all those so destined by God, as is indeed the case provided they have not embraced a higher calling, to whom, I ask, may it be allowed more rightly than to those whose hands and hearts hold for us Sion, the city of our strength?
Thus when the transgressors of divine law have been expelled, the righteous nation that keeps the truth may enter in security. Certainly it is proper that the nations who love war should be scattered, that those who trouble us should be cut off, and that all the workers of iniquity should be dispersed from the city of the Lord. They busy themselves to carry away the incalculable riches placed in Jerusalem by the Christian peoples, to profane the holy things and to possess the sanctuary of God as their heritage. Let both swords of the faithful fall upon the necks of the foe, in order to destroy every high thing exalting itself against the knowledge of God, which is the Christian faith, lest the Gentiles should then say, "Where is their God?"
Once they have been cast out, he shall return to his heritage and to his house, which aroused his anger in the Gospel, "Behold," he said, "your house is left to you desolate." He had complained through the Prophet: "I have left my house, I have forsaken my heritage," and he will fulfill that other prophecy: "The Lord has ransomed his people and delivered them. They shall come and exult on Mount Sion, and rejoice in the good things of the Lord."
Rejoice Jerusalem, and recognize now the time in which you are visited! Be glad and give praise together, wastes of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people. He has ransomed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm in the sight of all peoples. O virgin of Israel, you were fallen and there was none to raise you up. Arise now and shake off the dust, O virgin, captive daughter of Sion. Arise, I say, and stand on high. See the happiness which comes to you from your God. You will no longer be referred to as the forsaken one, nor your land any more termed a wilderness; for the Lord takes his delight in you, and your land shall be peopled. Raise your eyes, look about you and see; all these are gathered together and come to you. Here is the help sent to you from the Holy One! Through them is already fulfilled the ancient promise, "I will make you the pride of the ages, a joy from generation to generation. You will suck the milk of the nations and be nourished at the breasts of their sovereignty." And again, "As a mother consoles her children, so will I console you, and in Jerusalem you will be comforted."
Do you not see how frequently these ancient witnesses foreshadowed the new knighthood? Truly, as we have heard, so we have now seen in the city of the Lord of armies. Of course we must not let these literal fulfillments blind us to the spiritual meaning of the texts, for we must live in eternal hope in spite of such temporal realizations of prophetic utterances. Otherwise the tangible would supplant the intangible, material poverty would threaten spiritual wealth and present possessions would forestall future fulfillment. Furthermore, the temporal glory of the earthly city does not eclipse the glory of its heavenly counterpart, but rather prepares for it, at least so long as we remember that the one is the figure of the other, and that it is the heavenly one which is our mother.


CHAPTER FOUR
ON THE LIFE STYLE OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE TEMPLE
AND NOW AS A MODEL, or at least for the shame of those knights of ours who are fighting for the devil rather than for God, we will briefly set forth the life and virtues of these cavaliers of Christ. Let us see how they conduct themselves at home as well as in battle, how they appear in public, and in what way the knight of God differs from the knight of the world.
In the first place, discipline is in no way lacking and obedience is never despised. As Scripture testifies, the undisciplined son shall perish and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, to refuse obedience is like the crime of idolatry. Therefore they come and go at the bidding of their superior. They wear what he gives them, and do not presume to wear or to eat anything from another source. Thus they shun every excess in clothing and food and content themselves with what is necessary. They live as brothers in joyful and sober company, without wives or children. So that their evangelical perfection will lack nothing, they dwell united in one family with no personal property whatever, careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. You may say that the whole multitude has but one heart and one soul to the point that nobody follows his own will, but rather seeks to follow the commander.
They never sit in idleness or wander about aimlessly, but on the rare occasions when they are not on duty, they are always careful to earn their bread by repairing their worn armor and torn clothing, or simply by setting things to order. For the rest, they are guided by the common needs and by the orders of their master.
There is no distinction of persons among them, and deference is shown to merit rather than to noble blood. They rival one another in mutual consideration, and they carry one another's burdens, thus fulfilling the law of Christ. No inappropriate word, idle deed, unrestrained laugh, not even the slightest whisper or murmur is left uncorrected once it has been detected. They foreswear dice and chess, and abhor the chase; they take no delight in the ridiculous cruelty of falconry, as is the custom. As for jesters, magicians, bards, troubadours and jousters, they despise and reject them as so many vanities and unsound deceptions. Their hair is worn short, in conformity with the Apostle's saying, that it is shameful for a man to cultivate flowing locks. Indeed, they seldom wash and never set their hair--content to appear tousled and dusty, bearing the marks of the sun and of their armor.
8. When the battle is at hand, they arm themselves interiorly with faith and exteriorly with steel rather than decorate themselves with gold, since their business is to strike fear in the enemy rather than to incite his cupidity. They seek out horses which are strong and swift, rather than those which are brilliant and well-plumed, they set their minds on fighting to win rather than on parading for show. They think not of glory and seek to be formidable rather than flamboyant. At the same time, they are not quarrelsome, rash, or unduly hasty, but soberly, prudently and providently drawn up into orderly ranks, as we read of the fathers. Indeed, the true Israelite is a man of peace, even when he goes forth to battle.
Once he finds himself in the thick of battle, this knight sets aside his previous gentleness, as if to say, "Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord; am I not disgusted with your enemies?" These men at once fall violently upon the foe, regarding them as so many sheep. No matter how outnumbered they are, they never regard these as fierce barbarians or as awe-inspiring hordes. Nor do they presume on their own strength, but trust in the Lord of armies to grant them the victory. They are mindful of the words of Maccabees, "It is simple enough for a multitude to be vanquished by a handful. It makes no difference to the God of heaven whether he grants deliverance by the hands of few or many; for victory in war is not dependent on a big army, and bravery is the gift of heaven." On numerous occasions they had seen one man pursue a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.
Thus in a wonderous and unique manner they appear gentler than lambs, yet fiercer than lions. I do not know if it would be more appropriate to refer to them as monks or as soldiers, unless perhaps it would be better to recognize them as being both. Indeed they lack neither monastic meekness nor military might. What can we say of this, except that this has been done by the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes. These are the picked troops of God, whom he has recruited from the ends of the earth; the valiant men of Israel chosen to guard well and faithfully that tomb which is the bed of the true Solomon, each man sword in hand, and superbly trained to war.
 
 CHAPTER FIVE
THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM
THEIR QUARTERS indeed are in the very temple of Jerusalem, which is not as vast as the ancient masterpiece of Solomon, but is no less glorious. Truly all the magnificence of the first temple lay in perishable gold and silver, in polished stones and precious woods; whereas all the beauty and gracious charming adornment of its present counterpart is the religious fervor of its occupants and by their well-disciplined behavior. In the former, one could contemplate all sorts of beautiful colors, while in the latter one is able to venerate all sorts of virtues and good works. Indeed holiness is the fitting ornament for God's house. One is able to delight there in splendid merits rather than in shining marble, and to be captivated by pure hearts rather than by gilded paneling.
Of course the facade of this temple is adorned, but with weapons rather than with jewels, and in place of the ancient golden crowns, its walls are hung round about with shields. In place of candlesticks, censers and ewers, this house is well furnished with saddles, bits and lances. By all these signs our knights clearly show that they are animated by the same zeal for the house of God which of old passionately inflamed their leader himself when he armed his most holy hands, not indeed with a sword, but with a whip. Having fashioned this from some lengths of cord, he entered the temple and ejected the merchants, scattered the coins of the money changers, and overturned the chairs of the pigeon venders, considering it most unfitting to defile this house of prayer by such traffic.
Moved therefore by their King's example, his devoted soldiers consider that it is even more shameful and infinitely more intolerable for a holy place to be polluted by pagans than to be crowded with merchants. Once they have installed themselves in this holy house with their horses and their weapons, cleansed it and the other holy places of every un-Christian stain, and cast out the tyrannical horde, they occupy themselves day and night in both pious exercises and practical work. They are especially careful to honor the temple of God with zealous and sincere reverence, offering by their devout service, not the flesh of animals according to the ancient rites, but true peace offerings of brotherly love, devoted obedience and voluntary poverty.
10. These events at Jerusalem have shaken the world. The islands hearken, and the people from afar give ear. They swarm forth from East and West, as a flood stream bringing glory to the nations and a rushing river gladdening the city of God. What could be more profitable and pleasant to behold than seeing such a multitude coming to reinforce the few? What, if not the twofold joy of seeing the conversion of these former impious rogues, sacrilegious thieves, murderers, perjurers and adulterers? A twofold joy and a twofold benefit, since their countrymen are as glad to be rid of them as their new comrades are to receive them. Both sides have profited from this exchange, since the latter are strengthened and the former are now left in peace. Thus Egypt rejoices in their conversion and departure while Mount Sion rejoices and the daughters of Juda are glad to acquire these new protectors. The former glory in being delivered from their hands, while the latter have every reason to expect deliverance by means of these same hands. The former gladly see their cruel despoilers depart, while the latter gladly welcome their faithful defenders; so that the one is agreeably heartened, while the other is profitably abandoned.
This is the revenge which Christ contrives against his enemies, to triumph powerfully and gloriously over them by their own means. Indeed, it is both a happy and fitting thing that those who have so long fought against him should at last fight for him. Thus he recruits his soldiers among his foes, just as he once turned Saul the persecutor into Paul the preacher. Therefore I am not surprised that, as our Savior himself has affirmed, the court of heaven takes more joy in the conversion of one sinner than in the virtues of many just men who have no need of conversion. Certainly the conversion of so many sinners and evil doers will now do as much good as their former misdeeds did harm.
11. Hail then, holy city, sanctified by the Most High for his own tabernacle in order that such a generation might be saved in and through you! Hail, city of the great King, source of so many joyous and unheard-of marvels! Hail mistress of nations and queen of provinces, heritage of patriarchs, mother of apostles and prophets, source of the faith and glory of the Christian people! If God has permitted you to be so often besieged, it has only been to furnish brave men an occasion for valor and immortality.
Hail promised land, source of milk and honey for your ancient inhabitants, now become the source of healing grace and vital sustenance for the whole earth! Yes, I say, you are that good and excellent soil which received into its fruitful depths the heavenly seed from the heart of the eternal Father. What a rich harvest of martyrs you have produced from that heavenly seed! Your fertile soil has not failed to furnish splendid examples of every Christian virtue for the whole earth--some bearing fruit thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundredfold. Therefore those who have seen you are most happily filled with the great abundance of your sweetness and are well nourished on your munificent bounty. Everywhere they go they publish the fame of your great goodness and relate the splendors of your glory to those who have never seen it, proclaiming the marvels accomplished in you even to the ends of the earth.
Indeed, glorious things are told of you, city of God! Now then we will set forth something of the delights in which you abound, for the praise and glory of your name.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

St Bernard: (Military Orders) In Praise of the New Knighthood Part One

St Bernard: (Military Orders) In Praise of the New Knighthood
Part One


The following passage is taken from a treatise written in the early 12th century by the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, on behalf of the fledgling Knights Templar. It might be viewed as a combination of exhortation to the Knights, and advertisement to the population in general. Officially it is an answer to a letter written to Bernard by his friend Hugh de Payens, one of the founders of the Templars.
 The full text, along with comprehensive notes, may be found in The Cistercian Fathers Series: Number Nineteen, The Works of Bernard of Clairvaux: Volume Seven, Treatises III, translated by Conrad Greenia, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Mich., 1977.
 

Prologue
TO HUGH, KNIGHT OF CHRIST AND MASTER OF CHRIST'S MILITIA: BERNARD, IN NAME ONLY, ABBOT OF CLAIRVAUS, WISHES THAT HE MIGHT FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN, MY DEAR HUGH, you have asked me not once or twice, but three times to write a few words of exhortation for you and your comrades. You say that if I am not permitted to wield the lance, at least I might direct my pen against the tyrannical foe, and that this moral, rather than material support of mine will be of no small help to you. I have put you off now for quite some time, not that I disdain your request, but rather lest I be blamed for taking it lightly and hastily. I feared I might botch a task which could be better done by a more qualified hand, and which would perhaps remain, because of me, just as necessary and all the more difficult.
Having waited thus for quite some time to no purpose, I have now done what I could, lest my inability should be mistaken for unwillingness. It is for the reader to judge the result. If some perhaps find my work unsatisfactory or short of the mark, I shall be nonetheless content, since I have not failed to give you my best.

 
CHAPTER ONE
A WORD OF EXHORTATION FOR THE KNIGHTS OF THE TEMPLE
IT SEEMS THAT A NEW KNIGHTHOOD has recently appeared on the earth, and precisely in that part of it which the Orient from on high visited in the flesh. As he then troubled the princes of darkness in the strength of his mighty hand, so there he now wipes out their followers, the children of disbelief, scattering them by the hands of his mighty ones. Even now he brings about the redemption of his people raising up again a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.
This is, I say, a new kind of knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by. It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the heavens. When someone strongly resists a foe in the flesh, relying solely on the strength of the flesh, I would hardly remark it, since this is common enough. And when war is waged by spiritual strength against vices or demons, this, too, is nothing remarkable, praiseworthy as it is, for the world is full of monks. But when the one sees a man powerfully girding himself with both swords and nobly marking his belt, who would not consider it worthy of all wonder, the more so since it has been hitherto unknown? He is truly a fearless knight and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armor of faith just as his body is protected by armor of steel. He is thus doubly armed and need fear neither demons nor men. Not that he fears death--no, he desires it. Why should he fear to live or fear to die when for him to live is Christ, and to die is gain? Gladly and faithfully he stands for Christ, but he would prefer to be dissolved and to be with Christ, by far the better thing.
Go forth confidently then, you knights, and repel the foes of the cross of Christ with a stalwart heart. Know that neither death nor life can separate you from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ, and in every peril repeat, "Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's." What a glory to return in victory from such a battle! How blessed to die there as a martyr! Rejoice, brave athlete, if you live and conquer in the Lord; but glory and exult even more if you die and join your Lord. Life indeed is a fruitful thing and victory is glorious, but a holy death is more important than either. If they are blessed who die in the Lord, how much more are they who die for the Lord!
2. To be sure, precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones, whether they die in battle or in bed, but death in battle is more precious as it is the more glorious. How secure is life when the conscience is unsullied! How secure, I say, is life when death is anticipated without fear; or rather when it is desired with feeling and embraced with reverence! How holy and secure this knighthood and how entirely free of the double risk run by those men who fight not for Christ! Whenever you go forth, O worldly warrior, you must fear lest the bodily death of your foe should mean your own spiritual death, or lest perhaps your body and soul together should be slain by him.
Indeed, danger or victory for a Christian depends on the dispositions of his heart and not on the fortunes of war. If he fights for a good reason, the issue of his fight can never be evil; and likewise the results can never be considered good if the reason were evil and the intentions perverse. If you happen to be killed while you are seeking only to kill another, you die a murderer. If you succeed, and by your will to overcome and to conquer you perchance kill a man, you live a murderer. Now it will not do to be a murderer, living or dead, victorious or vanquished. What an unhappy victory--to have conquered a man while yielding to vice, and to indulge in an empty glory at his fall when wrath and pride have gotten the better of you!
But what of those who kill neither in the heat of revenge nor in the swelling of pride, but simply in order to save themselves? Even this sort of victory I would not call good, since bodily death is really a lesser evil than spiritual death. The soul need not die when the body does. No, it is the soul which sins that shall die.

CHAPTER TWO
ON WORLDLY KNIGHTHOOD
WHAT, THEN IS THE END OR FRUIT of this worldly knighthood, or rather knavery, as I should call it? What if not the mortal sin of the victor and the eternal death of the vanquished? Well then, let me borrow a word from the Apostle and exhort him who plows, to plow in hope, and him who threshes, to do so in view of some fruit.
What then, O knights, is this monstrous error and what this unbearable urge which bids you fight with such pomp and labor, and all to no purpose except death and sin? You cover your horses with silk, and plume your armor with I know not what sort of rags; you paint your shields and your saddles; you adorn your bits and spurs with gold and silver and precious stones, and then in all this glory you rush to your ruin with fearful wrath and fearless folly. Are these the trappings of a warrior or are they not rather the trinkets of a woman? Do you think the swords of your foes will be turned back by your gold, spare your jewels or be unable to pierce your silks?
As you yourselves have often certainly experienced, a warrior especially needs these three things--he must guard his person with strength, shrewdness and care; he must be free in his movements, and he must be quick to draw his sword. Then why do you blind yourselves with effeminate locks and trip yourselves up with long and full tunics, burying your tender, delicate hands in big cumbersome sleeves? Above all, there is that terrible insecurity of conscience, in spite of all your armor, since you have dared to undertake such a dangerous business on such slight and frivolous grounds. What else is the cause of wars and the root of disputes among you, except unreasonable flashes of anger, the thirst for empty glory, or the hankering after some earthly possessions? It certainly is not safe to kill or to be killed for such causes as these.

 
St. Bernard & the Crusade