Maur I have also recently been reading, more or less systematically, through the novels of Evelyn Waugh. It is a marvellous story, and Waugh tells it with all of the very considerable art at his disposal. If you are looking for some quick inspiration, I definitely recommend this book. His life of St.
|Published (Last):||16 December 2004|
|PDF File Size:||20.12 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||19.27 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Not to do so is cowardly and illegal, no matter what your bishop says! This book, moreover, will help us to see more clearly how we, too, must confront the mystery of iniquity today, to include the phenomenon of pervasive perfidy, which is sometimes so intrusive; and to do so without rash unwisdom or impetuous anger, but, rather, with high prudence and deeply abiding, intimate trust in the Providential Mercy of God rooted in the hearts of Christ and His Immaculate Mother, who will faithfully love us, and whom we must faithfully love, to the end.
The greater the evil that God allows, the greater the good He intends to bring out of it. To what extent will we promptly and wholeheartedly — and perseveringly — collaborate with that generous Divine Intention? With his characteristic modesty, G. Chesterton once compared his entrance into the Catholic Church in , only eight years before Waugh with the entrance into a Gothic Church.
Inside a Gothic Church it is even more spacious than from without — i. So, too, with the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church. From within the Church the spaciousness of the Faith is even greater and more intimate than when only seen from the outside. The life and times of Saint Edmund Campion are also seen with greater intimacy and spaciousness when seen from the inside of a beautiful book.
Campion stands out from even his most gallant and chivalrous contemporaries, from [Sir] Philip Sidney and Don John of Austria [hero of Lepanto], NOT as they stand above Hawkins [the English buccaneer-pirate] and Stukeley by a finer human temper, but by the supernatural grace that was in him. It was the work of the missionaries, and most particularly of Campion, to present by their own example a third supernatural solution. They came with gaiety among a people where hope was dead.
The past held only regret, and the future apprehension; they brought with them, besides their priestly dignity and indestructible creed, an entirely new spirit of which Campion is the type: the chivalry of Lepanto and the poetry of La Mancha, light, tender, generous and ardent. In the later Third Century A. That is what style does — it has the Egyptian secret of the embalmers.
It is not to be despised. He uses language, not to conceal, but to reveal reality. That is to say, both the exterior, and the interior, life of Campion.
Nor were there any Catholic bishops then in England who were not in prison. The recently elected new General of the Society of Jesus — the Fleming, Mercurianus — approved of this assignment, as well as his later mission to England. This is an important question, too, for us to reflect upon: to clarify our mind and principles, and to decide.
We, too, must be prepared for the test — for the spiritual and moral combat of martyrdom. But, it is hard to pass the test when the test keeps changing. He knew that Nature was not enough. Certainly not our Fallen Nature, wounded, concupiscent, and intellectually darkened. We know now that his age was a brief truce in the unending war.
How laboriously you came, taking sights and calculating, where the shepherds had run barefoot [to the Manger]! You came to the final stage of your pilgrimage …. What did you do? You stopped to call on King Herod. Deadly exchange of compliments in which there began that unended war of mobs and magistrates against the innocent! In fragments and whispers we get news of other saints in the prison camps of Eastern and South Eastern Europe, of cruelty and degradation more frightful than anything in Tudor England and of the same pure light [undiluted — like all purity] shining in the darkness, uncomprehended.
The hunted, trapped, murdered priest is amongst us again and the voice of Campion comes to us across the centuries as though he were walking at our side. Thomas Pounde, for the purpose of clarifying his true spiritual mission, should he be captured, to those who purportedly suspected him of treason. Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven for you daily by those English students [in Douai, of Flanders, in Rheims, and in Rome], whose posteritie shall never die, which beyond seas [in exile], gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose [to secure your salvation], are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes.
And touching our Societie [the Society of Jesus], be it known to you that we have made a league — all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practices of England — cheerfully [with hilaritas mentis] to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery [return to the Faith, conversion unto salvation], while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked [by that instrument of pain which hideously later stretched his own limbs apart] with your torments, or consumed with your prisons [the Tower of London].
The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the Faith was planted: so it must be restored. Waugh, then says, once again with a supernatural perspective: It is possible that one of his more worldly predecessors [as Pope] might have acted differently, or at another season, but it was the pride and slight embarrassment of the Church that, as has happened from time to time in her history, the See of Peter was at this moment occupied by a Saint.
It has been represented as a gesture of mediaevalism, futile in an age of new, vigorous nationalism, and its author as an ineffectual and deluded champion [like a Don Quixote], stumbling through the mists, in the ill-fitting, antiquated armour of Gregory [VII] and Innocent [III]; a disastrous figure, provoking instead of a few buffets for Sancho Panza the bloody ruin of English Catholicism.
He prayed earnestly about the situation in England, and saw it with complete clarity; it was a question [a quaestio disputata] that admitted of no doubt whatever. Elizabeth was illegitimate by birth, she had violated her [Catholic] coronation oath, deposed her [Catholic] bishops, issued a heretical Prayer Book and forbidden her subjects the comfort of the sacraments. No honourable Catholic could be expected to obey her. With eloquence and warm-heartedness he said: If these my offers [to be allowed an open, public Disputation about the Faith] be refused, and my endeavors can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to do you good [unto your salvation], shall be rewarded with rigour [mortal punishment], I have no more to say but to recommend [entrust] your case and mine to Almightie God, the Searcher of Hearts [Scrutator Cordium], who send us His grace, and set us at accord before the day of payment [the Final Judgment], to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.
It was no longer part of the public order and leadership of the realm. The vast exuberance of the Renaissance had been canalized. England was secure, independent, insular; the course of her history lay plain ahead: competitive nationalism, competitive industrialism, competitive imperialism, the looms and coal mines and [financial] counting houses, the joint-stock companies and the cantonments; the power and the weakness of great possessions.
Mindful of all of this, Helena was, as a good mother, warning her own son, as well — and drawing him to the Catholic Faith which she herself had so gratefully and winsomely embraced. Edmund Campion, too, was gradually drawn to the Faith.
Despite his early compromises with the new Anglican Establishment and the Elizabethan Settlement of the Tudor State, he always seemed to drink from deeper sources and was especially open to Grace, even while he was at St. He was different. There, but for the Grace of God, went Edmund Campion. It was spoken of, and in secret prayed for, as the supreme privilege of which only divine grace could make them worthy.
But it was with just this question, of his own worthiness, that Campion now became preoccupied. There is no record of the date of his formal reconciliation with the Church, but it is reasonable to assume that it occurred immediately on his arrival from England [i.
At Oxford and Dublin he had been, on the whole, very much more scrupulous of his honor than the majority; he had foresworn his convictions rarely and temperately; when most about him were wantonly throwing conscience to the winds and scrambling for the prizes, he had withdrawn decently from competition; but under the fiery wind of Douai these carefully guarded reserves of self-esteem dried up and crumbled away.
He [Campion] had left England, it may be supposed, in a mood of some pride and resentment; he was casting off the dust of ingratitude, taking his high talents where they would be better appreciated. Now in this devout community, at the hushed moment of the Mass, he realized the need for other gifts than civility and scholarship; he saw himself as a new-born, formless soul that could come to maturity only by long and especially sheltered growth.
Accipe memoriam, intellectum atque voluntatem omnem …. His own Passion, in the Providence of God, would be at Tyburn; his Cross would be the Gibbet and the butcher-work to follow. He came from a Catholic family and occasionally expressed Catholic sentiments, but until that day [1 December ] had kept a discreet distance from [George] Gilbert and his circle [who, at great risk to themselves, sheltered and conducted support operations for the hunted missionary priests], and was on good terms with authority.
Storey himself had also been condemned in May of ]. A schematic summary will serve our purpose, therefore, in an Appendix. By the first acts of the reign [of Queen Elizabeth] they had made the Mass illegal. By the statutes, Holy Orders were obligatory on aspirants for almost all important offices.
Sons of the aristocracy might keep term in the interests of culture, but the general assumption for poor scholars was that they were qualifying as priests. He was a city magnate of modest education and simple piety; a childless old man who devoted the whole of his great wealth to benefactions. The last years of his life were overclouded by the change of religion; he collected the sacred vessels from the College Chapel and stored them away in his own house for a happier day, and was obliged to stand by helpless while the authorities perverted the ends of his own foundation; he saw the poor scholars whom he had adopted and designed for the [Catholic] priesthood trained in a new way of thought [i.
Perhaps in secret a Mass was said for him; it is impossible to say. But, it was already clear, says Waugh, that The official Anglican Church had cut itself off from the great surge of vitality that flowed from the Council [the Council of Trent, and Saint Charles Borromeo, for example]; it was by its own choice, insular and national. The question before Campion [also in ] was, not whether the Church of England was heretical, but whether, in point of fact, heresy was a matter of great importance; whether in problems of such great importance human minds could ever hope for accuracy, whether all formulations [as with the irreformable doctrines of Catholic Dogma] were not, of necessity, so inadequate that their differences were of no significance.
They were united in their resolve to stamp out this vital practice of the old religion [the Actio Sacra Missae]. They struck hard at all the ancient habits of spiritual life — the rosary, devotion to Our Lady and the Saints, pilgrimages, religious art, fasting, confession, penance and the great succession of traditional holidays [i. For, says Waugh: In the event of war abroad or rebellion at home, Cecil felt that the Catholics constituted a grave menace.
They were proving more stubborn in their faith than had first seemed likely …. Accordingly, all over England the commissioners and magistrates were instructed to take a firmer line; at first no new legislation was used, but the law which had been administered with some tact was everywhere more sternly enforced. The repression had begun which was to develop year by year from strictness to savagery, until, at the close of the century, it had become the bloodthirsty persecution in which Margaret Clitheroe was crushed to death between mill stones for the crime of harbouring a priest.
Speaking with deft and vividly imaginative irony, Waugh recapitulates this situation: The Catholics, left without effective leadership, appear to have been dealing with the problem of conformity [or, whether to choose Resistance to the growing Religious Revolution], each in his own way. It was one which varied greatly in different parts of the country. Some [i. Some, who were popular or locally powerful, avoided, year after year, taking the oath at all; some took the oath and meant nothing by it.
That generation [before the re-animating arrival of the Jesuits! In any case, things were not likely [they delusively imagined] to last on their present unreasonable basis [Things were, in fact, to worsen and gravely degenerate! It was one thing for a government to suppress dangerous innovations — that was natural enough; but for the innovators [heretics, apostates, eclectics, syncretists] to be in command, for them to try to crush out by force [or by fraud!
So, too, is it the case for us now in the Twenty-First Century, but with a few additional elements and challenges now added.
For now, we must deal, for example, with the difficult problem of deception and self-deception in the Church itself, as well as in the State and the Secret Societies. Hence, we must be prepared to face trust-breaking perfidy in high places. Catholics [after ] no longer chose their chaplain for his speed in saying Mass, or kept Boccacio bound in the covers of their missals. Driven back to the life of the catacombs, the Church was recovering her temper. It reaffirmed the principle that it was high treason to reconcile anyone or to be reconciled to the [Catholic] Church and imposed a new scale of fines ….
It is the first time that the Mass is specifically proscribed …. The object of this legislation was to outlaw and ruin the Catholic community. To the Protestants it meant conspiracy …. To the Catholics, too, it meant something new, uncompromising zeal of the counter-Reformation ….
Such was the nature of his higher chivalry and daring; such was the vivid poise of his supernatural hope!
The hope of the Christian martyrs. For example, when first discussing, at Uxbridge, the important text which was finally to be called the Ten Reasons [i. Leading Catholics, such as Francis Throckmorton, were discussing a treaty [a truce, an armistice] with the Government in which they promised to compound their fines for a regular subsidy on condition of being allowed the quiet practice of their religion.
Evelyn Waugh’s Edmund Campion
EDMUND CAMPION EVELYN WAUGH PDF