The Church is a Mystery … a soul-transforming Mystery.
It transforms the souls of individuals – or nations (Ireland, for instance).
One must never tire of discovering new ways to say this thing – buried as it is in secular materialism.
Everything depends on its comprehension, it seems to me.
The confusion these days is so, so great: The Church, people say, is an institution; the Church is a belief-system; the Church is a denomination.
The Church is a Mystery, giving me a fullness of life, such that I never found in any mere institution, belief-system or denomination.
I was an Anglican once – it never compared to this.
I was a New Ager once – it never compared to this.
I was in Jungian psychotherapy once – with a wise, old man – it never compared to this.
No, none of these came even close. Speaking very personally of my own experience, an abyss opens out between all the belief-systems and institutions and societies I once belonged to … and THIS.
Yet this is such ’‘old hat’ for many reading this site. I fear boring you to tears, dear Lector, with the same old thing. But I must challenge myself to find new, fresh ways to say it …
Because again …
Everything depends on its comprehension, I said above. The fate of the West and thus, the fate of the world …
Last time, we posted an entry about Belloc, an entry very important for this website, wherein we quoted our beloved Hilaire Belloc writing …
Our civilisation developed as a Catholic civilization. It developed and matured as a Catholic thing. With the loss of the Faith it will slip back not only into Paganism, but into barbarism with the accompaniments of Paganism, and especially the institution of slavery . . .
All things return to their origin. A living organic being, whether a human body or a whole state of society, turns at last into its original elements if life be not maintained in it.
But in that process of return there is a phase of corruption which is very unpleasant. That phase the modern world outside the Catholic Church has arrived at.
And how laughable they would have been to me – before the Mystery initiated its uncanny work in the depths of my soul.
But what the modern world does not understand is that Belloc is not talking about a mere institution.
He is talking about a soul-transforming Mystery.
And it matters not whether it is the soul of an individual, the soul of a community, the soul of a nation, or the soul of Western civilisation.
In once-Catholic Ireland now, I witness the ‘phase of corruption which is very unpleasant’. The phase of decomposition …
The life-force that is the Mystery that St. Patrick brought is now being slowly subtracted.
Belloc wrote: the modern world outside the Catholic Church …
But to better facilitate understanding, let us say: The modern world that has cut itself off from the soul-transforming Mystery.
The Mystery that is, to say, of Christendom.
Our recent, mourned Holy Father Benedict XVI understood this so well – which rendered his magisterium the courage to say deeply unpopular things.
That magisterium honoured the soul-transforming Mystery present in Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, for example, but it had the courage to say of the Protestant confessions, which sundered Christendom.
These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.
‘The genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery.’
It is, dear Lector, all to do with this.
Or as Valentin Tomberg put it:
There is nothing in the physical world more holy – more healing in the deepest sense of that word – than the bread of the Communion Service.
Benedict XVI saw the fate of the West, of former Christendom and so the fate of the world.
Benedict XVI was working to save the world . . . with his so-unpopular teaching.
Feeble as my words may be, I must ponder how to better articulate the Integral Substance of the Eucharistic Mystery …
For now, I will just repeat – the last piece on Belloc (posted here) is very important for this website.
Ostensibly, it’s a ‘just’ a book review. But really, it is much more than just that.
If people want to know what this site is all about, truly I would point them to this ostensible review.
And say really: It’s a mission statement.
How can a Belloc book review – even a merely ostensible one – be a mission statement for this website?
Belloc had a mission. I see that now.
That mission did not die in 1953, when he did.
Fumbling and bumbling as we are, we must try to take up what we can of that mission. As I said in my first major post about Hilaire Belloc, fumbling in the footsteps of a giant.
All of this, of course, also relates to the unusual vocation of Valentin Tomberg. Because the Anglo-French Hilaire Belloc is a clear continuation of the French school that Tomberg aligned himself with when he wrote his masterpiece in French.
Very much of this is considerably expanded in that ostensible book review, or mission statement.