Series Introduction 2023:
Here is the start of a strange series of posts that appeared at this website in 2010. These entries chronicle my reflections travelling the length of France in a van with my wife Kim—beginning with Lourdes in the South and moving slowly over eight weeks to Pontmain in the North, close to a thousand miles in all.
This series remains precious to my heart—as my experiences on this trip in hallowed sites like Lourdes, Pontmain and the Vendée proved seminal for my work ever since. Whether these posts will speak to anyone else, though, is a moot point. They are deeply personal, sometimes to the point of being cryptic.
For that reason, I now offer (below) a short, explanatory foreword to each individual post, just in case anyone does care to enter with me into this intimate world of meaning for me.
Likewise, these links are provided to help navigate through this series.
- Chapter 1: France and Lourdes
- Chapter 2: On France and Ireland
- Chapter 3: Our Lady Calls
- Chapter 4: Josephin Péladan and Charles A. Coulombe
- Chapter 5: Recalling Ireland
- Chapter 6: The Enduring Presence of Catholic France
- Chapter 7: Freemasonry and France
- Chapter 8: Liberal No More
- Chapter 9: Liberal Catholicism, Like a Sieve
- Chapter 10: Pyramids on the Nile
- Chapter 11: The Vendée – Home to a Counter-Revolution
- Chapter 12: O Claire Ferchaud!
- Chapter 13: Our Lady of Pontmain
2023 Introduction to Chapter Five
I had shortly left Lourdes when this written and found myself back in the secular wasteland that France has become.
Catholic France is a scene of desolation now and that tragedy is at the heart of this little series.
In this fifth part, I am actually recalling my life in Catholic Ireland and how very different the Faith still is there.
From 2010—Ch. Five: Recalling Ireland
Very personal fragments, whilst I travel through the wilderness:
Eucharistic Adoration in a French PARISH Church!
Every weekday in a French Church!
Such a rare thing. Such a very, very rare thing.
I sit in the silence before the Blessed Sacrament and the importance of this seems to impress itself powerfully on my soul.
In Ireland, I recall all those as-yet-still open chapels of daily Eucharistic Adoration.
Everywhere in Ireland.
In once-Catholic France, outside the lonely, isolated islands of Paray, of Lourdes, such are almost nowhere to be found.
What does it mean that in Ireland still – one lone place in all of Europe? – one finds people being bathed, day after day, by the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament?
Is there anywhere else in Europe akin to this? Poland perhaps?
I know not.
All I know is that I never found this in all the European countries in which I lived: Britain, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and France.
But in Ireland in Limerick, every day I heard the people praying: Hail Mary …
In Limerick and Clare and Dublin, one could find people bathed, bathed daily in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
How to measure the immeasurable?
One cannot, of course.
One cannot measure all that I saw being threatened and destroyed, whilst I lived on that Blessed Isle …
Josephin Péladan, I feel like you sometimes.
Josephin Péladan, I think I feel something like what you felt a hundred years ago, as you saw the Catholic France you loved, being destroyed by aggressive secularisation and propaganda.
All those prayers in Ireland. You cannot measure them.
All those daily Masses. You cannot measure them.
All those chapels of Eucharistic Adoration. You cannot measure them.
But they serve, they serve to make Ireland such a different place from the rest of those dry and secular British Isles …
And from nearly all of Europe.
Forces would have you turn Ireland, from your Faith, turn into just one more Anglo-American society.
I pray, I pray …
Foreword for Monarchy by Roger Buck
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