Traditionalist Travelogue (Summer 2010)—Ch. 3: Our Lady Calls

Rosary Basilica, Lourdes in Catholic France by Vassil (Own work) Public domain

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.

2023 Introduction to Chapter Three

The following post reflects an ongoing battle still raging in my soul, even then in Lourdes.

I say ‘even then’ as even though France had changed me, even though I was horrified by its materialistic secularism, I was still battling currents of indecision arising from the fact being a very liberal and progressive New Ager for almost my entire adult life.

And I had numerous secular friends who threw at me the kind of arguments in this posts, arguments against my becoming a ‘dangerous, reactionary Catholic Trad’ . . .

I often say that becoming Catholic, really Catholic, was the hardest thing I ever did in my life.

It has also proved to be the most meaningful, joyous and inexpressibly rewarding thing I ever did in my life . . .

I do not exaggerate. Nothing was harder, nothing was more wonderful than this.

From 2010—Ch. Three: Our Lady Calls

Lourdes - Our Lady
In Lourdes, where Our Lady calls. Photo courtesy: By -bLy- [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Webbursts. Things bursting in my soul in France. Unfinished things.

The voices of my friends, the voices in my psyche:

“Do not be so radical, Roger.

Do not be so Manichaen.

So dualistic.

So black and white.”

More voices:

“The pre-Revolution Church of the Ancien Régime was not whiter-than-white.

The Revolution though filled evil, was not quite blacker-than-black. There was concern for the poor … (even while it killed them by the thousands).

Protestantism is not simply an aberration – purely and simply. There was noble motive there too …”

These last voices, these particular voices – they are not false.

Yet they can seduce, deceive, lure one into complacency.

Into apathy.

Into doing absolutely nothing.

Nothing at all.

Our Lady of Lourdes called out:

“Penitence! Penitence! Penitence!”

She was NOT apathetic about the direction France was taking.

She was weeping.

Weeping, as She appeared on the Holy Mountain of La Salette.

Our Lady - La Salette
Our Lady of La Salette. French postcard 1896

That Holy Mountain, which has marked my soul forever.

Weeping quietly. With dignity. Neither wailing nor whining.

Weeping and acting decisively to save Her children.

She is calling me, she is calling us still to penitence.


This is what I felt in Lourdes at any rate. That I was being called … called to be more decisive.

Those voices in my head:

“Do not be dualistic and Manichaen.

Do not be polarising.

Do not say yes or no.

Do not be decisive.

Look! Over there – see that fence?

Doesn’t it look it comfortable, over there on that fence?

Well, maybe not comfortable, sitting perched there.

But safe, anyway.


Don’t stick your neck out.

Something might get chopped off.”

Next Chapter:

Chapter 4: Josephin Péladan and Charles A. Coulombe

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4 responses to “Traditionalist Travelogue (Summer 2010)—Ch. 3: Our Lady Calls”

  1. epsilon Avatar

    interesting… what comes next?

  2. Billy Bishop Avatar
    Billy Bishop

    Ever since I first started reading your former blog, my inner guidance has always been that you need to be supported. So know that I do.

    I support your introspection and I support your action, when it comes. May it flow forth in an abundance of God’s love.

  3. roger Avatar

    Epsilon and Billy

    Epsilon. Well by the time I have now got to this cybercafé you will have seen. But thank you for your interest

    Billy – thank you so much. In a difficult time, this helps indeed.

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