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 through 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. At the time, we were relocating to Britain, but with the hope of eventually returning to Ireland.
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 Ch. 6
O Catholic France, the inspiration for so very much which lies behind this website dedicated to his Most Sacred Heart …
From 2010—Ch. Six: The Enduring Presence of Catholic France
More fragments from a soul in France:
This church in Montauban in France.
So filled with the Presence, so still … so still.
Calling me into silence. Effortlessly.
The Presence here, deep, rich.
Non-secular. Bathes me.
The Secular world outside this Church stimulates, stimulates, stimulates.
It seeks to stimulate desire. Capitalist desire. Erotic desire. Even desire for blood and violence.
That HORRIBLE computer game, I saw once …
This Church is filled with Nineteenth Century France.
The Presence in this Church.
It was not fostered by zany, happy-clappy congregations.
It was not fostered by liturgical abuse.
It was fostered with true prayer and reverence for Tradition.
This Presence, this Presence!
How very much I owe to the silent Presence in the churches.
How deep is my debt.
My debt. Our debt.
In rural France away from the cities, the village churches are closed nearly everywhere. Except on Sunday. Once a month.
If you’re lucky …
France, O France – you have the singular, if dubious “honour” of showing where the Church is headed in the future.
Unless something is DONE.
Foreword for Monarchy by Roger Buck
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