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. 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. 7
Perhaps it is good to repeat these sometimes obscure personal reflections do not simply arise from this particular journey through Freance—they bear witness to my entire time in France, a time where I had visited many other sacred sites such as Paray-le-Monial . . . which changed my life forever.
At the same time, I was horrified by French secularism and materialism . . . and the sense of being in the desolate ruins of once-great Catholic France.
Some, I know, are sceptical of the destructive intentions of certain branches—not necessarily all—of Freemasonry. But I have been privy to Masonic secrets, at least a little—and there is a chilling reference to this in what follows.
From 2010—Chapter Seven: Freemasonry and France
Continued Soul Fragments:
This church in Montauban has served me.
Has served to remind once again of what France once had.
Even still in the Nineteenth Century, after the Revolution, but before the Third Republic.
This France … La Vraie France … fostered all that still breathes in this church in Montauban.
This open church in the city of Montauban.
Thank God, the church is open here and I can pray.
Thank God, this Church in France, though hobbled, shot in the kneecaps, as it were …
Thank God, this French church still offers places where I can drop into stillness and prayer.
Long ago, in another land, I met a Mason of a sort.
Who not realising my allegiance, confided in me words to this effect:
‘These churches could be turned into museums. But to continue with the Mass in them – God forbid!’
Or should I say: Great Architect forbid?
Yes after all these years, I do not recall his exact words, but his distaste was palpable, as was his vaulting ambition for the land he lived in.
And knowing his story somewhat, I had the sense he had imbibed these things with his mother’s milk . . .
Is something going to be chopped off?
With feeling the GIFT of Silence in this church, I find myself thinking of the words of that strange anonymous Catholic book, written in French, Meditations on the Tarot.
There he speaks of the matter of the Presence of the Angels.
He points out that only after the Son of Man had been tempted in the desert and the Devil left Him, did the Angels come to Him.
And the following explanation is offered:The angels were not able to enter until the Devil left. But afterwards they descended:
“Immediately that the Devil left him … the atmosphere changed, they were able to approach him.”
What is this to do with this open church in Montauban in France?
The author maintains there are atmospheres – atmospheres of evil – where Angels cannot tread.
This church in Montauban in France is clearly not one of them.
The anonymous author adds:
One can add, by way of a corollary, that the “law of presence” delineated above gives us a strong reason for acknowledging the necessity of churches, temples and consecrated or holy places in general.
There are certainly other reasons again, but this would suffice, even if there were no other reasons, for us to defend the protection of all sacred places.
Let us therefore protect through our thoughts, words and deeds, all churches, every chapel and, lastly, every temple, where one prays, worships, meditates and celebrates God and his servants.
Anonymous (Valentin Tomberg) Meditations on the Tarot, p. 149.
Yes, let us protect in thought, word and deed, as you are doing anonymous author …
Let us protect, as the Good Knight Charles A. Coulombe is protecting …
Holy Mary Mother of God, though we may not all be knighted by the Holy Father, let us be your knights.
Let us protect Your Church.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, I will be your knight …
Foreword for Monarchy by Roger Buck
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