A brief article on my own Christian Faith
I was prompted to begin writing after reading a piece about “Julius Evola’s Influence on Jobbik and Gabor Vona.” This passage stood out to me:
Vona does not seem to really mind that the traditional school based on the global synthesis of different religious directions and spiritual-cultural tradition contradicts the official Jobbik image of being “Christian and Hungarian.” He himself follows the “metaphysical tradition.” A couple of months ago this is what he told weekly newspaper Heti Válasz: “Every larger global religion has a core truth which is the same as in the other ones and in most cases it’s called God. Everyone has the task to get as close to God as possible in his own cultural circle and within his own faith. As a Hungarian, European and Roman Catholic person I have the same task. However, at the same time I pay attention to, study and understand other cultures and religions too.”
Specifically: “Everyone has the task to get as close to God as possible in his own cultural circle and within his own faith.”
Now, this is true, although the author at The Crescent and the Compass only accepts it begrudgingly, refraining from doing so himself as his country is only “nominally Christian.” I cannot talk for him, nor will I, yet I can relate my own experience here. I went to a nominally Christian primary school, have nominally Christian parents and grandparents, and went to church rarely as a child. While at university I was part of the “Science is F***ing Awesome” zeitgeist. As a proud atheist (atheism is an absolute belief) I happily lapped up Christopher Hitchens‘ rhetoric. When I began to get into the redpill, so to speak, deism began to creep up on me — especially after listening to Jonathan Bowden‘s talk on Robert E. Howard et all and reading Friedrich Nietzsche‘s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. What had awoken in me was a realisation that all living things had a spark (of life) that varied in intensity comparable with the sentience of the being. A sort of Zoroastrian Animism if one can use that phrase.
Robert Barron highlighted, in his book Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, a decision by the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II which announced that it saw what it called as “rays of Catholicism” in all world religions. As the author at The Crescent and the Compass rightly states, this is often used by the Left to promote multiculturalism, yet it also speaks to us of the Primordial Tradition. It was Cologero Salvo — over at the much loved Gornahoor — writing in the comments section of his article on “The Religion of Europe,” who brought to my attention the experience of the French philosopher Jean Borella. His key point was through the study of the vedanta, Borella came to appreciate his own tradition all the more, and it is this I want to focus on as I too came to my Christian faith in much the same way:
[For Borella, going back to the ancient doctrines was] like a delighted child going from discovery to discovery, from treasure to treasure, from marvel to marvel. I recognized and loved this Christian past, its beauty no unworthy of the God whom it had honored with its liturgy, cathedrals and theologies. It was in me as flesh of my flesh, soul of my soul, heart of my heart, and I did not know it. Once discovered, fixing the gaze of my spirit upon the holy Fathers and Doctors, upon the Clements, the Dionysii, the Gregories, the Augustines, and the Thomases, I said: I too am of their race. Surely not by sanctity or genius, but by blood. Drinking in the freshness of the ages, I felt my Christian soul revive.
Returning to the original article on The Crescent and the Compass, the author strikes me as an Alain de Benoist type, some of whose thoughts have been eloquently critiqued by Cologero in the linked article above. Consequently, I would like to echo the sentiments of, and encourage a return to the Faith along the lines of, the discussion provoked by Mark Citadel’s “Open Letter to Pope Francis.” I share the conviction that to see a revival in the Church it is up to men to return to her in defence of what is, essentially, Western Civilisation, and was Holy Rome, Eternal Rome. A separate but related issue is the amount of women and effeminate men who, either by their own self insertion through guile or (as it is more likely) the lack of interest of masculine men in the Church, have found their way into her body. To quote St. Bernard of Clairvaux:
[Just as] an eye raging in anger sees nothing mercifully, … one that is filled with a flood of womanly weakness does not see straight.
It is a regretful truth that Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism are mired with liberal, modernist and Marxist heresies. Even so, there is still a living religion beneath the surface of this filth. I have myself experienced some exceptional services, spoken with virtuous people, and hold membership of organisations that are supporting the traditional elements of the Catholic faith.
For my part, I see my relationship with God as a covenant between Him and England. In the words of Roger Scruton:
The truth about the Anglican Church is simple: it is a long-standing pact between God and England, whereby our country, its language and its manners are brought within the Christian fold, but without demanding anything embarrassing by way of belief, ritual or devotion.
To clarify, while this may bring up the old joke about “an Anglican is someone who believes what they like, as long as the do not believe it too strongly,” this is not something I subscribe to. My task is to bring the Church of England to a more complete appreciation of its Catholic heritage and its identity as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I sincerely pray for the manifest unity of Christ’s Church, and especially for communion between the Church of England and the rest of the Western Church. Indeed, one of the reasons I chose St. Bernard as my patron at confirmation was his tireless championing of the unity of the Church.
What is the wider significance of this fact in these desolate times where we find ourselves adrift in? I would offer that it is possible to anchor oneself in a tradition by reading “old books,” for by this we gain for our own an understanding of the past that was thought lost. To quote Mark Yuray:
When you read enough old books, eventually you will not be living in 2016, but in 1616, and you will have new ideas that were not possible before — ideas that a typical modern simply could not comprehend.
Of course, more than reading is needed, and it would be beneficial for those with the desire and the curiosity to find and attend a service at an “orthodox” — in the G.K. Chesterton sense of the word — Christian Church, also to read the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Even if you only get as far as the exoteric forms, you will find that the best place to anchor is in your own port. It is imperative if one is to converse in the deeper matters of metaphysics and esotericism, for how can one do so if they are not conversant in their own culture, heritage and tradition?