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Syllabus: Farewell

Syllabus

I was very sorry to hear the news that the Syllabus blog was being suspended, but at the same time, I am pleased to know that the owner is not scaling down his fight at all, but that he is simply redirecting his many talents and limited resources towards an even greater and nobler battle front in this war for the salvation of souls.

At the same time I am very grateful for his many excellent articles during the last five years, and I am sure that many Traditional Catholics likewise have benefited greatly from the hard work and perseverance of this soldier of Christ the King.

If for too long we have filled the coffers of the SSPX, let us now put our money where our mouth is. The first Christians gave everything they had to share it all with their fellow Christians, amidst much greater poverty and persecutions than we face. Can we then not share a little from our abundance in order to at least show some token of support and appreciation to a fellow Catholic who deserves it? How much effort does it take to head over to the Syllabus blog and donate "a farthing", like the poor widow who was praised by Our Lord on account of her charity?

Samuel Loeman


Because of the impossibility we face of continuing to maintain this blog, we suspend it, at least for as long as our situation does not allow us to maintain it properly, without neglecting other duties on account of our very moderate means. We hope that our friends and readers will be able to benefit from the 3,369 entries published over these five years and three months, much of which are original, as well as from our special dossiers and sections. We believe that we have contributed our grain of sand (or better: salt) for the cause of the Resistance, which is none other than that of Catholic Tradition to which we, undeservedly and by God's grace, have the joy of belonging.

At this point it seems that there is nothing left to say, because for many of us the current situation is becoming clearer every day. At the same time however, the struggle for clarification must always be continued, both for the truth to be told when it is oppressed, and for the masks to be removed from error, and for us to be made aware over and over, and thus to live in reality and not in a deceptive illusion that tries to cover us with its seductive and false peace. In his masterpiece "Liberalism is sin", Don Sardá y Salvany gives us the three means which, to the best of his knowledge, are "the most effective and appropriate means that ought to be used by men who are oppressed by Liberalism" (Chapter XXXIII).

  1. By the organization of all good Catholics, be their number great or small. They should become known to each other, meet each other, unite together, in every locality, every city, town or village, should have a nucleus of Catholic men of action. Such an organization will attract the undecided, give courage to the hesitating, counteract the influence of hostile or indifferent surroundings. [...]
  2. Good journals. Choose among good journals that which is best, the one best adapted to the needs and the intelligence of the people who surround you. Read it; but not content with that, give it to others to read; explain it, comment on it, let it be your basis of operations. Busy yourself in securing subscriptions for it. Encourage the reluctant to take it; make it easy for those, to whom it seems troublesome to send in their subscriptions. Place it in the hands of young people who are beginning their career. Impress on them the necessity of reading it, show them its merits and its value. They will begin by tasting the sauce and at last eat the fish. This is the way the advocates of Liberalism and impiety work for their journals; so then ought we work for ours. A good Catholic journal is a preemptory necessity in our day. Whatever be its defects or inconveniences, its advantages and its benefits will a thousand fold outweigh them. The Holy Father has said that "a Catholic paper is a perpetual mission in every parish." It is ever an antidote to the false journalism that meets you on every side. In general do all in your power to further the circulation of Catholic literature, sermon or pastoral letter. The weapon of the crusader of our times is the printed word.
  3. The Catholic school. [...]

Adapting these councils to today, there is the whole question of whether or not we fight well. With regard to the organization, we have seen that, thanks be to God, the Resistance has finally been able to organize itself, that it has its priestly congregation, the SAJM, with its international seminary, etc. That's a good start. Those small groups that remain must know how to organize themselves, much more so when they are dispersed and isolated, as they run a grave danger of losing faith, confidence and courage, or the danger of seeking to join up with the flawed initiatives of liberalism, not to mention those who turn to the sects of "enlightened" pharisaic gurus.

With regard to the second point, and it is very important for us to pay attention to this, we believe that this task of a good Catholic press of the Resistance is not being appreciated and taken seriously, and this needs to be pointed out. Replace "newspapers" with "websites and blogs on the Internet", because at this time it is those means that are doing the job, against all odds - with the exception of a few sites in Europe or the United States -, of editing and publishing, in addition to the fact that a chronic disinterest, indifference and lack of financial resources make such a task very strenuous.

The Resistance blogs, as we've said in an old article, have won the battle, by clearly unmasking the Neo-SSPX and their liberalism carefully hidden underneath their traditional apparel, denouncing and reporting on the betrayal of Monsignor Lefebvre's work, and helping to build up what is now taking shape in an organized way around the world. Menzingen was well aware of the influence that the online press can have over their accordist plans, and so they operated under implicit or explicit censorship, updating their own sites in order to better control them according to the new provisions of their "branding and smiling" policy.

Now, if the liberals have understood quite well the importance of this press, have the authorities and superiors of the Resistance understood it? Some I believe have, but have most of them? No. There remains a lack of attention, an oversight, in what great popes like Pius IX and St. Pius X knew very well to praise and support, and that we bring to mind with the words of a champion of anti-liberalism like Sardá y Salvany. And the faithful? It also happens that, because of the ease of reception and the fact that it is free of charge, by this means, the Internet, no one believes that anyone is obliged to give their support in any form whatsoever, to those who dedicate themselves partially or entirely, but always with great effort and dedication, to providing them with anti-liberal Catholic information, analysis and doctrine. But once again it must be said with Sardá y Salvany - who knew what he was talking about - that these means are a fundamental support and are irreplaceable in the present fight, and if they had not existed, things today would have been very different. Thank God there are consistent representatives of the Resistance who know how to think, write and communicate with perseverance, without giving in or getting tired of combat. But they are very few. In our language [Spanish] we only have one other blog to make us aware of what is happening.

It is worth repeating and clarifying that it is an impossibility of the greatest magnitude and not the discouragement of combat which puts an end to the regular updating of this blog. We agree with, and we are reminded of the words that Brother John of the Angels wrote in the introduction to his excellent book "Conquest of the Kingdom of God":

How often do fishermen walk all day long throwing their nets into the sea, without catching a single fish, and at nightfall fill their boats to the brim, restoring in that one hour so much lost time! If, because listeners do not head sermons and readers ignore books, we were to stop preaching and writing, it would follow that in all the other industries of life we would have to do likewise. The farmer would put off sowing until next year because he could not make bread this year, and the merchant would likewise stop sailing because several times he had to endure storms, and there shall be nothing to eat on the earth, neither shall the riches of the sea be of any use to us. The farmer sows every year and the merchant travels regularly, always hoping to win; And neither the one sowing nor the one sailing is more certain that this year will be better than the last one (...) We, however, if preaching and teaching are not heard or heeded, we shall receive as much from God as if we were [heard and heeded], for we have no obligation to persuade the listeners, but only to advise them and to point out what is good for them. Don't stop preaching and teaching (says St. Chrysostom himself), until your life is over, what an excellent laborer is the one who labors like that! Only the heeding and the actions of those whom we admonish should cause us to stop admonishing.

Read, dear reader, the wise words of that introduction and of that book, cultivate your inner life and do not let the kingdom of God be put in jeopardy by those who no longer preach it to the souls [entrusted to them], or in their societies, and who are imbued with, steeped in, or [openly] embracing Liberalism.

A final word about the Resistance. What's awaiting you? Will it grow and how? We know that some people do ask these questions, but we believe we should not look at it that way. Because such a way [of looking at it] can become very subjective: for North Americans, with their enterprise mentality and considering failure out of the question, one must undoubtedly be optimistic and hope that the Resistance will continue to grow. The French expect a great leader, but when they get one they won't accept him because everyone has a leadership mentality and nobody wants to submit [to another] (if things can be made complicated, why should we make them simple?). The English are always pessimistic, lamenting what they used to be and [comparing to] what they are today: better run for cover. As for the Argentines, Father Castellani said: "we have a lot of initiative; it would be good if we also had a plan". Casualness and sentimentality are our obstacles. And so it would be possible to continue with each people and each nation, without ever agreeing on everything, in order to finally not build anything at all.

What we have to do is think about what the Resistance should be. And if she must continue to be a work of the Church, she must for this very reason keep all her marks (holy, catholic, apostolic and Roman... and persecuted, that is, not accepted by the world), she needs to be hierarchical and organized, anti-liberal and counter-revolutionary, all that she must carry with her, in her heart. And in order to give life she must be like the seed of which the Gospel speaks to us. An authentic interior life is the only fruitfulness of the apostolate. Care for the exterior [appearances] is a vice that leads to self-righteousness or liberalism.

Our Lord God "reproves all the services that are rendered to him in his Church, if they are not alive; if they lack the essential, which is the spirit and the truth, with which He wants to be served and adored". Let us read again from Brother John of the Angels, who quotes Rusbrochio in the "First Dialogue" of his above mentioned book, saying:

We must not so much attend to that which we do as to that which we truthfully are; because if we were good inwardly, in the intimacy of our souls, so would our works be good, and if in our most intimate interior we were just and right, so would our actions be just and right. Many attribute sanctity to doing; but they are not correct. If it can be explained in the following way, sanctity consists only in being, because no matter how saintly our works appear, they do not sanctify in themselves but only in as much as we are saintly and our works come from a holy interior or center. So much only are they holy, and no more. Therefore the holy center sanctifies all that we do, be it eating, drinking, sleeping, praying, talking, macerating the flesh with fasting and other similar things which in themselves are not wrong, but good and natural. And he has the most saintly interior and center who has the greatest love of God in his soul, and his works are more highly esteemed when the glory of God is more purely seen in them. Therefore, we should work with all care to make this intimate center good and noble and to make our actions originate in it; because, without any doubt, in it is constituted the essence and blessedness of man. Those works which are virtuous are so only because of originating there, since the good spirit exhalted through the love of God in turn exhalts and perfects our works and makes them pleasing to His Majesty

These are the views of Ruysbroeck, who, in my judgement, wanted to say that God does not look at the quantity of our works nor does he care if they are grand, but that what God heeds is the spirit from which they come. This spirit gives them their quality and character and uplifts them in the extent to which the spirit itself is uplifted and elevated by the love of God and no more. Thus in the measure that this intimate part of our spirit is greater and more saintly, and that which we do cones forth essentially and with true concern from it, so much and no more is the deed agreeable and acceptable to God. This is what the divine Scripture signified when it said: "God looked at Abel and at his gifts, being first pleased with the person who made the sacrifice, and the sacrifice was accepted in accordance with the degree of acceptance of him who offered it". And that which was true of Abel is the same with all men of the world, whose works (in as much as they are a part of them) are accepted or not by God according to the degree to which they themselves are or are not accepted by the same God. In my soul divine love is planted, which is its life and that of all that I do. Therefore it is not possible for me to be essentially or genuinely good and yet for God not to be pleased and proud of my works, however few they may be, if, as has been said, these works carry as their end and goal, purely and without any consideration for my own benefit or comfort, His glory and honor. Nor, if I were of bad and leprous interior could my works avoid being themselves leprous and, therefore, not pleasing to God. For it is written: "The gifts of evil men are not accepted by his Highness.

In his work "The Spiritual Doctrine of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity" the Dominican Father Philipon says: "A single soul that rises to a transforming union is more useful to the Church and the world than a multitude of others who are agitated in action." Similar things Dom Chautard says in his book "The Soul of Every Apostolate". In short, now that the Resistance has organized itself and is beginning to work, it must bear fully in mind why the crisis has occurred in the Church and in the SSPX, so as not to follow down the same path. She must always defend the interests of Jesus and not those of her own congregation, group or sector. Those interests of Jesus Christ that Father Faber summed up well in these four points: 1) The glory of His Father; 2) The fruit of His passion; 3) The honor of His Mother; 4) The appreciation of grace. All of which could be summed up with Archishop Lefebvre saying: "We have no other objective, no other reason to be priests than to make Our Lord Jesus Christ reign".1

There once was someone who was the opposite of Christ (that's how he defined himself) and who, despite being a great loser, ended his letters with the saying "For Everlasting Victory". We count on the sure victory of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary over the infernal serpent. And we learn from St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort that "only the cross lights up God's love, like wood on a fire". Only the fire of love, that of good zeal 2 should lead us to utter, today more than ever, our battle cry: Long live Christ the King! And with Fr. Castellani and St. Ignatius, we affirm how and why we hold this flag:

NO HAGO NADA
Corazón, tente en pie sin doblegarte
de la injusta opresión a la insolencia
aunque estoy loco, tengo yo mi arte
"Nam furor saepe, fit laesa patientia" (1)
Luchando sin más armas que mi triste
Corazón contra el mal peor que existe
¿No hago yo nada? Lucho,
sangro y no caigo al suelo.
No hago mucho,
pero hago más de lo que puedo.
Centinela aterido,
no dejo sospechar que estoy herido,
ni dejo conocer que tengo miedo...
Herido, helado, aguanto la bandera,
no deserto la inhóspita trinchera.
Y aunque sé que la muerte me ha podido,
estoy de pie y estoy ante ella erguido,
marcando el SOS de la brega,
a un auxilio que no me llegará
sino un momento tarde, si es que llega,
y que muerto de pie me encontrará...
La otra mitad lo hará sobre mi tumba,
otro infeliz, después que yo sucumba...
¡Corazón! ¡Tu mitad se ha hecho ya!

(1) la ira lesiona la paciencia (Hipócrates)

 

 

  • 1. Conference in Ecône, 3 June 1980
  • 2. "Jesus Christ, the ideal of the monk" by Dom Columba Marmion, chapter 17