Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Example of a True Prince

As this year's undoubtedly remarkable Synod slowly begins to fade from our collective memory - though only to rear its unseemly head yet again in a mere twelve month's time - I invite you, gentle reader, to pause for a moment to reflect upon the truly dramatic events which transpired in those two brief yet momentous weeks.

There are, of course, the many documents and speeches which will, no doubt, be examined, weighed and dissected like exotic cadavers over the course of the coming year. Important business, to be sure. Yet it is not to the tangible fruits of the Synod that I wish to direct your attention; rather, it is to those of a more fleeting nature, for, though their appearance was but ephemeral, they shall, I assure you, remain long after the starry heavens above have been curled up like so much blackened parchment in the hands of Him who stretched them forth.

And though there were, indeed, several valiant and intrepid guardians of that most beautiful and spotless Bride of Christ who, not unlike Lot unto the depraved of Sodom, through impassioned admonitions urged their wayward brethren to leave off from their errors and return to sanity, whereby making themselves worthy of the title of "Princes of the Church," there is one Prince in particular whose actions deserve our special consideration: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke.

Penetrating the many-layered darkness, cutting through the wailing din and commotion of those days were the calm and measured words of His Eminence, soothing in their compassion, assuring in their wisdom, and, above all, pleasantly startling in their familiarity, as though hearing again the voice of one loved and feared lost. With the sword of ecclesiastical exile and public humiliation hovering above his noble head, he bared his neck obediently and spoke the truth of Christ Our Lord, plainly, with candor and in genuine humility. Of course, we take our supreme example from none other than Our Blessed Lord Himself - He who, though faced with brutal torment unto death, forgave those who persecuted Him. Yet have we not seen something of that same gentle patience, that same steadfastness, that same persevering fidelity in the person of His Eminence Cardinal Burke throughout the trial of the Synod? What we heard from his lips was not a collection of mere human words; what we heard was the living Word.

It is not necessary, gentle reader, that we conquer the world. We need only submit in humility to the will of Our Lord, remaining loyal regardless of personal cost, and He will conquer through us.

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke

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