Author: Nathaniel Slattery
Posted: Month of St. Joseph, 2nd Day, Year of Our Lord 2023
I recently (that is, on the day of St David when I wrote this, the night prior) had a conversation with another Irishman. This morning, I pray for him and ponder his fate in its representation of the whole Irish nation and, from there, the Church.
St. Augustine in Civitas Dei says that where there is no association of men represented by a common sense of right and a community of interest (Cicero’s definition), there is no commonwealth. The word “right” he unites to justice and goes on to prove that if men do not have justice but practice injustice on a whole (for instance, by being pagan idolators), then there is no commonwealth. This is the heavenly reality. In the same way that a soul which is dead often appears to our fleshly eyes to be active in the world, a nation is also dead despite how often it may be mentioned and discussed in current events.
The American nation is this way, for instance. It is very easy to see in her case, because, in the United States, there can be found no common agreement on either justice or injustice. Men do not agree on the Ten Commandments; they do not agree on the Constitution; they do not agree on murder, greed, slander, blasphemy, the tenets of basic religion, or anything else, which situation is unprecedented. America is therefore dead and nonexistent, which is evidenced in her saints, who rather belong to other nations than her.
The Irish, however, do have common agreement on many things, because thay are an ancient people established by St. Patrick (this consistent with Augustine’s terms, who by logic would have them unestablished until their conversion, as a soul is dead until its conversion, regardless of even its entry into a church building). They agree on religion and therefore on many other objects related to justice.
But here is the source of the death of the Irish nation: They agree on injustice as much as justice. For an Irishman profanes the Lord’s day in order to do charitable work, not necessary work, but charitable work. Charity in this sense towards neighbor above God, which is an injustice because it does not render to each his due, because God obviously is due His before our neighbor, and He only claimed the one day by commandment. So, too, an Irishman utters vulgarities, and he even proceeds to blasphemy, in the name of amability and cohesion with his neighbor. Some times, a murder will occur and the Irishman will condone it because of the morives and details involved. They do not seem to descend to the licentiousness of Protestants in their obsession with the conjugal act, and an Irishman is faithful to his wife, and not often a thief or liar, usually loving his mother and father, but he routinely violates the higher commandments, which are the ones directed towards God, and the second against his neighbor, which is murder, always violated by rage, wrath, contention, and brawling.
Now, if a nation accepts God ostensibly but fails to adhere to His law, rather agreeing upon injustice in a compromise with the world through corruption of three of His Commandments, then by Agustine’s terms, like the idolatrous nation, that nation does not exist or, rather, is now dead.
This is better observed by history, by which I mean Our Lady’s apparitions. For She appeared in La Salette after three hundred years of corruption to demand the Catholic nations to cease offending the second and third Commandments. Many nations obeyed, while others continued in blasphemy and profanation of holy days. Ireland was teh latter, as testified by Heaven through Our Lady of Knock, in which the Holy Family appeared in Knock, Ireland, saying nothing. THen, as expressed warned by La Salette, the Potato Famine occured, banishing the Irish to alien nations which niehter they nor their fathers knew, to worship strange gods that would give them rest neither day nor night, which is to say, the Protestant god.
Hence our current state, my own country of residence, my own religious history and that of my family, and the continued propensity amongst the Irish to offend the same two laws, while satisfying themselves as the Pharisees did and the Israelites in the desert, that they are members of the True Religion, the nation of Christ, to which Christ responds that He can raise up a new nation for Himself from the rocks.
Sanctification is the true goal and requirement of God. He does not desire us to mix the world’s vicious yeast into His virtuous laws and religion, so that we are only barely praiseworthy by comparison, and this in our own eyes. He desires rather that we be saints and be as rocks set in water, forming it and untouched by it, the very boundaries of its flow. That is to be our relationship to the miserable world, which like water, flows in all places inexorably towards the Abyss, while stone holds fast where God sets it. This begins by a perfect observance of the Decalogue, then an elimination of all idle amusements, then an interior and continued contemplation of eternity, and, finally, a pursuit of magnanimity. Only in the last step can the salvation of our neighbors come. Our principle business is our own, because it is so uncertain.