One great merit of the devotion to the rosary is that it was revealed by Our Lady to Saint Dominic as a means to revive the Faith in regions ravaged by the Albigensian heresy.
Indeed,the widespread practice of the rosary revived the Faith. With this, the rosary became, in times when there truly was faith in the world, one of the classic Catholic devotions. This led not only to the widespread making of statues of Our Lady of the rosary around the world but the practice of prayingthe rosary also became common among the faithful.Wearing the rosary hanging from the waist became an official component of the habits of many religious orders.
Among the thousand things that we could say about the rosary, I want to emphasize precisely this primary link between the rosary and the virtue of Faith, and between the rosary and the defeat of heretics. The rosary has always been considered an extremely powerful weapon of the Faith. We know that the virtue of Faith is the root of all virtues. Virtues are not true unless they spring from a living faith. Therefore,there is no point cultivating other virtues if one neglects Faith.
This devotion is particularly meaningful to those whose lives are marked by a continuous, legal and doctrinal struggle on behalf of orthodoxy,and who consider the victory of orthodoxy and of the Counter-Revolution in the world the ideal of our lives. This is because it establishes the link between our lives and devotion to Our Lady, who clearly appears here as the one who alone crushed all heresies,as the liturgy says. To a great extent, she has crushed them through the rosary.
Not so long ago, a cocky individual came to me [SaintJohn Bosco—Ed.] and asserted that he could cite many instances when priests had violated the seal of confession. I replied that even if a priest should betray his ministry, this would not lessen the sanctity of the sacrament. Are we to blame all the Apostles because Judas was a traitor?
Since my opponent insisted that he knew what he was talking about,I said:“I will wager five hundred lire that neither you nor any of your friends can prove even one such case.”
“Fine!” he replied.“Put the money down. I’ll be back here Saturday.”‘Wait,”I said.“I’ve been through this sort of thing before!One fellow said he would return, but he never did.”
“I’ll be back without fail,” the man asserted.“I give you my word of honor.”
Well,I never saw the man again! Nor do I expect to see him because he will never be able to prove his claim. Time and again I have found that those who decry confession have no better arguments than vague allegations.
There is not the slightest doubt that our Faith is being bitterly attacked in these tragic times. Since the forces of evil will fail unless they can first persuade Catholics to give up confession,they will direct their major attacks against this wholesome practice. One who abandons confession, if left to himself,will sink deeper in sin;like a frail plant exposed to the fury of the winds,he will fall into most deplorable excesses. To destroy the very idea of confession,Protestant publications are continually telling Catholics that confession is not of Divine institution and must therefore be rejected.
Meanwhile, deeply grieved by the harm daily perpetrated against the Church,I urge all Catholics to be brave and steadfast in the Faith.Yes,dear fellow Catholics, be brave! Let us cling firmly to the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and to His Vicar, the Pope. Let us hold fast to the Church that has been persecuted through the centuries but has always triumphed.
Upon describing organic society, the question remains as to how we might build such a society. The answer is quite simple. We must do it in the same manner as our ancestors did at the dawn of this civilization. We must understand, as they understood,that it is not enough that we follow the Ten Commandments and respect the rights of the Church with all due intransigence and strictness. Above all, we must allow the institutions of society to gradually walk on their own feet.
In our case,this means freeing society from the iron gauntlet of Statist dictatorship(whether it be in its legislative or executive form).The family must be allowed to return once again to the fullness of action and influence it once reached. Professional, social and other intermediary groups that stand between the individual and the State must be free to exercise the activities necessary to fulfill their duties on their own and according to their own procedures.
The State should respect everyone’s autonomy by giving every region the right to organize according to its socio-economic structures, character, and traditions. Finally,the State itself, operating within its own and supreme ambit, should exercise its sovereign power with honor, vigor and efficiency. Someone might ask what the final result would be if these principles are respected. Would it be a return to the Middle Ages? Or would we move toward a new and absolutely unpredictable future society?
Both questions should be answered in the affirmative. Human nature is constant; it is the same in all times and places.The basic principles of Christian civilization are likewise immutable. Thus, this new order of things—this new Christian civilization we envision—obviously will be profoundly similar, or rather identical,to the old one in its essential traits. Since this order is linked to God (Who does not change), its principles are just as applicable in the thirteenth as in the twenty-first century.
On the other hand, such a society would have many new elements.The technical and material conditions of life have profoundly changed since the thirteenth century. Nothing would be more inorganic than to ignore these changes. To build an organic Christian society,we must take care not to make many complex plans. The founders of Christian civilization in the Middle Ages did not make such plans to reach the height of medieval civilization in the thirteenth century. They simply had the general intention of building a Catholic world.For this end, each generation gradually solved, with its own sharp insight and Catholic sense, the problems within its reach.As for the rest,they did not get involved in complicated speculation.
We must do as they did.Generally, the whole framework of this society is already known to us through history and the Magisterium of the Church. As for the details, let us go forward step by step without abstract theoretical plans drawn up in some bureaucratic office, following the Gospel maxim: “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.”