The Happy Warrior

Suffering from writers block!

Just watching Fulton Sheen. Sledging materialism, communism and UFO’s.

I’m also intrigued at why almost all the blogs I have listed at the top of my own blog are talking about the feminisation of the Church.

Is it cause and effect or effect and cause? I have to admit it exists though I think it is beginning to slow and in some places reverse.

The answer is, I think, the Christian happy warrior.

WHO is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?

It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright:
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care;

Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain;
In face of these doth exercise a power
Which is our human nature’s highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives:
By objects, which might force the soul to abate
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate;
Is placable–because occasions rise
So often that demand such sacrifice;
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

‘Tis he whose law is reason; who depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends;
Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
To evil for a guard against worse ill,
And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He labours good on good to fix, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows:-

Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means; and there will stand
On honourable terms, or else retire,
And in himself possess his own desire;
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state;
Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
Like showers of manna, if they come at all:
Whose powers shed round him in the common strife,
Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
A constant influence, a peculiar grace;
But who, if he be called upon to face
Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
Is happy as a Lover; and attired
With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired;
And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
Or if an unexpected call succeed,
Come when it will, is equal to the need:-

He who, though thus endued as with a sense
And faculty for storm and turbulence,
Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes;
Sweet images! which, wheresoe’er he be,
Are at his heart; and such fidelity
It is his darling passion to approve;
More brave for this, that he hath much to love:–

‘Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted high,
Conspicuous object in a Nation’s eye,
Or left unthought-of in obscurity,–
Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not–
Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be won:
Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpast:
Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame,
And leave a dead unprofitable name–
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause:
This is the happy Warrior; this is He
That every Man in arms should wish to be.

I think the Catholic Church should honour its happy warriors, its zealous and holy priests. I also honour my fellow bloggers who, with me, endeavor to happy warrior status, who have the fire in the belly that comes from knowing heaven is your home, and the Church is our mother and our priests are our fathers in faith.

It always is a great honour to call a priest father, I relish it, although I know it makes some uncomfortable, perhaps they think I am being overly formal? But it is the most informal of terms thinking about it, there can be no greater compliment or acknowledgment that they are in a position of respect and affection, especially since it is by their spiritual fatherhood that they are there for us to give us sacraments, guide us and help us to fight the good fight, run the race.

St Paul gave the examples of Athlete and Warrior for the Christian, at the time two totally masculine disciplines. The feminists say he is a misogynist but what is the opposite of misogynist? where upstart men are chastised for being unruly for not sitting in the circle and singing come-by-yar? By not joining in at the worship music conga-line?

I remember as a child sitting in the middle of church reading a book while everyone held hands round the nave. Nothing could have interested me less. It was only later I found out Christianity isn’t all about lovey-doveyness.

Christianity is about love, but it has an understanding of the meaning of the word love which is so much stronger than the platitudes that are often foisted on us by the world. We are called to self sacrifice, to meaningful expressions of Christianity not mere sentimentality. We are called to take up our cross and follow after Jesus, this is not a wussy calling, this is the calling to follow Jesus through death.

It is also remembrance day today. Remember our victorious dead, the warriors, happy or otherwise, who fought for our freedom. Why are they called our victorious dead? not because of the “glory” of war but because they have run the race to the last.  Their victory can only be fully appreciated by the religious, even whilst we deplore war.

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