La verdad adelgaza y no quiebra, y siempre anda sobre la mentira como el aceite sobre el agua.
—Miguel Cervantes, La Vida de Don Quixote de la Mancha
(“The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.”)
Note from Thomas More College President William Fahey: In recent weeks, our nation has witnessed the violent destruction of numerous national monuments, from Civil War Generals to past American presidents, from early explorers to nameless pioneer women, from Catholic saints like Junipero Serra to authors like Miguel de Cervantes. Closer to our campus, the statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston was recently beheaded, smeared with red paint, and smashed to the ground.
In the midst of this chaos, heroic men and women have stood as peaceful, prayerful witnesses to the necessary public role of memoria. When reading a recent news story about the attempt to topple the statue of St. Louis in the city named for him, I was profoundly moved to see among the media photos one of Thomas More Alumnus Rev. Samuel Miloscia, a young priest leading a group in the praying of the Rosary amidst the bullhorns blasting revolutionary cries and taunts.
A monument is a public symbol that provokes both public and private acts of recollection, and dignifies the past with a voice. A monument both respects the freedom of the present and looks toward the initiative of the future. In creating and sustaining a statue or a monument, we are saying that we accept the past—with all of its turmoil, honor, shame, sacrifice, victory, and defeat. We allow for redemption in history; we hope for great or greater men. We are grateful for the challenge that the monument places before us.
The despoiling of monuments, on the other hand, says that we are no longer a united society, but only a conglomeration of warring factions. Casting down a monument screams that we prefer ideology to the complexity of truth. The desecration of monuments shouts defiantly that we can gaze only into the mirror of the present. The abolition of monuments asserts that there is no redemption through history: there is only power.
In a culture of despoliation, we say: ‘Nothing is acceptable to us but our own graven image.’ Tragically, those who tear down monuments tear down their own humanity. They do so because the past makes them mindful and asks them questions; and rather than being inspired to reflect and seek ways to pursue greatness, the despoilers instead silence the questions of the past, preferring a world without monuments, and thus without memory.
We reached out to Fr. Miloscia to ask him to reflect on the current crisis.
Changing the Course of History: Praying the Rosary at the Feet of the Statue of St. Louis
By Rev. Samuel Miloscia, Class of 2011
The Spirit of the Lord is upon all of the Baptized. As Catholics, we should always be ready to give a good word for the joy that is within us. I speak of the joy of the sons and daughters of God. We are called upon to pray in confidence and to live with great freedom, as is befitting God’s children.
I have understood from a young age that America is a great nation under great threat from a world hostile to liberty and Christianity. When I saw, as we all did, the protests quickly turn into mob activity—with fire and violence, destruction of property, beatings and murder, and general mayhem—I knew that what we were seeing in American cities is of the same spirit as the Bolsheviks in Russia or the Jacobins in France. In both of those ancient Christian kingdoms, the reign of mob terror resulted in priests being torn to pieces in the streets. This has happened at some point in history in nearly every country in the world, with almost the lone exception of the United States. A group who tears down statues can move quickly to tearing people out of their homes.
We must defend our heritage, both as Catholics and as Americans. St Louis is a citizen of Heaven. St. Louis’ life is the life of a hero, and he is an example for all people. The mobs are now targeting statues of saints and of Jesus Christ Himself. This is sacrilege and blasphemy, and it is an attack by The Evil One, who tirelessly works to tear down the Church and to tear down human souls.
When I was praying the holy rosary in St Louis, Missouri at the great statue of St Louis IX, I noticed that the rosary had a calming effect on many of the protestors. Many of these people mean well, but they don’t know what they don’t know. And the schools—with the notable exception of a few places like Thomas More College—are responsible for indoctrinating entire generations of young people in hatred of America and love of godless Socialism.
I was surrounded by dozens of good men and women—not all Catholic—all praying the Holy Rosary, one of the most powerful weapons of Heaven. The Mother of God has used the Holy Rosary to change the course of history before, and she will do it again if we her children merely pray the rosary. The message of Fatima is true.
We cannot rely upon the secular authorities to protect us or our heritage. They have repeatedly failed to so, and many of them voice active support for the mob. We must rely upon Heaven and the power of prayer. As Americans, we still have the freedom of peaceful public assembly and the freedom to practice our holy religion. We must not be afraid to practice our freedoms openly. If we are too frightened to publicly speak up for our Faith and our freedoms at a time like the present, then we will most assuredly not have the courage of the martyrs should we be called to witness our Faith in that way.
We must be seen as Christians. We should have a statue of Our Lady or of a saint in front of each of our homes. Now is the time to pray the rosary in public to protect the statues of our saints and heroes. Now is the time for penance and fasting for the salvation of the souls most in need of God’s mercy. Make frequent use of the sacraments and of sacramentals like Holy Water in our homes. Keep where you live a holy and sanctified place.
Please also pray for the priests and bishops. The Church is under great and unrelenting attack from the Enemy. Your priests need your prayers desperately, for we are at the forefront of incoming spiritual attacks. Our greatest source of strength against these attacks is prayer and obedience to the Lord of Hosts and the King of Kings.