Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The Irreversibility of the Reign of Mary
Closing address, Sunday, January 29, 1967
(…) What should we say what about the irreversibility of the Counter-Revolution? What does “irreversibility of the Counter-Revolution” mean? We must first define well what we mean by Counter-Revolution, and then see what the irreversibility of the Counter-Revolution is.
The Counter-Revolution is for us a movement of souls, a movement of ideas, a movement of influences, a movement of efforts that must eventually halt the march of the great universal movement that we defined in the treatise Revolution and Counter-Revolution. It is an egalitarian, sensual, proud and impious movement that began with the first wails of the Renaissance and the Protestant Pseudo-Reformation and spread with the French Revolution until it reached its apex with communism. The Counter-Revolution is about stopping this movement, which has triumphantly marched through the centuries.
The Counter-Revolution is a movement that aims to stop the Revolution. But it aims not only at stopping it but at defeating and exterminating it; and not only exterminating it, but establishing the Reign of Mary.
In other words, it aims at establishing on this Earth a temporal order, and more than a temporal order, a culture, a civilization, a spiritual state marked by the principles that the Revolution tried to eliminate. Not only marked, but predominantly marked by these principles. And not only marked predominantly by these principles, but marked in such a way that these principles are punctiliously taken to their ultimate consequences, to their greatest brilliance, all the way to their apogee, in such a way that, from the deep night of the Revolution, through the efforts of the Counter-Revolution, may come out the greatest light and splendor of Christian Civilization, the most radiant state of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, that which, with the Faith of our souls and the certainty of our confidence, we salute as the era which is to come: the era of the Reign of Mary.
What are we affirming by asserting the irreversibility of the Counter-Revolution? We are affirming that the Counter-Revolution cannot go back. Dom Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza just mentioned the words of the Gospel of St. John: “The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness could not subdue or circumscribe it.” That is exactly what we have to say about the Counter-Revolution.
The Counter-Revolution is a light that shone in the darkness, a light that begins to shine even in the darkness of this year of 1967, when the Revolution seems to have reached its apex. But that light that shines in the darkness -- and this is the irreversibility -- the darkness will not be able to circumscribe it, suppress it, or make it go unseen. Moreover, it will shine ever more to the point that it will extinguish the darkness; it will eliminate the darkness to shine all alone in the firmament under the smile and blessings of Mary Most Holy.
This affirmation of irreversibility means that no human or preternatural factor will be able to stop the triumphant march of the Counter-Revolution that has begun. But we are entitled to ask ourselves: on what grounds or arguments is this principle of irreversibility founded, which cannot be merely a longing in our souls or a poetic dream conceived on a Sunday night, but must be based on reasons and justified by principles in order to obtain the stable and profound adhesion of our intellects and to constitute for us one of those firm hopes that nothing can shake, that animates us in the most difficult days -- because these days will come for the glory of the Church and for the good of our souls. For this end, let us make some reflections.
Let us ask ourselves how to prove that the Counter-Revolution is in fact irreversible, and even more, whether it is irreversible in our days. By that I mean in the days of the elders among us, if Providence grants our human existence a normal duration.
What are the reasons on which all this is based?
This is what I intend to deal with tonight.
There is a common concept of which the exact definition can serve us well to understand this matter. It is the concept of cycle. How can we define what a cycle is? Let us begin by exemplifying what a cycle consists of.
For example, we can say that the construction of a building is a cycle. The history of a building is divided into two cycles. The first cycle is the one in which it is constructed, and the second takes place when it is ready and used for the end for which it was devised.
We can also say that the maturation of a fruit is a cycle within the existence of the fruit. That is to say, it is a period, a phase in which a certain work is done and comes to an end. We can also say that a fruit’s ripening period constitutes another cycle. And finally we can say that a fruit's perishable period, until it falls from the tree, is another cycle in its history.
So how can we define cycle?
We can say that a cycle is first and foremost a certain processive movement. And by process we understand a chain of facts in which one prepares the next and gives greater vigor to the next so that the process, at its peak, is not worn out but is in the fullness of its vigor within the cycle. We can say that this cycle is caused either by a cause that produces its effect, or by a principle that has a certain potential and is completely realized with the expansion of that potential. And then we can say, for example, that a young man's education is a cycle, but it is a process. Why is it a process? Someone who educates a young person will shape his soul through a series of successive actions until it has reached the utmost plasticity, and by the time this education reaches its peak the process will have reached its own apex as well. We can say that the cycle is a principle that exhausts its activity.
Imagine one of these fireworks constituted of several elements that are thrown up in the air and successively open up and form various patterns. Clearly, there are several quantities of gunpowder that explodes successively. Each of these explosions is a principle that reaches its end and its top intensity until the fullness of the fireworks, the moment when all lights and fires integrate to the full extent of their expected range and give off the full intensity of their brilliance and splendor.
With these notions we can say that there are two kinds of processes: the first is an ascension process, and the second is a process of decay. And that in the process of decay, now more quickly, now less quickly, are present the same elements that characterize the process.
In the final analysis we can say that the whole life of a being, whether it is rational or not endowed with reason, constitutes a cycle. And this cycle, which goes from the beginning of a being to its end, is something that reaches its fullness, has a period of fullness, and then decays and constitutes a cycle within history.
Looking at the existence of these cycles in this way we can ask ourselves what is the importance of this processive, cyclical action within the plans of Providence.
The answer is that God is infinitely above the rule of cycles; He can obviously interrupt the life cycle of any being at any moment and in any way. He can easily guide another cycle in a different way, as everything is subject to His power.
We often observe in nature that certain actions, cycles or processes have their cycle of blossoming, stability or decay interrupted.
Nevertheless we must say that this principle of processive cycles is a principle of the universal order and that God ordinarily orders things through cycles so that, if we considered or imagined a Creation without cycles, we would have chaos. Things are habitually governed by the rule of cycles. Cycles are thus established by God’s Providence, and we can say they constitute, as it were, the great habit of God. And they are God’s great habit in such a way that we can even say that unless there are reasons or evidence to the contrary, one must presume that all processive and cyclical action will normally come to its end.
Accordingly, facing a great movement of History, facing a great spiritual, political, social, economic and military movement we must consider that unless there is evidence to the contrary, it will normally come to an end; and that once the cycle is opened it will unfold through all its stages until it reaches its final element.
Having made this consideration we can then apply these principles to the Revolution. There is no doubt whatsoever that that the Revolution is a great cycle.
In the essay Revolution and Counter-Revolution, we show how it is a huge process, an explosion of pride and sensuality which began to produce the first manifestations of intemperance in the fourteenth or, if you wish, in the fifteenth century; it won over the human soul, transformed culture and civilization, and generated processive ideas and movements that unfolded all the way to the communist movement.
So we have a movement that proceeds in stages, and God Who has allowed this movement to follow its stages. God disposed many saints, heroes, and religious orders, and provided extraordinary events so that men could face and interrupt the revolutionary cycle, but He did not want to operate an intervention such as to halt this cycle by His sheer power.
Through someone else’s fault or through their own fault, the arms of the men called to oppose the Revolution were not strong enough to contain its cycle. And this cycle gradually developed until it reached the plenitude in which it now finds itself.
So to speak, Providence watched the unfolding of events with arms crossed, in sadness. Facing this great episode of history, one of the greatest in history, which is the vertiginously rapid and yet very slow movement of the Revolution over the centuries, God Our Lord acted and at the same time did not act. And while He gave us strength, He did not want to make a spectacular intervention. So we have this cycle unfolding in such a regular and methodical process that one could write a treatise on the norms of this process. That is how much the principle of cycles has been observed in the Revolution.
When a cycle is one of destruction, when a movement is one of destruction, the upshot is that this movement ceases when it reaches its ultimate consequences. Because it is proper to destruction that, when it has finished destroying, it is itself destroyed.
The same happens with death. An individual dies for as long as he does not die. But from the moment he died, so to speak his death dies too, for the process of death ceases and it is all over.
The demolition or fire in a building lasts until the building has completely burned out. From that moment on the fire stops even without firemen, because it consumed what it should have.
Now, we must say that in obedience to this great law of the cycle, we are coming to an end. And we are coming to an end, not only because communism is the most radical expression of these errors. Error is generating a monstrous paroxysm of itself, but communism has reached an immensity of power which will also cause everything to blow up at a certain moment. Why? Because communism is destruction; and if it comes to the end of itself, as we see it is in the imminence of doing, this will bring chaos and will put an end to the present historical era. Why? Because the pinnacle of destruction necessarily must be death.
Now if you consider the world today, you see that not only has this cycle reached its fullness, but that everything is set in an impressive silence, in desolate blindness; men are set in an inertia of apocalyptic grandeur, and you see that everything is set for communism to strike its final blow.
The religious environments that constitute the strongest rampart against the Revolution are enveloped in a chaos unprecedented in history. Of these religious ambiences it can be said what the Sacred Scripture said of Our Lord said during His Passion: from the height of his sacred head to the plant of his venerable feet there is nothing healthy, nothing that is not convulsed, nothing exempt from profound perplexity. And it is precisely in the name of Religion that the most irreligious causes are advocated, sustained, proclaimed, and encouraged in our century of atheistic theologians.
On the other hand, we see the leadership of the Western scandalously cozy up to communism. Their yearning for peace at any price barely disguises the desire to reconcile with communism and incorporate it into the so-called values of western civilization. Facing this disconcerting phenomenon, today’s men take the inert position of people who do not want to see but would rather lead their daily lives in complete indifference to the survival of the fundamental principles of Christian civilization. And docile crowds and masses allow these leaders to accomplish more or less what they want. We can say that the cutlass that will strike this inert mass of humanity with the blow of Bolshevization is already suspended in the air and will strike at any moment, and so the process of the Revolution will reach its end with the Bolshevization of the world.
His Excellency Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer reminded us yesterday of St. Augustine's principle that nations pay for the sins committed and receive the reward for the good they have done already on this earth. Indeed, for men there is heaven and hell, and therefore a destiny in the beyond, in which justice will be done. But since for nations there is neither heaven nor hell, justice is done to them on this earth.
The nations of the Christian West have sinned. They have committed this great sin of Revolution, and as they accept the final and mortal embrace of the Revolution that great sin must bring a great punishment; obviously, that punishment has to be on this earth; and it will undoubtedly come because of the immensity and duration of the sin, which has been unfolding for four hundred years.
This sin will also have a great punishment because of all the precious resources that Providence has placed in our hands to avoid it. It is a supreme sin because it involves a most radical rejection of the Faith, albeit hypocritically edulcorated by the mouths of theologians. It is a supreme sin because it is being committed by the elites of this world, in the name of the world. Our age is not only one of atheistic theologians but of communist princes, socialist aristocrats, collaborationist bourgeoisie; and this sin is being committed in this age of lies and Pharisaism.
This supreme sin supposes a supreme punishment. And the ultimate punishment can only be destruction. Not, of course, the destruction of humanity, but something analogous to and greater than the fall of the Roman Empire of the West: the destruction of nations, structures, cultures and civilization, in a kind of tremendous earthquake in which we must see the finger of God’s justice making itself felt in the events that constitute the unfolding plot of history.
Now then, this enormous punishment is irreversible, for it is normal for such a cycle to be irreversible. It is normal for this cycle to come to an end; it is normal for sin to be accompanied by punishment for nations on this earth. And therefore, save for special and very definite reasons, everything compels us to believe that we are in fact marching toward the hecatomb of present civilization; an hecatomb that means a series of destructions and convulsions that will produce the end of what we call the movement of the Revolution.
This is an argument with high probability and likelihood. Does it provide certainty?
He who speaks of probability and likelihood naturally does not speak of certainty. So, how can we be sure?
Here is the reason for certainty: That which everything leads one to believe will happen; that which would normally happen and which one could not doubt unless there were reasons for it (reasons that no one sees), has been the object of a formal promise by Our Lady. Our Lady – and this year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of that event—appeared in Fatima and spoke to the little shepherds. And before Russia became communist, she predicted that Russia would spread its errors everywhere as a punishment for humanity if it did not amend. She declared that this universal punishment, caused by the errors of Russia, would spread throughout the world and give rise to a persecution in which the Pope would have much to suffer. And she indicated the extent and devastating character of the phenomenon not only in its universality but also in its duration, by stating that after a long succession of events her Immaculate Heart would finally triumph.
So, that which is so plausible and natural, which corresponds to the rules of justice and wisdom with which God governs this world will happen because there was a promise of Our Lady; and the promises of Our Lady are as indefectible and irreversible as Our Lady herself, to whom God has given, with the glory of Divine Motherhood, the government of heaven and earth.
Therefore, we have the first element proving this irreversibility. The first element in the irreversibility of events is what we call the Bagarre (incidentally, employing an unsuitable French word). The Bagarre has begun, and the Bagarre is irreversible. And if you excuse me for the insistence (Napoleon used to say that repetition is the best figure of rhetoric), closing this part of my lecture I again say that it is irreversible because it conforms to the rules with which God governs the world. The Bagarre is according to the principles of justice that God necessarily applies to nations on this earth; it is irreversible because it was announced and foreseen by Our Lady, and what she foresaw will certainly take place. We are therefore facing an irreversible event.
However, we could object that this irreversibility concerns the Bagarre but not the establishment of the Reign of Mary. Now, my lecture deals precisely with the irreversibility of the Reign of Mary. So how can we prove that the Reign of Mary is irreversible and that it will necessarily come true after the Bagarre?
Do we have arguments of probability to indicate, according to the natural order of events, that the Reign of Mary will more likely come after this great crisis, which I do not believe is the end of the world, which I think will come much later? What are the rationales that can prove this?
The first thing we must say is that despite the fact that after 400 years of a devilish conspiracy to eliminate all remnants of Christian Civilization with all the refinements of cunning, we see, amazed, that some things remain, and not matter how dechristianized their leaderships are, today’s nations still maintain a level of religious resistance that no one could have expected.
For example, if we compare the influence of the papacy today with what it was a hundred years ago we come to the conclusion that the whole scientific offensive by irreligion, that spread throughout Europe and dazzled the nations of the New World, is now gone. And that, while there is the offensive by communist atheism, and there is even atheism among theologians, it is also true that in today's world the masses are less and less impressed by all this. And it is also true that never over the last one hundred years the word of a Pope was able to influence events as profoundly as today. Why is that? What is the reason why the Church is a force with which all the governments on earth must reckon with even though they are anti-religious? Why is it that, one hundred years ago, impiety attacked the Church with a raised visor and today it puts on the mask of theology in order to attack the Church? It is because, without a doubt there has been a religious persistence in the world, a weak, tenuous, sleepy, underlying fidelity, but in any case an amazing fidelity.
Now God’s clairvoyant justice does not leave the slightest fault unpunished nor fails to take even the slightest act of virtue into account. And He, whose mercy for those who sin is immense, is a fortiori merciful to those in whom He finds a modicum of good. In the eyes of God, there is something in this world of ours that seemingly deserves not to die, that seemingly deserves to survive. And this is one of the reasons why we should believe in a tomorrow after this great punishment.
Furthermore, there are facts that more or less indicate this. In a conversation a long time ago with Thomas Molnar, an international observer who writes brilliantly for several foreign magazines and who gave you a lecture at our seat, he who has traveled all over the Earth made me an observation that coincides exactly with what we have said in our Friday meetings, which is this:
The power of the driving forces of the Revolution to move the masses has never been so small. Never have the masses been so indifferent to the noise of the Revolution. And while the masses are bored and indifferent in relation to Christian civilization, they are also bored and indifferent to the Revolution. And because of this one would say that a huge mental emptiness is forming in today's world.
This mental emptiness consists of people whose mentality no longer bears the complexity, liveliness and stridency of the internal struggle between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution: it is that kind of man without ideology, without temperament and conviction whom we usually call the glass man.
This void is already a proof of the weakness of the Revolution. It is a proof that the claws of the Revolution no longer penetrate the whole fabric of the soul of the contemporary world; and it already indicates a kind of loss of strength which, in the darkness and desolation of the contemporary situation, represents some kind of breakdown in the Revolution. Not only a breakdown in the Revolution, but we also find, with great joy and consolation, that this emptiness is receptive and that, however empty the glass man's soul is, it receives seeds which are precisely those sown by the cause of Our Lady. And because of this we find everywhere people full of that emptiness who nevertheless answer our call, and within whose emptiness the germ of the Reign of Mary begins to grow.
There is, therefore, a beginning of something. Just as plants underneath the snow germinate and do not die, and when the thaw comes one sees that all nature is alive, so also at the height of this winter, something begins to germinate and try to break out of that snow crust; and this something not just deserves that Providence spare the world, but also indicates that the hour of mercy has arrived; it indicates that the hour of forgiveness is approaching, and that a radiant tomorrow is being prepared within today’s sorrows.
Is that all? No, there is more.
There is more because of Our Lady’s promise that “My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” It is her triumph, and thus it and can only be splendid. For everything that God does for her and in her name is a masterpiece of His. He reserved for her all His greatness. Her personal triumph must be the most marvelous triumph in history. Furthermore, it is hear Heart that will triumph. She does not say, “I will triumph,” but “My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” And with that triumph of her Immaculate Heart, -- if one could employ such an audacious expression – what is best in her will triumph, for a mother’s heart is her best part. It is thus a triumph of the heart, a triumph of the greatest, most extensive, generous and splendid mercy. This is the triumph that has been announced.
So we have a triumph that must and will be the greatest in history. For only a great victory is fitting to overcome a great enemy. And only the greatest abundance of light is fitting to overcome profound darkness. Thus, we can be sure that the Reign of Mary is irreversible because everything leads one to believe that this Reign should come and because there are signs that it is beginning to come. Finally, we have an unfailing promise that after the punishment, mercy will come. After the deluge, so to speak, a rainbow will come. And then we will finally have the immeasurable and also irreversible glory of the Reign of Mary.
What is the role of our Movement in all that? I spoke about ‘glass souls’ that flock to us. I should now speak about the TFP. What is the role of the TFP in this? We have the daily experience of what this role is. We should say that facing the immensity of the enemy, the TFP is nothing. It was founded yesterday, whereas this enemy has been around for four hundred years. It exists in three countries, whereas this enemy covers the face of the Earth. We only have groups in Brazil and in two other great Latin American countries, whereas it dominates entire nations.
So how can you say that we could become proportional to the size of this danger? Yet let me tell you that we must become proportional not only to the size of this danger, but also to the size of that victory. It is in the habits of Providence that God obtains His great victories after everything seems lost; and that He achieves them with small instruments to prove that He was the One that won. This is the thinking of the great Joseph de Maistre and many great theologians; and the TFP paradigmatically corresponds to it.
The situation is devastating. God is stirring up these deep waters a little. But we, on our own strength, will not have the means to operate this result.
However, Our Lady has given us the grace to see this, the grace to want it, and the grace of taking a most complete, intransigent, uncompromising and combative counter-revolutionary position; in a word, to employ a sublime adjective, the purest position that can be doctrinally conceived. Our Lady caused our movement, over the decades, to crawl through desolation and defeat; she made it wallow in all humiliations and failures to make it clear that it could do nothing of itself.
But when she decided to pour a richer blessing on this movement, behold that it spreads and begins to grow against all odds. It begins to attract souls and to enthrall precisely the youth, from whom one could least expect, and behold that it appears, small but already well-known, small but having achieved so many huge victories! In Brazil, divorce and land reform have been preempted; in Chile, there has been a struggle, as it were, on an equal footing between our victorious friends of Fiducia and a government armed with all the means of propaganda and served by the betrayal of so many leaders.
In Argentina, a prestigious movement such as Cruzada has become a serious concern, according to well-documented facts, to all those who seek to lead that country on the path of progressivism and socialist and confiscatory reforms. These results are so superior to what we can do!
Now, when someone produces results far superior to his strength, this proves that he is assisted by God. But if he is assisted by God, what can defeat him? What can stop him? Is there anything more irreversible than God's help when He has decided to start something for the sake of Our Lady? And when Our Lady, terrible as an army in battle array, begins to advance and to scatter all her adversaries?
No, nothing can contain this Counter-Revolution, which has begun here, no longer as a void that starts to fill itself, but as a seed that produces huge trees. It is like the mustard seed, tiny but made to occupy a huge area.
How that will be done, we do not know. How that will triumph, we do not know. One thing we know from our daily experience: Our Lady’s continuous assistance. And with this experience we know that she is great, that she is with us, that she can do everything, and that no one will stop her.
From these conditions, my dear friends, comes our daily amazement and joy when we are together and feel among us some breeze that propels the sails of our movement and moves it forward. Souls that we never imagined, who approach us; dedications we did not suspect and which present themselves and multiply; feats we could not count on and yet are happening all the time around us.
This is what constitutes the imponderable of our movement, something which has no definition and is like a supreme paradox, an invisible light present at all times; a perfume that one does not smell but feels continuously; a movement, an impulse that does not disturb our complete calm but impels us at every moment toward victory. It is the breath of Our Lady that we feel at every moment and that sings in our souls like a hope that cannot be destroyed.
A proof of it is this conference that has just taken place. With young people flocking from Argentina, Chile and various corners of Brazil at the prime of their youth to make these studies because their souls are turned to these ideals. And now they return to their homes with their spirit full of these ideals, conquered for the Counter-Revolution; young people who represent the future and in whose souls the Counter-Revolution takes root because youthful souls are always open to things that have a future. This is a symptom of an ability to live in the future; and the ability to excite the young is precisely a symptom of irreversibility.
I greet all of you, dear participants and ladies who assist our apostolate in such an excellent way, sharing this great hope and this great certainty. Surely, the Bagarre is irreversible, the Counter-Revolution is irreversible, and the Reign of Mary is irreversible. This process of glory is irreversible: Glory of God in justice, glory of God in punishment, glory of God in the triumph of Mary Most Holy; and also irreversible is this process that unites us all and leads us on this earthly journey to the glorious abode of Heaven.
And I close recalling an episode that, in my view, is a symbol of the days we are going through. When last Sunday’s Gospel on the wedding of Cana was read it suddenly occurred to me that this episode could have something prophetic and fit exactly the episode of the Revolution that reaches its peak and of the Reign of Mary that is established.
Remember how it unfolded. First, there was a crisis: they drank a lot and the wine ran out. So there was a situation of trouble and anguish: the host has run out of wine. Then someone appeals to Our Lady, who asks Our Lord to help.
Our Lord, after a seeming refusal saying that His time to work miracles has not yet come, grants the request and operates an astounding miracle before His time because Our Lady can do everything. She got Him to perform a miracle and to do so even before the time when He should begin working miracles. Is this not what we have right now? Do we not have a situation of anguish? Can it not be said that today’s man is like the guests of that party? He lacks the generous wine of virtue, he lacks the generous wine of the Faith; he has madly destroyed, squandered and refused all that. In this situation of crisis Our Lady comes and says to her Divine Son: “They do not have wine, they do not have Your precious Blood, they do not have the superabundant graces required to change their situation.” And Our Lord, irate with men, responds: “Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour has not yet come.”
But Our Lady quietly says to the executors of their master's will: “Do whatever he tells you.” He comes and changes the water into wine. He changes a common, banal drink unsuitable for the wedding into a wonderful wine, the best wedding wine. The chief steward tells the owner of the house: “Everyone serves the best wine first, but you left it for the end.”
Is this not a symbol of world history? You have an old, shabby and broken world in which the rottenness of pagan nations is joined by the rottenness of the neo-pagan nations. But at Our Lady’s request, a transmutation is taking place. There is a Grand-Retour; there is a return of all the souls exposed to the fire Our Lady has lit in this movement, and perhaps in like movements. And then, water not only turns into wine but becomes the best wine in history. It becomes that Reign of Mary of the Apostles of the Latter Times whose greatness Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort prophetically described in words that could not be repeated but only quoted, and which I need not mention because they are engraved in your hearts.
And so we close this meeting with our souls filled with the conviction of this irreversibility, asking Our Lady, to achieve, in that hour of mercy after the inevitable punishment, that transmutation that produces the best wine in history: the era of the slaves of Mary in the Reign of Mary, assured by the apostles of Mary.