by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Saint of the Day – September 7, 1965
“A Roman and Apostolic Catholic, the author of this text submits himself with filial devotion to the traditional teaching of Holy Church. However, if by an oversight anything is found in it at variance with that teaching, he immediately and categorically rejects it.”
The words “Revolution” and “Counter-Revolution” are employed here in the sense given to them by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, the first edition of which was published in the monthly Catolicismo, Nº 100, April 1959.
Tomorrow is the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, and as customary on major feast days, we will hold a vigil. So let us now say a word about the Nativity.
Since Our Lady is the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, keeping all due proportions, everything that can be said of Christmas can also be said of Her Nativity. And again, keeping all due proportions, Her Nativity should be the occasion for all the joys, impressions and graces for which the Christmas night is an occasion for us.
When speaking about the birth of Our Lord, we can say that salvation came to the world with the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. But in some way, this statement is also true of the Nativity of Our Lady. For if it is true that only Our Lord Jesus Christ is Savior, Our Lady, with Her omnipotent prayer, asked for and hastened the already promised coming of the Messias. And thus came into the world She whose prayers moved forward the coming of the Messias. So we can say She, whose powerful prayer hastened salvation, in some way brought salvation with Her.
Then it is also true that Christmas represents an incomparable honor for mankind. For the Word Incarnate, linking human nature to divine nature entered the world on Christmas night. But it is also true that, keeping all due proportions, the birth of Our Lady was an enormous honor for humanity.
If you keep in mind that, according to traditional calculations, four to five thousand years spanned between the sin of Adam and the birth of Our Lord, but it could have been even longer; if you consider what those five thousand years of sin were like, with a growing distancing from Our Lord, an order of things in which heaven was closed off to men, where the true Church did not exist but only a rudiment of it; that its voice was circumscribed to merely one people, and a not numerous one, the Jews; if you take into account, therefore, the degradation of humanity throughout that span of time, that degradation had two meanings: on the one hand, the peoples who had fallen into barbarianism, of whom we have some traces; savage peoples that still exist today; and on the other hand, peoples that became civilized and who, at the apex of civilization, became almost worse than barbarian peoples and in a sense even worse; if you imagine that mankind was decadent at that time, and that the chosen people itself was no longer worth anything, while the Roman and Greek worlds were so exhausted that there was a general premonition that something had to happen, otherwise humanity would be completely lost.
If you take all that into account, you can imagine, all of a sudden, God’s creative action putting together the most perfect creature ever born. A creature conceived without original sin and to whom it was given, from the very first instance of her being, an accumulation of graces and virtues far greater by comparison than all the sins and errors accumulated over those thousands of years. If you consider the entrance of this creature into the world, already bringing in her and with her a fullness of graces for the whole world, you understand how all this resembles Christmas night.
And, keeping all due proportions, what an honor it is for completely dishonored mankind, this cursed and sinful race, all of a sudden to be born from it the lily from which would be born Our Lord Jesus Christ; the root of Jesse, the root from which the lily, Our Lord Jesus Christ, would be born. So you understand what a great honor for mankind is the birth of Our Lady, whose vigil we are considering today. Not only an honor, but hope; and with hope, joy.
The birth of Our Lady, for which She had been ordained, was the means intended by God Our Lord to bring about the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And in this way, all the graces that Our Lord Jesus Christ represents had a kind of beginning of realization in this world, their entrance gate so to speak, built with the birth of Our Lady. And so, everything that Our Lord Jesus Christ brought, as it were, began to arrive when She, who was to bring us everything, arrived. And then you understand all the hopes, forgiveness, reconciliation, and Redemption.
You understand well the mercy that finally opens up, the manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the whole world, and how the birth of Our Lady is a kind of milestone and turning point in all this, the first milestone in an unfathomably perfect, unfathomably pure, and unfathomably faithful life, which would be the greatest glory humanity would have in all time after the glory of the Incarnation of the Word with all the angels that Our Lord sent. And you understand what the Doctors have said of Our Lady and Our Lord, like the sun and the moon to each other; and that Our Lady represents the suave light of the moon whereas Our Lord represents the overwhelming and omnipotent clarity of the sun.
So we can also say that, if the sunrise has enormous beauty, so also, on occasion, the moonrise also has its poetry, beauty, grandeur and charm; and that the birth of Our Lady is a moonrise for men, rather than a sunrise. But the moonrise is a most beautiful, sweet and particularly suave image compared to the sunrise. And this is how we should consider the birth of that incomparable creature who is our Mother and Our Lady.
What should we ask for tomorrow, feast of the Nativity of Our Lady? This is a question everyone should ask himself. What would be the great grace to ask Her for? If no one has a special grace to ask, I would recommend one. This grace, I think, even those who already have a request for a special grace can associate it to their request. It is this: To ask Our Lady to give us an effective, vibrant, rapid, dynamic, solid and profound growth in devotion to Her. That the Holy Ghost may place in our souls what is missing for us to better understand, want and love Our Lady; that this may be given to us tomorrow.
I am certain that once that is given, those who are doing well will do much better. Those who might be affected by some lukewarmness will be freed from it much more quickly. And those who may be displeasing to God and are therefore below the threshold of lukewarmness, by increasing devotion to Our Lady can rapidly overcome, with God’s help, all their difficulties and move on to the highest levels of the spiritual life.
Everything is obtained through Our Lady. Nothing is insoluble, nothing is irremediable, nothing is hopeless when one is united to Her. Take the worst sinner; if he has devotion to Our Lady, I believe he has a much greater chance to be saved than a man who hypothetically is not in mortal sin but has no devotion to Our Lady but rather antipathy for it. One has the road to regeneration open before himself. The other has the whole road to perfection placed before him.
So let us keep all this in mind and ask for that grace, to receive it in a live and efficacious manner, to the fullness of Her designs.