Because we’re here lad. Nobody else. Just us.
Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne, Zulu (1964)
At the battle of Rorke’s Drift on January 22-23, 1879, some 141 men of B Company, 2 Warwickshire (24th Regiment of Foot) beat off an attack by a Zulu impi, around 4,000 men. At the time it was considered a military miracle. The officers in command had nothing in their careers before or after the battle to mark them out as in any way superior. They were typical run of the mill officers and almost all the men under their command were typical troops. The most unusual was Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne who at the battle was twenty-four years old. Two years previously he had attained the rank of Colour Sergeant, making him the youngest Colour Sergeant, the highest NCO rank in the British Army. He would rise to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during World War I, and die at 91, last survivor among the defenders of Rorke’s Drift, on V-E Day, appropriately enough, May 8, 1945. For a secular purpose the defenders of Rorke’s Drift were willing to fight with all their being, and they won against apparently overwhelming odds.
This little excursion into military history is caused by this quotation from Father Z:
O God, who raised up a fallen world by the abasement of Your Son, grant holy joy to Your faithful; so that You may cause those whom You snatched from the misfortunes of perpetual death, to enjoy delights unending.
The great L&S indicates that erigo, giving us erexisti, means “to raise up, set up, erect” and, analogously, “to arouse, excite” and “cheer up, encourage.” The verb iaceo (in the L&S find this under jaceo) has many meanings, such as “to lie” as in “lie sick or dead, fallen” and also “to be cast down, fixed on the ground” and “to be overcome, despised, idle, neglected, unemployed.” Humilitas is “lowness”. In Blaise/Dumas, humilitas has a more theological meaning in the “abasement” of the God Incarnate who took the form of a “slave” (cf. Philippians 2:7). Blaise/Dumas cites this Collect in the entry for humilitas.
Because of the Fall, the whole cosmos was put under the bondage of the Enemy, the “prince of this world” (cf. John 10:31 and 14:30). This is why when we bless certain things, and baptize people, there was an exorcism first, to rip the object or person from the grip of the world’s “prince” and give it to the King. God is liberator. He rouses us up from being prone upon the ground. He grasps us, pulling us upward out of sin and death. He directs us again toward the joys possible in this world, first, and then definitively in the next.
Go here to read the rest. I confess that since the release of Amoris Laetitia I have not felt demoralized, but rather exhilarated. Maybe it is my cross-grained personality, or perhaps it is my Irish and Cherokee ancestors who loved a scrap against the odds, but for some reason my spirits are up and I feel more than ready to fight. Maybe it is the clarity of the situation now. There is no more guessing. We who cherish Catholic Truth now know we have an adversary in the seat of Peter. It is up to us, in the words of Frank Bourne, because we are here on this Earth at this time, to stand for the Faith come what may. Of course it is not just us. In standing for Catholicism we are never alone. We are surrounded by armies of martyrs and saints of all types, and the prayers of the Church Suffering in Purgatory. Mary is ever beside us. God Himself will not abandon the Faith He died to create. We should therefore be of good cheer, no matter the odds against us, and be about our task of preserving the Faith.
Castilian Soldier: There are 13 of us and you are alone.
El Cid: What you do is against God’s law. Were you 13 times 13 I would not be alone.
El Cid (1961)