Let us begin by setting out here some thoughts contained in Revolution and Counter-Revolution.1
Pride and impurity in the origin of the Revolution
The Revolution is presented in this work as an immense process of tendencies, doctrines, political, social and economic transformations, derived in the last analysis – I would be inclined to say in the very last analysis – from a moral deterioration born of two fundamental vices: pride and impurity, which awaken in man a deep incompatibility with Catholic doctrine.
In fact, the Catholic Church, as she is, the doctrine that she teaches, the universe that God created and that we can know so splendidly in its different aspects, all of this awakens in the virtuous man, the pure and humble man, a deep enchantment. He rejoices to consider that the Church and the universe are like this.
However, if a person yields somewhat to the vice of pride or impurity, an incompatibility with various aspects of the Church or the order of the universe begins to germinate within him. This incompatibility can begin, for example, with an antipathy to the hierarchical character of the Church, then unfold and reach the hierarchy of temporal society, and later manifest itself in relation to the hierarchical order of the family. And in this way, by various forms of egalitarianism, a person can arrive at a metaphysical position of condemnation of any and all inequality, and of the hierarchical character of the universe. This would be the effect of pride in the field of metaphysics.
In an analogous way, the consequences of impurity in human thought can be delineated. The impure man, as a general rule, begins by tending towards liberalism: he is irritated by the existence of a precept, of a bridle, of a law which circumscribes the inordinacy of his senses, and so all asceticism seems repugnant to him. From this antipathy, naturally, comes an aversion to the principle of authority itself, and so on. The desire for a world that is anarchical – in the etymological sense of the word – without laws or constituted powers, in which the State itself is nothing but an immense cooperative, is the endpoint of liberalism generated by impurity. […]
A religious struggle, whose victory lies in devotion to Our Lady
Given the moral character of these causes, the whole problem of Revolution and Counter-Revolution is, fundamentally and principally, a moral problem. What is stated in Revolution and Counter-Revolution is that if it were not for pride and sensuality, the Revolution, as an organized movement throughout the world, would not exist, would not be possible.
Now, if at the heart of the problem of Revolution and Counter-Revolution there is a moral question, there is also, and eminently, a religious question, because all moral questions are substantially religious. There is no morality without religion. A morality without religion is the most inconsistent thing imaginable. Every moral problem is therefore fundamentally religious. Thus, the struggle between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution is a struggle which, in its essence, is religious. If it is religious, if it is a moral crisis which gives rise to the spirit of the Revolution, then this crisis can only be averted or remedied with the aid of grace.
It is a dogma of the Church that men cannot, by their natural resources alone, stably and integrally fulfil the precepts of Catholic morality, synthesized in the Old and New Law. To fulfil the Commandments, the help of grace is necessary.
On the other hand, if man falls into a state of sin, and the appetites for evil accumulate within him, a fortiori he will not be able to rise from his current state without the help of grace.
Since every true moral preservation or every authentic moral regeneration comes from grace, it is easy to see Our Lady’s role in the struggle between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution. Grace depends on God, but He, by a free act of His will, wanted to make the distribution of graces depend on Our Lady. Mary is the Universal Mediatrix, She is the channel through which all graces pass. Her help is therefore indispensable if there is to be no Revolution, or if the Revolution is to be overcome by the Counter-Revolution.
Indeed, whoever asks for grace through Her obtains it. Whoever tries to obtain it without Mary’s help will not obtain it. If men, receiving grace, respond to it, it is implicit that the Revolution will disappear. On the contrary, if they do not correspond, it is inevitable that the Revolution will rise up and triumph. Therefore, devotion to Our Lady is a conditio sine qua non for the Revolution to be crushed, and for the Counter-Revolution to win.
Recourse to Mary, a prerequisite for the progress of society
I insist on what I have just said. If a nation is faithful to the necessary and sufficient graces it receives from Our Lady, and if the practice of the Commandments is generalized in it, that society will inevitably be well structured. For with grace comes wisdom, and with wisdom all man’s activities fall into place.
This is true, in a certain sense, when we analyse the state in which contemporary civilization finds itself. Built on a rejection of grace, it has achieved some astounding results. However, these devour man. Insofar as it is based on secularism and in many respects violates the natural order taught by the Church, the present civilization is harmful to man.
Whenever devotion to Our Lady is ardent, profound and of rich theological substance, it is clear that the prayer of the petitioner will be answered. Graces will rain down on the person who prays to Her devoutly and assiduously. […] And what is said of man can be said, mutatis mutandis, of the family, a region, a country or any other human group.
It is customary to say that in the economy of grace Our Lady is the neck of the Mystical Body, of which Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head, because everything passes through Her. The image is entirely true in the spiritual life. An individual who has little devotion to Our Lady is like someone who has a rope tied around his neck and is left with only a thread of breath. When he has no devotion at all, he suffocates. If he has great devotion, his neck is completely free, the air enters abundantly into his lungs and he can live normally.
The sterility and even harmfulness of everything that is done against the action of grace, and the enormous fruitfulness of what is done with its help, clearly show Our Lady’s position in this combat between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution, for the intensity of the graces men receive depends on their greater or lesser devotion to Her.
The contribution of the spirit of evil
A view of Revolution and Counter-Revolution cannot remain solely upon these considerations. The Revolution is not the fruit of merely human wickedness. The latter opens the door to the devil, by whom it allows itself to be stimulated, exacerbated and directed.
It is therefore important in this matter to consider the opposition between Our Lady and the devil. The latter played an enormous role in the outbreak and progress of the Revolution. As is logical to think, an explosion of disordered passions so profound and so generalized as that which gave rise to the Revolution could not have occurred without a preternatural action. Moreover, without the assistance of the spirit of evil, it would be difficult for man to reach the extremes of cruelty, impiety and cynicism that the Revolution has reached several times in the course of its history,
Now, this strong factor of propulsion is entirely in Our Lady’s hands. One fulminating act of her sovereign power over hell is enough to make it withdraw and disappear from the human scene, trembling and confused. But if, on the contrary, in order to punish man, She should leave the devil a certain radius of action, that action would be able to progress. Therefore, the greatest proponents of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution – the devil and grace, respectively – are subject to her power and her sovereignty.
The effective royalty of Mary
The consideration of this sovereign power of Our Lady brings us closer to the idea of Mary’s royalty. We must not consider this royalty as a merely honorary title. Although submissive in all things to the will of God, Our Lady’s royalty is an authentic power of personal government. […]
Our Lord has given her regal power over all creation; and His mercy, without incurring any exaggeration, nevertheless reaches its extreme. He placed Her as Queen of the universe to govern it, having in view, above all, the poor fallen and sinful human race. And it is His will that Mary Most Holy should do what He did not will to do himself, but through Her, the royal instrument of His love.
There is, then, a truly Marian regime in the government of the universe. And thus we see how Our Lady, although united to God in a supreme degree and dependent on Him, exercises her action throughout history. Our Lady is infinitely inferior to God – that goes without saying – but He wanted to give Her this role by an act of liberality. It is Our Lady who, by her more or less abundant distribution of grace, and the greater or lesser restraint she places over the action of the devil, exercises her royalty over the course of earthly events.
In this sense, the duration of the Revolution and the victory of the Counter-Revolution depend on Her. Moreover, She sometimes intervenes directly in human events, as She did, for example, at Lepanto. How numerous in Church history are episodes that evince her direct intervention in the course of events! All this demonstrates the effectiveness of Our Lady’s royalty.
When the Church sings of Her: “You alone have put an end to all heresies in the whole world,” her role in this destruction is affirmed to be, in a sense, unique. This is equivalent to saying that She directs history, for whoever directs the destruction of heresies directs the triumph of orthodoxy and, in directing both, She directs history at its very core. […]
The Reign of Mary and union of souls
These and other considerations taken from Church teaching open up perspectives for the Reign of Mary, an historical era of faith and virtue that will be inaugurated with a spectacular victory of Our Lady over the Revolution. In this era, the devil will be driven out and return to the infernal abysses, while Our Lady will reign over humanity through the institutions She has chosen for this purpose.
Regarding this perspective of the Reign of Mary, we find in the work of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort some noteworthy allusions.
He is unquestionably a prophet announcing this coming, of which he clearly speaks: “When will it happen, this fiery deluge of pure love with which You are to set the whole world ablaze and which is to come, so gently yet so forcefully, that all nations, Moslems, idolaters and even Jews, will be caught up in its flames and be converted?”2
This flood, which will cleanse humanity, will inaugurate the Reign of the Holy Spirit, which he identifies with the Reign of Mary. Our Saint affirms that it will be an era in which the Church will flourish as never before. He even states that “Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up great Saints who will surpass in holiness most other Saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.”3
Considering the great Saints that the Church has already produced, we are wonderstruck at the stature of those who will arise under Our Lady’s aegis. Nothing is more reasonable than to imagine an enormous growth of sanctity in an historical era in which Our Lady’s activity also increases prodigiously.
We can therefore affirm that St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, with his value as a thinker, but above all with his authority as a Saint canonized by the Church, lends weight and substance to the hopes that shine in many private revelations that a time will come when Our Lady will truly triumph.
Although Our Lady’s royalty has a sovereign effect on the whole life of the Church and temporal society, it comes about first of all within souls. From the interior sanctuary of each soul, it is then reflected on the religious and civil life of peoples, considered as a whole.
The Reign of Mary will therefore be a time when the union of souls with Our Lady will reach an intensity unprecedented in history, with the exception, of course, of individual cases.
Slavery to Our Lady and the apostles of the latter times
What form of this union is in a certain sense supreme? I know of no more perfect means of enunciating and realizing this union than sacred slavery to Our Lady, as taught by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in his treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
Considering that Our Lady is the way by which God came to men and they go to God, and bearing in mind Mary’s universal sovereignty, our Saint recommends that the devotee of the Blessed Virgin consecrate himself entirely to Her as a slave. This consecration is admirably radical. It embraces not only man’s material duties, but even the merit of his good works and prayers, his life, his body and his soul. It is without limits, since the slave, by definition, has nothing of his own.
In exchange for this consecration, Our Lady acts within her slave in a marvellous way, establishing with him an ineffable union.
The fruits of this union will be seen in the apostles of the latter times, whose moral profile he ardently outlines in his famous Prayer for Missionaries. In doing so, he employs a language of apocalyptic grandeur, seeming to revive all the ardour of a John the Baptist, all the clamour of an Evangelist, and all the zeal of a Paul of Tarsus.
St. Louis describes the great men who will fight against the devil for the Reign of Mary, gloriously leading the battle against the devil, the world and the flesh until the end of time, as magnificent models, calling to perfect slavery to Our Lady all those who in these dark days are fighting in the ranks of the Counter-Revolution. ◊
1 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. Revolución y Contra-Revolución. Buenos Aires: Tradición, Familia y Propriedad, 1970. For the text of the work in Portuguese, see: Revolução e Contra-Revolução. 5.ed. São Paulo: Retornarei, 2002.
2 ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION DE MONTFORT. Prayer for Missionaries, n.17. In: God Alone. Bay Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1987, p.405.
3 ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION DE MONTFORT. True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, n.47. In: God Alone, op. cit., p.302.