A King, A Battle, and Becoming Little

Return to Order has a wonderful piece on the recently departed King Kigeli V of Rwanda, a devout Catholic and political exile. The Passing of a King by John Horvat II speaks to the king’s noble, pious, and steadfast character in the face of extreme hardship, and points out how sorely men of his nature are needed today. “I remember seeing the king with his calm demeanor and dignity sitting in an armchair. Reflecting upon this scene, I cannot help but think about how I, as an American, somehow feel much more represented by this foreign figure than American counterparts. King Kigeli personified so many of the qualities missing in today’s political discourse: honor, dignity, longsuffering, piety and self-sacrifice.” Requiescat in pace!

On this day, December 1, in 1870, General Gaston de Sonis of France had a vision of Our Lady after losing a hard fought battle against the Germans. The Virgin Mary appears to General Gaston de Sonis after his army’s losses at Patay promising that France would survive on Nobility tells the amazing story, which includes the always-heroic Zouaves and a brief triumph followed by crushing defeat. (If you are unfamiliar with the Zouaves, our very own Catholic History with Charles Coulombe has a superb free episode featuring them.)

“Indeed, the Architect of Love has built the door into heaven so low that no one but small children can pass through it, unless to get down to a child’s little height, he goes in on his knees.” So says Caryll Houselander as quoted in To Get Down to a Child’s Height on The Wine-Dark Sea. This short, elegant meditation on Our Lady and Our Lord is an inspirational piece for the beginning of Advent.

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