Sunday, September 5, 2010


Modern people, by definition, are those who can be killed or slaughtered by the State, but must not be sacrificed.

The sacral dimension is gone. In ancient times, a citizen could be slaughtered OR sacrificed. During the Christian epoch, an individual could be sacrificed, but could not be slaughtered (at least, not by ethos, and not with impunity): the Shire and the reeves of the Shire would rise against the King himself, if he slaughtered innocents or prohibited beer. The modern state is moving back towards doing both, but allowing sacrifice as a kind of hidden black magic. This is undoubtedly behind a great many unexplicable events (on political terms). Hitler, of course, did both.

The ideal of Christianity was a world in which neither would happen:

From the Celtic Sacramentary:

The Litany of the Holy Apostles and Martyrs and of the Virgins begins.

O God, make speed to save us.

We have sinned, O Lord, we have sinned, spare our sins, and save us; thou who guidedst Noah over the flood waves, hear us; who with thy word recalledst Jonah from the abyss; deliver us; who stretchedst forth thy hand to Peter as he sank, help us, O Christ.

Son of God, thou didst the marvellous things of the Lord with our fathers, be favourable in our days.

I implore thee, most high God of Sabaoth, Holy Father, that thou wouldest deign to gird me with the tunic of love, and to encompass my loins with the belt of thy love, and to burn up the reins of my heart with the fire of thy love, so that I may be able to intercede for my sins and to cam pardon for the sins of the people here present, and to sacrifice a peace offering for each one; Me also, when with boldness I fall before thee, let not thou perish, but vouchsafe to wash, to adorn, and to raise up gently; Through our Lord.

The Lorra Stowe Missal

So does the way forward lie backwards? Yes, in a sense, for we must recover the sanctity of the individual in both senses, rather than reacting against the imperfect realization of Christ in the traditional world. In addition, once the individual is recovered, and in order to do so, we must recover the sense of the sacred in society.

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