The Crusades: Born from indignation at seeing Christ’s sweetness rejected

June 23, 2016

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Robert, Duke of Normandy

Question: This provides the substance of the crusading spirit, which passes first by this compassion for Our Lord, isn’t it?

Yes, but keep well in mind what this compassion is. It is a compassion that, facing the uselessness of everything, asks that order be reestablished through punishment and reparation; and which avidly unsheathes the sword because sweetness has been defeated! And it is indignant, because sweetness was unable to win, as if saying, “He Who was super, hyper well deserving, He Who was Sweetness itself, has been unable to win. You bandits, I’ll show you!”

knight in battle

From here comes something that exists in the Crusade, in the first moment of the Crusade before the “Deus vult!” It is a kind of flash, the flash of this situation in which, under attack, brutal, consolidated and irremediable sin replies, “I will not bow.”  The end result is indignation and furor: “Miserable, so now I’ll show you!”  …

Knights of Various Military Orders

Starting from an act of contrition, an act of love by a soul that has allowed itself to be thus touched, a Crusader who has allowed himself to be touched, he understood all this, and he loved it with a profound and almost lyrical love – if this can be said of man’s love for God. This is the sweetness of our retribution which, seeing that others do not reciprocate, but go so far as they can [in the opposite direction], unleashes this idea in the Crusader: “If the sword alone will work, well then so be it! God wills it!”


(Extract from an MNF, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 1989 – translation)




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