By Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza.
The following text is taken from the keynote speech titled “Proclaiming the Object of Our Desires,” delivered at the final banquet at the American TFP’s 2014 National Conference on October 25, in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.
Our 2014 National Conference is coming to a close and it is proper that I speak to encourage you to join the cultural fight for Our Lady and Christian civilization. All too often we give too much importance to numbers. Our world teaches us that quantity is better than quality; that only huge mass movements are effective. We are told that we can do nothing because we are so few.
But this is not true.
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If you look at history, you will find that it is not huge numbers that decide the course of history but rather those brave few that firmly believe in their cause.
But the brave few do not win wars without difficulties. Rather, they win because their souls were prepared by much suffering, obstacles and defeats. Truly great causes suffer casualties, desertion and death. These trials make us strong and prepare us for victory.
What can be said about battles, can also be said about the coming cultural clash which is the theme of our conference. If anyone here thinks the coming battle is going to be easy, it would be best to stop right now. Any return to order involves the cross.
And so as we close this conference, I propose we stop and reflect about what we have seen. This has been a very intense weekend. It has been full of grace. We have enjoyed each others’ company at prayer, meals and conversations. We have deepened our understanding of our Catholic faith. All this should strengthen our resolve to fight for the Counter-Revolution and Our Lady.
We must now ask ourselves what Our Lady expects from us as we leave. What practical resolutions can we make right now to be better counter-revolutionaries and thus better serve Our Lady, and Holy Mother Church.
During this conference, we have heard many talks on the cultural battles we face. We have given you some indication of what the enemies of the Church are doing in the fields of education, economy, the homosexual agenda and the crisis inside the Church.
These are huge problems that we must confront. But in order to confront them effectively, we must see where they want to take us. We must expose their final goals.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira often said that the Revolution advances by hiding its final goals because if its goals were to be known, they are so horrible that people would naturally flee from them.
To prevent this, the Revolution constantly uses tricks and maneuvers to convince people that the Revolution is fun and attractive. But the author of the Revolution is the devil. The devil is the father of the lie. He never gives what he promises.
As a result, so many people are deceived, depressed and sad because they do have the object of their longings which is God Himself. They only have empty promises and the frenetic intemperance of our days.
This weekend we looked at the lies and empty promises of the devil. We have delved deeply into programs and agendas that aim to destroy Christian civilization. I hope this has given you elements to fight today’s battles in the home, workplace and schools. I pray you put what you learned to good use.
Dr. Plinio also said that while the Revolution advances by hiding its unattractive goals, the Counter-revolution advances by showing clearly where we want to go. We do this because the goals of a Catholic society are attractive and fill the desires of our hearts. We are not ashamed of our goals; we proclaim them.
In this sense, much of our conference was been dedicated to this theme. We have nothing to hide.
This can especially be seen in the book, Return to Order. Return to Order is a manifesto, a proclamation of where we want to go!
In the book, we denounce our frenzied economy and all its deceptions. We make known our goals.
What then are our goals? You have heard them clearly expressed here.
We seek the sublime. That is to say those truths, those works of art, those deeds of men that fill us with awe and admiration by their beauty and grandeur.
By seeking out the sublime we become excellent Catholics. This is because at the height of all that is sublime is found the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. She is the source of all that is good, true and beautiful, and fills us with awe and admiration.
We seek honor and heroism.
Honor is the esteem we give to all that is excellent. Honor leads us to admire and praise all that which is good, true and beautiful; it naturally leads us to the Church. It leads us to reject by contrast all that is ugly, false and bad.
When we have honor, we hold ourselves to high standards. We enter into the fight and hold that object of our desires to be more than our very lives. We are moved to heroic virtue. Heroism becomes part of who we are.
The sublime, honor and heroism are all very beautiful and attractive. It is easy to see why we proclaim them. They naturally call us.
However, there is another goal that we seek and this one at first glance is not so attractive.
We seek the cross. We do not hide from those who follow us the fact that the cross is an essential element of an organic Christian society. We seek the cross because we know that sublime things, heroism and honor are all empty poetry without the cross.
We know that Hollywood and modern society seek to hide the cross. But pretending that we do not suffer is but another promise of the devil. It is empty and worthless.
We have also seen that when we embrace the cross with love of God, the cross provides us with the joy of a clear conscience and of duty done. There are few joys greater in this vale of tears.
This is the lesson we learned well from Dr. Plinio who was, in the words of Saint Louis de Montfort a true friend of the cross. He taught us all to be friends of the cross and challenged us to follow his example.
In short, all this leads to a Return to Order.
One might ask how can this return be done. By proudly and clearly proclaiming a society that embodies all our goals, which is organic Christian society.
All too often, we know what we don’t want. We don’t want communism. We don’t want radical ecology. We don’t want same-sex “marriage.”
However, many times we cannot explain what we do want. Return to Order is a summary of what we want. We don’t hide anything. We say it as it is.
The solution is to proclaim all the principles, ideas and moral values that we want. And reject the hidden and false promises of the devil which we do not want.
You can start doing this by promoting a book that is full of principles and ideas that we want, and that book is called Return to Order. Join the American TFP’s Return to Order campaign and you will have contributed much to this fight.
Over the course of this weekend, speakers have introduced this book to you and given you some insights about what it contains.
It is a book that was born from the ardent desires of Dr. Plinio. He foresaw the great economic collapse and crisis that approaches. He oriented the studies that brought forth this book.
It is a book that was also born of the great desires of the American TFP. And now, thanks to Our Lady, the book is published and making its way across America and the world.
And so, I would hope one of the fruits of this conference would be to convince you to get involved in this great campaign. I would hope you would be inflamed for a desire to fight for the Church and Our Lady in other ways as well.
But someone might object that we are so few.
And I would reply that is the reason I am asking you to make this effort. If it was easy I could ask the great crowds of cowards that follow the false promises of Satan and seek out a comfortable life.
I ask you because you have already embraced the cross and you have been formed and tempered by the cultural war of our days.
I am asking you not because it is easy, but because it is hard.
I trust you will live up to this challenge. I trust you will embrace the Cross of Christ. Never has the Church needed more a return to order. Never has our country needed more a return to order. We are few but you have proven yourselves in the many battles in the past, whether it be the over 12,000 public square rosary rallies or anti-blasphemy protests.
But because we are few, we must have frequent recourse to Our Lady to help us with the trials that will come. We must ask her to sustain us in the fight for her.
If we correspond to the graces we have received here, we can expect great things. Our sacrifices will bear great fruit since Our Lady will not be outdone in generosity. We will be given something beyond any expectation.
Let us end by placing all our trust in Our Lady. Let us confide that the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart foreseen at Fatima will come. Let us proclaim the object of our desires: the Reign of Mary!