To which of these two civilizations is temporal victory promised? I answer this question with no hesitation, with no heaviness of heart, that temporal victory will go inevitably to the philosophic [modernist] civilization. Has man desired to be free? He will be. Does he abhor bonds? They will fall to pieces at his feet. There was a day when, in order to experience liberty, man decided to kill God. Did he not do it? Did he not place Him on a cross between two thieves? Did the angels, perchance, come down from heaven to defend the Just One suffering agony on earth? Well, why would they descend now, when it is not a matter of the crucifixion of God, but of the crucifixion of man by man?…As for myself, I hold it proven and evident that evil will always triumph over good here below, and the triumph over evil is something reserved for God, if it can be said, personally…
It should not be said that if defeat is certain, the struggle is useless. In the first place, the struggle might delay the catastrophe; in the second place, the struggle is a duty, and not simply for those who consider themselves Catholics. We should give thanks to God for having granted us the struggle, and not ask, in addition to the grace of combat, the grace of triumph, for in His infinite goodness He reserves for those who fight well in His cause a reward greater than victory.
—Juan Donoso Cortes, in a letter to the Count de Montalembert, translated by Vincent McNamara and Michael Schwartz
Filed under: History of conservatism |