Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Glorious Times of the First Crusade

I am transported to the glorious times of the First Crusade, to that age when men lived the Faith and were concerned above all with making the world an image of God and Paradise. In this spirit the cathedrals, hospitals, universities, castles, and social relations were established. This love for God, which wanted everything to be made in His image and give Him glory, had a consequence. The medieval man thought that God should also be glorified in the Holy Land. For him, there was nothing more important than that small part of the world, the place that had seen the birth of the Christ Child, the sand upon which the feet of Our Lord had walked, the mountains that had heard His voice, the rivers and streams that had quenched His thirst. The First Crusade, far from being something turned toward the persecution of this or that people, was above all an act of love, born from the need to protect the sacred places where Our Lord Jesus Christ had lived, suffered, died, and resurrected. The Crusade was not principally an act of conquest. Rather, it was an exploit rooted in the great love for God that medieval man had. There was an indisputable grace in the convocation of the First Crusade. The words of Blessed Urban II were accompanied by a special force that generated a supernatural contagion that moved the hearts of medieval men. Everything was put aside to free the Sepulchre of Christ. Deus vult! God desires it. With this spontaneous outcry, those who listened to the Pope’s appeal accepted his invitation to fight for the Holy Land, and this cry resounded throughout Europe. Until today its echoes have reached the ears of those who still have the same excellence of the spirit of Faith that belonged to medieval man. When the Holy Sepulchre had been freed and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem established, peace began to reign in Palestine. However, the enemy lurked to retake its former possessions. To protect and defend it, the Orders of Chivalry were founded. Perhaps the most important of them was the Knights Templar, which seemed to have inherited that same spirit of holy prowess that had led the Crusaders to conquer Jerusalem. One of their mottos was this: The most beautiful adventure in the world is ours. And rightly so. What could be more worthy of brave deeds and the spirit of adventure than to defend the Sepulchre of Christ? To preserve Christianity in the Holy Land? Nothing. If the Knights Templar represented a grace of the Crusades, their motto summarizes it. These are a few of my thoughts when I consider this noble theme. (Ellyn Miller, Tradition in Action)

Le pape prêche la Croisade à ClermontLe Pape prêche la croisade à Clermont (France)

No comments: