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TABLE PREFACE •. ¥

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CONTENTS

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YOUTH _ _.......•................•....... _.......•.......•..........•.......•.......•........ 1 A REMEMBRANCE AND A STEP FORWARD ................................•.......••......•......2 _ "LET NONE SCORN YOUR YOUTH" . -WITH DIOOENES' YOUTH, A DIRECT BREATH LOOK .......................•................•....•....•....•.......•.. 5 LANTERN ..............•.......•....... ;•................•.......•.......•.......•........... 10 OF LIFE

15 .......................•................•.......•.......•.............•........

_.......•.......••......•.......•.......•................•.......•.......•.......•.......•.•..... 19

Ow AGE _ _.......•................•.........................•.............•................•....• 22 IN THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL .....•.......•.......• :..............................•.......•.......•.•.• 24

34 GREAT DICTATORSHIPS .....•.......•..................................•.......•.......•.......•.......•.. THE PRESENcE OF THE LIE ....._..................................•.......•.........................•....... _.. 34
UNDER THE SCEPTER OF THE LIE _................•.......•.. 37 38 THE DICTATORSHIP OF TRUTH .....•.......•. :.....•.•..............•................•.......•.......•..

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In the Holy Scriptures _ _ _................•...............•.......•.... . 40 _ In the Acts of the Apostles .....•...................•.......•.......•.•.. _........•....•..•...... 43 __ Truth and Originality .......................................................•....... _ _ . 45 48 Truth and Sincerity .......................•.......•.......•.......•.................................•.......•.•.. Truth and Reality _ . 50 Truth and Ideal .....•.......•.......•................................•.......•...............•.................. 52 53 THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE GRANDIOSE ....................•...............................•....•
53 Truth and Dreaming _.......•....... _ _................•...............•.......... _ 55 Man is Great Through the Nostalgia of Grandeur . 57 Ex Veritate (From the Truth) ..... ....................................................•.............. _ A POSITION IN THE 'FACE OF MYSTERY ON THE HEARTH OF LOVE THE ABILITY TO ADMffiE _..........•....•..... 59

Copyright

©

by Romanian Catholic Publishing Co. 1975 East Chicago, Indiana in the United States of America Press, Carthagena, Ohio

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Manufactured

.......................•.......•.......•....... _..........•....•.......•.. 62 65 _ _ _.......•................•.......•........

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69 SELF CONQUEST ....._................•................•.........................•.......•.......•.......•.......•.......•.. ON THE ALTAR OF CONSCIENCE ..............•................ _.......•....... _.............•.............. 72

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THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES ................•......•.......•.......•......•...........................•.......•.. 74SHORT OF' SHEDDING BLOOD .....•.......•.............•.......•.......•..•....•.......•.......•....•..... 76 BEYOND SHEDDING BLOOD ....•.........•.......•.......•.••..••.......•.......•................•.......•....•.. 79

VALOR .....•................•.......•.......•.......•..•.....................•.......•................•................•.............•..... 85
THE STRUCTURE OF' VALOR .....•.......•................•.......•.......•.......•.......•.......•.......•.. 89 COURAGE .....•.......•.......•....•.......•.......•......••................•.......•.......•.......•.......•.......•.......•........ 93 THE HALo OF' YOUTH YOUTH .......•.....••.........................•.......•..................................•........... 97 ..............•.......•................•.......•.......•................•................•..... 102

H.OMANIAN

102 SPIRITUAL THIRST .....•.......•....... -.......•.•.............•.......•.......•.......•.............•.......•.......•.. IN THE CRADLE OF TRUE YOUTH •....•.......•.......•.......•.............•.......•.............. 103
YOUTH, CREATOR OF MYTH .....•.......•.......•.......•.......•.............•.......•.......• 105 ;.•.....•.. THE ABILITY TO SACRIFICE ......................................•.......•.•....•.............•.......•........ 107 "LEAVE TO DEATH ••• " .......................•.......••...... _ •...•.......•.......•.......••......•.•..... 108

PREFACE
The phrases in this book - intended for an ageless youth - were \'J1'ittenby an eminent pastor of youth. He had acquired a thorough humanistic and theological education, and had been raised to the dignity of the episcopate as a young man .. He died in our days (May 27, 1953) in his spiritual youth, a hero of the faith. The author of the volume at hand, loan Suciu, became a legend as a result of his teaching and example. Between 1935 and 1948 there was no Catholic orator in all Romania to surpass him. His sermons were rich in vocabulary and imagery and filled with exalted ideas; they were verbal frescoes comparable in their dynamism and dramatic impact with the frescoes and sculpture of Michelangelo. That which Michelangelo produced with chisel and brush, loan Suciu attempted to do with words. loan Suciu prepared himself carefully for the task of producing religious masterpieces through the use of language. His general preparation was pursued in Romania at the Lycaeum of St. Basil at BIaj, where he augmented his scholastic progran1 by voracious reading (his father was director of the library). His philosophical and theo· logical studies were completed in Rome where, as an alumnus of the Greek College of St. Athanasius, he was a student at the Angelicum, there . obtaining his doctorate in philosophy and theology. His lively intelligence continued to involve him in voluminous reading, and he had a predilection for the patristic writings which for him were a treasury of theological thought, of piety and, at the same time, of rhetoric .. His style of church oratory was actually inherited from mem· bers of his family; an uncle, the canon loan Coltor, had been one of the most scintillating orators at Blaj, because of his romantic style.

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THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH PREFACE

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His acquisition of knowledge did not tend to turn loan Suciu into a museum of dry facts. He strove to establish a tie between reading, speaking and living. Returning after his studies to BIaj, as a priest in the environment of the secondary schools and ecclesiastical center he soon gained fame as a catechist, confessor, lecturer and preacher. Penitents young and old came away from his confessional seat anointed with spiritual youthfulness. His lectures and conferences were heard by the young with pleasure, and his sermons with enthusiasm. Those who~ sought to listen to his words included not only Catholics but, with time, Orthodox as well; and he succeeded in securing the distant admiration even of the rabbi 'at Blaj who, meeting him in 1937, confessed to a great desire to hear him, and regretted that the wall separating the two religions did not permit him to attend his sermons in church. Unquestionably, his most eager listeners were always the young to' whom he was an advisor by means of a review (The New Youth) as well as a number of other publications. From among these young people he built up an elite group; through these his style of spiritual life penetrated into university circles and areas of public life. Speaking often to the youth, he himself remained young in spirit; and he retained this youthfulness even after his elevation to the rank of Auxiliary Bishop of Oradea, maintaining it until that hour in 1948 when he was removed 'from administration of the Archepiscopate of Blaj and from the sight of the youth, and taken to prison. There he was to step beyond the bounds of blood and die a martyr's'death for his faith in St. Peter and the mission of his successor, thus sealing his writings with his deeds.

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The image of Bishop loan Suciu, however, did not disappear from among us at his death. It has remained, alive and ready to speak out from generation to generation by means of his writings. Among these his last volume, YOUTH, which was first published in Romanian at Oradea in '1944, occupies a prominent position. By publishing this English edition of his volume we pay homage here in the United States to the author's apostolic spirit; but at the same time we desire to do a service to the American youth of today which is passing through a none too mild ferment. Although written with a view to the years on the threshold of World War II the volume YOUTH remains a most timely work because of- its prophetic spirit of prognosis and counsel. Living in Romania some years ago the author certainly did not live to see the crises through which the young people of the western world

have. been pasing during these last decades. Pursuing his apostolate, however, in the midst of a precocious people, he was faced in his time with crises of this nature in smaller measure and was thus able intuitively to sense their danger. As a result his writings, although produced three decades ago, are relevant to the needs of our day. By "youth" the author means not physical youth but spiritual youthfulness. Thus his book is addressed to all men of good will, to all who are athirst for truth, for beauty, for nobility; it is addressed to all who are determined to set out on the road of sacrifice, in a word, to all, who would seek and preserve a spiritual youthfulness, regardless of their years. Would it not be appropriate, then, to seek in these very pages a word appropriate for young people uprooted by so-called culture who roam through this modern life without the guidance of any high ideal? In these pages might also be found the very words needed to raise toward spiritual heights those of advanced physical age for whom the life of today has nothing to offer but the spectre of decrepitude. In his exposition of advancement the author does not borrow from traditional notions of asceticism but embarks on a direction of his own. The human and christian ideal of heroism and holiness is blended into a single organic whole. His reasoning is varied and the atmosphere one of towering religiosity. The foundation of this religiosity is Christ, a fact by which both the pantheistic vitalism of Nietzsche and the idolatrous worship of race or social caste are rejected. The book in its entirety can thus be looked upon as a preamble - a kind of frontispiece such as t4at on Antonio Gaudi's church of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona '- to a vast theological exposition which the author has not yet written but has taken with him to God. We wonder if there will be anyone to complete his work. The final chapter in the book, "Romanian Youth," may be puzzling at first sight. It comprises the concrete application of the work's ideal to the Romanian youth between the two world wars known to Bishop Suciu through conversations, through the sacrament of penance and through deeds. In a way the chapter represents the author's spiritual testament to the Romanian youth. The content of this chapter, however, is valid not only for the youth of Romania but for young people everywhere, any time. It is thus suitable for American youth as well. The style of the book harmonizes with its content, pulsating with the spirit of youth. The phrases have a pastel freshness, yet are riot'

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. THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH

hurried improvisations of the pen; rather they were developed gradually from reading and reflecting and out of contact with the young. Thus the book emerges as a tapestry consisting almost exclusively of collected or created maxims. The concise phrasing is often embellished with poetic imagery which reveals a glimpse of the brilliant author who was Bishop loan Suciu. Without being spun out to the end in tedious fashion, his thoughts adapt themselves nevertheless to an unhurried sipping, to reconsideration and to complementary ideas of the reader. The text however is also based on contrasts between light and shadow. Characteristic is the contrast between youth (light) and politics (shadow). This opposition between youth and politics evoked.the discussions which occurred in Romania during the interval between the two world wars. Presentient of the second world war's fury and of all its .consequences for Romania and eastern Europe, the Romanian youth of the time concerned. itself with seeking means of defense. It is this very preoccupation that is captured in the book. One might ask whether the depicting of this contrast contains a forecast of the defective postwar politics which must bear the responsibilityfor so much suffering in ,the world. In any case, today's youth wiII also know how to appreciate the value of political activity, which by overcoming temptations could be a source of great and beneficent deeds - in other words, can enter into the sphere of YOUTH. The book merits bdng placed, therefore, in the hands and .the libraries of all, of whatever age; it even deserves to be the foundation of a library for those who are young in spirit; it is worth being read. more than once. In conclusion, I should like to. express my deep appreciation to Professors Enea and Renata· Motiu of Detroit and to Professor Charles Carlton of Rochester, N. J., for the difficult task of translating the. prescnt volume from Romanian to English, a task they fulfilled with understanding and love. Thanks are .extended to Mr. Louis Daraban of Los Angeles for his revision and correction of the text, as well as to Rev. George C. Muresan for proofreading the text.
Msgr. Octavian Barlea

YOUTH
«] write to you young men because you are str-ong and because you have conquered the evil one" (First Epistle, St. John 2, 13-14).
I have set forth to describe the fount·of heroism and to discover the sources from which it springs as well as those which foster it and assure that it shaH endure. I have Youth is the the during which heroism grows, essence of heroism. found out that age qJJalitiesof youth constitute theand nowhere does heroism appear except through the fostering of the spirit of youth. The spirit of youth gives growth to heroism. "Do not believe him who says that youth is a time for distraction and for pleasure: youth is not made for having a good time; it is conceived for heroism" (P. Claudel) . When an era is about to crumble, youth is present whencver there is need and lends its shoulders in order to prop it up. When great ideas lose their way and are isolated like leaves which have fallen from branches, young people run to take them in their arms, in order that the world may have the possibility to drean1 and contemplate the glades of paradise; and poetry makes its way through the regions of black clay and cold drizzling rain in order to kindle hunger and· t1)irst for the bread of life. When the temperature falls on earth and it is not possible to find any fuel to drive the cold from one's soul, and when icicles form curtains at our windows in the direction of the light, then the friend of fire, youth, comes in haste and with a smile, bearing in its bosom

Apostolic Visitor for Romanians in the United States of America The author made many notations after publishing the 1944 edition of his work, containing ideas he intended to introduce in a subsequent edition~ These notes are included in the ptesentedition and are identified by an asterisk~

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a flame whose absence had caused our blood to chill. For, if the world lacks fire, we cry out for youth in desperation. When, tired by so many beginnings and oppressed by so many disappointments, frightened by so many sacrifices, we feel the dread of death which follows the tracks of our gloomy hearts, we cry out to a youth which is full of hope, without the burden of "experience," without the heredity of disappointments. It rushes like a fresh wind of optimism which revives the exhausted and lifts up the forehead of those without courage. When the splendid life and the eternal values of the spirit have need of sacrifice, of the life of man in, order to continue, then youth is present and is happy to die for the ideal, for it alone does not believe in a death which destroys. When the world cries out for heroes and for saints to uphold the collapsing columns of mankind, to stop the fatal progress toward unescapable aging, and to change the musty· limbs' which have decayed with sin and with doubt, in the stormy silence the voice of youth is heard. I am here! And the world breathes relieved. To the spirit of youth has been given the strength to conquer the evil one. Here is heroism, here is the beauty of the life to which you are invited by Providence.

We listened to him. Many of our dreams were born on the lips of the venerable Bishop. We listened to the feats at arms of a soldier of the Lord ... But we knew from other sources the martyrdom of his youth. Sewn into a sack by some nonbelievers, thoroughly thrashed and then thrown into the sea, he was miraculously saved by some fishermen. Pursued during a time he had gone to administer the Holy Sacraments to a dying man, he was locked in the home of a Christian and the house was set afire so that he might be consumed Eke a grain of incense in a huge censer. At the very last moment he managed to escape, suffering burns, however, and with his hair whitened from terror. No one and no thing was able to fetter his apostolic. zeal and his youthful elan. Now, in the majesty of his eighty years, he bore the halo of all those wounds, the sweet yet harsh crown of all the abuses endured for Christ. . As the images of so many tortures and struggles which had consumed his life and hastened his old age rushed before our eyes, charming our imagination and captivating our hearts, there surged within us a great tumult of life, and a manly fervor roused our hopes to the very peaks of our souls, while the elderly and venerable Bishop blessed us with these words, plucked from depths of blood and tears: "Life is beautiful, my children. Life is beautiful!" We felt he was blessing our youth, a youth that makes Efe beautiful. We also felt he was bewitched by the light of the poetic thoughts of grandeur in which our years were immersed, deeply touched by the sincerity with which we worshipped the Truth, and enchanted by the sparkle in our eyes, our inebriation with an unconfined desire to do glorious deeds. I thought of the young scholar who asked Jesus to show him the way to eternal life, and how the eyes of the Lord, while looking to him, warmed the young man's heart that was so dear to Him. There must have been great beauty in that soul to have captured Jesus' love!
"And looking to him, He loved him."

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A REMEMBRANCE AND A STEP FORWARD
A venerable Bishop had gathered us around him in the calm shade of a fig tree with broad and sparse leaves. It was at the height of summer, at noon. In the mountains, in the. full solitude protected by woods, we heard only the usual song of the crickets in the trees. Amongst the majestic trees and the valleys alive with sparkling brooks, even silence itself was hushed, it seemed, so as to absorb avidly our conversation. Taken by devout astonishment, our young seminarians' eyes kept staring at that image with the silvery beard. He was the august and mild image of a confessor of the Faith! 'On his forehead glittered vestiges of the epic of his suffering for Christ; the pious heroisms of youth were imprinted on his face. The years had spun on his holy face a veritable chronicle of tales to the glory of his old age.

Beauty is the creator of love. And beauty was the youth of that scholar. So great and so holy is youth tl).at,Jesus chose to die YQung,without knowing maturity or old age,'leaving,indeed the years of Hi$ childhood and His youth as an example, to be followed at the risk of incurring eternal conderimation by failing' to emulate His example.'

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Yauth is so great and so holy that "he who was beloved by Jesus" was the youngest among the Apostles; and to youth alone was it permitted to rest upon His bosom when His entire inner Being so burned with love for aJl mankind at the Last Supper. Youth is so great and so holy that, having quickly reached perfection, it condemns prolonged and unjust old age, and being pleasing to God it is snatched by Him from the midst of evil and removed from earth? For it is given to earth to make life beautiful and worth living. Youth is so great and so. holy that God wants it only for Himself, as an offering sacrificed to the Lord from the life created by Him. 81. Ambrose urges us to give ourselves to God from the time we are young, otherwise He might become displeased with us as He became displeased with Cain who. failed to sacrifice to Him the first fruits, the offering of the earth, keeping them rather for himself and electing to give God the other portion. And He loved Abel, because he sacrificed to Him the first fruits of the flock.2 In the Old Testament God considered the affering of sacrificial animals past their prime as an offenSe and He refused to accept gifts burdened by years and old age. He accepts as a gift of special love / the sacrifice of youth. Youth is so ~reat and so holy that 81. Augustine, commenting on Psalm 118, verse 9, writes: "In youth we recognize the new man, in the aged man we recognize the ancient man of old," considering that youth alone could be the abundance of life that overflowed into mankind through Christ. Youth is so great and so holy that the same St. Augustine maintains that we are going to rise again on the last day just as we were in yauth, "even if we die in old age; or as we would have been in yauth had we died earlier."s "Blessed be you, young men," St. Phillip Neri used to. say,"because yau have time to. do. goad." He laaked at yauth with religiaus eyes and knew how to. see in it nat a vulgar net of vices, but rather the urn af the future and the vessel af ardent virtues. "We cannot praise yauth enaugh; it is so. beautiful that we spend aur lives waiting far it as weJl as regretting its passirig."4

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"LET NONE SCORN YOUR YOUTH"
These words af St, Paul must have resounded in the ancient warld, where youth was considered a simple "inebriation of life," which was expected to pass quickly. St. Jahn Chrysastom5 preached to. a world still full of pagan memories, exhorting it nat to. look at age but to look at the saul. Did nat Daniel, as a young man, judge the two libidinous old men? Did not David, in his yauth, conquer Galiath, while in his old age he lost his head to Bethsheba? Was not Solomon in his yauth . imbued with wisdom, while in his old age he let himself be weakened by idol warship and lost the gift of. the Holy Light? It has been necessary to say to a world that has grown old: respect .yauth and do. nat scam it. Youth is so. decisive for the rest of a man's life that the Holy Spirit urges it an to. proper habits, so that not even in old age will it be diverted from them. "If I do. not become holy in my youth, I shall never become haly," Gabriel Dell' Addolorata used to say to. himself, as· did athers like him. All ages before the caming of Christ praised the beauty of old age. Philasophers, law-givers, and priests were aU old and considered as so-called wise men. When in the books of the Old Testament youth was praised,.it referred to. the quality of "aId" wisdom in yauth. Cicera's "De Senectute" is also. a voice fram antiquity, pleading in favar af this apinian. Christ palished and imbued all His worthy disciples with the spirit of youth. Until then, peaple expected anly vices from youth. From that time on a rebirth into. yauth was cansidered an essential condition for life. The world was then overwhelmed by this spirit af heavenly beauty, which penetrated and changed even legendary ald. age: the spirit af yauth, the spirit af an eternally yaung Gad. A Japanese intellectual, converted to. the gaspel af Christ, confesses his surprise in the presence of the spirit af yauth which is faund in every stage of life af those who. fallaw Jesus. And he wanders: "Why is it that pagans grow old and become exhausted so. quickly while Christians. maintain until death their strength of unending hape? Far us pagans the sight af an eighty year aId man, who. is still making plans for the future as though he were only twenty-five years aId, is something extraordinary .. ' For us, a fifty year old man is ald."6 S. "De Poenitentia, hemi1;· III." 6. Kanse Cutchiamura; "The Spiritual Crisis of a Japanese."

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An erudite physician was tremendously impressed by the fact that . the popes, who ascend the throne of St. Peter generally having already reached sixty or seventy years of age, give the impression of renewed youth, or of an uninterrupted youth 'which is prolonged to the age of eighty or ninety. He who is close to. Jesus is close to youth itself. I t is a sin of base defiance of the spirit of Christ to scoff at youth, as did the one who uttered the following frightful words: "I would like to spit on those twenty years ofmine."1 The prestigious myth of youth does not spring forth with certainty from what one knows, but rather from what one is. Youth has as its banner the verb "to be," not the verb "to know." for this. And yet it is chastised

imagination, which appears to us to be youth dominated by the spirit of youth. I believe that we must align ourselves with those who recognize the merits of youth. "Almost an great things have been carried out by young men" (Disraeli). Ostwaldt, in "Die Grosse Maenner," divided great men into Classicists and Romantics. The creative power of the latter attains its peak in youth and falls off gradually. Nearly all great inventions and discoveries have been made in youth, the age in which devotion to imagination and dreams is at its peak, says the wellknown scholar. Is not one of the most significant historical visions that of Rome founded by two youths nourished by a she-wolf - Rome, who destroyed and plowed Carthage under, whose' god (Moloch) fed on children burned alive? So does a world rise, and collapse! More images follow one another in the history of our people, carrying along with them a wave of ideals. A handful of young intelLectuals just out of school, led by Nicolae' Balcescu7a who was only twenty-eight years old, planted the spirit of 1848 beyond the Carpathian Mountains. When Avram lancu7b called the meeting of that Sunday after Easter in 1848, he was no older than twenty-four, and his tribunes were just about the same age. Aurel Vlaicu,7c the conqueror of the sky, was also a young man when he invented "Ia mouche folie," as his flying machine was called abroad. Mihail Kolganiceanu1d was writing the history of the country when he had. just finished secondary ~chool. Alexandru Odobescu,7? at the

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But, is it not a fact that the major error of our civilization is in emphasizing what we know, not what we are? (Ibsen). God defined himself to Moses in the burning bush on Mount Horeb as "lam who am," and not through knowledge or experience. God cannot have experiences. We can believe without hesitation that "the spirit of initiative of youth is worth as much as the experience of old age" (Me Kuorr). The Old Testament regards old age as indicative of great strength and of victory over time. In it, motherhood is also considered as a divine blessing. Virginity derstood by men. was an unpenetrated mystery, a state not un-

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The New Testament begins with a flowering of fertile virginity, beyond any human understanding, and with a pervasive spirit of youthful renewal which stunned the wisdom of the old. Without denying the honor of motherhood virginity is given to us as a fertile mystery - "he who can understand, let him understand" _ through which we conquer the flesh, crush the signs of time, deny the enchantment of vanity, and prove the supremacy of the spirit and the absolute value of Heaven. The New Testamerit, without relegating old age to oblivion, offers to us the spirit of youth, as mysterious .as virginity, alone capable of believing in love, of beginning anew without doubts, and of persevering without indifference. Christ grants us this enchanting and impenetrable parable of love and of dreams, of hope and thirst for life, of freshness and sacrifice _ the parable of this expert of the ideal, of this prisoner of the creative

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7. Quoted from Ed. Lavergue in "Voici III France de ce Mois," 194Q, No.
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7a. Nicolae Balcescu (1819-1852), historian, politician, leader in the War of 1848. Principal work: History of the Romanians Under Michael the Brave (1851). 7b. Avram Iancu (1824-1872). "The Mountain King," leader of the Romanian army revolt in Transylvania (the Western Mountains) 1848-1849; in 1852 lost his mind asa result of the political maneuverings of the Austrian Imperial Court. 7c. Aurel Vlaicu 0880-1913), engineer, aviator, inventor-constructor of an original plane; lost his life in a plane crash, 7d, Mihail Kogalniceanu (1817-1891), Romanian statesman and writer with nationalistic and traditional bent. Began publishing his works while still a student. Leader of the Moldavian Revolution of 1848, foremost political figure of Prince Cuza's time. 7e. Alexandru Odobescu (1834-1895), Romanian Minister, University professor, member of the Romanian Academy,' scholar and novelist.

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age of seventeen, was writing about art with the seriousness and understanding of a mature man. At the age of thirty, Nicolae Balcescu gave us the historical work which remains a model of harmony and perfection to this date.s In other directions we find youth working and creating in philosophy and science. Pascal, while only twelve years of age, cr.eated mathematics "He invented it," as his older sister,Gilberta writes. At sixteen he composed his learned treatise on conics. At nineteen he created the calculating machine. At twenty-three he proved the weight of air, correcting one of the greatest errors of ancient physics. Descartes discovered the method of applying algebra to geometry when he was twenty-three. Leibnitz at seventeen wrote a thesis concerning the principle of individuation, while at twenty-three he wrote "De Arte Combinatoria." He was only eighteen when he discovered the elementary ideas in philosophy which led him to the discovery of truths through a simple logical combination such as in mathematics. At· the age of twenty-five Berkley composed "The Theory of Visions," while Hume at twenty wrote "The Treatise on Human Nature." Schiller wrote both theatrical and philosophical works while still in his youth. Youth is related to beauty and power. Goethe began "Faust" when he was very young. Corneille, with his "Cid," at the age of thirty began a new system of aesthetics. Racine at the age of twenty-three gave the masterpiece "Andromaque" to the world. Bernini sculptured his most beautiful works in marble between the ages of seventeen and nineteen. In our own times, at the age of nineteen the Spaniard Francisco Palma produced such a famous sculpture that by twenty-two he had already become a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Malaga. At a time when many young people are only dreaming about scouting or about military school, Alexander started out on the path of conquerin·g the greatest empire on earth; and Joan of Arc began her marvelous epic at the age of eighteen. I:Iannibal's name was associated with horror by the enemy at the same tender age at which Titus took over the siege of Jerusalem. Clovis at the age of fifteen built France,· and Napoleon, with his twenty-five: year old generals; molded in an enthusiasm of power and of ~outh a Europe tha;t had been unhinged. Towards the end of the
8. Cf. Oct. Goga:HMustul·carefierbe". hedi~ti : Hpopo~ul;"·p. 11S: The Cult of Xouth, p. 19.5. Me.

Middle Ages and· during the Renaissance, when the prerequisite of the Condottieri was administrative and political prudence. Italy was overflowing with young men. Giovanni delle Bande Nere became a victorious captain at the age of sixteen, and when he died at twentyeight had already attained fame. Is it not surprising that under Louis XIV, the so called Sun King (1638-1715), the average age of those admitted among the immortals of the French Academy was but twenty-five? The famous Danton, a minister at the age of thirty-three, wrote the following message to the president of the legislative assembly: "A reflection founded· upon experience and upon study of the human heart seems to prove that at the age of twenty-five we are more suitable for public office than at a more advanced age, if we have the preparation and the necessary knowledge.. What is true is that man then is prey to many passions which overwhelm him, and he even gives in to their violence, but that very violence maintains the fire of his genius which enhances his ideas and gives to his character that force and energy necessary especially in time of revolution" (L. Barthou,
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Montalembert, at the age of twenty-one, founded the newspaper "L' Avenir" in order to defend the liberty of the persecuted Church as also the first Free School, "a fact more valuable than all his rhetorical vigor," and therefore succeeded after thirty years in achieving freedom of teaching and in saving Christianity in France. St. Charles Borromeo became a Cardinal at the age of twenty-two and reformed the degenerate life of northern Italy. Blessed Peter of Luxemburg became a Bishop at the age of fifteen, and then became a Cardinal; and he died at the age of eighteen, having spread the love of God and of the great virtues in Lorraine, Paris, and Avignon. St. Casimir, confessor of the Faith, father and defender of the poor. and the wretched, ended his earthly exile at the age of twenty-five. St. Eusebia died at the age of twenty-three, after having been a model abbess at the monastery of Hannay .. St. Theresa of the Baby Jesus, the Little Flower .,of Lisieux, died at the age of twenty-four, leaving us the freshness of' a smile which will never vanish. There have been so many holy youth that if we removed them from the "Lives of the Saints," from Martyrologies, from the Calendar of the Church, the world would seem irremediably condemned to sadness and to the philosophy of darkness. Take away the faith which youth has in life, eliminate that con-

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tagious freshness which comes from its being and which is dissipated on trifles and things, set aside the energy and enthusiasm which conquers the inertia of the dead, push away the hopes which anoint depressed hearts, overlook their optimistic vision of the future; suppress the taste for truth and the religious fury with which youth persecutes the herd of "whitened sepulchres" and assaults the temples of lies, and you will see how decay will descend with ugly wings upon the shrivelled faces of men; how necessary it will then be to consider the problem of spiritual excitement which no one will be able to solve, not finding under the heavens, even among the constellations, any fuel which could be a tolerable substitute for a rejected and scorned heart of youth. The smell of crypts would reign over all of nature then, and all about us. In a full and silent night all the lyricism which makes life breathable would freeze. All the cascades which nourish the epics of the world would fall silent. And when youth is dead and death itself should be deprived of its poetry, then who shall ever again console us in this grey life? For life and death need some ~ind of poetry in order to be bearable. "Youth considers life to be pure gold, while old age is attracted to dross" (Carpenter), and it is this dross that suffocates life. Today, as always, the respect and honor which we accord to youth is a special and necessary form of respect for the nation.

WITH

DIOGENES' LANTERN

As tenants of a world in collapse, whipped by the pestilence of so many deadly heresies, we aspire to the return of a divine spirit, and in its absence we seek to invent myths of redemption. Thus was born the myth of youth, a new idol which has come to join the dangerous flock of idols that have made the modern world a collective energumen . The myth of youth should be the justification of youth in itself, through faith in itself, and through sincerity toward life and its promises. Youth must be brought to light as the only fragment which has remained unexploited by Divine intention and Divine powers bestowed on the world. In some Latin countries such as Spain and South America, being young was synonymous with being right.9 The infallibility of youth should be born from its purity of intention. Totalitarian states 9. Augusto Durelli, "Essai sur les Mentalites.Contemporaines/'C. V. p.
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have sought to mobilize youth in favor of their ideology, itself totalitarian. The age of youth would follow the age of the child, and the proud rule of youthful enthusiasm would take the place of childish innocence. War-like agitation is itself stirred by youth, and battle has begun under its banner. Others seek a new youth which is not of the spirit of youth but rather of flesh and blood; youth which shall not be bent over books pursuing the sterile path of reason, but one in which the irrational synonymous with creative - shall dominate; a youth whose blood would be its own banner and which would accentuate the word Life and not the word Spirit. For in the struggle between Logos, the. expression of the Spirit, and Bios, the expression of Life, they seek victory for the latter and attempt to reorganize a world which had been organized logocentrically. This biological concept of youth is a sublimation of the simple bourgeois concept, raised to a demonic level. Youth then becomes a simple somatic form, a tone, a mere chemical equilibrium which resists death and reason. This kind of youth says to itself, "We are the flame, we are the barbaric originality, we are the challenge to scruples and to the sensitivity of the conscience, we are proud seriousness, we are those who have escaped from the "row of sad mummies" and have attached ourselves to a life on the black list; we are the heroic delegates o£ the myth of the Twentieth Century." I hear a voice among the others: "What good is it to exchange one error for another? Let us seek pleasure, for we are only twenty years old" (R.enan). Corrosive laughter is its calling card; it is bourgeois youth. Completely controlled by vice, this type of youth has given itself over to comfort and to a full table. Vaccinated with alcohol and licentiousness, it indulges every extravagance; it seems to have lost its central purpose, caring no longer for anything but the superficial. With no center, yet with a universal periphery. This is the youth stigmatized by Mihail Eminescu9a and Alexandru Vlahuta9b, a youth with a special predilection for maligning all that is enlightened courage and heroism; a youth immune to risks and the sublime giver of goals. They are "a generation of blockheads living at the surface of their being and at the heights and depths of their 9a. Mihail Eminescu (1849-1889),poet laureate of Romania, author also of several political articles. 9b. Alexandru Vlahuta (1858-1919), poet, romanticist,novelistand journalist.

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appetites .... in place of their hearts - nothing" (Rene Schwob). Nothing lives in this type of youth but one vocation: to become spokesmen for public amusements. Closed to any gentle 'invasion of the spirit and of fortitude, it believes itself to be the nobody suddenly called forth into the limelight. Full of the amorphous qualities of extinguished enthusiasms, it raises all moral disasters to deification. Speculators and dilettantes, they indulge in a kind of professional reptilism, only in order to be eternally enthroned in pleasure and honors. Is this not a monstrous kind of youth? "You are a monster when you have a soul like a calculating machine in the service of a machine for pleasure" (P. Bourget). Full of mercenary aspirations, their only thoughts are usury and business. Nonetheless, they still retain a verbal enthusiasm and a taste for the vocabulary of uplifting sentiments, which caress them and deceive them for all that has miscarried in their soul. Even their pulse is senile, and everything in their hearts reflects old age, The bourgeois youth follows "the passionate founder of ruins," sprung from a myth of youth, because it hungers for the peace sustained by two columns: money and pleasure, the "old cadavers of ancient fireworks," Can you then wonder about Kierkegaard's words, "It takes two men to create one," or about Ibsen's confessional, "I see only stomachs, heads, and hands, but"not one man any more on earth." "The yoke of a double slavery does not weigh more heavily upon youth than that of the senses and of money, to which I too am yoked. Not to feel the wasps of my unhappiness, I try in my sleep to become deaf to the whirlwind of pleasures, whose saturation gives me back the lamentations of my soul. Oh, Heaven! Let me go out of this chaos, so that I may enter a new order of universal gravitation, let me submit myself to eternal laws. This is what I beg, and together with me, all of my generation! My age and my soul are lacking in belief. Without it we shali perish. My soul is sad and an unknown spirit devours it. I wish to rise and I cannot. I want to, but I am afraid, as I catch a glimpse of the stream of renunciation and of suffering which still separates me from this new life" (Andre Lamande) . However, if you travel towards other locations carrying the lantern of Diogenes, and you were to behold the dance of muscles in the arena, the slender cutting of space by a running body, the disappearing of distances under running feet, and an entire arabesque of gestures and sporting figures stretched out in space like a new cathedral of

tendons engaged in the fight with the inertia of matter, do not say to yourself before this athletic youth "I have found the true youth." While looking at their limbs; do not cry out with tears, as Mylo of Cratodid, "Woe, mine'have died!" for that is not true youth. The terrible desire for violence does not create youth, and neither does the wild zeal of vulgarity. The deification of this kind of youth made Gilson write: "Among all the idols whose cult poisons us, among all the models followed with, ardor by those who wish to be modern at any price, the cult of youth today is one of the most absurd and most dangerous." These are dangerous narcissisms. Diogenes' lantern can go out in the midst of those souls, young only in the physical sense, who have exhausted their own orbit and on whose faces you find the names of heroes who have been entombed. As a receptacle of so many _ stupidities which have been sanctioned by the philosophy of today, this type of youth totters slowly on the roads that bear the motto "Excelsior" and drags itself behind on all the paths ascending towards the light, in all places of sacrifice, as bastards of courage, hybrids of major sentiments, and mulattoes between great de-, sires and base compromises - a youth ready for heroism and for death, but by proxy only, deprived of the fiery seeds of ideals and love. Let us return to a youth which is not just an aspect and a fragment of the total man and which has no value unless it goes beyond itself in maturity;l'O -to a youth whose spirit is a true anthology of major uplifting virtues, a youth not in the temporal s-ense, but in the, spiritual, which does not end in old age, but rather challenges the ravages of time and makes death a condition of prosperity; a youth in which all the great moments of Christian history and of the nation are summed up. Cicero advised us long ago "to resist old age ... and to combat it just as we combat an iJIness."ll Let us, therefore, bring the people close to the spirit of youth, the only thing which has maintained faith and enthusiasm and heroism on earth (R. Da,utry). Just as false youth, by trying to replace fate, leads mankind on to a bath of blood and of mud, so the spirit of youth and the youthfulness of the soul will redeem it and will make life worth living. 10. R. Dupuis, A. Marc: "J eune Europe," p. III. 11. "De Senectute" ,c. X.

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To say "make room for the spirit of youth" is synonymous with making room for well-founded hopes, for optimism, and for courage. In a world which is without hope, there is no. room but for the spirit of youth. Where hopes falter, listen to the spirit of youth and, more than that, shelter in its bosom your battered hopes. It will never create hopes and optimism, but it will refresh and sustain existing ones. We must give the spirit of youth an outlet in the life of the world, so that it will expand in every field, especially in the social and religious. But by the spirit of youth I mean that which is youth eternally. Let us not adhere to that which is only temporarily youthful, such as the momentary effervescence of blood and muscles, but rather to its eternal elements. We are not going to find anything more actual. "Only that which is eternal is actuaI." If you would like to know if you are still young in this sense, or if you ever were, ask where your heart is. Is it with those who are in the first line, with those who. fight and give of themselves unspairingly spurred by a great and real "dream," with those who believe, with those who hope, with those who love? If your heart responds with a clear and sincere "yes," then you are a worthy temple of the spirit of youth, and you are part of the only aristocracy that can still save the world. As long as you can not know the eloquence of granite, the hymn of steel in fusion, tlJ.e happiness of the sharp, cutting sword of the will, as long as you do not know how to bring out of the quiver of your spiritual strength a "yes" or a "no" which shakes your very being and which sets on fire your destiny, as long as "dreams" and hopes do not know you except as their grave digger, until that time you shall be irremediably lost for youth, even if the smile of only eighteen springs appears on your face.

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Michelangelo wrote: "Non ha l'ottimo artista aIcun concetto, che un marmo intero in se non circoscriva" - "The best artist can have no thought, which cannot be circumscribed by a block of marble." Everything is within the block of the life of youth of the spirit of yo).lth, and the best artist of life could not find anything magnificent which is not contained in the spirit of youth. The spirit of youth is not just a refuge of the world grown old, a bath which it needs, an artificial medicine which amongst many others can enliven and cure it, but rather a condition which is necessary and essential for the salvation of the world. "Either youth shall save the world; or the world shall not be saved."n For the world sins against the two great and holy realities: the spirit of childhood, without which we cannot save ourselves, and the spirit of youth, without which we cannot save others, neither society nor the entire world, just as we cannot save ourselves without heroism. Our social organizations have made many experiments but they have not experimented with the spirit of youth. Frequently, the great and scrupulous concern with which societies surround the young, squandering their powers on various exercises, from sports to songs and work, to literature and politics,' only divert its sacred, spiritual dispositions, the authentic seeds of heroism, and its effect was not a creation of fresh energy, with a consciousness of a mission and of a responsibility, but
12. Henry Pate, "La Jeunesse sauvera Ie moude," p. 30, ed. I. Ferenezi et Fils, 1933. 15

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the fom1ation of an isolated civil minority (Maulnier). Merchants have rented the arms of youth and tried to graft their decayed ideas to the vigor of the spirit of youth; but who, other than Jesus Christ himself, has had the unheard of temerity to build a destiny and an aim for the soul of youth? Within the modern "city" only the circus, - the "circenses" - has been allotted to youth. But now, in this general old age, when even errors and vices have grown old, we lay claim with a powerful cry to the spirit of youth. "In the time of our youth, there is often in us something which is better than we ourselves, better than our best desires and pleasures, better than our convictions and consent. Our soul is at its best at that time."ls We have only to command that these riches come to light, in order to build with them a world in which there wiII be room for happiness and hope. Father M. D. Forestier, O.P. used to say that the characteristic feature of youth brings a fresh outl()ok on things. We need these new eyes which contain something of the eternal freshness of the eyes of the Lord, . whose look rejuvenates men and things. "A new generation brings something new. This new thing constitutes its value and not its civil status Or its "biological" age which is the most fragile among all privileges.14 We need this newness contained temporarily in a generation and eternally in the spirit of youth, because "true youth does not mean to be young, but to remain young, to become eternal beginning with youth," according to what Mauriac says.15 We see around us, with more and more astonishment, how men are fettered in loathsome errors, and how imprisoned they are in their passions which create discord, so that it seems that only' an earthshattering quake would be able to split the waIls of the prisons and to smash the links of the chains. Only legends remain from tradition; from the inheritance of our forefathers only vices are recalled. From ancient wisdom, the spirit of resistance to good and to evil is repeated, and perhaps we have been left with the outlaw - thirst for freedom., Youth brings with itself this gift into life: freedom. No pact, no contract, no wrinkle of nerves holds it to the old forms of feelings and thoughts. It' is uninterrupted freshness, a perpetual "invention of itself" which laughs at fom1s and more particularly at consecrated foolishness.
13. Joubert, "Pensees""Differents ages de Ja vie," p. 110.' 14. R. Dupuis, AI. Marc, "J eune Europe," p. II. IS. Raul Rautry, liCe que je pense des Jeunes." ,

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We need this privilege of youth today. "In crises like those in which we live, young people have some advantages over men who are older: that of being new, that of being free" (Abel Bonnard). Even if nations find, at every crossroads, Caesars who dominate and lead them with maces, nevertheless they still seek only prophets to enchant them and to guide them· through their enchantment.1o This desire and groping for prophets is nothing other than our organic cry for the new and free youth. Over the last spasms, over the last glimmerings of life, over the last cadavers; who shaIl raise hopes, who shaII appease the dead? Youth, from whom heroism and holiness spring. "The time wiII come when, for the salvation of the world, we wiII need a handful of heroes and Saints, who shall reconquer it ... "17 The world which wants innovative eyes and free souls feels that only heroes can cleanse it from the filth that besmears it. Just as the oak is hidden in the acorn, and power in 'muscles, so may heroism be found in the spirit of youth. Each organization is the organization of its heroes, just as the Church is "the Church" of its saints. In the same way, each people is the people of its youth. It dies at the same time as its youth (Girodoux), and in it both heroes and saints are buried. But we "need young men not only to prevent the end of the world, but also not to let it become dormant and lost in routine" (Monsignor D'Hulst). Where shall we find these young men dominated by the spirit of youth? Who are its blessed bearers? Or let us say with the poet:

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youth the story of the greatest falsehood? Where are you, Where shall I caII for you? Where shall I seek you? Are the song of the flute? If we seek you, if we love you, are the dream that can never be told?"18

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And then, do you wish to give flesh to a ghost? To make concrete the substance of Utopia? To give a framework to a shadow and dimensions to a delusion? The Spirit which once walked over the waters, and gave himself to us later under the guise of tongues of fire, will be able to reanimate the most arid field, of bones, as in the vision of Ezechiel, and wiII be

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able to give the spirit of youth to the old'est being and to the gloomiest chaos. ' Father Gillet said that "art is the command which we give to matter to reveal Beauty and Truth." With a powerful wiII and faith, let us give the order to our soul, as to a prime matter of all virtues and heroism, to reveal the face of the eternal youth which we bear within ourselves, and which most of us alienate at the age of sixteen. This is the supreme art - ars artium - which God demands from us. Make steel bear fruit from you; the lawn of paradise with which you are adorned shall bestow all its beauty. Remain in the path of the spirit and do not fear that youth wiII ravish your old age and perhaps the tomb. Raise yourself, pillar of the new world, since no one or thing is as close to heroism as youth and its spirit.

A DIRECT

LOOK

In his youth Marshall Lyautey had a custom for a week every year of entering a Monastery of Trappist Monks, in order to perform an "intense meditation" within himself, because the heart of a youth of twenty seemed impenetrable to him. This reflection within one's own soul is a sign of the beginning of youth. We become young through meditation and through questioning our destiny. A leap beyond the hiIls of childhood, a smashing of the horizons sanctioned by tradition and by custom, an eagerness for action beyond the limits - in this way youth steps into life. When you realize at the spiritual level all the qualities which youth of any age possesses, you have become the bearer of the soul of youth. To live on the ethical level we find that which positively characterizes youth on the psychological level to be synonymous with having the spirit of youth. To transform psychological youth into moral youth is to become young. When the youth of age coincides with the youth of the soul, then we have the truth. An old person can be as close to the spirit of youth as one young in years, just as there is old age in terms of years old age in terms of wickedness and spirit. We consider true youth as a spiritual state, as a climate of the heart, which realizes on the moral level the positive qualities that youthful age possesses on the biological and psychic level. That is to say, a zest for life, an abundance of vital energy, a freshness and exuberance for life, a vigorhnd a smoothness of nature, a reserve of energy yet untouched and of uncommitted powers. Here are a few classical descriptions of youth, synthesizing its qualities, beginning with that first known to philosophy, that is, Aris19

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totle's. "Youth has indeed the distinctive character of being full of Wishes and of feeling capable of accomplishing everything that it desires. Moving and trembling in their desires, ready also to become disgusted, young people wish with an extreme ardor, and just as quickly they become tired. Their WILLS are the most alive, but without strength and without duration, like the thirst and hunger of sick people. They are passionate in fury, in their vivaciousness, and always ready to follow the impulses which dominate them. Masters to a very slight degree over their hearts which dominate them, AMBITION does not allow them to bear scorn and they become infuriated over the slightest idea of any injustice which may be done to them. They prefer honors and triumphs' to money, they care nothing for riches, for they have not yet known want. With ease they dedicate themselves to HOPE, because youth, like an inebriated person, is in fern1erit, and because it has not yet suffered failure. Youth lives especially on hope, since hope has as its sole object the future, just as memory feeds on a past without return ... Young people are GREAT in SOUL and magnanimous, because life has not yet diminished them;' and they do not know the pain of need ... This age, like no other, loves FRIENDSHIP, because it takes pleasure in the COMMON LIFE, and, not judging anything according to the measure of one's self interest, does not associate it's friendships with it. This is the way youth is."19 In another place he describes young people as being mdreCOURAGEOUS than at any other age, and having an EXALTED SOUL. They would always rather do NOBLE deeds than useful ones. Their lives are regulated by moral character rather than by reasoning."zo Bossuet, in his panegyric on Saint Bernard, has a similar page ful! of eloquence. "Shall I tell you what a young man is at the age of twenty? What enthusiasm, what impatience, what an ebullient fury of desires! This power, this vigor, this warm blood similar to sparkling wine in him, does not allow anything smooth or measured '... This verdant youth is agitated violently by, all passions .... Everything is put into execution with incomparable warmth. It stil! has nodiad any experience of the malice of the' wodd,or of the adversities we have encountered. For this reaso'n it imagines that disappointment and disgrace do not exist. Feeling powerful and VIGOROUS, it drives away' fear, and everywhere its sails are spread to the wind' of 'HOPE, which fills it and guides it ... They believe that they can catch 'and hold ev'erything
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they pursue; visions to them seem realities .... Carried away by the sweetness of their never ending expectations, they imagine that they're giving up everything if they wander from their great plans."21 Lacordaire describes for us a more romantic aspect of youth: "As we barely come into bloom on our eighteenth birthday, we ,feel weighed down by desires which have as their object neither the body, nor love" nor glory - nothing, actually, which has a form or a name. Wandering in secret solitude, or trrough the luminous crossroads of a famous city, the young man feels burdened by desires without any goal; he becomes estranged to the realities of life, a prison in which his heart is suffocating, and he seeks impressions which shall form and possess him _ vague and uncertain things, from clouds, from sunsets, from autumn winds and from the fallen leaves of the forest." , No less concise is the description of Fr. Didon, ,O.P.: "Youth is the age in which we dream great dreams; the age of generous illusions and of fiery loves, of lively passions and of easy enthusiasms. It is the age of impetuous vigor which knows no obstacle, the age in which we believe more in good than in evil, in which hopes know no limits nor disappointments. Youth is the age in which we adore something, the true Lord or the false gods, the age in which we die happily for what we adore, without reasonings and without regrets."22 In a similar way, F. A. Vuillerment says, "Youth is the age in which the horizons seem to be without boundaries, guilded by the fire of the rising sun, of an existence which appears long. It is the age during which everything is animated by the sap of spring, when the vigor of life bursts into bloom in fresh colors. It is the age of noble enthusiasms, of proud enterprises and of generous aspirations. It is the age in which the spirit opens to serious and great thoughts, the heart to chivalrous feelings and the will to pain, struggle, and sacrifice. I t is the age in which we find a burning need to march fOlward, to work, to climb, to create, to give of ourselves and to commit ourselves."23 True youth can not be defined by ,its remoteness from death. Here and there, children are closer to death than young people are, and even more than old people. Should we define youth through the span of life opening before our steps, through the "amount of future" which it contains? The old man does not have less life ahead of him than the child in the cradle,
21. 22.

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he has eternal life untouched by the shadow of death. In this case, the measure of the future is very relative, and even impossible to explain. Leon Bloy says, "The older I get, the longer my future becomes." Should we consider youth as a function of the years, lived from the cradle to the present moment? The years by which we shorten our life cannot represent youth, which implies a fulfillment of life. You cannot show what you have through what you have lost, unless you know in advance what you had. Subtracting from life the years that have been lived will tell me that I am young only if I know how much longer I have to live. Youth does not depend upon the years already lived, nor upon the "amount of future" which is still at its disposal, at least presumably, nor upon the vast span of life left prior to death. I believe that the old person who lives in the shelter of the Light, and in the cradle of Eternal Life, is younger than the lad who is discouraged, exhausted, without hopes and without ideals. The intensity of living faith and sincerity, optimism, capacity for sacrifice, disregard for all that which is transitory and common rejuvenates any old age.24 Birth, arteries, joints untouched by rheumatism, muscles, and smoothness of skin can no longer be used as criteria of youth.

the old person reflects.25 He doesn't live in the world of hopes, nor in the world of powerful reasons for living .. Youth is the feeling that life begins with you. The soul in which the ideal is fermenting and the great goals of life eloquently give their password, is a young one. Youth keeps its hopes, cultivating curiosity and trust. Old age is cold and calculating, more inclined towards pessimism and skepticism. It is the state of a tranquil and satisfied soul. Youth is enthusiasm and LOVE, which penetrates the entire range of spiritual warmth, beginning with admiration and ending with adventure and sacrifice. Optimistic and devoid of bitterness, it is an uninterrupted burning within one's self. Youth is UNSATISFIED and NONCONFORMIST, and these feelings make it reject the words "stand stil1." To be petrified is the domain of old age. At odds with traditions and forms, you recognize youth by the behavior of the relentless and dogmatic iconoclast. Old age is stingy with its possessions, it is miserly also with life. Exhausted, it takes life easy; in the absence of the vigorous sap that could give its blood some rhythm, it protects the little strength it has, arid measures its efforts by its inner pressure. Youth knows only how to be prodigal with life, and generous with everything that belongs to it. Its only ambition is to give. To give health, power, life. No age is so willing to die as youth. For youth, Death does not even have a real substance, it is only an accident of life, whose importance is connected with something else; with the holy cause of the ideal. While the old person is reflecting about himself, and about his own things, the young man cultivates altruism and combats egotism as he would a monster. Old age, ready for appeasement and compromise, resigns itself easily and gives up without a struggle. Youth does not want to know halfway measures, and symbiosis between good and evil, between right and wrong, between sensible and vulgar realities and the invisible but real and sublime ideal. It is the age which is most hostile to resignation. It is the season during which the blood sings revolt rather than submission and acceptance, because it lacks to a certain extent the power of self-conquest, and because life can be disclosed by resisting and conquering obstacles. Youth is absolute and totalitarian in what it demands and in what it gives. "Old age is satisfied with little, youth asks for much" (Joubert). 25. A. Maurrois, "Stiinta Fericirii," p. 180, 205.

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Through a deliberate contrast with the content can discover the characteristics of youth. of old age, we

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Old age is full of RECOLLECTIONS; it is Janus with his face towards the past. Burdened with the things of the past, it has the role of a chronicle and not of a gospel, and its conduct is one of an historian, not that of the prophet. The elderly man is an historian, not an apostle. Youth is fulJ of PLANS, it is Janus with his face towards the future, inventive to a point unequalled in "dreams" and in Ideals; it does not know the burden of experience. Youth has the features of the prophet and the apostle. Fettered to the future, it does not feel indebted to the present moment. Old age is .the feeling that it is too late; that the game has been played, that the scene belongs to another generation from now on. It is a lack of desire for work, it is"indifference. WHAT'S THE USE? 24. Cf; Ch. Peguy, "Le Porchedu mistc~rede la deuxieme vertu" p. 200-1.

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Old age is prudent. It does not expose itself. . It is not proud and loves peace and tranquility . Youth is pride and bravery (Cicero). Haughtiness to the point of cruelty, daring to the point of presumption, boldness to the point of temerity, bravery disregarding any prudence, and "arte militare," enmity for all that is idleness and to all comfort and luxury. This is the way youth reveals itself.

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A problem preoccupies him. A question burns his soul. A longing consumes him. He seeks to find the ideal of life and the man who will . point his finger to it. He also dares to ask a question about destiny. He is simple and clear. He does not proceed indirectly, he does not use emphatic phrases or affected pauses. Our youth wants the ideal of life. He thirsts after a certainty to which he could connect the deeds of youth. He seeks the answers to questions which' wear out all the philosophers and whose observation remains useless, collecting dust on library shelves, with their childish answers immobilized on their pages for centuries and milleniums. In truth, youth is the age in which all life's great problems are posed simultaneously (Jean Lacroix), an age inquest of teachers.

IN THE LIGHT' OF THE GOSPEL
"And behold, a young man came to Jesus and said, 'good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' "26 The evangelist Luke calls him a ruler. Probably he was a young man of the aristocracy, distinguished, with fine feelings, well-mannered, sensitive. It is probable that he followed the Savior for a long time, and his pure heart lingered not without some benefit upon his words and deeds. As the text of the Gospel also shows, the anonymous young man did not recognize the nature of the divinity of Jesus. He stopped, though, with admiration of Jesus the man, .the enlightened Teacher, convincing, authoritative, closer to the divine than- any other ancient prophet. Admiration, confidence, yearning, all of these tapers of the candelabra of life caught fire in his nearness to Jesus. But above all, admiration. Here begins true youth: "The most profound feature of the youthful soul is its ability to admire, to be overcome, to give of itself' (Congar, O.P.). Ernest Hello places it among the roots of eternal youth. Admiration conceals unknown. powers, true sources which it arouses. It gives birth to thousands of splendors. Admiration resembles' a revelation, a conversion. It is the great power of renewal and revival. Admiration sends us forth to the cradle of spiritual youth. It opens up the procession of faith, of yearning, and of other feelings of youth. The young man of the Gospel, with his soul.full of this emotion of having discovered a great thing, surprised also by, the act of the Savior embracing children, is encouraged, draws closer, and asks him the question which has, been consuming his soul, after he has approached him in a flattering way, not the usual way to speak to a Teacher. 26. Mat. 19, 16. Mark 10,17. Luke 18, 18.

I ts longing does not know the ridiculous, miniscule proportions of every day desires, or of the typically sentimental sighs over a creature or an imaginary dream. "In each adolescent, there is a sublime moment."27 Oh, if you could only catch this moment, and not let it pass ,close by your life like a useless wandering meteor, but rather fix it as a star upon the vault of the cathedral of your life. Then, and only then, spiritual youth will be enduring in you. "The sublime moment" occurs when desires walk the narrow, steep, and difficult road of the full life, without lies and mirages. When, with a prolonged and renewed effort, you lift the ideal above men, ,above the world, beyond duty, beyond fatigue, and beyond death. When nothing from all that which is heroic and titanic repels you, but on the contrary, draws you closer and enchants you. , The youth in the Gospel had a marvelous desire, to gain eternal life! He wanted nothing other than LIFE. What is life? Does he not have it? Does he not find it in the quiet, comfortable, bourgeois life, which begins at dawn and which the dusk and the quiet nights under the stars cannot take away from him? Full of life, he feels void of life. Not all life is LIFE. Is Life that which is gripped in a transitory uselessness running towards death, life in tune with the finite, life with the stale taste of mustiness? No! That life is not LIFE, and does not satisfy him. fie is young and he wishes a higher life, which does not drag its days and tremble on the sidewalks, in fields fuli of snakes and in libraries full of empty words. He wants that life which is eternal, which goes beyond any kind of obstacle, smashing any horizon and scoffing at any threat posed by the ravages of time. 27. A. Maurrois, "La Jeunesse devant notre tempsi" p. 25.

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26 THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH

A DIRECT LOOK

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The sublime moment which is spiritual YOUTH, is a thirsting after Truth and Life, with a sincerity which overturns hypocricies. It does so with an assurance which will not accept the hesitations of skepticism. Pilate's lips were devoid of the sincerity of the heart, and of a heart longing for truth. "Quid est veritas?" "What is truth," was the question of this government official who had gone through the schools of the masters of the old wisdom. The question was not the offspring of anxiety or the flower of fire of a long and inner turmoil, but rather the posture of a man fed up with philosophy. But the young man asks: "What shall I do to inherit eternal LIFE?" He asks for the supreme ideal on its way towards realization, without any possibility of shrewd casuistry. What should I do, rather than what should I think or feel, because the deed is the fulfillment of the idea and of the heart. It is the evidence of metaphysics, the translation of a conviction. Youth does not measure distance, nor does it measure time. It refuses to recognize stages. It takes no pleasure in any unit of measurement. It rejects logical space from error to truth. It recognizes it but youth does not feel its burden. It ignores the psychological gorge from doubt to assurance, and does not even want to take into account the distance from idea to deed. Youth wants the eternal. For what are all things which are not eternal? Can you place any value on things whose monograph ends with dusk? How can you admit duration there, where you can consider an end? (Cicero). Youth has no business there. It does not stop on the horizon only to strengthen its power for something greater. Even if it is obsessed by the presence of the reality of feelings, a metaphysical thirsting has mastery over youth, and forces it to inquire beyond that which is visible and limited. The young man in the Gospel wanted no other dwelling except in eternity. Nowhere else did he feel well, nothing was able to contain his youth. For him, the vault of heaven and the vault of time cannot be the vault of the cathedral of life which he wishes to build. A pilgrim towards worlds of eternity, he seeks LIFE with enthusiasm. Jesus said to him: "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." The young man then said to Him: "I have kept them all from my childhood, what is still lacking in me?" Behold the path towards the Ideal of eternal LIFE! It is the path

of all mortals, without much fatigue in ascent, without much risk in following it. I have kept to it and it does not satisfy me. Youth wants something more original, more exceptional, apart not only from what is vulgar, but outside of what is common. The atmosphere of great mobs of people does not fill its lungs. It is too prosaic there, and it feels born for something greater. "Ad maiora natus sum," our young man thinks to himself, and he asks Christ for an overabundance of light, a lifting up above the common, deeds which' are not at the disposal of everyone, something which shall engage boldness, which shall quench his daring and which may kindle the spirit of risk and appease the fever for noble adventure. It is not at the age of twenty that you become adapted, that you accept, and that you resign yourself. You have stopped being young when you have begun to believe in satisfying limits and in comfortable positions (E. Brunteau). "Youth thirsts for a total engagement, to find therein enthusiasm, optimism, and the vital sensation of existing."z8 This spiritual state compels the young man to say "AmpIius, Magister" ("More, Master"). He senses his still available energy and unemployed powers for life: "What is stilI lacking in me?" It is an aristocratic feeling of curiosity and words full of hope. For as long as you remain faithful to these things, you are a member of the family of priceless people with young souls. How easily the flame finds its way in these hearts! How freely the Cherubim of enthusiasm bustle about in them while the lion from the escorts of the Chariots of Ezechiel gallops freely within those limbs. Youth is the only palace of life which has no waiting room for great ideas, they enter without being announced and without even stopping at the doors that have been bolted shut. "What is still lacking in me?" I have fulfilled all that men have been able to give me as rules for life and virtue. I have fulfilled that which God requires of all men. I am at the end of the Old Testament but the cup of my heart is not full. I am stiIL,missingsomething, I sense it, I know it. This faith and courage are captivating. He wishes something new in order to commit his boldness, because "youth is the age in which daring is allowed" (H. Bordeaux), this evidence of promise of a life stilI strong and stable. He asks of the Teacher a new beginning, new possibilitiesof being
28.

H. Massis: ','Les idees restent" p. 14.


28 THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH A DIRECT LOOK
29

more than he is, for youth does not have the conviction of the end, the consciousness that everything has been done. As long as there remains the possibility of greatness offered by God, it cannot rest. "Nihil actum si quid agendum." "What is stilI lacking in me?" ... How can I go beyond myself? How· can I greet myself: "You, the one of the past, you are small and base in comparison with what I am now?" I am available, Teacher, to go ahead. Is it not a fact that youth is the imperative of the verb to go? Did you not speak to Joan of Arc through those miraculous "voices": "Go, daughter of God, go!" and in this way you define her youth through a vocation? As long as you are ready, you are still young. The attachments that make you grow old, are attachments to all which is temporary and perishable. How beautiful youth is! Desire provides its name and measures its frontiers. It has no other frontier but life and eternity. Splendid view, that of the spirit of youth! Christ was delighted, and a warm quiver gripped His heart. "Looking at him, He loved him." The Evangelist 11lUsthave remembered this because it was something unique. The Heart of the Teacher responds to true· youth and to its great desires with an accent of joy and love. Christ was enchanted by what was beautiful. And what is more beautiful than a genuine young desire? The name of Daniel the prophet is a characteristic of his youth, "vir desideriorum," the man of desires. Jesus does not expect the passing from wish to the great achievements. He contemplates it, and is filled with joy. What a great blessing of creation is youth! I reflect upon the wonderful words of H. Lacordaire: "The forehead of the young man is the brilliance of the brow of God, and it is impossible to look at a young spirit upon a pure face, without being taken by' a sympathy which also includes love and respect."29 It is impossible to remain cold next to a great and beautiful desire, for youth burns within it. At the end of every desire, we can see the smile of God. Jesus said to him: " ... Go! Sell everything you have, give it to
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to have, you have entered old age .. Nothing burdens and bends people more than money. Do you wish to be entirely young? SelI and give everything you have. In this way, you will free yourself from the burden of tens of tens of years. You must know: "the enemy of spiritual youth· is the verb to have." Spiritual states born from property, from one's zeal for gain and for pleasure, are criminal acts against the spiritual youth; The essential thing for your youth is the endeavor to keep yourself far removed from that evil reality: possessions. Be generous, and give away what you have. Give to those numberless poor people. Give to the wretched, especially to tho'se who are more miserable, 'to those who do not have the happiness of even knowing how to beg. All of your gestures should outline but one word: generosity. The poor are always with us: give without limits. TAKE UP THE CROSS! You have the right to only one piece of property which does not hann the spirit of youth: the Cross, the spirit of sacrifice. Your only possession; the possession that St. Paul of Tarsus spoke so proudly of, shall be this series of partial deaths joined by life. He who is suitable for the Cross, is suitable for youth, for a profound and fertile life. Your steps of progress in the spirit of youth can be seen from your growth in. self sacrifice. With each embracing of the Cross, the light of the candle of the icon of true youth increases. And FOLLOW ME if you wish to remain young. I shall anoint you with a gift of youth without age. Place your feet upon the path I have walked, but more especially, copy my thoughts and my love.. Follow me. Let the dead bury their dead, you must hav.e only thoughts of life. I am the God of those who believe in LIFE, the God of the armies fighting for the good, the God of poetry and of enchantment. I am the God of those who believe in love, the God of those who sing. Follow me. I am the God of lilies and of steel, of the gentle breeze saturated with perfume and of granite. I am the God who listens with fire as to Elijah the prophet. Follow me. I am the God who renews your youth, like that of a young eagle, the God who makes your youth happy. The program for the spirit of youth was mapped out, and the rich young man was"invited to carry it out fully.·

You are young, but I shall give you eternal youth, the spirit of youth, a young heart and soul. Listen, you cling to something which makes you grow old: possessions. Youth is the living out of the verb, to give. When your .life has become the psychic exercise of the verb,
29. "Deuxieme coni. de Toulouse," 1854 :. ..

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THE SPIRIT OF Y OUTE

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"Then, becoming gloomy· at these words, he left sad, for he many riches." As though he were gripped by a black spell, our young man changed his face after the image of his heart. Attachment to possessions nurtures grief and sadness. The leaves of the tree of youth suddenly became covered with frost.

The young "lord" was not ready. He did not know his own heart completely. But now he recognized himself. The days had passed him by. The years had covered him with mud, with an odor of the past, of that which has been lived, of that which has been used. Enthusiasm has quieted down, and nothing prods his pure desires any more towards the world accessible only to the spirit of youth. Love, having been wounded, hides in a cellar of silence, in front of which aU the ideals can walk, alone and useless. No one inside asks them anything, no one even recognizes them. Ideals are like foreigners in lands without youth. The blood which was to bring them life has become frozen. Just like a tallow candle without flame, youth has become rancid. Gloominess and sadness, the real products of old age, have pos· sessed his being, being reduced only to an appearance of youth. He revealed instead a senile soul. His youth was destroyed by its adherence to riches. More obvously than anywhere else, here it is proven to us that youth is measured by the verb to give. The young man in the Gospel, who measured his desires with the verb to have) the unconscious grave digger of the soul of youth, revealed himself to be old. "A man who places the concern for his career before his enthusiasm, is old, even if he is only twenty. Older yet is the one whose ambition is wealth."s'o Youth is that state of the spirit which does not end in decrepitude like great rivers end in the black and dirty estuaries. ~t is life which does not change into the inevitable "earthly disappointment." Youth is the state of the spirit, refractive to disappointments and pessimistic regrets; the heart adverse to a sadness which could dry out bones. Youth is ease of detachment, together with generosity of giving. The joy of youth springs from this. "Bitterness and sadness which discourage, bad memories which wilt, all of these are old age, even if one should be only twenty. On the other hand, a full and generous magnificence of forgetting and
30. A. Maurrois: "Les jeunes devant notre temps," p. 29.

forgiveness, a spritely joyful hope which gives wings to life, so that it flies towards the towers of the cathedral where people worship, these things are youth even if one should be eighty."31 Ceasing to be young, he has remained without any trace and without name in history. However, what trace of light was left by the youth who had five loaves of barley and two fishes, because Jesus took his loaves and fishes and fed them to the hungry multitudes.32 Because of the generosity of this "boy", the crowds were well fed. Probably, there were many men and women who brought their own food, but the apostles did not dare to ask them for any. They appealed to youth. What belongs to youth belongs to everyone. No one doubted that the youth would not hold back the food sought by the Lord for the benefit of the multitude. When Jesus asked them if they had some food, they replied that they had five loaves of barley and two fishes, the entire possession of the youth, with the unshakable assurance that the spirit of property is not part of the spirit of youth. Youth does not say anything. Its words do not have a place in the verses of the Holy Gospel. It is present. Only this! It is flesh, it is bones, it is blood, it is nerves and muscles, it is soul. It is present. And its presence is an offering. No one asks it who it is, what it wants, where it comes from, what it feels, what it thinks ... I ts presence is an answer to everything. It is present, and in this way it makes itself evident. In this way it affirms itself. It is young, hence you know what to think of it. You know what scope and what purpose it has " .. It proves simply through its presence that the spirit of sacrifice and the spirit of community are present. It is present, and its presence is an offedng. No one interrogates it, because all understand it. "Hilarem datorem diIigit Deus," God loves a cheerful giver. The gift of Youth becomes fertile. Christ takes them, blesses them, and performs the miracle of the multiplication of bread. Abundance makes its appearance as a consequence of its gift. True youth is giving without bargaining, and without economic preoccupations. Banks and usury wel'e not invented by young people. 31. Ernest Hello: "Contes extraordinaires," d. Pierre Guilloux: "Les plus belles pages d'E. H." p. 164. 32. St. John, 6, 9-11;

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The desire for independence, the primitive thrill of detachment and disinterest, the courageous walk towards adventure, the thirst for a new life which is full, varied, and unknown, are all characteristics of a young soul. The flexibility of the spirit, the promptness with which things are decided and completed, belong to the domain of the spirit of youth. What is more admirable and more youthful than this; "I shall get up and I shall go ... " and getting up, he comes. Exhausting delay has no place here, where the will starts action with haste and the perfection of a faultless mechanism. No one has been able to tame the vigor of its wild inclinations. Advice, tears, honor, human respect have been unable to oppose him and divert him, only the humiliation, in which he has fallen by refusing to direct his thirst for life with the spirit and desire for Truth. The irony of the situation, like the irony of laughter and of words, drew out his dormant sense of dignity. This is one of the most difficult trials of the spirit of youth: the offense of irony because it is the noisy and public descent from dignity, and youth dreams of heraldic dignity. The rich young man was wanting in adventuresome courage. He was wanting in independence and in the spirit of generosity and sacrifice, which the boy with the fishes and the loaves of barley, and the prodigal son had. He had, however the Power of Admiration" the Taste for Truth, and a Desire for Greatness. The boy with the loaves of bread and the fishes is known only for his altruistic power, for The Spirit of Sacrifice, and Unconditional Generosity. "The son who strayed" began his life with a genuine youthful disposition, but upon the course of a dirty river. Youthful in him were The Spirit which is Ready and Scornful, the Desire for Adventure, the Leap into the Unknown, a Thirst for Life. After all these things, can we still deny that the spirit of youth is the home of heroism? There is more than a simple connection between them. More evel1 than a kinship of blood, there is an inseparable joining of substance. The spirit of youth is the cradle and inspiration of heroism.

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The rich man reveals to us the thirst for the truth of youth. The generous boy reveals to us the spirit of sacrifice and of generosity of youth. The Prodigal Son, the youngest of the brothers, reveals to us a thirst for the life of the young and the spirit of adventure. Driven by the youthful desire for adventure, he goes far away.S3 He did not wish to be restrained by the harsh eyes of his father, or to be softened by the moist look of his mother in the extravagances he wanted to devote himself to. He goes far away with his entire inheritance. He wants to taste all the fruits of life, to quaff all the pleasures through' every pore' of his being. Who drives him away from the family hearth? Who forces him into exile into an unknown world? What goal pushes him over land and sea, over valleys and mountains? What does the Prodigal Son seek? What does he want? He needs neither heavy books nor the quiet assurance of the home of his youth, nor the monotonous peace of life taken in well"defined forms. He wants independence, a break with habits which have become old. He.wants new mornings, original pleasures which have so far been foreign to his experience. He wants to see fences fall and horizons disappear in flight: He is'unsatisfied. The young man knows the noble torture of the feeling of dissatisfaction with life, the noble torture for an all-consuming life which would give him the sensation that he dwells on high. Dissatisfaction, in fact, does not make him a rebel, but rather an adventurer. The world begins with him and he wants to begin it anew, and without old witnesses. He revives each sensation; he subjects each new experie~ce to appreciation. He wants an inventory of values through experience and through living; a tremendous risk, which will turn him from the body to the soul, from sensation to idea, from the wrong ad~ venture to the right life.

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THE PRESENCE OF THE LIE
We all bear a mysterious affinity to the lie, as we discover a sinful affection for the "father of lies." As a matter of fact, the "father of lies" has already been named also the "master of this world." A betrayal of God, and also our betrayal, the lie is born in a world without love and without humility, like a mushroom on a dung heap. "Everywhere man does nothing but lie ... Truly practically every contact of one man with another involves hypocrisy and lying."34 "The lie sits at the table with the King" as Alexander Vlahuta wrote, but also contrives the politics of the beggar. We live under the regime of deceit, The dictatorship of the lie is so lasting, and we have grown so old under it, that we do not realize how imbued we are with lies, and how natural it is for us to lie. Living on the slope of the lie, it takes a conscious and costly effort for us to climb up this slope towards the Truth. No wonder that the Spanish politician Donoso Cortez considered men to be possessed by a real hatred of Truth. Illusions, affectations, hypocrisy, cunning, artificial gestures, exaggerations, impostures and deceit are the planted ambassadors of the lie in human society. Politics itself has become a superior technique of the lie, with the aim of exploiting others all the more. Huge factories of the lie work night and day to scatter throughout the world imponderable and venomous falsehoods.
34. Max Nordau: "MinciuniIe conventionale ale civilizatiei noastre" (The conventional lies of our civilization), Bib/. pentru toti, pp. 370-371.

In many countries, the leaders of the people have appropriated for themselves the opinion of Voltaire, expressed in October 1736, in a letter to Thieriot: "We have got to lie like the devil ... not with timidity, and not just up to a point, but forever and with boldness." The mania for lying has become a true pleasure. "Man enjoys lying, and he enjoys being lied to. And when no one and nothing lies to him anymore, he falls apart" (T. Arghezi). The cult of appear-. ances, the rei'gn of vanity, an egomania crowned with the tiara of pride impose upon men the need to disguise themselves, and to show themselves different from what they are. Thus the whole relationship between falsified beings becomes a pretense, and the world becomes an immense mass of liars and hypocrites, who oppose truth with the same horror that a starless night feels towards the light. In this way the "world" has been conceived, this agglomeration of maxims and principles, which undermines the terrain and the foundation of Truth. It is a world for which Christ does not pray, a world that prolongs forever the hour of Barabbas and the "kiss of Judas," the antechamber of hell and the raging organ of an uninterrupted litany of blasphemies, curses, and lies. This world is a senate of the emissaries of hypocrisy, and is "a world which is not revolt, but rather acceptance, and above all acceptance of the lie,"35which serves as the constitution of the foundation of its existence and its deeds. Everything in this "world" conspires against Truth. Error and lies have access everywhere and there is no place in this world for Truth. People lie without self interest, without passion, without fear, and without shame. They lie from self-love, from vanity; they lie as they breathe, because lying, in this world, is the same as speaking. A sinner lies, but at the end he can tell the truth. When the world lies, however, it continues to lie. The truth becomes a lie in contact with the lips of the world. When it tells the truth, it either considers it to be only an opinion, or it uses it as a shelter for lies. And "nothing deceives with a power and an authority to be feared more than truth evilly spoken."36 Truth, bu(more especially sincerity and truthfulness, appear in the world like some poor minor creatures, forced to nibble their bread under the eaves of the palaces of the lie. Nobody cares about them except irony, which has been given the task, by the bankers of organized hypocrisy, of humiliating their splendor.
35. Bernartos: "Journal d'un cure de campagne," p.' 312. J6. E. Hello: '<L~homme:' pp. 108-118.

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It seems that today only saints, sons of saints, and simple barbarians still tell the truth. "Fear of what is false, disgust for what is bad, burning horror of lying are probably the rarest feelings among men" (E. Hello). It is not too hard to find them in a sporadic way; but it is a miracle to find them soul. in a state of virtue,. or in a state of permanent disposition of the An Indian wise man placed life under three signs: illusions, disillusions, and mortifications. The life of the modern world operates under only one sign: under the sign of the lie and its innumerable derivatives. The innocence and, the lyricicismof illusions have given way to the crime and the prosaic of the lie. The lie is the most energetic and virulent factor found in growing old. It undermines the foundation of the feelings that carry the spirit of youth. It destroys the power of admiration, it kills desire, and extinguishes enthusiasm. Because of this, men who belong to the unnatural environment of nightclubs and cabarets, appear to be as old as the pyramids, when they are taken away from their bottle of alcohol and from licentiousness. They appear horribly old, old beyond compare, it seems, even by the usual right of respect accorded to the old. Respect no longer recognizes them, and ancient honor and traditional veneration open their eyes in vain to find the image of their patriarchal qualities forever gone. "The world is old age" and growing old. The lie has organized the world in such a way that, for the truth to find a place for itself, it has to come out with sword in hand; and with the sign of the Cross on its forehead. Truth can no longer stand, except at the side of manhood and courage, and it can make headway only under the protective escort of the martial virtues, and of fighting qualities. If the lie were to be haloed only by old age, it would be bearable, but it is betrothed to torture, madness, and death. There is a secret affinity that links all lies, and everything ends in despair and madness. The lie is by nature noctambulist;. any light wounds it. It strolls through graves like the possessed mentioned in the GospeL When you have tasted all the depths of the lie, "altitudines Satanae" (the depths of Satan) as the Apocalypse calls them, then the world is revealed to you as a huge void, in which nothing is heard .but the screeching screams of hearts begging for death in a delirium of desperation. The degree of the superiority of life in a creature is determined by the height

of truth within it, said Lacordaire. By diminishing truth, we diminish life, by strangling the truth, we also throttle life. He who said "I am Truth," also said "I am Life." Whoever will say "I am the lie," will also say at the end "I am desperate death." If we accumulate lie upon lie, we come to a heap of corpses, because, in spite of oUr whole legion of militant denials, we still remain the unchanged children of Hunger for Truth.

UNDER THE SCEPTER OF THE LIE
At first the world begins by adoring what it sees, and by denying what it does not see: this is the first step towards idolatry. This exclusion of the Invisible brings with it a furious attachment to the elements of this world that appeal to the senses. The negation of the Unseen begins with preference for the visible; thus we must not believe that the denial of the unseen world is just a simple error. It is an error caused by haughtiness and passion; it is therefore a lie, through which we deceive ourselves, in order to deceive others. One after the other all truths end up in bondage, as St. Paul says, and only lies enjoy freedom of circulation. The pulpit papers become We enjoy The soul feels of truth is replaced by the pulpit of the lie, \vhile newsscandalous loudspeakers of impostures. the banquet of the visible world without interruption. a void in the form of boredom. Enthusiasms stumble

and faint, one after another, like fleeting ephemeric desires and powers. Moderation hesitates to show its face, and man feels exhausted and worn out. "Boredom is the flower of the lie, whose fruit is despair." Boredom affirms the absence of God, and gloom and weariness can be considered powerless sighs after the Unseen. To drive away boredom, the Lie invents "idols" which are intended to fill the void of the spirit. I tpreaches scepticism, a diabolical form of resignation, for not even idols, lies as they are, decorated with songs and consecrated with rituals, can deceive the soul of man forever.' A life founded on lies disappoints all expectations, and puts a stop to the most naive' and most lyrical dreams. Finally comes Philosophy, with its haughty air of infallibility, putting the Lie and its derivatives into a system. It is in this kind of world in which are promoted as well as universal slaughter, the madness· of the manliness of a tragic existence, and as the bravery' of suicide. The dead cover the path of the lie.

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The need f<>rillusions is born out of .the selfish denied of the invisible world. The negation of the only consistent reality forces the

soul of man to seek its foundation and strength among the floating islands of dreams and phantoms. The soul can no longer withdraw from the feverish search of something unchangeable. In the absence of the true Unseen, it creates for itself the unseen element of illusion and of the lie. When its own philosophy no longer satisfies it ... perhaps . . . who knows ... it hastily fashions idols for itself which are no less misty than ghosts. When truth perishes, lies come to occupy its place, leaving their products there. This is the history of the world under the scepter of the lie! "mentire et mentiri!" (to lie, and be lied to). Then everyone .is happy because, if truth does not keep quiet, it becomes boring. The world does not have the courage to accept life as God offers it to us, and therefore, it falsifies life through lying and finds that only the lie leads to "happiness," because it leads to nothingness, while truth leads to God. Every truth pursued to the end ehcounters the Forehead of the Lord, just as walking along the path of any virtue ends in the Heart of God. Every lie pursued to the end encounters, after the first death, the second Death in eternity. For hell is nothing other than the sensible state of the kingdom of the lie which has attained apotheosis and maturity. Who shall save us? The spirit of youth awakened in us by God! It begins the crusade against the lie,· for it is the volunteer of the Truth.

THE DICTATORSHIP OF TRUTH
((The mission of our generation is to erase hypocrisy from life". I suscribe to these words of Ortega y Gasset, and moreover, I say

that the assault upon the lie and upon hypocrisy is the mission of the Spirit of youth. The revolt against the lie, the rebellion against all sorts 6f tyrannical hypocrisies, of duplicity and of artifice, seethes within the youth of today, enhanced by the spirit of truth. It feels and it sees "that souls thirst for "a truth which nothing shall obscure and no one shall deform. Man is tired of lies, of conventions, and of all those external forms and emblems which have been substituted for the profound realities of life ... He wishes to live without the diaphram of the lie" (Berdiaeff).

Here is the spirit of youth, which will eradicate the citadel of the lie from life, and which shall not have peace while a drop of the blood of the offsprings of those vipers, who were frightened and threatened by Christ's powerful words, still runs in the veins of the sons of men. "Woe to pharisees and HYPOCRITICAL scholars." The spirit of youth cannot stand doubt, this politeness towards error and lie. It wants certainties and affirmations. "The nature of the young man is a hurricane of affirmations," a psychologist observes. As a spiritual state, doubt is foreign to youth. Youth believes in the power of reason: it is a dialectician and an intellectual. "Youth considers the lie one of the most repugnant forms of cowardice ;"37 and since it is a confession of the most miserable humiliations and debasements, it does not want to make peace with it. "Weak persons cannot be sincere," La Rauche - Chefoucault writes.3s And then how would the spirit of youth be able to endure hypocrisy, when youth is strength itself, a river of power, and the source of energy? Youth is characterized through an abundance of power, hence sincerity is a normal prolongation of it, while the lie collapses into impotence and spiritual old age. Brotherhood with the truth requires a habitual detachment from one's self, the courage to defy the power of humbling one's self in a Christian way, and an aptitude for disinterested deeds. These are given to us only.by the spirit of youth. Lie, says Decroly, is the manifestation of the defense instinct, while youth is a fighting and attacking assault.. If you want to kill youth, put it on the defensive. Lie has no place here. Those who have grown old and the powerless in spirit are the friends of the lie. Youth, never! Only those who are late in arriving on the pathways leading upwards to the ideal, feel the necessity for lying. Only those who have failed, those who have been stranded, those who have been shipwrecked from the goals which ought to have been attained, feel the need to lie, But youth is the path forward, a moving towards goals. By definition, youth is brotherhood with the ideal. The man who lies is one who wants to get along with appearances, who wants to deceive values, who desires compromises with evil. The spirit of youth removes all of these from itself.
37. Pierre Mendousse: "L';\me cle l'adolescent," p.189. 38. "Maximes" CCCXXVII.

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The man who is free and unfettered, affirms and defends the truth. The one who is pure, is able to face up to accusations and can stand firm in front of reality. The spirit of youth is the spirit of freedom and a clear conscience. St. Clement of Alexandria defines the spirit of youth, and the spirit of childhood in connection with truth and falsehood. Who are the young "qui celeriter currunt ad veritatem?" Those who rim with haste towards truth? Who is young? The one who is devoid of deceit and cunning, the one who is far from simulation, the one with a soul that is upright and straightforward, "doH ac fraudis expers et remotus a simulatione, rectoque et erecto animO."89 Only the spirit of youth can stand the magnificent dictatorship of truth, only the spirito! youth unhesitatingly carries out of the most dreadful crimes that of preaching the truth and of following sincerity. In no stage of life do you find more pronounced enmity toward the ideal of the cunning person and toward hypocrisy, than in youth. It likes an open heart and a crystalline frankness. "Young people are the deadly enemies of charlatanism" (E. Bruneteau). They hate tortuous ways and crooked looks, intrigue and calumny. They aspire to a straight lifelike a flight in the sky and would give much to have a transparent bosom so that their intentions can be verified.
In the Holy Scriptures.

In the holy Scriptures we have been shown the promulgation of the primacy of truth, the unmasking of hypocrisy, and the end of the lie. This is what God wishes youth and its spirit to be. In the second book of Ezra, chapter 3, verse 4, we read the following story: Three young men from the guard of the Persian Emperor Darius made a wager about who could write the wisest saying. The bet was around the question: what is the strongest thing. "The winner was to be second after Darius, related to him, and was to receive other gifts and rewards." Each one wrote a note, sealed it, and placed it upon the pillow of the Emperor. When the Emperor awoke, he opened the notes and read them. The first had written: "The strongest thing is wine!" The second had written: "The Emperor is the strongest!"
39. Pedagogus, Liber 1. C. V.

The third had written: "Women are the stronger, but the strongest of all is Truth!" One at a time the young men explained what they had written. The last one was a devout young man who feared God; his name was Zorobabel. He explained: "Oh, men! Women are strong! The earth is large, and the heaven is high, and the sun is fast on its course ... but the. Truth is even greater and more powerful than all of them!" "The whole world entreats. truth, and the sky above praises it, and everything shakes and trembles; in it you cannot find a single grain of injustice. "Wine is unjust, the emperor is unjust, and women are unjust. All sons of men are unjust, and all their things are unjust; truth is not found among them, and all perish on account of their injustice. "But only the truth is strong and remains forever, and is alive, and has power for ever and ever. "It does not look at man in the face, and it is not partial, but does what is right .... "This is the strength, the power, the kingdom, and the glory of a1J times! May the God of truth be praised!" As he stopped speaking, all the people with one voice began to shout: "Great is the truth and more powerful than anything else!" Praised by the emperor, young Zorobahel thanked God Who gave him wisdom. This marvelous apology of Truth is the ·work of a young man en~ lightened by the Spirit of God. The Lord has entrusted youth with the promulgation of the supremacy of truth; to youth this holy mission was given. StilI youth must unmask hypocrisy. In the story of Susanna/o we discover that God entrusted His spirit, the enemy of the lie, to young Daniel, against the two elders of his people.. These "worthy" old men, judges of Israel, sought to conceal and enjoy their impure appetites behind a venerable image. Inflamed and tortured by debauchery, they were burdened twice: with the burden of their age, and with the burden of sins. Their "biological youth", their power of satisfying the animal element within themselves, formed a contrast disgusting to the eye and to the thought, while their gray hair was shading the light that should have come from their virtue.
40. Cf. the story of Susanna in DanieJ, 13..

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Grown old in evil, they cast their predatory eyes upon the gentle and beautiful Susanna, and to her they offered violently the companionship of the~r epidermis, as once did Satan to Eve in the Garden. The pure woman, "in order not to sin before the Lord," resisted this sinful offer .. The old men then passed judgment on "the sin of Susanna" using a slanderous accusation of· sin with some young man, and they condemned her to death. They accused, they judged, they condemned. Debauchery led to the lie, and the lie led to the death of the innocent". Debauchery, cruelty, and lying can still cause ·an unbaptized child to grow old . . All the people were baffled. The lie here wore the toga of a judge, and injustice stood under the patronage of venerable old age. The lie made itself King: it dictated and therefore executed innocence, gentleness, and beauty. The lie became the servant of disorder, it. defended debauchery and gave a voice to cruelty. The lie forced toward death what was gentle, beautiful and innocent. This was the work of the two old men. Who could defy ojd age, unmask hypocrisy, and call a lie a lie? "And when they led her off to be killed, God awakened the holy spirit of a YOUNG MAN whose name was Daniel" (v. 45). The spirit of youth! Upon the hearse of cruelty, the lie had created the funeral procession of innocence taken to its death. But the spirit of youth placed itself between the lie and the death of innocence, stopped evil, broke the lie, and returned beauty and innocence to life. The procession of the lie had one more step before it arrived at the grave, in which the one who "hoped in the Lord" was to be buried, but truth was hiding nearby, imprisoned by the apparent worthiness of old age. The holy spirit of one YOUNG MAN struck hypocrisy right in the face with a mighty blow, and was able to free truth. The light had gone out in the lamps of the people. Justice seemed stunted in the soul of the old men, and then YOUTH came along with its spirit and set in motion both light and justice, those twin daughters of truth. The spirit of YOUTH is present at the trial of a civilization clad in lies and hypocrisy, and made evil by deceit, and it must set free the light, and stop the siege of the night. It must thwart hypocrisy, cry out for truth, and proclaim the rights of beauty and innocence .. The lie, with its pretense of being a prince of life, and a pillar of order among men, cannot be slapped down without violence. Its mold

breaks down only under the sharp gesture of the knight, that determined defender of tortured and humiliated truth. "I am innocent of the blood of this woman" (v. 46). Guilty is he who knows the truth, but hides it under the bushel. Guilty of human blood is anyone who does not shout the truth from the rooftops. Guilty is anyone who does not defy the lying world, by proclaiming the truth, and by making himself its prophet -:-. guilty of the rape of innocence, of beauty, and of goodness: things which are to be cherished more than human welfare. Daniel turns to pass judgment on the liars. From all our life, only the youth synchronizes promptly and fully with the truth and its imperatives. Daniel executes without delay. Politeness and indulgence in the face of hypocrisy and lies are treason. For this reason he speaks to the two old judges one at a time, and when they have been exposed as liars and hypocrites, he says : "You have iied enough to lose your head; for the angel of God has received the commandment to cut you in two" (v. 55-59). The true messianic mission of youth resides here, in the gesture of exposing the lie, and of removing hypocrisy from the world. "The only revolution for which I could work well is the revolution carried out slowly by the search for truth," Guehenno said. God brought forth the Holy Spirit in the soul of the young man, in order to unmask the lie, proclaim the truth, defend innocence, and condemn hypocrisy. The mission of youth is to bury the lie on earth, among all men.

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In the Acts of the Apostles God dearly loves the spirit of youth of .His Church, punishes those who· alter its aspect. The Christianity of the first· morning of the Church, and harshly was pene-

trated by the spirit of marvelous youth. This ~pirit became apparent through: first of all obedience to the invisible God, rather than to visible man; renunciation of wealth, by a serene disposition towards sacrifice and suffering ;'1 41. Speech of Pope Pius XII on the occasion of the Jubilee of 1942.

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courageous preaching of the Word of Truth, convinced of the victory of Christ; aspiration for an eucharistic and hierarchical unity, which becomes more and more perfect. The qualities of the spirit of youth were sometimes grafted with difficulty upon the rusty old habits which had sprung from a paganism that inspired suicide. Anariias and Sapphira conspired against the spirit of youth of this young Church: the pledge of the future success of her mission in the

world.42

The Christians were selling their lands and putting the money at the feet of the Apostles, to be used for those in need. Ananias and Sapphira freely sold their land, but they conspired to hold back the money received from the sale. Goaded by the old concerns for property and for attachment to money, they preferred to take comfort in the physical presence of the money. They defom1ed the spirit of youth between them, and in this way they hid the truth and lied to Simon Peter. The price received for the land was not the same sum that was deposited at the feet of the Apostle. A goodly portion was held back and hidden with a lie. Peter said: "Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?" When he heard these words, Ananias feIl dead. "AND THEN THE YOUNG MEN GOT UP, they wrapped Ananias in a shroud, took him out, AND BURIED HIM." And the same thing happened to Sapphira, his wife. God has entrusted youth with the mission of burying the lie, and of interring the liars. Proud gravediggers of the carcass of the lie, the young will hasten to deposit under clumps of earth, everything that falsifies life, and infringes on the spirit of youth. Youth makes war on the aristocratic and polished graves. Captains of the truth, heroes of the sincere life, the young isolate the lie, so that it may die of starvation (for it lives on the sap of truth), and then bury it. "A great fear fell over everyone" the holy Book writes. But youth cannot be otherwise: it must rise up against the lie with the cruel tools of death. The Lord punished this lie harshly, for it tried to steal into the
42. Acts, 5, 1, ff.

new paradise of Truth, as did Satan into the old paradise of pleasures. And He entrusted this mission to YOUTH. It is the intention of the divine plan that youth shall rise against big and small lies, and shall work for the creation of an era of sincerity, in which the scum of lie, the falsity of duplicity, and the hideousness of hypocrisy will be buried. The spirit of youth must conquer our aging dwelling, because the life of the truth is a superior life, like the life in the fresh climate of the mountains. It is a life in which the stunted slaves of the lie cannot resist, because they lack the vigorous energies that are instead abund· ant in the spirit of youth.
Truth and Originality

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In the last chapter of her marvelous autobiography St. Theresa of Avila writes majestic words of truth: "So you know what it means to love me truly? It is to realize that anything that doesn't please me is a LIE."48 God is the substantial and eternal Truth, identical with Himself. He is the one who IS. All truths are rapport, resemblance, comparison, identity with the ideal type; all impose a nearness to something, an attachment to an ideal, a comparison with an established rule. Only God is personified Truth, whose thought is equal to His substance, whose substance is infinite, whose mind is the measure of all created things. All things are true as long as they are in conforn1ity with His thoughts or His divine idea. Truth is the conformity of a thing with divine idea, the model on which a thing was created. Things are true if they resemble the primary model from which they have sprung. AIl that is authentic in things is this resemblance with the divine idea. Things can have two gradations in truth: they may resemble a higher divine perfection, or the resemblance may be unchanged and the features unruffled by the intervention of the creature. In this way, the plant is truer than the stone, because in addition to simple existence, it has life too; the animal is more true than the plant, because in addition to life it also has sensation; and more true than animal is man, who possesses, in addition to sensation, the spirit
43. C. XL, Vol. II of "Vie Spirituelle," p. 342.

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which thinks and wills. Truer than man is the angel because it's spirit is intuitive and unalloyed with matter. This gradation in truth follows in confom1ity with a higher and more proper divine quality. Another gradation in truth is that which springs forth as a result of the identity or deviation from identity with the divine idea. A man is more true if he translates in himself, in his life, in his thoughts, in his feelings and deeds, the idea of man: if he translates it not only in the way of deducing and abstracting it from a knowledge of the nature of man, but rather in the way God grants it to us. For this reason, a saint like Francis of Assisi, who lived the idea of 'man known through the revelation of Christ, is more true than Plato or Goethe, who realized an idea of man through their philosophical reasonings. More true is he who lives guided by reason than he who lives following sensations and passions. More true is he who lives guided by reason enlightened by faith than one who walks along the wandering paths of pure reason. We are true through the resemblance that we have with God. We are genuine when our. free lifetranlates into ideas and deeds this resemblance. In this sense, A. Gide wrote: "The, only drama which, in truth, interests me .. ' is the struggle of the entire being with what prevents him from being genuine." The whole' exercise of freedom is a combat action against the parasitic and anarchic elements which tend to deform us, and it is an architectonic action of life, of our essential qualities, for a resemblance all the more intimate and full, of the original image. It is the torturing desire of being "true." When St. Augustine wrote: "The more you remove yourself from eternity, the more you depart from truth,"H he meant a departure from the idea of man, which God reproduced in Jesus Christ, and at the same time, a departure from the divine ideas, magnificently hidden in the essence of things. We, consider life "true" if it follows the rule and the measure of the divine law to which it conforriIs,15if it, follows the moral ideal that guides our free deeds. The more we aspire to create for ourselves a true life, the more we come closer to beauty and to our original image.
The effort to live in truth coincides with a striving for originality. 44. '~De Mendacio ad Consentium," liber unus, C. Vn;. 45. St. Thomas Aquinas: "Summa Theologica," II, II. Qu. CIX Art.

Only youth does not accept becoming a fossil. Between the museum and life, it chooses the latter, because of the freshness that it enjoys, and of a disposition for invention which keeps it working unin· terruptedly. "More or less we are echoes, and we repeat without wanting to, the virtues, the defects, the movements, and characters of those with whom we live," writes Joubert, while Kant speaks about the facsimile of men who are nothing more than parrots, 'without any roots in a spiro, itual foundation. In this old world, originality is considered to be a pathological case, and everything conspires towards its destruction.46 The Gospel, however, imposes as an imperative the words: "Nolite conformari" ... "Do not be like the image of this age."H We have the urgent duty to be original. To be original! What a word hemmed with charm and emotion for any young man! The desire and taste for originality belong to youth. When a child shakily aspires to originality, one should know: there YOUTH appears. Originality has also a common meaning, and it is confused with eccentricity, with baroque gestures, and with the tireless discovery of aU sorts of harsh sounds and paradoxes. It is not enough to bear no resemblance to the surrounding world, in order to' be truly original. To be original means to remove from yourself everything which prevents you from being authentic, to put aside all of the muddy deposits left in the riverbed of your life whose silt covers up the first image of your being. It means that you are to come back to your first image, by an uninterrupted effort to give clarity to the image after which you are created, and to accomplish the mission which was entrusted to you in this world. The more original you are, the closer you shall come to God, that first and original Icon, in whose Image you were created. We are not mass produced. Each of us is a tremendous invention, an unexpected novelty. We bear within us depths which astonish even the impenetrable depths of the oceans. Perhaps because of this, someone once said that we never manage to know one another, we remain instead people who are irreducibly alienated in a hostile world.
46. Madel. Danielou: "L'education selon l'esprit," p. 18. 47. St. Paul to the Romans, XII, 2.

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Originality means nearness and obvious resemblance to the Truth, whose expression we are in this world. It means casting out the arti~ ficial vestments of lies and passions, which prevents the soul from being the effigy of divine thought. To be original means to dominate and to remove everything which is illusory and fleeting,· and to give priority t@.the eternal elements within yourself. To be, through desire and wiII,.through effort and sacrifice, that which you are through your "essence," means to be original, and also to· be "true." You shall remain a wonderful revelation in the world, for as long as you find your true self, with continuous spiritual deeds, so that you may come closer to the design God had for you. Read the lives of the Saints, of St. John Vianney, of St. John Bosco, of St. Theresa of Avila; read the Fioretti of St. Francis of Assisi, and you will discover the most original human beings, and at the same time those who are the most free and spontaneous. The saints are the least automated beings, and yet the most novel and inventive; not enslaved by convention, tied to no need, free from earth1ynecessities. They seem to improvise everything in their lives. T~ey move in the unexpected and the unforeseen, always marvelous and masterful, living a life lifted beyond the sky, in which the image of Christ appears, the everlasting Truth that they reveal to the· world. They are the most original, being the closest to Jesus Christ, the exemplary Truth of their lives. Youth is also this way~ It is as refreshing as a gushing fountain, with an indomitable aspiration for originality, because it has fonned a brotherhood with Truth.
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both spirit and matter, and it does not consist in hiding with modesty the lower stages of the living matter, but in preserving the conscious harmony of the ego within and without. To be sincere is· to maintain "psychological unity:" that is to say to work as you think, and to think as you work. It especially is to maintain "ontological unity," that is, to judge according to the truth, and to work as one should.48 Deeds should be the image of convictions, convictions of the image of truth, and truth should be the Holy Face of the Eternal One .. Sincere is h~ who allows truth to walk free and majestic, without any retinue of deceptive jokers and lackeys, from the mind to the heart, and from the heart to the lips and into deeds, in one and the same process. Sincerity is a reversible phenonienon: the deed confirms the heart and the convictions, and the mind and heart claim the deed. For "In the. soul of man truth is called sincerity" (Wagner). Confess the truth, reveal your soul the way it is, in life and in action, as much as it is needed, and when it is needed: this means to be sincere, said St. Thomas Aquinas. Reveal your soul the way it is, not in the evil that you suffer and that tortures you, not in the temptations that attack you and that are your enemies, not in the marginal thoughts of the insane, that pass through your mind and that you chase with indignation, not in those passive intimate thoughts that reveal to you that you are just an unworthy. mortal, but reveal your soul the way it is, in its original image, and in your personal will. Sincerity is the quality of the person, not of the individual. A sincere person is possessed by a truth which holds his entire being, without being trapped in reserved compartments. Sincerity changes our being into a crystal, in the midst of which Truth reigns. We are original to the extent that we allow the thoughts of God to penetrate us, and to the exten't that we conforn1 to them. We are sincere to the extent that we allow our upright and pure thoughts to penetrate· us and to the extent that we conforn1 to them in words and in deeds. Equality of resemblance between action and thought: this is sincerity or moral truth ..

I

Truth· and Sincerity

It has been said that sincerity is the virtue of the present generat!on and that youth has attributed to itself the mission of blinding the world with the truth. It is the only art that youth reserves for itself. Everywhere sincerity· is proclaimed, in the nan1e of a "vital" philosophy. We preach the freedom of the subconscious, the bringing into the open of the instincts as the only original forces, and the exhibition of our somatic and biological being, without any scruples of ethical or social nature, yet this is called .sincerity. Sincerity, however, cannot exist except· in a being consisting of

I

I

I 48. P. Ortegat: "Philosophic de la religion," p. 143-144. I I

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51

Sincerity is so priceless that the lie has found hypocrisy in order to resemble truth. It has been said that "hypocrisy is the homage vice offers to virtue" (La Rochefoucault). Youthful sincerity is born from the unshakeable adherence to the truth.

Truth and Reality
Someone once said that one of the most condemnable superstitions of our time is to consider that which is more base as more.real.48a Hence the mania for reducing everything to the vulgar, and for finding a great satisfaction in this practice. Real is what remains after appearances have been abandoned. Real is everything that does not need imagination, fantasy, or passion in order to exist .. Real is what is capable of touching our faculties and persuading them to a valid reaction. Understood in this way, reality is a sister of truth, because it has an ideal type to which it conforms: the one that exists in the mind and the will of the Creator. Any reality which does not persuade our faculties of something spiritual and noble deserves neither the name of Truth nor of reality, but rather of thing, ·fact, or experience. I t is a realism which makes you old, vulgar, and base. Judas was a realist: He judged and followed the facts of a man "of business." . Immersed and steeped in a world of appearances and the immediate, the man from Keriot, faced with the failures of the mission of Christ, wished to save what could still be saved, and to "limit the damages." He looked directly at appearances and accommodated himself to them. Appearances, the play of deceptive passions, the base reaction of faculties, ih the face of certain alleged realities, had brought Judas out of the world of true reality, debasing rum in the universe of realities without name. It is here he grew old vertiginously through an accel~rated wearing out of the being, so that, if death did not come suddenly like some natural end, an inner force made him walk crazily toward it. 48a.* "La realite physique n'epuise pas tout Ie reel ... L'art nous rende presente l'intimite des choses; l'amour nous rende presente l'intimite meme d'une autre person; la mystique nous rende presente l'intimite meme de la puissance creatrice" (M. Lavelle: Le moi et son Destiri, p. 26). * '.

Judas saw nothing but the mute valley of the Gehenna, a fig tree on the edge of a precipice, and a rope to caress his neck. He was so old that instant death should have come galloping to take a life that could no longer endure, burdened by the reality that was decaying in his body. The noble Jacque of Shakespeare's comedy, "As You Like It," said: "I have often reflected in my mind on all the things I have seen, and from this comes my profound sadness." This means that he gained experience. "And experience makes you sad; a madman who could cheer me up would please me more than an experience that made me sad," replied the young and beautiful Rosalinda.'u There is a reality which makes people sad - that which belongs to the tangible, the prosaic, the common experience, the laboratory and statistics. The reality which was the end of Judas, was the reality summarized in the words of Ecclesiasticus: "V ani ty of vanities, and all is vanity." Truth is not revealed to those who are lost in this sea. Youth is characterized essentially by as great a departure as possible from this reality. In a certain sense, youth is the age of the exaltation of the spirit and of contempt for the body.~o This character of the spirit of youth is also a feature of grown man, as Thomas Carlyle says: "The character of every man who is truly great consists in always coming back to reality, in any place and in any situation, so that he may build on things, not on the appearances of things." When we hear, therefore, that youth suffers from an inflation of the imagination, that it has at its disposal "the benefit of illusions which are peculiar to it" (Fr. Mauriac), that it has a special "capacity for being deluded" (Th. Carlyle). We should understand the youth's facility to detach himself from the world of appearances, and its ability to direct itself toward superior realities; we understand the power of following the thoughts, of walking on the paths of the ideal, of being refractive to depressing experiences; we understand the capacity of penetrating into the world of creative truths, which require the engagement of the forces of dream, of life and sacrifice. Anyone who pleads for an ideal pleads in favor of youth. To find a purpose in life which surpasses it, but which can be served by life's

49. Act IV, Scene 1. SO. Jean Lacroix", in "Medicine et education," I-III,

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earthly means, is to find a source of youth. If no ideal ties you to life, if blind instinct dominates you, then you can no longer be true. To be true requires that you confonn to a moral ideal.
Truth and I deal

In an old monastery abandoned by the monks of St. Dominic, a young scholar, teeming with intelligence and ideas, was being guided by an old monk who was explaining the age-old building to him. The young scholar was a veritable encyclopedia, full of archeological facts and artistic axioms, having no link to his life and no influence on his spirit.. On the other hand, the old man with the supposedly smaller brain was wann and enlightened. Looking at them, the author asks himself: "Which one of the two was younger, which was older, if youth consists of embracing an ideal with powerful and invincible grip ?"51 You realize, continuing the reading, that youth was on the side of the man old in age. The philosopher Emil Boutroux defined youth. as "the joy to be able to regulate your acts exclusively on the future and the ideaL" Just like heroism, youth is not conceivable without an ideal; it is defined by one. Youth consecrates itself to the ideal with the same ardor with which it gives itself to truth, the superior reality, and to sincerity. This ardor springs from the necessity to overcome appearances and to be true, because truth is the relationship between life and the ideal. The aversion for the ideal coincides with the decision to live a dull life, to accept a compromise with the immediate, with the sensible, and with the planet of appearances. The person who is indifferent to the ideal renounces dreams, poetry, and, finally, greatness. When the epicurean Metrador said, "I spit on you, Fatality, and I go on my way, singing a beautiful song," he defined his resistance to old age, which was overwhelming him, for he was far from being young just as he was far from the ideal. Striving to be true, to give the face of Truth to the world, is the same as the effort to imprint the ideal on reaiity, to mold reality as much as possible so that it may take on the fonn of the ideal. I t is not possible to preserve what· you have conquered, nor to take a step forward in a world of values without this cult for the. better
51. P. Bourget: "Nouveaux Pastels;" "Un' Saint," p. 50.

and the good, without piety for the ideal. You can progress only in disproportion between what you desire and what you have, between what you are and what you would like to be; disproportion in favor of the desire and the will, which suffocates and overcomes what you have and what you are. Any advance slows down with adaptation; any attempt to get out and succeed is paralyzed by a complete equilibrium between thought and realization, between desire and occomplishment. The spirit of youth is by nature the power of realiza- . tion, the zeal of giving human life to the ideal. Youth is nothing other than the powerful and pleasant resonance of "great dreams." Without it, mankind would languish inert on a planet growing colder, crying out with wails of despair, or eternally asleep in a rain of stars and a conflagration of planets.

THE DICfATORSHIP OF THE GRANDIOSE
Truth
.:+

and Dreaming

The young Joseph, son of the patriarch Jacob, was called by his brothers "the man of dreams."lilB An educator called the dr.eam "moral alcoholism." What dream? Of adolescence. The dream heals many disappointments; Are you blase at the age of twenty-two? Dream; create the ideal. With the psychological structure turned toward the concrete, will a young woman be disenchanted and disgusted by many things? Dream. "A man does not become insane because he is a dreamer." (G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 15). "The greatest aspect of the truly great poets is that they were not only completely sane, but also practical in life." (Ibid. p. 14, frorI} Shakespeare) .. "Grafted with dreams, as an ocean with stars" (Arghczi). This is the way youth and its spirit appear to us. To be able to dream and poeticize is synonymous with having the power of idealization and thirsting for greatness. According to the marvelous doctrine of St. Augustine, all that fonns the orbit of the world is distinguished in things and signs, "res et signum." Each creation is an object, but it is also a sign. It catches your attention, but at the same time it lifts its interior to something else. It is "res," because it captivates your gaze or your thinking. It is
y,

51a. Genesis, 37, 19.

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"signum," because it leads you beyond immediate perception, which is material, to a spiritual content, which surpasses the tangible world. The inclination and. ability to reach this world, to surpa~s the world of things, and to follow the path of signs into the universe of ideas is poetic vocation. "What I dream is everything for me," said Al de Vigny, because· the dream, the power of poeticizing builds beyond appearances in the world of essences and ideals. It is not just the simple power of inventing and creating fairy tales, but also the presentiment of invisible realities, of a striving which entered into o~r common experience, and, at the same time, the power of imposing this order of reality on the world. "Youth is a metaphysical age of life, and without metaphysics it is not possible to live" (A. Huxley). With all the clashing contrasts and antitheses, with all the paradoxes which we meet in the soul of the young, their desire for the immaterial and the creation of dreams remains dominant. "If you wish to succeed in life with great accomplishments, then always keep a dream with you" (G. Papini). Only in this way can you obtain a sense of working, of suffering, of loving, of living. "He who builds under the stars builds too low," said Jung. The constructive impetus of life, the vital elan (to use the expression of Bergson), has its wonderful expression in youth, as an era of great dreams. We cannot imagine"how many things collapse when we bring the slaughter of laughter and coldness to this powerful world of dreams, of poeticizing! We build for fire and for worms, if we build. outside of the heaven of dreams. A nation without this phalanx of dreamers is destined for destruction. Without these technicians of the spiritual world all the pillars of the great buildings shall crumble, for only "that which is suspended from the stars does not move" (Leonardo). "Where are our dreamers? ... " This is not just a question of the poet full of indignation upon seeing the desertion of those who have been called upon to be prophets, artists, leaders, but it is the musing of a man who sees old age taking over the world. "Where are our dreamers ... ", the discoverers of beauty, of new things full of fresh~ ness, of a new world which seems to break the waves of darkness, the tireless call of those strive for the kingqom of higher Truths? All this will not happen without the spirit of youth, creator of dreams. What distinguishes dream from illusion? When do we say. that the the imagination of youth is a departure from the real and from the present into a' phantasmagoric and Utopian realm?

The dreaniing of which we have spoken is distinguished from common dreaming, from illusion and phantasmagoria, by a single trait, but of the nature of a spinal column. It needs neither lies nor deformations in order to succeed. It is a dream which succeeds, which conquers the hostilities of appearances, and becomes reality and Truth. This dream preserves in its nature the capacity of becoming reality, even though it occurs outside of reality. This inner strength which assures its success snatches it from the world of illusions and phantoms .. "The dream," besides this vital strength of becoming reality, also has an affinity for reality, while illusions and fantasies have no other consistencies but that of revolt against reality. Light pursues ghosts and unravels illusions. "The dream" possesses a tropical abundance of ramifications, of associations, of fertility. It is a creator and an organizer. Illusion, by comparison, is pale, bloodless, and sterile like the lie. "The dream" possesses the ability of knowing by penetrating the particular of things, reaching their essence and discovering the truth; it separates from appearance that which is immaterial. The ability to "dream" discovers and organizes the worJd of ideals, which it wants to· bring among men. This "dreaming" is so necessary that we should create, if not seasons of silence, at least oases of silence in which it can be cultivated. "Tace .et meditare!" (Be silent and meditate!) - this must be part of the program of the spirit of youth! Man is Great through the Nostalgia of Grandeur

Looking at these words of the philosopher Godfried Benn, I involuntarily make a comparison between the spirit of youth, characterized by Ribot as having the "stillness of nostaJgia," and the heroism which is the bearer of grandeur on earth. What enters into the formation of heroism is the very substance of the spirit of youth : the thirst for grandeur. If the progress of the world in any field is the work of the hero who transforms the world according to an ideal conception, it is the necessity to assume in its foundation, as the Primum· Movens, the desire to forge ahead, to attain other heights, to enter all fields in all possible directions. This desire presupposes dreaming. "If it is dangerous for youth to dream, it is !TIore dangerous not to dream, because in this way we

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would suppress the very possibility of future creation."62 Mankind, the nation, and the Church lean on these dreams like on some gigantic pillars. The moment you have curtailed all your dreams and have shrunk back from the grandeur of great ideals, at that moment you wiII face the humiliating mockery of every generation of youth, you wiII be transformed into a receptacle which gathers a1l the garbage tossed out by the Cherubs of Paradise. You will not be worthy of anything . else. The writer G. Bernaros accuses the nations' leaders of making the grave error of nqt asking very much, of not requesting everything, of not even seeking for the lives of young people: "We want another general for our sons, not General Not-So-Bad."63 The free dictatorship of truth and of grandeur can be supported only by the spirit of youth. When God wishes to ignite the world with the flame of an idea, with the vision of something great, He places it in the spirit of the young.. Who among the heroes would be able to express something more elevating than the reality captured in the words of a young man: "10 son nato con la malattia de1lagrandezza," ("I was born with the disease of grandeur")? Youth is the carrier of the flame of truth at a time when you can no longer dream, when the prophecy of Joel can no longer be fulfilled: "Your young men will see visions." Youth carries this flame at a time when, buffeted by all the banal vanities of the sma1l life, the manly embrace of Messianic convictions will be weakened, at a time when greatness and grandeur will no longer retain their magic charm. At such a time the Church and the nation will co1lapse,and the spirit of Truth will blow uselessly over the great heaps of relics, without ever being able· to kindle the weakest quiver of life. Dream, dream in the spirit of Truth, in the meaning of the Gospels, bu.t only in a masculine way, without romanticism and sentimental embroidery. Dream in the secret depths of your pure soul built on faith, and the Lord God wi1lsurely take care that your dreams become flesh and blood.. Catherine Emmerick speaks t6 us about St. Goard, a hermit who was dragged before the Bishop to defend himself. When he was about t6 enter into the presence of the Bishop, he wanted to hang his cloak up . on a peg. There being no peg, he hung· it up on a ray of sunshine that
·52. P; Mendousse: "L'ame de l'adolescent," p. 130. 53. "T"<; grandes cimetieres· sous la lune," pp. 227, 233.

penetrated the room. The ray of sunshine received this property, says the visionary, because of the faith and the simplicity of the saint. Likewise will your dreams be strengthened aI+dbecome more real and consistent than a mountain of granite, through the power of God, because of your sincerity and your faith in Truth. tremble for the fate of a nation whose youth do not have the courage of the truth, of the dream of the grandiose.· "The youth one should worry about is the youth lacking extreme ideas" (H. Bordeatix); the one lacking the courage to te1l the truth, as God told His name on Mt. Sinai, with the thunderous voice of His powers, because that youth has resigned its vocation.

I

Ex Veritate

(From the Truth)

"As you give priority to the soul rather than to the body, so shaH you give priority to the truth rather than to the soul, not only in order to love truth more than the body, but also more than the soul."64 The soul captured by this disposition is the one born "ex veritate," and only this soul remains the pledge of the future, the foundation of all hopes. "Everything that comes from truth listens to my voice," Jesus said. From truth comes he who does not build his dwellingfor himself, who does not take shelter in doubt and discouragement, but rather in the Truth which saves. From truth comes the soul which keeps its conscience awake to great ideas, which believes in ideas and trusts them. From truth comes the soul which allows itself to be overwhelmed by the invisible world rather than by the visible one, and which has the full knowledge that appearances are a structure hesitating between nothingness and deception. From truth comes the man who is dominated by a nostalgia for a world beyond earthly phenomena, the man who understands that the goods of this world are not the true ones. From truth come we, if we have the power to animate with spiritual ideas the world of dead matter. From truth come we, if we have the conviction that life encompassed in the whirlpool of experience is not worth living.66 You are from truth when you do not accept the easiest solution, nor the quickest path, but rather you are inclined toward what is more
54. St. Augustine: "De Mendacio ad Consentium," C. VII. 55. B. Barisco: :,"1 massimi problemi," pp. 24-25.

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59

difficult, and you piously approach the place and the heart in which a cross-emblem is planted, because you feel that therein lies the truth. That soul which is from the truth, imposes silence on all deafening voices, on the voice of hatred and revenge, on the voice of pride and haughtiness, on the voice of the flesh and the blood, on the voice of earthly loves and the instinct for property, so that over their silence, commanded by the wiIl, it may hear the whisper of peace and see the' light of truth. That soul which is from the truth, feels banished and enslaved in this life, convinced that the waIls of this world shaIl give way when the heart shaH keep pace with the great ideas of the spirit. That soul which is from the truth, is consumed by disgust and kindled with indignation against anything that is vulgar and banal; the soul which responds harshly to all that is artificial and false, to aII that .is lacking in boldness and fearfUl of sacrifice. That soul which is from the truth, is horrified by routine, defiant of human respect and the opinion of the crowd, and knows how to stri~e with deeds of virtue at the dweIIings of conventional lies. That soul which is from the truth, attacks humbly but incorruptibly all the masquerades of the lovers of pleasures and lies. That soul which is from the truth, hates lies and hypocrisy and does not intend to be mild with either of them. Whoever is from truth, believes in death which is life-giving; believes in the darkness of death which brings light; believes that he is born to know and to love more perfectly, believes in the victory of ideas over sensations, of truth over the lie, of eternity over time, of good over evil; he is a soul convinced that faith, hope, and optimism are On an ascending trajectory of the exalted course of Life and Happiness. The first and fundamental quality of the spirit of youth, is to be "from the truth," which is more precious than the peace of the soul which possessestruth with indifference and without its true worth. More dear, more youthful, more close to the truth and to God is the soul of Augustus Aurelius who cries: "0 veritas, veritas, veritas, quam intime etiam turn meduIlae animi mei suspirabant tibi!" (Oh truth, truth, truth, how deeply the marrow of my soul·sighed for you even then), 56 than the soul of those scribes of Israel who proclaimed: "We are the sons of Abraham." 0, veritas, veritas! ...
56: Confessions, Liber III, C. VI.

* The

Smile

"The smile is not a geometrical figure, nor an adjustment of the appearance, and even less a lie of good manners. It is a gift that we must give to everyone. Our debt to anyone. must be nothing but a smile. A smile is not an invitation, nor a temptation, nor a bait, nor an iIlusion; it is not the writing of love or the vestment of melancholy. The smile is the moral act through which we recognize that people are worthy of being treated with good will at all times. The smile is a good heart which dances sweetly on your face, on your lips, and in your eyes. The smile is a moment of divine reflection: 'Everything is good.' The smile is the approval of life in as much as it ties us to God. A smile is like a big book in which many things are written, good and bad."
(The Art of Succeeding in Life).

*

A POSITION IN THE FACE OF MYSTERY
I know of no one who could walk through the guIIies of laughter, mysterious and breathing cold winds.. Who can rest in face of the laughter and mockery of the Jews before the Cross of the Lord Jesus? What happiness can sit next to the mockery and scorn with which Herod and his soldiers invested him? ... In the absolute one can find a dweIIing, but not in the apartments of laughter. "As soon as a man is possessed by hatred toward God, he no longer can refrain· from laughter" (Paul Clandel). And he will laugh at any breath which carries the divine perfume; he will be unable to restrain his laughter before any virtue, from angelic innocence up to docile obedience to the wiIl of the truth. * The apologist did not succeed against mockery.56a What the laughter of Voltaire did! "Rome laughed, and died" (Bossuet). * Nothing is as dangerous as the inner invasion of laughter. The fear of the laughter of the world, the fear of ridicule turns some people into swine, but turns most people into idiots.
56a.*"Depuis que Ie christianisme a paru sur Ia terre, trois especes d'ennemis I'ont constamment attaque: les heresiarques, les sophistes, et ces hommes en apparence frivoIes, qui detruisent tout en riant" (Chateau briand, Genie du Christianisme, I, Introd.). *

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Laughter is the shortest, the most vulnerable, and the easiest of all the false demonstrations. It is a direct argument, not with the help of ideas, but with the immediate transfusion of a spiritual state. Laughter is an attack of microbes whose virus has instant effect, without aIlowing any reflex movement in defense, other than fear and paralysis. A tale in which aU the enemies are aUegedly kilJed by Prince Charming would seem plausible if. the hero in turn would be kiIIed by the dragon of Irony. Only the presence of a laughter which is triumphant over the bravery of youth can give the necessary touch of truth to any legend. Laughter is the prideful confession of impotence, of giving no answer, of standing before a greatness that humbles you and which you refuse to recognize and to which you are incapable of bowing. Irony is the underlining of a contrast, the discovery of a disharmony, the pointing out of an antithesis, the presence of a lie, the playing of a hypocrisy. Ironic laughter is the creation of a disequilibrium, the accentuation of an antithesis, and E. HeIlo would say, the establishment of a, distance between one who laughs and one who is being made fun of. Ironic laughter seems to say: you are in a world different from mine, from ours: you came down from the moon; I look at you from above and from so far away that although I see you, I do not feel you, for you don't know how to hurl a connecting bridge between you and the world; we are too high and you are too low. Ironic laughter sees the breach between desire and possibility, be· tween the wiIl and goodness, between the flesh and the spirit, and makes it evil. It screams in order to frighten you, but it does not extend its hand in order to help you, and it never offers you any remedy for the helplessness which could be cured. Ironic laughter is caustic, it burns everything that it touches; like a flamethrower it is agressive and finds its pleasure in wounding others. Ironic laughter is pride and scorn of the human soul; it is the declaration 6f war on an uneven ground; it is the ferocity which does not liken man to a wild beast of the forest, but rathe; to the Prince of eternal night. But you, let the crooked souls and the pilgrims propped on crutches think that your straight walk is strange. Don't be concerned on account of their deformed faces, when through the profundity of your life you condemn deceiving appearances. "To laugh, ---, this cannot

I

confuse the rose which blooms in June and whose duty is to flower" (Wagner). Nor does it prevent the gentle breeze which bears its perfume from expanding itself generously over the fields, nor the stars from shining like the eyes of an angel on the ceiling of darkness. Sin cries' out, vice barks, and you hear laughter. TeIl yourself then: "I did not know that I was so high while they are so low." Those who laugh are a paid mob. They are the hired hands of a rotten world and have no other wisdom than that which makes noise empty of any music and persecuted by virtue. You must not shiver when confronted by laughter. The love of truth warms you, and because of this fire, ice, shaIl form only when you wish it. We read in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola that he left on a long hard journey clothed in the humble dress of a mendicant pilgrim. His strange appearance and that of his companions formed a damning contrast with the empty vanity of men. Flocks of children went after them, laughing and mocking them. But they, instead of hastening their foot. steps, slowed down even more, so that they could abundantly confront this base laughter with their desire for greatness and love of truth. Endure the laughter of the journalist and the irony of a crowd of good-for-nothings. You have access to places of splendor when you have the courage to endure being laughed at because of your thirst for truth ... your power of dreaming, and your ardor for marvelous deeds. Laughter is an insult to the happiness found in the spirit of youth; it is an attempt at profanation carried out by those whose hearts are bent against souls of great thoughts. Bend your knees only when confronted by the truth and the good. Let laughter be the' raw material of the history of a crown of steel. Woe, woe to him whose presence slaps out at no one or nothing. Woe, woe to him whose life does not ransack the hideous souls of petty persons and does not expose them. Woe, woe to him whose presence, whose life, and whose deeds set in motion nothing but atoms instead of the souls of men.
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ON THE HEARTH OF LoVE

63

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"La mia natura e fuoco," exclaimed St. Catherine of Siena, and at the same time she also defined the nature of youth. Vessel of love, of passion, of fire, youth maintains all the hearths of life, kindles their flame that it may not flicker, and pours on them, as the energy that will sustain them, the burning pieces of its own heart. "Without love, everything on earth would perish, and without a heart to love, even the sun. would. diminish in power". said Victor Hugo. The world would be a mass of ashes moving in an immense wasteland. With the death of love, everything dies. . Dante ends his powerful supernatural trilogy with the vision of the Love which moves the sun and the constellations: ."L'amor che muove il sole e l'altre stelle." At this point he thinks that there is nothing else to write. Without love everything would fall into a cosmic paralysis.. Even 'science leads us to believe that a universal blackout will happen at the moment that "heat" gradually leaves every body. Death, diffused all over, will destroy, with a cold grin, all the childish and vain efforts to spark a flint to a handful of moss. In our hearts, which Scripture calls "very deep," burns a fountain of fire. Beside fresh light, in which all young persons who love truth bask themselves, the spirit of youth also possesses a veritable "mine of flames," which it uses in favor of the arid world. "The world dried up around me," wrote St. Gregory the Great, "and yet it is continuously alive in my heart." Everything brings forth' leaves, buds, flowers, and trees in the heart of one who is blessed with 62

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the' spirit of youth. If you don't have fire and love in your heart, nobody will ever warm you up, and the world around you will become an arctic zone, where very rarely you may find a handful of moss under layers of snow. The only flora will be mildew, which will cover all life, ironic homage of death. Isn't it true that old people envy the young because of their carefree capacity for love? Do not search in vain for the hearth of Love; you will not find it, if you did not find it in the spirit of youth. In psychology books it was written that 'youth is the age when "a landscape is a spiritual state," that even "the roots of its intellectual life are overtaken by emotions" (Barres, Jean Lacroix), and that blood and love are its essential components. When youth finds itself in some reflection of thought, it recognizes itself as ebullient love. It even thinks that it is love itself. Probably it is the revenge of the heart against the academic oppression of the mind. The heart uses its own logic, which confuses all the calculators of measures and, quantities. The truth of Pascal's' quote "Le coeur a ses raiSon ... " i~ discovered during the period of youth. The spirit of youth does not give preference to the heart nor to the mind, but to the spirit formed by both of them. Without a "career of fire" in the spirit of youth, the "source of light" would not even be worth looking at. "Even the truth needs ·blood in order to prosper." The ideas which do not pass through the heart, and refuse to bathe in blood, are good only for a museum of antiquities. Any laboratory or factory, even of colossal proportions, is a mockery if it does not have within itself a furnace, or a source of fire and warmth: It is impossible to work on some objects until they are brought into a state of heat. So it is in your life: without the hearth of love, without the fire of love, youth appears like a splendid building full of all kinds of inventions, but mute in its inertia. In order to call yourself penetrated by the spirit of youth, you must know how to put yourself in a state of incandescence. There are things in life which we cannot accomplish and cannot bring to an end once we begin, no matter how hard we try, without this state of incandescence, which is characteristic of the spirit of youth, and born out of love. It is utterly wrong to think that youth is an inevitable crisis, a struggle which one must win in order to accomplish something. How many parents and educators supervise, as if with a thermometer in their hands, the young around them for whom they are responsible,

I 64
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! fearing complications, as if they were at the bed of a person ill with scarlet fever or chicken pox. The moment the mercury lowers in the thermometer, they feel relieved, as if the patient were out of danger, when in reality, in most cases, the "patient" has just entered the herd of mediocrity, persecuted by the angels of God and damned by "the first and the last" of St. John's Apocalypse. They are then considered qualified, normal, serious, and worthy by a world for whom the eternal Truth and Life did not waste time to pray, for one does not pray for those who become immobilized in a decision to die. But don't we know that this fever of youth, this fire that we want to control with repugnance, in it's mercurial movement is the very fire that maintains the rest of the world in a normal temperature? When youth becomes cold, when its heart coagulates and its fire disappears under the ashes, the rest of the world shivers with cold, and mankind's teeth chatter (Bernanos) . Don't hesitate to change yourself into fire. Those poor candles, upon which an anemic flame barely flickers, wiIl beg you for a drop of oil, "for the light is dwindling," and you will be a giver of flames and fuel. "Life of fire, what are you doing on our hearths?" asks the poet T. Arghezi in "Prayer." What else but what the love of God is doing on earth:' to give life to dead ideas, to give strength to, the depressed, to warnl those who travel on a cold road, to stimulate courage, to inspire self giving, to revive the fight, and to strengthen hope. Only man, according to paleontology, ethnography, and history, can rekindle a fire. A gorilla opens its hairy arms to it, and warms itself like a man overcome by cold, but it can never rekindle the fire hidden under the ashes. Only man has that power. Kipling's Mowgli knows that he is a man among the beasts of the jungle because he can use fire. That fire was but an image however, compared' to the true fire coming from the look of his eyes, which conquered and bent the emerald glare of the black panther. Youth is and remains youth, only if it can kindle the fire in this world, if it can share with this world its mine of fire, and if it wants to work in this world with great love. Fire and wisdom appear at the same time as man. Where you can see' traces of fire, you must know that a man was there. "The wisest thing in the world is enthusiasm, the most dangerous is coldness," wrote E. Hello.57
57. "Le Siecle."Artie. "La folic," p. 97.

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Today and always this fire is kindled by the spirit of youth, the only vehicle that carries it in its amlS and in the hearth of its heart. When you see a beneficial conflagration, and rush to drink from the tongues of fire which f0l111its substance, you must know that the spirit of youth stood there for a while. Let them speak of you the same words spoken by the prophet Joel (2, 3): "Before him the fire was burning, and after him the flames, were consuming." And let the flame be called the CREATIVE LOVE of better and truer worlds.

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How true it is what Ch. Morgan said, when he wrote that "A flame is part of an embrace." A flame is born only from an embrace. I t is true in many planes of life and of the universe. The flame of love especially wiII not be born without the embrace of the ideals of the great truths. "Hot grew my heart within me; in my thoughts, a fire blazed forth" (Psalm 39, verse 4), because we catch fire from the truth, when we think of it through meditation. We embrace the truth through admiration. We catch fire in this embrace unexpectedly. The deeper and more spiritual your admiration, the more uncessantly you will burn. It has been said that people can no longer be amazed; they lost this ability because of the technical and wondrous discoveries which are competing with God, and enrich us with "magic knowledge," so that we no longer can be amazed.58 If wonder and ap1azement come from a temporary impossibility to explain something, admiration comes from a meditated recognition of a superiority which captures and subjugates you in a delicious and enchanting way. If ignorance is the foundation of wondering, wisdom and knowledge create admiration. The many-headed gods of technology cannot penetrate the domain of admiration, and cannot hinder it. The inability to admire is a real internal inertia, or, to use the philosopher G. Marcel's definition, a spiritual atony. On the other hand, the ability to admire gives a real measure to the human soul.59
58. P. P. Negulescu: "Destinul omenirii," vol. II pag. 59. H. Pate: "Le breviaire dcs jeul1cs" p. 18.
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Like prayer, admiration is a recognition of true greatness, of beauty, of goodness, of justice, and of a possibility of being enchanted by this greatness. Like prayer, it is an ascension of the soul toward superior regions, regions which very often are near us, hidden in things and people. Admiration is born from this marvelous and spiritual meeting of our mind and soul with the face of God, hidden in mortal beings. The ability to admire presupposes a disregard for what is low, vulgar, and common, because admiration is not only an elevation, but also a penetrat~on beyond appearances, strengthened by the power to see, without hesitation and without syllogistic entanglements; a certain value which impresses itself on our conscience. The ability to admire surpasses the simple power of knowledge, because it presupposes the moral liberty of being enchanted, and the conviction that our destiny is not that of being wise, but of being virtuous and good.GO "Your destiny is to admire, not to know," says Bossuet; and if he curses science, which does not bless life, he curses it because he does not know how to kindle the fire of admiration, for "the science that turns away admiration is a bad science" (Joubert). To know, and yet to allow yourself to be enchanted, is a wonderful characteristic of youth. Only the young, with their infinite spiritual reserves, and their natural disposition toward enchantment can actually enjoy being penetrated and possessed by the truth and the goodness they have come to know and see. Only what is young in us can admire. The spiritual measure of vigorous youth within us is attained by our ability to admire. "Go on up to the mountain, and stay there ... the image of the glory of God on top of the mountain was like a consuming fire."61 This is the allegory of the power of admiration: to be able to find a touch of greatness among beings and people, and hence raise your soul as on the peak of a mountain. Then you will feel the fire; then you wiII touch'the peaks of your soul; and, transported there, writes Bernard d'Astrog, you will identify yourself with him, whom we call hero" ;62 like a consuming fire there burns the glory of God. Possessing this quality, youth feels itself invested with a magic prestige, which brings it closer to heroism. From this are born those
60.' Leon Olle-Laprune: "De la Certitude Morale," p. 348 ss. 61. Exodus, ch. 24, v. 12, 17. 62. "Servitude et grandeur du Heros," in Vie Intellect., April 10, 1939,page
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virtues which are close to madness, but their madness is true greatness (E. Dur~heim). The enemies of the Jews used to say: "Their God is the God of the mountains," and for this reason they always tried to fight them in the plains, not on the mountains where they were always defeated, You too are invincible, as long as you stay on this heavenly height of your soul, full of youthful vibrations. The true God is the one who listens with fire, said the prophet Elias; and He will listen with fire, if you know how to let yourself be captured by the enchantment of this invisible ecstasy. Heroism begins not only through an act of dynamic emotion, but also through an act of high, profound, and true admiration. Youth emanates from the face of the admirer, like a breeze saturated with the perfumes of a gigantic tropical orchid. "I lift my eyes toward the mountain" (Psalm 121, v. 1). The heart, the entire soul of youth follows this look. The young know that salvation has its beginnings only from above. From there comes fire, from there comes love. Who admires, exalts himself. To know how to admire means to know how t·o change. This transformation is permitted only to those who have learned to admire. Admiration is an internal action full of ethical values. We are what we admire. As Saint Beuve said: "Tell me what you admire, and I will tell you who you are." Admiration is the cradle of love, and "youthful enthusiasm is nothing but a form of Love" (Wagner), itself born from admiration. To know how to admire is to know how to be reborn. In order to renew a soul, a people, even a nation, take them to the school of admiration of the great values of their ancestors. You stimulate rejuvenation where you revive admiration. A soul who knows how to admire, is never pessimistic. The disenchantments of youth have nothing to do with a feeling of, being worthless in life. They are the product of temporary moods, and therefore ephemeral. Real youth is optimistic, without illusions, because it has the. ability to admire. Old men, skeptics, and pessimists have a physical revulsion for admiration, and for the philosophy of virile and prophetic optimism. The moment you let yourself be enchanted, you have caught the essential meaning of life, and you have escaped the tyrannic domination of the present, and of ephemeral events. You have acquired the granitic conviction that you are not an ordinary foot soldier crawling toward an eternal deception, but the

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legionary, who is convinced that the apotheosis of final victory is that of truth and goodness, at the end of each human life, and at the end of the history of mankind. Lift your eyes from what debases you, to what exalts you, for when you learn to admire true heavenly gifts, you will gain courage for life, and a taste for great accomplishments. Do not contemplate the spots on the sun, through a telescope, but enjoy the blessings of light in its infinite fluorescence, and the delights of warmth in its mending growth. Surge et sta in excelso! (Rise and dwell in the heights.) This is the mission of admiration: it lifts you and places you on high, while beneath you life goes on, vulgar, minuscule, and agitated. The act of admiration begins again every morning, and every evening. Montaigne says that his father was accustomed to wake him up every morning with songs and beautiful music. Through an act of ad· miration in the morning, you can revive youth in yourself, as well as optimism, and an enchantment full of real desires. Perhaps the natural inclination toward happiness of the young is nothing else but the ability to begin each .day anew with a profound and sincere act of admiration.
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The ability to admire is like the power to light a great fire within yourself; it is a sort of communion full of life, a stimulation that quickens you. "The crumbs which fall from the table of God" will meet in that fire causing it to become more combustible. Admiration keeps you strong and vigorous, so that you will not surrender except to greatness and s"blimity, and this capitulation will be an engagement, a commitment, a total mobilization, not an inert satisfaction. There isn't a more authentic source of aging than satisfaction, just as there isn't a bigger source of melancholy (W. James). A satisfied person is on leave from the field of life, and from the watch regiment of Ideal and Virtue. Man does not live by bread alone, he lives by ASPIRATION, admirably writes E. Hello.63 This is the first rousing gesture, born out of admiration. It is so natural this indispensable spiritual act, that, without it, your powers become arid, and you will perish by starvation. Plato in his Symposium had some of his guests define love as an aspira.tion to complete the missing part in ourselves, that part which the gods had stolen and hidden in someone else.

When Love, Admiration, and Aspiration no longer exist in the hearths of our soul, then we can look for coffins, for life is already dying. And in no way will corpses be allowed to walk among the living. Brother,' be hungry, for. hunger is the most real feeling of an organism structured in youth. How many of us act like the jackal in the "Book of the Jungle," who timidly circles the live prey, but, cowardly as it is, does not dare to satisfy its hunger other than with an old shoe grabbed from atop a pile of trash, at the edge of town ... I would like to see you with your heart and soul hungry for greatness and holiness; , like a hungry wolf, sprayed with burning petrol, running through a field of immaculate snow, in order to arrive at the holy fire of love of Truth, Good, and Beauty. In a lost island in the Pacific, a priest was talking to some old natives with words of persuasion, of desire to stimulate conversion, to save their soul. The natives; discouraged and depressed, just shrugged their shoulders: "What is the use, father," they said, "the young ones should convert, and become Christians: this is good, because they have a soul. But for us, the old ones, there is nothing left but death. We cannot save our soul because it left us a long time ago. This is the reason that we languish in this manner." The inhabitants of Jap Island in the Carolinas reaJ1y believe that the soul leaves the body some time before death. Aging, loss of power, and, later, death follow the abandoning of the body by the soul.ij{ The world, under the appearances of a decaying life, confesses that it has lost its soul. Only the soul of youth, with its ability for admiration, can give back to the world its los't soul, and to the soul the fire which is dormant under the ashes: love. Embrace the Truth, that you may kindle a fire in this world,' to which your own people, afflicted by the curse of aging, may run and be rejuvenated.

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We cannot give of ourselves, until we possess our own being, full of "materia prima," "prime matter," for a beautiful life. True youth, like heroism, discards the "ego." It is the sacrifice of the individual ego, and the exaltation of the collective ego.
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During our life time, we are our own trap, and we all become trapped in the entagled vines of our self love and sensuality. Immobilized by ourselves, we look, with the glare of a caged animal, toward \the Ideal: then perhaps we begin to feel the force of an inner storm, generated by our own youth, who would like to destroy the great obstacle. The conscience of youth tells me that I cannot be penetrated by its spirit, until I am freed from myself, and this "requires a violent self conquest," as E. Psihary was accustomed to say. As long as we cannot conquer ourselves, we risk being suffocated by lies, begging for narcotics and the care~ of illusions. This is what G. Bernanos was referring to when he said: "I believe only in what is of great cost to me." Self love is so very subtle; it works on sensuality with so much shrewdness and cunning, it takes so many virtuous attitudes, it even genuflects, only to sway you on its side, so that you will find yourself the victim of its atrocious jaws. Then you find yourself in front of the conscience of youth, and see yourself as a handcuffed slave. At this moment, how can you still 'believe in things that do not "cost," and how can you n'ot cut the tentacles of this greedy octopus? No surge is possible without self renunciation, no generous love. All the ,enchantments are swallowed by the swamps of our inner continent. Poetry will not pervade us, until the immensity of our ego is conquered. The philosopher Stuart Mill says that we cannot trust people who are not accustomed to deny themselves permitted pleasures, for no one can guarantee that they will be able to deny themselves those pleasures which are not permitted. He foresees the necessity to submit children and young adults, in the future, to a methodic training in asceticism, to teach them how to suppress their desires, to face danger, and to endure ,suffering willingly. ' All the innumerable sources of egotism must be plucked and destroyed. Who can see something great through the lenses of his own interest? Who can contemplate something sublime, while the thirst of his own sensations blurs any spiritual pleasure? Pure beauty, not blurred by earthly whims, can be seen only by those who are free. 'The life of those who are preoccupied only with themselves, is a complicated system of cowardices and capitulations, of shrewd plans to soothe a never ending cupidity, and to satisfy an infinite ,concuC piscence. The spirit of youth is a system of sacrifice, of manliness, of mor-

tification, and of Iiberty.65 "The politics of taking everything lightly," which will cause our destruction (A. Bridaux), is a stranger to the spirit of youth. All the parasites within ourselves must die, if we want to be totally receptive. Any cross - and happy is he who is bothered by the Cross - typifies the attempt to' awake in ourselves the conscience of the spirit of youth, and, the effort to destroy within ourselves everything that opposes it. Renounce yourself" and pick up your Cross, said Christ to the man who wanted to be young. Forwe retain within ourselves, from the time of our birth, the germs of aging, which must be destroyed through self crucification. During the French Revolution, a priest pulled a Crucifix from the wall of a desecrated Church; he held the Cross as high as he could, and demanded t6 be'let through the angry crowd. The people, who at first were screaming and asking for his death, now, faced with this daring gesture, applauded, and walked in procession behind the Cross~ If all our feelings, desires, and thoughts would be arranged in a procession behind the Cross, we could be considered the builders of a beautiful life, because we would have the power to give and sacrifice ourselves in total freedom. Do not scorn the Cross and the renunciation of your life, lest you be a stranger to the spirit of youth. After sanctity, perhaps the work of art most worthy of admiration in this world is that heroism which receives life from the spirit of youth, and, like all works of art, youth too is a perpetual sacrifice. We must" not give any concessions to the three appetites of life mentioned by St. John the Apostle. I am not for an association for the protection of the aged man \"ithin ourselves, or of the human ,heart. I am for repentance without conditions and without delay, for self denial without mercenary bargaining. Without a systematic denial of natural inclinations and preferences, without,the rejection of minor demands, we will never be capable of true desires.~G "Those who' do not accept the harsh method, never pay for anything" (Alain). indifference' the action' of lielf-detachment - has no other merit than lifting us out of the vulgar ... If, when we can acquire something, we don't, we give ourselves a thousand times more than what we could have acquired. We can build a diamond cathedral in 65. Cf. Ch. Peguy: "L'Argent," page 48. 66. P. Masson-OUl;sel: "Apprends a agir," page' 40.

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the invisible world, out of all the foregone opportunities of satisfying
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Let aU the pygmies of today's world, blinded as they are by some myopic fatalism, better yet by some divine curse, and incapable of finishing a job which inconveniences them, know that the words of Antony remain true: "Come then, for with a wound I must be cured" (Shakespeare). III with a self inflicted sickness, walking convulsed epitaphs, those who cannot be free of themselves with a wound, a decoration of wounds, will remain old candidates for the morgue, an object of horror for the hyenas, and of contempt for the spirit of youth. Every time we cannot conquer ourselves, but attach ourselves to the small things that appear new, we hang a millstone around our neck, and put our hope in ephemeral things. Consequently we adopt their meaninglesness, and their ultimate end. The pleasures that you forego by conquering yourself through the hewing of your will power, where do they take you? Do you know ,the drawing rooms or the cellars, where they are sold?, All the subscribers to the three appetites are sickly eunuchs. Conquer yourself, that you may know the iron and the steel, the healthy martial and athletic joys, and the olympic enjoyment .of a clean and victorious soul (P. Claudel).

'ON THE ALTAR OF CONSCIENCE
There are in us two sources of evil, which blur the realization of spirtual growth, and both of them lead to what we call egotism; the" egotism of the body, and the egotism of the spirit, the haughtiness of the flesh, and the haughtiness of life. The soul wants to imagine itself either as an angel, or as a beast. And it does not want to become what it really is: the image of God. '!The slope toward the 'ego' ", said Pascal, is the beginning of all disorders, and the road to aging. In order to enter the dawn of life and the beginning of youth, established as a current of wishes and desires in a clean and profound pattern, like that of the ancient rivers, we must begin with, an act of sacrifice, prolonged until the end of our earthly life. The Ego's capacity for sacrifice is proportional with the measure of youth and heroism; St. Augustine wrote these marvelOl,lswords:
67. H. de Montherlant: "La possession de soi-meme," page 41.

"Sit ara tua conscientia mea" (My Lord, may Your Altar be my conscience) . This conscience of the, spirt of youth is an echo which sounds like a music without which life is nothing, an echo of the presence of God within our depths, a real echo, like that of any substance, and consistent with all divine words. Sacrifice then becomes the realization of a superior harmony, the act of getting closer to the God of all ideals and beauties, the free act of a loving and daring will, which consents to its self denial, to abandon itself in order to find the God of freedom and youth. Any sacrifice shatters the limits of the ego. Imprisoned within ourselves, we remain merely nearsighted rickety old men, riciiculed by youth, and as worthless humor to the children of the street. Through sacrifice we regain ourselves, and break the banks of the ego; we destroy everything which diminishes life, and then by adding it to the Truth, which for us is He, the Living God,' we transform it from light to light into a splendid youth. Sacrifice is not an amputation, which leaves you crippled, but a 'surgical eliminatiqn of what confuses and dissipates the eagerness of life'toward the heights; it is not the suppression of the body, or of its functions, not even of its passions, but their subordination to the directives of the mind and of faith. It is a therapeutic act meant to revive that which wa~ otherwise destined to be yoked to the hearse. Through sacrifice we prevent the killing of man by the animal, and the destruction of what is divine in us by ,man. Through sacrifice we confess that the accent of life is not on the body, hence the body is not the center of life; we also confess that we are not ,the point of convergence of the acts of life, and that we are not the source of happiness and love. Sacrifice consists in preferring the holy Ideals, in one word God, to the rest of the world, for outside of God there is nothing.68
We prolong life through daily deaths of self denial.

With each sacrifice we leave to the next moment, and, to tomorrow, the right to inherit a more beautiful life, and the aura of youth shining with enchantment. Do you want to know what constitutes nothingness in life? "It is the passion of enjoyment without scruples, the attachment to the life of the sens~s, the burning search for wealth; it is taking serious things
68. A. Gatry: "De la connaisance de t'ame," Tom. II, IV book (all 5 chapters) .'

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lightly and frivolous things seriously; it is the contempt for man and the exaltation of the ego."69 Do you want to know what constitutes greatness and youthfulness in life? It is the embrace of sacrifice without calculation, the detachment from the life of the senses, the disposition to accept inconvenience as a noble discipline, the love for great ideas; it is. getting closer· to God'through the love for your fellow man, and through the assimilation of all His intentions.

IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES
Chancellor Bacon noted' that for the common people the small virtues are worthy of praise, the middle ones of admiration, but for the superior ones, the common people has no understanding at all. Everything that is superior irritates the common man. The entire reservoir of hatred of this common man is directed against whatever is striving for nobility and superiority. To be an authentic torch burning with the fire of the spirit of youth, you must beat the pack of wolves that want to tear you apart. I t is not enough to remain impassive toward the delirious symphony of their laughter; you must confront the dangers, the oppositions; you must unmask their plans and avoid their traps. Something else is necessary: a desperate effort to move the world from the indifference in which it lies, toward its proper and wonderful destiny. Finally you have to sacrifice yourself for it, to give of yourself until you arrive to the final sacrifice, beyond which there is no room for other sacrifices; until beyond there is - sorry - only victory and assumption to the Kingdom. You must know how to die consistently and repeatedly. You must not bum with every mockery and opposition, just glow a little. Mockeries and oppositions will be like chunks of coal thrown on the altar of conscience, burning the fire of love, and sacrificing itself for truth; You must know that, among the many things that stimulate the hatred and the repugnance of the world, the surest one is to have high principles (H. de Montherlant, op. cit. page 47). You must also know that "the world is what it must be for an active being: an organization of obstacles" (Vauvenargues). Have you

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ever thought of what luck can unleash in man, of what atmosphere it creates in his heart? Believing in luck seems to rne a belief not in God or your own ability, but in vagueness, in chance ... Luck docs not bring out the best from the strata of our being; the optimism that it creates is not founded on something which can be expressed with a beautiful idea, caught in the real universe. The good disposition which is part of it, is full of doubts and disbeliefs. But the passivity that fol,lows it is like a cursed laziness, sister of fatalism; with it fades our striving toward betterment, and our power for sacrifice softens. Luck is the heroism of the coward, and the genius of the mediocre. I think that it is also a curse of God, more so than the ancient used to believe, because, along with the inertia it justifies, it revives in the soul an erotic disposition toward mildew. And this is a very cruel curse. "A hostile world, on the other hand, sculptures yoU."70 Do not be perplexed, do not take it in a tragic way, and, above all, do not be discouraged on your way to ascension, when you are met by obstacles. Every blow is like the hewing of a chisel which shapes you, not an offense nor a childish motive for a ridiculous duel. The wind kindles the flame, and the hewing awakens the fire dormant under the ashes. "What does not kill me strengthens me," wrote a philosopher somewhere. And God knows that even death, the last hungry wolf, is conquered by the spirit of youth. Hence, everything that is against you strengthens you, death more than anything else. "Life among dangers is real life, great life; it is the life of sacrifice that brings harvest abundantly" (Pasteur). When you wish a young man a quiet life, you curse him. Wish him a lot of suffering, if you love him, and if you want his youth to last forever; wish him humiliations, scathing insults; wish him that he may know the bite of oppressing envy, and the burning of ostracism; wish himself deprecation, loneliness, failure. Never commiserate a young man besieged by obstacles. "You know, mother, that my dangers were always your joy," said Coriolanus to his mother. This is the joy of a mother who sees her son marching toward glory, sure of himself, and facing all the obstacles in the world! St. Joan of Arc said: "I am where the danger is." These words are saturated with the youth of her twenty years. If you make a habit of avoiding difficulties and postponing decisions to a better day, that is not a sign of healthy and youthful life. The person who is slowed down in the straight road, and confused about his good deeds, by the 70. A. Maurrois: "La jeunesse devant notre temps," page 36.

69. M. Blondel: "L' Action," pp. 32-33.

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fear of being compromised, and by the worry of offending the inertia of others, has no knowledge of the manly needs of the spirit of youth. Virtue needs not blush, if it awakens shame in some one else. If your walk humiliates the crawl of the lazy ones, don't let it bother you, just keep on the right way, the climb toward salvation. Some day you wilI find out that, in each obstacle, in each oppressing burden, there is an angel ready to sing. Whoever runs to help where there is a hard labor to perfonn, runs where there is singing. Remember the words of the King of Romania Charles the First at the beginning of the war of 1877: "This music pleases me." "It is a remarkable fact that neither suffering nor grief, in principle, weaken the love of life; on the contrary, they give it a lively flavor ... Our true incentives are the need and the fight, and the moment of victory destroys us again" (WilIiam James). A young Montalembert spoke the foHowing words to the skeptic veterans of the French Senate: "To follow Christ I did not choose the moment Cross." of Tabor, but the moment He feU under the weight of the When you have this knowledge, and you feel this way, it is not your feeling, but that of the spirit of youth within yourself. The whole structure of youth pushes life toward Calvary. Youth is destined to this type of glory. Carried by love, you wil1pass through the wolves, just as Dante, guided by Beatrice, safely passed the three beasts.

By breaking the vase, notes St. Mark, she poured on the head of Christ genuine nard ointment. She gave to the last drop. "To the p~uring of blood," this is the cry of true youth. True life, true youth, true heroism begin their accomplishments with this cry. It is not enough .to forget yourself, you must give of yourself entirely. You wilI often hear the warning: "Be careful, or you'll crack your head open." You should answer: "So much, the better." Without a head cracked by stones, you wilI be left hanging somewhere, overcome and paralyzed by fear, doing nothing. Listen to this wonderful story of youthful spirit, narrated by Pierre Lhand in "Le Christ dans la banlieu." A priest walks on the streets of a slum in Paris, looking for a place to build a small chape1. At a turn, he finds himself in front of a noisy group of children. Surprised by the appearance of this "crow," the children start running, but then they stop, and begin throwing stones. A stone hits the priest on his forehead and faUs at the feet of the man of God, with a big spot of blood on it. He lifts it, kisses it, and exclaims to the astonished children: "This wilI be the cornerstone of a church, in this neighborhood." And so it happened: the church was built there, on that spot of blood. I want to have my head cracked open by a stone ... You probably do not know that blood cements, and that all the. cracks in the walls of life are repaired with blood. There isn't any cement stronger than blood, and no foundation can be compared with that which rests on it. Every red corpuscle, every leucocyte is a laborer which carries on its shoulders a burden of health and vigor. What a wonderful sight it would be, if we could see the work of the billions of hard laborers in our veins and arteries. Every construction is paid with blood. The spiritual constructions are longing for our blood more so than the material ones. Michelangelo sculptured the scene of Christ's descent from the Cross for Vittoria Colonna, and wrote at the foot of the Cross Dante's verse: "Non vi si pensa quanto sangue costa" (We cannot imagine how much blood it costs) . On every noble act which enriches your being, and which has been imprinted on mankind through your sacrifices, you can write this verse, and only this verse. You will be told: "You cannot change the world, it is useless!" "I will change myself," you shaH reply. In spite of the derisive smile of depressing experience, the world changes only because some of us

SHORT OF SHEDDING BLOOD
Someone once said: "Youth is the age in which we ignore the word 'weariness'''. Perhaps it is not very comprehensive, but it is very well said. We ignore the word "limit" in faith, in hope, and in love, the virtues which through their mirage give birth to the spirit of youth. There is no limit especially in the giving of one self. I love very much the forceful and great gesture of Mary Magdalen at the feet of Christ.. She pours on Him aU the perfwne, the cost of an entire year of work; she gives Him aU her tears, kisses His feet, and hwnbly wipes them with her hair. At the end, after she has given everything, she breaks the alabaster vase. with the generous inspiration of the younthful impulse of giving without possibility of reconsidering what has been given, and the whole house was filIed with the scent of the perfume.

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have the courage to confront it with our own transfiguration. Someone rightly said that the lives of heroes and saints leave us with this fundamental lesson: "We have to change, and then, around us, many changes will happen."n Madness! This enthralls me! This is the madness blessed by God, approved, confirmed, and left to us in the Holy Scriptures, as an example of the supreme closeness of the soul to God. AU your eloquent words are only fluorescence of putrid corruption. "Corruption loves itself only" said Shakespeare, and where corruption is far away, there is where you find love for your feHow man, and the unca1culated giving of one self. The freshness of youth stays away from certain "wisdoms." A communist once said: "I do not believe in those who have a home, a bed, a family, friends ... "72 More than that we believe only in youth that knows how to give of itself, how to sprinkle with blood its own drives. Only the vigor of youth knows how to give of its own flesh and of its bones. Nowhere will we find this spirit of youth without this quality' of unselfish love. And to know how much you love, and what is the quality of your fire, find out how capable of devotion you are. If the world will condemn you to its salt. mines, like the Christians of old, do not be angry, as Tertullian says, and do not anger the Spirit who entered the prison with you.: "Nolite constristare Spiritum qui vobiscum introivit in carcerem." The Spirit of youth, who entered the lions' den with Daniel, the prison of Phutiphar with Joseph, Herod's dungeons with John, will be with you in any mine the world will condemn you to. Where there is a beautiful and true youth, there is manly self giving. If God takes you in fragments, piece by piece, in an extremely painful way, or all at once, does it really matter? You give of yourself all the way, to the very pouring of blood. And if you were to be taken to the guiIIotiI1e? You would agree with Noel Pinot: "lntroibo a.d altare Dei:" I sh~ll go up to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth. For you know very well that "crime creates shame, not the gallows" (Th. CorneiIIe). At the end some will be unmasked by their own. conscience; but, as for the "clean" ones, even the shadow of the~r, body wiII be kissed with reverence. 71. P. Marson-Oursel, op. cit. page 77. 72. The militant Santiago Maurer in "Faux Passeports."

These are the heights on which the spirit of youth and heroism meet. The intensity and the quality of the love you gave your life with, measure both of them. Here they blend. We appeal to youth whenever we need great sacrifices, and the baptism of blood. Every revolution, and every war is sustained by youth. On August 25th 1935, in Brussels, the congress of Christian workers was held. 100,000 young workers took part in it. For the preparation of this great confession of faith in Christ, 33 young persons, who were seriously iII, offered their lives, dying like saints. Two young people, recently married, separated of common accord for the duration of six months, in order to give themselves more freely to their duty as young recruits and of soldiers of Christ. Others denied themselves movies, plays, and cigarettes for a year, to save money for young unemployed workers. A young metal worker, who works all night in the heat of the furnaces, travels at dawn for a whole hour, in order to receive Holy Communiori. The 20 big "l'egisters of sacrifices" of the young participants of this congress show the inclination of youth for sacrifice to the pouring of blood. In sacrifice "all the way to the pouring of blood," we find the apotheosis in which the spirit of youth rejoices in a supernatural satisfaction and happiness. Do not be surprised then by the words addressed to these young workers by Monsignor M. Cardyn: "We do not make revolutions: we are the Revolution."

BEYOND

SHEDDING

BLOOD

Youth, like' heroism, does nof stop at the limits of the ego (P. Ortegat S.J). It makes you feel· that you are part of those who "cannot help but give." Youth considers beautiful an ideal for which itis worth sacrificing even in spite of the spilling of one's blood. No other period of your life makes you feel that you should die for your ideas (J. Lacroix). Intensive research work of psychologists prove this characteristic of the spirit of youth. The inclination and the readiness to sacrifice your life is more accentuated in youth than in adults or older persons. Youth does not want to believe in death, and considers it, as the philosopher Emil Boutroux said, "a condition for rejuvenation."73
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"Morale et religion." -

Pascal et Ie temps present, page

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"Life must be very vigorous to be exposed in such a daring way. Contrary to the adult, and especially to the old, who feeling that life becomes shorter and starting to slip by them, cling to it with all their forces, and do not want to give up even an insignificant part of it, the youth is tota! generosity. Youth is prodigal, in every sense of the word, whereas old age is greedy. You must be young, at least in your heart and in your spirit, to be able to give, and especially to give of yourself totally."H Proud judges of temporary death, the young feel that neither the world nor the times can measure up to them. They are contemporary only with eternity. For that reason the face of youth looks like that of our destiny, which consists in reaching, through death, the smile of beauty, in which the Face of God reflects ItSelf. To make of death, through its acceptance, an offering of your life to His service and to the greatness of His Kingdom, to make the last and the most profound personal moral act, it means to give yourself completely "beyond the spilling of blood," for the fulfil1ment of life. This kind of death means the friendship of God forever. This kind of death compensates us for all the deceptions of life, said J. Malegue. Youth does not want to yield this privilege to die to anybody, for it invests it instantly with a power the rest of us strive for an entire lifetime, sometimes without being able· to achieve it. Through it, the adolescent instantly becomes a man, and more than a man, for, in time of war and of other similar crises, "older men concede their leadership to the younger ones." Youth cherishes this privilege, possibly because it has a vague feeling that life dissipates and decomposes, while death, and only death, has the power to fasten us to the foundations of eternity.16 The more you are giving of yourself, "beyond the spilling of blood," the more you are also lifting high the ideal for which you sac· rifice. You confess that there is something worthier than life, to which the sons of this world cling so desperately. This kind of death is not an end, but an apotheosis, it is the manifestation of the "will of transcendence," hence the decision is made to renounce the sensible and visible world, in order to maintain alive the only substances and values which last forever and· enter the composition of our happiness.
74. Jean Lacroix, op. cit.page 462.

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This kind of death is the most luminous victory. St. Eulalia endured martyrdom at the age of twelve. While her pure body was tortured by irons, and responded like sensitive malleable crystal, she cried: "0 my God, how sweet it is to be able to read on my body torn by iron the history of your victories, written with my blood." Victory belongs not only to the one who, through his Ideal, has an echo in the heart of God, but even to those who seem lost in the twilight of humiliation and contempt. In Marseilles, under the rule of the Emperor Maximilian Hercules, a young soldier named Victor kicked the idol he was taken to worship, saying; "I worship only Christ." Condemned to death, in his last moments of torture, he heard a voice from Heaven; "Victor, you have won. Look at your prize: I will make of the victor a column in the temple of God, and I will seat him with Me, on My throne" Through the giving· of self "beyond the spilling of blood," we make the supreme assertion of ourselves, and we show what weare,
through what· we give and not through what we have.

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Youth can rightly claim these words of the poet: "I come near the end as if it were spring," but more even than that, it is as if it were a polychrome autumn, abundant with fruits for everyone. How is it possible that one be so indifferent in preserving his life, right at the moment that life is richer in adventures and promises? Whence com,es this mysterious affinity between youth and death? Can this brotherhood between love and youth compel youth toward the boundaries of death, like the wind of passion? Should we be· lieve that the "instinct of death," described by some biologists and psychiatrists, stimulates a desire to walk on the threshold of Night? Or is it possible that life itself, having fallen from a dream to a de-. lusion, could ask for its own end, not to belie the poetry f0l111edby its images, since it is written that "every poetry has something tragic within itself?" Could the end of this tragedy be death? We under· stand how St. Francis of Assisicould say: "Blessed be thou, Death, my Sister." Or is it possible, rather, that youth could have a cherubic soul, pure like the shadow of the smile of the holy Mother? "To be a philosopher, is to learn to die," said Plato; but youth is much more than just a philosophy that can familiarize one with death. A thinker once said that "sun and death· cannot look at each other." Youth looks straight at the sun, this shadow of Truth, and is enchanted, warmed, and fascinated by it. Do we really think that

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75. H. Massis:· "Les idees restent," pages +6.

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this youth cannot to it?

look in the face of Death, and be even' betrothed

A beautiful poem begins like this: "He is destined to death, whose eyes sometimes contemplate Beauty.'" And the spiritual eyes of youth are unceasingly on the luminous ridges of beauty, "splendor of truth." We can see an analogy of this in the divine vision St. Thomas Aquinas had during a prayer meeting. After it, he lost· completely any desire for this life. The fire of the vision burned the emptiness and the illusions of this world. "Write, Thomas," brother Reginald kept telling him. "Everything I write is straw," answered the saint, after he experienced the divine vision. So, what does it matter if death consumes the dried brush of the swamps of life that hinder you anyway? "Resignation not to die, but to live" said St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus, at the young age of 24. For it is not a pleasure to live among lies, when you are the herald of Truth . Whoever places his trust in lies is afraid of death. But youth places its trust in truth. Death cannot cheat it. Any charlatan crumbles at the sight of death, which tears off all the masks glued .to the skin, and even those fused to the living flesh. Impudence belongs to the gallows. Those who put their hopes in riches, the "lovers of the ephemeral," will feel the vigorous hand of the thief who shall come at midnight to empty their house of their deceiving treasures. Death is a real attack against many illusions that warp youth. It is a light which will make us see things as they are. Deceiving illusions flee in the face of death, like ghosts stunned by the onrush of dawn. All the haughty derivatives of lies must ·concede. Death comes serene, cold, chaste, and inevitable, like an "algebraic formula," which puts aside any error and clarifies what was obscure. All the professionals of the "whited sepulchres" feel the need to be . afraid of 'death; not so the,sincere lovers of Truth. Freed of themselves, freed of .the world, what can death take away from them? The rough apprenticeship, the small but testing daily sacrifices, aren't these experiences of' death, in small. but real doses? Youth has lived this apprenticeship. In contrast with other sacrifices, death appears as a sacrifice which cannot be reconsidered. It is the broken alabaster vase pouring out the sweet smelling ointment, and filling'the whole house with its perfume; .

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Thus death is a perfect giving, and a final and complete fulfill· ment. Whoever lives under the dictates of Truth, has no fear of death, nor of its teachings; on the contrary, he invokes it to cleanse the soul of the vain lies which encrust it. Death brings the epiphany of truth and unmasks the lie. This is why youth loves it. Adults and old men have a revulsion for death, because it is' just, like a thief, who can steal even us. Wealth, egotism, all our accounts are alienated by it; and yet, to put it in a better way, we are forcefully weaned from them. Death overthrows all affections, and cuts off all attachments. All the sweet traps open to give up the prey that gave itself so willingly to them. All the objects of earthly love disappear forever. . Youth is more detached, more available, more unselfish. It has nothing to lose. It does not know the heartbreak of departure. In its freedom, the only obligation it kno~s is its Ideal! And its soul belongs more to its object of love than to the body that it animates. Therefore death is seen as a gain, which brings youth closer to what it loves, rather than taking it away from something it could not leave. Finally, death is nothing else than an accident of time. With all its power of erosion, "the tooth of time" doesn't disturb anything that is eternal. It is sufficient to be in accord with eternity, and there will be no room for death. Man never again has the feeling and the knowledge of being eternal, as he has it when he is young. The very word "death," intended as the end of all things, is an insult when it is addressed to the young. Future and eternity never heard the hooves of the horse carrying the Reaper. Death has no power on them. God Himself must have placed in the soul of youth an inner tendency of love toward death, not in the nature of a haughty and blind frenzy, but touched with a superior tenderness, because death is a condition for life, resurrection, salvation, progress, and creation everywhere. "Amen, amen I say to you, when the kernel of wheat . falls into the ground, if it does not die, it just remains itself; but if it dies, it will produce another fruit." Do we sow into the ground bad seeds, wormy kernels of wheat, old and without power? Certainly not, but healthy and vigorous seed, full of pulsating sap. Truth is. this seed, which sustains and multiplies the great values of life, and assu~es their duration through its sacrifice.

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The same mysterious affinity that binds the seed to the earth in which grow its roots, binds youth to sacrifice "beyond the spi1lingof blood." With its roots fastened to death, as a sacrifice, youth renews life. "Nature invented death to enrich life," said Goethe. Rodrigo, in the "Mocedades del Cid," goes in pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James of Compostella, and on his way he meets a leper who teaches him, the hero, what a hero really is: "the only one whose death will leave the man in· him victorious." This ability in life to push oneself "beyond the spilling of blood" is called youth and heroism. As a conclusion, I will quote this wonderful page of the American philosopher William James: "There is in every one of us a deep and irradicable instinct which prevents us from considering life simply as a farce, or an elegant comedy. No, life is a harsh tragedy, and only heroism commends the leading roles. We know full well that the mystery of life is hidden in heroism. ,A man has no value if he is incapable of sacrifice. On the other hand, no matter' what the weaknesses of a man are, if he is capable of giving his life for a cause dear to him, his heroism raises him so much in our eyes, that we do not think of the rest. Even if he is inferior to us in many aspects, if we hold fast to life, while he detaches himself from it, just as one would throwaway a flower, we feel that he has an unquestionable superiority. Every one of us is convinced that we could easily forgive all our sins, if we could only treat our life with such detachment. It is a metaphysic mystery, understood instinctively even by common sense, that by embracing death we live the highest, the most intense, the most complete life. This is a profound truth, wihch has found a faithful friend' in this world in aceticism. The madness of the Cross, which our small wisdom refuses to understand, maintains a lasting, profound, and vivid significance." Brother, love sacrifice, love the giving of yourself "beyond the spilling of blood," love these facts which awaken in us the consciousness that we are eternal and impenetrable to any invasion of aging. Consecrate yourself to sacred love, and from, it you shall have everything: the power of sacrifice, and that of your self giving "beyond the spilling of blood;"

V A.L

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I fear that somehow, at the last judgment, we shall hear an acCusation against us, full of righteous anger made by the fire within us, and by the passions of our chosen life. ,We were always at your disposal, powers without fear, chaste boldness, serene manliness; what did. you do to us? "We were ideas changed to flames, truth embodied in passion, and, in spite of all our energy, you remained a "prophet for ants!" What tempest could move you? But the spirit of youth, the spirit of the "good fight," eliminates any chance of such accusations. Endowed with aggressive vigor, it is ready to build in all the workyard of goodness, but always with weapons nearby ready to defend them, and, if necessary, to destroy evi! before it destroys goodness. Great ideas ride towards action on the power of passion, as if on a mustang with fiery nostrils. Boldness looks good only riding on youth, said Shakespeare. Youth can bear with this harsh mission of fight, with its ],!Sualbravura. Just as youth is God's, also "God's are the fighters of this earth. He is supreme" (Psalm 46/47, v. 10), and the burden of the fight is full of music that sings to it. Youth does not choose to fight, it is predestined to fight. In the arena of life, to youth belong the words of 8t. Ambrose: 76 "Weare athletes ... " (Athletae sumus). Youth is so well equipped for the fight, that in periods of soft peace it rusts. It could almost say that peace is just a pause between
76. "Liber de Elia et ieiunio," C. XXI, n. 79.

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two wars, if it hadn't given peace the tone of a life of struggle. Moreover youth has enshrined martial virtues in the temple of peace. The vigor of its fighting soul impregnates the times of peace. But it needs a war to endure. Peace, with its desires, its worldliness, its mediocrity, its laziness, its cowardly spirit of resignation, "this peace is good for nothing else but to rust iron, increase the number of tailors, and beget street singers" (Shakespeare in "Coriolanus"). In this atmosphere even youth becomes rancid. When the Moor said about himself: "If there is no war Othello does not feel like a real man. But at work, among the dangers that try an anny, I feel that my spirit finds its own true being" (Act I, III) he was describing exactly the feelings of youth.. Peace is not an act of weariness, but an act of strength, of energy, wrote St. Thomas Aquinas. And, perhaps, it takes more strength to maintain peace, than to stir up and declare a war. In a true peace we find all the martial virtues. The reveille soundforyouth should not be the sinister sound of the bell sounding the alarm for a general mobilization, but the conviction that we must live an intense life, detached from the useless crossing of the material tools of death; a consciousness that we have enemies in other worlds, enemies even within ourselves; the knowledge that we are engaged in a battle which involves at the same time seen and unseen regions, and enemies which cannot be wounded by bullets, nor killed by wounds caused by material violence; the conviction that the fight between St. Michael and the Serpent continues in our world, where, instead of firearms, the clash is between ideas, feelings, hearts, and souls; the consciousness that. "we must preserve with our blood what has been made worthy to receive, with the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior" (Bossuet). The conscience of our youth is formed by a bright conviction that it has been called to conquer a world condemned by God, a conglomerate of en.emies who want the same rights for man as for God, for vice as for virtue, for the assassin as for the benefactor, for the devil astor O)'uist. And this fight for victory you must begin within yourself. "Life is a continuous competition" (Madach, "The Tragedy of Man," XIII), but many pauses have death for a companion. Investing peace with the martial virtues of the "good fight," you remain the fighter who quenches his e"ce,ss?fpower in, goo~n~ss People ,almpst .. never die of a natural death, ci(a merciless weakness. They die of an abuse of power. It has been writ,ten that people kiJI themselves: most
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of us die of a slow suicide. We grow old with every wrong-doing, and we die partially with every pleasure. Thus our life is cut short by incalculable waste and abuse of power. The "good fight" organizes and prqperly uses these powers. The good fight is the march of dreams and poetry towards accomplishment. It is not a burst of frightful thunder which chills the blood, like an avalanche of bloody and hallucinating phantasmagoria. The good fight is a virtue of moderation, but a moderation well capable of fighting. In its heart works love. The "good fight" is a quality of youth, and, whether in peace or war, it is in a continuous smooth activity and struggle. Through it, youth fights against easy and carefree life, against sly calculations and diplomatic intrigues, against professional "politics," and the sin of lying. Under its pressure, youth risks new actions, it dreams daring thoughts, it confronts obstacles, trials and dangers, it revives the cour· age to do things which have extinguished the infantile enthusiasm of the romantics, it encompasses nature in a mature embrace, finds its secrets, and it wants to enjoy only what it has gained with blood and sweat. You, scholarship, work, nature, generosity, purity, beneficial sac· rifice,can you not awaken the hunger of heroism in the spirit of youth? Peace encompasses all these things. Try this experiment: row against 1;hestream of the world, against that massive, glacial, indifferent movement towards what is common and vulgar. Then row against the torrent that flows towards what is evil and base, against the human cascade into the middle of infection, infamy, and crime. Finally try to lead towards goodness this huge mass of blubber that has the stigma of slavery on each forehead .... You wiIIfind out that you will need a straight backbone, a limpid .eye, a decisive step, ,a strong will, a great ability for sacrifice, and an enonnous faith. You will find out that you may have to appeal to an heroic youth. The ordinary soldier will not do. You will find yourself in a battlefield that is intangible but painfully real, so much so that you might prefer to find yourself on the typical battlefields, described so pathetically and elegantly by secular history. Peace needs you as a better soldier than any war could. Peoples do not perish because they lost a war, but because they lost a peace. A peace in which the virtues of the good fight are not working, is a masked pilgrimage towards sure slavery, an inevitable cadaverous decadence.

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"We need, a moral equivalent for war in time of. peace." Here 'is what youth offers us;' the same good fight in times of peace that was fulfilled in times of war. If you could ever perform an autopsy on peace, you would find out that it died of a lack of the virtues of the good fight, and of a lack of the spirit of youth. 'By God's'corrimandment, man is faced with two great enterprises: the 'fulfillment df self, and the fulfillment of the world. Two worlds are open: the world within ourselves, and the' world outside of us. They are the world of moral laws, so movingly contemplated by Kant, and the world of physical laws. We must form ourselves to the image and likeness:of God, and we must form the world to our image and likeness. We must imprint in ourSelves the'great thoughts of God, and into the world our own thoughts., ' There are two war fronts, so to speak, on which the worthiest things in the world meet: the front 'for the realization of the supreme, spiritual, moral and eternal good; and the front for the domination over blind power and realization of a material and temporary wen beihg. In the field of spiritual life we see the Saints as the most authentic fighters and conquerors. The virgins, the martyrs, and the confessorswere all young. "If I will not be a :saintin my youth, I will ne~er be, a saint." This century has lived under the heavenly spell of the smile and of the rain of roses of St. Theresa of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who died at the age of 24. One cannot even imagine ~n aged saint. There are very few saints who did not begin sanctity in their youth, other than' those who were converted. Sanctity itself is youth~ under whose image' beats the Heart. of God. ' . ' . In the field of action of the temporary common good, the best units are made up of young people. They embrace happily the responsibility of suffering for others. Very easily they come to the conviction that life is action, and nobility is action that goes beyond itself. The altruism and the social consciousness of youth assume proportions th:at discourage the terrible disease of egotism. In Soviet Russia, 'in the shadow of the new myth of the creation of the world by man, the young thirst, more than the other ages, for absolute truth, give' 'themselves to working with an incredible vigor. In 1922 their organization undertook the "patronage" of the navy; nine years later. the "patronage" of the airforce. The young were 'sent to the most dangerous fronts of work: the cultural front, the economic front, the .front of industrial enterprises; they were sent to cut down forests;'·to

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exploit mines, etc. Cut down in their prime by',the unbearable.pressure, they filled one third· of the nation's sanitoriums. But ,what did their leaders care? The country was being built, and the macabre, historicaladventure had its cadres of comrades.77

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One of the qualities of. youth is that it' is against any' type of decomposition. The fatalist who remains passive in view of the flood of pus. that strangles his blood, or ofa lengthy and sly incubation of moral bacteria, can find close to him the "martial qualities" of.youth, which will shake him and awaken him. They are the miraculous leucocytes of a Nation's blood. The ability to feel indignation and contempt is an admirable resistance to corruption. When a social organization, an institution, a conscience, allows evil, ugliness, and lies to remain on the same level with goodness, beauty, and truth, and does not know how to react and be repulsed by the obscene claims of ugliness, the trivial exhibition of evil, and the promising insinuations .of lies; it shows signs that it has entered that phase of numbness that precedes coma. If you dQ not feel your muscles flexing and the bright blade of your willsparkling in the scabbard, when purity is forced to blush, when truth is forced to humiliate itself, when beauty is cast out and forced to find shelter only in sacred places, then you must know that you are a mere colony of putrid feelings, and that your apparently militant armor covers an ordinary puppet. The spirit of youth feels a galvanizing power that transmits throughout the whole being an intensification, of all its powers. "Fate calls you, they say, and it makes the smallest artery. of your body stronger than the nerves of the lion of Cythaeron." Then you win feel that indignation, disgust, and contempt are not some sort of diabolical hatred, but an effervescent form of the fire of love. Because love, a virtue of youth, under this form is also a militant quality. And love is transfixed by daggers. "Not only truth, but also love is fun of warfare ... love is the fountain of war."18 Where a true a.nd great love dwells, there is also
77; Cf. Klaus Mehnert: "La jeunesse en Russie sovietique," B. Grasset, 1933 . 78. Ch.peguy :"L' Argent suite,"p. 182.

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an annor pf war. ·Wars in the sec~lar and ma.terial realm proceed from a temporal love and from the passion of love. Wars for aims over the temporal and into the spirirual realm, springfrom the love of the spirit. For, at the root of love there is also hatred, just as all the other passions. Indignation and contempt are there, just as all the other virrues. Love is the god of the heart, but the heart provides the power of execution over the ideas. For this reason youth, the true youth, reacts spontaneously to any invasion of evil, of ugliness, and of impudence. Its indignation and its contempt are a crude fonn of combat. A people, .just as any soul, is damned at the very moment that it is no longer capable of indignation ·and of contempt. Fallon your knees, and invoke all the Powers, all the righteous anger of Truth to come and dwell within you: Call the stonn, the hurricane, the cyclone, the typhoon to come and live within you. Give your arteries to lightning, surrender your blood to the waves, and the look of your eyes to the· magnetic powers.· Finally, seeing yourself as the meeting ground of the Powers, pray that Love humbly· set them all forth on the right way. And just like a trembling King Lear, shout: "Arise for· me a great fury!" Indignation is a virginal virtue. It is the rustling of purity which defends itself, and shudders greatly in the presence of evil. It is the manifestation of moral resistance to evil and to error;·· It is the high temperature of health~ if you will. How would you judge the moral values of a virgin, who, when confronted with a saucy conversation, or a dirty scene, or a vulgar gesture, insteado£ being disgusted, tolerates them, and perhaps even enjoys them? Would you not say: "Woe to the nation whose young girls have lost the ability to blush?" The consciousness of nobility faced with vulgarity, the conscious~ ness of dignity faced with decadence, the consciousness of a spiritual and moral superiority faced· with the impertinent and loud invasion of mediocrity, react automatically through indignation, just like a bullet shot in the face of what is base and disgusting. Indignation makes you realize that· you exist as a healthy and moral being, as a supenor personality. You can distinguish man. from the animal by his.ability to feel shame. It is a protest against the exhibition of carnal actions which makes man feels inferior to something mysterious within himself. Through indignation, man protests the assault of lies on the temple of truth, of ugliness on .thetemple of beauty, of the animal on the sanct~ary of the spirit. Indignation is the di-

ploma of our spiritual nobility. The decline of this healthy attitude begins with the softening of the conscience and of moral principles. At the end, just like some inhabitants of some· African regions, you will become accustomed to like only what is putrid, and to consider delicious only meat that has rotted and is full of wom1S- You no longer react to putridity. "Youth still maintains what the greater part of mankind has .lost. _ and this is a great misfortune - the power to feel contempt, disgust, and indignation. They, the young ones, are capable of indignation and hatred, and give themselves violently to the truth" (Francois Mauriac). One of the militant requirements of spiritual youth, when all the noble feelings are in blossom, is to react decisively to the presence of any spiritual miasma. This is a sign that your feelings have not been worn out by the use and abuse of evil. You discern the enemy and you take up your position against him. Indignation is the act by. which you declare that there is no compatibility nor compromise between you and evil. No friendship is possible. It is much more than a withdrawal of friendship, it.is an irrevocable declaration of hostility. You do not want, and you do not accept becoming colorless, living in a diminished manner, or as an anonymous slaye in a compact mass of capitulators. Indignation indicates the degree of sensibility to truth and to goodness within you, and at the same time, their degree of vitality. Nothing is.more unnatural to the exuberance and to the vibrant life of youth, than indifference and neutrality. Tell me, have you ever smelled the infected miasma that comes out of the sewers of a big city? Tell me again, have you ever inhaled, with all the power of your lungs the freshness of a springtime breeze, on a sweet morning, under the sil~ very rain of the notes of the nightingale? Tell me now, could you remain neutral? Did you not feel that you must make a judgment, and that without it your entire organism would revolt? Can your heart remain impartial if the doctor tells you : "Young man, you have all the symptoms of the black plague ... or of leprosy?" I do not think that we have to be told to react to such things. How can we be unmoved between health and black plague or leprosy, or to something like: "Yes, the dog has rabies and the scratch is dangerous?" Nevertheless you could remain serene, and the rabies could teach you· something. Be impartial! I am sure that even an alligator would react, and shiver under its squamous skin, if it could understand the meaning of such words.

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On the level of spiritual, so!=ial,and moral values, indignation is a' vivid confession that such indifference, such. neutrality; such impartiali tyare not possible. . Just as indignation, born ouf of love, seeks goodness, truth, and beauty, so devout contempt is born out of veneration and religious esteem towards eternal values. Virtuous contempt is never directed towards persons, as it is the case with haughty and arrogant contempt, but towards acts, facts, and doctrines; "Who does not have contempt for baseness and evil, has made a pact with them." Dealing with evil is sometimes very fascinating. Devout contempt makes you immune to the influence of evil, and does not allow.any politeness toward it. Fighting and courage are' justified only if at their origin stand these twin daughters of love as holy furies of fire: indignation and contempt. Much will be forgiven to those who have felt much indig~ nation and profound contempt (Monterlant), and little will be forgiven to those who have wasted their life in the disease of spiritual insensibility and in neutrality. They have not tasted of the existence of the spirit of youth. "Get angry, but do not .sin" says the Lord. There is a holy destiny for anger in this world, as there is for any great flame carried by the torchbearer whose name is love. "Mala sunt ista," says St. Augus~ tine, "si malus est amor, bona ~i bonus" (They are evil if the love is evil, good if the love is good). Do you want more convincing defenders of passion than the doctors of the Church and the Saints? .. Anger is 'like the arnlY of the good! "There is a time to .kill .. : a time to tear down a time to scatter stones a time to rend ... a time to hate there is a time of war !" So. wrote the Spirit in Ecclesiastes (C. 3, v 3-8), a coalition of iron feelings, blessed by the God of all elements and of charity. Can you at least imagine it? This is not the description of a cave dweller, but of the confrontation between the spirit of youth with evil and lies, anger being the most mtense and virile vibration of indignation. ' You are not destined to look only for fragrant spiritual conditions. The poetic state of the neart is not proper for all the banquets of life. God asks you for a state of baIJad; you have not reached the time for dessert yet at the banquet of life. "Fulfill the work of angerl" Christ fulfilled it when He said "Woe to you Scribes and Phari-:

sees, you hypocrites j" when He wove ~.,rope into a whip, and threw the merchants out of the Temple .' .. 'The heroic mortifications of St. Benedict, of St. Francis of Assisi; and of their recent disciples have fulfilled and stilI fulfill the work of Anger. The sermons of St. Ephrem, of St. John Chrysostom, and of Savomirola are in the service of "anger" ... The battles of St. John of Arc were in the service of "anger" .. ' . The Last Judgment will be a liturgy of the "anger of the Lamb/' frightful beyond expectation. And this judgment, together with love, will seal' and .lock the book of time, so .that time will be Domore. ' .. Thrust forward your anger, brother, equipped with all the wea-: pons of love thrust it over all the lies of life, "to kill," "to tear d.own," "to scatter stones," to· wage war against all the partisans of Satan and his "depths," until one of theElders of the Apocalypse will tel! you: "Behold, the lion ... has overcome ... " (C. V, v. V).

COURAGE "Esto vir" (Be a man)! It is the command of our Lord God. Courage is not just the mere subjugation of fear, nor the relaxing of the shivers of terror in the face of danger. It is instead the agility to do good, and the militant action of indignation against evil. The old grammarians used to say that this word comes from the Latin verb "currere," which means to run. Courage is a military, warlike word, and encompasses daring, risk, strength, .and, above all, hope. Someone said that "courage is nothing else but a great expectation" (Serre). .True courage consists not in claiming death, but in fighting agaist misfortune (Seneca). To want to die is cowardice, to want to live is q>urage (Racine). It is an enormous mistake to believe that the desire to destroy oneself in death, as a desperate appeal to a death whiCh is delaying, because it is waiting for a ripe soul even if on the outside you seem in the middle of your life, is a form of courage. Fatal~ ism in the face· of death, escape into death, do not belong to the domain of· courage, because they do not· belong to the domain of hope. "You must 'want to live, and. must know how to die," said Napoleon. This is courage. Once and for all, "we. must refuse to see the grave

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a solution to everything." We must not draw back from the grave, I have said it before, but only after we have conquered death. Before we become victorious through death, we must do everything pOssible to become victorious through life. Courage is this effort towards victory through life. When courage flickers, manliness dies, and with It any distinct moral acomplishment. A discouraged man is decapitated "a priori." When manliness is dead, how Can honor survive? The 111ilitantvirtues of the "good fight" are the guardian angels of moral beauty. In courage we find the last refuge of a persecuted nobility. In the perverse world of today even kindness must be girt with a sword. Do not become the prey to a quixotic imagination. Courage is a youthful virtue and begins from a very small, apparently insignificant seed. Begin courageously the fulfillment of your duties, suffer injustices courageously, and endure for the love of truth. Endure gossip, and do not stray from your road. Have the courage to withstand temptations, to forego legitimate pleasures, to go forward unhindered by any impression that would try to diminish your modest but determined fervor. "What is courage?" asked Seneca of himself. "To maintain a serene soul and a free spirit in face of danger. I am not surprised that so many souls today feel themselves more powerful than a death they despise, more beautiful than this miserable body which trembles and chatters its teeth in fear; they desire to live a spiritual life, and believe
in their own immortality."

without a future and hope, is made up more from the fear of others, or from a high tension of physical vitality, which· temporarily dissolves fear, by a collective mirage of common bravura. "Illi qui sunt bonae spei sunt audaces" writes St. Thomas Aquinas, quoting from Aristotle, "unde quaecumque nata sunt causare spem sunt causa audaciae"79 (Those who are of good hope are daring; therefore anything that causes hope causes daring). Daring people are those who have live hopes, and anything that invigorates hope rein- . forces daring. When Napoleon 'said that "the leaders are merchants of hope," he understood that this virtue, or, better, vision, is a source of fearless energy in combat. Isn't every sacrifice' that we make an offering to hope? We could define sacrifice as a painful act perforn1ed for the success of truth and goodness, in ourselves and in others, and based on hope .. Any mortification "to the first drop of blood," and "beyond the spilling of the blood" is a form of death' in which hope keeps watch and which hope resurrects; it is this hope which the Scriptur~s call "full of immortality." Courage and danng are sustained in us also by anything that removes fear. St. Thomas Aquinas, again, recognizes, among the sources of daring, a lack of experience, especially that of danger, .then an abundant vitality, and the help of others, especially of God, noting that "illi qui se bene habent ad divina audaciores sunt" (those who are confident in God are more daring). Youth has all these qualities at its command, like an organic arsenal. Nevertheless hope is the more natural for it, so much so that you could consider it its own domain. At the age of twenty man is the king of hope; ... at thirty, if the beginningwas bad, he is finished. Life has tamed him" (H. Pare). Youth goes beyond the present. It sees what does not yet exist but eventually will. It accredits the future and believes in eternity, which breaks the boundaries imposed on time, without forgetting the present. Youth lives under the conscious hypnosis of the future. It has a symbolic alliance with the future. The moment you separate it from the future, something in it.dies, and it is the most beautiful part, because it is the most youthful: the consciousness of a purpose, and the roar of enthusiasm. Ch. Peguy said very well that "... the small hope, - it is the one that begins anew every day."80 Not having tasted the "finished," the "done," it starts, and restarts, and, if it persists, it reaches
79. Summa Theologica I-II. Qu. XIX, Art. II and III. 80. "Le porche du mystere de la deuxiemc vcrtu," p. 46.

If this conviction of immortality, this consciousness of truth, of the impossibility of being destroyed except physically, would not be inherent in courage, as in all the other marvelous qualities of the spirit of youth, youth would be numbed, and would fall into eternal hibernation. We are never completely conquered as long as we maintain the consciousness that truth is on our side (Georges Goyau). Risk is not possible.except in the hope that the goal will be achieved. Risk never refers itself to the goal, for which you have the conviction Of justice, beauty and power, but to the unknown element of some means, of some difficulties and dangers. Daring, inclination towards adventure, and risk, are all based on a purely youthful virtue; hope and. future. With this invigorating element, courage and the martial qualities of youth differ from the blind daring of the idiot with whom Schopenhauer wanted to intermingle them, by calling them the secondary virtues of the subaltern. The courage of the unbeliever, of those without an ideal,and of those

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accomplishment. It would rather begin anew than be constant. This is the way youth manifests itself. Ina masterful essay,al St. Thomas Aquinas shows the close kinship betw!:en youth and· hope. Youth is the cause of hope for three reasons: it sees goodness in the future, it sees the p<>ssibilityf reaching o it, a~d .a!"hievingit, and it. sees the difficulty of fulfilling it or attaining ~t".This is to stay that young people are fullof .the future and have ~~ry little of the .present. Just as memory belongs to. the past, hope belongs to the future .. For this reason the young live very .little on memories, and a lot on hope; ~'Multum habcnt de futuro, multium vivunt in spe." The heart of the young is,a vessel of vigor. From this vigor and from ,this fever of the heart is born the consciousness of a belief that you can overcome the diffjculties that interfere with the achievement of a' goal. What is not hard and full of danger is· not worthy of ,the ~dventureand enterprise of ,the young. Their heart beats are synchronized with great deeds, a,nd they cannot sean deeds other· than those of, great amplitude. The effervescence of youth is tumultuo,us and ~ggressive, it. isa discoverer of adventures. and a creator of epics. Lacking experience in limits; boundaries, and oppositions, youth breathes an atmosphere of possibility; the impossible has not yet discolored its. experiences. Sworn enemy of any obstacle, not seduced by disillusions, it has decided not to believe in the impossible. Thus the spirit..of youth cannot be easily.convinced that something is unrealizable, and this disposition favors its hope. Postulate 6f future life, the spirit of youth is full of genninative virtues, whose power of hope sustains its courageartd its call to the "good fight." It sho"/s itself as a space of large and profound dimensions towards a rich moral eternity: "the taste of the future gives it the mysterious strength of things alive and ftill of 'vision into the future',' and leaves' the impression of a prosperous life and- of a multiplication of spiritual forces'" (H. Massis). ' . .• This is the real 'future, not the one you are expectiI'1g,full of fear and paraliyzed by a coalition Of all sorts, of slothfulness, b';1tthe one towards' which. \ve' march, armed with the militant virt~es of youth, on the road Of heroism. ' . When you have reached the twilight of your hope~ the horizpn of
81. Summa Theologica, I~II.,
QIL

the future disappears, and, no matter how golden and full of stars the sky above you is, the earth has claimed you. Hope should awake before you in the morning, and should renew for you the command of the voices of St. Joan of Arc: . "Go!, go!, got"

THE HALO OF YOUTH
"Anyone who stops before he finds happiness, stops before he finds God" (E. Hello).

You would like to close your life immersed in the view of an . aurora borealis. What paths led you to this desire? Only the spirit of youth caresses sunsets with the colors and the hopes of the dawn. Were you faithful to this spi1it? Then all your life was a smile in a vigorous state of happiness. . This is the sign of God, when life is 'fulfilled according to His eternal plans, and when' it follows in the footsteps of victory: HAPPINESS! . What lyrics are for poetry, and melody for music, happiness is for the spirit of youth and for life. Happiness is the great statement: I have succeeded! It is the ar()ma of the presence of life, it is the solemn introduction to joy. By happiness we do not mean a simple summar)' of noises, an euphoric expression of mere organic nature, nor the accumulation of illusions of well-being expressed in the sound of laughter; all these 'are nothing but camouflaged unhappiness. Where pleasure is abundant, unhappiness prev~ils. In the depths of every "ego," alone and full of himself, there is a nervous void, on whose forehead is written "unhappiness." Since pleasure is nothing else but the lyric form of the selfish expression of lies, like all lies it can end at any moment in unhappiness. . Since egoism is a form of idolatry - egolatria - after a while it creates a sensation of emptiness and falsity, which turns to unhappiness through boredom. Unhappiness is the nonllal state of the spirit of old age. It is an ariticipation of psychological nature, of physical death, of a black death, without light and without meaning. For this reason Shakespeare compares unhappy people to candlesticks without candles . .' The man wh~,has only looked for himself, has looked forunhappi\

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ness. The caUse of unhappiness is disorderly self-Iove;82 Thinking of yourself is unhappiness, thinking of others, especially of God, ishappiness .. Unhappiness is therefore the satellite of self-love; it walks on all the roads that lead to the "ego;" and it teaches us that we cannot find happiness within ourselves. The entire philosophy of unhappiness and hopelessness is summarized in the following cynical statement of E. Renan: "I am a stubborn egoist, barricaded at everything else." within myself, and I laugh

The writer Flaubert complained in a letter he wrote, that unhappiness was overwhelming him. like a waterfall, a river, an ocean. At the end hopelessness had become his normal state. Even though he was born surrounded by many joyful things, he wrote: "I have been a coward in my youth, I have been afraid of life. You pay for every~ thing." ... This timid weakness, this absence. of fire in the service of a destiny beyond the vulgar "ego," made him the "patron of failures" of those who live their life uselessly. The absence of sacrifice, of the spirit of sacrifice, .strips life of any joy. Once again: happiness is not the fruit of calculated and scheming egoism. Unhappiness is at the bottom of all the dreams without truth, of the illusions by which you beg a fragment of a lost paradise. You cannot tamper with truth for a long time, someone once said. You cannot nourish yourself forever with your own substance made out of phantoms. Some are unhappy because they have plunged themselves prosaically in immediate reality, which is only transitory and without substance. What is the fervor of spring, the panorama of stars, art, music, love, to them? No flower grows in their heart, not one impression beyond the sensible. Captives. in a cemetery of unburied dead, they are wrapped in unhappiness as in a burial shroud .. Condemned to the monotony of a life poor in temporary joys, after they have explored the empty depth of things, they let themselves become overwhelmed by a dominating nothingness. Their existence becomes ridiculous. To walk in resignation among lying and unjust people, is that life? "Who has deciphered the secret of limited life, and had read its word, has left the world of the living and is actually dead" (Amiel). Thus the wisest men become also the most disgusted. Nothing bright breaks the opaque ceiling of this life. Where is the ideal? Unhappiness takes its place. Truly "life becomes a frivolous 82. IV. Thomas Aquinas: "Summa Theologica," II-II. Qu. XXVIII. Art: St. Ad.

thing, and even less than that, if it does not contain eternal ties" (Scherer) . Th~re is another type of unhappiness, produced by spiritual and corporeal satiety. Unhappiness will follow pleasures; unhappiness will follow wealth: "et abiit tristis" (and he left sadly) says the Gospel. Our appetites are infinite, but our physical means are not. In order to bring joy and happiness into your soul through these physical means, you have to use them, to tire them, to the point of deficiency, . without ever being able to satisfy your desire. Even if you can numb your appetites, you· cannot satisfy your desire. And unhappiness is there, as a macabre corollary to such a life. Wealth or money seem to force you to desire everything, and, in that vertiginous rush towards satisfaction, you will find a boring and disgusting society, or an inertia loaded with unhappiness. Once again all the roads which lead towards creatures, especially towards ourselves, end up in unhappiness, hopelessness, inertia, and death. Happiness is somewhere else, where true LIFE is. Happiness stops at the boundaries of the "ego." Whoever is able to come out of this "ego," and go beyond his own stubborn limits, shall "enter" happiness. Here, at the frontiers of the "ego," we find the spirit of youth and heroism. As we have seen, happiness is foreign to whatever is against the spirit of youth and heroism. It is foreign to illusions and lies; foreign to pleasure and egoism; foreign to wealth and common rea1ity. Happiness is the product of the spirit .of youth, and the halo of heroism. Happiness is the confirmation that one has chosen the right path. Ernest Renan wrote this startling sentence: "Perhaps truth is unhappy." He was thinking probably of the truths of his personal philosophy. He could not imagine a truth that could also be life, and springtime, and soul, and ideal with magnetic properties for our pure desires. The words of St. Augustine in his "Confessions"83 come to our mind: "Beata vita est guadium de veritate" (Happy life is to enjoy the truth.). This happiness is a true "reintegration into the optimism of God." Truth will free us from any shadow of unhappiness, and Truth is eternal. The consciousness of this Truth which frees us and remains with us in eternity, is happiness. sciousnessof the Infinite," writes Hello. "All happiness is the con-

t

83. Liber X, c. XXIII.

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The ideal, which is a glimpse of the absolute Truth, awakens in us a true therapeutic <:>ptimism, which creates happiness. Happiness is also the song of fire. Have you ever heard the fire singing? ... Yet within you all the tongues of fire sing the great joy of sacrificing love. "Ex amore procedit gaudium" writes St. Thomas Aquinas, from love comes happiness. The consciousnessof this embrace between the heart and the beloved is happiness. Happiness' is like 'a herald who announces that something great has been fulfilled within our soul, in accordance with the superior laws of· God. Bergson correctly compares happiness with a light and warmth which permeates us and pleasantly reanimates all our perceptions arid memories, in such a, way that we wonder at our very existence. In our earthly condition, happiness also 'arises out of· sacrifices imposed upon us by the spirit of youth. Any sacrifice is a liberation; and, like any liberation, is joyful. "Who has made his sacrifice is in a state of happiness."8~ So I ask myself: how is this possible;and where is this close kinship between happiness and sacrifice' hidden? Mortification, sacrifice, and all the actions of "divine surgery" represent a removal of all the elements which oppose.harmonious 'life, and of the elements of discord and unbalance. Internal harmony takes place by the elimination of these negative elements. The renunciation of self and of the world places us in the proper place in the immense system of life, and the song has no dissonance. The consciousness'of this internal music full of melody' and harmony, which responds to our natural and supernatural desires, is happiness. ' The most mortified people were also the most happy. Ascetism is a miraculous laboratory of happiness, not only because it gives us freedom, but mostly because it prepares us to be reunited with God, and "in the soul reunited with God there is an uninterrupted spring~' (St. John Vianney). The saints, these persons consecrated to the spirit of youth,' these supporters without pretense of its power, are the most happy persons in the world. Sabatier, who himself lacked the gift of Faith; said that St. Francis of Assisi was the happiest man on earth. Their life, the most charming poetry of this mass' of mud which is the earth, p'roves to us that more happiness carnes out of a kiss given to a leper, than from all the banquets that could satisfy your appetites. Love for truth, denial of one self and of the world, sacrifice "be;yond the spilling of blood," are the components of happin~ss. The
84. E. Hello: "Du neant a Dieu" Tome II, p. 149.

I

others: laughter, smile, jokes, and so on, are merely "symbols of happiness." Therefore the spirit of y()uth, golden synthesis of all these elements, is renewed in true happiness. Youth can use as its own the philosophy which was attributed to St. Thomas More: "Never work against your conscience and you will be happy all the way even to the gallows." With its bright light, youth brings to our obtuse and opaque unhappiness the joy of Christ's Sermon of the Mountain "gaudium in' Spiritu Sancto:" "happiness in the Holy Spirit," the Treasurer of Truth and of Love.

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By a natural and spontaneous move, our thoughts go to the marvelous young people of our Nation, who have created a new epic, that of self denial, and of looking towards spiritual values beyond the small circle of oneself, a youth that places the accent of life on the soul, and its soul in God ... This is the real youth of Romania, the elite that stands out! A generation is characterized by the 6lement of newness which it brings into the history of its ethnic community, and it is noted by the leaders it loves and follows, by the preoccupations that dominate it, by the imperatives that drive it, and, most of all, by its selfgiving without bargaining, and its sacrifice without calculations.

"Would you like to become a priest?" his father asked him. "Father," he answered, "can you be a man without knowing theology?" No longer do they look at life from an epicurean point of view, but from a theological and spiritual one. Opposed to the old doctrine that teaches how to get the most pleasure out of life, they now propound the wisdom of getting the most out of theology. Life must be viewed through theology. Opposed to the technicians of the horizontal and flat line, and to the wisdom of the dead man, they now comprislJ the supporters of the vertical and decisive line, and the wisdom of the living man, standing firmly and looking towards an infinite horizon. Now we have discovered a forgotten world. It is now evident that whoever does not know religious torment, and a thirst for the unseen "does not know half of life, the most beautiful part; does not know half of history, half of love, half of goodness" (R. Bazin). This is what we now discover: a theological vision of the world. The suppression of this feeling of this other world, of the invisible world, which penetrates and works in the center of the visible one, is a real mutilation of the personality. In this vision youth wants to find once again its entirety, and to liberate the eternal youth of the spirit, held prisoner in the depths of the soul.

IN THE CRADLE OF TRUE YOUTH SPIRITU AL THRIST
There is no doubt that the present youth of Romania places the accent of life on the soul. You can see a violent detachment from the biologic, and a clinging to the spiritual. The philosophy of the cabarets, boulevards, cafes, and alcohol give way to the categorical and intran. sigent priorities of the soul. Moral values attract youth, and revive its dormant enthusiasm. I find the dominant characteristic of Romanian youth in the soul of a 19 year old lad who, in prison, asked for the Treatise on Dogmatic Theology, all four volumes of it, written by His Grace Vasile Suciu,84a in order to study them.
84a. Metropolitan of Blaj (Romanwn Catholic Church), died in 1935. 102

"When we say 'Romanian,' the psychological image which appears in front of our eyes at that moment, is that of a man whose distinc~ sign is the truth" ... The Romanian is truth ... He does not have an intellectual or physical hunchback that he tries to hide; he does not have the habits of a weak man; he lacks that stench of weakness which is so prevalent a phenomenon of our public life, under the form of byzantinism and expediency. All the impudent and evil people, sly and without intelligence, all those who hide a duplicity of expression and something hybrid, have no place in the frame of the "Romanian" nation. These words of Eminescu, written in the article "The Reds" as well as in others, lead us to believe that a true Romanian youth must be possessed by the spirit of youth, by the spirit of love of truth. Legends, myths, and human beliefs are not enough: there must be Truth;

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The Romanian youth feels disgust when it is faced with the overwhelming discovery of a man without character. It has the feeling that there is nothing more disgusting than "a liar." It loves sincerity,'moral truth, and spiritual purity. It keeps in its heart the words of the great teacher of the Renaissance, Vittorina da Feltre: "before anything else, the world needs people in whose heart are anchored inalterably the eternal principles of Truth and Justice." For this reason youth is disillusioned and indignant at the sight of a "perfidious man." Wounds and errors will not hurt as much as the discovery of evil in man, said one of them. These young people have ascended the hard path towards meta,physics, and a great part of them have cast their anchor in, the ocean of the world beyond the sensible. They do not want, to come down, no matter who calls them. It is one of the most absurd assertions to say that metaphysics yields only a disposition towards ,numbness, a crystallization towards , inertia, and a retirement of dynamic capaCities. Whatever modifies and transforms the spirit, modifies and transforms the world: It is enough to read the book of Gonzague de Renold L'Europe tragique (Ed. Spes, 1934) to be convinced that there is a very close relationship betwen the laughter of Voltaire and the revolution 'of 1793, that there is no separation nor essential difference betwen the pen of the encyclopedists and the gaIlows. We must realize that the slaughter and the burning in the civil war in Spain have their origin in Marx's "Das Kapital," a book fuIl of philosophy, and, in a sense, of metaphysics. Who built the cathedrals of the Middle Ages? Who started the Crusades? Who built the monasteries? Perhaps the austerityof Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" ... ' '' , , , Without realizing it, the masses are guided by a metaphysics,' fl philosophy, a "belief," an "abstraction," in other words by a "myth." When the youth of Romania was more prosaic, it was more iner.t. When it became poetic; it became productive. No matter ho\'{ one looks at it, every great, action, personal or coIlective,' is' possessed by some sort of metaphysics. A great and profound disenchantment, a miiltant indignation can throw you instantly not into rhetorics or criticism, but 'in metaphysics, and, through it, into the ·field of social life. In this' sense Foerster wrote: "Only the after-world gives us the courage' to see' completely the present one." This is a true liberation from a reality that disgusts.

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This explains the ascension into the unseen by an elite of the young. This is the beginning of the pilgrimage towards authenticity and truth. By detaching itself from the world of the senses and of moral monstrosity, the spirit of youth has come close to a poetic state, driven by an unconsciOus metaphysical aspiration. The impulse to work and to accomplish is inherent in the nature of poetry. Poetic knowledge is a knowledge of a "working type," which has as its goal to create and to , produce.85 Hence the' necessity to accomplish. ,* The Romanian youth retrieves from the parable of the "Prodigal ,Son" ... It enters into the act of the child with the five loaves of bread and two fishes: it gives nourishment to the multitudes ... the "Spirit of Community" and action. It feels the appeal of hunger, of the multitude which hungers after the prophets. Now comes the youth; the youth runs with a basket fuIl of bread and fish (these biblical and catacombic images of the Eucharist and Christ) to nourish them: "To work, children and young men." The Romanian youth is in line with Daniel, in line with those who buried Ananiasand Sapphira. But here they must stay next to Peter ... all of them received the Spirit from on high. *

YOUTH,

CREATOR OF MYTH

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Quietly and gradually, lacking a true metaphysics and an ontolo~ gical reality on which to attach its accomplishments, as a tree is attached to its invisible roots, the soul of youth has created in its midst a myth and a national mystique. Some young people have discovered in it a real religion. Woe to a natUral human mysticism without metaphysics, and woe to a metaphysics without true theology! "Mysticism" thus becomes an exaltation, an impulse, a belief, but never the state of incandescence which comes from the embrace with religious Truth. It becomes a minor mysticism, whose content is given solely earthly and human values; it becomes reaIly a frightful counterfeit of true mysticism. A metaphysics without theology is a prelude to a satanocracy. When this minor mysticism comes down into politics, we have the quakes of a revolution. It is a fearful risk for mysticism, as it is a sworn enemy of politics. Major mysticism does not find any risk in it.
85. Jacques et Raissa Maritain: "Situation de la poesie," p. 96, 125.

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This explains the fact that the greatest mystics, the saints of God's Church, were also great men of action; St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Athanasius, St. Theresa, St. Bernard, St. John Bosco, and others like them ... But minor mysticism is destroyed by politics. This absorption of mysticism by politics can occur suddenly or slowly, sometimes even after generations and centuries, having at its foundation not only the experience and the greatness of individual lives, but those of the community. Thus we explain the aversion to politics of the youth of Romania, an aversion that goes to the point of real horror .. The "new generation" has defined itself by its opposition to politics, refusing to follow its actions and especially its ethics. It wanted something else: to create a new mentality, a state of the spirit which could be born from the contact with the soul of the nation.811 If "minor mysticism" yields to the temptation of becoming political, it risks destroying itself, or keeping society in a state of uninterrupted turmoil, by taking over the religious inclinations that are so inherent in human nature. In this case "minor mysticism" rises to a religion, and politics is based on the worshipping of idols. "We cannot escape God. There is only one alternative: to become God (through asceticism and love), or to (invent God' ... you cannot escape God: Whoever refuses to be His child, will be His monkey for all eternity. The frightful caricature of divine truths and attributes that one finds wherever God is no longer known and loved, testifies clearly to this destiny" (G. Thibon). It is a greater blessing that the Romanian youth has not succeeded with realization of myth in politics. It would have then become a monkey of God, the "simia Dei," as TertuIlian called Satan, al)d the country would have become a suburb in a gigantic "citta di Dite" (citadel of Lucifer). There are disasters full of so much light, which show us such an obvious divine intention, that we can but see in them a preference and a special care of God. "The steps of God are those of the times" said Lamartine. It is necessary to return to theological metaphysics, to come closer to the Gospel apd to Christ. Wounded and buried as they were, many heroes are closer to Him.
86.* Youthful

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The nation does not deplete the aspirations of our soul; and we will never love our nation the way it should be loved, if we do not love something greater and holier than it. Physically we can live in the Nation, but spirtually we must live in God's grace. Many words have been written about grace, but the understanding of it and the living in it· are usually sadly missing. We .must turn away from myth and minor mysticism, and return to Faith and Truth, in order to remain faithful to the Ideal.

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,THE ABILITY TO SACRIFICE
The Romanian youth has proven itself true even through its exceptional power of sacrifice for the Ideal. It has become accustomed to harsh life, and it has taken upon itself the obligation of being strict with itself, convinced that the measure of sacrifice is the same as the measure of victory. In order to be your own master, look only to' the pleasure of the satisfaction of your conscience, aspire to no other aristocracy than that of virtue. Do not shirk obstacles, but confront them and surpass them. The youth of easy living brings nothing to the Nation; youth tempered in suffering uplifts it always. The nation needs only young people who can suffer and endure. The freshness with which they look at death is witness of their youth. The spirit of youth unites them with death, as in a holy brotherhood. Just like Pier Giorgio Frassati, many of these chosen young men have thought that "death is the most beautiful aspect of their lives." It is a "passing into legend," a "betrothal with eternity," through a detachment from the earthly and from the ephemeral pleasures of every day life, for, "who relinquishes the grave, relinquishes resurrection." This brotherhood with death is much more than a frenzy; it is a "will for trascendency" and excellence. This willingness to give yourself up to death does not prove your own immortality so much, but the inul10rtality of the Ideal for which the sacrifice has been made, in the conviction that you gain through death what you cannot gain through life. Sacrifice and death were to be a confirn1ation of what was to come. Death in itself was more than a hope, it was a prophecy; more than a witnesSing, it was a victory. By this traditional sympathy' with death, the Romanian youth'

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Creativity

Lieutenants in action teams. Not guidance groups. Initiatives.

The Rule of the Elders

Experience. Thought*

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has acquired a prophetic aspect, because it has produced hope, and the "prophet," by vocation, makes hope grow. "Prophecy," writes E. Hello, "is the voice of the ideal which claims reality." The entire life of this elite was a voice, and more than that, a g~sture· by which the ideal was inscribed into reality. This youth believed in an inexhaustible source of energies hidden by God in the soul of the Nation; it believed that those energies, witnessed by their own life, would renew the deserving sons of the Nation. This youth seems to have the difficult burden· to verify the words of Gordon: "man in essence is a traitor." Traitor of God, traitor of his race, traitor of his vocation, as a person and as a nation, traitor as a brother and as a man, traitor as a co-worker. Possessed by fiery indignation, this youth shows itself unmerciful to these traitors and especially to the traitors of its concept of life. Some of the excesses embraced by this youth indicate the vein of heroism that exists in it. "Children who cannot do mischief, usually do not have the energy. to do good" says Lindsay. In this case biologic youth dominates the ethic. .The renowned American teacher Stanley Hall said that morality has a lot to learn from criminology. In many cases of criminal acts by youth, we can discover traces of heroism. The motto of one who became saint, "bandit or saint," contains a reality which gives us something to ponder. Perhaps we bear the responsibility for so many bandits not being gentlemen, and for so many criminals not on their way to sainthood, that perfect image of Christian heroism. Because it is far from being mired in individualism, and is gifted with a vigorous sense of community; because it is foreign to crystallization in the mediocre virtues of the bourgeoisie, and is marvelous in the great dreams that crown it; because it has an enormous capacity for sacrifice, and is thirsty for an unseen but real superlative, the Romanian youth has only to attach itself with all its wiII and conscience to the Word of God, in order to be eternal. It is a worthy experience, to which I call the youth of our nation.

this youth .after which the world is crying? The old dead, and the mercenaries of sin. H you want to be a flame of the spirit of youth, and do not want to leave behind a spurious worthiness, and a posthumous sigh for greatness, stay away f~om the mercenaries of sin and the old dead! Avoid the cemeteries of the living, and do not permit any familiarity with them. The death of sin and of old age is still contagious. Do not listen to the whispers of the "enemy." His rhetoric is caustic and more dangerous than the black plague. We are as old as our sins, because we "have the age of our sins." With every sin we recede into old age. "Leave the dead," it is the old ones, and the mercenaries of sin. In these cemeteries of the living, with stench of old and wise life, the death of your heart is prepared, and you are enticed to sin ... "Leave to death! . , ." Have the courage to be alone! The one who lifts himself is alone in the beginning, and his loneliness is a reinvigorating prophecy. A new spring comes to every soul which lifts itself into the spirit of youth ... But you, "let death bury its dead." For the very breath which will embrace the mass of lost and mummified souls with a roar of life, to be regained by resurrection, bears the name: SPIRIT OF YOUTH.

(ILEAVE TO DEATH" What is keeping you from renewing within yourself this spiritual youth, from carrying over the depths of evil and ruins the spirit of

.. BISHOP lOAN SUCIU

The Spirit

Of
YOUTH

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Translated by Enea Motiu, Renata Motiu, and Charles Carlton
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