Hope, a virtue for the present


Imagen de Carlos Sáenz de Tejada

We suggest reading an editorial on hope written by Rafael Gambra and published in the Carlist Bulletin of Madrid, n. 45, September-October 1999.


It is a widely held opinion that in our time, when a completely secular democracy has been established in Spain and Spain itself is integrated, without any protest from anyone, into the irreligious framework of United Europe, political traditionalism (Carlism) no longer has any place or future. Especially when it is in a dynastic orphanage [N.B.: already solved, as Gambra himself admitted when he recognized Don Sixto Enrique de Borbón as the Standard Bearer of Tradition] and when the post-conciliar or progressive Church itself seems to adhere to modern democracy, accepting that religion be reduced to the private sphere and even accepting the role of «spiritual animator of Universal Democracy».

The answer to the discouragement of so many can be found in the catechism of our childhood, those little treatises on theology that we learned for the illumination and guidance of our lives. There we were told that virtue is «a habit of the good», and that the virtues were divided into the theological or infused virtues (faith, hope, and charity) and the cardinal or natural virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, and their derivatives). The cardinal virtues can be attained by the natural powers of man, while the theological virtues are infused into the soul by God through grace (not he who wills believes, but he who receives the gift of Faith). The theological virtues are the most important because they are the key to salvation, and because the natural virtues can hardly be preserved and practiced throughout life without the foundation of faith.

Let us apply this to the history of Carlism. Faith was the virtue of Carlism sixty years ago, in the War of Liberation. We fought and won with blind and heroic faith. Faith in God, faith in the Fatherland, faith in Victory. The impossible was achieved. Hope must be the virtue of today’s Carlism. If it seems obsolete and without horizon, supernatural hope must keep it alive, to link it to the future. Providence can change the historical scene in an instant, as it did in July 1936 in a Spain in the throes of Marxism, where a minimal Carlism suddenly became one of the main forces of victory.

Charity, finally, will be the virtue of future Carlism. When it has triumphed, with the help of God, and a true King reigns and governs, calling everyone to true reconciliation and the return of the Fatherland to its old glories. As Menéndez Pelayo wrote, «it is still possible to hope that, when souls are united in charity, the glory of the Lord will again shine upon Spain, and the people will come to her light and the peoples to the splendor of her Orient».

Rafael Gambra

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