– Introducing the Society of Saint Thomas Becket –
The Society of Saint Thomas Becket is for those men with hearts on fire for logos, who are committed to following logos no matter where it leads, and who are by the grace of God prepared to shoulder their cross and follow the Incarnate Logos Jesus Christ.
The implications of this love of God are twofold. The first implication is the love of the one, true God. In order to fully love God we must first know who He is, and He has been perfectly revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ, who taught the apostles and founded the Holy Catholic Church. The apostolic Church, guided by the Holy Spirit is the “pillar and bulwark of truth.” It is through the scripture, tradition, and magisterium of Holy Mother Church that we can be certain of the revealed truth safeguarded by Her in the deposit of faith gifted by Christ to His Church.
The mission of the Church is to “baptize the nations” as commanded by Christ the King. Moved by the love of Christ and His truth, we go into the world full of the Holy Spirit and armed with the Gospel, ready to do spiritual warfare against our greatest adversary, the Devil.
While proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ, it is inevitable that we will run into those anti-logos worldviews espousing legions of errors motivated to deceive men against their Creator. To prepare her warrior saints for doing battle against the errors of our age, Holy Mother Church has directed us to the wisdom of Saint Thomas Aquinas. From within the expressed clarity of the Thomistic school of theology and philosophy, specifically that of divine providence, we can know that God is present in our everyday lives, which is methodically expressed in Ignatian Spirituality.
These aspects of our spiritual life, the Thomistic and Ignatian, are then expressed by worshiping God in spirit and truth through participating in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. The reverence for the Mass is most beautifully experienced through the Tridentine rite (but not necessarily to the exclusion of other ancient rites).
To strengthen our love for Christ, our fidelity to the teaching of Holy Mother Church, and our commitment to the true worship of God, we must never cease increasing our devotion to the Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Following the Mariology of Saint Louis de Monfort will properly develop this devotion to Our Lady.
The love of God will manifest itself in our lives as we increase in love for our fellow man. This cannot be accomplished without loving our neighbor, who is made in the image and likeness of the Triune God. From this we can appropriately understand the sanctity of human life, its inherent value, and the impact this has on social institutions. This invigorating dedication to the sanctity of life is most gloriously articulated in Catholic social teaching.
The patron of this society is Saint Thomas Becket, who perfectly exemplifies what it looks like to pick up one’s cross, to follow Christ no matter the consequence, and to defend Holy Mother Church against her adversaries. The theology, philosophy, and spirituality of this society elucidated above will be known as Seraphic Orthodoxy; Seraphic because our hearts are aflame for God and the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Orthodoxy for our dedication to the authentic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
This society, then, the Society of Saint Thomas Becket, is meant to be a community of men looking to unite their efforts in spiritual warfare. SSTB will be fortified in this commitment in our formation through the tenets of Seraphic Orthodoxy, which can be expanded upon as follows:
Members of SSTB are first and foremost motivated by the Love of the one, true, God as perfectly revealed in the Incarnate Logos Jesus Christ.
Members of SSTB are marked by an unwavering commitment to the apostolic authority of the Roman Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ, and the Great Commission given to us by Christ the King.
In accordance with the teaching of the magisterial authority and wisdom of Holy Mother Church, our theological and philosophical formation will follow the doctrine of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The school of Thomism members of SSTB will be dedicated to following is the Neo-Scholastic tradition, especially Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Therefore, SSTB will be recognized as followers of strict-observance, Lagrangian Thomism (not to exclude others within this same tradition of Thomism).
To engage in spiritual warfare is to learn the proper discernment of the will of God in order to follow, to the best of our ability, God’s perfect divine will at each moment in our lives. In order to most effectively discern the perfect divine will of God there is also the subsequent task of recognizing the “wickedness and snares of the devil.” To this end, members of SSTB will follow the tenets of Ignatian spirituality as taught by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in his esteemed work The Spiritual Exercises.
The Mariology of SSTB will be associated with are the teachings of Saint Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration.
The Society of Saint Thomas Becket’s intellectual and spiritual formation is the synthesis of Thomism, Ignatian Spirituality, and Montfortian Mariology, and most aptly recognized as Seraphic Orthodoxy.
In addition to these primary pillars of Seraphic Orthodoxy, SSTB will also be committed to the following tenets that are directly related to the above doctrines:
The expression and devotion of our love of God is found in the most holy sacrifice of the Mass. The members of the SSTB will work towards participating in, and advocating on behalf of the Tridentine rite. However, this will not be done to the exclusion of those other ancient rites that reverently honor God in sacred liturgy.
In order to properly dedicate ourselves to God, we must be men of prayer, fasting, and penance. The holy Rosary is the most effective weapon to do spiritual battle against the devil and strengthen us in our daily tasks. In addition to the Rosary, the men of SSTB must commit to spending time in adoration of the most Holy Eucharist.
SSTB is dedicated to Biblical creation as traditionally held to and believed by the Patristics, the Scholastics, and the great Counter-Revolutionaries of Holy Mother Church. Guiding us in our effort to stay loyal to what has been revealed by God, SSTB will follow the work of Wolfgang Smith. His uniquely ingenious interpretation of authentic scientific discovery with divine revelation, and the perennial wisdom traditions of classic metaphysics provide the Church with the necessary tools to defeat the errors of naturalism, materialism, and scientism. Moreover, Smith’s thought systematically refutes the Teilhardian heresy of theistic evolution, as well as the atheistic neo-Darwinism masquerading as scientific discovery. These pernicious errors must be defeated, and Smith’s contributions to that end will be fully adopted by the SSTB. Finally, Smith’s work presents Thomism and the Intelligent Design movement as allies in the fight against the Darwinian cultural hegemons.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not merely for individuals, but for every person, family, community, and nation. Therefore the transformative effects of the Gospel will manifest themselves in those societies to which Christ’s ambassadors have converted by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the proclamation of Christ’s saving message of redemption. The cultural and social institutions that are best suited to preserve the effects of the Gospel are Catholic Monarchy (Monarcho-Nationalism) informed by the jurisprudence of Catholic Theonomy (divine and natural law). Following naturally from this hierarchy of social formation are the economic doctrines of distributism, which is the expression of Catholic social teaching applied to human interaction in the exchange of good and services. Finally, these social institutions find their foundation in the created order of the traditional family. The traditional family is identified as one man and one women united in sacramental matrimony moved by the desire to follow the command of God to “be fruitful and multiply.” Fathers fulfill their role as masculine protectors by providing for their family, and leading them to love and honor God through the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Within this context, Fathers also teach their sons the virtues of patriarchal protective manhood, and give their daughters the example of what true Catholic masculinity embodies. It is also within the family that mothers teach their daughters the virtues of true femininity through the embodiment of Marian piety. And while the father is the standard of masculinity for his son, and the mother is the standard of femininity for her daughters, the conjugal union between man and woman within sacramental matrimony teaches both sons and daughters the intrinsic complementarity of both the masculine and feminine.
The culture war is also a spiritual war, and in order to properly engage in this conflict, we must recognize the enemies of Christ as being uniting with a variety of anti-logos revolutionary ideologies looking to create their own modern day Tower of Babel. To assist in this endeavor the insights of E. Michael Jones regarding the urgency of the culture war will be useful. Most commentators treat the culture war as a policy dispute between political parties, but Jones does not fall into this dialectical trap. In contrast to this endless cycle of mass media modernism, Jones identifies the true enemies of truth as those ideologies that reject Christ, and are therefore intrinsically anti-logos.
This society is meant to draw closer together those men who share a passion for truth, a heart that burns for the love of God, an unwavering dedication to strengthen and defend the Catholic Church against her adversaries, an uncommon desire to pursue sainthood, to do spiritual warfare, and to share in this journey with other men with the same vision of life.
Those interested in becoming a member of this society can private message The Socratic Catholic Facebook page, and the vetting process will begin to take place in a series of stages necessary to find the right people for this community of warrior saints. The SSTB is not interested in a high quantity of members, but rather in a high quality of men looking to commit themselves to the task that faces us at this point in salvation history.
Lucas G. Westman