FRANCE AND GOD
Texts written in a color other than that of this one are quotations whose origin is communicated in bibliography.
Continuation of the chapter 3
Were they worse than others?
A Grace of God, which concerns all these men who could be these Merovingian kings, and even before them these little-
These Merovingian kings, of whom Clovis belonged, descended from the family of Merovech, a more or less legendary little Frankish chief. They drew their strength from their supposedly divine origin and their warlike virtues. The very name of Clovis (that is, Louis) means "famous in combat".
Like the Pharaoh, Clovis was certainly reputed by the Frankish people, from divine birth, but unlike the first who witnessed of so many miracles without being converted, he converted to the Christian God to whom he simply believed without miracles. Is not it beautiful?
The Merovingian monarchy1 was going to make only a few improvements of the pagan rites of the time, because it was widely shared between idolatry, profit and craving for power, but it was going to allow the establishment of a Christian base of civilization, supported especially by a whole monastic system.
The Merovingian lineage lived its real limits through the victory of Pepin II, also known as Pippin of Herstal, mayor of the palace 2 of Austrasia, on his of Neustria rivals, at Tertry, near Saint-
1) Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings reigned from 481 to 751
2) Mayor of the palace: Highest dignitary of each kingdom of the Frank kingdom during the Merovingian period, Neustria, Austrasia, Burgundy. At first, he was used as steward of the king, but gradually he substituted himself for the king.
It is not without reason that the papacy, threatened by Byzantium or the Lombards, appealed in 739 (only sixty years later) to the mayor of the palace Charles Martel, who had just won over the Arabs the famous victory of Poitiers in 732 rather than to the King of France. If the appeal was ineffective on this date, it was heard in 754, since the king had slowly been deposed from his kingdom. It sealed then the alliance of the two spiritual and temporal forces of the West: The Papacy and the future Frankish Monarchy.
1. Palate’s Mayor : Dignitary of the Merovingian court used somewhat by the king as governor; he gradually substitute oneself for the king.
The Carolingian Empire Partition
The kingdom of which Charles Martel had secured the government was therefore and remained until his death a weak and even very fragile unity, of which only the presence and the personal action of the chief, everywhere and at every moment, managed to safeguard the cohesion. This is what had discovered the two sons of Charles Martel, Carloman and Pepin (future Pepin the Short), between whom the mayor of the palace, like a king, had shared the kingdom shortly before his death, which occurred at Quierzy in 741.
So they thought it prudent to put a little light on the legitimate representative of the Merovingian house, Childeric III. This simulacrum of kingship was the seeds of its abolition, since King Childeric himself proclaimed in his deeds and writings that he owed to Carloman mayor of the palace his dignity: "Childeric, king of the Franks, to the eminent Carloman, mayor of the palace, which established us on the throne ...”
In the year 751, the moment was at last most favorable to renounce the Merovingian fiction. With the support of the Pope, from whom Carloman and Pepin the Short had approached on the occasion of the restoration of the Frankish Church undertaken by St. Boniface, Pepin the Short convened the assembly of all the people in power of the kingdom to Soissons, in November 751. He got there made elect himself king of the Franks, and by a ceremony hitherto unknown in Gaul, he was made sacred with holy oil by the bishops present, led by St. Boniface.
The Church therefore consecrated the coup d’état, and evangelization progressing more rapidly than ever, ensured his success. Nevertheless, a solemn confirmation of the decisive option taken by the bishops gathered at Soissons did not seem superfluous.
The opportunity arose when, in 754, the pope, pressed by the advance of the Lombards towards Rome, came to Ponthion himself to France, to find the new king to implore his intervention in Italy. After having obtained from Pepin the Short the written promise to give him the Exarchate of Ravenna and to assure him the peaceful possession of the Duchy of Rome, the Pope Etienne II personally proceeded, in the abbey church of Saint-
The monarchy from Divine right was born. He who, in the eyes of the Merovingian families, could have appeared as an usurper, was now becoming as the elect of the God of the Christians and his descendants with him.
Through these historical reminders, our aim must not be to discredit any Christian denomination, but rather to make us the advocates of the main actors of these founding times. I will say as for me, thank you Lord for avoiding me this particularly difficult period that was this part of our history. It is indeed easy for us to forget that after the Roman domination we had come down again very low, especially in the north of our beautiful country where this influence had been less felt, and where the Celts had more marked their footprints.
Those who had to make the decisions did not have the perspective we have. All these men were only humans, more or less subject to each other's preconceived ideas. The Holy Spirit was certainly there to avoid mistakes as He is for each of us, but we must recognize that the dose of confidence, the dose of faith, can vary enormously in some decision-
Let us not forget that the LORD's wish was that men should keep Him as King. This digression was probably no worse than that of His people to which He had manifested Himself, especially since through His permissive will, God had indicated the king of his choice whom He had anointed for this function by the prophet Samuel, as we read in 1 Samuel 8. That certainly did not went as far as the dimension in which God raised this human being to a level equal to His by a divine nature, but this choice of God could appear to some who had not gone so far as to deepen the true reason for the institution of kingship over Israel by God, as being "the institution voluntarily chosen by God to represent Him on His people", therefore all peoples.
What was better to do? Nothing! The divine anointing, moreover, would have been of the most normal in the Christian dimension, if it had not made of them, in the eyes of men, characters of a divine character, and brought them only the approval of God. to behave well in their duties towards the people "itself of God". It is therefore not the anointing of God on royalty that is to be contested, but the use that was made by these kings who were only men.
God had announced it from the beginning, knowing in advance the outcome of this structure, knowing that even if men rejected Him then, He will not reject them and will do everything to enlighten them. We will therefore confine us to hypotheses of mismanagement of the context, and come as an advocate of our brothers like Jesus asks us, rather than as accusers, because we could otherwise find many bad reasons.
These men and these kings sinned undeniably by raising too high an institution that God would have wished to establish only on the human scale of men relying on God, as was the case of the Judges on Israel. But to what dilemma were these representatives of the Christian faith confronted?
Perhaps they had only two solutions to their mind? In the first, they met the requirements of the civilization of the time which was led by kings on condition that they only be of divine nature, Christian or not, as it was initially the position of the Merovingian; in the second they raised their king to the divine dimension under the cover of the LORD. In the first, they continued to be governed by kings with uncertain and often barbarous customs, in the second the compromise ensured the safeguarding of Christian values. This accommodation was certainly going turn out over the centuries, as an element of collective confusion of which it was going one day have need to be lift the veil, between the behavior of kings of France and the image they then gave of God. What God had allowed at His people to whom He had so powerfully manifested Himself, He was going to tolerate it from a people who had only heard about Him.
This emphasizes once more the true nature of God who does not institute rules and laws to crush offenders, for in this case God "stepped aside" once more in front of the "necessity" of circumstances. It is indeed not necessarily good to bring rules to the person who can not receive them and put them into practice. This is how God began to manifest Himself to Abraham, before arriving several centuries later to dispense His Law to Moses.
God can certainly ask some people a lot of constancy in their own life, but to show a great tolerance towards those who do not know Him perfectly and come to Him, He knows how to be patient while waiting for our openness to new understandings.
Would this mean that He is satisfied with a first advance as a definitive thing? Certainly not, because the Bible is very clear about this! Certain texts, such as the parable of the barren fig tree in the New Testament, show that there is indeed a time for everything, and that there is not in this, two sets of rules. God is God, the same yesterday today and forever (Luke 13-
God acts in the same towards the peoples, and that is why we have to work in tolerance of human understanding, waiting for the day of his blessing. Our purpose was only to put behind us the preconceived idea of the voluntary institution of the monarchy by God, when in fact it was only a second-
Let us not forget in this context, that if some peoples have lived kings, kings have lived peoples. We dwell easily on the plight of the oppressed people, sometimes making too hastily of these kings of tyrants. It is not our responsibility to condemn men, even if some of their actions may have been "reprehensible". How much I realize today that I have not always manifested myself, the form of respect for others that it was sometimes necessary to these kings, while I did not have the tenth of the greatness that was bestowed upon them. Perhaps this respect existed in some of these kings and lords only by a need for personal survival? Without people there are indeed no more kings! But in others it was in my opinion, of the order of a dimension given by the spirit of God. This dimension of the Spirit of God is certainly accessible to everyone who looks for it, but as it was not always my case, and not the case of everyone, this deserves to be emphasized to the advantage of these kings.
Jesus said, and we will come back to it, that it was more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than for a camel to go through the hole of the needle. It was certainly not a sewing needle, which would have definitively closed the door of the kingdom of heaven to the rich, but of the low door by which one could enter the sleeping city at night. This required a man to bend down to enter, and it was very difficult for a camel to go on its knees, which prevented brutal invasions. Let us therefore perceive that wealth can become a handicap, and that for these rich kings and multiple powers, it was more difficult for them than me, of modest social class to behave well. Of course, I do not say so to condemn myself, nor to congratulate them for their mistakes, but so that everyone may examine himself before judging these "accursed" kings and lords. No! These kings were only men with all the faults we all can have, so let's look at one of them, Charlemagne, who was perhaps the greatest.
It would have been all the easier for him to fall into pride, that he had been crowned king from his earliest childhood at a time when it did not exist. He was indeed a man of the most brilliant and brother in Jesus Christ. He was able to manage the physical efforts by huge rides throughout Europe, intellectual necessities by a self-
If we look at all the exchanges that he had through Europe, and all the institutions he created or attempted to create politically, him, the unifier to federate Europe before the time, and this without a mobile phone or personal plane, we must admit that his faith was from nature divine. Be careful, however, to give only to God all Glory, who gives according to his will to him who wants to follow Him. We are not to elevate the man to the heavenly level of God, but to recognize in spite of all how much God wants to give us His nature and how much He can give a particular energy, vigor and intelligence both intellectually and spiritually to the one who wants to do His will.
How many have perhaps received so much during the centuries without really making the best use of it, whereas Charlemagne seems to human sight have used in a real common sense. This is all the more surprising for the time, even if he was probably not perfect?
He was indeed the initiator of an intellectual renaissance for both laity and ecclesiastics, the defender of Christian morality, just as he was of faith both on the battlefields and in theological debates, unifying the Christian people. This notion of the Christian people, Alcuin1 put it forward in the months preceding the advent to the Empire. Two years later, he used the phrase "Iniperium christianum" (Christian empire) to qualify an empire which could not be contented itself, to be Roman, since he did not include all of the old Empire's lands. And even Alcuin specified his thought well when he called Charles "Rector and Emperor of the Christian people".
1) In Latin, Albinus Flacus, Anglo-
Charles was at once the successor of Constantine and David in their eyes. David whose name he had taken in the literary games of the Palatine Academy but all of whom knew that he was the "Priest King" instituted by God to lead the chosen people and which was already held, in the days of the Merovingian, for a political model.
Already in 614, a council compared Chlothar II to a David in the service of the people of God, and Pepin the Short did not disdain that the pope itself qualified him as New David. When Paulinus of Aquileia described Charles as "king and priest, and very wise governor of Christians", he justified the amalgamation of the Frankish people and the Christian people, as that of the royal function and the priestly function. In all this we can see the search for biblical references more prophetically attached to the person of Jesus than to that of a human king. That is why there would be much to say about this amalgam between the king's function and that of priest as we might see it about King Saul in 1 Samuel 13, but despite their error and idolatry, sincerity of these people is probably not to call into question. Thus, at the coronation of the emperor there was the attribution of prophecies concerning the coming of Jesus to the very person of Charlemagne, and that he was read Isaiah (9-
This map shows the various possibilities of sharing: the one that Charlemagne foresaw in 806 and the one adopted by his grandchildren.
The Treaty of Verdun in 843 with the "Lorraine corridor" of Lothaire will be the germ of all the wars of the classical and modern era.
The Empire was laid on his shoulders;
And it is named:
Admirable adviser, strong God,
Eternal Father, Prince of peace.
And to give an endless peace
To the throne of David and his royalty,
To establish it and to strengthen it in law and justice.
Right now and forever,
This is what the zeal of the LORD of armies will do.
The idealism of some was perhaps not the most fair before God, but others were probably the most sincere, because it was indeed a Christian empire that cared for Charles at the meeting of March 802, when he thought it necessary to send the Missi Dominici1 to remind the whole empire of the truths of the faith, the demands of morality, and the personal and social duties of the Christian. And St. Augustine's familiar did not fail to conjure up the concern for the city of God and that of a terrestrial city, in which we began to find this notion of state, which ancient Rome called Respublica.
1) Special envoys of the Carolingian kings, who were in twos, possibly three, one of the clergy and a layman, to ensure the control and supervision of the local authorities.
He was certainly a ruthless warlord, as we could see otherwise, but had he in the context of the time other possibilities to put in his quiver? How would he have had to parley with these more or less bloodthirsty barbarians he was confronted with? With them, should he have had to start "to look sternly", before acting?
In the same sense of still not playing the role of the accusers, we will therefore say that it is easier to criticize since his warm armchair, than to take quick initiatives in the field against barbarian invaders, without fear and without law. We should also add to these external invaders, internal uprisings manipulated by tyranny envious ones, whose sole purpose was to monopolize sometimes a whole population to their only glory and no longer that of God. If it was not yet a question of establishing a democracy, which current government would not choose the solution of the least evil?
It is enough for us to look at how the entire Christian base world, and many Muslim peoples have stood up against Mr. Bin Laden's terrorist actions, to realize that if the United States, had been ruled by Charlemagne, we would had certainly found very few differences in conflicts. In the eyes of certain, the fact of having to slice the heads, as was forced to do Charlemagne himself, may possibly appear to be more barbaric than get drop "clean" bombs by soldiers. They reach ninety-
No doubt he has created institutions that today may seem obsolete for some, and for others tyrannical, but the whole of the man and his work are yet of such diversity that it demonstrates the hand of God on him.
In all humility and respect, we can therefore praise the faith of a brother in Christ that God used at best for His Glory, as he could do with some of us if we accepted it. We can certainly make mistakes of youth but when we are sincere and true, God blesses if we repent.
Before this repentance, however, He nevertheless tries to prevent, in order to bless everyone personally and for eternity, but also to bring His work even further. It is thus allowed us to think that if Charlemagne had simply received the royal anointing without being made of him a subject of veneration, the beginning of federalism which he had carried out would have been perhaps materialized. A few centuries after this time, do not we begin to see the appearance of the Swiss Confederation, by descent of this model of structure?
The fact of having elevated a little too high their "nature" of king, only accentuated the carnal dimension of the man already too inclined toward power, authority power, domination and pride. What was going therefore facilitate the power for a time was going to turn against them, who were going for some to take themselves for demigods, see... How indeed a child, from sincere but carnal nature, will he contradict those who from his earliest childhood put him on a pedestal? How this one will be able later make the difference between his happiness of conquering, so much his neighbors he will always find warlike, than his "people" he will always find too unsubdued to fulfill his own desires? How will he not think himself is God when all the respects are due to him, and that nothing can exist to question him or almost?
It seems to me that if it had been so for myself who knew not to be of divine birth, I would always believe myself to be superior to many others because God would have blessed me through my social position. Perhaps I am of a too weak spirit or on the contrary too pretentious, but for my part I do not see anything which can bring a child born in the difficult condition of pretender to the throne, to the compassion of his neighbor as Jesus taught us!
Nor is it to him that we will blame the fault, but to our nature. Kings do not form alone. They are initially children like the others, even if the fate has destined them for a different position. The die of their future is cast, man has made these kings gods or almost god; as long as those make headway, by the assimilation of each to share the "greatness" of its king, everyone is getting a return, even if in this, God becomes more the servant of the king, than the king servant of God.
It would had been necessary to possess such a dose of humility to be a good monarch according to God, that we could have seen God working through him, rather than seeing a great man. For France, as for so many other countries, even if it was so for some kings, it was often the opposite. The god idol that men had created themselves, to the detriment of the only God who could guide them, was therefore going to turn against them over the centuries.
A meteoric ascent, motivated by the faith of a man in the course of one or two generations, was to follow a slow descent into the abyss of the monarchy and thereby to the eyes of men: The image of "God".
Let us indeed look at the majority of his successors, who would not have to conquer, but to reign to preserve "their" acquired privileges to the detriment of the greatness of God. Through their behaviors, what image of God would those who reigned give to their observers, since everyone considered that it was from God that they extracted their "nature".
God is less feared often, because invisible with the eyes of the ones haven't got faith, while these kings possessed dissuasive soldiers. These kings were going to be given to God, an image of a tyrant to many men, sometimes even a sanguinary tyrant. Many of us, rather than judging the bad acts of these kings covered with the anointing they had received from the Holy God and three times Holy, were going to discredit God himself, to whom this institution had been falsely attributed.
From what anointing had God really endowed these kings with? Was not this the one that every man receives when he marries, for example, and that he makes the decision to cherish his wife, to provide for his needs, and to behave as a good father, attentive to the needs of his family?
If it was not this anointing that these kings and their subjects interpreted to obtain from God, as it was for the judges established by God to represent Him, but that of "demigods" to whom all was permitted, it is not surprising that they received according to their works already on this earth. What husband can afford to behave indefinitely as a tyrant in the couple? God will always end up taking care of the woman, if it is to God in Jesus Christ that she addresses herself, because no institution prevails over an only soul before God.
The men, by their interpretation of the laws, have often done the opposite, because pursuing their own aims and not that of God. All that these kings were then wasting on their extravagance in the face of the misery of the people, it was for this people, God who took them from them. Over the centuries, who, indeed, was going to continue to believe in this love God? This God of whom Jesus tells us in (John 3-
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.//
How will we be able to continue to believe in this God of love ready to sacrifice Himself so that whoever, that is to say me, that is to say thou, that is to say you, can live in peace and harmony with each one, because victorious of sin, when you see that his "equivalent " on earth adopts an attitude so opposed, so-
Then, by the "banal" error of interpretation of some no more blameworthy than others, on the fact that God had not instituted kingship over men, but had accepted to His detriment that men should choose kings other than Him and whom He was going bless however, those who put kingship in place as coming from God, have discredited God. The misfortune is not that these men made this mistake, but that those who followed them perpetrated it and thus gave reason more to the man than to God whom they represented.
These behaved in the image of the Pharisees in the time of Jesus, and in order not to lose their place in their "synagogue", become the church or the monarchy, they preferred to crucify God, Father, Son and perhaps for some, the Holy Spirit.
They were certainly no worse than others as men, but because of what they perpetrated, some great human utopias were going to born. We're getting there.
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