Let’s see how to lift your spirits. A generalized unease has been transmitted from generation to generation among the peoples of Argentina and all of Hispanic America; not knowing what are the causes behind what has happened to us, the causes that have drawn permanent frustration in our land. This history has been going on for over two centuries and repeats itself with every change of government, whatever its political color. One of the causes of what happens to us is not asking ourselves the elementary question: “What are we?”
Easter in Salamanca, Spain
Without a defined identity we are just an inhabited territory. That is why it is urgent to know how to answer ourselves. Our future depends on the answer. Before being states, countries are nations; these are first traditions and with them, civilizations are shaped, which themselves are built based on uses, habits and embodied customs, with which values, principles and beliefs are built, and with them our laws of coexistence. We must understand that civilization is sustained by religious identity or by a substitute for it, for example, the “new Soviet man”, atheist and materialist. Let us remember how that model failed, which was imposed by blood and fire with the greatest cruelty. Since the Berlin Wall fell, Russia has tried to rise up from the revolutionary disaster of 1917, through a religious restoration. Instead of communist political commissars, today the Russian armed forces have chaplains in every military unit. That is the substantial difference between revolution and restoration, the first has shown that it never brings progress, destroys by raging on the blood of its victims, the second builds on the Holy Gospels, empires that last a thousand years.
When the traditions that identify a nation by belonging to a civilization weaken, so does the sense of homeland. Tradition is our best defense. Tradition is not softness, it is carrying iron in the blood. For without a common identity, there is no purpose that unifies a human community. Without a union, there are no goals of coexistence. What is there to unite us if we refuse to belong to a religion and a language that is handed down from generation to generation? What common goals of greatness can we pursue if we do not have a common identity? A language without faith dies, it transmits nothing more than daily habits and chores. Just what is necessary for everyday life, but without a sense of transcendence, and that means, without a sense of the future. The West without the cross is barbarized and each man returns to his most primitive and selfish state; thus a society begins to die. For when you voluntarily reject the imperishable, you fall into something as banal as the fashionable thoughts that change every day. The politically correct, which today is one thing and tomorrow another. It is when the danger of going buoyant from fashion to fashion appears, from gadget to gadget. And on that road to nowhere, which is called the abyss, we can lose our correct path and the reflexes to react before reaching a painful end.
Therefore, we must know what we are, to have the breath of existence and the desire for transcendence. When traditions die, so does the sense of homeland. What we regret is happening to us, is because we withdraw God out of laws, education, family, work and politics, and sometimes even some churches. And The Almighty, as Supreme Humility that He is, does not stay where they do not want Him. And from there, we have the answer that we are looking for. In order not to disappear like a lost page in the history books, it is essential that in our laws and in our lives, we take into account that tradition means survival. Yes, Constantinople will know. Survivor for a thousand years of the fall of the empire, sustained by Faith and traditions. When it indulged in materialism, it fell to the minimum effort of the heretics. And it is that testimony that, as if we were athletes of the spirit, we must pass it on from one generation to another.
Sinulog Festival, Philippines
There is no better synthesis of being Argentine than Lieutenant Estévez’s spiritual testament, written in a letter addressed to his father, in the middle of a trench in the Falkland Islands, when he says: “Dad, thank you for making me Argentine, Catholic and of Spanish blood”. Words preceded by Father Castañeda, a priest from Rio de La Plata at the beginning of the 19th century in which he said: “We were people for Castilla”. It was the sentiment reflected in the battle cry of an Argentine pilot when diving into an enemy ship in 1982, when he loudly announced to the perfidious invader: “For Our Lady of Loreto!”, remembering the patron Saint of the aviation, a beautiful invocation which reminds us that the house of the Virgin Mary flew from the Holy Land to Loreto, in Italy. To those 649 fallen in the South Atlantic, a feat that justifies and explains us as the Argentine nation daughter of Isabel the Catholic Queen, we owe it to them to force us to regain the helm of our history. There will be those who defected. To those who do, let us dedicate a few words paraphrasing the great Lope de Vega:
And the stateless person who does not love his homeland, who does not have a good son who closes his eyes or an inch of holy ground, where to leave his remains!
Beyond the promises in the face of a decomposing world, beyond the threats of those who always want to destroy and deceive us, we still have an Argentine land and a Hispanic-American continent founded by Isabel and Fernando. From the spiritual subsoil of the homeland, like a Phoenix, it will rise to the surface to your rescue! Honor and glory to the 1982 South Atlantic fighters, who when the Argentine nation called, said PRESENT! In the same way, we Argentines and our 600 million Hispanic compatriots must shout with one voice and with the same spirit. Let’s shout Iron! instead of gold. Heroism! instead of selfishness. Nations survive because of their ability to bleed for their fate.
And as a sign of what every good Argentine and Spanish-speaker should have as a guide, I leave you this Creole poem, a reflection of our Castilian heritage, which is a rule of life:
When you pass by the cross
you must take your hat off
as it was there that Jesus Christ the Nazaren
laid his back on
Songbook of La Rioja (Argentina), by Juan Alfonso Carrizo