I apologize it took me so long to get around to this, but I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of a brother and friend in the Lord who passed away in July. I am speaking of Mr. James Larson, a friend and collaborator, who died on July 6th. He died of heart failure while doing what he loved: writing an article about the Church. He was found dead seated at his desk, his Bible open to the book of the prophet Jeremiah. The final, unfinished article he was working on when he passed has been published on his website, Rosary to the Interior. You may view his obituary here.
Larson had an interesting relationship with traditionalism that very much parallels my own. Though Larson fully accepted and understood the chaos of the post-conciliar Church, he had very little in common with what I would consider the vanguards of traditionalism in the English speaking world. He was very much in the camp of "I agree with your conclusions, but not the arguments by which you came to your conclusions." He loved the traditional Mass but had little interest in liturgical arguments; he thought the contemporary hierarchy had been taken over by the forces of darkness but had no sympathy for the SSPX or Lefebvre. He thought Pope Francis acts in a spirit completely antithetical to that which is proper for the successor of St. Peter but never questioned the validity of his pontificate and considered any variant of Sedevacantism to be unthinkable for a Catholic. Like the Prophet Jeremiah, whom he died reading, James was ultimately a contrarian, beating his fists against the wind amidst a generation that had little interest in his conclusions and less patience to understand the rationale behind his arguments. But that never stopped him from continuing to patiently, persistently beat nonetheless.
Not to say Mr. Larson was flawless in his writing or his opinion. And we certainly disagreed on a few issues, though it was never so substantial that I felt any hesitancy promoting his work. As I've often said, there is no "Trad Magisterium", and I welcome many divergent points of view on issues Catholics of good faith can disagree about. James was always an outsider whom other trads respected but did not quite know what to do with. Perhaps that's something that resonated with me as someone who has alternately been praised or ostracized by larger trad outlets depending my adherence to Trad Groupthink in a given year.
In December of 2017, Mr. Larson launched his new website, Rosary to the Interior. Rosary to the Interior was started from Mr. Larson's conviction that "
Unfortunately, I fell out of contact with Mr. Larson in his latter years. My life was changing and I no longer had the time to keep up with James' output, which became more frequent in the last two years. Nor did I devote much time to our correspondence. He still faithfully emailed me every time he wrote something, though. I miss those emails now. Usually just a simple "I just wanted to let you know I published a new article", and then a link. It was nice to know he was still out there writing, even if I couldn't give him more attention. He wasn't asking for any promotion, just wanting to let an old friend know that he'd created something new. Alas, I seldom had the time to read his newer material. I will definitely make the time now.
If I had to choose a favorite work from James, it would be a piece from War Against Being entitled "St. Francis of Assisi: They Pretended to Love You So That They Might Leave You." This was one of his works I have come back to multiple times over the years. I think it is a good exemplification of everything I admired about Mr. Larson's writing. I hope you'll give it a look.
Requiescat in pace, Brother James. I'm sorry I fell out of contact with you in the end. I pray for the repose of your soul and ask the same of all who stumble across this post. And