Baptism by Flier

They were putting the finishing touches on the giant tent as I drove up to the Schloss Wolfsegg after an hour’s plane ride from Gstaad to a tiny nearby airport. With me were my son and two good friends, and the Pilatus felt like a Messerschmitt 109 cutting through the clouds and landing on a dime. Pilatus is a great airplane. It can cruise for seven hours at 280 knots, and land at less than 500 meters. It seats six people very comfortably. The only man who has complained about this aircraft is my old friend Charlie Glass, who, like a true lefty, whined about the lavatory’s headroom. (I told him to try easyJet next time, but lefties like to fly private and not mix with hoi polloi.)

The house party at the castle consisted of about 75 people, and the occasion was the “Heilige Taufe”—the Holy Baptism—of Antonius Alexandros Edouard Maria, my grandson. Before I go on, a word about how good it feels to be far away from the vulgarities of today’s politically correct world. Civilization matters a hell of a lot, and one is reminded of it in places like the Austrian woods and my son-in-law’s schloss. Here we are, after nearly 1,500 years of achievement in philosophy, poetry, architecture, science, music, art, and religion, yet we allow cultural troglodytes and other such “cool” types to set the agenda. Western civilization was basically the creation of the Church. It was believers like Charles Martel in 732 and Duke John in Lepanto in 1571 and Jan Sobieski in 1683 who defeated the invading Muslim hordes and safeguarded the Christian continent. Western civilization was erected on a Christian foundation, and chivalric respect for women grew from the devotion to Mary in the Church. The art that followed was an expression of that faith. Gift Card i... Best Price: null Buy New $25.00 (as of 07:45 EST - Details) Mind you, the spiritual emptiness of the modern world was absent for the weekend at Schloss Wolfsegg. Friday night’s dinner was at a wonderful nearby inn with traditional Austrian food and lotsa wine. Too much, in fact, and early Saturday morning, in the beautiful tiny church within the castle, the grandfather was feeling his age. “Panis Angelicus,” the hymn by César Franck, woke me up and inspired me to listen closely to what Monsignor Herman Pachinger and the perfectly named Dr. Markus Himmelbauer had to say. Heaven should be right here on earth, said the good priest, live a good Christian life and you don’t have to worry about what happens afterwards. I looked around me and saw only tall blond men and women, old and young, all listening to the message while my little grandson, dressed up in his great-grandmother’s silk white baby dress, looked happy and rather curious at the goings-on. No one promised virgins in the afterlife and no one encouraged anyone to go out and kill people. It made for a change.

A great lunch followed in the tent—a very liquid one, I might add. I sat between Fiona, a beautiful young blonde, and my friend Ludmila Habsburg, a grande dame whose political opinions and mine are geometrically opposed. We talked only politics and laughed a hell of a lot and not a single bitter word was exchanged. It was similar to arguing with a young Corbynista about climate change. (And if you believe that, you probably think Philip Green is an aristocrat.) Then came my Waterloo.

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