Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Vatican is the last line of defense against the new Dark Age ... No self-respecting, principled Catholic can or should support murder - regardless of who occupies the White House.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Fr. Benedict started embedding a spirituality series, "The Steps of the Spiritual Life," within his Sunday Night Live program. I think it's good. You can stream the first two episodes here:
Allen says, "Put in sound-bite fashion, the pope’s line boils down to this: interreligious dialogue no, intercultural dialogue yes."
Please read his entire post, however I was struck by what Pope B16 says and then I read today's meditation of the day in the Magnificat and it seem to go right along with this idea that we cannot put our faith in parentheses as would be demanded in today's concepts of interreligious dialogue.
The Vigilance of Faith
We believe not in propositions but in the reality which is expressed by the propositions; we believe, not in a creed, but through a creed. The expression of divine reality in human words is necessarily inadequate; the understanding of the divine reality by the human mind is necessarily groping, and we may well make mistakes. It is possible to accept the formulas of the creeds and still to have a quite wrong idea of the nature of God and of his providence; it is possible to worship God and still to fall into a sort of practical idolatry. If you turn your religion into magic, if you expect an immediate and literal answer to all your prayers, if you expect the grace of God to do for you by miracle what only demands a little hard work, you are misunderstanding the faith. If you think of God in such a way as to project on to him the human emotions of jealousy, anger, spite, you are misunderstanding the faith. If you turn your worship into self-indulgence, your progress in virtue into self-glorification or spiritual valetudinarianism, your religion into a purely formal and external affair, your are misunderstanding your faith. If you allow yourself to accept the assumptions of a pagan environment as far as conduct is concerned, and keep your faith in abstraction from practical affairs, you are betraying it. And you are betraying it, too, if you think of it simply as something received from without, a static deposit, which you have only to accept and guard but without making it your own, without becoming it.
The truth is given us from without, yes; but it is something that we have to realize in actual experience: we have to translate the formulas of the creed into the stuff of life; we have to learn so to see the faith in all the everyday circumstances and events of life that it becomes not something we sometimes think of but something we always are.
- Father Gerald Vann, O.P.
They will decide on Monday how to proceed with treatment.
I've stood as a pastor at many a bedside with heart attack victims who are "stabilized" - only to die quickly and unexpectedly. So, prayers would be appreciated for Athos's old gaffer, Cecil. Many thanks.
John Abercrombie (guitar) Jack Dejohnette (drums) Jan Hammer (keyboards) 1974
This is long, and only has a static visual of the album cover, but I used to love this song and was glad to find it on YouTube!
Friday, November 28, 2008
... as an owner of a small family-owned retail store and the principle person responsible for our store’s advertising I often feel cursed because as a student of René Girard I know the power of mimetic desire - I just don’t have the big huge advertising budget. I also know that all those on Madison Ave to the halls of Wally World’s advertising department are experts at getting people to lust over a … a … you name it, a vacuum cleaner, for extreme example. Remember that mimetic desire relates to people craving … fill in the blank, anything (it is ALL about the craving and not about the stuff).
I also am aware that the folks who create the ads are in need of a pay check as much as the next guy. And the board of directors often have their careers on the line if they aren’t deciding on best ways to improve the bottom-line numbers. Many shareholders have regularly invested important savings into these companies and need solid returns to help their retirement. And the stock brokers need successful businesses to buy and sell… and so goes the modern day American dream.
Girard from “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning” pg 191: “Because of the simple fact that we live in a world whose structure is based on mimetic processes and victim mechanisms, from which we all profit without knowing it, we are all accessories to the Crucifixtion, persecutors of Christ.”
As a student of Girard I also am aware that the only saving grace to all this craziness that always, always, always leads to violence is (on-going) conversion. Anything short of conversion continues to accept the sacrifice of lives. Business tycoons to educators and a whole lot of us in-between simply refuse to believe this fact - our need for conversion. We believe that if we simply put stock in social programs, good will efforts or stop-gap measures we can be a civil, nice and good people. Conversion is for the fool and religious and it doesn’t have much to do with my life, and it certainly won’t put Christmas presents under the tree.
So yes, raise the banner pointing the crowd in some less frazzled horizontal direction but until we get them looking vertically we are only masking over the violence.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
'My Knights, and My Servants, and My True Children, Which Be Come out of Deadly Life into Spiritual Life, I Will Now No Longer Hide Me from You' - Sir William Russell Flint+The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.
The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Ill stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When black friday comes
Ill collect everything Im owed
And before my friends find out
Ill be on the road
When black friday falls you know its got to be
Dont let it fall on me
When black friday comes
Ill fly down to muswellbrook
Gonna strike all the big red words
From my little black book
Gonna do just what I please
Gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do but feed
All the kangaroos
When black friday comes Ill be on that hill
You know I will
When black friday comes
Im gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The archbishops gonna sanctify me
And if he dont come across
Im gonna let it roll
When black friday comes
Im gonna stake my claim
Ill guess Ill change my name
Today we celebrated the Franciscan feast day of St Leonard of Port Maurice. From Pray the Rosary.com we read;
The doctrine of Saint Leonard of Port Maurice has saved and will save countless souls till the end of time. Here is what the Church says in the prayer of the Divine Office, Sixth Lesson, speaking of Saint Leonard's heavenly eloquence: Upon hearing him, even hearts of iron and brass were powerfully inclined to penance, by reason of the astonishing effectiveness of the sermon and the preacher's burning zeal. And in the liturgical prayer we ask of the Lord, Give the power to bend the hearts of hardened sinners by the works of preaching.I have struggled over the last few years with how I have used nice sound-byte quotes to 'justify' my position from a site only to realize that the author of the quote had much more to say then what is represented by the simple quote and without further investigation on my part into the author I find the quotes can be misleading. I think the following is a case in point:
At American Catholic we read this: St. Leonard once said,
"If the Lord at the moment of my death reproves me for being too kind to sinners, I will answer, 'My dear Jesus, if it is a fault to be too kind to sinners, it is a fault I learned from you, for you never scolded anyone who came to you seeking mercy'" (Leonard Foley, O.F. M., St Leonard of Port Maurice, p 9).This is probably a product of my demented self-projection, but from simply the quote I get a sense of this friar being a free-loving-hippy-type-dude in a brown robe skipping along the path tossing flowers at every one's feet. I find that many, many people have no real clue at the radical nature of Francis. Even today I believe that there are friars who misrepresent the radical nature of his messages - say for example Francis' love of Lady Poverty.
Anyway St Leonard of Port Maurice was no slouch when it came to preaching/teaching the Good News of tough love as we would call it today. Here is a sample of one of his sermons, please take a moment and link to the site reading the entire sermon, it is well worth it.
The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St. Leonard of Port Maurice
It is not vain curiosity but salutary precaution to proclaim from the height of the pulpit certain truths which serve wonderfully to contain the indolence of libertines, who are always talking about the mercy of God and about how easy it is to convert, who live plunged in all sorts of sins and are soundly sleeping on the road to hell. To disillusion them and waken them from their torpor, today let us examine this great question: Is the number of Christians who are saved greater than the number of Christians who are damned?
Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them...
Sinners, the advice I want to give you will no doubt seem strange to you; but if you understand it well, it is, on the contrary, inspired by tender compassion toward you. I implore you on my knees, by the blood of Christ and by the Heart of Mary, change your life, come back to the road that leads to heaven, and do all you can to belong to the little number of those who are saved. If, instead of this, you want to continue walking on the road that leads to hell, at least find a way to erase your baptism. Woe to you if you take the Holy Name of Jesus Christ and the sacred character of the Christian engraved upon your soul into hell! Your chastisement will be all the greater. So do what I advise you to do: if you do not want to convert, go this very day and ask your pastor to erase your name from the baptismal register, so that there may not remain any remembrance of your ever having been a Christian; implore your Guardian Angel to erase from his book of graces the inspirations and aids he has given you on orders from God, for woe to you if he recalls them! Tell Our Lord to take back His faith, His baptism, His sacraments.
You are horror-struck at such a thought? Well then, cast yourself at the feet of Jesus Christ and say to Him, with tearful eyes and contrite heart: "Lord, I confess that up till now I have not lived as a Christian. I am not worthy to be numbered among Your elect. I recognize that I deserve to be damned; but Your mercy is great and, full of confidence in Your grace, I say to You that I want to save my soul, even if I have to sacrifice my fortune, my honor, my very life, as long as I am saved. If I have been unfaithful up to now, I repent, I deplore, I detest my infidelity, I ask You humbly to forgive me for it. Forgive me, good Jesus, and strengthen me also, that I may be saved. I ask You not for wealth, honor or prosperity; I ask you for one thing only, to save my soul."
Francis lived in such joy because he understood the lowliness and sinfulness of his pride. He could and did experience the sheer wonderment of God and His Creation because he lived in total dependence and obedience to Christ. Francis knew sin and the power of sin - it is only through this deep understanding of the power of sin that Francis desired nothing, nothing other than to be Christ's servant. Francis knew in his bones that his only salvation came from a total YES, a Mary's yes to God through service, devotion and love of Christ.
God grant today that I may repent of my sins and lead me back to the lower road that leads to heaven.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
If this took place to strategize about this, then perhaps discussion can finally be brought out into the open about the degenerate (literally) and aberrant sexual practices born of fallen human nature.
But my hunch is that like the early Christians in the catacombs, or English Catholics during Cecil/Lord Burleigh's tightening noose (or fictionally, the "Old Narnians" during the Telmarines' reign in Lewis' Prince Caspian), this will become yet another episode in the sad history of conventional culture in which those who oppose such deviancy in the name of Natural Law and revealed truth will become victim fodder for the sacrificial mechanism of the on-coming neo-pagan revival under the cloak of "enlightened" pragmatism.
Addendum: The deuced thing about the sacred, as R. Girard has explicated, is its power to hem in and seem a masterful and conspiratorial thing. It is hardly so; rather, a clumsy, unconscious thing that overpowers humans with character disorders and hubris aplenty.
If and when push comes to shove in the above matter, members of the Catholic Church and all Christians downstream of her would do well to begin to mimic our elder brothers in the biblical faith, the Jews, and let the pagans wreak their own havoc. But marriage, the family, and the Church should be inviolable and precious; precious as the Magisterium vouchsafed to us.
G.K. Chesterton was a sucker for romantic gestures. Lines of soldiers with swords crossed, flags rippling in the wind, cathedral bells tolling: These sorts of scenes moved him, as did visions of lovers pledging themselves to each other in the dusky darkness of a summer evening, monks prostrate on cold, stone, chapel floors as they take their vows, and the quiet, invincible resolution of solitary soldiers who face impossible odds. Life is better—richer, deeper, thicker—for our loyalties and loves.
I share this Chestertonian sensibility, which is why the new music from the English folk band, Show of Hands, gives me goose bumps.
Listen to the band’s bitter lament, “Country Life.” The accompanying video on YouTube features harsh black and white images that match the cutting lyrics.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
But appeasement with a rival in a conventional cultural setting never works. Ever. At best, the one doing the "sharing" of power normally maintains an aura of détente - while holding an ever-present, unseen knife in the back of the underling rival (think Putin/Medvedev). In a setting of "come on now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now" naïveté that has rejected the realism of the Church's teaching on Original Sin, sharing such power with a rival is fraught with perils and seeds of destruction (think the "feel good" presidency of the Big O).
Well, the fogs of the primitive sacred will dissipate soon enough to disillusion some if not all of the Big O's electorate. Others will gamely muster on, denying that "progress" is not happening. But put such rivals in the same arena, and pipe dream optimism won't be able to put the genie of ambition back in the bottle of naive humanism.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Today, the 22nd day of November is the feast day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music. She was said to have had always a song in her heart for Christ. Monsignor had us smiling a bit during his homily this morning as he remembered songs that had gotten stuck in his heart (or mind) over the years - songs like, Hotel California and Frosty the Snowman.
I almost hate to admit the songs that got stuck in my mind over the years...
My wife and I have realized how important music is to our sensibility and so we make a point to listen to good and inspirational music as much as we can. Today we are stuck on the soundtrack of Chiara E Francesco. (I just recently ordered the movie with English subtitles, Clare and Francis.) The music featured in this film is by Monsignor Marco Frisina. The one and the same who created this little ditty. (Turn it up)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
In popular parlance: Yeah, right.
In this mysterious existence as humans, the Catholic Church makes truth claims that it purports to have received via revelation; that is, from outside the cosmos of culture and from outside the time/space continuum itself; about a divinity Who is trinitarian, covenant-making and self-donating; about this deity Who shares ontological being with us, so much so that we are made imago dei.
Today the Church celebrates the one human who in her fiat made it possible for us humans to be divinized, as the Eastern Church calls it. Through the Blessed Virgin Mary our deity became one-with-us, the Word made flesh (Jn 1,14), in Jesus Christ.
Lastly, (c) if the Catholic Church is right about the revelations she has received, who are we to choose which to accept as true and which to discard? One must accept all of her teaching, or reject it all. Anything else is the height of hubris.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
"I'm practicing positive behavior," he says. "They've already lowered my wolf rating to 1."
Read the article HERE.
I know some in the Catholic Tradition who would like to establish a "wolf" rating for the priest (particularly after this past election). "Oh the priest at this parish is a stickler for all church teachings and doctrines, but the priest over at that parish lets it all slide."
So do you think we need "wolf" ratings for parishioners and for priests alike?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
“Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly.”
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Michelle Malkin, unlike the MSM, notes the way opponents of Proposition 8 are becoming increasingly rabble-rousers who continue to wreak havoc on Mormon churches in several cities and states, blacklisting peaceful voters who supported the ballot measure.
Apropos to this, mimetic theory posits that it is precisely when mobs feel specially righteous, when individuals within said mobs have willingly relinquished their baseline consciousness in this abaisement de nouveau mental, that they are most apt to go a-hunting for certifiable victims. In this case, any who opposed them. As Gil Bailie has observed,
“Anything one does to champion the cause of the victim creates new victims, so then you have a shift in the marker, and the moral boomerang comes back upon those who were trying to champion the cause of victims and therefore made victims and therefore became victimizers and therefore the whole thing begins to shift again.”
In the meantime, be brave, carrying out a faithful witness in Marian chivalry.
UPDATE: By the way, the so-called homosexual community doesn't have an epistemological leg on which to stand (biding by Mark Twain's dictum: "A dangling preposition is something up with which I shall not put"). Who are THEY to dictate the terms of discourse? What Archimedean fulcrum do they possess that gives them access to truth?
They are counting on the vast center of the American bell-shaped curve to have no truck with philosophical presuppositions, merely a guilty conscience due to an over developed victimological point of view.
Skubalon (Gr.) Tripe. Piffle. Look them squarely in the eye and deal with bullies the usual way.
Friday, November 14, 2008
"The bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all," he said.
He said that "the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve," if the administration's policies increase abortions.
"Aggressive pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion."
"We express again our great desire to work with all those who cherish the common good of our nation," he added. "The common good is not the sum total of individual interests: it is achieved in the working out of a common life based upon good reason and good will for all."
Read the STATEMENT of the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the newly elected President HERE.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
(Warning: neo-pagans vocabulary routinely falls into glossolalian f-word mantras when highly stressed or seeking victim fodder for sacrificial mechanism)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
[ht: Spirit Daily]
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
According to our president-elect's definition, Ms. Jessen was, is, and, apparently, ever shall be, a a mistake, with which her biological parents never needed saddling.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Clifford Brown, a Florida Atlantic University archaeologist who has worked in the region, agrees that the Mayas saw the cenotes as a portal to the underworld.
"Everybody has heard of the cenote of sacrifice at Chichen Itza, but it's less widely recognized that it was part of a generalized cenote worship that existed at many sites," Brown said.
"There are a number of sites in the lowlands where there are caves right underneath the principal temples, palaces and pyramids, which are thought to represent a religious 'access mundi,' where you have the pyramid representing the heavens, and the caves representing the underworld underneath."
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The truly interesting feat to be carried out by the smarmy MSM will be how aptly they will paint the continued fraying of western civilization at its ragged edges and sizable tears. It will resemble, in my humble opinion, the jaunty adventures of the denizens of Terry Gilliams' prescient Brazil (1985), with its exurbite mavens ignoring a nearby terrorist bomb explosion a few tables away while they're "enjoying" their lunch.
I think I'll curl up with Walker Percy's Love in the Ruins. Wake me when 2012 comes round...
America ha(s) finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.
These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.
They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
from Jennifer F. at Conversion Diary
How would you know? (click here to read more)
What litmus test could you offer that would apply to all places and all times as a way for a person to look around themselves with completely clear eyes, piercing through even the thickest fog of self-delusion and widespread cultural acceptance, and see that they are surrounded by grave evil? Is there any simple way for a person to immediately undergo an earth-rocking paradigm shift in which they look up and realize that the world around them is not what they thought it was?
One thing that stands out in all these examples is that the victims of the widespread evil were categorized as something less than human.
So here is the advice I would offer to my children, and to my children's children:
Every decade or so, take a look around the society in which you live, and ask yourself if there is any group of human beings who are seen as something less than human. A big tipoff is if dehumanizing words -- terms other than "man," "woman," "child," "baby," or "person" -- are used to describe any category of people.
And if you ever see that going on, you might be in the midst of something gravely evil.
One strange reaction (at least to me) that Jennifer received in her post centered on an idea that within evil there is some sort of hierarchical structure - as if one act of evil could be more evil than another. In answering one such comment Jen writes: "My point was not that abortion is the exact same thing as the Holocaust, but that both are in a special category of evil that you only see when a group of people are considered less than human." Another person commented simply that: "Evil is evil - there are not varying degrees. Just like you can't be kinda pregnant."
We must remember** to keep and be active in our faith for the victory over evil was accomplished at the Cross our task is to live in the light of the victory.
* * In his book, Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads, Gil Bailie makes the point that 'alethia', the Greek for 'truth', is a compound word: a-(not) + -lethia (forget). Here, truth is literally rooted in remembrance. We need to be vigilant about those determined to silence the voices of memory, especially when it involves muting victims when they give voice to memory.
For those who believe this election was about racism, remember: abortion has killed more African-Americans than handguns, than war, than racist violence. And - again - who is the most pro-abortion president-elect in the history of the United States? Let that sink in.
If the New York Times and Washington Post had stated this clearly and forthrightly, maybe, just maybe, the Holy Spirit would have got through to the hearts of many Americans. Their silence on abortion realities was deafening - be it on their heads.
Child sacrifice was always the primary indicator of paganism. And even forbearing mercy has its limits.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Tim Kelleher tells why.
A remnant always survives. Who will join me in Marian Chivalry – Pro Christo et Ecclesia!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Gospel Commentary for All Souls
By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap
ROME, OCT. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The feast of All Saints' Day and the commemoration of All the Faithful Departed have something in common, and for this reason, have been placed one after the other. Both celebrations speak to us of what's beyond. If we didn't believe in a life after death, it would not be worth it to celebrate the feast of the saints, and even less, to visit the cemetery. Who would we go to visit or why would we light a candle or bring a flower?
Thus, everything in this day invites us to a wise reflection: "Teach us to count our days," says a Psalm, "that we may gain wisdom of heart." "We live like tree leaves in autumn" (G. Ungaretti). The tree in spring blooms again, but with other leaves; the world will continue after us, but with other inhabitants. Leaves don't have a second life; they disintegrate where they fall. Does the same happen to us? That's where the analogy ends. Jesus promised: "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in, even if he dies, will live." This is the great challenge of faith, not just for Christians, but also for Jews and Muslims, for everyone who believes in a personal God.
Those who have seen the movie "Doctor Zhivago" will remember the famous song from Lara, the sound track. The Italian version says: "I don't know what it is, but there is a place from which we will never return …"
Saturday, November 01, 2008
They see in him no earthly man, but a symbol, a non-George W. Bush, an archetype. I see in him an internal mediator who pulls on his trousers one leg at a time - regardless of his promises to "change the world" - who will disappoint his followers for a plethora of reasons, as the inevitable enantiadromia after his gutterish triumphal entry turns ugly.
I do not pity the man. He doesn't have an epistemological or ontological leg on which to stand. I do, however, pity those, as I say, whom I love who are blind to the mythopoeia that swirls about him. And I am angry; angry at what this nation is about, legally, to become. The United States of America will face consequential judgment, and well deserved.
So where is a hobbit to find a piece of land, some freedom(s), and a place to worship and raise a family in peace?
It was just over 100 years ago, on a summer morning in 1905, that William Willett thought up the idea while riding through the English countryside. Willett thought it a pity that so many people were “wasting daylight” by sleeping in, and hit upon the idea that by having everyone set their clocks ahead one hour, he could get people to enjoy more hours of daylight after they had finished work. Read more