Saturday, May 2, 2009
By definition, "news" is not normal, true, good, or beautiful. These don't sell advertisements which are the economic engine that drive the media. What sells ads is the ab-normal, the ugly, sordid, and bizarre. Add to the mix of the public mind the Gospel's mandate to "love one another," which gets truncated into "tolerate all," which is further diluted to "everything is equally acceptable." The last of these, however, is not true or helpful or, even from the viewpoint of natural selection, sustainable.
But the economic "necessity" (?) to sell ads ever puts before our collective attention the ab-normal. With the God-less bait-and-switch of Christian charity for "toleration" we have the oh-so "righteous" secular state's marginalization of revealed Truth and the Church's Magisterium as it clings to its single-commandment of toleration (Who gave the state this commandment? No one). Couple with these two discernible traits the sheer, brute amount of information bombarding us daily and we come to the present state of human culture: namely, a bestiality (high-tech, though it is) with no appreciation for interiority, nor an abiding awareness of our individual mortality, nor our common need for that which all this muddle cannot provide - a Savior, Christ our Lord.
We are caught - right and left, secular, Muslim, Jew, Christian, etc. - in a growing pagan clamor for which only the sacred has appeal (sacred as René Girard has defined it, "false transcendence").
The only way back to sanity will be a kind of monasticism still waiting to be born in these dark, evil, sub-human days. Pray that the light can still get in.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Asking God to "teach us to see in the Church his beauty and his hope," to learn to love the Church, because in it, beyond the sins of man, the divine light is present. This is the place where "God speaks with us," where "we receive the forgiveness of God and learn to forgive." This is the exhortation that Benedict XVI addressed today to the 35,000 people present in St. Peter's Square for the general audience, during which, continuing with the illustration of the figures of the early Church, he talked about Germanus of Constantinople, who, although "he is not one of the most significant figures of Eastern Christianity," was nonetheless important during the controversy of iconoclasm, and for his thinking in the field of Mariology.
Born in 635, and elected patriarch of Constantinople in 715, in that year the capital of the Byzantine Empire underwent "an extremely dangerous siege" by the Saracens, during which Germanus led a procession with numerous icons to invoke the defense of the city.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains this unusual headline:
“The House of Representatives will vote this week, possibly tomorrow, on a hate crimes bill championed by gay groups that includes pedophiles under the rubric of sexual orientation. This is the ultimate confession: liberal Democrats think of pedophiles as indistinguishable from homosexuals.
“When this subject came up last week in the House Judiciary Committee, an amendment to the hate crimes bill that would have excluded pedophilia from the definition of sexual orientation was defeated by Democrats along party lines, 13-10. This was considered good news by gay organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, left-wing groups like the ACLU and various Jewish groups like the ADL. (Emphasis added)
“The debate is over: for liberals, child molesters should be given the same rights as homosexuals. Moreover, they should be given more rights than pregnant women and veterans; the latter two categories were explicitly denied coverage under the hate crimes bill ...
Check out all of Why Israel is the world’s happiest country.
“In a world given over to morbidity, the state of Israel still teaches the world love of life, not in the trivial sense of joie de vivre, but rather as a solemn celebration of life. In another location, I argued, “It’s easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life. They are quite sure that they are eternal, while other peoples tremble at the prospect impending extinction. It is not their individual lives that the Jews find so pleasant, but rather the notion of a covenantal life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations.” Still, it is remarkable to observe by what wide a margin the Israelis win the global happiness sweepstakes.
“Nations go extinct, I have argued in the past, because the individuals who comprise these nations choose collectively to die out. Once freedom replaces the fixed habits of traditional society, people who do not like their own lives do not trouble to have children. Not the sword of conquerors, but the indigestible sourdough of everyday life threatens the life of the nations, now dying out at a rate without precedent in recorded history.“Israel is surrounded by neighbors willing to kill themselves in order to destroy it. “As much as you love life, we love death,” Muslim clerics teach; the same formula is found in a Palestinian textbook for second graders. Apart from the fact that the Arabs are among the least free, least educated, and (apart from the oil states) poorest peoples in the world, they also are the unhappiest, even in their wealthiest kingdoms ...
"Follow the money" will be a good motto as we enter what I consider the "American Reformation." Just as Lord Cecil and his cronies became the "new wealth" of Tudor England - the true power behind Elizabeth's throne and legislating Catholicism out of England - George "Move On" Soros and the "progressives" of America are ”having a good crisis.”
What will America look like after the American Reformation? I can guarantee that Catholic faith and morals will, once again, take a major hit.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The word from the White House is that I Won was "furious". About what? Doesn't say. Perhaps that more people weren't panicking?
Power is a funny thing: you think you can, but you can never get enough of it.
In Girardian terms, the sacrificial preparation needs as much tumult as possible for a successful sacrificial denouement to occur.
I'd love to say that all this is coincidental, but the primitive sacred has a very predictable gradient. And when you have a puer in the most powerful seat of authority in the world. Hoo-boy ...
Without a scapegoat, the Scimitar would summarily tear itself apart in rivalries. The Scimitar will always scapegoat Israel, by definition.
It is not such a big deal to disagree with a president and his policies. But it is shocking to realize that the leader of the world’s most powerful country doesn’t appear to understand the most basic principles of international relations.This isn’t surprising since Barrack Obama has no—zero, nada—previous experience in this area. It shows. There are two distinct ways other countries respond to this combination of his ignorance at realpolitik, urgent desire to be liked, and pride in projecting U.S. weakness:Our president is following a tack that is not of his making, but that of the Gospel. Speak truthfully - as truthfully as one is capable - of one's faults and misdeeds, seeking to reconcile and do penance. It has been the way of the West since, well, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the four Evangelists.
--Friends, especially in Europe, are pleased, applaud, but then add that they don’t have to give this guy anything because he is all apologies and no toughness. They like the fact that he is all carrots and not sticks. If, however, they are states more at risk—Israel, relatively moderate Arab states, perhaps Asian and Latin American allies--worry that they cannot rely on the United States to help and defend them.
--Enemies or potential rivals, a category including Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, and many—mostly Islamist—revolutionary movements, say that this guy is weak and defeated. He apologizes, offers unconditional engagements, and promises concessions because all previous U.S. policies have failed. Obama says so himself. They’ll eat the carrots and, of possible, their neighbors as well. Read all …
As Prof. Rubin's words (above) show, however, is that not everyone in the world buys into the same value system. Asking forgiveness and seeking to do penance are equated with "weakness" to those in no way influenced by the Gospel - they have not heard any cock crow.
I do not know how this will play in realpolitik; particularly when our president has a propensity for picking and choosing from the Church's teachings.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
And then there's this.
But the American Papist reports that Fr Jenkins is unmoved by all this happening in one week's time.
Apparently, I Won is disappointed. Alas.
Here is my take. I Won may just be discovering that you can't schmooze your way through the public realm banking on your survival skills of charm, charisma, and a relativism that helped you through a hellish boyhood and made you a champion of postmodern neo-pagans.
In other words: Catholics care, Mr. President. And that can cost millions.
"It's hard to disagree with him because he'll always tell you he agrees with you," he said. "Maybe that's political. I think he sincerely wants to agree with you. You have to say, again and again, 'No, Mr. President, we don't agree (on abortion).' But we can agree on a lot, and we do, and that's why there is so much hope. I think we have to pray for him every day."
Cardinal George said he told the president he was concerned about his decision to rescind the Mexico City policy, which resulted in providing taxpayer money to fund abortion overseas.
"He said we weren't exporting abortion," the cardinal said. "I said, 'Yes we are.' He would say, 'I know I have to do certain things here. ... But be patient and you'll see the pattern will change.' I said, 'Mr. President, you've given us nothing but the wrong signals on this issue.' So, we'll see, but I'm not as hopeful now as I was when he was first elected."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
His traditional robes set him aside from the others. But Daniel Jenky's blue baseball cap was a reminder he was just one in the crowd.
As hundreds of men marched Saturday morning from Liberty Square on the riverfront to St. Mary's Cathedral, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria mingled with those toward the back of the pack rather than lead the way.
"If I invite the men of the diocese to do this, I should walk with them," Jenky said. "If I didn't, that's like the commander saying, 'Go over that hill. I'll just stay back here.' "
The sixth annual Call to Catholic Men of Faith March drew men and boys of all ages from the diocese's 26 counties to Downtown Peoria in celebration of unity and solidarity.