Saturday, October 24, 2009
More succinctly, either you believe Nietzsche and worship Dionysus, or you believe Catholic truth and worship Jesus Christ.
What makes it all the more difficult is that all of us - all - are fallen creatures made imago dei with disordered passions that make discernment of the path leading one direction or the other nearly impossible.
A father may discern this clearly, but painfully watch his nearly adult son turn his back on him in the inevitable process of individuation. He may be left, like the father of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15), watching and praying for his son's return - totally unable to offer help when the son has no desire to receive anything from his father (except cash, if offered).
Such a life situation, while painful, is not without benefits. For the Catholic, even suffering can be useful. Redemptive suffering, accepted with a modicum of joy, patience, and faith, can be an exceptional witness for others and benefit to oneself.
Marian chivalry - saying Yes like Our Lady - to suffering, cares, opprobrium can and will be added to the work of salvation carried out by Our Lord.
So, "Offering it up," brother or sister-in-arms. Fight the good fight by being servant of all and help to the least, the last, and the lost.
Friday, October 23, 2009
...what is blasphemous about both the promise of the left and the promise of the right is that neither will acknowledge the fallibility of man, his dependence on God. Both of them suppose that man can do everything for himself and therefore that there was no need for the Incarnation, no need for Christ to come into the world and die and be raised from death. That is the heart of the blasphemy, because once man has no need of God and is permitted to do everything for himself, that is precisely what he will do. The self, what I want, what I can get at the other fellow's expense, what a few of us can get at the expense of the many ... the will of the self now has no bounds, and cruelty will be sanctioned on the right by the idea that the strongest have the right to prevail, and on the left by the idea that the strongest will deliver paradise to the weak. Which they will not.
Never before has the American public been asked not only to believe its president, but to believe in its president. From a mimetic theory point of view, he is an "internal mediator:" one looked up to as a messiah-figure sans a true connection beyond this earthly vale of tears and trouble. Others have been given such adulation - dictators, tyrants, royalty, potentates - and, so far, only One has deserved such devotion; namely, a true and transcendent "External Mediator."
All others have resorted in dangerous times for their regime to "the end of a gun." Or its equivalent.
I'm sure he won't mind being a satanic tool used to rachet-up the new level to which progressive, Dialectic materialists will go before they begin to squirm in their seats at the movies. Especially as he deposits the monies he earns from it. Ah, Mammon ..
He is washing his hands of the mimetic effects of a movie that at Cannes had persons leaving the darkened theater physically sick to their stomachs.
What he does not know is that Antichrist will become for another generation of college students what Deep Throat was: a rite of passage in an initiation into the banality, desensitization, and dehumanization of a human being.
Still farther down the bell-shaped curve, the images of cruelty and violence will take even worse effect on those who will feel compelled to act-out what they see in von Trier's foolish depravity. Expect more bizarre crimes - those little snippets of horror that reside far from the front page of the MSM.
One might say that von Trier merely adds to the growing number of gore flicks.
Unfortunately, this "high-brow", tasteless one will add more possibilities of the theater of cruelty spilling blood on the streets - and in relationships between men and women.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Ex opere operando.
Fr James Schall, S. J., applies his forensic skills in Mass with ‘Nowhere Man’.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Vatican fishing for disgruntled Anglicans : Catholic invitation to join church allows for married priestsAnglican Archbishop John Hepworth says, Our prayers have been answered.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
You see, it is like this: If (a) abortion is legal in the eyes of the state, and (b) pro-life abortion protesters are protesting the duly sanctioned murder of unborn infants, then, ipso facto, (c) those daft enough to enter the sacred precinct of the abortuarial arena of duly sanctioned human sacrifice of unborn infants are worthy of violent opprobrium themselves. The logic is impeccable. Irreducible. Luciferian.
Pro-lifers deserve it. Don't they? Well, don't they? No "bubble zones" for them! (Strong language alert)
In an interview with Alison Smale in The Times last week, Vaclav Havel sipped Champagne in the middle of the afternoon and pricked Barack Obama’s conscience.
Havel, the 73-year-old former Czech president, who didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize despite leading the Czechs and the Slovaks from communism to democracy, turned the tables and asked Smale a question about Obama, the latest winner of the peace prize.
Was it true that the president had refused to meet the Dalai Lama on his visit to Washington?
He was told that Obama had indeed tried to curry favor with China by declining to see the Dalai Lama until after the president’s visit to China next month.
Dissing the Dalai was part of a broader new Obama policy called “strategic reassurance” — softening criticism of China’s human rights record and financial policies to calm its fears that America is trying to contain it. (Not to mention our own fears that the Chinese will quit bankrolling our debt.)
The tyro American president got the Nobel for the mere anticipation that he would provide bold moral leadership for the world at the very moment he was caving to Chinese dictators. Awkward.
Havel reached out to touch a glass dish given to him by Obama, inscribed with the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. “It is only a minor compromise,” he said. “But exactly with these minor compromises start the big and dangerous ones, the real problems" ..MORE>>
"(G)reat music, gives the spirit repose, awakens profound sentiments and almost naturally invites us to lift up our mind and heart to God in every situation, whether joyous or sad, of human existence. Music can become prayer."
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Everyone today - and I do not exaggerate - everyone scopes out everyone else today to see if he or she can grab, snatch, or steal a bit of "ontological density" (DeLubac) from someone else. It can be brutal, if stealthy. Often, it is something so simple as seeing if I am wealthier, more attractive, more on the inside of the "inner circle" (Lewis), more educated, consuming more, more erudite, more charming, spending more money, more generally admired, more (fill in the blank, the list is nearly endless) than YOU.
For a few, fleeting moments, one experiences a sense - sometimes even a rush - of (false) substantiatility. Ahhhh .... But this does not, cannot last. For inevitably I will come to, or am brought into, the presence of someone who is wealthier, more attractive, more on the inside of the "inner circle" (Lewis), more educated, consuming more, more erudite, more charming, spending more money, more generally admired, more (fill in the blank, the list is nearly endless) than ME.
Dashed! That person without even knowing (perhaps) has suddenly snatched ontological substantiality from me. I quiver on the brink of nothingness, a howl of anguish. For, as Walker Percy said so cleverly and masterfully in Lost in the Cosmos,
...it is possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you've been stuck with yourself all your life
 Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up;
thou discernest my thoughts from afar.
 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down,
and art acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue,
lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
 Thou dost beset me behind and before,
and layest thy hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain it.
 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!
 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there thy hand shall lead me,
and thy right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, "Let only darkness cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
 even the darkness is not dark to thee,
the night is bright as the day;
for darkness is as light with thee ...
[18b] When I awake, I am still with thee.
True ontology cannot be found in this "hall of mirrors" called human culture; a midway with carnies blaring "new" tonics and elixirs, balms and salves for the soul. True ontology is found in keeping the loving, self-giving, steadfast God in the Second Person of the Trinity - Jesus Christ, crucified and risen - at the center of one's being. God gives us being; we are its steward in this mortal life.
To paraphrase the old saw, "A fool and his ontology are soon parted." Wisdom comes in knowing the source of my being; remaining in a state of grace (remember this!); receiving our God - body, blood, soul, and divinity - in the Holy Eucharist; and loving our neighbor as ourself. For more important info, refer, gentle reader, to A Little Guide for Your Last Days.
The Catholic Church does not "persecute" me in telling me where I am wrong in my disordered passions, in my choosing my will over that of God; She is doing me a favor. A huge one at that. And Our Lord in His divine mercy goes even further. He grants us a swift and healing sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Prodigal Son did not wait for his father to come and dredge him up and out of the pig stall. His disordered passions and willfulness took him into that "far country." He picked himself up and started trudging back to his father's homestead.
Once there, what happened? Read it - Luke 15:11-32.