Saturday, November 7, 2009

Facing Realities

And for the souls who are tired of being told to ignore the obvious by the MSM, the left-speak guardians of public discourse, and the Last Self-Help Administration, here is a tonic breath of affirmation of your gut-intuition. One learns from the structural behavior of those guardians and mandate makers what their priorities are.

I, for one, will nod and say, "Yes, comrade, we know what you say is true," to those who believe they can imagine their way into a John Lennon halcyon utopia. But I will always strive to keep my family safe and, in the words of C. S. Lewis, "feel for my ax" when those whose sacred writ says I am an abomination to their deity Tash draw near.

The policy of ignoring the "rough edges" of the culture of the Scimitar in hopes that it will meld into a homogeneous multicultural one-world culture is a pipe dream. Or rather, it is a wager. But in the meanwhile, the sudden outbursts of sacred violence are seen as possible flash points of reaction against peoples of the Scimitar, and so all outrage stifled.

The effect is to confuse a largely peace-abiding majority while surreptitiously tying their hands for legitimate defense, while a gathering cumulonimbus of Scimitar extremism grows overhead.

The wager must stop. Anthropological realities must be faced. Legitimate defense organized and implemented. And the public not be lied to and treated like children by oligarchical and hubris-filled governmental leaders.

Holman Hunt - PRB

Finding of the Savior in the Temple - William Holman Hunt
(Click to enlarge)

Seiyo - Sprocket of History

The inimitable Takuan Seiyo continues his From Mecca to Atlantis series casting pearls like the following:
Even an atheist ought to read the Bible, and the hard scientist Herodotus or Polybius, for we have been here before. This is how the Hebrew prophet, Nahum, described some 2650 years ago the terminal days of Assyria: “You increased your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. Your shepherds are asleep, your nobles slumber. Your people are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them. There is no assuaging your hurt, your wound is grievous.” (Book of Nahum, various 2:3 - 3:19)

The giant sprocket of history turns by its decennial teeth, imperceptibly to those who walk this Earth for seven and a half decades and live by hourly intervals devoted to the activities of their orifices. But he who sits still can apprehend both the direction of the toothed wheel’s revolution and the span of the arc his society is traversing. And if one does so now, survival arrangements must take precedence over everything else.

All of which is to say that the intervals between the publication dates of the successive chapters of this work have grown, by necessity, much beyond this author’s original intentions. As an American citizen, however, he has had to prepare for a predicament similar to what the citizen of Weimar Republic was facing in 1921 and that of Argentina did in 1977, just before things got much, much worse.

Our purpose here is not to induce all concerned proto-Europeans worldwide to fear and resignation. Rather, proper action starts from clear seeing. And guidance for proper seeing or acting cannot be found in the principles of the Swedish Democratic Youth League.

One should learn instead from exceptional people of the past, known otherwise as Dead White Men, who faced insurmountable odds that they bested. U.S. Marine General Lewis Puller, for instance, we invoked before. Surrounded with his soldiers by vastly superior Chinese forces in a frozen hellhole in Korea, “Chesty” Puller said: "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time" .. MORE>>

Friday, November 6, 2009

Truth .. Into Great Silence

The hive has been greatly disturbed. The MSM is busily filling the air with droning reports. The blogosphere is humming with this pet theory and that (and that and that and that). Youtube video clips hum and fly before your eyes. Bzzzzzzzzz!

Simply the best and quite nearly only interpretive voice to bring coherence to the carnage at Fort Hood spoke several months prior to it occurring:

We are witnessing a new stage in the escalation to extremes. Terrorists have conveyed the message that they are ready to wait, that their notion of time is not ours. This is a clear sign of the return to the archaic, a return to the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, which is significant in itself. But who is paying attention to this significance? Who is taking its measure? Is that the job of the ministry of foreign affairs? We have to expect a lot of unexpected things in the future. We are going to witness things that will certainly be worse. Yet people will remain deaf.

On September 11, people were shaken, but they quickly calmed down. There was a flash of awareness, which lasted a few fractions of a second. People could feel that something was happening. Then a blanket of silence covered up the crack in our certainty of safety. Western rationalism operates like a myth: We always work harder to avoid seeing the catastrophe. (emphasis added) We neither can nor want to see violence as it is. The only way we will be able to meet the terrorist challenge is by radically changing the way we think. Yet, the clearer it is what is happening, the stronger our refusal to acknowledge it. This historical configuration is so new that we do not know how to deal with it. It is precisely a modality of what Pascal saw: the war between violence and truth. Think about the inadequacy of our recent avant-gardes who preached the nonexistence of the real...

The work to be done is immense. Personally, I have the impression that this religion has used the Bible as a support to rebuild an archaic religion that is more powerful than all the others. It threatens to become an apocalyptic tool, the new face of the escalation to extremes. Even though there are no longer any archaic religions, it is as if a new one had arisen built on the back of the Bible, a slightly transformed Bible. It would be an archaic religion strengthened by aspects of the Bible and Christianity. Archaic religion collapsed in the face of Judeo-Christian revelation, but Islam resists. While Christianity eliminates sacrifice wherever it gains a foothold, Islam seems in many respects to situate itself prior to that rejection (emphases added)..MORE>>

Girard's mimetic theory is the hermeneutic for understanding human violence par excellence. It is a shame that it is cast into the "blanket of silence" of Western rationalism where men walk on it and do not know what treasure they unwittingly reject.

And while there are few - a very few - who seem to comprehend Girard's work without straying into using mimetic theory to bolster their own agendas, it sure makes living in these troubled, sinful times more tolerable for me.

Which in turn makes it easier to engage in the vital work of Marian chivalry.

Old Scratch


For the record and this just in: Monsignor John Esseff, retired exorcist for the Diocese of Scranton, says Old Scratch is afraid of you (or, Jesus within you).

Stuff and nonsense? We threw all that tripe and piffle out the window with Catholic reductionist thinking years ago? Hmm..
Mgr Esseff said that each baptised person was united to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. He read passages from the Gospels in which Jesus exorcised demons and then sent his disciples to do the same.

He said that Jesus ultimately defeated Satan through his death and Resurrection and then sent the power of the Holy Spirit to his Apostles at Pentecost.

"When God looks down, he sees Jesus in you," Mgr Esseff said. "You have that power as baptised, confirmed Christians. And so when he [Satan] sees you, he hates what you would discover about that power that is within you."

He suggested that each audience member had been tempted that day because temptation was the ordinary activity of the devil.

"Your soul is a battlefield because there is also someone who hates you," he said. "That one is the devil. The devil knows who you are and what you have. God passed him by. God did not choose to become one of the angels. God chose to be one like us."

But just as each person was tempted, Mgr Esseff said, another spirit also was at work.

"In your life today, this very day, has been the Holy Spirit," he said. "God is in you. God the Holy Spirit is operative in you. God the Holy Spirit wants to bring into your heart love. God wants to bring you peace."

Mgr Esseff also told students of the power of angels and encouraged them to renew their devotions to their guardian angels.
For my part, I will own both what the Magisterium of the Church teaches and the anthropological insights of Girard's mimetic theory. If Satan's great tricks are (1) convincing people he doesn't exist, and (2) convincing people that he does if the form of the one I may scapegoat, forget at your peril the converse of (1).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Millais - PRB

The Blind Girl (1854-56) - John Everett Millais
(Click image to enlarge)

I Do Believe He Read All of It

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Night Wishes

Tonight key elections take place, my Commonwealth of Virginia's gubernatorial race being one of them. What is my wish list?

(1) That the doubling rivalry amongst bipartisan politicians might end (Hey, this a private blog. Dream large). I am awaiting a candidate who, when he wins, does not do an end-zone dance, either in policy or in front of the microphones of the MSM; who is sufficiently neurotic not want to be the winner, actually, rather than the recent crop of crotchety, growling Senex types from the right or limp-wrist messiah-wannabees from the left with their accompanying character disorders. (Neither could see they failed or erred if they wanted to.)


(2) That we regain what G. K. Chesterton appealed to as mere ”common sense” and a return to an un-Enlightment appreciation for the joys of Catholic faith and morals gone from the West these many hundreds of years. The Church keeps the flames of this signal fire alight; the world does its level best to put it out and replace it with its sacrificial pyres of unredeemed paganism. Wouldn't Nietzsche be pleased.

(3) That we take a holiday from the cartoonish caricatures of sound byte ideology, theology, and what passes for "news" for a while. Turn off the TV. Pick up a book. Relearn to be an active thinker instead of a passive recipient of nugget information. As Eliot implored,

Where is the Life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

– The Rock (1934)


I'd take a solar flare knocking out the world's power grids for 36-hours - just 36-hours - to show us how well we can all get along without world and national news. Maybe even all those trucks carrying goods to Walmart would halt and give Mom-n-Pop stores a leg up, too.

It is a dream I have.

Schall - All Hallows Day


For the record: Fr James Schall, S. J., on All Saints Day and Belloc’s walk across Sussex in The Four Men.

I Wonder Why

Whoa, Nelly! The master of disaster flicks, Roland Emmerich, decided to put it to the Vatican and the statue of Our Lord in Rio in his upcoming end-of-the-world movie, 2012, rather than the holy sites of Mecca. Gee, what a surprise..

Enough sarcasm. Do you really want to know why? Jill Fallon tells why here.

BXVI and the Shroud

And now moving from the stupid and banal to the sublime:

Benedict XVI to Visit Jesus' Burial Cloth in Turin

By Robert Moynihan

WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 2, 2009 (Zenit.org).- One of the most mysterious cloths in the world, bearing the image of a tortured, crucified man, is preserved in the Royal Chapel of St. John the Baptist in the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.

It is called the Shroud of Turin. Pious tradition holds that it is the actual burial cloth of Jesus, used to wrap him in his tomb after his crucifixion in 33 A.D., nearly 2,000 years ago, and that the image on the cloth is an actual "picture" of Jesus himself as he lay in his tomb.

Benedict XVI will go to Turin next year, on May 2, to see the Holy Shroud in person. The Vatican and the Archdiocese of Turin announced the visit last week.

"As the first act of his visit, the Holy Father will pause for personal prayer before the Holy Shroud," the archdiocese said.

The Pope will see the Holy Shroud along with millions of faithful as it will be on public display for 54 days, from April 10 until May 23, 2010. (The Archdiocese of Turin has a Web site -- www.sindone.org -- where you can go to make a reservation to view the Shroud during the exposition period).

By visiting the Shroud, and by praying before it, the Pope is showing his respect and veneration for this mysterious linen.

But is the Shroud really authentic?

Let's take a look at the evidence..
MORE>>

Monday, November 2, 2009

Learning from Fairy Tales

Bureaucrat from T. Gilliam's Baron Munchausen

While Peggy Noonan says we're being governed by 'callous children', it might be more accurate and truthful to say those in the executive branch see themselves living in the castle on the hill, beloved by all the peasants who need their leadership. The peasants who do NOT love them just have not come to get to know them well enough, or their sincerity, or the ends toward which all of these means (Public Option, Women's Reproductive Health Services, bailing out the Fat Cats of Wall Street, etc.) they are striving.

Alas. They must resort to sordid and picayunish squabbling with the knuckle-dragging right-wingers to hoist the nation to their lighter than air humanist utopian soap bubble. (And, ultimately, peasants must be dragged along, too, don't you know.)

The trouble is, the present Administration does not realize that no fairy tale ever began, "Once upon a time there lived a President and First Lady..." while endless fairy tales begin, "Once upon a time there lived a King and Queen."

While those countless voters who discarded the Christian faith - or, rather, the orthodox Christian faith as taught and vouchsafed by the magisterium of the Catholic Church - to elect this ersatz King, they too have forgotten that fairy tales are very important for learning truths about us humans, as the grim Brothers Grimm know.

In fact, one of the main lessons we learn from fairy tales is that we get in deep trouble when we set ourselves up as kings and queens when all we really are a bureaucrats, conventional scholars of a certain romantic Gnostic ilk, and partisan politicians who live and breath the worship of Mammon.

But It's For Our Own Good, Right?

Who said this?
“This is not about insuring the uninsured, this is not about health care, this is about stealing one sixth of the private sector and putting it under the control of the Federal government, and when they get this health care bill, it they do, that’s the easiest fastest way for them to be able to regulate every aspect of human behavior.

“Because it will all have some related costs to health care, what you drive, what you eat, where you live, what you do, there will be penalties for violating regulations, it’s gonna be the biggest snatch of freedom and liberty that has yet occurred in this country.”
The answer is here.

All Souls Day - November 2

A concise compendium for the curious and those who want or need an at-a-glance reminder of the mercy of our triune God: Monsignor Charles Pope's Purgatory – Biblical and Reasonable.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Coemeterii visitatio

An indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally for the dead. This indulgence is applicable only to the souls in purgatory. This indulgence is a plenary one from November 1 through November 8 and can be gained on each one of these days. On the other days of the year this indulgence is a partial one.
- The Handbook of Indulgences (1991)

Today begins an eight-day quest. As I point out above, the Handbook of Indulgences sees these days around All Saints and All Souls as an opportunity for indulgenced prayers at cemeteries. So, besides my half-hour of Adoration before Mass this a.m., I drove to my nearby Oakwood Cemetery and prayed the Miserere (Ps 51) for all my family members in Purgatory.

I have never felt so close to the faithful dead and Communion of Saints as at this time. And, strangely, there is no dread, no remnant of pagan numinosity - only a rightness, a vocation, a Quest to be carried out in Marian chivalry.

How blessed we are as Catholics.

Victims Will Have a Voice

The seeming monolithic and impenetrably powerful persuasion of those who use the mainstream media to promote and secure their ends appear - but only appear - to be able to lock in their mythology.

Not so. Lest the present so-called "health care reform" mania with its bizarre, "sincere" cafeteria Catholics in leadership promoting abortion-on-demand ("Women's Health Issues") at the behest of the most pro-abortion president in history cause one to despair, remember the facts that Carl Olson at Ignatius Insight calls to our attention:

The sad fact is that over the decades—especially in the 1960s, but also beyond—there have even been Catholics who have tried to defend Mao or at least ignored the truth about his murderous ways, a fact documented in The Red Book of Chinese Martyrs. That book is an important addition to the growing body of work exposing the evils of Mao, his minions, and communism. Gerolamo Fazzini, in the Introduction to the book, writes:

The Red Book of Chinese Martyrs, which was printed in the original Italian edition within a few weeks of the thirtieth anniversary of Mao's death (September 9, 1976), intends to be (also) a denunciation of Maoism and its crimes. Although the aging and nostalgic fans of the "Great Helmsman" (who are willing to allow him a thirty percent margin of error) may still be putting up a pathetic resistance, a critical reappraisal of Mao and of his epoch has been underway for some time now in the West. (This is not yet the case in China: the present leadership has preferred thus far to sideline the unwieldy figure and to avoid coming to terms with history.) After decades of ideologically skewed propaganda, a "demythologization of Mao", of his ideology and of his methods, is finally taking place.

A decisive contribution along these lines was made recently by the monumental biography by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday entitled, Mao: The Unknown Story (2005). If we consider the simple data contained in this and other works (for example, Jasper Becker's exhaustively documented Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine [1996]), it is no exaggeration to state that Mao Zedong, the "Red Sun", is directly or indirectly responsible for crimes which—in terms of cruelty, intensity and duration—are equal to or even worse than those of Stalin or of Hitler himself. Does this sound like a joke? Far from it. Chen Yizi, a former Party leader who escaped abroad, declares that he saw an internal Communist Party document that put the death toll from "non-natural causes" at eighty million, most of these deaths occurring during the "Great Leap Forward" (1958-1961)..
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