Iamque domos patrias, Sithice post
aspera gentis prelia,laurigero, etc.
And now (Theseus drawing nigh his) native land in
laurelled car after with the Scithian folk, etc.
The Ars moriendi is the work of a monk or priest who had seen many people die. In this little book we have the somber experience of a man who had collected together many last words, barely spoken... The text was often striking, but it was the astonishing woodcuts above all that spread its fame throughout Europe. Here it is indeed a question of Christian hopes and fears: death appears not as a farcical dance, but as a serious drama played around the bed of the dying man; angel and devil stand at his side, contending for the soul that will soon depart. Formidable moment! The Christian needed to know in advance the temptations and anguish of the terrible dark hours to come in order to learn how to triumph over them... The dying man is exposed to five principal temptations. God, however, does not abandon the Christian, and five times sends His angel to comfort him.For all of Mitsui's post, see here. For a contemporary effort for modern denizens who are in need of a guide to dying a holy death, see here.
It had been arranged that when the humorist arose to speak Miss Angersten, a well-known model, was to appear in the garb and with the simple dignity of Jean d'Arc, his favorite character in all history. He was on his feet as Jean d'Arc entered the room. She wore the armor of the French heroine and her hair and face made a strangely appealing picture.
The face of the humorist, which had been wearing its "company" smile all night, suddenly changed. He had every appearance of a man who had seen a ghost. His eyes fairly started out of his head, and his hand gripped the edge of the table.
Jean d'Arc presented him with a wreath of bay. He merely bowed, with his eyes fixed on the girl's face. They followed her as in reverent silence she passed out, followed by a little boy in suitable costume, bearing a banner over her head. Then Mark Twain spoke. His voice was broken, and his word came slowly..More>>
Reflects on Relationships Modeled on the TrinityVATICAN CITY, NOV. 25, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting the faithful to imagine what the world would be like if family, parish and community relationships were modeled on the Trinity, with people not only living together but also for each other.
The Pope reflected on this today when he took up the topic of two 12th-century theologians during his general audience in Paul VI Hall.
He reflected on Hugh and Richard, both of the Abbey of St. Victor in France. He particularly considered their complementary emphases in the reading and studying of Scripture.
"Hugh of St. Victor stressed the importance of the literal or historical sense of sacred Scripture as the basis of theology's effort to unite faith and reason in understanding God's saving plan," the Holy Father said.
This theologian offered Christianity an explanation of the sacraments that is still useful today, the Pontiff added.
Richard of St. Victor was Hugh's disciple.
He "stressed the allegorical sense of the Scriptures in order to present a spiritual pedagogy aimed at human maturity and contemplative wisdom," Benedict XVI explained.
And Richard's "On the Trinity" is one of the great books of history, the Pope contended.
In it, he "sought to understand the mystery of the triune God by analyzing the mystery of love, which entails a giving and receiving between two persons and finds its perfection in being bestowed upon a third person." More>>
(H)e said to them, "Let us cross to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"- Mark 4,35b-41
One of the difficulties in discussing Islam's more troubling doctrines is that they have an anachronistic, even otherworldly, feel to them; that is, unless actively and openly upheld by Muslims, non-Muslims, particularly of the Western variety, tend to see them as abstract theory, not standard practice for today. In fact, some Westerners have difficulties acknowledging even those problematic doctrines that are openly upheld by Muslims — such as jihad. How much more when the doctrines in question are subtle, or stealthy, in nature?
Enter Nidal Malik Hasan, the psychiatrist, U.S. Army major, and "observant Muslim who prayed daily," who recently went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing thirteen Americans (including a pregnant woman). While the media wonders in exasperation why he did it, offering the same old tired and trite reasons — he was "picked on," he was "mentally unbalanced" — the fact is his behavior comports well with certain Islamic doctrines. As such, it behooves Americans to take a moment and familiarize themselves with the esotericisms of Islam.
Note: Any number of ulema (Muslim scholars) have expounded the following doctrines. However, since jihadi icon and theoretician Ayman Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's number two, has also addressed many of these doctrines in his treatises, including by quoting several authoritative ulema, I will primarily rely on excerpts from The Al Qaeda Reader (AQR), for those readers who wish to source, and read in context, the following quotes in one volume..More>>
November 21, 2009
Sodom in the Nation's CapitalAt a time when our country is sick, it shouldn't surprise that one our sickest places is our nation's capital.The poverty rate of Washington, DC, almost 20 percent, is one of the highest in the nation. Its child poverty rate is the nation's highest. DC's public school system, with a graduation rate of less than 50 percent, is one of the worst in the country.According to DC'soffice, three percent of the local population has HIV or AIDS. The Administrator of this office notes that this HIV/AIDS incidence is "...higher than West Africa...on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya." And the principal way that HIV is transmitted continues to be through male homosexual activity.Amidst this dismal picture, the DC City Council, perhaps on the theory that serving up another glass of wine is the way to help a drunk, is scheduled to vote on December 1 to legalize same sex marriage in America's capital city.Looking at realities in Washington, DC should make clear why George Washington said "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." But the America that our first president had in mind was very different from the vision of our DC government officials.More>>
Lock up your baby prams and strollers, or at least don't take them out in the daylight hours. Children are, according to one United Nations agency, the new enemy of climate change.
The latest report from the United Nations Population Fund was released on Wednesday at news conferences in Ottawa and other key venues where policy makers could be made aware of the news: more babies will undermine attempts to stop climate change..MORE>>
Christ gives Himself in sacrifice; and that not only on Calvary. For when He was crucified He "did that in the wild weather of His outlying provinces which He had done at home in glory and gladness" (G. MacDonald). From before the foundation of the world He surrenders begotten Deity back to begetting Deity in obedience ... From the highest to the lowest, self exists to be abdicated and, by that abdication, becomes the more truly self, to be thereupon yet the more abdicated, and so forever.- C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain