Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Hesitation in Legitimate Defense

"The Law" at New English Review's Iconoclast reports on the near-catastrophic terrorist attack on-board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 here.

Just as the Pope's body guards moved decisively and incisively once the "unbalanced" female attacker made her move Christmas Eve, as reported here, the hero of Flight 253, Jasper Schuringa, did not hesitate.

This is the essence of legitimate defense. No qualms, no double-mindedness, no rage; rather, an instantaneous knowing of how bad the consequences would be without doing the right thing.

Two last Must Reads from "The Law": Weapons of Musical Defense and Don't be a harbi!

Chivalry in the Meantimes

Though in the closet there stands a sword
And the coif and vambraces and mail are oiled
To stave the ravages of rust and time,
The chivalrous work for now is the word
When corruption reeks and honor is spoiled
And the Gospel ignored, our treasure sublime.


On this second day of Christmas, it is appropriate to bring you, gentle reader, Christmas is Not Negotiable II by Dr. Walid Phares. (Please don't ask the whereabouts of Christmas is Not Negotiable I; I haven't a clue.)

May comfort and joy be yours. But, keep your wits about you.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The League of Bearded Catholics

With the apparent demise of The Blue Boar - it's been a dead stick since the catastrophic events surrounding the notorious Four Men's Feast - I lift a tankard to a new star in the night sky. Tim Jones of Old World Swine puts forth what looks to be a fine new effort. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The League of Bearded Catholics.

T(olkien)he L(ewis)eague of B(elloc)earded C(hesterton)atholics stretches the imagination somewhat since only one of the four actually grew a beard for any sustained amount of time (Belloc), but all four had beards to shave, and Lewis never was a Catholic. (NB: Fr Walter Hooper, Lewis's executive secretary is quoted in Joseph Pearce's book, C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church, to the effect that if Lewis were still alive, in his opinion, Lewis would be a Catholic today with the suspect faith and morality in the Anglican communion.)

Check it out.

'We Need This Brave Man'

Amen. How'd you like to be his Guardian Angel?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Verbum caro factum est - The Word Made Flesh

Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis.

Et vidimus gloriam eius,
gloriam quasi Unigeniti a Patre,
plenum gratiae et veritatis.

In principio erat Verbum,
et Verbum erat apud Deum,
et Deus erat Verbum.

Et vidimus gloriam eius,
gloriam quasi Unigeniti a Patre,
plenum gratiae et veritatis.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.

Et vidimus gloriam eius,
gloriam quasi Unigeniti a Patre,
plenum gratiae et veritatis.


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

And we have beheld His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

And we have beheld His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

And we have beheld His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Powerful Circles of Defrauders in Dante

I am reminded that according to C. S. Lewis's favorite poet, Dante Alighieri, usurers, counterfeiters, grafters, and other defrauding sinners have special punishments awaiting them in hell. Why do you suppose I recalled that piece of arcane information when I read this?

Grace is Revealed

Father James Schall, S. J. writes,

My favorite text from the Christmas Masses, which explains what it is about, is that Second Reading from the Midnight Mass, from Paul’s second chapter of Titus.

The text begins: “God’s grace has been revealed.” What startling words! Obviously, what is “revealed” refers to the Birth of Christ, not to some abstraction. What we see is not “grace,” but the Child in the manger. This “grace” that we now behold was not “revealed” before this moment. Something new has happened in our world.

What has this “grace” done? It made “salvation possible for the whole human race.” The event is not just for members of the family of Mary and Joseph, or even for Israel itself. How is it that we can say of this Child, as of no other child, that, because of Him, “salvation” for each of us, each human being, is now “possible?”

We are next taught something more sober. We are to “give up everything that does not lead to God.” Is there anything that does not “lead to God?” In principle, no. But we are to give up our ambitious “worldly” use of things that lead only to ourselves.

“We must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world.” Evidently, this living good lives is up to us. Even with grace, restraining ourselves, leading good lives is necessary.

So even with the coming of Christ, we are still waiting. For what? “We are waiting in hope for the blessings which will come with the Appearance for the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus.”

This is the same Child of Jesus and Mary born in Bethlehem. He was to be called “Emmanuel,” that is, God with us. He was God with us.
Read all …

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Glazov - Denial re: Fort Hood

Jamie Glazov at City Journal:
Why the hard Left can’t accept the Islamic roots of Nidal Hasan’s shooting spree

As the United States prepares to try Nidal Malik Hasan for 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder at Fort Hood last month, few question the suspect’s guilt, but many disagree about his motives. Yet the evidence is now conclusive: the Fort Hood massacre was an act of Islamic terror. Before his shooting spree, Hasan told colleagues that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell and that they should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats. Hasan traded 18 e-mails with Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida recruiter. On the morning of the massacre, he gave his neighbor a Koran as he was departing for the base, telling her that he was going to do “good work for God.” Wearing Pakistani garb, Hasan shouted “Allahu akbar” as he began firing at U.S. troops.

Despite the plentiful evidence, however, leftists refuse to accept Hasan’s Islamic inspiration...
Read more here.

Nativity Contra Mundum

Massacre of the Innocents - Peter Paul Rubens
I planned to write on the strange events coinciding this coming Christmas Eve, but did it for me:
... as you tuck in your children on Christmas Eve, touched by their innocent faces as they nod off to sleep, know that men have gathered in Congress much as Herod’s soldiers gathered in the night to take up their swords. If Congressmen vote the way of Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Capps, know that their actions will keep the blood flowing from millions more to come.

I urge all of us to pray, pray for our little ones and for all the childless moms that were misled and are weeping because their children are no more. The days are growing colder both in the hearts and minds on the hill. Congressmen, put aside Pelosi, put aside your seats, put aside your treasures and see to your souls. If you sign this health care bill complete with the abortion language that Pelosi and Capps lust after, then you will have consigned America to stoke the fires of hell itself.
Read all …

Keillor - Don't Mess with Christmas

Well. O. Kay. Garrison Keillor, buddy, there's hope for you yet:

Unitarians listen to the Inner Voice and so they have no creed that they all stand up and recite in unison, and that's their perfect right, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to rewrite "Silent Night." If you don't believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn "Silent Night" and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write "Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we'll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah"? No, we didn't.

Christmas is a Christian holiday -- if you're not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don't mess with the Messiah.

Christmas does not need any improvements. It is a common ordinary experience that resists brilliant innovation. Just make some gingerbread persons and light three candles and sing softly in dim light about the poor man gathering winter fu-u-el and the radiant beams and the holly and the ivy, and you've got it. Too many people work too hard to make Christmas perfect, find the perfect gifts, get a turkey that reaches 100 percent of potential. Perfection is a goal of brilliant people and it is unnecessary where Christmas is concerned..Read all ...

The Student and Man with a Rosary

More than a hundred years ago, a man traveling in a train found himself seated next to someone who appeared to be a wealthy peasant with a rosary in his hands. “Sir,” the student addressed the old man, “do you still believe that old stud?”
“Yes,” the other replied, “I certainly do. What about you?”

The student burst out laughing. “I don’t believe that silly twattle. Follow my advice: throw your rosary out the window and learn what science has to say about it.”

“Science? … Maybe you could explain it to me?” replied the man humbly, tears welling in his eyes.

The student noticed the emotion on the face of his traveling companion and, to avoid hurting his feelings further, told him: “Please give me your address. I will send you some information.”

Then, glancing at the business card the man had taken out of his inside pocket, the young man fell silent. The card read: Louis Pasteur, Director, Science Research Institute, Paris

Arkes - Signs of Hope

For the record: Hadley Arkes at The Catholic Thing: A Grim Year – But Signs of Hope

Winter Solstice at Newgrange

Deep inside the world's oldest known building, every year, for only as much as 17 minutes, the sun -- at the exact moment of the winter solstice -- shines directly down a long corridor of stone and illuminates the inner chamber at Newgrange.

Newgrange was built 1,000 years before Stonehenge and also predates the pyramids by more than 500 years.

Lost and forgotten along with the civilization that built it, the site was been rediscovered in 1699. Excavation began in the late 1800s and continued in fits and starts, until it was undertaken in earnest in 1962. It was completed in 1975.
Seen as a tomb, the function of Newgrange in regards to the solstice wasn't known until 1967 -- and then by happenstance acting on a hunch. It was in December of 1967 that the astronomical alignment was witnessed and understood:

Michael O'Kelly drove from his home in Cork to Newgrange. Before the sun came up he was at the tomb, ready to test his theory.

'I was there entirely alone. Not a soul stood even on the road below. When I came into the tomb I knew there was a possibility of seeing the sunrise because the sky had been clear during the morning.'

He was, however, quite unprepared for what followed. As the first rays of the sun appeared above the ridge on the far bank of the River Boyne, a bright shaft of orange light struck directly through the roofbox into the heart of the tomb...
Read more here.

Extinct - Not

If you don't have enough to worry about, here is a nifty article on the size, dimensions, and "look" of the volcanic plume under Yellowstone's massive caldera.

Will in Italy

Timesonline's Richard Owens reports more evidence that the Bard of Avon was indeed a faithful son of the old Church here. It is becoming, one hopes, more common knowledge.

Upstate NY Scimitar Ghost Town

Dr. Paul Williams, writing at Family Security Matters, poses an interesting and disturbing question here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

St Nicholas of Myra

For those interested, learn more about Saint Nicholas of Myra here. And, for a questioning jolt of penitence, see this particular post.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rice - Angels in Parade

In of all places, Ann Rice writes in Parade Magazine today:
Angels are not a modern invention. And they may not be an invention at all. They come to us right out of the pages of the Bible, complete with their powerful wings. In the Book of Exodus, winged cherubim are carved on the Ark of the Covenant. And in the Book of Isaiah, the prophet sees the powerful winged seraphim singing before the throne of God.

A choir of angels sings to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And Jesus assures us that little children have their special guardian angels, while later on, in the garden of Gethsemane, an angel comes to comfort Jesus himself..More>>

United States of Carthage

I strong recommend to all readers that you visit the Four Mass'keteers blog and view Father Robert Barron's video on abortion and law in the United States.

You will see and hear in Fr Barron's presentation how the sacrificial mechanism of René Girard mimetic theory is alive and thriving in the silence surrounding the sacred space afforded abortion "health services" soon to become a mandate supported by each and every American at the behest of our president and the Democratic majority of our government.

If Carthage had included infant sacrifice as part of its "health care services" it would be no more heinous a moral catastrophe than what will soon become the law of the land in America. But our governmental leaders have no category for what Carthage did ostensibly for religious purposes. You see, we have "separation of church and state," with a huge prejudice against the Judeo-Christian prohibition of child sacrifice in favor of a woman's "choice" to kill her unborn child.

This is human sacrifice, as any Old Testament prophet would see and tell you in a heart beat.

But the mythological blinding effect of the sacred, anthropologically speaking, is not only ignoring the rights of unborn Americans, but self-righteously applauding the continuance and financial provisions for the same.

God have mercy on the once-great country of the United States of America. It will, by its own re-paganization, bring upon itself consequential judgment. The future will look upon it as it now looks upon the ruins of Carthage.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Scotland Yard - Mumbai in London

The Timesonline reports:
Officials now report an increase in “intelligence chatter” — communications captured by electronic eavesdropping agencies. One senior security adviser said the police warnings had intensified and become much more specific in the past fortnight.

“Before, there has been speculation. Now we are getting what appears to be a definite plot to carry out a firearms attack on London,” he said.

Earlier this year, police, military and intelligence services held an exercise in Kent to see whether they could defeat a commando raid in London by terrorists.

“The exercise brought out to those taking part that the capability doesn’t exist to deal with that situation should it arise,” said a military source.

Security sources said concerns had been raised by “chatter” on a prominent jihadist website two weeks ago.

One contributor suggested fighters could use automatic weapons to strike places such as nightclubs, sporting venues and Jewish centres.

In an online discussion hosted on December 2, another contributor invited suggestions for carrying out “guerrilla warfare” and proposed “a group of mujaheddin raid police stations and fire at them”.

Another said: “Make sure that all those at the location are of age, that there are no children and so on. Insist on the locations and times where no Muslims or children are to be expected.

“If machine guns are available, and explosive and expertise for [explosives] are not available, this is a good way ... The [Mumbai] operation is the ideal scenario for operations you are talking about.”
Read all ...

Stranger than Fiction

Father Sunil De Silva of the Archdiocese of Colombo, India, reports: Elephants Attack in Orissa Exactly - Exactly - One Year After Persecutions. Go figure. Who says they were alone?