Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
If we do not believe in the devil, sooner or later we will not believe in God. We cannot cut Lucifer out of the ecology of salvation. Satan is not God's equal. He is a created being subject to God and already, by the measure of eternity, defeated. Nonetheless, he is the first author of pride and rebellion, and the great seducer of man. Without him the Incarnation and Redemption do not make sense, and the cross is meaningless. Satan is real. There is no way around this simple truth.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Marian chivalry consists in trusting as Our Lady did, obeying humbly as simply as earth (humus) accepts all that befalls it, offering up all woe and trials, and witnessing to God's steadfast love and faithfulness at all times, even when the path seems darkest, loneliest, most dread-filled, and hopeless.
Those who believe they are "in power" aren't; those who think they are powerless, aren't; those who fear the worst rarely face it; those who think they are prepared find they aren't. In this way Tolkien's master opus is the very finest teacher of reality; and it is a Catholic reality, after all.
Our Lord constantly sends us signs and portents of hope. Stay in a state of grace and so be ready to accept them open-handed.
And, if you find a moment, pray for me, like you, a poor ornery sinner, in need of even more grace. Thank you, gentle reader.
And it will continue to wonder unless it turns its inquiry to the servant of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, mimetic theory, the forensic tool par excellence for comprehending the nature of violence and the role of the sacred (anthropologically speaking) in the Scimitar today.
St Peter's Square
Sunday, 28 January 2007
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today the liturgical calendar commemorates St Thomas Aquinas, the great Doctor of the Church. With his charism as a philosopher and theologian, he offered an effective model of harmony between reason and faith, dimensions of the human spirit that are completely fulfilled in the encounter and dialogue with one another.
According to St Thomas' thought, human reason, as it were, "breathes": it moves within a vast open horizon in which it can express the best of itself. When, instead, man reduces himself to thinking only of material objects or those that can be proven, he closes himself to the great questions about life, himself and God and is impoverished.
The relationship between faith and reason is a serious challenge to the currently dominant culture in the Western world, and for this very reason our beloved John Paul II decided to dedicate an Encyclical to it, entitled, precisely, Fides et Ratio - Faith and Reason. Recently, I too returned to this topic in my Discourse to the University of Regensburg.
In fact, the modern development of the sciences brings innumerable positive effects, as we all see, that should always be recognized. At the same time, however, it is necessary to admit that the tendency to consider true only what can be experienced constitutes a limitation of human reason and produces a terrible schizophrenia now acclaimed, which has led to the coexistence of rationalism and materialism, hyper-technology and unbridled instinct.
It is urgent, therefore, to rediscover anew human rationality open to the light of the divine Logos and his perfect revelation which is Jesus Christ, Son of God made man.
When Christian faith is authentic, it does not diminish freedom and human reason; so, why should faith and reason fear one another if the best way for them to express themselves is by meeting and entering into dialogue? Faith presupposes reason and perfects it, and reason, enlightened by faith, finds the strength to rise to knowledge of God and spiritual realities. Human reason loses nothing by opening itself to the content of faith, which, indeed, requires its free and conscious adherence.
St Thomas Aquinas, with farsighted wisdom, succeeded in establishing a fruitful confrontation with the Arab and Hebrew thought of his time, to the point that he was considered an ever up-to-date teacher of dialogue with other cultures and religions. He knew how to present that wonderful Christian synthesis of reason and faith which today too, for the Western civilization, is a precious patrimony to draw from for an effective dialogue with the great cultural and religious traditions of the East and South of the world...
Read it all here.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What we are saying will become more understandable with time because, unquestionably, we are accelerating swiftly towards the destruction of the world.Now, I said to myself, Self, here is a loaded statement befitting a man, albeit a fine man of renown, who is nearing his own mortal demise and who is projecting if I've ever seen projection. The irksome thing is, the further I read Battling the more Girard is scaring me, too.
Girard has never been clearer in his assessment of the model-obstacle relationship of the doubles, his discernment that reciprocal action that once provoked and suspended the "trend to extremes" is now locked in and accelerating, and the blindness of the warring parties caught in "double mediation."
I do not believe Girard is reflecting at all upon his personal gift of life but limning the subtle outlines of current events; for example, the so-called war on terror that now is being hushed-up even while the drone attacks continue and/or increase. Thus, as Girard points out, the defender is the one who "dictates the rules" to the attacker. That is, as 9/11/01 shows, the United States in its rôle of defender of the peace "dictated" what loopholes were to be sought for and found by its highly successful attacker in the form of jumbo jets in the once-friendly skies.
What is frightening as I continue to read is that Girard sees what the smartest guys in the room do not. Saint Augustine shared the same undesirable shoes as he watched - and prayed - while the "sacrificial crisis" swirled and toppled the once mighty Rome.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
When al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, called off a planned chemical attack on New York's subway system in 2003, he offered a chilling explanation: The plot to unleash poison gas on New Yorkers was being dropped for "something better," Zawahiri said in a message intercepted by U.S. eavesdroppers ...
"If Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants had been interested in . . . small-scale attacks, there is little doubt they could have done so now," (Rolf) Mowatt-Larssen writes in a report released Monday by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs..More>>
And for those like Newsweek's apparently blind reporter who wondered where all the young women were at the March, one might say, "Well, ma'am, right here." Take a look instead of trying to spin progressivist reality into being, Gnostic ninny.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Our Philosopher-King Obama
by Victor Davis Hanson
Tribune Media Services
In Plato's ideal society, philosopher kings and elite Guardians shepherded the rabble to force them to do the "right" thing.
To prevent the unwashed from doing anything stupid, the all-powerful, all-wise Guardians often had to tell a few "noble" lies. And, of course, these caretakers themselves were exempt from most rules they made for others.
We are now seeing such thinking in the Obama administration and among its supporters.
A technocracy — many Ivy-League-educated and without much experience outside academia and government — pushes legislation most people do not want but is nevertheless judged to be good for them.
Take the Obama proposal for healthcare. A large percentage of Americans do not trust those who run the Postal Service to oversee the conditions of one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
No matter. Our philosopher-king president says of our fierce resistance: "I . . . know what happens once we get this done. The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like" ..More>>
MOST OF THE TALL stories you will find in the classical writers are stories of omens and portents, or of punishments inflicted by the gods on people who had defied them. The characteristics of nearly all our Lord's miracles, nearly all those in the Acts of the Apostles, nearly all those in the lives of the saints, is that they were designed to show, not God's power only, but also his mercy. It is to heal the sick, to comfort the bereaved, to relieve the poor, to deliver the unjustly imprisoned, to save those in imminent danger of death, that the Christian miracles for the most part were performed. God wants us to see that he is powerful, but he wants us to see that he is merciful too.
We can only suppose that God judges with infinite tenderness the opportunities, the temptations, the natural disadvantages, the motives, the struggles, of every soul that has ever lived.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
My take is that Senator-elect Brown is a bit of a Cyrus of Persia event for the weary warriors for the culture of life. Yes - God raised up Cyrus to issue his Edict of Restoration and allow the exilic Jews to return to Israel - a source of great rejoicing, and truly God's working in the warp and weft of human history. Yes - God shoved a spoke in the wheels of the out-of-control "health care reform," replete with on-demand abortuarial services - a source of great rejoicing, too, and truly God's will.
But the estimable Senator-elect Brown has yet to prove his personal worthiness, both as a patrician and as a culture of life proponent. I have seen too many upright souls become seduced by the power and glory of public office on Capitol Hill - let alone the overwhelming temptation to sell-out to the highest bidder and offer libations to the great god, $Mammon$.
Time will tell about Scott Brown; best to be pessimistic, keep praying, and, we hope, be pleasantly surprised. It is safer than the other way round.