Saturday, July 5, 2008

St. Thomas More - (d) July 6, 1535

ST. THOMAS MORE DIED 473 years ago today, July 6, 1535. He is, aptly, the patron saint of the Arlington Diocese, Virginia, nestled across the Potomac River from the greatest seat of worldly power, Washington, D.C. The excerpt (below) comes from a panegyric given by Monsignor Ronald Knox 73 years ago in honor of this great saint of England.

King Henry's moment of Decisionism in ordering the death of his friend was shocking and stunning, like Alexander the Great's cutting of the Gordian knot. It opened the flood gates to ever-increasing numbers of murders under both Mary's and Elizabeth's reigns in a spiral of pagan-like frenzy. It began the downward spiral into a void of faith and morals we see in the bare ruined choirs of today's England. May the great English saint pray for us and for all of western civilization. Monsignor Knox:
St. Thomas More had no lack of plausible excuses if he had wanted to avoid the crown of martyrdom; no lack of sincere people who urged him to take refuge in them. Never, I suppose, was man so tempted both by friends and foes to abandon his purpose. His own wife, his own daughter took the part of his enemies, and entered into a loving conspiracy to save him from himself. But to friend and foe alike he opposed the impenetrable wall of his good-natured banter.

You see, he realized, long before other men of his time, that what stood before England was a complete parting of the ways. He saw that, in the conditions of his time, you must needs throw in your lot either with the old faith or with the heresies that were beginning to spring up all over Europe; that a nation which defied the authority of the Pope, although it might do so merely in the name of national independence, would be forced, sooner or later, into the camp of the heretic.

It is amazing to us, looking back upon all the intervening centuries have brought, that so many good men of that age – men who were afterwards confessors for the faith – were hoodwinked for the moment into following the King when he incurred the guilt of schism. But perhaps if were could think ourselves back rather more successfully into the conditions of the time, we should pardon them the more readily; and for that reason we should feel even greater admiration for the few men who, like our martyr, were wise enough to see what was happening. It was a time of national crisis, a time of intellectual ferment. There were only a few people who kept their heads, and those few who kept their heads lost their heads, like St. Thomas More.

… Let us thank God’s mercy for giving us the example and the protection of a great Saint, our own fellow-countryman, who knew how to absorb all that was best in the restless culture of his day, yet knew at once, when the time came, that he must make a stand here; that he must give no quarter to the modern world here. His remembrance has long been secure in the praise of posterity; it only remained for us to be assured by the infallible voice of the Church, what we could not doubt already, that he is with our Blessed Lady and the Saints in heaven. He knows our modern needs, let us turn to him in our modern troubles; his prayers will not be lacking for the great country he loved so, for the great city in which he lived and died.
- Monsignor Ronald Knox, Captive Flames

Our Lady

Madonna and Child - Nancy Postle Hendrix

Common Law, Sharia & Lord Chief Justice

David at Brits at Their Best begs to differ with the Lord Chief Justice on the worthiness of sharia law becoming part of the legal system of England any time soon.

Lord Phillips began his un-British speech to Muslims in a mosque by "describing his maternal grandparents' arrival in Britain in 1903 - Sephardic Jews who eloped from Alexandria and their families' attitudes 'because they understood that England was a country in which they would enjoy freedom'". In complete contradiction to this opening, which was described by Matthew Parris, he went on to suggest that Muslims in Britain could choose to observe sharia law.

What does one say to a nitwit? To a Lord Chief Justice who evidently knows nothing important about common law and its insistence that the law must be common to all and no one must be above or beyond the common law in Britain?

Read all …

Political Truth About Abortion

Barack Hussein Obama, Deal Hudson reports at Catholic Online, has an issue with infanticide.

The Roman Catholics for Obama Web site has no mention of his opposition to the Born Alive Infant's Protection Act.

I commend Creative Minority Report's poignant (and momentarily graphic) video below:

McIlheran - Beliefs = 'Hatred'

Patrick McIlheran of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opines on the way the Christian faith and morals will be attacked by, from my Girardian perspective, the two pincers of the primitive sacred, neo-paganism and the Scimitar: Your beliefs are going to be called “hatred”

McCain Visits Guadalupe Basilica

.- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain on early Thursday morning visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe before meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the end of his three-day Latin America visit aimed at promoting free trade.

McCain said has he planned to seek President Calderon’s help in addressing illegal immigration, the Associated Press says.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mexico’s holiest Catholic site. Catholic and Hispanic voters are expected to be key swing voters in the November presidential election. [h/t: New Advent]

Read all …

Fr Cantalamessa - Wise Humility

ROME, JULY 4, 2008 (
This Sunday’s Gospel, among the most intense and profound of Gospel passages, has 3 parts: a prayer -- "I bless you, Father" -- a declaration of Jesus about himself -- "Everything has been given to me by my Father" -- and an invitation -- "Come to me all who labor."

I will limit my remarks to the first element, the prayer, because it contains a revelation of extraordinary importance: "I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you kept these things hidden from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to the little ones. Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure."

The Pauline Year has just begun and the best comment on these words of Jesus is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians: "Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

"Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast 11 before God" (1:26-29).

Read all of Things Revealed to the Little Ones.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Churchgoing Men & Fathers

W. Bradford Wilcox opines at MercatorNet: Churchgoing men are not a hangover of the old patriarchy but a new breed who are closely connected to their families.

Hartline Vs. Obama

James Hartline - a self-proclaimed "former homosexual" - questions the merits of Barak Hussein Obama's theological acceptance of SSA in A Former Homosexual Confronts Barak Obama's Distorted Gay Theology. [h/t: Spirit Daily]

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Journey to Life

Jennifer Fulwiler recounts her personal spiritual journey in One woman's journey from pro-choice atheist to pro-life Catholic. [h/t: Spirit Daily]

Swastika & Scimitar - Part 8

Edward Cline posts Jihad by the Numbers at Family Security Matters.
In his masterful second volume study of Hitler, Hitler, 1936-1945: Nemesis, Ian Kershaw discusses a phenomenon called "working towards the Führer," in which every Nazi Party organization, member and office automatically, with little or no prompting or prodding by Hitler or his inner circle, worked to realize the ends and policies articulated by Hitler before and after he rose to power in 1933. It was automatic, because to disagree with or have reservations about a single, even minor aspect of Nazi ideology was to court reprimand, censure, dismissal, or even death. Agreement with those ends and policies was nearly a secondary motivation behind any Party member's actions. He was compelled to act, regardless of the consequences. The ideology commanded it, and the Führer's will and vision were irresistible, because there was little or no self to resist them.

As Party members who disagreed or expressed reservations were dismissed, or abandoned the Party, fled, committed suicide, or were murdered, monsters of the first rank filled the vacuum to formulate and enact policies that more completely "worked towards the Führer," monsters such as Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Joseph Goebbels. When all the checks within the Party against total irrationality in domestic and foreign policies were removed or fell into disrepute, total irrationality took over totally.

But the average Party member strived to satisfy Hitler, regardless of how minor or major the action and regardless if it stood to be acknowledged or rewarded. To be a true, loyal, above-suspicion Nazi meant the near total surrender of one's ego, mind and self, and to substitute them with Hitler's own.
Read all …

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mark Shea - Word for Word

Mark Shea writes: If I were to ask you, "Which is generating outrage among British Muslims: this ad? or this story about a 16 year old strangled in a barbaric Muslim "honor killing"?

You'd be right if you picked the puppy. Dogs are, you see, ritually unclean to Muslims, who can't seem to get it through their infantile heads that the rest of us are not obliged to bother our heads about their particular cultural taboos.

It's not that complicated. Jews get this. They don't go around being outraged that Gentiles eat pork or enjoy Piglet cartoons. Catholics get this. No Catholic objects when a non-Catholic has meat on a Friday during Lent.

But the infantile culture of Western Islam, unable to adjust to the elementary demands of being a minority in a pluralistic culture, behave with the grace and aplomb we've come to expect from the religion that gave us the Danish Cartoon Riots.

And if all goes according to pattern, the castrati who comprise the British intelligentsia will again apologize, suck up, and then find some Catholic or Evangelical to kick as an act of compensation for their unmanliness.

Closing of the University Mind

Margaret Somerville, to whom an honorary doctorate of science was extended then withdrawn over her un-PC views toward SSA and marriage, writes at MercatorNet,
Postmodernism is now de rigueur in the humanities and social sciences. Postmodernists adopt a relativistic approach: there is no grounded truth; what is ethical is simply a matter of personal judgement and preference. Moral relativism means that values are all of equal worth and which take priority, when they conflict, is merely a matter of each person’s perception and preference. The result, paradoxically, is that "the equality of all values", itself, becomes the supreme value.

This stance ultimately leads, at least in theory, to extreme or intense tolerance as the "most equal" of equal values. But does that happen in practice?

That is where political correctness enters the picture. (I’m using this term as shorthand to cover a variety of identity-based social movements and the neo-liberal values that they espouse. I am not using it, as can sometimes happen, to describe people or their views or values derogatorily, which is not to say I agree with all of them.)

Political correctness excludes politically incorrect values from the "all values are equal" stable. It shuts down non-politically correct people’s freedom of speech. Anyone who challenges the politically correct stance is, thereby, labelled as intolerant, a bigot or hatemonger. The substance of arguments is not addressed; rather people labelled as politically incorrect are attacked as being intolerant and hateful simply for making those arguments.

Read all of Correctly Squelched.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You Can't Leave Yet, Father

The priest was in a terrible auto accident one week after his ordination. The bus he was riding in was crushed, all the dead were taken to a mortuary. Among the 19 corposes deposited, Father Ikpoh came back to life 4 days after, as he was spotted by the mortuary attendants making the signs of the cross in the midst of other dead corpses in the morgue.

I'd say the good Father has work that God wants him to accomplish, wouldn't you? [h/t: Spirit Daily]

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sin, Sacrament, Forgiveness

Earlier here at COA I lifted up a post at Catholics United for the Faith entitled, "Heart of a Father." Below I quote the same author at CUF on the topic of sin and the Sacrament of Reconciliation ('Confession', etc.). He writes:
(P)aragraph no. 1792 is one of the most enlightening entries in the entire Catechism. It lists some of the main reasons why we go astray. Here’s what it says:

“Ignorance of Christ and His Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.”

Several of these items jump off the page to me. Doctrinal dissent has consequences in the moral life. My bad example (known as “scandal”) can lead others to sin. Ignorance is not “bliss” when it comes to the Gospel.

And this Catechism quote makes abundantly clear that an erroneous approach to conscience leads to errors in moral judgment.

Conscience is vitally important. It’s God’s way of revealing His truth to us in concrete circumstances, so that we can choose the good He desires for us. So having a well-formed conscience is about doing what God wants, not what “I want.” There are many voices–internal (for example, our own preferences, memories, motivations, and disordered desires) and external (for example, family, friends, and the media)–competing for our attention. We need a certain interiority to be able to hear the Shepherd’s voice, to discern God’s law that is already on our hearts.

Read all of Taking Our Medicine.

Since the so-called "reformation", all reductio ad absurdum efforts to minimize the faith, life, and practices of the Catholic Church founded by Christ himself have led to the present-day crisis in which we live. The removal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the lives of believers, for example, has accounted for untold recidivism in venial and grave sin. Sadly, wrong-headed notions like "I don't need a (Catholic) priest to forgive my sins. I can go directly to God" work against what Our Lord provided us for our life and salvation.