Saturday, June 5, 2010

Barron - 'Agora'

Fr Robert Barron comments on the new film, "Agora". Note well that Fr Barron portends that the wave of anti-Christian sentiments has, as evidenced in this film filled with misinformation, now moved into popular culture and may, in fact, bring on active persecution of Christians.

His normative? "Stand fast" and "set the record straight."

UPDATE: David Bentley Hart chimes in.

Mongols - 1 Assassins - 0

One wonders if the tale of the 11th century Order of Assassins - and their eventual destruction - carries any lesson for dealing with certain murderous elements of the Scimitar today.

It is a question that an unknowledgeable public - and officials who should/perhaps do, but only think in dollar signs - should be aware about 'defensive jihad' inasmuch as a 13-floor mosque has been approved for Ground Zero in New York City which will be dedicated September 11, 2011. The Scimitar considers lands once "conquered" as always - always - a part of dar al-Islam.

I highly recommend Mary Habeck's book (Yale University Press, 2006), if for no other reason than to know what to pray about with more clarity and specificity.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dylan - Neighborhood Bully

In honor of the State of Israel and all who pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man
His enemies say he's on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully he just lives to survive
He's criticized and condemned for being alive
He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin
He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He's wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He's always on trial for just being born
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he could apologize
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it, and the odds are slim
That he'll live by the rules that the world makes for him
'Cause there's a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a licence to kill him is given out to every maniac
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don't get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won't be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He's the neighborhood bully.
Every empire that's enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He's made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one's command
He's the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract that he signed was worth that what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He's the neighborhood bully.

What's anybody indebted to him for ?
Nothing, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He's the neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars ?
Does he change the course of rivers ? Does he pollute the moon and stars ?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully.

Belloc - Choices and the Catholic Church

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH did not come to destroy but to complete. Unfortunately, that which it came to complete was too well satisfied with its own evil as well as with its own good. There is about the Catholic Church something absolute which demands, provokes, necessitates alliance or hostility, friendship or enmity. That truth you find unchangeable throughout the ages, and therefore it is, that, on the first appearance of the church, the challenge is already declared ...
- Hilaire Belloc

Celebrate June - Sacred Heart of Jesus

Just remember: he has been open and forthright about what he said he would do and he is doing it. The majority of America voted him into office. So it should come as no surprise that he has proclaimed June to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

No. Wait. Check that.

Shroud Exposition Ends

ZENIT gives answers regarding the Shroud of Turin as the public display of this tangible gift to humanity returns to a place of repose.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Joys of Defending Yourself - Israel

Spencer sets the story straight regarding the flotilla that was attacked by Israel - the responsibility rests with Hamas. Pay close attention to the amounts of aid that pass from Israel to Gaza daily in the article.

For the record, I deplore the mealy-mouth and dhimmi posture of our Last Self-Help Administration and its State Department flunkies who want to demean Israel and kowtow to the petrol overlords who happen to underwrite terror and Scimitar extremists. The MSM lapdogs will, as they did the Church with the clergy abuse stories, continue unabaited in Israel bashing for the foreseeable future.

The biblical peoples who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob know who hates them, and why.

Need for Subsidiarity

Arright. The Acton Institute stands up for the need for subsidiarity in health care.

On the Acton Institute PowerBlog, Director of Research Dr. Samuel Gregg wrote that the USCCB was right to lay a threefold stress on "the protection of innocent life from the use of lethal force from conception to natural death," "the maintenance of conscience protections," and "the realization of universal access to healthcare for all, especially the poor and migrants" in the health care debate. But Gregg says they overlooked the time-tested Catholic principle of social and economic justice called 'subsidiarity.'

"The truth," Gregg explained, "is that the USCCB's professional social justice bureaucrats have a long history of playing down or even ignoring the implications of the principle of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity isn't, for example, even listed as one of the "Themes of Catholic Teaching" on the Justice, Peace and Development section of the USCCB's website. It is long past the time for that to change."

Subsidiarity is a Catholic principle of social order that puts a check on government interference in roles that other members of a society can do better and have a responsibility to perform. Gregg emphasized that subsidiarity is neither "anti-government" nor "anti-state" but rather recognizes the importance of government for the common good. Under subsidiarity, government should support - but not dominate - the facilitation of the common good through the actions of individuals and communities .. MORE>>

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Conformity = 'Anything You Want' ?

Too good. My Introduction to Theology prof, Sister Prokes, PhD, would shred Speaker Nancy Pelosi's absurdities with a deft charity. As it is, Father Z does the honors here.

If Martin had met Thomas

For the record: my old Church history professor at Duke, David Steinmetz, has a nice piece of theological inquiry in The Christian Century entitled, Aquinas for Protestants - What Luther Got Wrong. [ht: Francis Beckwith]

Monday, May 31, 2010

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

14th century wall-painting in the Timios Stavros Church in Pelendri.
The unborn John the Baptist bows before the unborn Jesus. Such depiction appears only in three more churches in Cyprus.

May 31 is the day celebrated as the Feast of the Visitation. Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.

Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.

- American Catholic

Sunday, May 30, 2010

St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc (1865) - Sir John Everett Millais

Primitive Sacred and Oil on the Water

Mark Steyn lets fly with King Barack the Verbose.

One of the most salient and fascinating features of René Girard's mimetic theory is that it dispels the common - and wrong - notions that we humans (a) think for ourselves and (b) left behind all the mumbo-jumbo of our primitive ancestors who did things like ritual sacrifice of first-born children. Wrong on both counts, says mimetic theory.

We are hugely influenced by the desires of others and, therefore, at the whim of those who know this about ourselves and take advantage of it. Think Madison Avenue. Think all those sales flyers that fall out of your Sunday newspaper. Think about going to work, or to a class reunion, or to a dinner party wearing what is hanging in the never-touched recesses of your closet. Why is that? Not because you care what people think, surely.

The Gospel has indeed been hard at work in history freeing us from many of the superstitions of what Girard calls "the primitive sacred." But as the Gospel in general and the teachings of the Catholic Church in particular are abandoned and rejected, the pagan rises again. And one of the most prominent elements of the primitive sacred is the king/priest/shaman figure; i.e., one vested with the aura of the sacred. How that figure accrues this aura and power is important, but for now just realized that the vacuum created by the secular West's rejection of the Christian faith has opened the realm of this sacred human figure once again.

Enter Barack Obama. The adulation and "leg-tingling" of Chris Matthew, the Obots on street corners before the election, the fawning free-ride by the MSM (now showing a few signs of waking up and smelling the coffee grounds) all smack of the mystification of the primitive sacred's legendary divine figure come alive again.

Enter the Gulf of Mexico oil-spill disaster. Nothing seemingly can stop it. Not technology. Not bureaucrats' posturing and grand-standing. And NOT the king/priest/shaman of the Last Self-Help Administration.

His divine status, it would seem, cannot cap this catastrophic act of nature, and, while he is clearly not to blame for it, he clearly cannot do anything to stop it. His post-modern version of the primitive sacred leader - the only alternative to the Church's more realistic understanding of fallen, fallible human nature (even the Pope goes to Confession) - is beginning to look oil-soaked and - hmm - less than divine.

If ever there was a wake-up call from Heaven, in my opinion, this Gulf of Mexico fiasco is one. What shall it be? A modern recrudescence of the primitive sacred? Or a return to sanity in Catholic truth?

Is anyone else asking - or answering - this question?

Trinity Sunday

Trinity - Andrey Rublev