Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prayer Fodder - Chivalry

Keep these words of Russian President Medvedev in mind. The locked mind of the Scimitar is, as Girard describes, firmly located in the culture of the primitive sacred.

This volatile situation in the cultural fabric of our global community should afford us plenty of fodder for prayer, vigilance, practice of the theological virtues, and, of course, chivalry.

UPDATE: Jesuit and Egyptian-born Father Samir Khalil sees hope in the revolutions taking place here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Benedict XVI - Avoiding Activism

The Consideration by Saint Bernard is of course required reading for every Pope. There are great things in it, too, for example: Remember that you are not the successor of Emperor Constantine but rather the successor of a fisherman.

The basic theme is the one that you have noted: Do not become utterly absorbed in activism! There would be so much to do that one could be working on it constantly. And that is precisely the wrong thing. Not becoming totally absorbed in activism means maintaining consideratio, discretion, deeper examination, contemplation, time for interior pondering, vision, and dealing with things, remaining with God and meditating about God. One should not feel obliged to work ceaselessly; this in itself is important for everyone, too, for instance, for every manager, too, and even more so for a Pope. He has to leave many things to others so as to maintain his inner view of the whole, his interior recollection, from which the view of what is essential can proceed.

- Benedict XVI

GKC - Why Be Catholic

Dale Ahlquist writing of G. K. Chesterton (of course) says,

(W)hen we have our days of doubt, when we are confused by the incessant attacks and the personal disappointments, it is a good exercise to sit down and make a list of all the things that prove that the Catholic faith is true.
  • The Church is the only consistent defender of morality and virtue. It defends marriage and the family. It defends children and babies and the unborn. It defends the poor. It defends peace and human dignity. It defends order and it also defends freedom. It defends the body and the mind and the soul.
  • The Church is the only institution in history that has continually survived its own defeats. Chesterton even maintains that it has survived its own death. Several times in history the Church seemed to be done and destroyed. But it is still here. It has survived its own death, says Chesterton, "because it had a God who knew his way out of the grave."
  • The history of Christianity is the history of the Catholic Church. The Church has not only carried the faith through history, it has carried the whole culture. The monasteries preserved the texts of the ancient world, keeping open our only windows to the past. When iconoclasts were smashing statues, Catholics preserved the art of sculpture. Catholic artists even brought sculpture inside paintings, giving them depth and dimension. They wrote music that we can still sing. The castles built in the medieval times are now museums or ruins. The Cathedrals built at the same time are still being used for their original purpose.
  • All other Christian sects are a reaction against or a splitting off from the Catholic Church. They are always something less than the Catholic Church, never anything more. They lack something, whether it be a pope or a priest or a pronouncement. Whatever partial truth they cling to is something that they have received from the Catholic Church, whether it be the Bible or baptism or "bringing in the sheaves."
  • History's greatest people, the saints, are Catholic ... Read all.

Stages of Spiritual Starvation

At yesterday's Daytona 500 race, Jeff Gordon was sponsored by the AARP's new publicity stunt, Drive to End Hunger. How much did many minutes of commercial time cost during the Daytona 500? Vroom vroom.

A noble endeavor, you say? Perhaps; unless one looks behind the curtain at the man pulling the levers and turning the knobs. The AARP buckled and became an arm of the aspirations of Last Self-Help Administration even before the last election. If you see altruism in this new endeavor, I see an attempt to show even good-old boy racin' fans can be influenced by the cynical Left.

Instead of spending umpteen thousands of dollars on this new endeavor, AARP - and you, gentle reader - should with Monsignor Charles Pope consider a deeper analysis of hunger in the starving West; one that, I think, makes far more sense and, ultimately, can do far more good, here.