Life in a small town

Are Things Getting Better or Worse?

Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)

Thinking about the divinity of Christ and stewardship.  There seems to be some controversy around the Amazonian Synod these days, a certain resurgence of the 60’s beliefs that place man subordinate to Nature in the cosmic scheme of things.

There are flavors of pantheism, and animism, and priestesses of Gaia and a little wiff of Arianism and even the return of Liberation Theology,  and the Green-Vegan assertion that perhaps mankind should not be seen as the guardians of mother earth but rather as her “house-guests”.

In fact, reality is that we were created as the Stewards of God’s Creation … it is our assigned task … God is our employer so to speak in that role and it is not up to us to decide that we are not up to the task, or that we are only “house-guests”.  It is God’s role to chastise us if we are not good and faithful stewards. and we are truly experiencing a chastisement these days, are we not?  How are things going in the world where you are?

Robert Royal

Recently Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., wrote the following in an article… We discovered that we had each just come upon, independently, a passage in Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf is speaking with Denethor, who is steward, but not king, of Gondor. Things look bleak. Sauron is about to attack. Denethor is trying by any means he can to hold on to power.

Gandalf speaks to him of the predicted return of the true king:

. . . my lord Steward, it is your task to keep some kingdom still against that event [the king’s return], which few now look to see. In that task you shall have all the aid that you are pleased to ask for. But I will say this: the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. [Emphasis added.]

Gandalf the White

In short, in times like these, if we are wise, we too all become intentional stewards; we take care to preserve or grow whatever we can, even as the large forces of history and culture stagger around, and the large schemes to control them seem mostly to make things worse.

And there’s another large benefit of realizing you are a mere steward: you also come to understand how much we always need the King of Kings to guide his Church.

60 AD Roman Temple in Britain

Now my post is mostly made up of verses from scripture … verses which I believe are particularly applicable to our modern day and age. I wrote in the previous post:

It seems that whenever mankind has things good, the first thing mankind does is thumb the nose at God or some even flip Him the bird, God doesn’t exist, God doesn’t care, I don’t know about God but I am definitely gonna worry about me first and have fun right now.  4000 unbroken years of “Things are great, God doesn’t matter!  WHOOAAAH! Things are BAD!  “You and me Lord, You and me!”

70 AD Jewish Temple in Jerusalem

Prosperity, Peace, Babylon, Prosperity, Peace, Persia, Prosperity, Peace, Rome, Prosperity, Peace, Islam, Prosperity, Peace, Nationalism, Prosperity, Peace, Communism, then came the 20th century and WWI, WWII, and WWIII, Prosperity, Peace, ISIS, now into the 21st century, … are things looking better or worse than last century?

Does anyone notice a pattern here? Where do we feel that we are on the Prosperity, Peace, Disaster, Downfall cycle? We can look at what is actually going on around us and, in spite of what out leaders and the elite of the intelligentsia tell us, all those happy Brights do things seem OK to you?”

911 Modern Temple of Mammon in New York

Your mileage may vary, but my gut tells me we are approaching a major correction … again.  So every day is a day for praying and reading scripture, but especially Sunday, and Joshua has some things to say about the behaviour of people which are still applicable to we the people in this day and age, especially applicable in this day and age I think.

The True Worship of our Day

Scripture speaks of this … four millennia of up and down … seems like the folks have always had a short attention span, an event horizon only a few inches in front of their nose, and a pathological abhorrence of studying history, to at least try to learn from what went before … the magisterium of experience so to speak. for what really matters is recounted in scripture, not in the politically correct social studies texts which are the indoctrination instruments of the current generation of pond scum at the top of the stagnant pool, the pool of worship

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Joshua 23:

1And when a long time was passed, after that the Lord had given peace to Israel, all the nations round about being subdued, and Josue being now old, and far advanced in years: 2Josue called for all Israel, and for the elders, and for the princes, and for the judges, and for the masters, and said to them: I am old, and far advanced in years: 3And you see all that the Lord your God hath done to all the nations round about, how he himself hath fought for you:

Joshua ...

Joshua …

4And now since he hath divided to you by lot all the land, from the east of the Jordan unto the great sea, and many nations yet remain: 5The Lord your God will destroy them, and take them away from before your face, and you shall possess the land as he hath promised you.

6Only take courage, and be careful to observe all things that are written in the book of the law of Moses: and turn not aside from them neither to the right hand nor to the left:

7Lest after that you are come in among the Gentiles, who will remain among you, you should swear by the name of their gods, and serve them, and adore them: 8But cleave ye unto the Lord your God: as you have done until this day.

9And then the Lord God will take away before your eyes nations that are great and very strong, and no man shall be able to resist you. 10One of you shall chase a thousand men of the enemies: because the Lord your God himself will fight for you, as he hath promised.

11This only take care of with all diligence, that you love the Lord your God. 12But if you will embrace the errors of these nations that dwell among you, and make marriages with them, and join friendships: 13Know ye for a certainty that the Lord your God will not destroy them before your face, but they shall be a pit and a snare in your way, and a stumbling block at your side, and stakes in your eyes, till he take you away and destroy you from off this excellent land, which he hath given you.

14Behold this day I am going into the way of all the earth, and you shall know with all your mind that of all the words which the Lord promised to perform for you, not one hath failed. 15Therefore as he hath fulfilled in deed, what he promised, and all things prosperous have come: so Will he bring upon you all the evils he hath threatened, till he take you away and destroy you from off this excellent land, which he hath given you,

16When you shall have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he hath made with you, and shall have served strange gods, and adored them : then shall the indignation of the Lord rise up quickly and speedily against you, and you shall be taken away from this excellent land, which he hath delivered to you.

Joshua 24:

Abraham and Isaac ...

Abraham and Isaac …

1And Josue gathered together all the tribes of Israel in Sichem, and called for the ancients, and the princes, and the judges, and the masters: and they stood in the sight of the Lord: 2And he spoke thus to the people: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: Your fathers dwelt of old on the other side of the river, Thare the father of Abraham, and Nachor: and they served strange gods.

3And I took your father Abraham from the borders of Mesopotamia: and brought him into the land of Chanaan: and I multiplied his seed, 4And gave him Isaac: and to him again I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave to Esau mount Seir for his possession: but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. 5And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt with many signs and wonders. 6And I brought you and your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea: and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen, as far as the Red Sea. 7And the children of Israel cried to the Lord: and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them. Your eyes saw all that I did in Egypt, and you dwelt in the wilderness a long time:

Moses parting the Sea ...

Moses parting the Sea …

8And I brought you into the land of the Amorrhite, who dwelt beyond the Jordan. And when they fought against you, I delivered them into your hands, and you possessed their land, and slew them.

9And Balac son of Sephor king of Moab arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and called for Balaam son of Beor, to curse you: 10And I would not hear him, but on the contrary I blessed you by him, and I delivered you out of his hand.

11And you passed over the Jordan, and you came to Jericho. And the men of that city fought against you, the Amorrhite, and the Pherezite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hethite, and the Gergesite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite: and I delivered them into your hands.

12And I sent before you hornets: and I drove them out from their places, the two kings of the Amorrhites, not with thy sword nor with thy bow. 13And I gave you a land, in which you had not laboured, and cities to dwell in which you built not, vineyards and oliveyards, which you planted not.

Choose Whom You will Serve (also see Deuteronomy 10:12-22)

14Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him with a perfect and most sincere heart: and put away the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

16And the people answered, and said: God forbid we should leave the Lord, and serve strange gods. 17The Lord our God he brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: and did very great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way by which we journeyed, and among all the people through whom we passed. 18And he hath cast out all the nations, the Amorrhite the inhabitant of the land into which we are come. Therefore we will serve the Lord, for he is our God.

Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin ...

Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah

19And Josue said to the people: You will not be able to serve the Lord: for he is a holy God, and mighty and jealous, and will not forgive your wickedness and sins. 20If you leave the Lord, and serve strange gods, he will turn, and will afflict you, and will destroy you after all the good he hath done you. 21And the people said to Josue: No, it shall not be so as thou sayest, but we will serve the Lord.

22And Josue said to the people: You are witnesses, that you yourselves have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they answered: We are witnesses. 23Now therefore, said he, put away strange gods from among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel. 24And the people said to Josue: We will serve the Lord our God, and we will be obedient to his commandments.

25Josue therefore on that day made a covenant, and set before the people commandments and judgments in Sichem. 26And he wrote all these things in the volume of the law of the Lord: and he took a great stone, and set it under the oak that was in the sanctuary of the Lord. 27And he said to all the people: Behold this stone shall be a testimony unto you, that it hath heard all the words of the Lord, which he hath spoken to you: lest perhaps hereafter you will deny it, and lie to the Lord your God. 28And he sent the people away every one to their own possession.”

*****

I guess that would be enough for one day. The parallels with our day are startling if one takes a moment to consider, if one has eyes to see and ears to hear. Are we, as a culture and society, really THAT sure that we are right about God … the last 4000 years of history do not seem to be on society’s side in that bet …

Cheers

Joe

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Spread the Flame of Love of your Immaculate Heart over all of humanity, now and at the hour of our death, Amen

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Life in a small town

October 7th 2019 …

“Eternity’s Sunrise”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Eternity’s Sunrise”, (2000)

Driving home from church yesterday, lots of combines in action … harvest is about 4 weeks behind because of the wet cool summer … must be caused by global warming, eh?

Today, in a 2 hour drive to the nearest city and back we passed about 30 combines in full swing. Farmers are working nonstop night and day to get the crop in and we might get snow tonight. I hope not because it will delay paving here in town yet again and we are already about 8 weeks delayed on this project which was supposed to be finished on 31 July.

So far we are down bout 45 thousand dollars on summer sales. 4 years of Socialist government followed by 4 months of construction in front of our business has really hammered us. The upside is that it’s better than a hurricane or a war, and no-one has died yet.

This time of year the sun is setting at about 6:45 pm and came up this morning about 7:40 am, but last night the most impressive “Harvest “Moon”  I have seen in a long time dominated until it rose high enough to pass behind a bank of scattered light clouds.

Then it became a different kind of spectacular … lighting up the clouds like some kind of celestial vision.  I have been using our weather channel as my home page for a couple of years now. With this “home page” I get a “first thing in the day” reminder of all things to be grateful for in our lives, before the litany of evil and drama washes over me when the rest of the MSM “news” intrudes on my peace via the rumour mill and all the gossip from my customers, at least those who are braving the chaos which has been my front street for months..

One can scroll down through the Weather channel articles to see the still photos below the video feed. Also, I rather suspect that this site gets updated regularly so it may not have the same content in a few days as it does now.

The kind of news showing up here is about as different from the MSM as it is possible to get and that is all good in my books. Of course we get full moons every month but in the fall we seem to be out more in the dark evening and we notice them more, especially if one lives in a rural area and the activities with fall harvest see many folks working late into the night, sometimes all night.

September Full Corn Moon

September Full Corn Moon … from the site: https://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-september

Harvest seems to be later and slower this year with many farmers having only half their acres left harvested varying from farm to farm of course depending on what was planted and the decisions on the ground.

But better than three years ago, when folks had 10’s of thousands of acres left unharvested and many didn’t finish harvest until the end of November and still had crops unharvested and then covered in snow, so we are doing OK this year in a general sort of way. Of course there are always problems but when are there not problems?

This is the 27th week of Ordinary Time, and October 7th is the Immovable Feast, the “Feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary of The Rosary” a Catholic Feast Day which has it’s origins in a famous battle and which Feast Day marks now the 448th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, a great naval battle, perhaps one of the greatest naval battles in all of history.

Lepanto, and the events leading up to the battle, have fallen into unfashionable obscurity, notwithstanding the fact that were it not for that battle, and the victories of the beleaguered Christians in many other lopsided battles of that time, there would have been no Western Civilization to give us all the good things we take for granted in our lives, in the here and now, every day.

We ignore history and reality at our peril, we, men and women both, need to examine what the future holds if Christians fail to win victory in this age. The enemy has not improved with age, no, Old Nick has aged gracefully and is more powerful than ever as mankind has chosen to pretend that he does not exist.

The Battle of Lepanto, 1571 ...

The Battle of Lepanto, 1571 …

There are still a few people who remember Lepanto, some honest scholarly individuals, who continue to try to remind us of a past which the fashionably Progressive Brights and the proles of our modern day and age would much rather prefer to forget, or at least to not have this “version” of “Truth” and “Facts” come up in polite conversation or be mentioned in the news.

One such writer is Fr. George W. Rutler, pastor of St. Michael’s church in New York City. He is the author of many books including Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943 (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press) and Hints of Heaven (Sophia Institute Press). His latest books are He Spoke To Us (Ignatius, 2016) and The Stories of Hymns (EWTN Publishing, 2017).

Fr. George’s take on Lepanto can be found at Crisis Magazine” in an article from last October 7th entitled “The Banners of Lepanto”.  What follows is a few paragraphs from the middle of his 2016 essay:

*****

… Not to diminish the Battle of Baltimore, the Battle of Lepanto ranks as one of the greatest sea battles of all time, and in one sense it was the most important. There never would have been a Trafalgar or Jutland or Leyte Gulf without it and, as a matter of fact, it is likely that it made possible the survival of everything we know as civilization.

Had the Christian fleets sunk off western Greece on October 7 in 1571, we would not be here now, these words would not be written in English, and there would be no universities, human rights, holy matrimony, advanced science, enfranchised women, fair justice, and morality as it was carved on the tablets of Moses and enfleshed in Christ.

Many banners wafted at Lepanto. The great one bearing an image of Christ Crucified was the gift of Pope Pius V to Don Juan of Austria. One of the admirals, Gianandrea Doria, a nephew of Andrea Doria often confused with his uncle, used as his ensign, if not a banner, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this only forty years after her appearance in Mexico. The bishop there had commissioned five copies, touching each to the original tilma. The one given to the King of Spain, Philip II, was in turn entrusted to Doria for the battle.

Then there was the sixteen-foot long silk banner of the Ottoman admiral Ali Pasha decorated with Quranic verses and the image of a zulfiqar, the double-bladed sword said to have been what Mohammed had used in his slaughterings, with the name of Allah stitched in gold 29,800 times.

Naval historians have extraordinarily detailed resources for studying the battle. Perhaps the most literate remembrance is that of Cervantes who fought heroically at Lepanto despite a severe fever and wounds; later he was able to write Don Quixote with his right hand, the left being totally useless after October 7.

Pope St. Pius V never recorded the details of his astonishing vision on that day, but he saw the scene miraculously while in the church of Santa Sabina discussing administrative accounts with his advisor Bartolo Busotti, and announced the victory to him, nineteen days before a messenger of the Doge of Venice Mocenigo reached Rome with news—no longer new—of the great victory. (Pope St. Pius V said) “Let us set aside business and fall on our knees in thanksgiving to God, for he has given our fleet a great victory.

Five years later the astronomer and geographer Luigi Lilio died. He was a principle architect of the Gregorian calendar implemented in 1582. Trained minds like his, acting upon the testimony of witnesses, calculated by the meridians of Rome and the Curzola isles that the pope had received his revelation precisely as Don Juan leaped from his quarter deck to repulse the Turks boarding his vessel and when the Ottoman galley “Sultana” was attacked side and stern by Marco Antonio Colonna and the Marquis of Santa Cruz.” (More here …)

*****

“Deep Peace” Bill Douglas, from the album of the same name, (1996)

Another writer and Blogger of note, David Warren, has also touched upon the significance of Lepanto and the anniversary of the battle. (and also here), as above I have extracted a few paragraphs from the middle of his 2015 post:

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… Heroic chastity might take the form of declining to steer the willing wench into bed, but here I am considering the “high political.” And this includes the high political in humble stations of everyday life. The question, What is for the good? — aye, there’s a question. It is a masculine one, so that when a woman asks it she must play the man. (So much of mothering requires masculine decision.)

But, par excellence, the father in the household must exercise a judgement in which his own interest is sublimated within the interests of his family. He must stand above himself to see what these are, and make painful personal sacrifice sometimes, without selfish whining or complaint. Or else, become a failure in the eyes of wife, children, and God.

And likewise, all leadership is in its essence chaste and masculine, whether the ruler be a woman or a man. The commander of the fleet — our Don John of Austria — has before him Victory in a holy cause, demanding all sacrifice together with the knowledge that he is in the service of Heaven. For all the private failures of his past, he must not fail now.
*
There is a distance from which some clarity is possible, perhaps; and then I fear a greater distance at which the subject shrinks and disappears. I am referring here to the Battle of Lepanto, whose 444th anniversary we celebrate today, in the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

The issue of that battle was not clear at the time. The fleet of the Holy League had destroyed the massed Ottoman fleet, but could hardly reconquer the eastern Mediterranean. The initial intention had been to recover Cyprus from the Infidel Turk, but this was impossible; and long after Lepanto the recovering Ottoman forces harried Catholic (chiefly Spanish) interests in the western Mediterranean.

Tunis and Algiers resumed as centres of piracy, and long into the eighteenth century the European coast remained an open target for Muslim depredation. Indeed, as we were reminded on the 11th of September, 2001, the spirit of Islamic raid and conquest is far from quelled today.

It was only over time that the magnitude of the victory of Lepanto came plainly into historical view, as the most consequential naval engagement since the Battle of Actium — fought at nearly the same location, in 31 BC. In each, West prevailed against East, and had it not been so, the history of Europe would be much different. ” (the rest is here).

*****

And another important article from 2014? I think can be found here. This one is a rather long read, but well worth it for anyone interested is real history instead of the dumbed down PC fantasy taught today as “Social”.  In this article, author Michael Novak  writes thus: “For those who know little history, today’s (newsworthy) battle(s) with the Islamic State in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not.” Our news for the last 20 years isn’t news … this is not some victimized “Religion of Peace” as portrayed in our PC MSM. These events have a history of more than 1,300 years.

“In a.d.  622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms.  Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain.  All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople.”

What we are seeing in the last 20 years has a history — a very bloody, terror-ridden history.  Except that today the struggle is far, far more secular than religious — a war over political institutions and systems of law, with almost no public argument over religious doctrine. The MSM blathering about the “Religion of Peace” shines a bright light on the absolute moral bankruptcy of the PC left everywhere. “Je suis Charlie”, right?

We much to be thankful for, so many events, big and small, so many minor and major miracles every day. Consider the miracle of just waking up after 8 hours of good sleep, wow!  So many people didn’t experience this miracle, so many people didn’t wake up at all, so many people went to their final judgement unshriven and unwittingly desperate, having ignored all the signs and messages all their lives.

Pray for the souls of the dead … “Eternal Rest grant onto them O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen” Pray for the souls of the living … “Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ save us, and the whole world”.

It seems that whenever mankind has things good, the first thing mankind does is thumb the nose at God or some flip Him the bird, God doesn’t exist, God doesn’t care, I don’t know about God but I am definitely gonna worry about me first and have fun right now.  4000 unbroken years of “Things are great, God doesn’t matter!  WHOOAAAH! Things are BAD!  “You and me Lord, You and me!”

Prosperity, Peace, Babylon, Prosperity, Peace, Persia, Prosperity, Peace, Rome, Prosperity, Peace, Islam, Prosperity, Peace, Nationalism, Prosperity, Peace, Communism, then came the 20th century and WWI, WWII, and WWIII, now the 21st, … are things looking better or worse than last century?

Does anyone notice a pattern here? Where do we feel that we are on the Prosperity, Peace, Disaster, Downfall cycle? We can look at what is actually going on around us and, in spite of what our leaders and the elite of the intelligentsia tell us, do things seem OK to you?

Now maybe I am just depressed by a bad economy and a front street under construction … maybe. I don’t know how others feel but it doesn’t look to me like the last 4000 years of history are on our side.

More on “The End” in the next post …

Cheers

Joe

4 year forecast: More Stormy Weather Ahead …

 

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Life in a small town

We are at War … in the Amazon?

We are at war … we “humanity” are at war. It is a “Civil War” of global proportions.

It’s Sunday morning, 27th Sunday of “Ordinary Time”.  Beware, the Arians are coming, (what exactly ARE we calling them these days?) dressed in rainbow robes and bringing a gospel of relativism and modernism. Be afraid, be very afraid, common knowledge would have us accept that the Son of God is not divine, not a Trinity at all, but simply part of a new Band …”Grandpa God and The Good Guys”

Civil War Field Hospital

Maybe a free concert at the Amazonian Synod, why not, have to entertain the peasants lest they be distracted and notice that we are tearing down the cathedral around them. Gotta keep all eyes on the stage. Is sarcasm or satire a sin?

Whether we know it or not, we are enveloped in a war of the most significant proportions. This is much more than a war of political ideologies, much more than a war over “real estate”, and certainly much more than a war over resources, or assets, or social policy.

These are all just different “fronts”, different “theaters” in this global war for dominance over the souls of humanity.

This is the ongoing battle between Good and evil. We often do not see it this way, but every thought, every word, every deed affects all of us – enlisted or not – because we are all enlisted in this supernatural civil war. There is no neutral ground.

This world, all of it, is the enemy’s kingdom. We are fighting a civil war, a civil war in which we are the Resistance, we are the “Freedom fighters”, the Guerilla Fighters, the Maquis, the Ghetto Fighters in this modern ghetto we call “Christianity”.

And the enemy is bringing all his power to bear on this pathetic ghetto to crush it absolutely. But the good news is that our warrior king has landed, with his pathfinders and “air support”.

We are in the midst of a universal “D day”. We are hanging on and awaiting the return of the King to this rebel province, in the nativity, life, crucifixion, resurrection and Real Presence, body, blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ to lead us, guide us, comfort us and heal us.

11And I saw heaven opened: and behold a white horse. And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true: and with justice doth he judge and fight. 12And his eyes were as a flame of fire: and on his head were many diadems. And he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself. 13And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD.

14And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev. 19:11-16)

Dakota & Paratroops training at Ft. Benning

The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation are our MRE’s and our MASH unit. The biggest wounds we experience are fear, despair, depression, misery, feeling unworthy, and failure to trust Jesus.

These wounds are inflicted in the 5th column propaganda war waged by this world, by which the prince of this world, the ultimate rebel, seeks to divide us and lead us to desert to his side in this eternal war, to embrace self worship and the treasures of this world.

In our Church, the Holy Eucharist is considered the sacrament of sacraments. It’s the one at the center of our faith. And yet, it’s also so mysterious and miraculous that many of us – at one time or another – may have inadvertently taken it for granted. But it remains the most important nourishment we ever get.

In John 6:51, 54, 56, Jesus said “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him.”  From this we are renewed daily and draw strength to continue the battle.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Jesus “gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.”

The sacrament of Reconciliation is how we are healed of our wounds and is a fundamental part of the Church’s life and mission. Christ’s victory over sin is a realty in the life of the Church and the world. It is important to realize that the Sacrament of Forgiveness and Reconciliation is the power of Christ’s redeeming blood made effective in our personal lives.

In most of the world the Sacrament of Reconciliation is largely neglected. This is because of the great decline in the moral and religious conscience of our society. The neglect is rooted in our failure to take seriously our lack of love and justice and God’s offer of reconciling mercy.

John Martin – Le Pandemonium – in the Louvre Museum

We are unwilling to accept maturely and responsibility the consequences of the objective truths of our faith, and the responsibility for the results of our actions and lack of actions, our thoughts words and deeds in our daily lives.

Christ’s forgiveness is offered to each individual by means of sacramental absolution given by his ministers of penance. The administration of this sacrament is the primary duty and requirement of His ministers of penance and there is no substitute for this means of Grace which Christ Himself has placed in our hands.

The Good Shepherd lays down his life to protect his sheep. And, from John 6:32 “My Father gives you the true bread from heaven“.  Jesus tries to teach us that we set our sights too low, that we have blinders on.  He has so much more in store for us than ordinary bread, the bread of this world with no past and no future.  The link below to Randall Smith’s article on “Limits” will put you into an excellent article about where we are today in this civil war in which we are engaged. It’s worth every second it takes to read it.

“Remi Brague, French Catholic philosopher and winner of the prestigious Ratzinger Prize, in a lecture at the University of St. Thomas,  suggested that the “secular” are those whose lives are defined by a horizon of a hundred years. “That is simply what the word ‘secular’ means,” he declared.

Rémi Brague at the University of St. Thomas, Houston

In this simple statement we see the difference between a “secular” view of the world as opposed to one whose vantage point is “eternity”. “1940 – Christianity is finished. Communism is the future”.  “The march of progress – think of the good we might gain from killing this embryo.” 

“Witness our current fancy for relativising  and destroying human dignity – the disposable asset called Man”.  “A never ending frenetic pursuit of a theoretical utopia, or never ending despair, cynicism and nihilism when the latest utopia proves illusory”.

The next big thing, the next big catastrophe. On our side we are fighting for eternity and our King and Saviour. The enemy has an event horizon delimited by the next cup of coffee, the next News cycle, the next paycheck, or whatever the current goal du jour might be.

From a genuine  historical point of view, current, secular, cultural accomplishments disappear almost over night. We look around and they are gone. Liberal socialism, a decaying leper. Liberal Democracy, reality programming for dummies, who will we vote off the island now.  Communism, dead as a door-nail and taking millions with it. Atheism, screaming loudly as it swirls towards the drain.

Global Warming, nuf said. Social medicine, unsustainable. Fossil fuels, killing the planet. Social Assistance and food stamps, slavery for life. “Public Education”, dumb down, dumb down, dumb down into daycare for post natal infants. Social Credit, gone. Whigs & Tories, unrecognizable.

WWII – why?  Hitler, gone. Stalin, gone. Pol Pot, gone. Mao, gone. The dirty 30’s, the roaring 20’s, WWI, the Great War – what was so great?  The sun never sets on the British Empire, Long live the Queen. Hearts of Oak, Rule Britannia. Hapsburgs, The Third Republic, the second republic, La Republic, Liberte Egalite Fraternite, gone, all gone. The Holy Roman Empire, the original Roman Empire.

All gone, pick your 100 years,  whatever you thought was the current great is like this morning’s snow, starting out hushed and pristine white and degenerating into a sloppy muddy mess requiring cleanup. and all the souls who chased these wisps are lost.

So through it all, if you take the long view, the eternal view, what we see is a continuous battle of good against no good, of God against no god.  All the rest is sound and fury, lipstick on a pig, and without the long view we are trapped in the sound and fury, putting our lipstick on, getting ready for the next dance.

So which side do you choose?  God or no god?  That is really the only choice. Choose wisely for the sake of eternity.

Dominus Vobiscum

Joe

Son rise ...

Son Rise

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Life in a small town

The Real Presence of our Lord and Redeemer in this world … the Arian Crisis rises again.

the Arian crisisI have come to the conclusion that “The Real Presence” is an article of Faith, not to be proved, because I lack the intellectual horsepower to come up with any “Proof” which would satisfy the demands of Progressive Modernism and it’s followers. It is a mystery. So I am not going to try to prove it. It is really quite simple and enormous at the same time. We either believe what Jesus taught us, … all of it, … or we don’t, and that pretty  much sums up one’s entire vision of reality and the direction of our lives.

This has been The – Prime – Question, the most important choice any human ever makes,  as long as there have been human beings made in the image and likeness of GOD living on the planet. We either choose to believe and trust GOD, or we choose not to and go looking for our own answers, and those answers have given us the world we live in and experience every day, and how has that turned out so far?

I have touched on the idea of the Real Presence lightly in some previous posts, in the context of the behaviour of nominal Catholics when in the Presence and in church in general, this is the problem of “Smorgasbord Catholics”. I have also touched on it in the context of Apostasy, in that the belief in the Real Presence is a cardinal tenet of the Catholic faith.  I suppose that looking at our current religious reality through the lens of Apostasy easily leads one to the view that there are few “Catholics” left in the West, and perhaps only slightly more “Christians”.

So what is Apostasy? Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of tenets of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. Apostasy has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, the beliefs of Christianity, sometimes excused as “going with the flow” and “not rocking the boat”.

For current examples of apostasy we need look no further than our local parish and ask the question about how folks “feel” about the Real Presence of Christ, Body Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. Another example would be the belief in the need for a regular approach (monthly?) to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for forgiveness of sins lest we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while being not in a state of grace occasioned by not having attended confession and therefore having mortal sins on our soul.

So, first, to believe in the Real Presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and secondly, to eat and drink this Body and Blood worthily, that is without sin upon you and in a state of grace. 1 Corinthians 23-32 is in every bible of every Christian denomination. Christian Truth is either all true, or none of it is for any sect. It is either all true, or is just another long running con game practiced by various gangs throughout history.

If that vision of Christianity is the actual truth then the World’s claim that Christianity is evil is true … it is all just “relative” … “I’m OK, your OK” and whatever you feel is good is good as long as it is what you want. And we are just as evil as the world. Many of us who have made a commitment to follow Christ and have drunk deeply from his redemptive hand have trouble receiving all the goodness of God because we always know who we still really are.

So, this is where my head is right now, I am thinking about just what is it that makes us “Catholic”, or not? And I am going to restate some truths, some cultural truths, or precepts that are at least 4 millennia old in the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely my Worldview, which from where I sit seems to be a view which make sense of ALL the events in our world, leaving none to be fixed at the expense of other people.

While some of these personal tenets of belief seem modern, this Tradition is as old as any on earth. These truths are the basic Judeo-Christian precepts related to reality and the existence and operations of evil in the world that Jesus and the early Hebrews, prophets and so on, going back all the way to Abraham, taught:

  • We are all living in a fallen world (nature and humanity are in a fallen state).
  • Evil began when Satan, originally an angel who was created by God for good, wanted to take God’s place (the very thing with which he tempted Eve—“you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5).
  • Satan is God’s enemy but not equal to God.
  • Satan took one-third of the angels with him in his rebellion. There are not two equal forces in the universe, but rather a King, and a rebel … this is a civil war, not a battle between equals. Where we find ourselves is living in that part of the universe controlled by the rebels and their followers, “the world”.
  • We are involved in a spiritual war between Good and evil—a war not for or against people but against the spiritual powers that humans choose to serve for Good or ill.
  • We are always serving one or the other—good or evil;  nothing is static and there is no neutral demilitarized zone.
  • Unable to affect God, Satan seeks to recruit and infect human beings, whom God loves, by using humankind with their weak free will for his rebellion.
  • Humans are made in God’s image and are special to God. The demons, the rebels, prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls and prey upon souls through their desires and appetites.
  • Though designed to be good, humans are given free will, which allows the possibility that human beings will choose, of their own free will, to do evil.
  • The laws by which all of creation was made prevail, both physical laws and human ones, and breaking them incurs consequences. Bad choices have bad results and “your sins have kept good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25).
  • Nature also groans and is affected by evil in part due to the sins of man.
  • There is far more good than evil in the world and far more chance that we will live today rather than die. This tends to obscure the consequences of bad choices.
  • God works so that evil tends to destroy itself—falling into the pit it digs for others.
  • Evil is irrational. Evil “rationalizes” evil conduct in the interest of self love and concupiscence. In reality, it makes no more sense to be offended by Scriptural and Moral Truth than to be offended by gravity or the nuclear processes at work in the sun.
  • There are authorities (in heaven and on earth), and the moral condition of those authorities influences those under their authority.
  • There is an ultimate divine justice in eternity. We are not made for this world, our citizenship is in heaven for eternity unless we choose to reject and repudiate our citizenship through self love.

All of these precepts are covered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but are also drawn from history and the Judeo-Christian Tradition. There is a Divine Plan and we are a part of it, “wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.” (I think that last bit is the Apostle Paul the Evangelist)

*Image: Blind Leading the Blind by James B. Janknegt, 2016 [private collection]

The Real Presence is Truth. We, each and every one of us are faced with a choice. GOD doesn’t “send” anyone anywhere. We choose our path in life. The “easy way out” isn’t. Unless one doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ, unless our choice is to believe that Jesus Christ is the “son of God” only in the same way that we are all sons and daughters of God.

This would be a rebirth of the oldest heresy, the zombie heresy which keeps coming back from the dead century after century. That is the Arian heresy and looking at what is going on around us in the world and in the church these days it becomes a much more focused vision when looked at through the Arian lens. the blind leading the blind is bad enough but what about the blind leading the faithful who can see?

We, as a church and as a faith, have been in crisis many times in history. The examples are legion … but let us only look just now at the one prime example of a time of great error namely the Arian crisis. In a very real way the apostasy we are witnessing today has it’s roots in the Arian crisis … which has never really gone away … Real Presence or just a memorial to a good man?

I will get to that time of ERROR and CONFUSION in a moment but first  we need to clarify an often misunderstood but important term. “indefectible” is a term so misunderstood that it is often cited by non Catholic Christian sects as “proof” that the Catholic  church is guilty of telling whoppers and as proof that it is NOT the True church founded by Jesus Christ.  We cannot let the confusion of our present days distract us from the words of Jesus Christ Himself.  We have it on his authority that the Catholic Church is “indefectible”.

The “indefectibility” of the Church means that the hierarchy and the faithful, and thus, the sacramental and social life of the Church, will always remain intact somewhere. The indefectibility of the Roman Catholic Church is the church teaching that it will endure to the end of the world and never become corrupt in faith, authority, morals, or sacraments.

  • “In the process of testing such formulations, the Church has moved cautiously, but with confidence in the promise of Christ that it will persevere and be maintained in the truth (cf. Mt 16.18; Jn 16.13). This is what is meant by the indefectibility of the Church . . . “
  • “The apostolic tradition in the Church cannot undergo any essential corruption because of the permanent assistance of the Holy Spirit which guarantees its indefectibility.”
  • “This is the meaning of indefectibility, a term which does not speak of the Church’s lack of defects but confesses that, despite all its many weaknesses and failures, Christ is faithful to his promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [the Catholic Church].”
  • “By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will preserve unimpaired its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men. The gift of indefectibility is expressly promised to the Church by Christ, in the words in which He declares that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Some of the scriptural verses the Catholic Church uses to support “indefectibility” are:

  • Daniel 7:13-14, “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”
  • Matthew 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
  • Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  • Luke 1:33, “and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”
  • 1 Timothy 3:15, “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness.”

So our current smoke and turmoil is nothing new. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on this petty pace … I have to keep it ever before me … the Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia. As Hilaire Belloc famously said: “The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine—but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.” -Hilaire Belloc.

Oh me of little faith.  A prayer … O Jesus Christ, Son of the eternal Father, our Lord, true King of all things! “What didst Thou leave in the world for Thy descendants to inherit from Thee? What didst Thou ever have, my Lord, save trials, pains, and insults?” Indeed You had only a beam of wood to rest upon while drinking Your bitter cup of horror. Those of us, then, who desire to be Your true children, and not to renounce their inheritance, must never flee from suffering.

We know that “indefectibility” cannot mean everywhere, otherwise the fall of north Africa to the Moslems, or the schism of half of Europe during the Protestant revolt, would never have been possible. We know that it cannot be nowhere, as if the Church would disappear into an invisible ideal to be rediscovered later—as Protestants often believe happened to the Church from about 300 to 1500 AD.

The reason so many people are renewing their study of the Arian crisis is that there were indeed times during that terrible trial when very few bishops and priests were really Catholic, as compared with a vast number on the heretical side.

Quoted from Church Militant:  “In 2014, the outspoken prelate, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, remarked in an interview with Church Militant that the Catholic Church was in Her fourth great crisis. He identified the present crisis as “relativism reigning inside the Church,” exhibiting itself through “doctrinal, moral and tremendous liturgical anarchy.”

So many faithful Catholics are scandalized at the action and inaction of members of the Church’s hierarchy. It’s easy to say the Church weathered the storms of crisis before, and She will survive this one just as Her Spouse promised in the Gospel: “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”

There is, however, a confusion that has set upon the Mystical Body of Christ. In fact, confusion is one of the hallmarks of the Church’s various crises. The fourth century saw the rise of the pervasive heresy of Arianism — a vicious denial of Jesus Christ as God. Right now it seems common sense: “Of course Jesus is God! How could any Christian say otherwise?” But from the end of the apostolic age in the early second century and into the fourth century, it was a doctrine the Church enunciated to clear up the confusion of the time.

Athanasius made a famous quip about “You have the buildings, but we have the faith,” because most of the physical churches were in the hands of Arians or semi-Arians.”

So, it comes down to Faith … The Real Presence of our Lord and Redeemer in this world is a Truth which one either chooses to believe or chooses to disregard and the choice is made manifest in the realities of our daily lives and the society in which we find ourselves.

Cheers

Joe

The path less traveled …

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Politics and Economics

It’s a Mess … and silver linings … reprise from 2017 …

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Welcome to October in Alberta … 0 degrees and snowing off and on all day and the ripped up street in front of our building is still not paved and business appears to be down about 50% or so as a result. Optimism is in hiding and I am wearing my winter fur hat when I go for walks.

My favorite Naruto character is Shikamaru Nara (奈良シカマル, Nara Shikamaru) is a shinobi of Konohagakure’s Nara clan. Though lazy by nature, Shikamaru has a rare intellect that consistently allows him to prevail in combat. The responsibilities that these successes leave him with cause him frequent annoyance.

When faced with something like our situation here in our little town he might remark or exclaim “めんどくさい” (mendokusai)troublesome or bothersome. This is a very common exclamation when faced with the sort of situation we have been dealing with all summer and can be used whenever you don’t want to do something or deal with something. But be careful! If you use this phrase too much, you might find yourself becoming a lazy person! Another colloquial translation might be “What a drag!”

So whenever I start to get depressed about the state of our local economy and the morality of our Socialist Progressive governments (see post here) and the current chaos in our church I tend to take a step back and consider all the good things globally, that’s right, I see many good things globally — good for Canada and Alberta at least. I wrote this post originally back in June 2017, 15 months ago … seems like we are about there now with drone attacks and a shooting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia just a silly finger slip away, so lets get on with it, eh!.

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

On the right is a wonderful chart from one of the many newsletters I read …  as a proud resident of the only province in Canada with a future (in spite of looking grim right now) I see reason for hope on the horizon. Alberta’s future is intimately tied to energy and the production and export of energy resources.

To say that the Middle East is a powder keg just waiting for a spark is actually an understatement of the reality on the ground, at least as far as I can determine reading all the international news feeds, newsletters and blogs.

Now God forbid that we should pray for a major melt down in the Arabian peninsula but any way you paint a situation where our mortal enemies and OUR major competitor in global oil markets destroy themselves without our intervention is just plain good news for western Christian oil producing nations (there’s just got to be a sin in there somewhere). And Canada is close to the head of the pack when it comes to production and proven reserves amongst nominally Christian oil producing nations.

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

One can safely assume that literally anyone trying to pretend that things there will be OK and we don’t need energy independence is taking the same drugs as the Main Stream Media and the “Trump Hate” crowd.

A determined terrorist campaign in Saudi Arabia would (hopefully) completely revise the global economy. Do you think that world oil production just might be impacted by a full scale war in a more chaotic Arabian peninsula?

Do you suppose that such an event wouldn’t be great news for North American oil and coal producers? Do you think passing laws against coal and oil consumption makes the resource mysteriously disappear? Seriously folks, “Stupid is as stupid does”, and a firm belief in a fantasy  no more alters reality than writing “Darkness!” on the wall of your padded cell extinguishes the Sun.

“Alberta”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Self Portrait”, (June 1970)

While the Progressives crow about our coreligionists lack of proof of God and the foundations for our religious beliefs, they never think to question the complete absence of any evidence for their own beliefs or, for that matter, for any intelligent consideration of the impacts of their own religious beliefs on the populations over which they claim to rule. C.S. Lewis’s mandarins of N.I.C.E. in his book “That Hideous Strength”  haven’t got a patch on the modern crop of mandarins in the halls of power in our fair land.

Current reality places Canada (Alberta) as the 7th largest oil producer in the world, but three of the highest producers ahead of us on the list are Muslim nations who are prominently center stage in the chaos of the Arabian peninsula. In fact it is not unreasonable to attribute all the chaos in the geopolitical environment found today in the Arabian peninsula and much of the rest of the world to the internecine rivalry between these three Muslim nations.

Countries by Oil Production

Countries by Oil Production – CIA factbook 2013

Any significant change in the geopolitics of the Middle East could catapult Canada (Alberta) to 4th place in the production charts at 3.6 million barrels a day after Russia, U.S.A. and China.

This in spite of the willful stupidity of her government(s). Even the NDP are essentially powerless to screw up the global economy, and I am optimistic that they will not be able to permanently damage the most productive Province in Canada.

An even more important part of the picture is the proven reserves picture. Another slice of reality is that Canada (Alberta) is currently in 3rd place  after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in proven reserves. In a world economy suddenly deprived of access to half of global energy resources “Who Ya gonna Call?” If you are looking for stable sources for your energy supplies do you pick a nation where violence and corruption are the rule of the day, or do you pick the nation where peaceful rule of law prevails? And the added benefit would be de-funding the Middle East by not buying their oil would put a huge damper on terrorism everywhere

Why in the hell doesn’t the U.S.A. invoke some sort of “Strategic Priority” to drive out Boy Justin and his merry band of deviants and annex Alberta to “secure their strategic energy reserves” and prevent China from grabbing the prize by buying Canadian oil companies like Husky Oil. The bureaucrats certainly wouldn’t care who was paying their fat salaries and Justin may be the big man on Facebook but he is small potatoes on the international stage. The Canadian military would probably opt to “remain in garrison” until the whole evolution was over since they would likely find a lot more appreciation from Washington going forward than they have ever gotten from Ottawa in all of Canadian history.

Now a little corruption goes a long way to grease the wheels of governance and Canada has fallen a long way from the 50’s when we had the international reputation as the most honest bureaucracy on the planet. I suspect only the slightest nudges would be necessary to move our political masters in the appropriate direction. After all, our current governments are full fledged players in the “Pay to Play” schemes historically developed in other world capitals.

Oil Producing Countries

By Ekrub-ntyh at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1914119

It may come as a shock to some but we have enough energy reserves right here in Alberta alone, including all sources, to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 hundred years at least. You read that right, enough energy to fuel current and projected demand in all of North America for the next 4 to 5 centuries.

Back in the late 70’s early 80’s I worked as a contract administrator for a company called JOY Manufacturing. Among other things we produced electrostatic precipitators and bag filter systems for heavy industries like steel mills, foundries, paper mills and especially for coal fired electrical generation plants.

For at least 40 years now we have had the technology to clean emissions from coal to at least approximately the levels produced by natural gas. These systems are currently in use all over the world. The only thing preventing their adoption here is religion and politics.  Canada also developed and produces the safest nuclear reactors on the planet and a large chunk of the fuel for those reactors  and Alberta is prime stable real estate for a huge nuclear energy park … no floods, no earthquakes, large empty tracts of land far from population centers and  safe reactors … what’s not to love about that picture.

But using that clean energy technology flies in the face of the religious position of the Socialist Progressive ninnies and nannies in our governments. It’s just A-OK with them to impose their version of the “final solution” to eliminate inconvenient babies and seniors but Gaia forbid we should use clean coal technology to give every one cheap electricity.

The only thing standing in the way of Alberta having a global impact in oil production is weak prices and government policy, especially government policy. The Venezuelan government did a pretty good job of destroying the rosy future for it’s people and Alberta’s government under the NDP was trying hard to go down the the same path. Fortunately, Alberta voters returned to their historic senses and wiped out the NDP in a blue tsunami last election.

Given the current state of “Rule of Law” in Canada I think we are a long way from following the Venezuela model. Notwithstanding the rule of law there are still legions of zombie voters in Canada who could conceivably keep the Liberals in power for at least 1 more election if only through a coalition with the Greens or the NDP.

Our silly “first past the post” electoral system practically guarantees that the various self centered right of centre splinter parties without a hope in hell of winning any seats will still fracture the conservative vote and return the Liberals to power yet again with only 30% or so of the national vote. O right! … that was set up by the Liberals … right, maybe they ARE the smartest guys in the room. We will no doubt see that play out since we are not considering moving away just yet.

So the point of this polemic is that there are actually lots of reasons for optimism despite current conditions in the neighbourhood.

Cheers

Joe

cooling stacks steam plantSo we can pay $100.00 per month for electricity using steam , or $1200.00 per month for electricity using wind and solar.  Seems like a no-brainer to me. So come on voters, we’ve had our Friday night stupidity binge, let’s change the landscape of Canadian politics and turf the Progressive leftist parasites out.

 

 

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Life in a small town

Truth is stranger than fiction – and why the Pope is not Catholic even though bears still dump in the forest …

Today I have had the great good fortune to rediscover Peter Kwasniewski, at LifeSite News. I visited LifeSite today to read an article on how the late and unlamented NDP government’s jackboot LGBT agenda was being rolled back somewhat in Alberta.

Apparently Jason Kenny, our new Alberta Conservative Premier of the UCP Alberta party has “repealed” the previous NDP government’s draconian LGBTQ indoctrination policies in all Alberta schools (and here you thought California was bad?).

Balrog500ppxIn Canada, “Glorious and Free”, in a previous life (with the DOJ and a very large RHA), I learned by practice how the secular progressive authorities now hide behind “Framework Legislation” and “Guidelines” where all the teeth are hidden in the 1000’s of pages of bureaucratic “regulations” and “notwithstandings” and carefully crafted “loopholes”.

It requires energy and some modicum of intelligence to drill down to the foundational intent of modern legislation and regulations. Most folks (understandably) don’t have the resources to ride herd on our Mandarins and have to “trust” that government bureaucrats truly have the public’s best interests at heart.

But … anything that was voted into existence by elected representatives can be made to perform any function or even the exact opposite function of that envisioned by those who voted for it, and all without minutes or records to provide an evidentiary trail. Tragically it is an established truth today that most folks have more trust in government than they have in God.

What you are about to read, if you are at all interested in the clear evidence of Progressive totalitarianism in action in Canada, will be shocking … shocking, not that Bill 24 is being repealed, but rather that it was ever passed and implemented in the first place. I wrote about it first back on March 27th 2016 and the post is here.

At the time I wrote about it back in 2016 I incurred the vituperative wrath of liberal “friends” and family members, another incidence of being labelled a “knuckle dragging neanderthal red neck” and a “Nazi homophobe”. Sigh … by their works shall you know them. Anyway, here is a bit from that first “Jason Kenny, UCP” article found in full here:

*****

“Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Think back to the year 2000, or even 2010, and imagine someone telling you this: “The law requires every school to set up a Gay Straight Alliance for K–12 children. No exemption for religious belief or parental opposition.

NDP Alberta Education Minister David Eggen

The law makes it illegal for teachers and principals to inform parents about the contents (sexual, ideological or otherwise) of what will be presented to their children at GSA meetings and GSA activities, and about which person or organization will be presenting such materials.

Further, the law makes it illegal for teachers and principals to inform parents about their own child’s involvement in a GSA or GSA-related activity.”

“The government’s official GSA website, directed at K–12 children, has links to vile and graphic pornography. GSA activism in schools is carried out by individuals and organizations that promote a progressive perspective on sexuality that is hostile to what most religions teach about sexual morality, gender and marriage. If the school principal refuses to set up a GSA, the Education Minister can appoint an LGBTQ activist to set up and run the club.”

The law makes it illegal for teachers and principals to inform parents about the contents (sexual, ideological or otherwise) of what will be presented to their children at GSA meetings and GSA activities, and about which person or organization will be presenting such materials.”

When poisons become fashionable they do not cease to killHad you warned people about the above scenario in 2000 (or even 2010) you would have been accused of paranoia and fear-mongering. Yet this situation defines the reality of education in Alberta, thanks to laws passed by Progressive Conservatives (Bill 10, 2015) and the NDP (Bill 24, 2017).

Fortunately, after a successful court challenge by Lawyer John Carpay (president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca), which represented parents and schools in their successful challenge to Alberta’s Bill 24. the new United Conservative Party (UCP) government has now repealed Bill 24, the 2017 law which kept parents in the dark about their own children.

*****

Sadly, the UCP government has not yet agreed to repeal or amend Bill 10, the 2015 law which requires schools to establish, host and facilitate ideological clubs whose message is hostile to what religious schools teach about gender, marriage and sexual morality.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” hovers in my mind when I am tempted to make common cause with my Islamic brothers in dealing with the deviance and perversion which we Canadians are expected to accept without demur in the name of politically correct “tolerance”. Yes, “Tolerance”, that one way street of liberal magnanimity, tolerance which is never extended to any view which strays off the reservation of modern progressive PC perversion. I guess that makes me “Intolerant”, as well as a knuckledragger and a homophobic Nazi. Sigh …

Jason Kenny, 2019

Apparently, Premier Jason Kenney believes (with his predecessors) that children who are too immature to vote, join the military, consume alcohol or even smoke a cigarette should have the legal authority to set up any school club of the child’s own choosing, even if parents, teachers and principals disagree with the club’s purpose. I expect the court challenge will continue until Bill 10 is repealed.

We are blessed to live in a country where we can still mount court challenges to overturn egregiously evil legislation instead of having to resort to IEDs and RPGs. However some folks are keeping their options open in hopes that Jason will make good on his pre-election promises to reverse the NDP’s environmental position and the currently still active anti-energy stance of the new Alberta Government. Money is always more important than Faith, right?

We will know whose side Jason and the UCPA are really on if and when the coal fired electrical plants and the mines feeding them are re-opened and we stop importing coal generated electricity from Montana at much higher prices than we were generating it ourselves with our 5 environmentally destructive coal fired generating stations.

But even more important than the educational outrage which I wrote about back in 2016 is the good fortune to rediscover Peter Kwasniewski. Peter Kwasniewski holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America.

Peter Kwasniewski

After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria and for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austrian Program, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming, where he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and directed the choir and schola.

He is now a full-time author, speaker, editor, publisher, and composer.

Anyway, his two articles, his blog posts, are here and here. Both are well worth the read, especially in view of the upcoming (and much anticipated in some circles), atrocity called the “Amazon Synod”.

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From the Blog Post by Peter Kwasniewski: “God, being infinite, has so much to give that He must carve out the space for Himself in our souls through mighty trials and tribulations. It’s no game, but the very essence of a love that will not and cannot compromise, that refuses to share space with any unworthy love. I say this regarding the interior life of each Catholic, and each believer’s vocation to witness to the truth, which is the essence of martyrdom.

But there is also a benefit to the Church at large whenever God permits trials of this magnitude, namely, that the truth of her traditional teaching will shine all the more brightly when its enemies have been confounded. Our understanding of the papacy, its inseparable link with tradition, and the outer limits of its deviation will be deepened; our faith will be purified of the extremes of hyperpapalism and sedevacantism.

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Mayor Naheed Nenshi, of Calgary, Alberta.

And, last but not least, quoting from an article in the Calgary Herald by the Mayor of Calgary concerning the latest totalitarian outburst by the government of Quebec. But totalitarian legislation is nothing new in Canada.  Mayor Nenshi is quite right to be critical of this legislation but perhaps he is not old enough to remember when the same province of Quebec under Jean Lesage in his “Quiet Revolution” legislated that no young person could graduate high school or be hired to any government position unless they spoke French … English need not apply … and of course any of the French persuasion didn’t have a reciprocal obligation to speak English. Anyway …

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… Which brings us to Bill 21 in Quebec. We now have a law in this country (Canada), in 2019, that restricts what job you can have based on your faith. Exactly the opposite of what I believed growing up. There are those who say that this is about religious neutrality. Make no mistake. It is not. This is a law that targets three groups of people: Muslim women who cover their heads, baptized Sikhs and Jewish men who wear a yarmulke.

No other sizable religious groups in the province have to wear anything as part of their religious faith. Those who wear modest dress can simply claim it is their personal style, not a religious garment. Those who have long beards can claim they are simply hipsters. A small cross can be worn under the shirt; a turban cannot.

What this ban says is that people of certain faiths, and only these faiths, can’t be trusted to do their jobs. It tells schools and municipalities that they can’t hire the best people. It says that kids in public schools can’t be exposed to people different than them.

*****

Yes indeed, the Prince of this World is alive and very active in our glorious and free Canada.  I hope you enjoy these reads, leads and ideas as much as I did.

Cheers

Joe

reaching for heaven

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Michaelmas … The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

Malcolm Guite,

Malcolm Guite,

Ice on the puddles in the mornings now. At least we are not experiencing the Montana and Southern Alberta foothills blast of winter we are seeing on various social media. This is an edited re-post of a previous post from last year September 29th 2018, and the Feast has arrived again, as all good things do. Today is Sunday, September 29th 2019, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

As previously mentioned, I have come across some interesting books of poetry while browsing my Amazon account like I used to do as a young man in my favorite used book stores in Montreal and Ottawa, long before the days of personal computers, the internet, and online anything. Remember the 60’s?  HA!  gotcha.

In this enlightened age, following the suggestions of the algorithm of choice on Amazon, or Netflix, or any other marketing bot attempting to sell us stuff, can really end up in a deep ditch of habit unless considered and actively rejected. Amazon’s latest “recommended for you” is “Winter World, a new ice age changes everything”. A refreshing change from dystopian Sci-Fi monologues by global warming zombies  predicated upon an “apocalypse by CO2” who pretend that their “Science” fiction is based on fact.

It would seem, on consideration, that most media coverage of “climate change” is really just “Science” fiction with an agenda, like George Soros’ rise to global domination in the fortress of F.U.D. It is sometimes surprising when one discovers that a Hungarian Billionaire is one of the major funders of Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Liberal Party, the Natural Governing Party, as they style themselves.

Predicting a coalition of Greens, NDP, and Liberals to maintain control of Ottawa and the direction that Canada goes for at least another 4 years. Sigh … open guess if we will survive as a business to see the next federal election after this one. Of course Trump prevailed against all the media and pundit predictions so maybe we will get lucky up here as well, not that I am a great fan of Trump but I would hold my nose and vote for him given the abysmal quality and morality of virtually every other contender from every party. There are probably not even a half dozen Secular Progressives in any party in any Capital that shouldn’t be imprisoned or perhaps terminated for “Crimes Against Humanity”. That’s not a very charitable point of view, is it? What would Jesus say?

Anyway, the Feast of Michaelmas, and how sometimes it pays to actually go on a quest for something different than normal, thinking for oneself can be refreshing … found this poet … Malcolm Guite, interesting man … and very worthwhile considering on our cool fall days. As Ned Stark remarked: “Winter is coming”.

St. Michael, Archangel

St. Michael, Archangel

Popularly knows as Michaelmas; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a minor Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September.

It is observed by Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox communions. From my Daily Roman Missal:

St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel, Archangel

“St. Michael (“Who is like God”) is the Archangel who fought Satan.  He is the protector of all people and reminds the faithful of the real existence of the Devil and demonic activity. He is invoked for protection from the snares of the Devil.

St. Gabriel (“Strength of God”) announced to St. Zechariah the birth of St. John the Baptist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary the birth of Christ. His greeting to Our Lady, “Hail, full of grace,” is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Church.

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael (“Medicine of God”) is the Archangel who, in the Book of Tobit, cared for Tobias on his journey. Every person on his or her pilgrimage through this life also has a guardian angel.”

In some denominations a reference to a fourth angel, usually Uriel, is also added. In Christian angelology, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Satan in the war in heaven.

He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.

Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes, as well, particularly in Britain and Ireland as one of the quarter days.

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St. Michael and All Angels

Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,
And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.

He strips dead leaves, and leaves the living clear
To flourish in the touch and reach of light.

Archangel bring your balance, help me turn
Upon this turning world with you and dance
In the Great Dance.

Draw near, help me discern,
And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.

Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,
Drive through the deep until the steep waves part;

Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence
And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.

Unchain the child you find there, break the spell
And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.

Malcolm Guite, This poem from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com,

*****

Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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Life in a small town

Patience … All Is Gratuitous Gift …

This has been a summer full of frustration, fear, uncertainty and doubt, a summer of discontent. Future prospects are obscured in a cloudy haze of local and international political and economic issues. Locally, business has been terrible because of local construction which has severely restricted access to my business premises. This summer we are down 50% in sales. Contrary to the phone company advertising, the future is decidedly not friendly.

And so I am trying hard to work on exercising patience, every day, with all the little trials, annoyances, inconveniences and disappointments which we all experience every day, and in keeping in mind that “All Is Gratuitous Gift” … I am just going to quote from Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “The Mystical City of Godfor the rest of this post.  Written by Venerable María de Jesus de Agreda, a 17th century Spanish nun, after years of private revelations from God the Father and Most Holy Mary, Mística Ciudad de Dios (The Mystical City of God) is a marvelous and life-changing narrative of most wonderful and hidden mysteries about the life of Most Holy Mary and her Son Jesus Our Lord that has been enthralling readers for centuries.

Composed of the Conception, Incarnation, Transfixion and Coronation, this magnificent narrative takes the reader through the various stages of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, plus it reveals all sorts of facts about our entire salvation history. Pope Innocent XI and Pope Alexander VIII in 1690 expressly declared that the City of God may be read by all the faithful. Pope Clement XI and Benedict XIV gave like decisions. Here then is the quote for my trials this summer and beyond:

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Mystical City Of God,

“In all the difficulties, … I never lost sight of one consideration, which I desire thee always to keep in mind. It is this: that thou ponder in thy heart and in thy soul the truths, which I saw, so that thou mayest form a correct judgment of all things, giving to each that esteem and value which is its due. In regard to this the children of Adam are ordinarily full of error and blindness, but I desire that thou, my daughter, share it not with them.

357. As soon as I was born into the world and made aware of the light, which shone upon me, I felt the effects of the elements, the influence of the planets and of the stars, of the earth which sustained me, of the nourishments which preserved me, and of all the other things of this life.

I gave thanks to the Author of all things, acknowledging his works as benefits freely bestowed upon me, and not as dues, which He owed to me. Therefore, when anything was wanting of the necessaries of life I remained in peace and contentedness and deemed it all perfectly reasonable and proper in my regard, since I had merited none of the gifts and could justly be deprived of all of them.

Hence, if I acknowledged this, thereby merely asserting a truth which the human reason cannot ignore nor deny, where have mortals their intellect, or what use do they make of their understanding when, at the refusal of things which they desire and of which perhaps they do not even profit, they begin to get sad and lash themselves into fury one against the other, and even against their God, as if they were suffering some injury at his hands?

Let them inquire what treasures and riches they did possess before they came into life? What services had they rendered unto God in order to merit them? And if out of nothing there cannot arise anything, and if they could not merit the being which they have received, what obligation is there on the part of God to preserve out of justice, what was given to them entirely gratuitously?

That God created man was of no benefit to Himself; but to man it was a benefit, and one as great as the being given to him, and as high as the object for which it was given. And if in his creation man becomes indebted so much that he never can pay his debt, tell me what right can he invoke at present for his preservation? Has he not received his being without merit and many times forfeited it? How can he claim the guarantee and pledge of unfailing plenty?

358. If the first transaction and operation was a mortgage and a debt by which man binds himself, how can he with such impatience demand favors? And if in spite of all this, the supreme goodness of the Creator furnishes him graciously with what is necessary, why should he be agitated by the want of superfluities. O my daughter, what an execrable disorder and what a despicable blindness of mortals is this?

For that, which the Lord gives them gratuitously, they do not thank Him, or even give Him acknowledgment, and for that which He denies them justly and sometimes most mercifully, they are restless and proudly desirous, and they try to procure it by unjust and forbidden means, throwing themselves into the very destruction which flies from them.

The first sin alone, committed by man, was sufficient to cancel man’s right to the friendly service of all the other creatures; and if the Lord himself would not restrain them, they would turn in vengeance upon man and refuse to render any service or help for sustaining his life. The heavens would deny them their light and benign influences, the fire would refuse its heat, the air would cease to serve for respiration, and all the other things would in their particular way refuse their services, since they would in justice be bound to refuse them.

Then when the earth would deny its fruits, and the elements their moderation and their assistance, and all the other creatures would arm themselves to avenge the wrongs of their Creator (Sap. S, 18), perhaps disgraced man would humiliate himself in his vileness and would not heap up the wrath of the Lord for the unerring day of accountance, when all his dreadful guilt will be exposed.

Recent picture of Venerable Mary of Agreda, (1602-1665) Incorruptible

359. But thou, my dear friend, fly from such base ingratitude, and humbly acknowledge that thou hast received thy being and life gratuitously, and that, gratuitously, its Author preserves it for thee. Freely dost thou receive all the other benefits, without any merit of thine; and thus, receiving much and repaying little, thou makest thyself daily less worthy of favors, while the liberality of the Most High grows continually with thy indebtedness.

Let this thought be uppermost in thee always, in order that it awaken and move thee to many acts of virtue. If any of the irrational creatures fail thee, I desire thee to rejoice in the Lord and give thanks to his Majesty, and bless them for their obedience to the Creator. If the rational creatures persecute thee, love them with all thy heart and regard them as the instruments of divine justice, which afford thee some opportunity of rendering satisfaction for thy deficiency.

Rather strengthen and console thyself in labors, adversities and tribulations, not only considering them as fully deserved by the faults committed, but deeming them ornaments of the soul and most rich jewels given thee by thy Spouse.”  (Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations . Veritatis Splendor Publications. [pp 356-359])

Cheers

Joe

Naked came I into the world and naked will I leave it. Thy Will be done, O Lord, Thy Will be done.

 

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Life in a small town

Real Christianity … True Teachings & Apostasy …

“2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties.

3 Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 5 and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.

9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses”  (1 Tm 6:2-12)

Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of tenets of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, the beliefs of Christianity. For current examples of apostasy we need look no further than our local parish and ask the question about how folks “feel” about the Real Presence of Christ, Body Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.

Another example would be the belief in the need for a regular approach (monthly?) to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for forgiveness of sins lest we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while being not in a state of grace occasioned by not having attended confession and therefore having mortal sins on our soul.

So, first, to believe in the Real Presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and secondly, to eat and drink this Body and Blood worthily, that is without sin upon you and in a state of grace. 1 Corinthians 23-32 is in every bible of every Christian denomination:

23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it , in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body. 30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep. 31 But if we discerned ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians: 23-32)

Presumably this is an important tenet of of all Christian belief … and yet, Christ Himself instituted the sacrament of Confession, and taught us that we needed to go to confession to be in a state of grace, to worthy to receive His Body and Blood …

19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20: 19-23)

This scriptural fact exists in all Christian Bibles and the validity of the sacraments is at the root of the importance of the Apostolic succession. These days, there is no such thing as confession, or most other sacraments, in most “Christian” denominations and even very few “Catholics” avail themselves on the sacrament even when it is available … in many places it is difficult for Catholics to get the sacrament because it has fallen out of favour with some clergy and is only available by special appointment.

Back in the 1800’s it was still considered important, an essential requirement of Christian belief, that a Christian church could trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing hierarchy, the “High Church” of whichever denomination. The Apostolic succession is required in order to have “valid” sacraments. No Apostolic succession therefore meant no valid sacraments.  The Oxford Movement began in the 1830’s and was championed by John Henry Cardinal Newman.

The Movement was begun by Anglican theologians who attempted to trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing Anglican High Church. The more they studied, the more the theologians realized that they were unable to do this. Their examination of the Anglican faith found that it lacked the full deposit of faith found only in the Catholic Church. some of these theologians, including Newman went on to follow the Truth and converted to the Catholic Faith.

The remainder who chose not to follow the evidence where it led were rewarded with worldly positions and honors and advancement in the “new” belief’s of the new “Non-Apostolic” churches. In other words, they became officers and practitioners of the new “State” religion and took their marching orders not from God and Rome but rather from whoever the “Head of State” happened to be at the time, rather like the way modern day Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia and others do it.

Very few modern “Christian” churches (only about 23 out of approximately 900 “Christian” churches ) can legitimately claim Apostolic succession and without it there are no licit sacraments available to their believers.  Now in 2019 we can clearly see 23 distinct and authentic manifestations of the Catholic Church comprising the Latin Church and the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches all in communion with an unbroken history from Christ himself.

Looking out from that 2000 year old core of belief we see from the 16th century on a huge scattering as each man who rejected “Truth” started his own personal version of “truth” and pursued his own dream. The current landscape of culture and morality is now littered with the wreckage of virtually all the original mainstream Protestant sects and at present we can count  902 new sects including over 200 non-trinitarian sects, all of whom claim to have the one truth, and which arise and vanish like the leaves of summer.

Can they all be unique purveyors of truth and light?  It does seem a stretch when considered in the bright light of day through the lens of history with the wreckage mounting all around us. Please visit:  here  for the latest count. This is all apostasy … through and through.

Christian Truth is either all true, or none of it is for any sect, it is either all true, or is just another long running con game practiced by various gangs throughout history and if that is the actual truth then the World’s claim that Christianity is evil is true … it is all just “relative” … “I’m OK, your OK” and whatever you feel is good is good as long as it is what you want. And we are just as evil as the world.

For a more cosmopolitan international flavor of Apostasy we have the current episcopal Summit, the Amazon Summit, where we are being told that we must take moral and spiritual instruction from the animist Amazon jungle tribes. This current “Amazon Summit,” is seeing all kinds of ecclesiastical enormities, being committed by amateur Rousseauians and Neo-Marxists in the pope’s “progressive” entourage., his holiness’s “delegation”. But then, we have seen “liberation theology” in action before and I am confident it will burn out again eventually.

Just in passing, the punishment for apostasy in the Catholic Church was, and perhaps still is, excommunication which is basically a formal Canon Law acknowledgement that the apostate is no longer a Catholic and no longer can partake of the sacraments nor can they legally present themselves as Catholic.  In our modern day, excommunication is no longer much in use as in many cases the apostates are actually senior members of the Curia and even the ones who would organize the excommunication process. It has become “unfashionable” and as David Warren recently mentioned: “quaint”.

The current commonality is that many people, perhaps even most people, who claim the name of “Catholic” are in reality smorgasbord Catholics who do not adhere to all the beliefs of the Catholic Church … only the ones they like or are comfortable with, the “nice” beliefs that don’t involve any real sacrifice, that don’t involve taking a stand against the deviant beliefs of our politically correct polite society. In other words they are “Apostate” Christians or maybe even non-Christian. These days in the “Christian” world being “excommunicated” carries about the same weight as being “unfriended” on Facebook.

In Islam, things are still taken quite seriously. This is one of the more admirable characteristics of Islam … Real Belief … In Islam the Penalty for Apostasy seems to indicate a more serious view. Maliki – allows up to ten days for recantation, after which the apostate must be killed. Both men and women apostates deserve the death penalty according to the traditional view of Sunni Maliki fiqh. The verses 33-34 of Surah al-Ma’ida of the Qur’an[Quran 5:33] specify punishment for “those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land”:[2]

“The punishments of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land are to execute them in an exemplary way or to crucify them or to amputate their hands and feet from opposite sides or to banish them from the land. Such is their disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom save those who repent before you overpower them; you should know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Ever Merciful.”

The verbal noun form (i.e. hirabah) is frequently used in classical and modern books of Islamic jurisprudence, but neither the word hirabah nor the root verb haraba occurs in the Quran.[3] (Yuhaaribun is the form used in Quran 5:33-4.)  Blasphemy (sabb-al-nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter, or his family is a crime in Iran, and a blasphemer would be found guilty of apostasy as well by default. Blasphemy is punishable by death or imprisonment. For all other hudud crimes, the fourth offense would be a capital offense (carrying the death penalty), unless the person repents. the Religion of Peace, indeed, for all will be peaceful when all believe.

If one looks closely at what might transpire in our society if “all believe” what Christ actually taught, then the “all will be peaceful when all believe” rings true as well. “Imagine” as world where there was no self love, no self interest, no “What’s in it for me”, where all people “Love one another as I have loved you”.

So what does “Real Christianity” look like? this is a question I have started to address here and here and am now going to continue on the same vein in future posts.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

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Life in a small town

Assumptions … authority can be wrong …

I have remarked in previous posts on the prevalence of politically correct fantasy over truth, over empirical reality … in these days we find ourselves living in a culture and society where keeping control is more important than truth, than reality. Over decades I have come to believe that a truth can always be proven, a truth can be defended, even against a vigorous attack. But a lie will not hold up to scrutiny.

Today, in the mainstream media, social media, state information organs and even in our churches we are witness to radical attempts on the part of many established authorities to vilify, demean and silence anyone, literally by any means possible, who dares to disagree with them. Anyone who is not advocating the current social narrative in lockstep with the talking heads and all the suits at the photo-ops is publicly ridiculed as (pick your favorite belittling and denigrating anathema, ban, curse, execration, malediction, malison, ).

Should you have the slightest doubt of the truth of this just take a cursory look at what passes for political, municipal, or even social dialogue as reported in all media in Canada and the good old U.S.A. today, eh? It’s a no brainer … anyone with even 1 neuron firing and 1 ounce of integrity would have to acknowledge the scarcity of polite consideration for the views of others or honest “good will” efforts to understand anyone who doesn’t agree with us.

So, continuing with my illustration of the gulf between what TROTKU (the rest of the known universe) spouts and believes about Christianity and what the Truth is, here is some more about bearing one another’s burdens.  I continue to be a little surprised when I discover how many heterodox modernist practitioners and followers still claim to be “christian” and even “catholic” when their daily performance is light years away from what Christ’s Truth was all about.

There were still traces of orthodox tradition to be found amongst the general population in “Western Christendom” up into the early 20th century and those Truths and Traditions are still practiced today in a few isolated locations on the planet. But the modernist progressives have made huge strides in establishing the kingdom of The Prince of This World in our “enlightened” 21st century. The Mystical Body Of Christ has been pretty well subverted by the mystical body of Antichrist over most of the planet in our day.

But what have we discarded in our “rush to belong”, our drive to “get with the times”, to “get a life”, as my family members and acquaintances are fond of remarking when they are feeling polite. Here is a sample:

If charity and grace unite us to Christ in such intimate and vital relations, it is evident that we must live this union, first with Him who is our Head, and then with our brethren, who like us have also been engrafted into Christ. Hence there will be a supernatural affection which will bind us to one another and make us one heart and one soul, ready to labor and suffer  for one another, to help and sustain one another.

`Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep` (St. Paul, Rom 12,15), Thus the Apostle teaches us to share the joys and sorrows, the cares and anxieties of others as if they were our own. They are, in fact, our own, because they are the joys, cares, and anxieties of that one Mystical Body of Christ to which we belong and which, therefore, is ours.

… Bearing one another’s burdens also means enduring the faults of others calmly and kindly. Faults are the inevitable consequence of human limitations. “The Imitation of Christ” tells us, “what a man cannot amend in himself  or others, he must bear with patience till GOD ordains otherwise” (I, 16, 1). (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year pp 778-779)

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin, also known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D., was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun who is widely venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus”, or simply “The Little Flower.”  In the last months of her life, she wrote “Now I know that true charity consists in bearing all my neighbor’s defects, in not being surprised at mistakes, but in being edified at the smallest virtues” (St, 10)

And yet another lesson which has fallen out of favor:

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne (1572 – 1631)

John Donne (1572 – 1631) was an English writer and poet.  As a Catholic in a time when that denomination was illegal in England, he endured constant prejudice and harassment and was ultimately forced into joining the Anglican church by King James I. Early in his life, John earned a reputation as a playboy and spendthrift, but at 25, he fell in love with Anne More. Despite her father’s scorn, the couple married, had a dozen children, and John became a devoted—if not financially successful—family man.

His career forays included law, diplomatic service, and church leadership, but he is best remembered as the founder of a group called the “metaphysical” poets. Popular during his lifetime, then dismissed for many years as inferior because it was so different from other poetry of that time, John’s work is today considered brilliant and his influence on literature legendary among some who don’t get their daily reality from social  media, but he continues in obscurity amongst most modernists including some allegedly highly intelligent intellectuals and high leaders of church and state.

Well, I suppose that is about enough for one day …  just now I am thinking of a fictional “man of honor”, Ned Stark.

Ned Stark by Sean Bean

In A Game of Thrones (1996), Ned Stark is introduced as the virtuous and honorable patriarch of House Stark and the father of six children. The moral compass of the story, he is content to remain far from courtly intrigues and is unwavering in his view of loyalty and honor.

His family name, Stark, serves as an indication of his resistance to moral compromise, but his boundaries are increasingly tested over the course of the novel. Finding himself a key player in the escalating political intrigue of King’s Landing, Ned struggles as his own sense of honor draws him into corrupt goings-on at court.

Sean Bean said of the character, “he’s a good man trying to do his best in the middle of this corruption, he’s a fish out of water, he’s used to being up north in Winterfell where people are pretty straight and pragmatic, and he comes down to a place where people are playing games and backstabbing … he’s a principled man who tries to hold things together. This is a journey that he makes where ultimately his loyalty causes his downfall” … and death.

I thought the book and the show were pretty good right up to the early point where Lord Stark is executed. Things got too real for me at that point as both the show and the book abandoned any semblance of morality in the interest of the corruption of viewers and readers. The despair which the series invoked and the plot direction which kept it popular with viewers is a symptom of our cultural and societal moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and prior to 1976, in Canada, that refers to “an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community”. In 1976, the Canadian government and legal community decided that no behaviour gravely violates the accepted standards of our communities and opted for another path of subjective relativism in which “it all depends”.

The precise definition of a crime that involves moral turpitude isn’t always clear, but in the U.S.A., the following crimes are always considered crimes of moral turpitude:

  • murder;
  • voluntary manslaughter;
  • rape;
  • statutory rape;
  • domestic violence;
  • prostitution;
  • fraud and crimes where fraud is an element
  • all theft offenses;
  • blackmail;
  • malicious destruction of property;
  • arson;
  • alien smuggling;
  • harboring a fugitive;
  • bribery;
  • perjury

Of course, in Canada, “It all depends…” on geographical location, on age, on employment status, on political allegiance, on social status, on voting record, on gender or lack of same, on language, on religious beliefs, on victim-hood, on racial profile, … whatever …

Cheers

Joe

Winter Is Coming …

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Life in a small town

Assumptions … onward from August 25th …

Lately I have been spending a lot more time thinking about my moral life in Christ and a lot less time writing. On August 25th I posted thus: “So, imagine a universe where authority can be wrong. Sometimes, a person in authority can be mistaken. A person who believes a lie, and who repeats the lie, does not do so out of malicious intent! And yet, he is repeating a lie! Sometimes people and authorities believe things that are later proven to be untrue and they act on those things with a clear conscience because it’s “for our own good”. If you forced these folks to take a lie detector test they would pass because they actually do not know it is a lie.

There are books, books written as recently as a few years years ago, books you can still find in the library, which include untruths. Did those writers lie to you? No, they’d told the truth, as they’d known it. But future generations discovered that their concept of the truth had been very limited, and knowledge is still advancing. And that is just the mild form of misinformation.”

And at the time I wrote this I was thinking in terms of various secular authorities and governing bodies and so on, but I realized, thinking about this, after finishing my routine morning meditation, and going about my daily duties, that the “wrong authority” meme applies equally well to the popular image of “religion” as delusional, superstitious, and as some Communist “thinkers” have expressed: “The Opiate of the Masses”.

And I also thought about some popular notions regarding “the Inquisition”, “Burn the Witch!”, and so on including categorizing “The Crusades” as militaristic aggression on the part of European culture against “innocent” Muslim nations, all of which are frequently cited as “reasonable proof” that religion, and more specifically Christian or even Catholic religion is a load of mind control malarkey.

Our accepted “authorities” have done a pretty good job of selling these mis-truths about religion to the general proletariat in the interest of maintaining control and rationalizing their social policy choices and directions and coincidentally, their power base. So, as previously posted “imagine a universe where authority can be wrong“. Imagine a situation where all those “assumptions” about Christianity are just … well … wrong. Imagine.

So I am just going to quote from my meditation book … a message shining a light on what Christianity is … in reality …:

“1. Everyone has some burden, more or less heavy, to bear: physical or moral weakness, the press of duties and responsibilities, fatigue or other troubles which weigh on his shoulders. Everyone feels the need of a friendly hand to help him carry this weight. This hand should be held out to him in fraternal charity, which for the love of GOD, knows how to be all things to all men. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ” (St. Paul, Gal 6,2)

A Christian knows that he  is not isolated, but is a member of a unique body, the Mystical Body of Christ. “So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (St. Paul, Rom 12,5). This knowledge of his solidarity with the brethren makes a Christian live, not enclosed in the tiny circle of his own interests, but with his heart open to the needs and interests of others. The mystery of our incorporation in Christ is more than an individual fact; by its very nature, it is a social fact. Incorporation in Christ by grace and charity connotes reciprocal incorporation among brethren, like branches of a vine, which, sprung from the same stock, are so closely united one to another that they live, grow, and develop together.

Love for Christ is the vital expression of our union with Him; the closer this union becomes, the more our love increases; so too, fraternal charity is the vital expression of our reciprocal union with the brethren in Christ, to such a point that if this charity were not living and operative, we would have to say that our union in Christ and with Christ is very weak or even absolutely null.” (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.  from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year pp 778)

That’s definitely not the popular image of a “Catholic”. The world “KNOWS” that Catholics are the real bad guys… hmmm.

Enough for now … more in the next post and a parting jest:

 

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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