Life in a small town

Desire and Fear … the roots of all sin …

It seems that most folks I have talked to seem to have some warm and fuzzy idea of some place after death that equates to “heaven” and they feel somehow that it is their right to go there. But that is definitely not what the Church really teaches. What the Catholic Church teaches is that no one actually deserves heaven.

So lets do a little walk through that logic, the logic of “I am going to heaven because I am nice and a good person…”, a little thought experiment  (German: Gedankenexperiment, GedankenExperiment, or Gedankenerfahrung,) considering this heaven hypothesis, for the purpose of thinking through its logical consequences.

Well, I am 67 years old now. Let’s say I live another 14 years, to eighty years. Of these eighty years, I will have been able to use reason and be morally responsible for perhaps between sixty to seventy of them. Within this 60 year time span I sacrifice a bit, put it all on the line for others for a while, I get married, have a kid, maybe some grand-kids, maybe I help a few people along the way, give a bit to charity every year, and retire happily and live out the remainder of my short life doing good deeds and singing in church.

The question then becomes: “For the relatively few good actions in a very short life, should I earn an infinity of bliss and happiness?” That sounds a lot like fraud, like an impossible Ponzi scheme!” To remind us, a Ponzi scheme (/ˈpɒnzi/; also a Ponzi game) is a form of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors.

The Church rejected that view in the fourth century by declaring Pelagianism a heresy. Pelagius was a pious monk who lived in the fourth century and believed in free will but also stressed that it is our good works that save us. For St. Augustine, Pelagius’s view did not make sense. If we can merit our own salvation, then Christ died in vain, Augustine reasoned.

It seems to me that all our “goodness” amounts to simply a high level of skill in self-delusion, that is , we believe our own BS. What seems to actually be going on is simply us reacting to our carnal, worldly desires or our fears of loss of reward or social punishment in this world, and we give very little thought to “What comes next?”

So here is a prayer, a litany of our real concerns …  excerpted from: Deliverance Prayers for use by the laity” by Fr. Chad A Ripperger PhD .   In this we are praying for deliverance from our base desires and fears:

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Ripperger, Father Chad A.. Deliverance Prayers: For Use by the Laity (pp. 96-97). Sensus Traditionis Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

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Life in a small town

Gnosticism, Atheism and Modernism = Liberal Socialist Dictatorship – Part 2

This post, part 2, and also part 1, just seem rather muddled to me, I am groping for a clearer vision, but what these posts are about, our modern polite Canadian society is very muddled as well. There are clear elements of evil involved but also much that is just plain human weakness and misery with evil fallout, perhaps the majority of influences are just plain human weakness and misery, which I pray can be redirected as it has many times in the historic past..

Pascal's Wager

Pascal’s Wager for modern progressives … The “I am going to heaven because I am nice” crowd.

Of course Christ had it right when he said “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”. Most Catholics, even most Christians, even the smorgasbord Catholics, realize that as Christians we’re called to be different.

In our modern society, our “polite society” we don’t experience much real physical persecution. We generally think in metaphorical terms when we think about “taking up the cross” and “losing our life”.

If many are determined to continue doing their own thing, in their self love and in their life of rebelliousness and sin, then they probably won’t really come to Jesus at all. The rest of us, the “remnant” interpret the “cross” as the putting to death of our natural man, which the Holy Spirit accomplishes, and in which we’re called to participate.

In that vein, here is a little YouTube video on what Catholics believe to be coming, that is THE WARNING, that is the coming illumination of conscience of souls when we will see ourselves as God sees us. Here it is …

I found that video rather refreshing and also useful in focusing my thoughts on my own sins. How about the rest of us, do you suppose that such an event might be a MAJOR wake up call if it is accompanied by something physically, undeniably, tangible such that we cannot pretend even to ourselves that it was all a bad dream brought on by eating or drinking too much?

Today, in Canada, Narcissism is the de-facto religion of our day. We are definitely determined to continue doing our own thing, in our self love and in our own life of rebelliousness and sin.

That’s a pretty blunt statement of the observed reality in which I live and the views of the national media which occasionally impact my life.

That lens, through which many seem to view the world, is held in the frame of more or less not believing in a personal God, Creator and Lord of all. This view seems to exist on a continuum from, on one extreme, “Deism”, that is god created everything in the beginning but then he went away to do other god stuff and left us on our own to figure everything out.

This was pretty much exactly my own “philosophical” view coming out of what I believed was the betrayal of Vatican II and during my late teens and on into my early 30’s. I just could not accept the notion of a “personal God” who knew and loved me, Joe, personally and individually.  If heaven entered into the picture then we believed we were going to heaven because “we were nice and hadn’t hurt anyone that we knew of”. For sure, eh?

Contrast that with the other extreme of “Atheism”, that is the faith based belief that there is no god and we are all just the result of some random biochemical process set off by some primordial burst of static electricity or “something like that”, since it is difficult to escape the “prime mover” effect but the personified prime mover gets in the way of loving and worshiping only my “self”. Born in lightning, dying in fire.

There is no heaven or hell or god, only man at the top of the food chain and most of man subordinate to the elite “Gnostics”, the elite members of the secret societies with the special knowledge and secret passwords.

This view is what was adopted by my sisters in university and seems to be the prevailing view of “smart people” these days, if they even think of this sort of stuff at all.

I recently had a lengthy post election discussion with my Atheist sister who happens to live in Ottawa, Capitol and center of government of our proud nation. In this discussion, among many things, the topic of euthanasia and abortion came up.

It became apparent, as the discussion went on, that in her considered opinion human life has no intrinsic value and should be subject to budgetary considerations and a kind of life-style/quality of life calculus … basically that it is “our” life and we can justifiably do with it as we will.

My sister’s premise includes making quality of life judgements about others and doing with their lives what we will as well. Hmmmmm. I have to think about what this says about our society coming off a major re-affirmation of our secular Liberal humanist culture and our re-electing of our socialist government.

I see all this as an error, a fatally flawed lens through which we see the world and are deceived by this established and deeply unjust and sinful view, this law of our “polite society” in which we daily move and have our being and from it draw our self image.

This unjust law, the way of our world, which I see all around me is that the poor are despised and the rich esteemed, that the humble are humiliated and the proud exalted, the virtuous are maligned and mocked and the deviants are applauded.

That the timorous and modest are considered fools and the arrogant are held as valiant, and that the righteous are taken advantage of while being mocked and derided as stupid for the crime of pointing out that the emperor is naked.

That poverty, and ill health and “ugliness” are considered shameful and unfortunate, while health and beauty and riches, pomp and ostentation and splendor, honors and perishable pleasures, are sought and prized by foolish and carnal men and all who get in their way in those pursuits are spurned and forced aside as “undesirables”.

George Bernard Shaw was a strong advocate of Eugenics and Genocide.

This sort of “quality of life”, “desirable/undesirable” calculus seems alarmingly close to the National Socialist “final solution” as applied to undesirable humans, and equally close to the social policies advocated, for example, by our “Famous Five” or G.B. Shaw.

These famous players were and are adulated by the Liberal members of my family in the mistaken notion that these individuals somehow are paragons of sophisticated enlightenment (Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario).

This was very popular point of view and still is amongst certain Liberal socialist circles, and amongst all those other popular advocates of “Eugenics”, a common and popular social position in the early 20th century until the Nazis made it somewhat unfashionable when they took things to their logical conclusion in Germany in mid 20th century.

Now we are more circumspect and discreet about how we handle the brutes and the undesirables but we still handle them harshly under the code-words of “health care”, and “quality of life”. We still kill hundreds of thousands of “undesirables” but we do so in the name of “Choice”, and “Women’s Health”, and “Quality of Life”, and we keep right on shoveling the bodies into the incinerators in a nice efficient industrialized fashion. Nothing to see here folks, just business as usual.

And even before the National Socialist German Workers’ Party rose to power, Uncle Joe and the Soviet system had already started their “Purification of the people” leading to the the Soviet Gulag. And, lest we forget, lets raise a toast to Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the later part of the 20th century. Yes indeedy, Mao was a true “Good Ol Boy” in the Stalinist mold and compared to him Papa Doc Trudeau was a schoolyard dilettante.

Mao and Trudeau … the student and the master.

G.B. Shaw of course was an outspoken advocate of and admirer of Joseph Stalin and his “social programs. So, at least in Eastern Canada, the Eastern Canada of my family and their circle of pleasant friends, nothing much has changed in the last hundred years. We still have dehumanizing socialist killers running things and making choices for the “masses”, the “brutes”, as Shaw described them.

Lauding Shaw is an odd choice for Liberals who are advocating for greater freedom and independence, we hear shades of Orwellian “Truth Speak”. Shaw was an avid apologist for the world’s most brutal and oppressive dictators,

Shaw had a passionate hatred for liberty, writing” “Mussolini, Kemal, Pilsudski, Hitler and the rest can all depend on me to judge them by their ability to deliver the goods and not by … comfortable notions of freedom.”

Castro and Trudeau … classmates in Uncle Joe’s school of socialist dictatorship.

For Shaw, “the goods” could only be delivered if the people were bound in universal slavery to the state. This enslavement was necessary for the people’s welfare; most of the population were brutes who, when left to their own devices, could not fend for themselves and thus required the state to “reorganize” their lives for them.

In Shaw’s eyes, the pinnacle of civilization had been reached by the Soviet Union. During his 1931 “pilgrimage” to Stalin’s wonderland, Shaw was given a glimpse of what he referred to as a “land of hope.”

He denied that the regime had imprisoned significant numbers of political dissidents, describing the gulags as popular vacation destinations. “From what I gather, they can stay there as long they like,” he said.

So how is that relevant to Canadian politics today? Let’s not forget that the Trudeau family was, and presumably still is, long time friends and strong sympathizers of the legacy of Uncle Joe, Chairman Mao, and Fidel Castro, among others.

The Aga Khan and Trudeau … the mentor and his acolyte

And Justin currently has a close familial tie (spends holidays with him on Khan’s private Caribbean island) and a mentoring relationship with the Aga Khan, absolute ruler and dictator for life, of the world wide organization of Ismaili Muslims.

Through Justin Trudeau, the Ismaili Muslims and the Aga Khan are the beneficiaries of much largess, hundreds of millions of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars through Justin and the Canadian Aid Programs the Liberal Party of Canada supports, and they are perhaps the oldest terrorist organization on earth?

So, these days I am not a deist and not an atheist. My own choice, obvious in my posts, is Christianity. Christianity is a faith tradition that was founded by Jesus and the apostles, and the mission of the Catholic Church is to faithfully hand on what was started by them, in terms of both its teaching and ministry.

Acknowledging the present crisis amongst the all too human churchmen of the Catholic Episcopate and the Curia in Rome, we may talk about to what extent the Catholic Church has succeeded in that mission (it is still a human institution, after all), but we cannot ignore the foundation of our Faith and still call ourselves Christians.

Christianity is not a Sunday smorgasbord, it is an all or nothing choice not a “some of this and a little of that but none of that other stuff that I don’t like” kind of choice. Furthermore, we cannot ignore Jesus’ promise that the Church would never completely fail in its mission.

In response to Peter’s confession of faith in him, Jesus said: “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:17–18).

*****

In other words,

A church in crisis … My God My God why have You abandoned Me?

if the Church fails in its mission to faithfully and correctly preserve and pass on the Tradition that Jesus and the apostles founded, then the Church is no longer the Church and hell wins. But Jesus has promised that this will not happen. Could he fail to keep his promise? We say no, and we believe that the Holy Spirit has been active throughout the entire history of the Church to make sure that the gates of hell do not prevail against it.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote, “Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:1–2).

“Cloud of witnesses” is a way of talking about the “communion of saints,” which includes all Christians who have ever lived. It means that in a way, all those who went before us in the Faith—indeed all those who participated in handing on the Faith to us—are cheering us on in this marathon that is the Christian journey. They are our ancestors in the Faith—all those who lived (and many who died) to give it to us”.

Papandrea, James L.. Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians . Catholic Answers Press.

*****

 

What has gone missing, here in Canada?  What Canada and Canadians have lost, or maybe only misplaced (I pray) is that spirit of love, generosity, and devotion which I talked about previously in part 1. They have misplaced faith, and have lost their concern for anything outside of their narrow self interest. These virtues and dispositions from a bygone era have gone MIA in our modern “polite” society, where we “just want to have a pleasant conversation with our friends”. What has gone missing is Truth.

Our current society can only exist in all its manifestations within a culture that has abandoned Truth and relativized everything. Truth no longer exists as an absolute but rather we make or treat truth as relative to or dependent on something else. It is not that such judgements do not have a truth value, but that they do not have one unless relativized in a particular way.

 

Father Ripperger

We have “Normalized” evil, and no longer perceive the loss. So I have a prayer for Thursday, from Father Chad Ripperger:

*****

My Lord, Thou art all powerful, Thou art God, Thou art our Father. We beg Thee through the intercession and help of the Archangels Saints Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All Saints of Heaven, come to our aid.
From anxiety, sadness and obsessions – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From hatred, fornication, and envy – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every thought of suicide and abortion – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every form of sinful sexuality – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
Thou who said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” Grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every demonic influence and enjoy Thy peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord.
Amen.
Ripperger, Father Chad A.. Deliverance Prayers: For Use by the Laity (p. 96). Sensus Traditionis Press. Kindle Edition.

Ripperger, Father Chad A.. Deliverance Prayers: For Use by the Laity  Sensus Traditionis Press.

*****

More thoughts coming for the next post in this vein … whenever I get to actually writing instead of thinking about how to make sense of all this, trying to develop a rational context for all that I see around me. These thoughts are like a shovelful of grapes thrown at the barn wall … lets see how many stick:

… all creation and the material world are evil, created by an evil god.  All religions are equivalent. Gnosticism, Anthropocentrism – Self Worship, Albigensianism, Jansenism, the bisexual nature of man is evil created by an evil god. Dualism, Syncretism, the material world is evil, all spiritual is good, non material spirit only exists in the mind of man, man is at the top of the hierarchy, man is the judge and arbiter of all things, man has his existence as a gift of the state – Rousseau and the “enlightenment”.

we’ll see how that turns out …

Cheers

Joe

 

who knows where these thoughts come from …

 

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Looking Back over 2019

This is a quote from an article by Gwyn Morgan that appeared in the Times Colonist of Victoria B.C. back in January 2019. Gwyn Morgan of North Saanich is a retired Canadian business leader who has been a director of five global corporations.

*****

What was Canada’s biggest business news story of 2018? According to the pundits at the Canadian Press, it wasn’t the giveaway of Canadian oil to Americans for tens of billions of dollars below world prices, caused by a lack of pipelines from Alberta.

Gwyn Morgan, a retired executive, contends that it’s time to get our priorities straight. Pipelines are much, much more important than the legalization of cannabis.

It wasn’t the loss of tens of billions more in oil and gas investment to the U.S., because Canada is too hostile to building new projects. It wasn’t the Americanization of Encana, once the largest of all Canadian-headquartered companies. It wasn’t the federal Liberal government’s forced purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan because the expansion faced insurmountable opposition from the B.C. government and Indigenous groups. Nor was it the court decision blocking the federal government from completing that project.”

*****

The rest of the article appears here

So I wonder what Gwyn is thinking and writing as 2019 drags pitifully to its close…

Cheers

Joe

 

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Life in a small town

Gnosticism, Atheism and Modernism = Liberal Socialist Dictatorship – Part 1

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the release of an ethics report in Ottawa on Wednesday December 20, 2017.

Another long post, sigh, just trying to make sense of what is going on. I guess I’ll just split it into two parts. I don’t actually believe that folks are really stupid, or at least they are no stupider than I am and I have had highs and lows, sometimes epic lows of the “Hold my beer … ” variety over the last 7 decades.

How does one “Love folks” with sincere charity when they often appear so eminently unlovable.  Jesus loves them … how come I have so much trouble imitating Him.

So 33% of our electorate put an Atheistic Socialist dictatorship back in power in Canada.  I am trying to restructure how I think about my country in a way that doesn’t leave me feeling sick to my stomach.

Its a bit of a stretch just now, since what I see is definitely not Christian by any stretch of the word. The “Nones” have carried the day and all that’s left is the cleanup after the “Celebration of Life” when they put our old “Western” civilization in the ground. I’m trying to come up with a “New Model” that accounts for everything I see actually happening day by day in my country and also in the world at large.

The bottom line seems to be that about a third of Canadians are happy with the status quo and have far more faith in their Liberal politicians than they have ever had in any god, and that without any material evidence, but that is enough for Canadians to keep the government as it is. Less than a third, so much for democracy, and majority rule. So much for values that build a strong economy, and a moral compass that protects life and the innocent and helpless.

The recent Alberta election saw a 70% voter turnout, the highest in Alberta history. The UCP gained about 55% of the popular vote, also the highest in Alberta history and 63 seats, reducing Premier Rachel Notley’s governing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP) to Official Opposition with 24 seats in the university heartland of Calgary and Edmonton. 

Jason Kenny, Premier of Alberta, strongest mandate in Alberta history.

Jason Kenny, our new UPC Premier has a strong mandate from his people, Albertans, to take us in the directions he presented during the election and he has started having hour-long “question and answer” podcasts … his version of Roosevelt’s fireside chats I guess, to keep us in the loop and present us with the UCP side of things since most of the media are drooling zombies with their loyalty to Rachel and her merry band of plunderers.

Of course, Trump uses Tweets for this sort of thing but they are more provocative and less satisfying except when I am quite amused by what I see watching all the Canadian victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome frothing at the mouth with denunciations for what is pushed by the Liberal MSM in Canada as “news” and played by the Liberals as useful cover to keep the light off them and their corruption.

And this distraction is way better for the Liberal Party of Canada, and their backers at Tides Foundation Canada, if all the left voting Canadians are foaming at the mouth about a politician in another country about whom they can do nothing and have absolutely no influence over.

Victim-hood, in a mush of envy at other’s success, and resentment about imaginary wrongs inflicted by faceless “right-wingers”, is such a satisfying state of mind for the Left everywhere, and it is especially satisfying if you can blame a politician in another country for all the bad fallout from the current policy directions you voted for.

Canadians seem to have lost something important and they haven’t missed it because they have given up all the beliefs which used to remind my parents generation about what was important, important here and now and important for eternity, in fact, important enough to die for as evidenced by the Greatest Generation.

I borrow a short quote from “Is There a Santa Claus?” reprinted from the September 21, 1897 editorial of the New York Sun:   

*****

“… Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. …”

*****

So, this mindset, that of blaming others for the bad outcomes of your own choices, coupled with an overweening self adoration are the foundational planks of the Canadian National Church, and is all pervasive in our population both in the east where they have placed their trust in a shiny little band of Atheistic killers.

Domine, quo vadis?

But it is also found in the west where folks are quick to anger and judgemental of the “enemy in the east”.  What Canada and Canadians have lost, or maybe only misplaced (I pray) is that spirit of love, generosity, and devotion. They have misplaced faith, and have lost their concern for anything outside of their narrow self interest.

So, where are we now, and more importantly “Quo Vadis” wither goest thou, where are we going? To Calvary? Or to Hell?

What kind of “representative government” do we find ourselves experiencing? Let’s compare the outcome of the recent Alberta election and the strong voice of Albertans with the questionable outcome of the just finished Federal election. Do we get what we deserve?

In our recent Federal election where the the turnout was only 66% and the re-elected Liberal Party’s election victory was a curious event because its candidates took nearly half the seats with less than a third of the popular vote.

It marks only the second time in Canada’s history that a governing party will take power with such a low share of the vote. Mandate is Not US!  David Moscrop, a political theorist at the University of Ottawa, tweeted that “the last and only time a party has formed government with less than 35 percent of the national popular vote was John A. Macdonald in 1867 — with 34.8 percent.”  This vote beats the 1867 record, with the Liberal popular vote settling around 33 per cent.

Something to sing about …

Canada’s electoral system is referred to as a “first past the post” system. The candidate with the most votes in a riding wins a seat in the House of Commons and represents that riding as its Member of Parliament (MP).

The party whose candidates win the second largest number of seats becomes the Official Opposition. So much for democracy?  Or maybe this is a more realistic democracy than an iron clad two party system as our brothers across the 48th experience every election.

However you take the numbers it is crystal clear that Jason Kenny has a huge and strong mandate to speak for Albertans and to work for Alberta’s interests … Justin on the other hand has no mandate but rather secures his seat with an accidental result due to the electoral process. This is why we find Canada governed by the Dictatorship of the PMO, the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Canada is a diverse country and governing it requires a complex balancing of competing interests. There are some hard decisions that are best taken in private and away from public scrutiny.”

So we find ourselves governed by an unelected, unaccountable, secret cabal of close friends and cronies of the accidental prime minister. To paraphrase some of our discontented southern brethren “Not My Prime Minister!”

Many Canadians believe that they live in a “Parliamentary Democracy”. Nothing could be further from the truth, or perhaps a “Parliamentary Democracy” actually always is a dictatorship of the PMO. These Canadians will scratch their heads in confusion when presented with the idea that Canadians live in a dictatorship. But let’s take a moment to look at what is undeniably the de-facto manner of government in this country.

The Prime Minister’s Office, the PMO, and as it’s head, the Principal Secretary, have the power of yea and nay on literally everything which the parliament of Canada does or says. The government does not publish a mandate letter for the Principal Secretary of the PMO, as it does for all cabinet ministers. In fact, there is no publicly available job description for the principal secretary or any other staffers in the Prime Minster’s Office (PMO).

The Principal Secretary is the ultimate backroom operator, un-elected, and unaccountable to anyone except the Prime Minister. The PMO, is a secretive palace guard. It operates outside public view and scrutiny. PMO staffers are not public servants. They are political appointees, and their role is as much to foster the partisan political interests of their party as it is to coordinate government policy in the public interest.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (front, R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (front, L), his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd row, L), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, R), arrive for a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A number of experts have noted that, since the 1960s, Canadian democracy has degenerated into a kind of executive dictatorship of the PMO. Both Liberal and Conservative elected members of Parliament have frequently complained, in private, about being relegated to the role of trained seals. Their job is to clap when ordered to do so by the PMO, as it is in most dictatorships world wide where they like to make a pretense of “representing the people“.

Many Ottawa insiders will tell you there’s nothing to see here, that this style of government is all par for the course. Federal governments have operated this way for decades, they say, at least since Justin Trudeau’s father’s time.

Again, as one insider put it “Canada is a diverse country and governing it requires a complex balancing of competing interests. There are some hard decisions that are best taken in private and away from public scrutiny.”

A dictatorship in all but name … and it is true that they are arguably doing a better job than dictatorships elsewhere, like Venezuela, or Syria, or even Russia, or China depending on whether you are part of the “IN” crowd or not … how things look all depend on perspective and nuance, right?

So what does that leave us for a society … a culture of … what? Quality of life is pretty damned good compared to most of the world … our lives and our comforts are top drawer but what about the spiritual, the fabric of our relations with our families and our neighbours, and just what exactly is the point of our comfortable existence? Where is the love and generosity and devotion, where is life’s highest beauty and joy?

Cheers

Joe

 

So lets get out thinking caps on and fired up …

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Canadian Elections and Paul: Romans 1-28 …

Oh well, I guess we will just keep swimming, eh?

So, I have waited a few days to let the emotions settle before commenting on our recent election results and the likely outcomes. I have been predicting exactly this election result for a couple of months now.

To say that we frozen chosen out here on the western plains are bitterly disappointed would be an understatement, and there is a apparently deep groundswell of resentment for being cast as the “Bad Boys” in all the election rhetoric heard through various Canadian MSM media outlets.

As well we note a large sense of being abused, and taken advantage of by all the “low information voters” in those assorted little “People’s Republics” east of the Manitoba border who universally depend on spending other people’s money for all the government benefits they enjoy and for which they reward the commies by re-electing them like nodding donkeys. The scam is called “transfer payments” and the purpose is to fund all the government controlled benefits in “have not” provinces out of the levy extracted from the defined “have” provinces … of which there apparently is only 1, namely Alberta.

Yves-François Blanchet

Unless, of course, the donkeys are French, and then they are voting for a party which has as it’s foundational platform the breaking up of Canada as a nation and the creation of the “New” country of Quebec. And now the French-fry’s in Quebec city are demanding even more, under the guise of some climate change carbon footprint scam.

I was born and grew up there (Montreal), a proud offspring of the “Quiet Revolution of Jean Lesage and all his descendants. Our family eventualy migrated to Ontario as part of the Anglo “Refugee” tide of the late 60’s. It is sad that the Quebeckers can’t truly be called “French Surrender Monkeys” because they have never had to surrender anything since the Plains of Abraham, the Anglos have been in servile support of “The Frogs” from tit to tit for well over a century no matter what the flavor of PC political BS which our various governments offer up in their ass-covering dances on the media.

The truth experienced from the inside is that the Quebeckers in their self proclaimed  “Maitre Chez Nous” program revealed that at heart they are the worst bigots in the history of Canada. The popular term of the day amongst Anglos was “Franco-Nazis. A more accurate depiction would be difficult to imagine.

The Ideology of the Bloc Quebecois is comprised of equal parts of Quebec nationalism, Quebec autonomism, Quebec sovereigntism, Regionalism, Republicanism, Environmentalism, and Social democracy. A better encapsulation of the philosophy of “Me First! And screw everybody else every way you can!” would be difficult to find in our political landscape these days.

Interestingly enough, there is a beautiful silver lining to the campaign by the Bloc, and by their provincial counterpart the Parti-Quebecois because of all the fallout back in the nineties surrounding the famous “Quebec Referendum”. We lucky few in the West now have a constitutional path to separation thanks to the desperation of the Federal Liberals.

Jean Chrétien, 1995 Prime Minister of Canada

Back in the day, under Papa Doc Trudeau (Justin’s dad?) of unlamented Petro-Can (70’s and 80’s) fame …  and our famous “National Energy Program” (early 80’s). So in the 90’s the Canadian Supreme Court, at the behest of the Federal Liberals under Jean Chretian, (who inherited the prime minister’s office from Papa Doc Trudeau), set the ground rules for how a province can legitimately file for divorce from Canada. Read about the famous “Quebec Referendum” here.

At the time of course they only imagined Quebec leaving … “the times they are a’changing”.  The Quebec Referendum failed by a fraction of a percent and the lines were exclusively drawn along language lines. The West today has absolutely no language lines to divide us and there is a unifying universal feeling that we are just being “badly screwed over” by the East. “Rapine, Pillage, and Plunder” comes to mind.

The East just doesn’t get it … and they don’t want to because to consider how the West feels about them forces the East to acknowledge what a huge part of their normal lives depend on everything flowing out of the west into the eastern coffers.  How will a universally hated Federal Liberal government appeal to the alienated West?

How will Eastern Canada deal with the visceral antipathy felt here in the West towards Quebec and Ontario? Nobody here cares spit about the Maritimes, because everybody in the Maritimes with even a little get up and go is already here in  Alberta, working for a living., not suckin’ off the Federal Government tit like their friends and relations “back home”. Do any of you Easterners have a rational answer to that question?  Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

The BBC recently reported “With 34 seats, Alberta takes up only about 10% of Canada’s parliament, the House of Commons. But economically, the oil-producing province contributes 17% to the country’s GDP. Then there are the equalization payments, the money that “have not” provinces receive from the federal government. Alberta contributes billions a year to the federal tax pool because of its strong economy, but has not received a payment since 1965.

That remained true even when Alberta was hit with its worst financial crisis in decades. Between 2014-16, an overabundance of supply caused the worldwide price of oil to plummet, which led to the loss of more than 100,000 jobs in the province and a full-on recession.

Peter Downing

That has left many Albertans feeling anxious and ignored, says Peter Downing, former soldier, ex-RCMP officer and creator of right-wing agitprop, and he has a new mission — the champion of Alberta separatism.

Since 2016, the economic recovery has been fragile, especially as several pipeline projects hang in limbo thanks to opposition from Eastern jurisdictions. That has left many Albertans believing that there is nothing for them in being part of Canada except to keep on getting screwed.

“We’ve always been okay to help other parts of the country when they’ve been in need,” Downing says “But when we’ve been in need, we’ve been nothing but kicked all the way around.”

Western separatism has a long history in Albertan politics, and it has seen a resurgence in popularity — not that that translates into political power — in the years since Justin Trudeau was elected, and as the energy-rich province faces difficulty getting resources to market and pipelines built.

While there’s already an independence party, Downing, who has started Wexit Alberta, is hoping to bring together the disparate elements, the frustration, and combine them to create a functioning party apparatus. Downing, who has done his time as a creator of inflammatory right-wing political advertising, has been on a speaking tour of Alberta, discussing Wexit — as in Brexit, not We-Exit — and its quest for party status.

So, yea, I am a little twisted right now about being screwed yet again for the umpteenth time by Eastern Canada and our sick “First Past The Post” electoral system that consistently sees communists running the show with only 30% of the popular vote.

Right now in the wake of yet another screwin’ by the East I have to work hard to keep reminding myself that we still have much to be grateful for here in Alberta, a quick glance at world news reinforces this, for example: would I rather be doing business in Lebanon, or Venezuela? So here, to share my quest for peace, is an iconic image from my Bing Desktop slideshow:

Sunrise in Alberta, October 2019, just keep swimming, Joe …

The other fact that makes this all bearable is the reality that this world doesn’t matter. This world only matters to the Policy makers, the “movers and shakers”, the Atheist killers, in Eastern Canada. What really matters is Eternity.

I am reading an excellent new book these days (when am I not reading, right?). It is named “Christus Vincit,  by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, based on 3 interviews with Diane Montagna, who I have posted about here.  In this absorbing interview, Bishop Athanasius Schneider offers a candid, incisive examination of controversies raging in the Church and the most pressing issues of our times, providing clarity and hope for beleaguered Catholics. Here is a brief quote from the introduction:

*****

In his inaugural encyclical E Supremi, St. Pius X remarked that so serious was the gathering storm of error at the beginning of the twentieth century that he would not be surprised to hear that the Antichrist was already on this earth. The same pope would go on to describe Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies and the herald of the end time.

The Church Fathers do not fail to give us a spiritual interpretation of the famous words of Our Lord: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Mt 24: 29).

The tribulation, St. Augustine tells us, will precede the great falling away. “These things shall be ‘after the tribulation of those days,’ not because they shall happen when the whole persecution is overpast, but because the tribulation shall be first, that the falling away may come after” (Ep. 199, 39).

The “Sun,” Christ, will be obscured in the hearts of men, and the “Moon,” the Church, will no longer win men’s hearts by her beauty. “In that ungoverned fury of wicked persecutors, the Church shall not be seen.” The “stars,” members of the Church who seemed reliable touchstones of orthodoxy, will fall from the true faith and the moral life. “Many, who seemed to be shining in God’s grace, shall give way to their persecutors, and shall fall, and even the stoutest believers shall be shaken,” St. Augustine tells us.

And yet, like the fall of the rebel angels from heaven, it is a sign of the coming triumph of Christ (Lk 10: 18). Whether Our Lord’s words do refer to our days or not, their resonances in the experience of Bishop Athanasius Schneider and so many others are undeniable, and his insights into the apocalyptic challenges facing Christ’s flock in these days count as essential reading for those truly alive to the signs of the times.

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius; Montagna, Diane. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age (Kindle Locations 75-89). Angelico Press.

*****

St. Paul always has something useful and incisive to say and his words ring true just as much today as they did way back then.

Paul:  Romans 1-28
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life a was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul Corrects Peter

5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,  that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

*****

Saint Teresa of Avila by Peter_Paul_Rubens

St. Teresa of Avila, the celebrated Carmelite nun, mystic and Doctor of the Church wrote a little prayer in the 16th century. It’s called St. Teresa’s Bookmark because, according to tradition this great saint carried it around in her prayer book, where it was found after her death in 1582.

So, if the events of today are driving you crazy, this prayer below, known as St. Teresa’s Bookmark, can help you calm down. When you wake up at 2 O’clock in the morning is your stomach all tied up in knots with worries? Is your mind racing like a hamster in a cage going around and around on a wheel?

Give yourself a break! Take a deep breath. St. Teresa’s Bookmark can give you some much needed peace and perspective on things!

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing;
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.

this world does not matter, all that matters is eternity. and in the same vein, here is a parting poem:

Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me
Through the consuming vastness of the sea.

Thy winds, O God, so strong,
So slight my sail.
How could I curb and bit them on the long
And saltry trail,
Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath
Of all the tempests that beset my path?

Thy world, O God, so fierce,
And I so frail.
Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce
My fragile mail,
Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,
Sweet silences abound, and all is peace.

Winfred Ernest Garrison, 1874 – 1969

Cheers

Joe

Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.

 

 

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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

*****

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:

*****

… 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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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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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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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:

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“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.

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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.

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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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