Life in a small town

We are at War … in the Amazon?

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

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

Civil War Field Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dakota & Paratroops training at Ft. Benning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Martin – Le Pandemonium – in the Louvre Museum

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

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

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

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

Rémi Brague at the University of St. Thomas, Houston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dominus Vobiscum

Joe

Son rise ...

Son Rise

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Of Trolls and False Believers …

“Àki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

Even as thou seekest the truth, the truth that thou seekest thou shalt find.  So finding a relevant post while considering the mocking commentary of the trolls whenever I include some portion of “Divine Intimacy” in my posts I herewith re-post from Fr. Hunwicke’s site:

*****

Continuing to consider Archbishop Lefebvre’s book, from my own background in Catholic Anglicanism, I discern in it more than a whiff of that admirable Anglican Ulsterman, C S Lewis. Not that Archbishop Lefebvre, I am sure, will have read him; but because first-rate Christian thinkers so often, laudably, converge.

Take a particular tricky theological problem: explaining how souls rooted in a false religion may find their way to God, without asserting – or leading others to think you mean – that all religions are more or less as good as each other: ‘syncretism’ or ‘indifferentism’.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

Mgr Lefebvre writes ” … in the false religions, certain souls can be oriented towards God; but this is because they do not attach themselves to the errors of their religion! It is not through their religion that these souls turn towards God, but in spite of it! Therefore, the respect that is owed to these souls would not imply that respect is owed to their religion”.

And: ” … these religions [he has just mentioned Islam and Hinduism] can keep some sound elements, signs of natural religion, natural occasions for salvation; even preserve some remainders of the primitive revelation (God, the fall, a salvation), hidden supernatural values which the grace of God could use in order to kindle in some people the flame of a dawning faith.

But none of these values belongs in its own right to these false religions … The wholesome elements that can subsist still belong by right to the sole true religion, that of the Catholic Church; and it is this one alone that can act through them”*.

I think this is admirably expressed, and it reminds me strongly of the penultimate chapter in Lewis’s The Last Battle. A young Calormene, brought up in the worship of the false god Tash, meets the Lion Aslan, the Christ-figure in Lewis‘s rich narrative. “Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days, and not him. …

But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.

He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true … that thou and Tash art one?

The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. … Dost thou understand, Child?

I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I also said (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek”.

*****

Note: “…these religions [he has just mentioned Islam and Hinduism] can keep some sound elements, signs of natural religion, natural occasions for salvation; even preserve some remainders of the primitive revelation (God, the fall, a salvation), hidden supernatural values which the grace of God could use in order to kindle in some people the flame of a dawning faith.”

Truth-teller:

Truth-teller: At a time when intellectual fashion was on the Left, historian Robert Conquest had the guts to lay out, in devastating detail, the truth about the blood-soaked Soviet experiment

But what is one to find in the worship of self and the corollary deprecation of all others of all religions which might kindle a “flame of dawning faith”? What can one find in Atheism, the ultimate worship of self, which might kindle the “flame of faith” in the Divine?

Back in the day, there was a term in use in some quarters which precisely described those who sincerely believed a ideology or philosophy which was empirically provably wrong. That term was “useful idiots.

Robert Conquest was the principle proponent of of this “Useful Idiot” terminology to describe the “Brights” of his day.

“In 1968, when Worcestershire-born Conquest first published his ground-breaking account of Stalin’s atrocities, the world was a very different place.

Back then, the Soviet Union appeared in rude health and the old men in Moscow ruled an empire based on fear. It is easy now to forget just how terrifying the Cold War (WW III) seemed. Across the Western world, many (including most in the military) doubted Communism could be defeated without unleashing nuclear Armageddon.

The Trudeaus and Castro

The Trudeaus and Castro

What is more, many Western intellectuals — from Marxists such as Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm and his friend Ralph Miliband (a political theorist at the London School of Economics, a devout follower of Marx and an unswerving believer in revolutionary socialism) (and coincidentally one of Pierre Eliot Trudeau’s professors during PET’s time at the London School) to woolly, well-meaning Lefties in universities across the country — were quick to defend the (Soviet) regime whenever it was criticised.

Lenin and Stalin, these ‘useful idiots’ claimed, had been much misunderstood. It was Conquest, more than any other writer of his generation, who did most to expose this deceitful drivel.”

*****

So too in the spiritual realm, the “Useful Idiots” uphold the narcissistic adoration of self as the “ultimate good” and consider man as the pinnacle of all things.

These poor benighted souls are the useful idiots of the spiritual world, those unknowing followers of the dark one, the “Father of Lies”, who has existed for all of man’s history and never ceases to strive to drag all souls down to his realm of darkness.

Perhaps one of the best  portrayals of how this process works in the spiritual realm is C.S.Lewis’s book: The Screwtape Letters” .

The principle tenant of the doctrines of communism, socialism, fascism, secularism, and all the currently fashionable “isms” of the progressives is that man is the measure and pinnacle of all things, in other words “self worship”.

This is THE fundamental plank of the platform, the defining characteristic of all secular progressives and a defining characteristic of all those who mock believers of every stripe, lumping all who do not share their religion of self worship into the single pot of “those superstitious fools”, not the enlightened elite like “We Brights” who have put aside the “crutch” of religion.

This “crutch” is in reality a “life-ring” in a sea of desolation, and this action by the worshipers of self is a blessing for traditional religious believers, namely all those who believe in a Supreme Being above man, because:

“… The immediate action of creatures, especially if their malice has a share in it, makes it more difficult for us to discover the divine hand. A greater spirit of faith is necessary here, that we may pass beyond the human side of circumstances, the faulty way of acting of such and such a person, and find, beyond all these human contingencies, the dispositions of divine Providence, which wills to use these particular creatures, and even their defects and errors, to file away our self-love and destroy our pride. …

This mockery of the “Brights” strikes directly to the roots of pride in ourselves, our attachment to esteem and the respect of others, hence the blessing in such mockery. Our attachment to the things of this world must be ripped up root and branch and replaced with attachment to God.

Cheers

Joe

patience and charity in all things …

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

Oil and Extractive Economies …

Now how about that post about extractive economies?  hmmm. Book to read:  “Why Nations Fail” Really interesting read. I observe that the common notion of “extractive economy” equates to the extraction of natural resources, mining, forestry, fishery, and so on, from the bank of resources serendipitously found in the particular piece of real-estate any nation has the good fortune to find themselves sitting upon when that resource is in demand.

And there is much to be said about that view as the “real” view, without ever touching upon the “other resource” which government and industry tend to leave out of their equations, namely the folks who work in the departments and divisions of government and corporation. Without these people nothing would get done, nothing would be manipulated or processed or assembled, or serviced or communicated, etc. etc. I believe that in fact the conditions under which the ordinary people live, labour,  and function in the society, the social framework in fact determines the success or failure of a society. I further believe that we here in North America are moving further and further towards the failure model.

Whether the output be minerals, or metals, or organic items, or services, or information manipulation, nothing is produced, no value is added, without the human input. And the ever increasing incentive is to continually make more output with less input, to become more “efficient”. In the human domain this translates into the dehumanization of the individual such that the value attached to any member of society is exactly measured by how valuable their output is to the elite. What are you good for? What kind of outputs can we “extract” from you.

In “Why Nations Fail” Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or the lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest.

South Korea forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of North Korea have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

The difference is not really one of Capitalism versus Communism but rather the working out of systems which value the unique talents and individual abilities of their people more or less. The more they are valued, and recognized and rewarded, the more successful the system. There is an inherent hypocrisy in our democratic system. Under the misperception that elections ensure liberty, each individual lets society put the collar on, for he sees that it is not a person, or a class of persons, but society itself which holds the end of the chain.

Our elections briefly place power in the populace, a painfully brief exercise in freedom. Inevitably this brief freedom is followed by the takeover by the politicians who alternate between ruling the majority, or pandering to them. As De Tocqueville says “The people are turned alternatively into the playthings of the sovereign and into his masters, being either greater than kings or less than men.” Democracy has not liberated the population, but enslaved them with a stealthy despotism. That stealthy despotism continues to steadily encroach on our freedoms and individual merit with every little advance of statism.

Witness the current stealth attack on the Alberta economy by the newly elected extreme left wing socialist government. We don’t even have a budget or an accounting of where we are or where we are going but the floodgates of profligacy have been opened wide to reward the voters and cronies who put them in place.  Not just in Alberta, but all over North America we are steadily creeping closer and closer to a Big Brother knows all, sees all, does all, decides all, with the concomitant reduction in the value, rights  and status of the individual. We are steadily developing a society where the individual is valued not at all. As we progress down this slippery slope we see a steady decline in productivity and 0 or negative growth regardless of what the talking heads and stooges for the central power steadily bleat.

In yet another example of how societies benefit or fail as they value their citizens is the current German experience after the fall of the wall. “Wessie” is an innocent enough name, but there is encapsulated a lot of passionate meaning  to the East German. They claim that these despicable Wessies refuse to accept reunification and lend the helping hand fellow countrymen ought to. The Wessies are ungrateful that the East Germans bought their goods and boosted their economy. Now they have become whiners, grumbling about the pathetic East Germans instead of accepting reunification and learning from their East German neighbors. So claim the East Germans.

The West German term of “Ossie” is just as stinging. The West Germans see the Ossies as afraid of accepting the freedom that they fought so hard to achieve. The Ossies cling to “ostalgie” (nostalgia) realizing suddenly that life behind the wall wasn’t so dreadful after all. The arrogant Ossies take no responsibility for the difficulties since reunification. The Ossies want a freedom that is free of accountability a “free ride” as it were. The West Germans just want them to know that freedom is something you have to continue fighting for each day. The day you stop fighting is the day you give up your freedom.

Again, I believe we are moving slowly but steadily towards the  “Ossie” model of statism and the voters are accepting it like frogs in a pot of water heating on a stove.

(continued) …

Cheers

Joe

CSR

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