Hey, found a new and very interesting channel on YouTube, the tip came through a FaceBook contact, who knew?
I guess some good things can come out of FaceBook after all. The first link was to a talk given by Father Chad Ripperger who I have mentioned here and also posted on the same theme (of “The Big Lie”) here and here.
“Eternity’s Sunrise”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Eternity’s Sunrise”, (2000)
Harvest Time 2018
Days finally starting to turn cool, got down to about 5 degrees last night. Welcome relief from the 30 to 40 degree days of a couple of weeks ago. Harvest is getting into full swing around this part of the Shire. No complaints yet from anyone about a “bad year”. We can always hope, right?
Thanking God today, for time, for life, for insight, more opportunities for repentance, remorse and regret, atonement and perhaps an efficacious do-over with each new day, and in the end, absent complete reparation at the time of death, thanking God for merciful Purgatory and eternity of reparation, in hope, to look forward to. Ad Aeternitatum …
Sincerely hoping the prayers of others might have some transferable benefit in this economy of prayer and suffering. Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you. Pray for your enemies and those who make your life miserable. Forgive, forgive, forgive, I have read somewhere that sins forgiven in this life are not held to one’s account in the particular and in the final judgement. Sincerely hoping that this memory is not simply the wishful thinking of a lost soul.
That is what one would do, should do, as a charitable effort towards saving the souls of our neighbors, especially the ones we don’t really like. That is the effort of making one’s actions fit the idea of “fraternal charity”. Hoping that a rising tide of prayer lifts all souls, not only the praying, but the prayed for as well, in this great economy of prayer and suffering.
Love your enemies
What benefit is there to me of treating well those who treat me well? Of what spiritual utility is reciprocity of self love and self regard?
As Christ says, you have already had your reward for that. Everyone does that, there is nothing special or particularly meritorious about returning good will for good will.
But, the rubber hits the road when we start to put into practice the idea of loving our neighbor, even our neighbor who is our enemy. By demonstrating it in the reality of our daily conduct, the logical application of the moral idea, we live Truth as we find it in the Gospels..
I can’t speak well to history but in this day and age it appears that there are two paths. The first is the difficult path on which our actions follow on from and derive from our ideas, no matter how distasteful or difficult that may be. That path is known as the path of principal, that path which Albert J. Knock referred to in his paper on the “remnant” and the “masses”..
Ideology on the nature preserve. ideology needs protection to survive.
The other way is the more common or easy way in that we choose our ideas, our friends, our activities, and so on to cast ourselves in the best possible light and we espouse those ideas and beliefs which best make our actions out to be reasonable. Virtue signalling as a national Mantra …
This choice is embracing ideology instead of reality and truth, instead of the provable facts of daily existence. While the generally accepted rule of social conduct today is “all right minded people know this to be true” there is still the other path, the hard path, and it will not be denied no matter how loud the opposition gets.
“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)
Fulton Sheen said: What a blood transfusion is to the body, reparation for the sins of another is to the spirit. Instead of separating when there are difficulties and trials, the Christian solution is to bear the other as a cross for the sake of his sanctification. The wife can redeem the husband, and the husband the wife. This transferability of sanctification from a good wife to a bad husband, or from a good husband to a bad wife, follows from the fact that they are two in one flesh.
As skin can be grafted from the back to the face, so merit can be applied from spouse to spouse. This spiritual communication may not have the romantic satisfaction in it that carnal communication has, but its returns are eternal. Many a husband and wife after infidelities and excesses will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful partner never ceased to pour out prayers for his or her salvation.”
Fulton J. Sheen, “Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” (pp. 167). Ignatius Press.
As I have remarked previously, real food for deep thought here, food to nourish consideration of love of neighbor as a real, active, concrete, pursuit rather than merely sterile words as part of some ritual.
As between two people in a marriage, between spouses, so also between siblings, and between children and parents, and even between friends and acquaintances, and neighbors, after infidelities, and excesses, after strife and turmoil and betrayal, and oceans of pain, the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful never ceased to pour out prayers on their behalf for their salvation.
Even the prodigal son upon his return can storm heaven’s gates on behalf of the lost sheep of his or her family and friends and neighbors, and in so doing perhaps atone and make reparation for the multitude of sins of his and their past. So how does this apply to “Loving One’s Neighbor”, “Loving One’s Neighbor as One Loves Oneself”?
Our self love, that love with which we regard ourselves and all our actions and thoughts is a very concrete love. It includes all our peculiarities, needs, tastes, feelings, beliefs and habits.
We are geniuses at rationalizing our own way of thinking, and in making excuses for our many faults and failings. We each have a vast sea of sympathy and understanding for our self in all these areas. And we should flood the sins of our neighbor with that vast sea of sympathy and patience and understanding.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13, 34 – 15, 12).
But we seem to continue, mired in our self love to the exclusion of all else, and that self love expresses itself in outrage about the conduct and sayings of others, our neighbors.
Reflecting on the writings of Robert Cardinal Sarah, it is easy to see that our modern polite media society drifts from moral rebellion to sentimental rebellion and back to moral rebellion, virtue signalling like a bitter wind on a winter afternoon, striving, like Sisyphus, desperately, ceaselessly, climbing the mountain, always pushing the rock of their discontent and outrage.
Our media, Facebook, Twitter culture demands its rebellion, its hatred, in the moment, of whatever it self-centeredly defines as unjust and unfair today.
This is the howler jungle, the parrot jungle, screeching its outrage, proud of its correct opinions, which are, in reality, the most pretentious pompous ideas we could ever find, baseless and founded in emotion and self love.
Cynical and shameless, it despicably revels in its dislikes. “I don’t care about the facts, Joe, I just want to have a pleasant hate with my friends”. Our modern polite existence is a propped-up life built entirely on noise, artificiality, and the tragic rejection of Truth.
What is Truth? Well, it depends … From revolutions to conquests, from ideologies to political battles, from our frantic crusade for “equality” to our pathological fixation on “progress”, silence is impossible.
The more noise, the more we “run in circles, scream and shout”, the less the likelyhood that we or especially others will notice what is wrong with us, our failings, our sins, our deviance.
And even worse, our “transparent” societies are all in hot pursuit of anonymity in noise, with an implacable hatred of silence, which we regard as contemptible, a backward primitive defeat, “What have you got to say to that?” “What do you think of that?” “There! that will shut up your jabber!” Let the bright light of noise shine on everything, just as long as it doesn’t shine on my own darkness, my own crimes, my own sins.
“Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)
Charles Pierre Baudelaire, April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867 was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, a book of lyric poetry titled Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century.
Baudelaire’s highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine,Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others. He is credited with coining the term “modernity” (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and art’s responsibility to capture that experience.
During Baudelaire’s day there was then perhaps even more scandal and turmoil in the Catholic Church than we now see. Starting with the French Revolution and it’s bloody trail of excess, the massacre of the Vendee, and up to Pius IX’s “Syllabus of Errors,” which was often held up to ridicule as an absurd statement of the church’s stand against the modern world and progress. The Syllabus is certainly comprehensible against the reality of these threats from modernity. In hindsight doesn’t the “Syllabus of Errors” seem prophetic in the light of secular modernism realized in our society of today.
My dear departed mother often remarked of my Atheist sister that she was “deeply spiritual”, also in commenting on her own sister, my Wiccan Priestess Auntie, that she was a “wonderful spiritual person, so good”. Baudelaire, in one of his most famous aphorisms says: “Everyone believes in God but no one loves Him, no one believes in Satan, but his smell is everywhere“.
My mother, in her short 92 years on this earth, went from devout Christian to total non-belief … dragged down by Vatican II, Church Scandal and personal tragedy … refused the counsel of a priest and extreme unction, the last rites on her deathbed. And her prodigal son storms heaven’s gates daily on behalf of the lost sheep of his family, in hope against hope that the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful never ceased to pour out prayers on their behalf for their salvation.
This is the tenor of our times; evil, evil everywhere and ne’er a drop of good … love of self, love of our plan, our way, begetting a never ending, ever strengthening, downward spiral of deviance and rationalization of ever greater excesses, no escape from the mirror of our self regard without the grace of the Divine Will and the Word..
Why, when I am so conscious of my own misery and sins, my utter failure to be the creature God willed and wills me to be, without Whom and without Whose gratuitous gifts I am all misery do I have so much room left over in my soul to look with cynicism and censure upon the sins and failings of my fellow man, my neighbor who God wills me to love as myself?
There is a confusion in our day … modernity has conflated poverty and misery as if these two states are one and the same. They are not … misery seems to be the most common state of those who are the least afflicted with poverty. Attachment and ownership and the failure to find satisfaction in these seem to be at the root of misery
From Robert Cardinal Sarah, his commentary regarding noise … “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise”
327. Unless we seek to suppress all the superficial aspects of our lives, we will never be united to God. By detaching ourselves from everything superfluous, we enter little by little into a form of silence. Throughout her life, Mother Teresa sought to live in great poverty so as to find God better in silence. Seeking God in her heart was the only wealth she had. She could spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament without uttering a single word. The nun drew her poverty from the humility of God. The Father possesses nothing, and Mother Teresa wanted to imitate him. She asked that her sisters be absolutely and sincerely detached from all material goods.
Sarah, Robert Cardinal. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (Para 327). Ignatius Press.
To paraphrase a famous hymn … “My life flows on in endless noise about earth’s lamentation, I catch the faint, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.” Yes, the far off hymn … that hails a new creation … the undiscovered country … beyond my self love and attachment to all the “stuff” to which I am so enamored … to leave the self behind and all the misery of stuff … to embrace the poverty and silence of God, impossible without His gift of grace … Aye, there’s the rub.
Maybe this blog is just part of all the noise? I have to consider that thought some more … what am I trying to achieve with this scribbling. I have changed quite a bit from when I started this work back in 2014.
Back then I was consumed with what was wrong with everything and everyone else, and how it all could be fixed, if only … pick my bright idea of the moment … Wow, watch me string all these disconnected events together … looking at them from the “right” perspective, look at what they reveal about motives and intent of the faceless ones … so in love with my cleverness …
so much self love … so little “fraternal charity” …
“Think Of Me”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the “Phantom Of The Opera” soundtrack album, (2004)
I was focused on “Sincerity” yesterday, and the reality that, to be sincere, our words and actions must correspond to our thoughts. To be convinced of one thing, but to affirm something else, for the sake of expediency or to avoid hurting the “feelings” of another person is contrary to truth. Bluntly, it is a lie.
And bluntly, the foundation of our modern culture is a lie. We are totally preoccupied with our status in our FaceBooked, Love Me Wall, our Chat Group. Totally focused on the deadly competition to be the most liked, or the most admired, or the most beautiful, most successful, most well traveled, or at least the friend of the most beautiful or the most successful, or the most (fill in your most envied character trait or material desire here).
So what about Justice? The problem with this foundational lie of our society, the lack of sincerity, is that the lie precludes and prevents the existence of Justice. Justice for all or justice for anyone necessitates honesty and sincerity. Without honesty and sincerity there is NO justice.
We moderns have rejected any external standard that overtly or implicitly criticizes our self proclaimed goodness and questions our vices or appetites, our sins of choice, in pursuit of our envied idols, the goals assigned to us by the society in which we exist and which we willingly accept. We find all our self justification within our self worship, our “I’m OK, Your OK” philosophy of gratification.
… unless of course, you have the arrogance to disagree with me, THEN you really are not very OK at all and we will vilify you and shun you because you are shining a light on our much beloved darkness. This rejection of rejection is the very essence of “Injustice”. There is no justice possible in a universe where no one is wrong and no one dare identify bad behaviour.
It seems an accurate assessment, then, to name our modern society “Secular Humanist Progressivism”. It’s secular because it rejects all religion and religious values as well as the very existence of God.
It’s humanist because it holds man to be the apex of existence, the sole arbiter of “right”.
And it’s especially progressive because it implies some natural righteousness to “progress” as the discarding all the values of previous generations of mankind, to the extent that we no longer even teach values to our offspring.
But where is Justice if there is no right and no wrong?
A “Progressive” (individual) is a self referential existence of appetites and vanities pursuing an ever tightening spiral of gratification, self aggrandizement and the once frowned upon character trait of narcissism. This egocentric view of reality, this solipsistic approach to what is and what is not, leads to an eventual and inevitable denial of any truth whatsoever.
How can there be justice if there is no truth?
This ends in endemic moral relativism. Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others, that there is no absolute evil and no absolute wrong.
If moral judgments are invalid then how can there be Justice? How can there be Justice when moral relativism holds that there is no injustice?
Calvin & Hobbes
So, what is Justice? Jesus famously said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s”. This clearly and precisely gives us the essence of Justice, to give to everyone what is his due. Justice is the will to give to everyone that which is due to him.
And what is our due? Respect, rights, obligations, duty, responsibility and the fulfilling with great exactness all the duties and responsibilities towards our neighbor even at the cost of sacrifice. In reality, respect for the rights of others not infrequently requires sacrifice on our part. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness necessitates respect, rights, obligations, duty, responsibility … towards others.
We cannot close our eyes to the rights of others whenever they interfere with our own personal interests. This is really a matter of life and death. Justice is absolutely essential to a life of virtue and its duties are so compelling that no motive can exempt us from fulfilling them.
For example, this view underlies all military virtues, those virtues extolled in our military, our police, and our first responders everywhere. In these “service” occupations, one might be called upon to go in harms way or even to die in carrying out ones duties for the service or protection of others who we might perhaps not even know personally. As we used to say back in the 70’s “Doing the impossible for the ungrateful”.
But, if moral judgments are invalid then how can there be rights and obligations and duty? As G.K. Chesterton famously wrote: “A man who won’t believe in God will believe in anything” or “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything”.
“Fanfare For The Common Man”, Aaron Copland & London symphony Orchestra, from the album “Copland Super Hits”, 1994.
Captains Log, Stardate 20170519.1311
Hi everybody. I recently received an important communication from Fleet Headquarters. This is a little bit long, but it is an important example of how the Progressives, Activists, Liberals, Democrats, Communists, Socialists, ISIS, and ALL the rest of the diseased brain dead emoting zombies of the left react to US. So please bear with me.
That really wasn’t very charitable, or “loving and forgiving”, just plain and simple “unchristian”. However, in my own defense, I believe that if one refuses to recognize an identifiable enemy of everything you believe in as the enemy that they are, then it is only a matter of time before they (the enemy) take you out, probably along with your squad mates. That’s just not fair to your squad mates. If it looks like a duck, and all that …
I stole all the following “content” from an email sent me by Bill Whittle, a blogger I subscribe to and have a great deal of respect for. I have been following Bill, oh, probably close to 15 years now, ever since I came across him on his first site “Eject, Eject, Eject” in a link from “U.S.S. Clueless” the original blog site of the legendary and much missed Steven DenBeste. I’ve posted the whole thing because I believe that context is important – your mileage may vary … Anyway, here is Bill’s missive:
“… I’m writing this in the back of a car going through Lufkin, Texas. Last night I did a speaking event at Steven F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. I’ve been doing several speaking events at colleges, but this one was different.
One person (who I later discovered listed his occupation as “activist”) had put up a Facebook post, calling me the usual: racist, xenophobe, and without teaching credentials and so obviously of no educational value. And that’s his right, of course, but the Facebook post wasn’t about coming out to confront this new Hitler, but rather to write to the SFA authorities to ban me from campus. This campaign apparently generated one very angry call to the administrators office, and one very angry email as well — both from The Activist as it turned out.
Now here’s the rub. Ten seconds into my remarks, this individual, sitting directly in front of me, started shouting at the top of his lungs about my heinous crimes against humanity and he JUST. WOULDN’T. STOP.
There were a few policemen in attendance — who got to hear themselves be called mass murderers several times during the night, by the way — and the event organizers looked like they were going to escort this gentlemen outside the premises, but then something amazing happened — amazing to me in any case.
The more this fellow shrieked at what a hate-filled piece of s*** I am, the calmer I became. I am not built this way. At least, I didn’t think I was.
So I let him talk. He would make a statement, and I would calmly and respectfully engage that statement… which led him to a completely new form of genocide that I was espousing, and so on.
This went on for 20 minutes, and many of the students were 100% behind this unique individual. At first. But as the night went on and I got calmer and calmer, more and more quiet, more and more respectful and engaged, the rest of the Social Justice Warriors started to calm down and actually discuss things. And this alarmed The Activist very much. It alarmed him so much, in fact, that he started to interrupt them.
After the event was over, he followed me out to my car. After one particularly personal and remarkably obscene comment, delivered about five inches from my face, I found myself replying “You know, if I had any respect for you at all that would have hurt my feelings.” I have no idea where that came from.
As this was going on, I asked him what he was majoring in. Turns out, he was not a student at the university.
Now I’d love to tell you how I changed some minds in there and got people thinking, but I have no evidence of this at all. The only thing I can state with confidence was that, Professional Activist excepted, the overall level of hate and rage directed at me — and by extension at you and everything we believe together — began to abate.
People started asking questions instead of making speeches. So I don’t know if it made any difference with them, but it did make a difference to the many people who came up to me afterward, apologized on behalf of the university, Nacogdoches and Texas, and what outweighed all of the vitriol and stress of being called the vilest names imaginable for two hours were the thanks and the handshakes from the two police officers.
I was privileged to talk to one of them after The Activist had left; he had served as a heavy gunner in the Army for many years, risking his life (as opposed to me merely risking my comfort) to allow people like The Activist to accuse him of genocide. As I was leaving he said to me, “Don’t let him bother you, sir. His world is very small.”
I love my job. Which is why I am telling you all of this.
It’s been a year now since PJTV closed its doors and so many of you moved over to BillWhittle.com. That means that for those of you who bought annual memberships, those memberships are about to auto-renew. I’d like to stress that this is not something we decided on or even have any control over: Auto-renewal is the only way online banks will accept credit/debit card payments.
So the rest was just a forecast of the directions Bill intends to take his content in the coming year. I find it interesting but probably many others who do not share his views would not. If it intrigues you maybe just visit his site and see what you think. I especially like his series of YouTube videos titled “We The People 2.0″.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.
Hamabe No Uta (Narita), Jean-Pierre Rampal, from the album “Rampal: Japanese Folk Melodies”, (1978)
Jean-Pierre Rampal, Japanese Folk Melodies, (1978)
Another Sunday rolls around, happening with ever increasing frequency, or so it seems to my “older” self. In my wasted yute the weeks seemed to stretch on forever and ever and ever. Not so much now when every precious second slips away like (insert favorite metaphor here). Weather brilliantly sunny, clear blue sky, only the slightest hint of a breeze
So, I continue to contemplate the ongoing difficulties encountered in the cultivation of the virtue of humility after a lifetime of having none. For most of my life I have considered humility the domain of cowards and hypocrites who were faking it.
There may be some truth in that belief regarding most of the people walking the earth but it really illustrates just how little humility has been happening on my part over the last 5 decades or so.
Even if we start out humble (truly) there is little to no encouragement in our society to remain humble and much is made of pride as essential to success in our culture which absolutely anathematizes humility and all it’s offshoots.
For just a tiny example of the truth of this assertion try this little thought experiment: “try to imagine a truly humble person with a Facebook page”, … wow! staggering, right? A humble person on Facebook is clearly an oxymoron of truly cosmic proportions to anyone with a neuron firing.
That experiment illustrates just one tiny facet of the pride centered universe of self which is our culture. Try another experiment. Try for a moment to imagine your first job interview … are you going into that pushing “humble” or are you trying to paint yourself as the best human being that ever lived and the obvious choice for the position you are interviewing for.
Right … around the water cooler or at coffee break are we trying to be the lowest or are we striving to outdo everyone else in how great our weekend was, either especially wonderful or especially awful but either way ours was just the most – Ya think THAT was bad?
Anyway, you understand what I am talking about. In our culture, humility is not one of the top 5 desirable traits on anyone’s list. I doubt it would appear in anyone’s top 100 list. So humility and detachment appear to me like two High Himalaya ranges barring me from the passage to the much desired interior, meanwhile I languish struggling in the wasteland of Mordor.
But lets look again at what Father Gabriel has to say :
“The soul who desires to reach the sublime heights of union with God must walk in the path of profound humility, for as the divine Master taught, only “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Lk 18, 14).
The higher the ideal of sanctity to which we aspire, the more sublime the end toward which we tend, the more we will have to descend and excavate in ourselves the fertile abyss of humility “Abyssus abyssum invocat” (Ps 41, 8); the abyss of humility calls to the abyss of infinite mercy, of grace and the divine gifts, for “God resisteth the proud, but to the humble He giveth grace” (I Pt 5,5). We must humble ourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, sincerely recognize our nothingness, take account of our poverty, and if we wish to glorify ourselves, we must glory, like St. Paul, solely in our infirmities.
It is only in our weakness, humbly acknowledged, that grace and divine virtue work and triumph (cf. 2 Cor 12,9). Even if we are of the number of those good souls who sincerely desire to advance on the road to perfection but who are relying too much on their own powers and personal initiative, we can apply to ourselves to great advantage the valuable warning that St. Therese of the child Jesus gave a novice: “I see clearly that you are taking the wrong road; you will never reach the end of your journey. You want to scale a mountain, and the good God wills to make you descend … It is Jesus who takes upon Himself to fill your soul according as you rid it of imperfections (C).
The sublime ideal of union with God totally exceeds our capacities, which are those of weak creatures. If we aspire to it, it is not because we expect to reach it by our own efforts and initiative, but because we trust that God Himself, according to His promise, will come and lead us by the hand. But God will not act thus with a proud soul. He stoops only to the humble; the more lowly He finds a soul, the closer He draws it to Himself. Humility deepens the soul’s capacity to receive the fullness of divine gifts. (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year.pp 302 – 303)
empty oneself of every trace of belief in one’s “goodness”.
The world is always going to Hell. And sometimes the trip is more hellish than usual, especially for the poor souls caught up directly in world shaking events like a terrorist attack, or a war, or an invasion, or a long siege.
The Roman Temple of Claudius in what is now Colchester was destroyed in 60/61 AD by Queen Boadicea’s army.
The Roman Temple of Claudius in what is now Colchester was destroyed in 60/61 AD by Queen Boadicea’s army. According to the Roman commentator Tacitus, 30,000 Romans lost their lives. Many of the victims had barricaded themselves inside the temple in the vain hope that they might survive the attack. Today, archaeologists regularly find a burnt layer in the earth when digging down – an indicator and reminder of the date and the event.
Queen Boadicea was a rather famous leader of one of many groups of barbarians hell bent on destroying the “civilized” Roman invaders. From a Roman point of view she was perhaps rather like a first century Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, just some uncivilized barbarian upsetting the social order because she didn’t share Roman beliefs and values. But Rome’s conduct in it’s foreign and domestic military campaigns was, by later Christian standards, both brutal and barbaric and a fitting preview of where we are going as we shed our Christian heritage for more prosaic progressive values.
Destruction of Jewish Temple by Roman Legions
Ten years later in 70 AD the Romans did the same thing to their enemies in Palestine, under General Titus, besieging Jerusalem and sacking and destroying the Temple of Jerusalem. An estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million died in this campaign. This vivid print on paper has a view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives showing the Temple with the walled city in the center. There is a soldier in the left proper foreground and women kneeling on the ground near Roman soldiers.
There happens to be an interesting scriptural prediction of the destruction of the temple in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 24. I have found Matthew to be, if perhaps not the most cheerful of the apostles, then certainly the most precise and explicit in recording the trials of Jesus and His response to the trials, in a grim, realistic and thoroughly modern way.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. Matthew 24: 15-21
With only the slightest consideration one has no problems translating or transplanting the goings on in Palestine two millennia ago into the current newsworthy goings on both within the “holy roman catholic church” and in the secular progressive world at large which the “modern” church “appears” to be more and more embracing and accepting in the name of mercy, charity, and “ecumenicalism”, much to the joy of the MSM.
Preaching and discussing the virtues of mercy and charity in 30 second sound bites and interviews are proving to be handy and useful tools to ridicule and discredit one’s opponents. Name calling and discrediting have ever been the first and probably most useful weapons in the armory of those with weak or non-existent arguments.
When truth doesn’t support one’s position it is always and everywhere expedient to take the position that all your opponents are just plain wrong and then go about discrediting them on those grounds rather than defend one’s position with truth and facts.
Just for a moment imagine Martin Luther with access to FaceBook and Twitter, to blogs and electronic media? Bulverism is rampant everywhere both in the secular world and withing the Church, in fact anywhere one finds people arguing one finds Bulverism raising it’s ugly leprous smiling head. Unfortunately, in order to embrace that route one must abandon any notions of concomitant justice and truth and intrinsic evil as taught by St. John Paul II, namely, that evil which is always and unchangingly evil regardless of fashion and circumstances.
What defines (or used to define) the Church is that it stands for something unchanging. Eternal Truth, does not lend itself to change in imitation of the fashions of the day or the desires of some of the more articulate figures of authority within and without the Church. Absent that Truth based definition of “Church” we have the MSM mantra of “Not My President”, or “Not My Pope”, or “Not My Church”, which are all really manifestations of the same “faith”, the worship of “self”.
Having surrendered Truth and justice in the name of mercy one is left with just another religious social club, the executives of which differ in no way from the executives of any other social club, or any political club for that matter. And one dare not go against the wishes of the club’s executives for fear of being expelled from the club by said executives, leaving one no choice but to start one’s own club which being “fruit of our womb” will more accurately reflect our self, and our self worship.
Where we end up at the end of this path is a place where we “belong” to a church because “belonging” lets us believe that we are “basically good people”, and coincidentally somehow better than the others, on our own terms, than those who “do not belong”. We belong to a club that affirms our own believes, in ourselves and about others, and differs in no way from the golf club, the oil-man’s club, the sports club, the bridge club, the young liberal association, the union of public employees, the democratic party, the national socialist party the new democratic party, and so on ad infinitum.