“Into the West”, performed by Annie Lennox, composed by Howard Shore, from the LOTR soundtrack, (2003)
Thinking about my father, gone from this mortal coil some 33 years now, and still fresh in my memory as if I had coffee with him yesterday. Wishing, with all my heart, I could sit down and talk with him about things I have learned in those 33 years.
Death takes everyone … death is what binds us all together … no one escapes, no one buys their way out, no one. No one, no matter the extreme sacrifices made on the alter of self to appease the gods of our secular lives, no matter the banality of the attachments of this world of flesh and passion and decay.
No matter the pride and achievements in this short night in this bad hotel … no one … escapes … Brother Death.
Pippin: I didn’t think it would end this way. Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass… then you see it! Pippin: What? Gandalf? See what? Gandalf: White shores… and beyond. A far green country, under a swift sunrise. Pippin: Well, that isn’t so bad. Gandalf: No. No, it isn’t. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Here, at the end of all things, Brother Death takes our hand and leads us towards the light at the end of the tunnel of the tomb … and the light … is the glorious light of Eternity’s Sunrise, or the smoldering glow of Mount Doom.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
“Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings”
Acouple of posts ago I posted a long article on the moral controversy surrounding the subject apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis. This post is another where the writer has articulately pointed out the significant moral equivalencies between the Pope’s memo and the Nazi program of extermination – the final Solution.
Go there. or read it here, or if you roll that way, just ignore it, along with abortion and euthanasia and all the other nice progressive amoral planks of our modern progressive society. Your call.
According to AL, a conscience may “recognize that a a given situation does not correspond objectively to the demands of the Gospel” but sees “with a certain moral security … what for now is the most generous response”.
Let us examine how this moral principle might apply in situations of organised and industrialised genocide. A man involved in the extermination of Jewry, for example … if he were to decline to collaborate in any more murders, not only might he be subjected to discriminatory responses, but his family also might suffer grievously. His marriage might suffer!
Is he, perhaps, required by the Bergoglian moral principle of “what is for now the most generous response” to try, gradually so as not to be noticed, to reduce the number of Jews whom he kills each day? Or might Bergoglianism mean that he should do his very best to see that they die less painfully? Or should he attempt, again without drawing too much attention to himself, so to work the system that in three months time he gets transferred to duties which involve him less directly in extermination … like, for example, harmlessly organising the train schedules?
I am aware that my questions lay me wide open to an accusation that I am either an unbalanced crank in making an equivalence between well-mannered habitual adultery among the nice, if rather gleefully rutting, German middle-classes, and genocide; or ‘antisemitic’ for illustrating a moral priple by talking so calmly about something as vile as what Nazi Germany did to the Jews.
It is my view that such an accusation by such an interlocutor would in fact amount to an admission that Adultery is not really sinful … that it is, well, perhaps not technically in accordance, quite, with the book of rules, but it is not really wrong. Cardinal Coccopalmerio has in fact said something rather like this.
It is also my view that a mortal sin is a mortal sin is a mortal sin is a mortal sin. And Mortal Sin is the area into which, like several fair-sized and unstable bulls in a very tiny china shop, Bergoglio and his cronies have strayed. And by sanctioning what Fr Aidan Nichols has neatly called “tolerated concubinage”, I do not think they will bring a single murdered Jew back to life or even save a single victim in future genocides. In fact, quite the contrary. Do we save lives … or marriages … by chipping away at the Decalogue, or by shoring it up when it comes under threat?
A person, you tell me, may well know a rule yet be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently. So …. if this does not also apply within genocidal situations, where can it apply?
A person’s long involvement, you tell me, in sinful actions may well so habituate him to those actions that the subjective sinfulness, as AL claims, is radically diminished … yes; I happen to agree with you there, and, like all confessors, I am mindful of this when I sit with my ear against the grill. But you won’t forget, will you, that somebody who has been killing Jews for a couple of years might also well be in such a condition. And the tribunals which judged War Criminals after 1945 don’t seem to have taken this laudable casuistic principle into their jurisprudence.
Bergoglio’s ‘jesuitical’ campaign to circumvent Veritatis splendorparagraph 80, as well as Familiaris consortio, is both a moral and an ecclesial disaster. If Bergoglian ‘moral principles’ prevail, then, as Fr Aidan Nichols has accurately put it, “no area of Christian morality can remain unscathed“.
“Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings”
… ‘T was on a May-day of the far old year Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell Over the bloom and sweet life of the Spring, Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon, A horror of great darkness, like the night In day of which the Norland sagas tell,–
The Twilight of the Gods. The low-hung sky Was black with ominous clouds, save where its rim Was fringed with a dull glow, like that which climbs The crater’s sides from the red hell below.
Birds ceased to sing, and all the barn-yard fowls Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;
Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter The black sky, that the dreadful face of Christ Might look from the rent clouds, not as he looked A loving guest at Bethany, but stern As Justice and inexorable Law.
Meanwhile in the old State House, dim as ghosts, Sat the lawgivers of Connecticut, Trembling beneath their legislative robes. ‘It is the Lord’s Great Day! Let us adjourn,’ Some said; and then, as if with one accord, All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport. He rose, slow cleaving with his steady voice The intolerable hush.
‘This well may be The Day of Judgment which the world awaits; But be it so or not, I only know My present duty, and my Lord’s command To occupy till He come. So at the post Where He hath set me in His providence, I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face,– No faithless servant frightened from my task, But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls; And therefore, with all reverence, I would say, Let God do His work, we will see to ours.
Bring in the candles.’ And they brought them in. …
from the poem “Abraham Davenport” – by John Greenleaf Whittier
Once upon a time a Man existed, of a sort to do the right regardless of the cost, who understood the hierarchy of evil and of good and the destiny to which we all are tending, lost, regardless of our facile words, and opinions, and dissimulation, and pretense.
Once upon a time we knowingly fought the long defeat in stoic patience waiting for the return of the King.
Now all is clowns and jokers, left and right, and none conceive of something greater than themselves.
empty oneself of every trace of belief in one’s “goodness”
I posted a couple of days ago about the serious shortage of “peace of mind” in our culture. It’s election time and idiots are thick on the ground and loud. I must be more than a little nuts to think about these things in the context of a Canadian election campaign.
We move through life with a lurking certainty that all is not well and waiting for the other shoe to drop, the axe to fall, with bated breath. A sense of foreboding has deepened across our land … Spiritually, socially, politically, economically, the fierce consequences of our choices as a nation whirl around us and threaten us with catastrophe.
The storm clouds gather; the thunder rumbles; the darkness descends. While the tempest approaches, many are asleep. Others sense danger in the air but are uncertain of its source and scope. This all sounds like the intro video for a new online game “Storm Clouds Gather!” BWAHHAHAHAhaha!
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
But where is this much desired peace of mind we are all looking for, this holy grail of the psychologists and pharmaceutical companies and advertisers? We are agitated and disturbed because we are trying, without much success, to resolve everything, every issue, by ourselves, for ourselves, with no thought to the prevalence of our passions and appetites, our shortcomings and failings, our faults and flaws. It is like trying to carve a master work with a broken knife, or trying to see a reflection in a lake that is full of ripples and waves.
In addition we are continually at war with enemies whose existence we continue to deny regardless of the evidence and influence which they present, namely cosmic powers of dark and evil, not merely human enemies. We expect peace according to the reasoning of the world and with the motivations and desires that align well with the current cultural mentality that surrounds us. If everything is going well, and we are not experiencing any annoyances, any discomfort, and our material desires are satisfied, then it is certain that we will know peace. And yet it is not so, no peace, or no peace for long, our peace is only of a short duration at best.
“I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
And so we are faced with a situation continuously anticipating peace, but never quite arriving at our destination. Maybe others can assure us, eh? Harper, Trudeau, and Mulcair. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The Three Stooges. The Three Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse. Our own human resources and wisdom, with their expectations, precautions reservations and assurances of all sorts certainly do not suffice.
The most common reason for which we loose our peace of mind is fear, caused by situations which touch us personally, and in which we feel threatened, apprehensions in the face of present or future difficulties imagined or real, fear of lacking something important or loosing something we already have or failing in an enterprise. These fears are myriad and touch every single aspect of our lives.
The Return Of The King, LOTR
“I don’t like anything here at all.” said Frodo, “step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.”
“Yes, that’s so,” said Sam, “And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say.
But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same; like old Mr Bilbo.
But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”
“I wonder,” said Frodo, “But I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
In every case these fears concern a good which is variable, material goods, money, health, power, or goods that we desire, or consider necessary, and are afraid to lose, or not acquire, or which we lack. This all conspires to rob us of our peace, the restlessness so generated by FUD causes us to loose any trace of peace we may have gathered to ourselves.
Who can guarantee him or herself the assured possession of any kind of good, whatever it may be, whatever it’s nature. Man is never assured of anything, and everything which he holds in his or her hands can easily slip from one’s grasp from one day to the next; there is no guarantee on which anyone can count absolutely except the continued existence of an eternal war against evil.
And mark my words, we are truly in it, this daily war against evil, every day, and every way, every decision, every “choice”, or even not making a decision or a choice.
“The enemy? His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is, where he came from. And if he was really evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home. If he would not rather have stayed there in peace. (This) War will make corpses of us all.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
We might even say that the surest way to loose one’s peace of mind is precisely to try to assure one’s own life solely with the aid of human industry, personal assets, personal projects and decisions or by relying on someone else. Because of FUD, and the “sum of all fears” WE end up with our current choice, to decide who will decide for us, an old Charlatan, a younger Poseur, or a raving Lunatic. This is truly the definition of insanity, revisiting the failed dance of political cycles yet again in the hopes that we might get a good result this time. We will never find a solution to all our fears and anxieties by continuously ransacking the outhouse basement for a missing answer. We should sell the outhouse to the Socialists, sell the midden to the Conservatives and move onward to the call of the horns, higher up and further in, across the ravaged landscape of our dreams to the green fields beyond and a quick sunrise.
“PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.
GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.