Driving home from church last night, in the dark, yup, the sun is going down earlier and earlier this time of year 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 the drive 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 guess others thought so as well and there are lots of photos and videos about the moon and the northern lights at the link below from our weather channel which I use as my home page 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.
One can scroll down through the Weather channel article to see the still photos below the video feed at the top. The video from space of the Northern Lights is pretty spectacular, and I especially enjoyed the Land-Rover advert.
Wish that one was longer with more Racing Cat coverage. Big on Racing Cats myself, lifelong passion in fact. Really not big on sand though, “The Sandbox”, “House built on sand”, “Sand in the gears”, nope, not big on sand around here. 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.
Harvest seems to be going much better this year with many farmers having only a couple of thousand acres left to harvest varying from farm to farm of course depending on what was planted and the decisions on the ground.
But last year, 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, 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?
“Eternity’s Sunrise”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Eternity’s Sunrise”, (2000)
Today is the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, and my meditation readings are about “The Power and Love of Jesus”. Yesterday was an 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 446th 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.
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).
So 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 13 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 out leaders and the elite of the intelligentsia tell us, do things seem OK to you?
Your mileage may vary, but my gut tells me we are approaching a major “chastisement”. So Sunday is a day for praying and reading scripture and Joshua has some things to say about the behaviour of the people which are still applicable to we the people in this day, especially applicable in this day and age I think:
“Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)
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:
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 be- fore 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.
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:
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 (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.
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 are startling if one takes a moment to consider. Are we, as a culture and society, really THAT sure that we are right about God … the last 4000 years of history are not on our side in that bet …