Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

They Also Serve … The Passion of Christ … Prayer and Atonement … Election Results

“Deep Peace”, Bill Douglas, from the album of the same name, (1996)

John Milton, ca 1629

John Milton was totally blind by age 40. “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” is one of the best known of the sonnets of John Milton (d. 1674).

The last three lines (concluding with “They also serve who only stand and wait.”) are particularly well known, although rarely quoted in context.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.

by John Milton (d. 1674). This sonnet was first published in Milton’s 1673 Poems

The Gospel of Matthew, composed between AD 80 and 90

When Milton writes “that one talent which is death to hide” he is specifically alluding to the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew.

And I would add, for a modern audience who might never have heard of it … they also serve who only stand and wait … and pray.  This was assumed in the day of Milton and his culture … and pray.

So here is a prayer for Passion Week, the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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O Lord of my soul, how quick we are to offend You! But how much quicker are You to forgive us! What am I saying Lord! The sorrows of death have encompassed me. Alas! What a great evil is sin, since it could put God Himself to death with such terrible sufferings! And those same sufferings surround You today, O my Lord! Where can You go that You are not tortured. Men cover You with wounds in all your members.

Christians, this is the hour to defend your King, and to keep Him company in the profound isolation in which He finds Himself. How few, O Lord, are the servants who remain faithful to You! … The worst of it is that there are some who profess to be Your friends in public, but who sell You in secret. You can scarcely find one in whom You can trust. O my God, true Friend, how badly does he repay You who betrays You!

O true Christians, come to weep with your God! It was not only over Lazarus that He shed tears of compassion, but over all those who, in spite of His call, would never rise from the dead. At that time, my Love, You saw even the sins that I would commit against You. May they be at an end, and with them, those of all sinners. Grant that these dead may come to life. May Your voice, Lord, be strong enough to give them life, even if they do not ask it of You.

Lazarus did not ask You to bring him back to life, and yet You restored life to him at the prayer of a sinner. Here is another sinner, my God, and much more culpable than she was. Let, then, Your mercy shine forth! I ask it of You in spite of my wretchedness, for those who will not ask.”

St. Teresa of Avila,  1515 – 1582

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In a recent interview, given to The Catholic Herald, Robert Cardinal Sarah said in answer to question 8:

Robert Cardinal Sarah, in 2015

“First I would like to explain why I, a son of Africa, allow myself to address the West. The Church is the guardian of civilization. I am convinced that western civilization is passing at present through a mortal crisis. It has reached the extreme of self-destructive hate. As during the fall of Rome, elites are only concerned to increase the luxury of their daily life and the peoples are being anesthetized by ever more vulgar entertainment.

As a bishop, it is my duty to warn the West! The barbarians are already inside the city. The barbarians are all those who hate human nature, all those who trample upon the sense of the sacred, all those who do not value life, all those who rebel against God the Creator of man and nature. The West is blinded by science, technology, and the thirst for riches. The lure of riches, which liberalism spreads in hearts, has sedated the peoples.

At the same time, the silent tragedy of abortion and euthanasia continue and pornography and gender ideology destroy children and adolescents. We are accustomed to barbarism. It doesn’t even surprise us anymore!

I want to raise a cry of alarm, which is also a cry of love. I do so with a heart full of filial gratitude for the Western missionaries who died in my land of Africa and who communicated to me the precious gift of faith in Jesus Christ. I want to follow their lead and receive their inheritance!

How could I not emphasize the threat posed by Islamism? Muslims despise the atheistic West. They take refuge in Islamism as a rejection of the consumer society that is offered to them as a religion.

Can the West present them the Faith in a clear way? For that it will have to rediscover its Christian roots and identity. To the countries of the third world, the West is held out as a paradise because it is ruled by commercial liberalism. This encourages the flow of migrants, so tragic for the identity of peoples. A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots, and its identity is destined for contempt, for death, and disappearance.

But I would like to point out that everything is prepared for a renewal. I see families, monasteries, and parishes that are like oases in the middle of a desert. It is from these oases of faith, liturgy, beauty, and silence that the West will be reborn.

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…I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]… Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them..Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, Jesus to St. Faustina, n. 1160, 848

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And finally, for a criminally low price of 99 cents U.S. on Kindle, we have a treasure like unto “The Pearl of Great Price”. We have Daniel O’Connor, in his new book The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta

“In His revelations to Luisa, Jesus goes so far as to say that it is the enemies of the Church who are necessary in order to purge and purify her. It is difficult to think of stronger words; but it’s becoming increasingly impossible to ignore them. Today, it is sadly the Church’s enemies—Godless, secular people who have long hated her—who are doing what the Bishops should have done long ago: dealing with the sin of sexual abuse as strongly as it should be dealt with and exposing the perpetrators.

In this passage, Jesus prophesies today’s crisis to Luisa 100 years before it began; although He does not explicitly refer to the crisis as involving sexual abuse, I think it is safe to say that this is one of the major things (if not the major thing) He intended when He said to Luisa: I was praying blessed Jesus to confound the enemies of the Church, and my always lovable Jesus, in coming, told me:

“My daughter, I could confound the enemies of the Holy Church, but I don’t want to. If I did so, who would purge my Church? The members of the Church, and especially those who occupy positions and heights of dignity, have their eyes dazzled, and they blunder a great deal, reaching the point of protecting the false virtuous and oppressing and condemning the true good.

This grieves Me so much—to see those few true children of mine under the weight of injustice; those children from whom my Church must rise again and to whom I am giving much grace to dispose them to this… I see them placed with their backs to the wall, and bound to prevent their step. This grieves Me so much, that I feel I am all fury for their sake!

Listen my daughter, I am all sweetness, benign, clement and merciful; so much so, that because of my sweetness I enrapture hearts. But I am also strong, as to be able to crush and reduce to ashes those who not only oppress the good, but reach the point of preventing the good which they want to do. Ah! you cry over the secular, and I cry over the painful wounds which are in the body of the Church.

These grieve Me so much as to surpass the wounds of the secular, because they come from the side from which I did not expect it, and induce Me to make the secular rail against them.”[785] Here, Jesus says clearly what it has taken until now for the boldest of voices in the Church to acknowledge: The enemies of the Church, paradoxically, have now proven necessary for the Church in order to purge it. For the leaders of the Church—the Bishops—go so far as to “protect the false virtuous” (predator priests) and “condemn the true good” (traditional, orthodox-minded priests).

Daniel O’Connor, “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta (p. 296).”

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Well, I gotta check the election results, cause I wouldn’t be a good little neanderthal knuckle-dragger if I went to bed without looking it up. I guess that is just about enough for now so I will say goodnight and “Hasta la vista, baby”.

Cheers

Joe

Good news tonight here in our little Rohan of the North.

The people have spoken, and the Now Word is “GOODBYE NDP”.

Does anyone remember de-Nazification?

Its time to Scour the Shire, and Jason Kenney is making noises about turning off the taps to the East and the West Coast. We can always pray.

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Here We Stand … Hae nobis propriae sedes

“Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)

Yes indeed … waiting on the night to fall … and it is falling, isn’t it?  I have a small selection of Web blogs which I read regularly, at least weekly and I am going to share links here because I have found these writers helpful in my own quest … expressing other insights into the same questions and helping me avoid “scope creep” in my own quest.

Letter of Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen, April 17th, 2018

Letter of Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen, April 17th, 2018

The first one (on the list that is, not necessarily in importance) is the Canadian blogger Mark Mallett and his blog “The Now Word, Reflections on Our Times”.   Mark Mallett, a one time TV reporter, is a Roman Catholic singer/songwriter and missionary. He has performed and preached throughout North America and abroad.

The messages posted on Mark’s website are the fruit of prayer and ministry. Mark is very current and he doesn’t pull any punches, but his views are charitable and restrained with respect to the human players. He sets my bar when it comes to “Fraternal Charity” and I often write something in my own posts and then after reading what Mark has to say I edit or rewrite what I have written about the event in question.

Any postings on Mark’s site which contain elements of “private revelation” have been subjected to the discernment of Mark’s spiritual director. I included a letter from his Bishop (image on the right) which he posted on his blog-site on the “about Mark” page.  For a recent example of his work, Mark writes on Robert Cardinal Sarah’s interview with The Catholic Herald:

CARDINAL Sarah has given a stunning, perceptive and prescient interview in the Catholic Herald today. It not only repeats “the now word” in terms of the warning that I have been compelled to speak for over a decade, but most especially and importantly, the solutions. Here are some of the key thoughts from Cardinal Sarah’s interview along with links for new readers to some of my writings that parallel and expand his observations”.

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Father John HunwickThe second Blog-site which I follow regularly is that of the British blogger Fr. John Hunwicke, titled Fr. Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment”   Father Hunwicke was for nearly three decades at Lancing College; where he taught Latin and Greek language and literature, was Head of Theology, and Assistant Chaplain. He has served three curacies, been a Parish Priest, and Senior Research Fellow at Pusey House in Oxford. Since 2011, he has been in full communion with the See of S Peter.

Fr. Hunwicke asserts: The opinions expressed on this Blog are not asserted as being those of the Magisterium of the Church, but as the writer’s opinions as a private individual. Nevertheless, the writer strives, hopes, and prays that the views he expresses are conformable with and supportive of the Magisterium. In this blog, the letters PF stand for Pope Francis. On this blog, ‘Argumentum ad hominem’ refers solely to the Lockean definition, “Pressing a man with the consequences of his own concessions“.

Fr. John has a deep (and sometimes obscure) interest and expertise in “old” liturgical rites and prayers, pre-Vatican II Catholic and Anglican liturgical practices and also a very current and even humourous eye for the goings on in the “modern Roman Curia, The Church of England Hierarchy, and the Catholic and Anglican church at large”.  I appreciate greatly his restraint, and at the same time his dry humour, irony and even satirical observations. He helps me to stay focused, restrained, and to practice “fraternal charity”, when confronted with some of the more egregious “missteps” of our current batch of Curial managers in Rome and in the rest of the Catholic world.

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Third, there is the American blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing at “Fr. Z’s Blog“, formerly entitled: “What Does The Prayer Really Say?” – Clear, straight commentary on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬)    In Fr. Z’s own words: “This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z

I don’t really have any images for Fr. Z. so I guess I will just include an excerpt from a recent post “The Internet Prayer” which I enjoyed:  “… Meanwhile, here is the English (version).  A prayer before logging onto the internet:

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

(and) Finally, I’m still waiting for an improved version in Klingon.”

And just for good measure another post on cooking and “traditional” recipes:  “Lately, Sundays have found me in the kitchen making something interesting… to me, at least. 

Yesterday I had a hankerin’ for Ragù alla bolognese.  When I say “ragù” I don’t mean something in a jar!  Ragù alla bolognese is a classic from one of the truly amazing foodie regions of Italy – and that’s saying a lot – Emilia-Romagna and, so they say, Bologna in particular. 

The denizens of Bologna, as a matter of fact, have codified the “official” recipe via their chamber of commerce.   You can use this ragù (French ragoût from ragoûter… “revive flavor”) directly on various shapes of pasta or as a layer with lasagne.   Broad, flat noodles, such as tagliatelle and pappardelle are great.  I used the latter, dried.  I was a too lazy to make fresh. This sauce is easy to make, but you need patience and time.”

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“Ladies in Lavender”, Joshua Bell, from the album “the Essential Joshua Bell”, (2005)

David Warren

Fourth and last, for today, but by no means least, is the Canadian blogger David Warren. He posts 4 or 5 times a week, a slightly less charitable view of the world than the above three, but no less elegant in his own way.

Because David is closer to my heart, I actually have his site as my default Home Page on my browser so the first thing I see each day when I log on is whatever new words of wisdom and repartee David has seen fit to share with the world.

Irony and Satire figure in many of his posts both on his own site at “Essays in Idleness, but also he aims for a broader audience with his occasional op ed pieces on “The Catholic Thing“. There are many other writers of worthy articles in the archives at “The Catholic Thing”.

Back in 2015, over at David Warren’s site Essays in Idleness we found “Hae nobis propriae sedes” Virgil, Aeneid 3 147-149,  in English I think it is something like “This Will Be Our Proper Place“, according to Google Translate, but I’m no scholar so I may have missed the mark on that. Anyway, David is a beautiful writer and I enjoy his insight. Here is an old post in full from October 2015, or better yet, just go and read his stuff at his own site, it would certainly be worth one’s time.

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Hae nobis propriae sedes

If the Viking priests from the age of the Orkneyinga Saga Orkneyinga Saga(composed eight centuries ago, about matters through centuries before it), returned suddenly to their old haunt on Papa Stronsay, they would have lively conversation with the current inhabitants. As they could not speak English, nor these new monks Old Norse, the chatter would be in Latin. The Mass they would celebrate together would also be in Latin, of course, and the Vikings would have no difficulty in following it. For it was their Mass, too.

The gentle reader who does not already know about the Transalpine Redemptorist presence in Orkney may inform himself (here, and perhaps also, here). For it is more than the “romantic story,” of a genuinely counter-cultural adventure. In some sense one might say that the living centre of the Catholic Church is now more on that bleak, and beautiful island of Papa Stronsay, than in the heart of today’s pagan Rome. This seems especially so in light of the recent Synod; as to me, after reading the current pope’s latest remarks at the conclusion of it — full of his characteristic slights and insults towards traditional practitioners of the Catholic faith.

I know that many faithful are hurting, or quite understandably angry; that they feel violated and betrayed. That is why I am writing like this, reminding that Christ will bind wounds; that He will not betray us. Christ goes where He is wanted, and under present circumstances that is far, far away, “to the peripheries” — or rather, let us cut the cheap sociological blather and say, “to the ends of the Earth.” He is in love with the bright-eyed peoples of Africa; and with those suffering under murderous tyrannies in Asia and the Middle East. By contrast in Europe, and here in the Americas, in our life of fat and consumption, we now have little use for Him; and so He leaves us to find our own way, progressively, downward.

Yet in many rural and remote places, and even sometimes in little neighbourhoods within the huge, fraught cities of these once-Christian realms, His Church is flourishing. The numbers may be tiny in proportion to the general population, but wherever that old Latin Mass is sung, there are vocations, and there is revival. Where it is not, the Church is dying out; and yet here, too, where the Mass of the Ages, and through it the teaching of the ages, is no longer made available, individual novus-ordo Christians still wait and humbly pray for relief.

Christ is there, forever in the Eucharist; and wherever it is taken by the shriven with real faith and the childlike understanding, the power of the Redemption is felt. (And where it is taken by appropriation, unworthily “by right,” the power of Judgement is visited instead.) He is present in the sincerity of all private prayer and petitions, extending from that Mass, and every good and virtuous deed, done in the communion of the Saints. Christ is crucified, dead, and risen; He is alive. Try as they will, His detractors will ever fail to kill Him.

This is simply how things are, and how they always were and will be. Within every cell of the true Church is the relation between that small Christian soul, and this Tremendous Lover. (See here.)

We have often before been abandoned by priests and bishops, with their own private agendas, or strutting their fake “humility” for the adulation of crowds. We have had bad popes; we have had every sin of which men are capable, done in sacred places. This is the world, and this is what men are: fallen. Let them seek forgiveness, and pick themselves up; do what they can to rectify the damage they have caused, the pain they have gratuitously inflicted. Let them open their eyes before Our Lord closes them forever. It makes no sense to choose the road to Hell.

There is nothing new under the Sun, and I see that Saint Peter Damian’s Liber Gommorrhianus, or “Book of Gomorrah,” from ten centuries ago, is once again circulating, in English translation. (Can be ordered here.) It is from another age, when clerical corruption, including rampant sodomy and pederasty, was threatening the integrity of holy orders. Damian was an ascetic, at home in the remote Italian hills, but as I recall from a previous translation of this book, he can be unpleasantly modern in his forensic descriptions of what priests and monks descend to, when they become depraved.

He turns, with a form of mercy that is excoriating, upon the most common crime: then as now, the satanic tampering with adolescent boys. He provides, too, the context for this corruption, through cross-allusion to simony and careerist self-advancement (his Liber Gommorrhianus ought ideally to be read alongside his Liber Gratissimus) — directing fearless, full-bore attacks on the princes of the Church who make themselves comfortable, and hide the crimes. The book made its author extremely unpopular, and the defence of him, by Pope Leo IX, though brave at first, became increasingly lukewarm. But the scandals it exposed were quietly acknowledged and gradually addressed. The shame that this saint had helped to reawaken slowly triumphed over the filth of this eleventh-century liberalism.

This is not the whole story of Petrus Damiani, some of whose miscellaneous writings on the spiritual and contemplative life are also known to me through the excellent translations of Patricia McNulty (1959, here). These are precious, very positive works, curiously contemporary with that saga of conversion in the northern wilds. This lonely Benedictine would likewise be at home with those monks on Papa Stronsay, so far away from him in space and time.

It was beloved Benedict XVI, incidentally, who through his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, brought the Transalpine Redemptorists back into full communion with Holy Church. They were a product of the SSPX reaction against the liberal innovations that followed from Vatican II, and the account of their relations with Rome is complex and often vexed. So it must be in a generation when the Vatican bureaucracy is more easily alarmed and scandalized by the persistently faithful, than by the faithless and glib. But that generation is already passing into ashes.

Our task is to keep our moorings in the true and unchanging Magisterium, clinging, as it were, “to our guns and our Bibles,” or to distant treeless islands as the case may be. For wherever Christ is — however cold, windy, and wet — we are at home in the breast of Our Saviour.”

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Cheers

Joe

I think it’s almost time to eat … fasting makes “EVERYTHING” taste so good.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

The Murky Mirror of Self-Love …

Looking at the mirror of the world today … what we see daily unfolding within the church of Rome and, coincidentally, outside the church, in the citadels of power throughout western society leads to a thought. I just read an interesting article here.

It would seem that such a thing  as “due diligence” is found to be seriously absent in both Roman and international ecclesial administrative and theological policy and procedure.

It seems even more absent than experience suggests is the case outside the church, especially if that diligence would mitigate against moving in the direction which the current bureaucratic leadership desires. The school of “I didn’t know” is in session.

One of the hallmarks of the great cultural revolution in China was the compromise of the entire population by involving them all as active agents in the purges. That model seems to be paralleled in the conduct seen since 1967 in our polite Canadian society and our Roman church, worldwide.

I know The Book of Wisdom does not have a place in the Canon outside of the Catholic Church, and most definitely does not appear in the required reading library of Progressive Managers everywhere.

So it seems relevant that, in the name of ecumenical confraternity, some of the alleged theological and ecclesial conduct in the church of Rome, parallels conduct which is described in the Book of Wisdom, as Progressives in the Roman hierarchy have risen to the top of the pool:

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“Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us, and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for our sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.

He professes himself to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts: the very sight of him is a burden to us and his ways are strange, and he avoids our ways as something unclean.

He calls the last end of the righteous happy and boasts that God is his father.. Let us see if his words are true and let us test what will happen at the end of his life, for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him and will deliver him from the hands of his adversaries.

Let us test him with insult and torture that we may find out how gentle he is and make trial of his forbearance.” (Wis. 2: 12-19).

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The "Dubia" Cardinals

The “Dubia” Cardinals

We are looking at the results of serious attempts to “change the rules” to suite and promote the desired direction of travel.

Objectors are marginalized and removed, silenced until death takes them. Ironically, the removal of the objectors seems to have removed many of the most credible episcopate in the Roman church.

Those who remain are mostly silent, although, fortunately there are still outspoken members of the Catholic Episcopate surviving and speaking truth in spite of the risk. I am in mind here of men like Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Bishop Robert Baron, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,  and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, to name a few. There appears to be light on the horizon far off under the edge of the current gale force winds, thunder and lightning and heavy overcast.

I liken our current ecclesial storm to a storm disaster from the the 20th century, “Fastnet, Force 10, only now it is “Vatican, Force 10”. Trust me, a Force 10 is nothing you want to experience, and I speak from experience.

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

The “Rainbow” no longer appears in the heavens as a sign of God’s promise, rather it has a much more malignant connotation in our “enlightened” times.

I am becoming a sort of Robert Cardinal Sarah “fanboy” in my appreciation of his writings on reverence and silence, for example, found in “The Power of Silence”, through Ignatius Press and also found on Amazon.com for the Kindle reader.

Another impressive book is “The Benedict Option”, by Rod Dreher, also available on Kindle from Amazon.com.

The Benedict Option is a manifesto, and a rallying cry for all Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years.

It’s for all mere Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times.

Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us.

These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

Is it becoming reasonable, even charitable, to pray for another cleansing flood?

Cheers

Joe

This is a bad storm, and only the Master of the vessel can be trusted.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Second Thoughts … (part four) implications of the New Paradigm …

Prophecy” Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Feather and Skull”, (2013)

(continued from my last post) the underlying thought giving rise to this post and the previous posts on the “New Paradigm” is my continuing ability to be offended by the words and actions of others with whom I have no connection whatsoever, and who, if someone asked them, would reply “Joe Who????”. Why am I annoyed with these antics?

The Dead Marshes

The Dead Marshes – from Peter Jackson’s movie “The Two Towers” based on “The Lord Of The Rings”

As I wade through my personal mental virtual reality of Frodo’s “Dead Marshes”  where the public actions of our modern Roman Curia color my faith life, I have to continually remind myself that “telling it like it is” is really only “telling it like what I think it might be”.

It’s not really “like it is” because there is no way I can know what it is. What I “think it is” is colored by my pride, my opinion, and my desires regarding what I think it “should” be.  I am completely missing the “deep” game. Only God reads the heart. In a post yesterday, related to unexpected disappointments,  Mark Mallett says:

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“… And then it happens. She (the cow) lifts her tail and lets it go. Fresh manure hits the straw and sprays in every direction. And there it is—melting like a chunk of butter in a pot of rice—poop in my pail.

Sacred Cows

Our Sacred Cows of Dogma, Belief, and Opinion are alive and kicking

My perfect morning was shattered. Instantly grumpy. I led her back to the corral, washed my bucket, and plumped myself down in my office to pout for a minute. But what I read next changed my mood in a hurry—a word allegedly from Momma earlier today:

… Pray for the strength of faith; trust in the love of the Heavenly Father. I am with you. I am manifesting myself to you. I am encouraging you. With immeasurable motherly love I am caressing your souls. Thank you. —Our Lady of Medjugorje to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, March 18th, 2018 (annual apparition)

… Our Lady reveals something crucial here. You see, every day, there is going to be poop in the pail. Another big bill. A pile of dirty dishes. An annoying co-worker. A new car repair. Another illness. Another disappointment… Faith is what says, “God has given these to me as a gift to see, first, what kind of a person I am (patient or not, charitable or not, humble or not…. etc.); and second, to test whether I really trust in Him.” Because it is not a perfect day that increases our communion with the Holy Trinity, but a death to our self-love, self-will, and desire to be God—to control everything around us…”.

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A priest friend of mine has remarked from time to time on his own conduct in traffic, to the effect that: “… a sure sign of one’s measure of fraternal charity is how one thinks and speaks about other drivers in traffic …”. Truer words were never spoken … how one thinks and speaks about other drivers in traffic. I am thinking that “drivers” and “traffic” are all the drivers in the traffic of life.

All of us impacting one another in a multitude of ways and the odds are astronomical that the irritation is not attributable to any malice or maleficence but simply to normal daily human self love and lack of awareness. We are simply not aware, for the most part, of our impact on others, all the other drivers on the freeway of life. We give offense without a moments thought and that offense is taken personally and grows and is passed on to yet more drivers.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila says that concern for their honor is the reason why many people who have devoted themselves to the spiritual life, and are very deserving on account of many good works, are still “down on earth” and never succeed in reaching the “summit of perfection”. That’s really what it is, right? I am attached to my “honor”.

What I “think it is” is colored by my pride and desires, by my concern for my honor, my opinion, and my version of reality is just that … my version … and my trust in God’s plan, much thought about, is actually missing in action. Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

Pride, pride, pride, it is always about pride. So, back to Father Spadaro, and Anthony Annett, and the new Paradigm, and why are they pissed off with EWTN? And most importantly (for me) why does their being pissed off piss me off?

When did the Assistant to the Director of the IMF’s Communications Department get the right to make the calls on who gets censured and who gets excommunicated in the Roman Catholic Church? And why is a senior Catholic cleric agreeing with him? Well, from my last post I repeat: just who is Anthony (Tony) Annett:

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Tony Annett

Tony Annett

As mentioned, Tony handles outreach on the sustainable development agenda. (that’s right, Tony works for the United Nations).

And the “New Paradigm” of Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See, and our Pope Francis, (aka – the Peronist  Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio)  is tied to Sustainable Development.

And Sustainable Development” is tied to the U.N. agenda of controlling the population of Africa through encouraging birth control and freely available abortion.

Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

But … there is another view of what the U.N. is doing in Africa, and this view is not covered by Western media in any noticeable way since it flies in the face of currently fashionable Western sexual mores. One articulate presenter of that view is Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author. The blurb for her new book on Amazon says this:

*****

“Since the end of colonization Africa has struggled with socioeconomic and political problems. This has attracted wealthy donors from western nations, organizations and private foundations who have assumed the role of helper and deliverer.

While some donors have good intentions, there are other western “progressive” donors whose gifts to Africa are often attached to their ideology of sexual liberation.

These are the ideological neo-colonial masters of the 21st century who aggressively push into Africa their views on contraception, population control, sexualisation of children, feminism, homosexuality and abortion.

Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author

Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author

The author, a native of Africa, shows how these donors are masterful at exploiting some of the heaviest burdens and afflictions of Africa such as maternal mortality, unplanned pregnancies, HIV/AIDS pandemic, child marriage and persistent poverty.

This exploitation has put many African nations in the vulnerable position of receiving funding tied firmly to ideological solutions that are opposed to the cultural views and values of the people.

Thus many African nations are put back into the protectorate positions of dependency as new cultural standards conceived in the west are made into core policies in African capitals and the new redefined terms of the west become applied within various African ministries.

This book reveals a problematic facet of neo-colonialism that is rarely seen or talked about. Drawing from a broad array of well-sourced materials and documents, it tells the story of foreign aid gifts with strings attached, the story of Africa targeted and recolonized by wealthy powerful donors.”

*****

So Anthony (Tony) Annett is on the “other” team, the team that Uju Ekeocha is writing about in her book “Target Africa”.

Tony plays a leadership role in the Ethics in Action initiative bringing together religious leaders, academics, business and labor leaders, development practitioners, and activists to develop and promote “ethically-grounded practical solutions to sustainable development challenges“. That would include religious leaders like the senior Vatican  bureaucrats in the Pope’s “A” team.

Fr. Michael Pacwa, SJ

Fr. Michael Pacwa, SJ

Tony is one of the major leaders of the very group that Obianuju Ekeocha is writing about in her book “Target Africa: Ideological Neo-colonialism of the Twenty-first Century Paperback – February 15, 2018″

Why are major players in the Vatican cuddling up to major players in the U.N. Family Planning agenda?  Why are they supporting each other and targeting such entities as EWTN? 

Do you suppose there is a connection between EWTN programming about Target Africa: Ideological Neo-colonialism of the Twenty-first Century and  the big leaders in the U.N.’s African Family Planning movement getting upset with EWTN, you know, along the lines of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend“? 

Start at minute 6:53 of the YouTube video in the above link of Father Mitch talking with Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author of Target Africa.

Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

Xi JinpingAnd, last but not least, I first mentioned at the very end of a previous post that there seems to be something going on in China between our “Pope for Life” the Bishop of Rome, and Xi Jinping the new President For Life” of China.

“The Guardian” is announcing that the Vatican has reached an agreement with the Peoples Republic of China.

Jorge MariCardinalBergoglio is 81 years old. Xi Jinping is 64 years old. So who do you suppose is going to control the “New Agreement” between Xi Jinping, the newPresident For Life“,  and the Pope for Life” the Bishop of Rome,  Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio  (aka Pope Francis)?

Odds are pretty good that the President For Life will outlast the “Pope for Life”  by a couple of decades at least. So who is going to manage this new relationship?

What’s not to love about this new development, the oldest organized theistic religion on the planet in bed with the oldest atheistic government on the planet with respect to the appointment of “acceptable” bishops?

I wonder what that will mean for the Catholic Church in China? Maybe Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio figures he is going to infiltrate and revolutionize Chinese society – seems a long shot from here but I suppose it is conceivable … maybe … after all, the Church has infiltrated, penetrated and converted some pretty formidable pagan empires in the past. Ever hear of the Roman Empire?

Roman Empire

Roman Empire

China, The United Nations, the Roman Catholic Church, I never thought I would see the day when one could reasonably mention all three as connected in a story that actually reflected what is going on in the world today.

Oh, I guess there is still more stuff to sink into in this “Dead Marsh” but I guess it can wait … Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

I am giving much thinking to silence … this multiplication of feelings and complaints and dissatisfaction with the turn of events that distresses me because I place such high value on my own way of thinking, on my own point of view, my own opinion.

Yes indeed, I have a very high opinion of myself – not much immolation of self going on here … probably I should just shut up … instead of saying “NO!” just choose to say nothing at all … choose silence.

Portrait of Henri Nouwen in the 1990s by Frank Hamilton

Portrait of Henri Nouwen in the 1990s by Frank Hamilton

In The Way of the Heart”, Henri Nouwen says: “Thus, silence is the discipline by which the inner fire of God is tended and kept alive. . . . What needs to be guarded is the life of the Spirit within us. Especially we who want to witness to the presence of God’s Spirit in the world need to tend the fire within with utmost care.

It is not so strange that many ministers have become burnt-out cases, people (who) say many words and share many experiences, but in whom the fire of God’s Spirit has died and from whom not much more comes forth than their own boring, petty ideas and feelings.

Sometimes it seems that our many words are more an expression of our doubt than of our faith. It is as if we are not sure that God’s Spirit can touch the hearts of people: we have to help him out and, with many words, convince others of his power. But it is precisely this wordy unbelief that quenches the fire. . . .

Taken from: “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” by Robert Cardinal Sarah,  Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition. (para 135, locations 1233-1239)

So, maybe I should just shut up … too much talking … too much pointing … too much “Hey What’s Going On?

Cheers

Joe

Its a New Paradigm, Grasshopper … but Master, it looks like a duck …

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Cardinal Sarah … on Silence …

A Dhia Ghleigil, Oh Glorious God”, Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstall Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube (Voice From The Cloud)” (1996)

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

“134. We need to cultivate silence and to surround it with an interior dike. In my prayer and in my interior life, I have always felt the need for a deeper, more complete silence.

I am talking about a kind of discretion that amounts to not even thinking about myself but, rather, turning my attention, my being, and my soul toward God. The days of solitude, silence, and absolute fasting have been a great support.

They have been an unprecedented grace, a slow purification, and a personal encounter with a God who wanted to draw me gradually toward a more substantial interior life so as to maintain an intimate relationship with him. Days of solitude, silence, and fasting, nourished by the Word of God alone, allow man to base his life on what is essential.”

Sarah, Robert Cardinal. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (Kindle Locations 1224-1230). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

r. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen

This book of Cardinal Sarah’s is another “treasure from the attic” and amazingly current, not even an antique, but as important and lucid as Father Gabriel’s “Divine Intimacy” or even Augustine’s “Confessions” at the right time in one’s life.

Cardinal Sarah writes in French and this e-book is translated into English for those who have problems reading French … but not so much of a problem for a survivor of, a refugee from, Quebec Premier Jean Lesage’s “Quite Revolution” of the 60’s.

My father realized that there was no future for an Anglo in the new Quebec, and my family emigrated to Ontario with the tidal wave of Anglos escaping the anti-Anglo bigotry running rampant in the Quebec of the 60’s.

Anyway, I did learn French as a result, forced to learn it to graduate from High School, and mostly it was useful in future years in understanding what French delegates at National Conferences were ranting about when they thought only Anglos were listening.

As to the book, I think the original French might be a better read, but the translation is good. Cardinal Sarah also gave us “God or Nothing” which I read a couple of years ago. For a few bucks on Amazon.com for the e-book … priceless.

Almost exactly a year since I started practicing intermittent fasting as part of my “Flame of Love” devotions. Amazing health benefits have flowed from that decision to begin fasting and the practice has become a regular part of my life.

Strangely prescient, making this lifestyle decision, and then to find the practice popping up again everywhere I go in my spiritual  reading as a recommended practice in aid of spiritual growth.

Perhaps not such a surprise, in hindsight, to find that following the manufacturer’s instructions helps the engine run better, smoother, faster, longer … follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They are hard to miss once one starts sincerely looking and reading.

Cheers

Joe

So much to read, so much to digest, in silence and no calories ...

So much to read, so much to digest, in silence and no calories …

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The Power of Silence … Silence is difficult …

67. In “Un autre regard sur l’homme” [Another look at man], Maurice Zundel seems to develop Plotinus’ thought in greater depth when he writes: ******

Maurice Zundel

Maurice Zundel

Our whole life is comprised in this alternative: either I am in myself or I am in God. There is no middle way. When I stop encountering myself, that is when God is really present. When I lose sight of myself, that is when I look at Him. When I no longer hear myself, that is when I listen to Him, and God, at all levels, consists precisely in losing myself in Him.

The program is simple, but implementing it is difficult, because we cannot decree an encounter or set the hour in which love will spring forth. There is no path that infallibly ends with an exchange of intimacies. Nothing is freer, more unforeseen, or more gratuitous. All you can do is to remove the obstacles that make such an exchange impossible, and they are all summed up in the noise that one makes with oneself and around oneself.

The only chance we have of leaving ourselves is to neutralize our attention, peacefully to withdraw our attention from this whole confused mix of appetites and claims, and to shut off the psychological current that feeds this turmoil; in this recollection, the emptiness that makes us available grows ever wider and deeper. When total silence is established, it is already an announcement of the Presence who fills up the space resulting from the retreat of myself.” *****

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

68. Silence is difficult, but it enables man to let himself be led by God. From silence is born silence. Through God the silent, we can attain silence. And man is unceasingly surprised by the light that pours forth then. Silence is more important than any other human work. Because it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place us humbly and generously at their service.

Robert Cardinal Sarah,  “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” (Kindle Locations 821-837, para 67 & 68). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

 

Cheers

Joe

When I stop encountering myself, that is when God is really present. When I lose sight of myself, that is when I look at Him. When I no longer hear myself, that is when I listen to Him. Maurice Zundel

 

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The Dictatorship of Noise …

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

From the book The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of NoiseSection 31. I will never stop thanking the good, holy priests who generously give their whole lives for the kingdom of God. But I will untiringly denounce those who are unfaithful to the promises of their ordination. In order to make themselves known or to impose their personal views, both on the theological and the pastoral level, they speak again and again. These clerics repeat the same banal things. I could not affirm that God dwells within them.

Who can think their sheer outpourings to be a spring coming from the divine depths? But they talk, and the media love to listen to them in order to reecho their ineptitudes, particularly if they declare themselves in favor of the new posthumanist ideologies, in the realm of sexuality, the family, and marriage.

These clerics consider God’s thinking about conjugal life to be an “evangelical ideal”. Marriage is no longer a requirement willed by God, modeled and manifested in the nuptial bond between Christ and the Church. Some theologians in their presumptuousness and arrogance go so far as to assert personal opinions that are difficult to reconcile with revelation, tradition, the centuries-old Magisterium of the Church, and the teaching of Christ.

Thus, highly amplified by the blaring media, they go so far as to dispute God’s design. Have we not arrived at the fulfillment of the prophetic words of Paul VI, quoted by Jean Guitton in his book Paul VI secret: “There is great turmoil at this time in the world and in the Church, and what is in dispute is the faith. . . . What strikes me, when I look at the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism a sort of non-Catholic thought seems to predominate sometimes, and it may happen tomorrow that this non-Catholic thought will become the strongest within Catholicism. But it will never represent the mind of the Church. A tiny little flock has to continue in existence, however small it may be.

It is urgent to listen again to the voice of Saint Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians: For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (2 Cor 2:17)    Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. . . . We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Cor 4:1-2)

Robert Cardinal Sarah . The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (Kindle Locations 547-566). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

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Silence … IN the Trinity …

The Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel, 1964

David Warren

David Warren

In the immortal words of David Warren: “Among the joys of winter, up here in the land God gave Cain (“Cainada”), are our glorious “cold snaps.” That is when temperatures, which we had naïvely thought insupportable, suddenly plunge. The breeze comes into this, too. I don’t know if readers in Bali, or Gabon, can fully appreciate what I mean by a “windchill” of minus 40 degrees. (Fahrenheit or Celsius: take your pick.)”

Or even colder, appreciate -50C. After 15 years of working outdoors even in -50 degrees Celsius I can testify that windchill is for pussies. Maybe if you live on the North Slope in Alaska, or in Alert, NWT or I guess that would be Nunavut nowadays, or anywhere in northern Cainada one “gets it” when cold is the topic, or perhaps if one lives in any of the Scandinavian countries or you call home the open stretches of Boreal forest in Siberia.

This is your drink at -40C

This is your drink at -40C

Windchill might be relevant should one be running around naked at these temperatures but doesn’t play into the equation absent the naked flesh. One’s parka or vehicle skin are unaffected by windchill and anyway I can testify that at -50C there is precious little wind.

I am now happy to live and work (indoors) in a part of the country which only gets down to a balmy -30 C,  cold enough to freeze the doors of ones vehicle shut but not cold enough to turn your cup of coffee into snow should you be prodigal enough to throw it into the air over your head.

One of the interesting things about cold is how the colder it gets the quieter it gets. Cold and silence seem to go together. As do silence and God, and becoming “in” God, as in “union with” God and the will of God. In silence …

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “… A first door opens if we read these words of the Lord carefully. The choice of the word “in the name of the Father” in the Greek text is very important: the Lord says “eis” and not “en”, that is, not “in the name” of the Trinity—as when we say that a vice-prefect speaks “on behalf” of the prefect, an ambassador speaks “on behalf” of the government: no.

It says: “eis to onoma”, that is, an immersion into the name of the Trinity, a being inserted in the name of the Trinity [that is, a silent, invisible but real and life-giving] interpenetration of being in God and of our being, a being immersed in God the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; just as it is in marriage, for example. Two people become one flesh, they become a new and unique reality with a new and unique name.” Benedict XVI, June 2012, Lectio Divina at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran

and:

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

…  “It is the same with priestly ordination. In silence, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, a man becomes not only an alter Christus, another Christ, but much more: he is ipse Christus, Christ himself. At that moment nothing appears externally, but in the silence, in the depths of his being, there is a true and real identification with Christ.

Saint Ambrose, in his treatise On the Mysteries, exhorts us, saying: “You saw there the deacon, you saw the priest, you saw the chief priest [i.e., the bishop]. Consider not the bodily forms, but the grace of the Mysteries.” Externally, as priests, we remain sinners, but in reality we are as though “transubstantiated” and configured to Christ himself. In the act of transubstantiation, the priest takes the role of Christ.” Robert Cardinal Sarah, . “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise“(Kindle Locations 338-342). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Silence … blessed silence …

Cheers

Joe

“God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence”, Saint Teresa of Calcutta said poetically [in her book A Gift for God].

 

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Humility … the most challenging mountain to climb …

Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

From the introduction of:  “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” by Robert Cardinal Sarah. (Kindle Locations 195-246). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Humility.
“… From this perspective, he can adopt as his own the step taken by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val. Having retired from the public business of the Church, the former Secretary of State of Saint Pius X had composed a beautiful “Litany of Humility”, which he recited every day after celebrating Mass:

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like yours.
From self-will, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be understood, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be visited, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being abandoned, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being refused, deliver me, O Lord.
That others may be loved more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
At being unknown and poor, Lord, I want to rejoice.
At being deprived of the natural perfections of body and mind,Lord, I want to rejoice.
When people do not think of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they assign to me the meanest tasks, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they do not even deign to make use of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never ask my opinion, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they leave me at the lowest place, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never compliment me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they blame me in season and out of season, Lord, I want to rejoice.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

(from the introduction to: Robert Cardinal Sarah. “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” (Kindle Locations 195-246). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.)

What are our fondest desires, in fulsome pride? Self-Will, to be Esteemed, Loved, Extolled, Honored, Praised, Preferred, Consulted, Approved, Understood, Visited … pretty much covers the entire gamut of human pride, original sin, we know best, anyone who disagrees with us is wrong, and so on and so on.

What are our deepest fears? To be Humiliated, Despised, Rebuked, Calumniated, Forgotten, Ridiculed, Suspected, Wronged, Abandoned, Refused … again, pretty much covers the entire gamut of human fears, and yet, and yet …

Texas Election ProtestsIs this not a comprehensive iteration of how our culture, our “modern Progressive society”, has treated and continues to treat Christ in his every aspect and manifestation – the “man of sorrows”.

Does not our culture understand and apply to us (Christians) exactly those items which we fear most.

Las Vegas Election ProtestsThe prevalent culture, even as does ISIS, perceives humility as weakness. Since it is “safe” to attack Christians and Christianity, the Progressive society of our day feels they can attack us with impunity.

All the vile attacks, the endless ridicule and violence, while hypocritically pontificating and posturing about how “Brave” and “Courageous” they are attacking a target they are sure will not strike back. “Je suis Charlie” didn’t last very long, did it?

Kathleen WynneThe sacred cow of “tolerance”  is singularly lacking in the Liberal, Democratic culture that hates ANYTHING that does not approve of their deviant lifestyle. Except no one in our progressive society or our mainstream media would even dream of applying the same terms to the “Religion of Peace”.

Vandean MassacreThus they reveal for the world the fundamental cowardice of all Progressive philosophies. Thus, unwittingly, they re-assure ISIS and all of Islam that they are no threat. They WILL always accommodate strength and force.

The chestless poltroons in our cultural leadership, the self proclaimed “Brights” of the new enlightenment, will embrace ANYTHING, even Dhimmitude,  Kharaj, and Jizya as long as they can escape punishment and discomfort.

And thus they doom themselves to an eternity of slavery and evil.

Even ISIS sees the evil inherent in our culture. That evaluation of our prevalent culture and our leadership is not very humble, eh? So, bring it on!  Peace be upon you, may the unification of all true believers come now according to the prophecy of Fatima. Please come now!

Cheers,

Joe

Desert Walk5For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many. 6And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: 8Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. Mat 24 : 5-8

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