29 July 2014

True*




"He makes William Shakespeare look like Mötley Crüe. Sorry, Shakespeare."

-- Tom Petty, speaking about the great Bob Dylan




* ok, maybe just a little bit hyperbolic, but still...

One Passion and Four Walls

They had a long talk. Thea felt that Dr. Archie had never let himself out to her so much before. It was the most grown-up conversation she had ever had with him. She left his office happy, flattered and stimulated. She ran for a long while about the white, moonlit streets, looking up at the stars and the bluish night, at the quiet houses sunk in black shade, the glittering sand hills. She loved the familiar trees, and the people in those little houses, and she loved the unknown world beyond Denver. She felt as if she were being pulled in two, between the desire to go away forever and the desire to stay forever. She had only twenty years—no time to lose.

Many a night that summer she left Dr. Archie's office with a desire to run and run about those quiet streets until she wore out her shoes, or wore out the streets themselves; when her chest ached and it seemed as if her heart were spreading all over the desert. When she went home, it was not to go to sleep. She used to drag her mattress beside her low window and lie awake for a long while, vibrating with excitement, as a machine vibrates from speed. Life rushed in upon her through that window—or so it seemed. In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no work of art so big or so beautiful that it was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardor and anticipation. It was on such nights that Thea Kronborg learned the thing that old Dumas meant when he told the Romanticists that to make a drama he needed but one passion and four walls.

--Willa Sibert Cather, The Song of the Lark.




There's No Mean Like Church Mean

That saying is not original to me, but it sure rings true at times.




28 July 2014

Inveterávi inter omnes inimícos meos

A little while ago I received this helpful email from a member of our all-tolerant civil society:

I can't believe that such primitive fairy tales based beliefs still linger in the 21st century! You brainwashed Catholic imbeciles need to quit spreading your lies to manipulate your fellow brainwashed dimwits. You sheep need to focus on protecting innocent children from being raped by the numerous sick pedophile Catholic priests that you hinder from criminal prosecution! I as an atheist long for the day when adults that believe in your primitive fairy tales based dogma disappear from the earth as mankinds' collective intellect increases and turns away from your silly religion!!

Is that you, Charles Jaco? Or, judging from the citation to "mankinds' [sic] collective intellect increas[ing]," perhaps I have drawn the ire of a former Vatican II peritus.

Either way, thanks for the heads up! You might want to contact our boss:





First They Came for the Liturgy; Now They're Coming for Doctrine

Paraphrasing from remarks about the upcoming Synod on the Family by Chris Ferrara and Michael Matt at The Remnant.  A very well articulated and concise summary of the problems surrounding this synod, and the threats to the family and to faith posed by the working preparatory documents for it. 

It is the same solution to the same problem:  if the aftermath of Vatican II was a disaster in such-and-such area, well then, let's try more of the same.

At roughly 25:14 of the interview, Ferrara says this:

"We're in a situation where the laity have to stand up for the truth and they have to speak out publicly against what's happening.  ...You can see the stages through which the postconciliar crisis has progressed.  They wrecked the liturgy.  Then they started tampering with evangelization in favor of ecumenism.  Then came interreligious dialogue.  Then the seminaries emptied; the convents emptied; the pews emptied; the schools began to close. 

What's left? Basic moral teachings.

'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' 

'Sodomy is a sin that cries out to Heaven for retribution.' 

Now they want to come and alter the teaching on those fundamental principles of the Natural Law.  That's the last vestige of traditional Catholicism left, and the people participating in this synod are vowing to find a "solution"--as if there were one-- to a predicament that people have placed themselves into because they violate the Divine and Natural Law.  That's the final stage:  the attack on morality itself-- in the name of the People of God."

Brace yourselves, folks.  See you in October.

100 Years of Death and Destruction




Today marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary on Serbia, that marked the formal beginning of the war that would at last destroy the remnants of Christendom. Rorate has two worthy pieces on the event here and here.

St. Pius X was the reigning pontiff, but he would die before a month passed. Neither did Franz Josef survive the war; he died in 1916. Neither man lived to see the conclusion to this suicide of the West. There is some irony here, as it was Franz Josef who exercised the jus exclusivae to block Leo XIII's Secretary of State from election to the papacy, thus ending in the selection of the great St. Pius X. The Pope, perhaps with some prescience, barred the future exercise of jus exclusivae by any secular power.

St. Pius was the fierce opponent of modernism, which sought to undermine the Church and the Western order from within. The election of Pius was immediately seen as a blow to anti-clerical societies. For a time, he held the enemies of civilization at bay. But they would at last become ascendant. The War was a necessary vehicle to their success.

World War I would see the destruction of the old order and the Church's vigilance against the heresy of modernism. We know what followed.

We are the orphans of great ancestors.

Only Divine intervention, it seems, can stop the carnage that continues to our ruin, even to this day. Our Lady of Fatima was sent by her Son during that war, with a message of warning, which if heeded, is a message of hope. So far, we have not heeded her. Our victory will begin when we do.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!




25 July 2014

Well-Considered, and Well-Said

Mr. Archbold covers some of the rhetorical excesses of a well-known NFP booster. Delicate subject; read before reacting.

Feast of Santiago Matamoros

St. James the Greater, that is-- son of Zebedee, brother of John the Evangelist, one of the favored three Apostles who accompanied Our Lord on Tabor, first Apostolic Martyr, Patron Saint of Spain, Destroyer of the Moors.

And, because God is good, it is also the feast day of St. Christopher, who is NOT "defrocked" as you may have mislearned in the press a decade or so ago.

From the Epistle and Gospel of today:

1 Corinthians 4: 9-15

[9] For I think that God hath set forth us apostles, the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. [10] We are fools for Christ' s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour. [11] Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; [12] And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. [13] We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now. [14] I write not these things to confound you; but I admonish you as my dearest children. [15] For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

Matthew 20: 20-23

[20] Then came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of him. [21] Who said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. [22] And Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to him: We can. [23] He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father.

Two more items for the day, which I repost from previous years.

The first is an excerpt from The Liturgical Year:

Nearly eight centuries, which to the heavenly citizens are but as a day, had passed over that tomb in the north of Spain, where two disciples had secretly laid the apostle's body. During that time the land of his inheritance, which he had so rapidly traversed, had been overrun first by Roman idolaters, then by Arian barbarians, and when the day of hope seemed about to dawn, a deeper night was ushered in by the Crescent. One day lights were seen glimmering over the briars that covered the monument; attention was drawn to the spot, which henceforth went by the name of the field of stars. But what are those sudden shouts coming down from the mountains, and echoing through the valleys? Who is this unknown chief rallying against an immense army the little worn-out troop whose heroic valour could not yesterday save it from defeat? Swift as lightning, and bearing in one hand a white standard with a red cross, he rushes with drawn sword upon the panic-stricken foe, and dyes the feet of his charger in the blood of 70,000 slain. Hail to the chief of the holy war, of which this Liturgical Year has so often made mention! St. James! St. James! Forward, Spain! It is the reappearance of the Galilean fisherman, whom the Man-God once called from the bark where he was mending his nets; of the elder son of thunder, now free to hurl the thunderbolt upon these new Samaritans, who pretend to honour the unity of God by making Christ no more than a prophet. Henceforth James shall be to Christian Spain the firebrand which the prophet saw, devouring all the people round about, to the right hand and to the left, until Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place in Jerusalem.

And when, after six centuries and a half of struggle, his standard bearers, the Catholic kings, had succeeded in driving the infidel hordes beyond the seas, the valiant leader of the Spanish armies laid aside his bright armour, and the slayer of Moors became once more a messenger of the faith. As fisher of men, he entered his bark, and gathering around it the gallant fleets of Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Albuquerque, he led them over unknown seas to lands that had never yet heard the name of the Lord. For his contribution to the labours of the twelve, James drew ashore his well-filled nets, from west and east and south, from new worlds, renewing Peter's astonishment at the sight of such captures. He, whose apostolate seemed at the time of Herod III to have been crushed in the bud before bearing any fruit, may say with St. Paul: I have no way come short of them that are above measure apostles, for by the grace of God, I have laboured more abundantly than all they.

Finally, all Catholic hearts must invariably turn to Spain on this glorious feast day of St. James the Greater. Today let all of us, wherever we are, be spiritually united in the Sacred Heart in Santiago de Compostela.

Let our prayers be offered for, and in union with, the peregrinos arriving at the Cathedral today.

Happy feast day!

23 July 2014

Jane Austen or Willa Cather?

Discuss.



Now Boarding the Bishop Athanasius Schneider Bandwagon




Just to make it official, mind you. I'm certainly not the first, and the Bear posted about this article already, but man, is it good.

Thus, I thought that in addition to linking the story, I would post a few excerpts, with some great quotes from His Excellency:

In his interview, Bishop Schneider said the “banal” and casual treatment of the Blessed Sacrament is part of a major crisis in the Church in which some laity and clergy, including some in positions of authority, are siding with secular society. At the heart of the problems, he believes, is the creeping introduction of a man-centred agenda, while in some churches God, in the tabernacle, really is materially put in a corner, while the priest takes centre stage. Bishop Schneider argued that this situation is now coming to a head. “I would say, we are in the fourth great crisis [of the Church], in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years.”

How long will it last? “Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years."

__________

“I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism and the forgetting of Christo-centrism…

“This is the deepest evil: man, or the clergy, putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they change the revealed truth of God, for instance, concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.”

__________

The bishop said he hopes “the majority of the bishops still have enough Catholic spirit and faith that they will reject the proposal and not accept this”.

Nevertheless, he can foresee a split coming, leading to an eventual renewal of the Church on traditional lines. But, he believes, this will not be before the crisis has plunged the Church further into disarray. Eventually, he thinks, the “anthropocentric” [man-centred] clerical system will collapse. “This liberal clerical edifice will crash down because they have no roots and no fruits,” he said.

__________

Bishop Schneider also rejected the idea that concern for the liturgy is less important than, or even separate from, concern for the poor. “This is erroneous. The first commandment which Christ gave us was to adore God alone. Liturgy is not a meeting of friends. It is our first task to adore and glorify God in the liturgy and also in our manner of life. From a true adoration and love of God grows love for the poor and our neighbour. It is a consequence.”
__________

Such critics may assert that Bishop Schneider’s concern over Holy Communion is like worrying over the numbers of angels on a pinhead. But the bishop insists that treatment of the Eucharist is at the very heart of the crisis. “The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church,” he said. “When the heart is weak, the whole body is weak.”
__________

But despite his concerns, Bishop Schneider is not pessimistic and believes that there is already a groundswell of support for traditional values that will, in time, renew the Church: “Little ones in the Church have been let down and neglected,” he said. “[But] they have kept the purity of their faith and they represent the true power of the Church in the eyes of God and not those who are in administration.

“I spoke with young students in Oxford and I was so much impressed by these students. I was so glad to see their purity of faith and their convictions, and the clear Catholic mind. This will renew the Church. So I am confident and hopeful also in respect of this crisis in the Church. The Holy Ghost will win this crisis with this little army.”

He added: “I am not worried about the future. The Church is Christ’s Church and He is the real head of the Church, the Pope is only the vicar of Christ. The soul of the Church is the Holy Spirit and He is powerful.”