Liberty

But what more oft in Nations grown corrupt,
And by thir vices brought to servitude,
Then to love Bondage more then Liberty,
Bondage with ease then strenuous liberty;
And to despise, or envy, or suspect
Whom God hath of his special Favour rais’d
As thir Deliverer; if he aught begin,
How frequent to desert him, and at last
To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds?

-Milton, Samson Agonistes, ll 269-276

Samson Agonistes is Milton’s presentation of the final day of Samson as a tragedy (i.e. the day when he pulled the temple of Dagon down on the Philistines in the style of a tragedy by Aeschylus, Sophocles, or Euripides). Among the themes explored in this tragedy are liberty, self-control, and obedience to God. They are contrasted with human weakness for the sensual and its concomitant slavery, as well as the folly of disobedience to the revealed will of God.

Liberty has been an important theme this year. The appointment of Justice Kavanaugh was about restoring the liberty enshrined in the constitution and declaring that the pretended liberty of abortion is a sham. No one has the right to kill another human being for personal reasons. In the midterms, Americans contended for two different visions of America: on the one hand, the diminution of the state as espoused by conservatives and libertarians; on the other, the increasing encroachment of the state upon our personal freedoms and privacy. In the United Kingdom, we saw continued tensions over the implementation of Brexit, and the question of the UK’s freedom from EU control thereafter.

Liberty, at its core, is an arena in which rationalists and transcendentalists contend against empiricists. The empiricists who believe liberty should be preserved are at war with themselves, whether they realise it or not. Liberty as a universal value that should bind humanity (if one will pardon the apparent paradox) cannot be derived from experience. If, which is neither admitted nor denied, experience tells man that he has liberty, it does not tell him that he should maintain liberty for himself and his neighbour.

This is the paradox of liberty as espoused by God-fearers. Liberty as a gift from God to mankind carries a restriction, an obligation. Unlike the hurly burly of a godless universe, in which one man, to maximise his liberty, restrains that of his neighbour, the God-fearing account of liberty tells each man to restrain himself in order to allow his neighbour to exercise the freedom that is his own particular gift.

This virtuous self-restraint makes an appearance in the question of abortion, which seems an appropriate topic following the Feast of the Holy Innocents. In destroying a child in the womb, one is depriving it of its freedom to live and, in living, to exercise all the other freedoms accorded to a human being as it experiences what the world has to offer. While it is admitted that humans do lawfully constrain the freedom of other humans through imprisonment, financial penalties, and death in war and execution, these are justified on the basis of justice and protection. These justifications are not available in the case of abortion: the child is too young to have incurred moral blame for any threat, real or imagined, that it purportedly poses to its mother and her wider circle of family and acquaintances.

Liberty, being a necessary condition of moral action, therefore attracts praise and blame when moral actions are performed. A person who freely chooses to destroy the life of an unborn child has transgressed. The court to which such a case pertains is not the court of experience: whether one feels good or bad about the matter is not the point. It is God, in and beyond our physical world, who sees and judges such an act.

As we head into 2019, mindful of the challenges it brings, contending for our ancient liberties, we can remember that our liberties bring us into moral choices on a daily basis. Being free in law is not the whole story. Our lives are open to God, who knows the thoughts of our hearts. If doing the right thing is illegal, that will not provide us with an excuse when, on Judgment Day, Christ asks us if we denied or confessed Him. Correlatively, should the wrong thing prove lawful according to man’s laws, that will not exonerate our acts deemed wrongful by Heaven’s court. The abortionists have been warned.

Anger

The Bible warns us not to be consumed by anger, but to master it. Anger has many causes and many effects. It can lead us to despair, to unkind words, or even to violence. The cold anger that fuels Pharisaism can exacerbate that prideful tendency to look down on one’s fellowman.

Herein lies the problem: our quest for Truth, righteousness, and love will lead us to anger. How can one not feel anger at bad things done to family and friends or at the decline of one’s country or at the promulgation of lies? The answer cannot be to stop caring. A person who ceases to be connected to life, to those around him, has ceased to meet the social call of our human nature. Even monks participate in a communal life shared with their brethren, be it working on farmland, teaching in a school, serving the sick and destitute, or singing Mass in chapel.

But the world system is what it is. We can strive to limit it by the spread of the Gospel, but the Bible tells us that it is Christ Himself who will destroy the Beast and, by means of the Beast, Babylon. We may lift up our prayers to that end, but we cannot force God’s hand. Patience is required – and strong doses of compassion and humility.

Both of the latter I am increasingly finding difficult. The more one sees of life in all its forms, the more there is to find shocking. The greater the problems seem, the more powerless one feels. We cannot save ourselves, and no “system” can work the transformational change of the human heart that lies with God. Only His Spirit, acting through the Gospel, can change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.

Christ called the Spirit the Comforter. It may sound self-indulgent, but perhaps what many of us conservatives need right now is a kind of comfort. Filled with bitterness, regret, and anger at the decay of our homelands, homes, and Christian institutions, we are heartbroken. (I suspect that many amillennialists and postmillennialists are also in shock. They were prepared for a Christian takeover of the world and that has not happened.) We need the comfort and hope that the Spirit provides without losing the fiery zeal that should spur us on to worship God in liturgy and deed.

This perhaps provides a way forward for the chronic weltschmerz felt by so many of us: a vibrant prayer-life – something I myself too often neglect – seeking God’s presence and refreshing so that with peace in our hearts we may continue to love and serve in the midst of destruction and decay, trusting that from these ashes the Phoenix that is Messiah will rise, glorious in His coming Kingdom.

***

Postscript: 

Today is Mrs Proudie’s last post at Archbishop Cranmer. She and her husband are moving on to do God’s work elsewhere with the result that she will not be able to maintain her contribution to the blog. There is also concern that the blog as a whole may have to close down, seemingly for financial reasons.

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-last-chronicle-of-barset/

Italy: the next hurdle for the EU?

Earlier this month, the Mises Institute ran an interesting article on the problems Italy poses for the Eurozone in particular and the EU in general.

https://mises.org/wire/italy-brewing-storm-within-eu

The article is worth a read and should be pondered in conjunction with the trends seen in Austria, Poland, and Hungary.

An important point to take from the article is Italy’s threat to break away from the Euro if the central government of the EU continues to interfere in Italian domestic affairs. Whether Italy would actually carry out such a threat remains to be seen. Idle speculation is not the same thing as facts observed in the cold light of day.

Whatever eventually occurs, the tension between Italy and the EU is clear to see. It comes from a number of sources: migration across the Mediterranean from Africa and the Near East; economic woes brought on by the 2008 financial crisis and Italy’s own management of her economy; and a general distaste among traditionalist Catholics for the decline of European Catholic civilisation.

Provided the EU maintains its current trajectory, these problems will not go away. MiFID II seeks to address problems in the financial sector, but, for all its thoroughness and complexity, it does not touch the root problems of our financial and economic instability, and the EU is in no position to predict what the spark that sets off the next crisis will be.

The decline of Catholic European civilisation will continue as long as states cling to the ideology of secularism. France is perhaps the most egregious example of this anti-God ideology, but other states share in it as well and it is found in the EU as an institution. The same criticism Milton’s Christ makes of Greco-Roman culture in Paradise Regained applies to the EU and individual Member States today.

As for migration: Italy has taken steps this year to preserve her national integrity. This policy sets her at odds with the ruling elite. Unless the other Member States elect governments that share the same values and send MEPs with the same values to the EU Parliament, factionalism will continue, with Italy and the Visegrad states on one side, and France and Germany on another. Next year’s MEP elections will be a critical moment – perhaps the EUs last chance to reform itself.

If it does not reform, it will die, whether sooner or later. In the affairs of men, no government lasts forever. In seeking to standardise the nations of Europe and in permitting immigration from regions with cultures that vary significantly from the common features of post-Napoleonic continental Europe, the EU is sowing the seeds of dissension. Sooner or later dissension becomes explicit and, when frustrated, angry.

The EU has not heard the last from Italy.

Holiday Reading

I have recently finished reading Milton’s Paradise Lost, and I am currently working my way through CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity. While I do not agree with all of the theology and biblical interpretation in Paradise Lost, I have nonetheless found it edifying, and so I am finding Mere Christianity.

The latter has also proved to be a comfort. It is very easy to feel bitter, depressed, and alone as a conservative in the internet age. The more we talk to distant friends online, the more we realise that they are just that: distant. Not in spirit, of course, for they are friends, but in physical propinquity. Scattered as conservatives are over the earth, their online gatherings remind them of the physical loneliness they feel in day-to-day interactions at work, in public places, and at church. Our natural tendency to focus on the negative deepens this feeling of isolation and the broader feeling of loss, frustration, and despair at the trajectory we perceive in western civilisation.

Hope is the virtue opposed to the vice of despair. Like all virtues, it is not principally a feeling but a choice with concomitant action, practised regularly so that the person becomes more consistent and skilful in its application. We must feed the virtues in the way that we feed our bodies. Loneliness, though real, is, in an absolute sense, a lie to the Christian. Though we may feel alone, we are not alone: God is with us.

To practice truthfulness and hope in the midst of the despair of loneliness we must expose the lie and remind ourselves of the truth. Reading can be a way of achieving this end. In Shadowlands, a play and then a film about CS Lewis, CS Lewis encounters a student who tells him that we read to know we are not alone. Reading Mere Christianity has had that effect on me.

We are individuals; it would be foolish to deny so plain a fact. Nevertheless, we must not make the mistake of thinking that we are so utterly unlike each other as to have nothing in common. If that were so, no one could appeal to objective reality and expect the other to understand and be persuaded by such an appeal. Seeing in CS Lewis thinking that is like my own, whether because I have been influenced by him or because we are both drawing on the same sources and mental processes, has given me a glimpse of that commonality.

This is particularly important for the Christian in his dealings with other men. Our prayer lives and meditation remind us that God understands us and that we should seek to understand God as far as, by His grace, such is possible. When it comes to humans, actually understanding each other, and believing that we do, are in some respects common and in others rare.

We could not carry out basic social functions without understanding: communication between human beings is necessary for a successful life. But a deeper fellowship, companionship, requires a kind of empathy, a kind of flexibility, charity, and commitment that goes beyond the reserve common across different cultures.

It is natural, and wise, that we should not expose our inmost thoughts with gay abandon to others. Danger lies in exposing vulnerabilities, whether to strangers or friends and family. However, if we are to grow as Christians in the unity of the Spirit we must strive to understand each other, including the value we place concepts and experiences that shape our doctrines and practices.

Christianity holds that there is one absolute Truth. That Truth is not relative. In reaching for it, Christians are engaged in a joint endeavour as companions, fellow workers, and family – God’s family. To help each other on this road requires honesty, wisdom, vigour, perseverance, and charity. It is my hope that this place, AATW, characterised by these at times in the past and in general will see such virtues, and the knowledge and experience they aim to provide, continue and grow in the future.

Boxing Day Satire

*Note in the UK and other Commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas is known as “Boxing Day”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day

Today, for some post-Christmas amusement, I thought I would share a short, humorous video by LutheranSatire:

Christmas represents an important point of orthodoxy that separates Christians from Jews and Muslims, the claim that God took on flesh, was born of the Virgin Mary, and lived and died among us. To deny this claim is to hold that Jesus is a liar, for He Himself claimed to be God in the flesh and His Apostles taught the first Christians likewise.

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

-John 8:58

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

-John 1:1

…one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him

-1 Corinthians 8:6

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. 

-2 Peter 3:18

The new year approaches, and the culture wars within and without the Church will continue apace. My message to you looking forward is threefold.

  1. Be prepared to separate on points that must not be compromised.
    • We talk of unity, but we must not confuse true Christian unity among the orthodox with a false unity between true believers and heretics. The New Testament speaks to both situations and marks a distinction between them.
  2. Pay attention to the signs of the times and study the Kingdom in all its fulness.
    • Christ will come back one day. When He returns , His saints will share His Kingdom with Him. As we seek to advance the “invisible Kingdom” today through the power of the Spirit, we must start to look at the “visible Kingdom” of the Messianic Age, and prepare for its unveiling.
  3. Seek the will and heart of God without unnecessary preconceptions.
    • I am not talking about the ethical and metaphysical foundations of our faith. Those principles, learned by revelation and reason keep us on the straight and narrow way, guiding us in the distinction between good and evil. Look, though, to new moves of the Spirit as God shakes the earth for the coming of His Son – Joel 2 and Acts 2.

Merry Christmas

To all the contributors and readers here at AATW, merry Christmas! May this day of days, when we remember the birth of Christ, God incarnate, be a blessed one. May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless you in all your ways, may He pour His blessings on your relationships, on your aspirations, on your trials and tribulations, on the ponderings in your soul. As you find yourself reflecting this Christmas on the good and the bad, call to Him in the depth of your heart, cast your cares upon Him, entrust your future to Him, and He will give you rest.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper, and not to harm, you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

This is a time of year when we call Jesus our Saviour by the name Emmanuel, which in Hebrew means, “God with us”. God is always with us, ready to hear our prayers, and to those who put their trust in Him, He has promised never to leave them. So today, as you give a thought here and a thought there in prayer, remember that God is with you, right in your heart, a loving Father, a wise Counsellor, and a dear Friend.

As we look forward towards Epiphany and the new year, let us also entrust our future to God in the faith that He will return again and set this world right. The Baby born of Mary grew up to die on a Roman cross to defeat the powers of darkness, rescue us from sin, and reconcile us to God, from whom we have all strayed. He ascended into heaven, but promised to return one day as King of kings and Lord of lords – this kingship the Jewish shepherds and the Gentile magi recognised when they visited that holy Child in Bethlehem.

Merry Christmas and a happy, blessed new year to you all.

Remembering a Friend

Saxophone-Player-Silhouette-BLUED-190x300

Last evening I was moved to look to see if an old college friend of mine was still living in Brooklyn and was thinking about giving him a call should his phone number be the same; for his phone and residence had  not changed in many decades. So, before calling, I Googled his name: Barnett Berger and added Brooklyn, NY to my search.

The first entry gave me the assurance that he was still at the same residence and his phone had not changed. But the second entry set me back and my heart sunk a bit as I took the content of this short post into my mind. Here it is in its entirety: (https://suehollisterbarr.com/barnett-berger-a-rare-soul/)

Barnett Berger: A Rare Soul

Saxophone-Player-Silhouette BLUED

In a community of Brooklyn writers, it is perhaps fitting that Barnett Berger was first met on a bus route, the No. 71, which no longer exists.  He was carrying an old book that likely shares the same fate.

He explained that he spoke slowly because he’d suffered a stroke.  But his careful, unhurried speech…reminiscent of some smoky beat-generation coffee house of long ago…became his signature sound.  The drawn-out strains of classic jazz, which he lived for and listened to as he wrote, could be heard clearly as he read his poetry in his characteristic drawl.  We were once or twice able to guess the piece that had inspired a poem before he told us its name.

This music was Barnett’s life, his love for it so pure that his belief that he didn’t have the talent to play it only fueled his commitment to it as an ardent fan.  For Barnett, music was life’s all and everything, the very reason for our existence.  Like a consummately attentive lover, he appreciated the subtlest differences between recordings of the same work.  He knew his facts but would share them quietly, full of reverence for the mystery from which all art is born.

Was he contemplating such thoughts…all the things that exist in the present and all the things that now exist only in the past…when he was struck by a car and died?

Ink Splatters 3

It had to be him; for I had not reached out to him for probably 10 years and we had pretty much lost contact. But how many other Barnett Berger’s in Brooklyn could there be who were such fans of jazz?

Barney and I had gone to school together at Long Island University and would go to small out of the way places (like Slug’s Saloon on the lower east side of Manhattan) to listen to some of the best jazz groups in the world. Slug’s Saloon was where the talented trumpet player Lee Morgan lost his life when he was shot while on stage by a girl friend. So when I say we went to out of the way places, I mean some of them were filled with junkies and in neighborhoods I would no longer go near in my present state of mind. But we were young and we felt invincible as do most early 20 year olds.

Barney visited me here in SC on several occasions and we enjoyed reminiscing and listening to jazz when he was here. But alas, all good things come to an end and we grew more and more distant and the visits ceased one year and that was that except for an occasional phone call to him.

The last time we spoke, he did not seem to be his old self. I am supposing now that perhaps he may have had the stroke that was mentioned in the above article. So I did not call again. I am sorry I didn’t.

I confirmed the guess that the article was my friend by calling his old college roommate who said that he had been contacted by the executor of the estate and that indeed he had been struck by a bus or a car and was pronounced dead immediately. I was also told that in his later years he had become religious and began attending synagogue; something new that I only had hints of his having an interest in renewing. Nor did I know that he began to write poetry though he was an intelligent man, having received his MSW from Columbia University.

God rest your soul, Barney. You were a good friend and your life was a mystery even to many of us who knew you. You lived alone all your life and I am to this day unsure if it was by choice or by circumstance. A mysterious loner and somewhat of an enigma to the end. I for one, will miss him for he reminds me of the uniqueness of every individual. Only God knows the secrets that lie in each of us and what makes each of us who we are.

Living in an Age Without Memories

An interesting article we all should read and think about. __ Scoop

Remembering Who We Are…Hope in the Midst of the Ruins of Our Culture | The Remnant

Written by 

morning prayer for Cathey

The late scholar Mel Bradford once used the wording “remembering who we are” as a title to a book of finely-honed essays about his beloved Southland. It seems to me, as Bradford so artfully and gracefully suggested in his writings, that it is memory, both individual and collective, which is essential not just to the passed-on heritage of any culture, but to the very existence of that culture. We remember the deeds, the sayings, the handed-down lore, the usages, and the faith of our fathers and grandfathers (and mothers and grandmothers). Their lessons, their admonitions, their successes (and failures), their examples, even their everyday customs inform us and our actions, and, indeed, help shape our lives and view of life. Historically, these are in many respects the very same accoutrements that give definition and offer the earliest structure to our existence, that define us, and that also provide an inheritance which we, in turn, impart to our offspring and descendants.

It is thus memory that is integral to the continuation of a culture and a people. We inherit the wealth and the richness of the remembered past, and we are impelled to both add to it in our own way and also pass it on. To quote the 12th century theologian, John of Salisbury (a quote often favored by my mentor, the late Russell Kirk):  “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.”

A society—a culture—that discards memory, that cuts itself off from its inheritance, whether purposefully or accidentally, deprives itself of the accumulated wealth of that heritage. Of course, there are always those who revile the past and its legacy, or at the very least, seek to modify or transform it. And, no doubt, change and reform, in some degree, are always necessary to any well-functioning society.

There is a fascinating quote from Prince Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s famous novel detailing the turmoil of mid-19thcentury Italy, The Leopard (Il Gattopardo): “Things will have to change in order that they remain the same.” There is a wonderful film based on that novel starring, quite improbably, Burt Lancaster which director Luchino Visconti directed (1963), in which the tensions between the immemorial past and the circumstances created by change are vividly explored.

No society—no culture—can completely denude itself of its inheritance and its history and actually survive. Such experiments in total revolutionary transformation have inevitably ended in bloodshed and incredible destructiveness—in the massacres of the French Revolution, and more recently, in the Gulag and the concentration camp, or in blood-soaked Maoism.

mazi persecution of catholicsOver the past half century and more we have witnessed a different kind of revolution; it does not employ as weapons of choice the tank and bayonet, nor the Gulag as the final destination for unrepentant opponents—at least not yet. It has been an unfolding, all-encompassing cultural movement spanning decades, subverting and then incorporating in its service diverse radical revolutionary elements injected into our educational system, into our entertainment industry, into our politics, even into the very language we use to communicate with each other. The “violence” it metes out is mostly of the cerebral nature, not of the physical kind, but rather predicated on shame, humiliation, fear of the loss of a job or reputation, and the playing on the natural human desire for conformity, while steadily upping the ante in our laws—constantly moving the goalposts of what is acceptable. It is the kind of intellectual “violence,” now writ large, that once impelled people to look the other way when their neighbors were hauled off to Siberia under Stalin, or to Dachau under Hitler.

And it has been highly effective, utilizing as its major weaponry the terrifying twins, the ineradicable accusations of “racism” and “sexism,” and a whole panoply of sub-terms that accompany such charges: “white supremacy,” “historic white oppression,” “colonialist imperialism,” “misogyny,” “toxic masculinity,” and increasingly expanded to incorporate terms like “anti-migrant” or “anti-transgender” bigotry.

The overarching desire of this Progressivist Revolution is, in fact, not reform—not what Lampedusa’s character the Prince of Salina says consolingly about some things changing so that other things can remain the same. No, it is incredibly “post-Marxian,” making the older Communist and Marxist revolutionary dreams seem tame in comparison. It invokes and demands a total reversal, a complete transformation in which nearly all, if not all, of those institutions, those traditions, and that inheritance vouchsafed to us from our ancestors is rudely discarded, rejected, and vilely condemned as racist, sexist, fascist—in other words, our remembered past is cut off from us.

And we are then naked before history, isolated individuals, without a heritage, without a past, without family, and without memory: neutralized and bland “tabula rasa” vessels to be filled with the “new” Progressivist ideology that will convert us all into the model obedient automatons only hinted at in Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four or by Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov’s deeply disturbing 1994 film of Stalin’s Russia, Burnt By the Sun.

Read the rest of it here.

The Rise of Self-Loathing: a Catholic’s Perspective

Karl_Marx_810_500_75_s_c1

Traditional Catholicism has now entered our vocabulary as a pejorative term used to describe radical, right wing, fundamentalist, rigid legalistic enforcers of doctrine and are, in essence, anti-Catholic in the sense that they have not followed the path or the way of the Novus Ordo Mass and the Ecumenical movement brought about by Vatican II. They are throwbacks to an era that nobody within the Church wants to return and therefore they are almost considered to be a heresy of sorts that denies that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to overturn the teachings of countless Popes, Saints, Theologians and in some instances the Scriptures themself not to mention all the warnings against Liberalism and Modernism which was beginning to infiltrate the Church from the ideas spawned by Protestantism, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. (Read the following for more in-depth background: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4261-breaking-the-oath-before-they-started-abusing-kids-they-were-abusing-god)

But why don’t these attacks ring an alarm bell in the minds of those who have seen this transformation take place? It is the same tactics used by the far left politicians and educators of the past 100 years who are redefining the meaning of words and want nothing to be written in stone. The Bible should then be looked at as malleable, doctrines should be changed, language changed, prayer changed, music and art changed, practices changed and all things old should give way to the new Church that is no longer at war with the World the Flesh or the Devil. We see it in the destruction of our laws and the way the left wants to destroy the Constitution and the Bill of Rights so why should we be scandalized or amazed at the recent changes these last 60 years or so?

To be a Traditional Catholic used to be a compliment as it indicated that one had an unfailing commitment to keep the Faith intact for all generations following as our forefathers did for our sakes. It was a badge of honor to follow the traditions and practices of our spiritual culture and to hopefully persevere in this Faith for the remainder of our days and pass it on unadulterated in both Teaching and Practice. Today it is as though 2000 years of Tradition has been turned on its head and rendered unthinkable, fossilized nonsense. If it is nonsense, then Christ was nonsense, as He Himself gave us much to think about concerning the future of the Church as did His Apostles: Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:26; John 14:18. 

And, of course, there is this warning that seems to have already been substantially fulfilled in our lives today:

         “3 For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:

          4 And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” __ 2 Timothy 4:3-4 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

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And this is a characteristic of self-loathing; that one is in the political or national sense traitorous to their country, tribe, religion and therefore themselves. It is reminiscent of what Karl Marx and George Soros proved themselves to be: traitors to their own heritage. Both thought that the hierarchical natural state of God’s creation was not good enough and that they, being more just and merciful than God (whom neither believed in) could fashion a world that would be better simply because it would be in agreement to their own values (or lack thereof) and therefore Utopian . . . at least for themselves. It is high time that we ask ourselves the question of our times: “Have we essentially become like them, either in essence or in practice?”

My definition of a self-loathing Catholic is one who finds no incongruity between what they accept and don’t accept of Catholic Teaching; even if they vowed obedience to these things during their Confirmation, both in doctrine and practice. It is disingenuous to say the least, a mark on what could be called a person’s character (their word useless – having denied their own vows), and traitorous to Jesus Christ whom they claim to worship and the Church that is indefectible in its authoritative handing on to the Christian faith for all eternity: 18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” __ Matthew 16:18 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

This same mindset is the current worldly mindset that extends far beyond the Catholic Church. It is easily seen in the rewriting of word definitions and the pejorative meanings given to otherwise normal expressions, the rewriting of history and the subsequent self-loathing of Americans for America and Western Europeans for the Western European Culture which was largely shaped by Christianity. But the people let these go without so much as a whimper and many felt that their self-loathing actually came with a new-found freedom to live licentiously without guilt or shame for desires cooked up by the World the Flesh or the Devil. Satan, it seems has given this new expression of freedom to us that the world of true justice and true morality could not. We are excused not only by our neighbors and peers but also by our conscience . . . if we still have one. 

The real wonder to me is why the total destruction of society and total ruin of civilization itself has not yet occurred; for we know how democratic socialism morphs into an oligarchical socialism and that branches of that type of socialism further morphs into Marxism, Communism and eventual Totalitarianism. But at the root there is also a type of anarchy also prevails amongst the masses. They are self-serving and they no longer have a spiritual Authority to which to answer to. Instead they have pledged their earthly allegiance to the despot or dictator in power. It is a temporal and short lived trade-off for licentiousness in the present to the true freedom, peace, love and security offered by God . . . Who has done all that He can do to gain our cooperation in our ultimate and eternal salvation.

A bird in the hand mentality and the convenience and affordability of a McDonald’s has distorted our sense of value. Our sovereignty and our only job in this life (the imitation and love of Christ and His Teachings) are squandered for a bowl of self-served, quick service convenient pottage. Esau would be proud to watch us sell our birthright for such a temporal and inferior price.

I suppose that is the question I wonder about most in this life: “Are we so short-sighted that we are willing to sell our Traditions, our Nations, our Religion, our Cultures and our eternal salvation for a wink and a nod for the countless sins we commit or are we going to turn to Christ once again and make an effort with the Grace of God to defeat or at least do battle with these enemies of our souls?” I don’t have a magic ball to tell me where the world is going in the future but I do know that each of us individually has a choice to make no matter what the world demands of us to believe or how many  must die as martyrs to reclaim our souls from this fallen world of ours. Lets hope more and more people choose to amend their lives and sin no more, no matter the suffering or the short-term price.

An Interesting Article for your Amusement

Emile Ratelband, 69, answers journalists’ questions on December 3, 2018 in Amsterdam, following the court’s ruling regarding his legal bid to slash 20 years off his age. – The Amsterdam court rejected Ratelbands request in a case that drew worldwide attention. Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didnt feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change ones name or gender. (Photo by Robin van Lonkhuijsen / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

The New Nonsense | Crisis Magazine
by JUSTIN BRADFORD SMITH

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/the-new-nonsense?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29