Saturday, January 30, 2016

Abortion, Relationships and Feelings!

"Pro-Life + Pro-Woman Go Hand-in-Hand" was the dominant theme of the 2016 March for Life which had roughly 100,000 pro-lifers, despite the impending winter storm.

Sue Ellen Bowder (3:51:40 of the March video), who used to be employed by the porno Cosmopolitan Magazine, had a great soundbite which well summarizes this year's focus.

"We need to stop pitting the rights of a mother against the rights of her baby.
"Whatever harms the baby, harms the mother.
"Whatever harms the mother, harms the child.
"Whatever harms either of them harms us all!"

Love them both!

I went to the Cosmopolitan website to try to find her quote or name (foolish me) and what I found was a piece demonizing the pro-life movement and containing quite a bit of fiction (e.g. that there were 100 pro-abortion demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court with a speaker! never saw or heard them!)

The "Most Popular" adds under that highly charged article were mostly porno! I was aghast and, of course, clicked on none of that scum. The focus is promote female sexual immorality!

"Sex Tips From Guys"
"4 Mind-Blowing Oral Sex Positions"
"5 Girl on Top Sex Positions He Will Never Forget"
"How This Plastic Surgeon Can Give You a New Chin I...[Surely the article alludes to other jobs]."
"The Best Sex Position For Your Sign" [The picture is of a white naked slender female laying on top of a black naked slender female--i.e. horoscope & homo-sex].

Female sexual perversion is one sure way to destroy any possibility of order in the family. Then a women would not even be trusted with her own child at the breast! Thank God women do not have testosterone!

True feminism is pro-virginity and pro-maternity! Pro-Blessed Virgin Mary! Pro-Jesus!

Cf. Porn and Females

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Saint Francis de Sales On Avoiding Frivolity

CHAPTER XVII. On Friendship: Evil and Frivolous Friendship. Francis de Sales Introduction to the Devout Life.
Love ranks first among the passions of the soul, it is king of every motion of the heart; it turns all the rest to itself, and it renders us like to that which we love. Be on guard, then, Philothea, to not have an evil one, for in just the same way you would become totally evil. And friendship is the most dangerous love of all, because any other love might exist without communication, but friendship being totally founded thereon, one can hardly have it with someone without sharing in his attributes.
Not all love is friendship, for one may love without being loved, and then there is love but not friendship; insofar as friendship is a mutual love; and, if it is not mutual, it is not friendship. It is not enough that it should be mutual, but the parties who love each other must be conscious of their reciprocal affection; because, if they do not know it, they would have love but not friendship. With that there must be some sort of communication between them, which should be the solid foundation of friendship.
According to the various communications the friendship also varies, and the communications vary according to the different goods in which they share. If they are false and vain things, the friendship is false and vain; if they are true goods, the friendship is true. And, the more excellent the goods the more excellent will the friendship be; because, just as honey is best which is culled from the choicest flowers, so friendship built upon the highest and purest communication is the best. And just as in Heraclea Pontica there is a poisonous honey which makes those who eat it lose their senses, because it is gathered from the aconitum, which abounds in that region, so the friendship which is based on false communication and viscous goods is entirely false and evil.
Friendship based on sensual pleasure is totally gross and is unworthy of being called friendship; as is also that which is based on frivolous and vain virtues, because those virtues also depend on the senses. I call sensual pleasures those which attach immediately and principally to the exterior senses, such as the pleasure of seeing beauty, of hearing a sweet voice, of touching, and the like. I call frivolous virtues certain vain abilities and characteristics which which weak minds call virtues and perfections. Listen to most girls, women and young people; they don't hesitate at all to say that such-and-such a gentleman is very virtuous, he has many perfections, because he dances well, he plays all sorts of games well, he dresses well, he sings well, he is affectionate, he is good-looking. And charlatans have the greatest buffoons as the most virtuous among them. And, since all these things regard the senses, so the friendships which come from them are called vain and frivolous, more fitly to be called trifling than friendship. They are typical of the friendships among youth, who focus on moustaches, on hair, on earrings, on clothes at the funeral and at the hair salon. Friendships proper to the age of lovers who do not yet have any virtue which fills them nor the judgment to hold them together. Such frienships are but passing, and they melt like snow in the sun! + (Plinthos translation)
Friendships are like the elevator, they either bring you up or they bring you down. “You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world,” says the Lord. Matt. 5:13 Which means the world should become better, genuinely tastier, even more delicious, brighter, more delightful, more nourishing and smarter because you were there! Your life should make things clearer for people. They should see better because of you. To counsel the doubtful, to instruct the ignorant, to reprimand the sinner are all necessary works of mercy (in the year of mercy above all!). People's sense of supernatural taste should improve and their appetites for God should become more refined, more discriminate and more temperate because of you.
Actually, and this is the most important point, it's not actually because of you but rather because of the salt which you dispense and the light which you emit. Notice that the salt and the light are not your invention. Christ says of Himself: “I am the light of the world.” Jn. 8:12 The light is His. It is His light which enlightens men! It has its own distinct nature and you are simply the minister—you receive it and faithfully pass it on from the Lord and for the Lord, and, indeed, to the Lord, for He says “whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did it to me.” Matt. 25:40 And you need to be constantly replenished by going to the Source: Christ. Be a true friend of Christ, in His Church, and you will bring salt and light, truth and goodness to your friends and foes. All for the sake of mercy, misericordia, (heart!) beyond, far beyond the surface, joining in the plights of men for the glory of God.

What is more, do not forget the first Light bearer, the first friend of God, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Befriend Her Who delivered Him to the world, especially as you celebrate this Annus a Virginis partu 2016. Faustum et felicim annum a Virginis partu MMXVI (duo millesimum decimum sextum) precor vobis!

Some Strauss for the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales

Happy Feast of the Master of the Devout Life!
Every man (exactly you with your history and in your entire given present circumstance!) is
called by God to be a Saint!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"The Clinton Way" Exposed!

Minutes ago Carly Fiorina told voters why Hillary Clinton cannot be President of the United States, exposing the well-known low-class and long-standing and unrequited immoral gangster habits of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

"Hilary Clinton will do anything to gain and hang on to power. Anything. Listen, if my husband did what Bill Clinton did I would have left him long ago. So, here's the deal. Here's the deal. Hillary Clinton has been climbing the ladder to try and get power, and here now she is trying for the White House, she is probably more qualified for the big house [high security prison], honestly. She's escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo. Perhaps Sean Penn should interview her. The woman should be prosecuted.

"But, and while Mrs. Clinton has flown hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. I have too, and I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment. While I know that she has held many positions and many titles, she has not accomplished much of anything in her life. She's gotten every single foreign policy challenge wrong, and she continues to lie to the American people. You see it's called 'the Clinton way.'  Both Bill and Hillary practice it. 'The Clinton way:' say whatever you have to say. Do whatever you have to do say. Lie as long as you can get away with it. Hillary Clinton cannot be the president of these United States."

And on Rick Sanctorum's impeccable pro-life record she also famously said

"It is outrageous, frankly, that Fox News, and you, would question the pro-life credentials of Rick Sanctorum. That is outrageous."

Grace Before Meals Motet! Oculi Omnium

Looks like it is used in high schools and colleges!

Charles Wood

Gregorian Chant Version

Then there is Schütz

William Byrd

The historical significance of Saint Thomas Aquinas: Fides et Ratio

Despite their radical opposition, the Theologism and the Rationalism of the thirteenth century had at least one common feature; their onesidedness.

Theologism would maintain that every part of Revelation should be understood, while
Rationalism would uphold the view that no part of Revelation can be understood.

The historical significance of Saint Thomas Aquinas rests with the fact that he was the first medieval thinker to go to the root of the difficulty...

...[I]t was a problem of order...[I]n philosophy, where there is but one conceivable proper place for any given thing.

If...we learn from medieval theologians what is faith in an objective truth and what is an objective philosophical knowledge, we shall find ourselves possessed of both a Revelation and a Reason. There then will be something to harmonize, and anyone attempting to do it will end at last in meeting the real problem. But he can scarcely avoid meeting Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages, Etienne Gilson

Theology and philosophy...form a strange pair of twins, in which neither of the two can be totally separated from the other, and yet each must preserve its own task and its own identity. It is the historical merit of Saint Thomas Aquinas – in the face of the rather different answer offered by the Fathers, owing to their historical context – to have highlighted the autonomy of philosophy, and with it the laws and the responsibility proper to reason, which enquires on the basis of its own dynamic

...Saint Thomas’s idea concerning the relationship between philosophy and theology could be expressed using the formula that the Council of Chalcedon adopted for Christology: philosophy and theology must be interrelated “without confusion and without separation”. “Without confusion” means that each of the two must preserve its own identity. Philosophy must truly remain a quest conducted by reason with freedom and responsibility; it must recognize its limits and likewise its greatness and immensity.

Theology must continue to draw upon a treasury of knowledge that it did not invent, that always surpasses it, the depths of which can never be fully plumbed through reflection, and which for that reason constantly gives rise to new thinking. Balancing “without confusion”, there is always “without separation”: philosophy does not start again from zero with every thinking subject in total isolation, but takes its place within the great dialogue of historical wisdom, which it continually accepts and develops in a manner both critical and docile. It must not exclude what religions, and the Christian faith in particular, have received and have given to humanity as signposts for the journey.

Various things said by theologians in the course of history, or even adopted in practice by ecclesiastical authorities, have been shown by history to be false, and today make us feel ashamed. Yet at the same time it has to be acknowledged that the history of the saints, the history of the humanism that has grown out of the Christian faith, demonstrates the truth of this faith in its essential nucleus, thereby giving it a claim upon public reason.

Of course, much of the content of theology and faith can only be appropriated within the context of faith, and therefore cannot be demanded of those to whom this faith remains inaccessible. Yet at the same time it is true that the message of the Christian faith is never solely a “comprehensive religious doctrine” in Rawls’ sense, but is a purifying force for reason, helping it to be more fully itself. On the basis of its origin, the Christian message should always be an encouragement towards truth, and thus a force against the pressure exerted by power and interests.

LECTURE BY THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ROME "LA SAPIENZA" Intended for La Sapienza University in Rome on Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Work of God in the World: Life and Light

Yesterday's Gospel and today's, both from Mark 4, use images which indicate the work and continual and necessary activity of God in the world: the seed and the lamp on the lamp-stand are venerable and irreplaceable operators in the world, nothing artificial here, nothing man-made.

What man does is simply receive and cultivate each in it's proper place and tries to facilitate the proper conditions for maximum benefit and least harm. Misuse is death, proper reverence and veneration yields great abundance of life and light!

No hint here of the enlightened "god the mechanic." Here God is the seed and the fire without Whom the world is total darkness and total death.

The point is that God works in the world and that His work in the world is His working and it is according to His nature! Not man-made but above man! Nature is above man! Every form of nature! Above man's manipulation, like the nature of the seed and the nature of fire which are complete and ready made and all-or-nothing.

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, is real Life and real Light, sine qua non!

N.B. The word "god the mechanic" is found Tracey Rowland's Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed (citing Ratzinger's Values in a Time of Upheaval, 156), 122

On Planting the Seed Mark 4:3

Ecce exiit seminans ad seminandum...

"'The main undertaking of a Christian Church' is not according to the notion of the day "to make men good members of society, honest, upright, industrious and well-conducted,' but to make saints, to form those rare, hidden souls who are the heirs of the world to come. And it does this 'not as a system, nor by books, nor by argument, nor by temporal power,' but by the handing on of the seed of life from man to man and from age to age."

The Spirit of the Oxford Movement, Christopher Dawson, Sheed and Ward: London, 1945, 40.

Cf. Newman

N.B. Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Philosophical Summa (Summa Contra Gentiles) says that the revealed truths of God which might be known by nature should be also handed down because there are three "inconveniences" in leaving these truths simply to the inquiring mind.

  1. Those who come to a mere "natural" knowledge of God are few (because of lack of proper disposition, lack of leisure to pursue it, and laziness),
  2. Only after a long time and much toil would those few come to the knowledge of those truths.
  3. Because the rational investigations of men are also mostly mixed with falsities because of the weakness of our intellect in judging and because of the mixture with fantasies.

That is why Christ, the Sower, sows the seed and the Saints pass it on yielding some thirty, some sixty and some a hundred-fold!

The Word must be received and the Word must be passed down.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Beverly Sills

Great Anytime!!!

Verdi Best

Classical Tunes is another fine YouTube music channel

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Classic Mexican 40's Comedy

La Virgen de Guadalupe

Nícan Mopohua: The Original Guadalupe Diary

Spain Silent Film "Amor Que Mata"

Christian Thinkers, Thinking Christians

Ferdinand Ebner

"Ferdinand Ebner is one of the few philosophers who had the courage and the strength as a thinker to remain a Christian, and as a Christian to remain a thinker."

Christian thinkers and thinking Christians!

Thinkers need to believe.
Belief should help you think!

Believers need to think.
Thinking should help you believe!

If believing does not aid your thinking, one of them is wrong!
If thinking does not aid your faith, again, it is a sure sign of error.

Thinking without belief is ignorance or dishonesty, for every philosophy is based on the fundamental outlook of the philosopher: his presuppositions, i.e. his faith, what he holds as the starting point.

Believing without thinking is blind.

Fides quærens intellectum.

The above quote is of Emil Brunner as found in Theodore Steinbüchel, Der Umbruch des Denkens (The Revolution of Thought), Regensburg: Pustet, 1936, 166-167. That little book was--along with Steinbüchel's two volume work on the philosophical foundations of moral theology--the most influential philosophy book of Joseph Ratzinger's education. Plinthos translation.
The other Steinbüchel work on the philosophical foundations of moral theology is where Ratzinger got his philosophical bearings regarding the modern mind: i.e. the thought of Heidegger and Jaspers, Nietzsche, Klages and Bergson. Cf. Milestones, 43.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Aquinas on Why Philosophy is Better than the Other Studies?

Summa Contra Gentiles is St. Thomas Aquinas' Philosophy Book

Truly, among all human studies, the study of wisdom is more perfect, higher, more useful and more joyful.

More perfect because it confers a share in beatitude. (Sirach 14:22)

Higher because, wisdom being the greatest human treasure, those who use it are made participants in the friendship of God. (Wisdom 7:14)

More useful because by wisdom itself one comes to the kingdom of immortality. (Wisdom 6:21)

More joyous because her conversation has not bitterness nor is her company boring, but rather gladness and joy. (Wisdom 8:16)

Cf. Cicero

[Christian philosophy] puts its trust in the power of faith to impart to human reason greater certitude about its own natural operations.

In this matter modern philosophy has cut itself off completely from the medieval tradition. The question therefore arises whether there is still common ground for constructive intellectual effort between such heterogeneous ways of thinking. St. Thomas Aquinas himself answers this question strongly in the affirmative. His own relationship to Aristotelian and Arabian philosophy presents sufficient evidence that he believed in the possibility of a philosophy founded on pure natural reason, unaided by revealed truth. He clearly demonstrates this conviction in his Summa contra gentiles, commonly known as his philosophical Summa. Here he points out that in discussions with pagans and Moslems, the Christian thinker cannot refer to a common faith based on the Scriptures (a common ground which in the case of the Jews is provided by the Old Testament and in the case of heretics by the New Testament). It therefore becomes necessary, he says, "to have recourse to that natural reason to which all must assent." There are, according to St. Thomas, two ways of truth, and though natural reason cannot attain to the highest and ultimate truth, it can nevertheless ascend to a stage of knowledge which enable sit to reject certain errors of judgment and to recognize the accord between the naturally demonstrable truths of reason and the truths of faith.

Finite and Eternal Being, Edith Stein, Washington, DC: ICS, 2002, 12-13.

More Bellini and a little Bizet

And below is a Bizet opera in Italian
Both from the YouTube channel Great Classic

The Martin Heidegger Enigma (1889-1976)

Heidegger's theological trajectory is perplexing.

"He went from being a devout Catholic to a generic Christian with a strong interest in Luther, to a scholar interested in pre-Christian paganism [Nietzsche], then to someone with an interest in something akin to Buddhism or what John D. Caputo describes as 'a meditative, silent world reverencing' and finally he asked to be buried with the full rites of the Catholic Church. 95

"Heidegger abandoned his Catholic faith in 1919 and in the 1920s turned to Protestantism, particularly to Martin Luther's criticism of scholastic metaphysics...

"...What interested the young Heidegger was...what he called the 'hermeneutics of facticity in concrete life' or being as it is in time, which became known as an 'existential analytic' in Being and Time. The key categories of this analytic were care and existence, concern and instrumentality, temporality and historicity.

"In the 1920s these categories were appropriated by Rudolf Bultmann, one of Heidegger's collegues in Marburg, and applied to his deconstruction and demythologization of the Gospels.

"[I]n the 1930s, Heidegger's attention was drawn away from Luther to the works of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and the poet Friedrich Hölderin (1770-1843)." 94

From Chapter 5: "History and Ontology after Heidegger"
Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, Tracey Rowland, New York: T & T Clark, 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The “No” To Pope Francis From the Chief Rabbi of Rome

Notice the Rabbi wearing his proper hat
The Holy Father missing his!
Just one more place where 
Pope's red priest hat would be
very much in order!
A mark of distinction!

It was a peremptory refusal to “discuss theology” with the Catholic Church, because of Jewish fears of blurring that which distinguishes them from Christians?

The curt “no” was that of the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni addressing Pope Francis during his visit to the synagogue on Sunday, January 17.

“We do not receive the pope in order to discuss theology. Every system is autonomous, faith is not the object of bartering and political negotiation.”

--Cf. Sandro Magister at "Repubblica"

Speaking of priest hats, did you notice with me Archbishop Gomez' ridiculous hat at the West Coast March for Life 2016. How is the priest hat less dignified that a banal baseball cap for an Archbishop at an official pastoral function? Why not wear the priest cassock and the wide-brimmed priest hat for archbishops outdoors? Perfect for every type of weather, and more similar to the Mexican sombrero than the crass cap. It's simply part of the anti-Catholic sentiment which engulfs us and is clearly seen in the minimalist clerical attire of our hierarchy.

2015 outfit, same as yesterday's, 2016!
Cardinal Mundelein

Cardinal Siri

100,000 at Jonas March For Life 2016

Getting accurate estimates of the magnitude of The Annual March for Life is very difficult. I was there again this year, which took place just hours before the blizzard Jonas hit Washington, and can tell you that I was with my parish at the top of the hill of Constitution Avenue when I turned to look back the entire Avenue (including the sidewalks on both sides all the way down) was covered with wall to wall people.

That is roughly thirty people across, so, as they march quickly forward (faster than usual this year because most of them are hurrying [albeit joyfully and devoutly] to catch their buses to leave before the brunt of the blizzard); that's at least thirty people per second! Multiply that by the total time of the March. In half hour that would be, conservatively, 54,000. 100,000 in an hour, 150,000 in an hour and a half.

Or you could try calculating by distance. Google maps gives me distance over 7,500 feet (it says 1.6 miles). At that rate, giving each row of 30 people five feet on the street going forward would make 43,000. But it looks like there are still people packed in the back of the procession and in the front so that number could be double, triple, quadruple, etc., depending on how many times that scene repeats.

A third way to calculate would be to zoom in on the picture below and actually count the people, though that picture would also only be the people at that one moment. You would have to have a picture for each successive group of the procession as the demonstration progressed. If one picture is 43,000 and it is repeated three or four times in the afternoon (e.g. at 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00), that would mean between 100,000 and 150,000.

The EWTN live video footage above gives a good idea of the size of the crowd. For the sake of getting an accurate count they have a few stationary cameras along the March route to show the massive number of people going through. Go to the 4:35 minute to get a good picture of the quickly passing, apparently unending, multitude and that goes on for thirty minutes on the video! Certainly by the 4:46 minute the front of the March has reached the Supreme Court destination and from at least that moment the entire avenue is filled from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court.

Why doesn't someone just count the people? Maybe I'll do it next year. I'll stand at the high point of the hill and watch the whole procession from start to finish with a counter in my hand to count each row of 30 people crossing my line, and perhaps arrange it with EWTN to finally get an official accurate count!

Opera for post-Jonas Septuagesima

Just happens to be my audio pleasure this morning, heard it yesterday too!

Carlo's Da gelido sudore bass aria in Act II (1:52:50) is perfect for the morning after the blizzard Jonas. Enjoy!
The Italian Aurio Tomicich (+ 2009) is the bass.

The tenor in this performance is an American: Gregory Kunde.

He too is superb, e.g. reaching the high F (above the tenor high C) at the end of his first aria (cavatina) in this performance, A tanto duol (7:40), Ascolta, o padre, i gemiti (11:40 for the high F!)

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Engraving of the day's Gospel Matthew 20:16.
Parable of the householder hiring laborers for his vineyard.
Which Mass I used yesterday for the Sunday Vigil Mass (oops, no Vigil Mass in EF?)
during "Jonas" blizzard for which I fully expected no one
(only one elderly man showing, and serving as my altar boy!).
We are sojourners upon this earth; we are exiles and captives in Babylon, that city which plots our ruin. If we love our country, - if we long to return to it, - we must be proof against the lying allurements of this strange land, and refuse the cup she proffers us, and with which she maddens so many of our fellow captives. She invites us to join in her feasts and her songs; but we must unstring our harps, and hang them on the willows that grow on her river’s bank, till the signal be given for our return to Jerusalem [Ps. cxxv]. She will ask us to sing to her the melodies of our dear Sion: but, how shall we, who are so far from home, have heart to sing the Song of the Lord in a strange Land? [Ps. cxxxvi]. No, - there must be no sign that we are content to be in bondage, or we shall deserve to be slaves for ever.

Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 4, page 9.

Friday, January 22, 2016

History Includes Metaphysics! Kant was Wrong (Marx too).

The True Humanism

The "historical" cannot be regarded, as the various philosophical schools have tended to regard it, as a mere phenomenon, as a manifestation of the outer world offered to our experience; and it cannot be opposed, as Kant opposed it, to the noumenal reality, the very essence of the inner occult reality. I believe that history and the "historical" are not merely phenomenal, that they are--and this is the most radical hypothesis of the philosophy of history--neumena.

The historical in the real sense of the word brings with it the revelation of essential being, of the inner spiritual nature of the world and of the inner spiritual essence of man, and not merely of the external phenomena. The "historical" is by its nature not phenomenal but deeply ontological. It has its roots in some deep primal foundation of being which it makes available for our communion and understanding. The "historical" is a sort of revelation of the deepest essence of universal reality, of the destiny of the world focused in that of man. It is a revelation of neumenal reality. The noumenal "historical" can be approached only through the most intimate concrete tie between man and history, between the destiny of the former and the metaphysics of historical forces.

In order to grasp the mystery of the "historical," I must have a sense of it and history as something that is deeply mine, that is deeply my history, that is deeply my destiny.

The Meaning of History, Nicholas Berdyaev, Cleveland: Meridian, 1962, 26.

The above is the solution to what Ratzinger calls the fundamental crisis of our age.

More quotes by Berdyaev
  • Every single human soul has more meaning and value than the whole of history. 
  • Every moral act of love, of mercy, and of sacrifice brings to pass the end of the world where hatred, cruelty, and selfishness reign supreme. 
  • The enslaving of the other is also the enslaving of the self. 
  • In sex we have the source of man's true connection with the cosmos and of his servile dependence. The categories of sex, male and female, are cosmic categories, not merely anthropological categories. 
  • Conscience is the spiritual, supernatural principle in man, and it is not of social origin at all. It is rather the perversion and confusion of conscience that is of social origin. 
  • Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. 
  • The meaning of conservatism is not that it impedes movement forward and upward, but that it impedes movement backwards and downwards—to chaotic darkness and the return to a primitive state. 
  • Self-realization is a process of permanent auto-creation, an elaboration of the new man at the expense of the old. 
  • The physical union of the sexes ... only intensifies man's sense of solitude. 
  • The overwhelming majority of people, including Christians, are materialists. They do not believe in the power of spirit. They believe only in material power. 
  • I do not think discursively. It is not so much that I arrive at truth as that I take my start from it. 
  • Philosophy... is the creative perception by the spirit of the meaning of human existence.
N.B. Saint Augustine was the founder of the philosophy of history. Dawson, "Augustine and His Age." in Enquiries into Religion and Culture, 1933, 223.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"The Heenan Indult"

Whatever his reasons for supporting those calling for a more "no frills" liturgy, in the United Kingdom where many of the Elizabethan martyrs were sent to the scaffold for attending the Mass that Paul VI now regarded as not pastorally suitable for "modern man", a significant pro-traditional rite movement was led by prominent members of the laity, including Harold Acton, David Jones, Graham Greene, Cyril Connolly and Evelyn Waugh. Waugh was particularly distressed by the thought of a new vernacular rite which would make no distinction between American and British English. (Cf. S.M.P. Reid, A Bitter Trial [Curdridge: Saint Austin Press, 1996], 34)

A petition presented to Paul VI, signed by members of the British literary and theatrical establishment, including non-Catholics like Nancy Mitford and Agatha Christie, led to the "Heenan Indult"--a special privilege granted by Paul VI to Cardinal Heenan of Westminster to allow a limited usage of the older rite in the United Kingdom.

Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, Tracey Rowland, New York: T&T Clark, 2010, 41.

Pope Paul VI’s signature on the Latin Mass Society petition led to the ‘English Indult’ of 1971, wherein England became the only country in the entire world where the Latin Mass could be celebrated without the express permission of a bishop.

--Dr. Joseph Shaw Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

Six Hours of Haydn Symphonies (Philharmonia Hungarica, Antal Dorati)

Invigorating, energetic, delicate, subtle, soft, and complex, moving and inspirational!

And, since I am largely unfamiliar with them, they all sound brand new! Enjoy.

When done with that, try some Schubert Piano Sonatas

YouTube Music Art Channel has very much more of the same.

These are more familiar, but fine sound.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Nietzsche's Christian Importance: Proclaiming the End of an Age

During the last period of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century a further phase of Western civilization came to an end. 156 

...The goal of the Liberal Enlightenment and revolution had been reached, and Europe at last possessed a completely secularised culture. The old religion had not been destroyed; in fact throughout Protestant Europe the churches still possessed a position of established privilege. But they held this position only on the condition that they did not interfere with the reign of Mammon. In reality they had been pushed aside into a backwater where they were free to stagnate in peace and to brood over the memory of dead controversies which had moved the mind of Europe three centuries before.

On the other hand the intellectuals who had contributed so much to the victory of the new order of things were in a somewhat similar plight. They found themselves powerless to influence the movement of civilisation, which had cut itself free, not only from tradition, but also from art and thought. The spiritual leadership that was possessed by Voltaire and Rousseau, by Goethe and Fichte, was now a thing of the past. 

The men of letters were expected to follow society, not to lead it. And this is what many of them did, whether with the professional servility of the journalist or with the disinterested fanaticism of the realist, who affirmed his artistic integrity by the creation of an imaginary world no less devoid of spiritual significance than was the social world in which he lived.

A large number found neither of these alternatives satisfactory. They turned to literature and art as a means of escape from reality. That was the meaning to many of the catchwords "Art for Art's sake." (It's true meaning, however, is to be found rather in the dilettantism of Oscar Wilde). Symbolism and aestheticism, the Ivory Tower and the Celtic Twilight, Satanism and the cult of "Evil", hashish and absinthe ; all of them were ways by which the last survivors of Romanticism made their escape, leaving the enemy in possession of the field.

There was, however, one exception, one man who refused to surrender. Whatever his weaknesses Friedrich Nietzsche was neither a time-server nor a coward. He at least stood for the supremacy of spirit, when so many of those whose office it was to defend it had fallen asleep or had gone over to the enemy. He remained faithful to the old ideals of the Renaissance culture, the ideals of creative genius and of the self-affirmation of the free personality, and he revolted against the blasphemies of an age which degraded the personality and denied the power of the spirit in the name of humanity and liberty.

Nevertheless, Nietzsche himself was far from being a humanist. Humanism is essentially a via media, and in the nineteenth century the via media had become identical with mediocrity. In Nietzsche's eyes humanity had become something either ridiculous or shameful, and the attempt to pass beyond humanity led him to the negation of humanism and the destruction of his own personality; as he said, the way of the creator is to burn himself in his own fire. Yet the tragedy of Nietzsche is the tragedy of the end of humanism, since it only reveals with exceptional clearness the ultimate consequences of the antinomy that was inherent in the humanist tradition from the beginning. 157-159

...Instead of the heroic exaltation of humanity which was characteristic of the naturalism of the Renaissance, we see the humiliation of humanity in the anti-human naturalism of Zola. Man is stripped of his glory and freedom and left as a naked human animal shivering in an inhuman universe. 163

Thus humanism by its own inner development is eventually brought to deny itself and to pass away into its opposite. For Nietzsche, who refused to surrender the spiritual element in the Renaissance tradition, humanism is transcended in an effort to attain to the superhuman without abandoning the self-assertion and the rebellious freedom of the individual will--an attempt which inevitably ends in self-destruction. But modern civilization as a whole could not follow this path. It naturally chose to live as best it could, rather than to commit a spectacular suicide. And so, in order to adapt itself to the new conditions, it was forced to throw over the humanist tradition.

Hence the increasing acceptance of the mechanisation of life...a growing tendency towards the de-intellectualisation and exteriorisation of life.

"Christianity and the New Age" by Christopher Dawson in Essays in Order, New York: MacMillan, 1931.

The Fundamental Crisis of our Age, and the Solution

Protagoras: Homo-mensura

"Developing a Catholic understanding of the mediation of history in the realm of ontology."
Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, Tracey Rowland, New York: T & T Clark, 2010, 1, 8.

In other words, the relationship between history and being, i.e. history and truth.

Sounds like "the Word made flesh!"

The solution, of course, is Jesus Christ, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." The birth of God in time in the Person of Jesus Christ is the historic and definitive Incarnation of the Truth. Bar Him and you are lost, tossed to and fro, on the incomprehensible and apparently infinite sea of space and time!

And He is in the world today, Eucharistic! in the Flesh, in Ecclesia!

Christus heri et hodie
Principium et Finis
et Omega
Ipsius sunt tempora
et saecula
Ipsi gloria et imperium
per universa æternitatis sæcula. Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Christmas Organ Music

N.B. The Vatican still has the Christmas decorations out, i.e. crèche (Jesus Mary and Joseph) and tree.
The Catholic custom is to have them out until the last Christmas feast which is the Feast of the Presentation, the fortieth day of Christmas, February 2, the day candles are traditionally blessed recalling the Benedictus of Zechariah.

Above is some mellow interim Christmas music.

Finding Francis in Ratzinger

The Church does not reflect on Herself

In the Constitution Lumen gentium the Church does not speak about herself in the final analysis, does not reflect on herself, as one might conclude from a superficial reading. The first sentence of the document reads: "Christ is the light of humanity." This light is reflected upon the face of the Church. She is--as the Fathers of the Church say--the moon that receives all of its light from the sun, from Christ. Correctly understood, the Church's essence is found, not in herself, but rather in her orientation [Verwiesensein] and her referring [Verweisen] to One beyond herself.

Father Heim shows this christological structure of the Council's teaching about the Church, which is necessarily a theo-logical structure: In Christ, man--human nature--is united with God. Through him, humanity has been taken up into the trinitarian dynamic: The Son leads to the Father in the Holy Spirit. It is about God, and only in this way do we treat the subject man directly.

...Through his Word and his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, [Christ] is always our contemporary. In the Eucharist the Church is constantly born again from the pierced heart of the Lord. And in the Eucharist we find also, in this place and at this hour, the nucleus of the Church's constitution, its meshing of unity and multiplicity, of universality and concrete moorings int he here and now.

...The Lord is here totally, the celebration of the Eucharist we always find as well the Church in her totality...

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger February 2, 2005 foreword to Maximilian Heinrich Heim's Joseph Ratzinger: Life in the Church and Living Theology, Fundamentals of Ecclesiology with Reference to Lumen Gentium, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2007, 1-2.

Those were the words of Pope Benedict two months before his 2005 election.
Now consider the very similar words of Pope Francis from his pre-conclave discourse, just weeks before his 2013 election.

When the Church does not get out of itself to evangelize it becomes self-referential and then gets sick (cf. The woman hunched over herself in the gospel). The evils that are found, over time, in the church institutions are self-referential, a kind of theological narcissism. In the book of Revelation Jesus says he is at the door and knocks. Obviously the text refers to hitting from outside the door to go in... But I think about the times when Jesus knocks from within to let him out. The self-referential Church presumes to have Jesus inside and does not let him out.

When the Church is self-referential it unwittingly thinks it has its own light, no longer the mysterium lunae and it gives way to that most grave evil which is spiritual worldliness (According to De Lubac, the worst evil that can befall the Church). This living to glorify one another. Put simply, there are two images of Church: the Church evangelizing getting out of herself, the Dei Verbum religiose audiens et fidenter proclamans, and the worldly Church which lives in itself, of itself, for itself. This should shed light on the possible changes and reforms that must be undertake for the salvation of souls.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A nice (Spanish) tenor recording: Alfredo Kraus

And an opera.
Hopefully the album cover doesn't mean what it appears to mean! I just listen to the music.
Maybe I should look into the plots a little more before suggesting the music, but it's just that the music is so sublime that I find it hard to resist and, frankly, it has never led me to sin, quite the contrary, it leads me to transports of supernatural inspiration like that of a sunrise or sunset, etc.
Not to mention helping with the foreign languages, which is always a big plus.

Second Sunday Ordinary Time (C) Catechism Topics

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Homiletic Directory)

CCC 528: at Cana, Christ shows himself to be Messiah, Son of God, Savior

CCC 796: the Church as Bride of Christ

CCC 1612-1617: marriage in the Lord

CCC 2618: Mary’s intercession at Cana

CCC 799-801, 951, 2003: charisms at the service of the Church

I find the new Directory suggestions especially useful to prepare a sermon in a language in which I am not entirely fluent. I can thus rely more heavily on the ready-made Catechism of the Catholic Church explanations in that language: e.g. Today I have to preach in French, so I'll read those passages in the Catechism to prepare for the sermon and perhaps choose one passage to quote and briefly expound, to attempt maximum clarity, which is a chief goal of preaching.

N.B. No sermon is better than a bad sermon! In my case, if you can reasonably conclude that your sermon will not increase, or otherwise (what is worse) will add confusion to, the clarity of the Catholic faith in your hearers, don't give it. Better silence than a bad (e.g. unclear) sermon!

Why most priests should not preach.

Here is what I have come up with for my sermon.
Preach on the sanctity (effects) of marriage as established by Christ by simply reading the following passages.
CCC 1613-1616, 1638-1642 and concluding with reading Revelation 19:6-9 on the eschatological wedding supper of the Lamb.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Pope Francis' typical political correctness strikes again.
Flirting with indifferentism.

Why everyone cannot pray together, according to Joseph Cardinal Ratizinger. Three necessary foundational questions need to be answered for that to happen.

1) Who is God? We can pray with each other only if we are agreed who or what God is and if there is therefore basic agreement as to what praying is: a process of dialogue in which I talk to a God who is able to hear and take notice...Any confusion of a personal and an impersonal understanding, of God and the gods, must be excluded. The First Commandment is true, particularly in any possible interreligious prayer.

2) What is Prayer (content and form)? Yet there must also be fundamental agreement--on the basis of the concept of God--about what is worth praying about and what might be the content of prayer...Petitions contrary to those of the Lord's Prayer cannot be for the Christian the subject of interreligious prayer or of any kind of prayer at all.

3) What is True Religion? Any common interreligious prayer would have to be so arranged that the relativistic misinterpretation of faith and prayer can find no foothold in it. This criterion relates not only to Christians, who should not be led astray, but equally well to non-Christians, to whom no impression should be given that "religions" are interchangeable, that the basics of Christian belief are not of ultimate significance and thus replaceable. That would be pointing backward instead of forward, in the history of the way to God.

Truth and Tolerance, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2004, 108-109

Perfect Papal Sequel

How fitting that the Successor to the Pope who renounced the Papal Throne should himself so energetically reject also the superficial trappings of that Throne.

All in the name of boldly following the Lord. It's the same rubric of all the saints, even popes!

John 21:18 amen amen dico tibi cum esses iunior cingebas te et ambulabas ubi volebas cum autem senueris extendes manus tuas et alius te cinget et ducet quo non vis

Faith in Hollywood: Randall Wallace with Raymond Arroyo

Any conversation with the moguls of Hollywood would need to include a disclaimer regarding a film's gratuitous nudity, the inherent corruption of which vitiates any virtue the film might otherwise have.

One degrading scene makes the entire film morally objectionable, i.e. bad.

Otherwise, it is like saying that your party was a good party, even is someone chanced to come unclad! People of normal moral sensibility do not tolerate public nudity, public displays of homosexual affection or any other lewd displays, and cannot be silent when they are paraded, without being complicit, because they know it is bad. It comes from a bad place in people and it makes people bad. Put simply, it's called lust! and it's an insidious capital sin which has toppled empires!

My faint recollection of the one time I saw "Brave Heart" (and largely the reason I have never gone back to it) is that it does have a woman topless in one scene or other and so I intellectually filed it with all the other not recommendable seductive garbage!

Upright men censure lust in all its forms, especially when it is unsolicited and thrown in their faces!

Mr. Arroro's interview is a great show...but...the filth must be sniffed out! We need men who can "smell out the horse thieves," as John Wayne ("Dark Command" [1940]) famously said. The abuse cannot be ignored! It is sexual abuse to request an actress to take off her clothes in front of you or anyone else, never mind to allow you to film her nude for the whole world and all posterity to see!

Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: Folks, it's true. I don't know much about the law. Ain't had much book learning. But the good Lord gave me a nose for smelling a horse thief a mile off. And what you need in these parts is a marshal that's better at smelling than spelling.

As a healthy corrective I do like the work being done by my cable station which shows a great variety of objectionable films while censuring the cursing and the nudity.

Censored Cinema
Film Choice
Pedophilia in Hollywood
Porn and Females
Jewishness of Pornography
A Guide to Child Abuse
5 Tips from the Pope on Media Use

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Inimitable Ratzinger Fairness and Refined Frankness: Intellectual Charity in Every Respect!


Dietmar Mieth, an old Tübingen colleague recalls a lecture given by Father Edward Schillebeeckx in that German university. Küng and Ratzinger were sitting near the podium where the Belgian theologian spoke, while he questioned the authority of the Church. Küng then spoke and described a future in which he imagined how the Church could be reformed. Ratzinger kept quiet. During the time for questions someone from the audience asked for Ratzinger's opinion. "He went up to the podium and refuted what his colleagues had just said. He did it indirectly. He did not say that what the others had said were stupidities, but rather used a bunch of citations from the history of the Church and from theology, texts by memory from Hegel and Schelling and of many other authors, and many other references, to finally arrive at the conclusion that the propositions of his colleagues were based on over-simplifications."

Balthasar's assessment would be much more direct, saying later of Küng,
"Hans Küng is no longer Christian: for him Christ is no more than a prophet; it's just a matter of seeing if he is greater than Buddha or Mohammed. Küng now represents only himself, and has nothing to say neither to the Catholics nor to the Protestants."

Even Rahner himself would eventually say of Küng,
"Hans Küng cannot be considered an authentic exponent of the Catholic understanding of Christianity."

Benedicto XVI, Pablo Banco, Barcelona: Planeta 2010, 200-201
(Plinthos translation)

Balthasar and de Lubac the Greatest Theologians and Humanists of their Age, Beside Ratzinger


Of his first encounter with Hans Urs von Balthasar Joseph Ratzinger says,

Henri de Lubac
"Never again have I found anyone with such a comprehensive theological and humanistic education as Bathasar and de Lubac, and I cannot even begin to say how much I owe to my encounter with them [with whom he would found Communio as a counter-weight to, the out of control, Concilium]."

"Rahner, on the other hand, for the most part allowed himself to be 'sworn in' according to the progressive slogans, and allowed himself as well to be pushed into adventuresome political positions difficult to reconcile with his own transcendental philosophy." Milestones, 143

Three different Jesuits!
Hard to find a picture of Rahner with the roman collar!
Balthasar (1988) and de Lubac (1983) would be named cardinals.
It would be very interesting to know which journal most stimulated (and stimulates) the thought of our Jesuit Pontiff. The good or the bad Jesuits! Communio or Concilium?

Good priests/theologians are the ones who are loyal to the Magisterium, bad priests/theologians are those who are not, regardless of ecclesial rank, religious order, etc.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Deus volens" in Greek, and Arabic

ἂν θέλη ὁ θεόϛ

إن شاء الله

Philosophy's Wisdom is at the Service of God and Religion: Understanding Both

Philosophy provides "a necessary rational grounding for theology...

[T]he question of the possibility of theology has been, and to some extent still is, the principle philosophical question."

A Short History of Modern Philosophy, Roger Scruton, London: Routledge, 1993, 6.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"The Man of Tyrol"

Andreas Hofer

"The men of Passeyer set out for battle in defence of their country as if they were going to Holy Communion."
Tyrolese proberb, 2-3

"Hofer had a great beard falling on his chest which he had vowed never to cut while a Bavarian remained in Tyrol."
Great Catholic Laymen, John Horgan, New York: Benziger, 1905, 4

Obama gets close to the truth when he calls into question faith in politicians.

"So, my fellow Americans, whatever you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, whether you supported my agenda or fought as hard as you could against it -- our collective futures depends on your willingness to uphold your duties as a citizen. To vote. To speak out. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us. (Applause.) We need every American to stay active in our public life -- and not just during election time -- so that our public life reflects the goodness and the decency that I see in the American people every single day."

--President Obama State of the Union January 12, 2016

The statement falls, however, in that he says renew your faith in the political process. I was hoping for something deeper.

What he should have said is read the Bible, go to Church, believe, trust in God and live your life accordingly, especially in Jesus Christ! Live the life of Jesus and all will be well with America, whether you vote or not, regardless of who is in office. Put all your faith and politics (or no politics) in the hands of our Supreme Governor and the President of presidents: God! Trust in God and distrust men! Chancellor Angela Merkel, Time Man of the Year, said as much!

Our crisis is a crisis of saints! Want to solve the problems of the world, get right with God, solve the problems of your soul and all will be well in the world! Jesus is the Savior, the only Savior of the world--of your soul, and, thereby, of the world.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Science Veluti si Deus Daretur (Assuming God Exists)

Werner Heisenberg
"If you distinguish so sharply between the languages of religion, science, and art," I [Heisenberg] asked, "what meaning do you attach to such apodictic statements as 'There is a living God' or 'There is an immortal soul'? What is the meaning of 'there is' in this type of language? Science, like Dirac, objects to such formulations. Let me illustrate the epistemological side of the problem by means of the following analogy:
"Mathematicians, as everyone knows, work with an imaginary unit, the square root of –1, called i. We know that i does not figure among the natural numbers. Nevertheless, important branches of mathematics, for instance the theory of analytical functions, are based on this imaginary unit, that is, on the fact that -1 exists after all. Would you agree that the statement 'There is a -1' means nothing else than 'There are important mathematical relations that are most simply represented by the introduction of the -1 concept'? And yet these relations would exist even without it. That is precisely why this type of mathematics is so useful even in science and technology. What is decisive, for instance, in the theory of functions, is the existence of important mathematical laws governing the behavior of pairs of continuous variables. These relations are rendered more comprehensible by the introduction of the abstract concept of -1, although that concept is not basically needed for our understanding, and although it has no counterpart among the natural numbers. An equally abstract concept is that of infinity, which also plays a very important role in modern mathematics. It, too, has no correlate, and moreover raises grave problems. In short, mathematics introduces ever higher stages of abstraction that help us attain a coherent grasp of ever wider realms. To get back to our original question, is it correct to look upon the religious 'there is' as just another, though different, attempt to reach ever higher levels of abstraction? An attempt to facilitate our understanding of universal connections? After all, the connections themselves are real enough, no matter into what spiritual forms we try to fit them."
"With respect to the epistemological side of the problem, your comparison may pass," Bohr replied. "But in other respects it is quite inadequate. In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society. Even if religion arose as the spiritual structure of a particular human society, it is arguable whether it has remained the strongest social molding force through history, or whether society, once formed, develops new spiritual structures and adapts them to its particular level of knowledge. Nowadays, the individual seems to be able to choose the spiritual framework of his thoughts and actions quite freely, and this freedom reflects the fact that the boundaries between the various cultures and societies are beginning to become more fluid. But even when an individual tries to attain the greatest possible degree of independence, he will still be swayed by the existing spiritual structures—consciously or unconsciously. For he, too, must be able to speak of life and death and the human condition to other members of the society in which he's chosen to live; he must educate his children according to the norms of that society, fit into its life. Epistemological sophistries cannot possibly help him attain these ends. Here, too, the relationship between critical thought about the spiritual content of a given religion and action based on the deliberate acceptance of that content is complementary. And such acceptance, if consciously arrived at, fills the individual with strength of purpose, helps him to overcome doubts and, if he has to suffer, provides him with the kind of solace that only a sense of being sheltered under an all-embracing roof can grant. In that sense, religion helps to make social life more harmonious; its most important task is to remind us, in the language of pictures and parables, of the wider framework within which our life is set."

From Physics and Beyond, By Werner Heisenberg, (Harper & Row, 1971). Republished in Physics And Philosophy: The Evolution Of Modern Science by Werner Heisenberg, (Harper Perrennial, 2007). Online source: Edge "Science and Religion"

Cf. Ratzinger, in Truth and Tolerance (Ignatius Press 2003) presents the above 1927 Heisenberg dialogue in detail and then summarizes it as the present day academic challenge to the Enlightenment banner of "religion within the bounds of sheer reason".
"If  a religion can no longer be reconciled with the elementary certainties of a given view of the world, it collapses. But, on the other hand, religion also needs some authorization that reaches beyond what we can think up for ourselves, for only thus will the unconditional demand it makes upon man be acceptable." pp. 141-142.

See also veluti si deus daretur

N.B. This excerpt from the movie "Hud" elucidates the need for moral bearings.

Homer Bannon: You don't care about people Hud. You don't give a damn about 'em. Oh, you got all that charm goin' for ya. And it makes the youngsters want to be like ya. That's the shame of it because you don't value anything. You don't respect nothing. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself. And that makes you not fit to live with.

[And to the younger boy]...Your just gonna have to make up your own mind one day, about what's right and what's wrong.
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