Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Secular Magnanimity: A Perfect Christian Virtue

Thus the title I would give to the great Jordan Peterson 2022 Hillsdale College Commencement Address below.

In life, "you aim up or down." Aim up!

View also the witty Peter Kreeft Stubenville Address, a broad critique of the stereotypical positive-thinking/self-help psychology graduation speech.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Pro-Life Victory on Jesus' Feast Day

Friday, June 24th (the Birthday of Saint John the Baptist), The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, less than a year before the 50th anniversary of the January 22nd, 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion Roe VS. Wade, Dobbs VS. Jackson overturns that decision. Here is the new law, unabridged, which is worth reading.

The United States of America now needs to enact an additional law defending every unborn human being, from the moment of conception, acknowledging the natural right to life by enshrining it in law. The child in the womb has the same God-given right to life as any other man that is born. That right is enshrined in The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Every man in the womb must therefore be defended by the law of the land. Procured abortion, the direct and deliberate killing of an unborn human being, is against the law which forbids homicide. Of course, an anti-abortion would necessarily extend also to prohibit all abortifacient contraceptives.

"The health of the mother" should provide no exception to this law, because any pathology of the mother must be treated with equal consideration for the life of the unborn man, while maintaining the integrity of the principle of double effect and, therefore, not directly or deliberately harming the child.

All men of good will must demand the complete outlawing of abortion. Every unborn man has a right to be defended by the law.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Chaste Relations = Marital Magnanimity

There was a lecture on magnanimity during the last day of the Sacra Doctrina Project 2022 Annual Conference in which the speaker referred to the frequently overlooked passage of Humanae Vitae, 21.

In the context of Natural Family Planning's periodic continence, the Encyclical indicates the magnanimous nature of marital chastity. This passage should preached by priests to highlight the sanctity of marital love because it emphasizes the human excellence, grandeur and superlative achievement of marital magnanimity, which is expressed and fostered by marital chastity, in the wholesome integrity of holy marital relations.

Here is the relevant quote from the encyclical.

Value of Self-Discipline

The right and lawful ordering of birth demands, first of all, that spouses fully recognize and value the true blessings of family life and that they acquire complete mastery over themselves and their emotions. For if with the aid of reason and of free will they are to control their natural drives, there can be no doubt at all of the need for self-denial. Only then will the expression of love, essential to married life, conform to right order. This is especially clear in the practice of periodic continence. Self-discipline of this kind is a shining witness to the chastity of husband and wife and, far from being a hindrance to their love of one another, transforms it by giving it a more truly human character. And if this self-discipline does demand that they persevere in their purpose and efforts, it has at the same time the salutary effect of enabling husband and wife to develop to their personalities and to be enriched with spiritual blessings. For it brings to family life abundant fruits of tranquility and peace. It helps in solving difficulties of other kinds. It fosters in husband and wife thoughtfulness and loving consideration for one another. It helps them to repel inordinate self-love, which is the opposite of charity. It arouses in them a consciousness of their responsibilities. And finally, it confers upon parents a deeper and more effective influence in the education of their children. As their children grow up, they develop a right sense of values and achieve a serene and harmonious use of their mental and physical powers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Marital Fidelity in the Odyssey

"The Trunk of the Olive Tree": The 'Testing of the Bed' As a Symbol of Fidelity and Like-mindedness in Homer's The Odyssey by Erin Whittemore
The old nurse went upstairs exulting. to tell the mistress of her lord's return, and cried out by the lady's pillow: "Wake, wake up, dear child! Penelope, come down, see with your own eyes what all these years you longed for! Odysseus is here! Oh, in the end, he came! And he has killed your suitors, killed them all Penelope said: "I am stunned, I cannot speak to him. I cannot question him. I cannot keep my eyes upon his face. If really he is Odysseus, truly home, beyond all doubt we two shall know each other better than you or anyone. There are secret signs we know, we two." Homer's The Odyssey, Book 23 (lines 1-10, 119-125)
A 20-year separation would be enough to force even the most loving, well-matched couple into experiencing feelings of doubt and struggle- even the hero and heroine of Homer's epic, The Odyssey. Odysseus, though he longs solely for home and wife, is plagued with uncertainty after hearing the stories of the adulteresses, Klytaimnestra and Helen, and the warnings of Agamemnon regarding unfaithful wives. For Penelope, the dilemma is even greater, lacking the knowledge of whether her husband is even still alive and needing to marry to rid her home of the destructive suitors. For these reasons, Odysseus' homecoming and discussion with Penelope of their marriage bed found in Book 23 is a pivotal point of recognition and reconciliation for the lovers. The bed of Penelope and Odysseus serves as a symbol of their similarities, the like-mindedness which makes them a love match, and the fidelity and devotion that has successfully withstood an extensive separation.

By the beginning of Book 23, Odysseus has destroyed the suitors and reveals himself to Penelope as the husband she has desired to be reunited with for so long. The goddess Athena transforms Odysseus' beggar state into a new being, even more beautiful than before: "taller, and massive, too, with crisping hair in curls" and "lavished beauty over [his] head and shoulders." To Telemakhos, his mother's cold response to Odysseus' showing appears cruel and unfeeling, but Penelope, still detached and possibly unbelieving of the moment, decides to "keep her distance and question him" until their "secret signs" are revealed. She orders Eurykleia to make up a sleeping place for her husband and to place the large bed outside of the bedchamber that the two lovers formerly shared. This test "tried him to the breaking point" since the bed, fashioned by Odysseus from an old olive tree trunk in the center of their - 143- room, was their "pact and pledge, [their] secret sign [was] built into that bed- [Odysseus'] handiwork and no one else's!" His knowledge of their private bed produces a realization and acceptance of reality for Penelope. Her knees "grew tremulous and weak" and "her heart failed her" with this exciting identification. They finally experience a physical and emotional reunion, and Odysseus, weeping, holds "his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms" at last.

The wedding and marriage bed of Penelope and Odysseus becomes the center of the unfolding drama of recognition once he enters his home in his real physical state and is seen by his wife. Just as the discovery of the scar on Odysseus' upper thigh is Eurykleia's indication of her master's identity, the bed is Penelope's identification of her sweetheart. The circumstance of the bed is a private knowledge that only they two share (and one trusted servant). After 20 years of disunion, their bed is still unique, made from a huge oak tree, and remains immovable. Crafted by Odysseus with great skill, the heavy monument could be moved only by someone very strong or by a god, and the idea of someone moving it suggests to Odysseus that his work has been altered or that he has been replaced by Penelope. But the bed is secure, fixed in place for all time, exemplifying Penelope's constant fidelity while - 144- Odysseus has been away.

Although informed by his deceased mother at the gathering of shades that Penelope continues to spend her days in weeping over her husband and has chosen no man to take his place, Odysseus is still subjected to doubting her faithfulness. Penelope's suggestion that the bed has been moved angers Odysseus because it indicates that Penelope does not trust his identity and that she may have moved on to another man in his absence. Any man who has moved the bed, however strong and remarkable, has not only relocated a stable marriage but is subsequently undoing what Odysseus himself had done. On the contrary, Penelope has kept her bed and her body private while her husband was gone, and the importance placed upon Penelope's sexual fidelity addresses the central concern for Odysseus' odyssey: to return to wife and home.

Following her test of his identity, Penelope urges Odysseus, "Do not rage at me ... No one ever matched your caution!" This statement is not entirely true, however, since there is at least one woman who has equaled him in heedfulness and testing: Penelope. "Careful Penelope," called an "incomparably cunning mother" by one of the deceived suitors, shows her wisdom in testing, and her likeness to her husband throughout the epic. The tricking of the suitors with the shroud she is continuously - 145- weaving and unweaving, the "unknowing" choice of the test of the bow to select her new husband, and her clever ploy when pretending the bed had been moved, proves Penelope to be on a par with her quick-witted husband, "skilled in all ways of contending." Understanding his wife's contentious ways as he knows his very own, Odysseus encourages Penelope to test him "at her leisure," since this "noble and enduring" hero had been proving his wife's fidelity and deceiving her with his disguise all along. This like-mindedness shows the two switching rolesOdysseus from the tester to the tested- until they finally reunite on their nuptial bed. In fact, this similarity among spouses is something Odysseus truly values and he desired this harmony for Nausikaa, saying, "the best thing in the world [is] a strong house held in serenity where man and wife agree."

Penelope's "test of the bed" is crucial since it leads to the moment when she can "see [him] and know [him] best," even if testing is the upsetting means to a happy end. Penelope's test of the bed not only proves her fidelity to Odysseus but also proves Odysseus' identity to her. They are reunited and begin their second courtship, having been "denied life together in [their] prime and flowering years." Odysseus is able to reclaim his role and true identity as husband and father as both he and Penelope end their contention and testing of one - l4- another. The passage of the bed in Book 23 serves as a kind of epithalamion, in which the marriage bed and the loyal couple are praised and rewarded for their goodness and chastity. This level of spousal devotion is refreshing, especially in the 20th century when relationships fail so often without even having to face hardships like those of our epic heroes, Odysseus and Penelope. The Odyssey is, above all, the tale of a homecoming and of the reunification of a couple who love and know one another so remarkably that they are not only lovers, but best friends as well. Similar to the ever-living trunk of the olive tree that constitutes their bed, the union of Odysseus and Penelope did not wither with their separation but rather was sustained, and upon their reuniting can renew itself and grow once again.

Works Cited Homer. The Odyssey. Translation by Robert Fitzgerald. Vintage Books, New York; 1990.

P.S. I first came across this idea of the sacredness of the Odyssey marriage bed at a lecture given at a Humanae Vitae conference a few years ago.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Music for the Octave of Pentecost

Enjoy Jean-Noel Hamal (1709-1778), In Exitu Israel
Psalm 113, Vespers for Pentecost (1962 Rite)

This is one of the first records I ever owned, from Seton Hall University Library discard in the late 1980's.
It is a sublime delight to pray this Exodus Psalm every evening this week in my priestly canonical prayer of the Church, thanks to Summorum Pontificum! Deo gratias!

Psalm 113 - In Exitu Israel

I. Double-Choir Introduction
1. In exitu Israel de Aegypto, /domus Iacob de populo barbaro
2. Facta est Iudaea sanctificatio eius, /Israel potestas eius.
3. Mare vidit et fugit, /Iordanis conversus est retrorsum.
4. Montes exultaverunt ut arietes /et colles sicut agni ovium.
IIa. Soprano Recitative
5. Quid est tibi mare quod fugisti, /et tu Iordanis quia conversus es retrorsum?
IIb. Soprano Aria
6. Montes exultastis sicut arietes /et colles sicut agni ovium?
III. Bass Aria
7. A facie Domini mota est terra, /a facie Dei Iacob /qui convertit petram in stagna aquarum /et rupem in fontes aquarum.
IV. Double-Choir
8. Non nobis Domine, non nobis /sed nomini tuo da gloriam /super misericordia tua et veritate tua.
9. Nequando dicant gentes: Ubi est Deus eorum?
V. Double-Choir
10. Deus autem noster in caelo /omnia quaecumque voluit fecit.
11. Simulacra gentium, argentum et aurum, /opera manuum hominum.
12. Os habent, et non loquentur, /oculos habent et non videbunt,
13. aures habent, et non audient, /nares habent, et non odorabunt.
14. Manes habent, et non palpabunt, /pedes habent, et non ambulabunt, /non clamabunt in gutture suo.
15. Similes illis fiant qui faciunt ea, /et omnes qui confidunt in eis.
VI. Trio: Contralto, Tenor and Bass
16. Domus Israel speravit in Domino, /adiutor eorum et protector eorum est.
17. Domus Aaron speravit in Domino, /adiutor eorum et protector eorum est.
18. Qui timent Dominum speraverunt in Domino, /adiutor eorum et protector eorum est.
19. Dominus memor fuit nostri, /et benedixit nobis, /benedixit domui Israel, /benedixit domui Aaron,
20. benedixit omnibus qui timent Dominum, /pusillis cum maioribus.
VIIa. Tenor Recitative
21. Adficiat Dominus /super vos et super filios vestros.
VIIb. Tenor Aria
22. Benedicti vos a Domino /qui fecit caelum et terram.
23. Caelum caeli Domino /terram autem dedit filiis hominum.
VIIIc. Double-Choir
24. Non mortui laudabunt te Domine, /neque omnes qui descendunt in infernum,
IX. Double-Choir, connected to preceding
25. sed nos qui vivimus benedicimus Domino, /ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
X. Choir, With Soprano Solo
Gloria Patri, et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
XI. Double-Choir
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper/ et in saecula sæculorum. Amen.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Huge Rainbow Flag Flies at US Embassy to the Holy See

Here is The Tablet's story.

The Vatican, Catholics in Rome, and all men of good will throughout the world, should not tolerate this ideological imperialism.

Object here, and below.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Scandal of Sodomite Cardinals

The Code of Canon Law, Canon 351.1 says that Those to be promoted as Cardinals are to be "men who are truly outstanding in doctrine, virtue, piety and prudence in practical matters."

How can any priest, let alone a Cardinal, in light of that requirement, condone Sodom? But ambiguity is the scandalous standard of the Pope Francis appointed College of Cardinals, a procession of doctrinally and morally ambivalent men. Many show themselves to be friends, if not outright sons, of Sodom.

Everything I need to know I learned in the elementary school Basic Catechism. According to the Basic Catechism of Christian Doctrine there are nine ways in which we cause or share the guilt of another's sin:

1. By counsel

2. By command

3. By consent

4. By provocation

5. By praise or flattery

6. By concealment

7. By being a partner in sin

8. By silence

9. By defending the ill done.

Ever recall the word of God:

"I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you to the grace of Christ, changing to another gospel; which is not another gospel, except in this respect that there are some who trouble you, and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema! As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone preach a gospel to you other than that which you have received, let him be anathema! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I should not be a servant of Christ."

Galatians 1:6-10, Challoner-Rheims Confraternity Edition New Testament, Saint Anthony Guild Press: Paterson, NJ, 1947.

Come Holy Spirit and send the purifying fire which you once sent on Sodom to purge the world, beginning with the Church, of every stain of impurity.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...