Friday, September 30, 2016

Irish Monastic Discipline

From Mark Fisher:
One can see how, while living such an austere lifestyle, it might be easy, occasionally, to slip. The rules of Columbanus show us the penalties the monasteries imposed on those who strayed from the expected norm. For small infractions, the least penalty was the recitation of three psalms. After that, the penalties increased in severity, with six to a hundred lashes given on the hand, using a leather strap. One could also be sentenced to long periods of fasting or silence. The worst offenses might require exile or banishment. The penalty for murder was ten years in exile, during which the offender might have to exist for a time on bread and water. Yet, despite the austere lifestyle and the penalties for straying, the monasteries grew....
One of the most important duties of a Celtic monk, for those with the aptitude, was the copying of manuscripts. And the Irish monks and their students copied everything they received—not only the Bible, but also Greek and Latin literature. They copied pagan works, mind you. The Celtic monks even recorded their own ancestral tales, such as The Tale of the Tain. Churchmen outside of Ireland disapproved of this welcoming view of non-Christian writings. But the Irish monks’ ready acceptance of all literature, no matter its religious worldview, helped to preserve the great works of western civilization.

But think what it meant to copy a book back then. Gutenberg and his printing press were hundreds of years away. Every document had to be painstakingly written by hand, dipping the quill in the ink pot several times to finish even one sentence. The copying took place one letter, one page, one book at a time. Such long, tedious work was perfect for the monk who wanted to sacrifice his life for Christ. But also good for saving literature that otherwise might be forgotten, burned by advancing barbarians, or hidden in a cache somewhere, never to be found again. (Read more.)
From The Book of Kells

A Subtler Satanism

From Crisis:
Since our theologians no longer speak of Satan, however, Ven. Sheen says we must summon the poets instead. So Lucien Greaves, the co-founder and spokesman for the Satanic Temple, explains that Satan is not literal but rather a “metaphorical construct.” As the group writes: “Satan is symbolic of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority… Ours is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists.” And now Milton’s “bold” Satan taunts, like some great soul, elementary and middle school parents with After School Satan.

Numerous Christians and conservatives counsel us against undue alarm over the proposed club. We’re quoted vague literature from the Satanic Temple promising lessons on science, free inquiry, and art. We’re reassured, with collective little jokes, that these Satanists don’t “worship” Satan. We’re advised, indeed, that they are in fact “faux Satanists”—atheists exploiting Lucifer to be “jerks” to people of faith, “satirists” capitalizing on the “PR value of standing for Satan instead of Reason.” So mark the humor, we’re told, of the intentionally “jarring” promotional video featuring backwards-walking schoolchildren, ominous chanting, and a guttural, diabolical voice.

We’re urged, by some Christians, to elude this “trap,” this provocation to shut down all religious clubs with our naïve indignation. We’re exhorted, by others, to extol the Satanic Temple for sharing our “struggle for justice” and shielding our “freedoms,” including “the freedom to offend.” And we’re utterly missing, in our legal shrewdness and brave free thought, the terrible seriousness of the Satanic Temple’s “symbolic” Satan.

Frequently invited to shed Satan to gain support for his crusade to separate church and state, Greaves is unpersuadable. He finds it “annoying” to be dismissed as “‘just’ an atheist group trying to make a political point.” Others don’t comprehend his “atheistic religion,” a religion emptied of “supernaturalism.” Satan may be just a metaphor, but he’s too essential to the religion’s “symbolic structure,” “sense of purpose,” and “religious narrative” to be ceded. (Read more.)

The Prophecy of Fulton J. Sheen

From Roman Catholic Man:
The Latin phrase, motus in fine velocior, is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period. I’ve heard it said that it means, “Things accelerate toward the end.” We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly could be marked as the end of an era. I wrote about the potential significance of the 100 years since Fatima, which could be the “100 years of Satan.” That 100 years concludes in 2017.

With the Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage (Which I’ve been calling our “Genesis 19 Moment“), along with many other events happening in the world, many wonder what kind of evil has been unleashed upon the world. Many of these events correspond to approved prophecies, most of which have been given in the past two centuries. Up until recent years, I was completely unaware of this prophecy attributed to Our Lady of Good Success, but many years prior to that, I had been saying that “something happened … something erupted in the 1960s …”
“Thus I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of morals… As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church … In this supreme moment of need for the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” -Our Lady of Good Success
“Shortly after the middle of the 20th century” … most certainly points to the infamous anti-authority, pro-hedonism 1960s, that ushered in unparalleled self-indulgence (the essence of the demonic) into our world. In the midst of this, our Church has not only suffered unprecedented losses in the sheer number of souls, but we are witnessing an epidemic of liturgical abuse and rampant sacrilege. In an article that speaks to this, I called this a “Stealth Arianism.” Many claim we very well could be in the throes of what is termed, “The Great Apostasy.”

Did Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophesy about the condition of (many parts of) our Church today? (Read more.)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Olivia de Havilland Turned 100 This Month

The last survivor of Gone With the Wind. From The Daily Mail Online:
The actress is one of the last living remnants of Hollywood's Golden Age and has now disclosed her true feelings about her late sister Joan Fontaine, revealing that she calls her 'Dragon Lady.' Posing on a chaise longue in a demure black dress in her Saint James Paris residence, the still-glamorous two-time Oscar winner quipped that only 'the pearls are fake,' before she agreed to answer more detailed questions via email - her preferred mode of communication because of her failing hearing and vision. (Read more.)


Hillary and the Oil Industry

I thought she was in favor of eco-friendly alternatives. From Fortune:
Hillary Clinton has significantly out-raised Donald Trump in the oil and gas industry, an important venue for campaign financing that has historically served as a boon for Republicans, according to a new Wall Street Journal analysis.

As of the latest fundraising cycle at the end of July, employees in the oil and gas sector had donated $525,000 to Clinton’s campaign, compared with $149,000 to Trump’s team, the newspaper reported. That’s outside of the $470,000 that members of the industry gave to a fundraising account Trump holds with the Republican National Committee. But even that pales in comparison to Clinton’s DNC account, which took in $650,000.

Taken together, oil and gas donors have contributed roughly twice as much to support Mrs. Clinton’s campaign as Mr. Trump’s,” reported the Journal.

Its analysis points to heavy hitters in the typically Republican stronghold of business, such as Exxon Mobil XOM 0.92% , where employees have apparently made 175 donations consisting of $200 or more to the former secretary of state. Only one such donation was made to the GOP nominee, according to the WSJ. In the meantime, members of the American Petroleum Institute, a major lobbying group for oil executives, also have yet to open up their wallets for Trump, said the publication.

Remarkably, this development in fundraising doesn’t appear to be symbolic of a broader trend in the election. Other Republicans have continued to receive money from oil and gas industry employees this year, raising a collective 90% of the total $71 million in donations made so far. What’s significant is that “only a small amount of that is going to Mr. Trump,” noted the Journal. (Read more.)

Simplicity or Style

From Aeon:
A great sentence makes you want to chew it over slowly in your mouth the first time you read it. A great sentence compels you to rehearse it again in your mind’s ear, and then again later on. A sentence must have a certain distinction of style – the words come in an order that couldn’t have been assembled by any other writer. Here’s an elaborate, Latinate favourite, from Samuel Johnson’s preface to his Dictionary of the English Language (1755). We have to train ourselves to read complex sentences like this one, but if it’s read properly out loud by an actor or someone else who understands the way the subordination of clauses works, it may well be taken in more easily through the ear:
When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, and clear the world at once from folly, vanity, and affectation.
The sentence is elevated in its diction, but it is also motivated by an ironic sense of the vanity of human wishes. It is propelled forward by the momentum of clauses piling on top of one another. Edward Gibbon is one of 18th century Britain’s other great prose stylists. The sentences of Gibbon that I love most come from his memoirs, which exist in a host of drafts braided together for publication after his death. As a young man, Gibbon fell in love and asked permission of his father to marry. But his spendthrift father had depleted the family’s resources so much that he told Gibbon not to. ‘I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son,’ Gibbon wrote. The aphoristic parallelism in that lovely sentence does some work of emotional self-protection. Also from Gibbon’s memoirs: ‘It was at Rome, on the fifteenth of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the City first started to my mind.’ The precision of the place and time setting, the startling contrast effected by the juxtaposition of barefooted friars and the pagan temple, the fact that there is an exterior soundscape as well as an internal thoughtscape, the way the sentence builds to the magnitude of the project to come – all work to make the sentence great. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Marie-Antoinette at the Movies

Kirsten Dunst as Marie-Antoinette
Norma Shearer as Marie-Antoinette
Nina Foch as Marie-Antoinette   
Michèle Morgan as Marie-Antoinette
Jane Seymour as Marie-Antoinette
Charlotte de Turckheim as Marie-Antoinette
Mirabelle Kirkland as Marie-Antoinette
Joely Richardson as Marie-Antoinette
Karine Vanasse as Marie-Antoinette
Raphaëlle Agogué as Marie-Antoinette
 Here are some recent broadcasts from Tea at Trianon Radio: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

More movies mentioned HERE, including L'Autrichienne, starring Ute Lemper, which is one of the best and most accurate portrayals of the Queen.

Ute Lemper as Marie-Antoinette


The Prophecy of St. John Paul II

From EWTN:
I’m increasingly wondering if we are witnessing the conflict prophesied by Pope St John Paul II in the mid 1970’s — the conflict between the true Catholic Church and the anti-Church:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realise this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.
Some have interpreted Pope St John Paul II’s warning about the confrontation between the Church and anti-Church as referring to  persecution by atheistic secularism, that is now in the ascendency in so many countries. No doubt this is true, but I’m also certain that it also refers to the conflict we are witnessing between those who remain faithful and loyal to Our Lord’s Gospel and the increasing numbers who reject Our Lord’s teaching out of adherence to ‘political correctness’ such as that of the LGBT ideology. The imposition of this politically correct ideology in many parishes and dioceses is creating an anti-Church that is in opposition to the Catholic Church, the true Church of Christ.

The anti-Gospel of the anti-Church is in many cases indistinguishable from secular ideology. The natural law and commandments of God that have informed and protected man’s moral, spiritual and physical well-being for thousands of years are overturned. The anti-Gospel  proclaims a narcissistic, hedonistic attitude that rejects any constraint except that imposed by man-made laws. God’s will is being deposed in favour of the individual’s will-to-power, will-to-pleasure and will-to-consume.  The anti-Gospel seeks to de-throne God as creator, saviour, and sanctifier replacing Him with man the self-creator, self-saviour and self-sanctifier. It is the ancient, prideful heresy under the guise of “human rights”.

During the present time the Catholic Church and the anti-Church co-exist in the same sacramental, liturgical and juridical space. Instead of breaking away from the Catholic Church, the anti-Church attempts to pass itself off as the Body of Christ, seeking to induct, or coerce, all the faithful to become adherents of PC ideology. When the anti-Church succeeds in taking over the space of the true Church we see the rights of man supplant the rights of God through the desecration of the sacraments, the sacrilege of the sanctuary, and the abuse of apostolic power. Politicians who vote for abortion and same-sex “marriage” receive Holy Communion, husbands and wives who have abandoned their spouses and children for adulterous relationships receive the sacraments, priests and theologians who publicly reject the Church’s doctrine are free to exercise ministry and spread dissent. (Read more.)