Saturday, September 23, 2017

Now is the Hour

 Today is the day of the great sign. According to Patrick Archbold, over nine months ago:
 On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin).   Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. So what does it mean, if anything? The obvious and truthful answer is that we simply do not know. That said, we are not entirely without possible context.

It just so happens that these events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. The culmination of these astronomical events occurs just 3 weeks before the 100th anniversary of the great miracle of Fatima, in which the sun “danced” (another heavenly sign), an event that was witnessed by many thousands.

In the almost century that has followed that great event, we have seen Our Lady’s warnings come true with startling precision. People did not cease offending God and we have seen terrible wars, nations annihilated, and Russia spread her errors throughout the world and, if we are honest, even into the Church itself. And yet, we still await the fulfillment of her promises, the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, and a period of peace to be granted to the world. (Read more.)
Now is the time to pray harder than ever. From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
The world is now standing on a precipice, being threatened with the fire which issues forth from the flaming sword held by the angel of the Third Secret. We can now only be spared through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that the angel with the flaming sword is seen calling out three times for the repentance of humanity in the midst of these trials of the Church appears to symbolise three separate periods in which the world would be spared from nuclear destruction to allow for a period of conversion and penance. We already know that the world was brought back from the brink of nuclear self-annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and Sr. Lucia herself said that the world was spared a nuclear war that would have broken out in 1985 by the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 (leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union). As Cardinal Ratzinger famously stated in his theological commentary in The Message of Fatima:

The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance.
We must now fervently pray that the Mother of God will intercede for us in a last act of salvation to stay the hand of the angel with the flaming sword, in order to allow for a period of conversion and penance before we undergo the trial of the Antichrist. (Read more.)


From The American Spectator:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir rests on an astonishingly audacious lie: that the very FBI director who made her campaign possible by improperly sparing her from an indictment doomed it. A normal pol who had mishandled classified information as egregiously as Hillary would have felt eternal gratitude to Comey. Only an entitled ingrate like Hillary would have the gall to cast her savior as the chief thorn in her side.

Nor does Hillary acknowledge another in-kind contribution to her campaign from Comey: his willingness to serve as a cog in Obama’s campaign of political espionage against Trump. Obama’s team of Hillary partisans, which included among others John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Loretta Lynch, wanted Comey to snoop on Trumpworld and he duly did.

It was reported this week that the FBI had until as recently as earlier this year been intercepting the communications of Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s campaign chairmen. This means that Comey, contrary to his lawyerly denial of Trump’s wiretapping claim, had the means to eavesdrop on any communications between Manafort and Trump.

Even at this late date, quibbling partisans in the media say that is insufficient proof of Trump’s claim. But could anyone imagine the Maggie Habermans bothering with such pedantry if George Bush’s FBI director had been snooping on David Axelrod? The same generation of reporters who watched All the President’s Men breathlessly now shill for the propriety of political espionage. They rush to offer what they consider high-minded reasons for wiretaps of Trump campaign officials. But those reasons, at least as this point, amount to nothing more than the haziest gossip. One of the supposed reasons for the wiretaps, rich in irony given Hillary’s complaint that foreigners interfered in the election, is that an ex-Brit spy, probably on Comey’s payroll (the FBI still won’t address this matter) and certainly on the payroll of pro-Hillary partisans, told U.S. government officials that Manafort was colluding with the Russians.


The scandal at the center of the 2016 election was not that Trump colluded with Russians to win but that the media and the Obama administration colluded with Hillary to defeat him. The loudest cries of “foreign influence over the election” came from Hillary partisans who sought it, whether it was John Brennan running off to England and Estonia to collect dirt on Trump from their spies or deep-state clowns at the FBI who wanted to turn Christopher Steele into an asset. The villain, in this sorry fable, turned out to be the victim. (Read more.)

Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life

The formation of a Marxist historian. From The Wire:
Seventy years after his mother died, Eric Hobsbawm recalled the last time he had seen her. The year was 1931, a lovely, sun-drenched summer was settling over Vienna’s magnificent public gardens, and Nelly Grun Hobsbawm had just been transferred to a sanatorium in Purkersdorf, west of the city, as it became clear that the end was close. The son remembered how emaciated his mother looked. Not knowing what to say or do, the 14-year-old Hobsbawm “glanced out of the window and saw a hawfinch, a small bird with a beak strong enough to crack cherry stones that I had never seen before and for which I had been on the lookout. So my last memory of her is not one of grief but of ornithological pleasure.”

A sense of wonder, of a joie de vivre that blends with and tempers grief, exploring new lives, new horizons all the time, underpins Hobsbawm’s autobiography, Interesting Times. No doubt the book tells the story of a life lived largely in the shadow of mephitic clouds that hung over what Hobsbawm himself memorably called ‘the age of extremes’. His childhood and early youth found Hobsbawm in the eye of the storm that was raging across Austria and Germany in the inter-war years. A Jew, to boot a young communist activist, he heard of Hitler’s anointment as the German chancellor while on his way home from school, along with his younger sister, one bleak January afternoon in 1933 Berlin when it snowed endlessly in a spell of unusually cold winter weather. (Read more.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Olive Oil: A Most Ancient Health and Beauty Remedy

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Olive oil is as ancient as civilization itself. It can be used as an astringent, as a hair tonic, and for so many other health and beauty matters. It is a primary ingredient in my beauty creams for its restorative properties. (Read more.)

Why Everything Is Being Politicized

From Return to Order:
The old phase of this war was defined by a set of rules inside the framework of the classical liberal order. It is based on an individualism centered on the pursuit of material happiness without restraint. In this arrangement, God and His moral law were relegated to the private sphere.

Both sides of the debate are represented by this order. Liberals on the left tend to favor a model of technological advancement that rejects a moral order since it restricts progress. Conservatives inside this liberal model desire to maintain some private remnants of Christian order as a framework for combating the chaos of misdirected progress.

Moral conservatives have long fought a stubborn and slow rearguard action inside the context of this liberal order. Unfortunately, some disregarded the sage advice of Jesuit Fr. Bernard Dempsey, who commented that “Only a very foolish general accepts battle on terrain of his adversary’s choice.”

However, inside this liberal framework, many Americans did manage to find some meaning and identity in their private lives. They did this by clinging to what little remains of family, church, and other social structures of Christian order. Meanwhile, the cultural left has lived off the social capital of Christian order, while slowly pushing a corrupting agenda ever further toward complete unrestraint. This symbiotic arrangement formed a precarious consensus that not even the disruptive sixties managed to destroy completely. (Read more.)

Sister Miriam

From Aleteia:
Sister Miriam (December 24, 1913 – June 17, 2002) was an Adrian Dominican and a professor of chemistry at Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan. Her obituary notes:
“Her early success in chemistry, working on early research examining cells, led to an invitation to lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was the second woman to lecture there; the first was Marie Curie. She later received international recognition for her early work with the spectroscope, a tool used for analyzing chemicals, and wrote manuals for using the instrument.”
Beyond that, Sister Miriam worked on wound-healing hormones, helping to create Preparation H. She established a research laboratory at Siena Heights in 1939, where she researched cancer for more than 30 years. Known at Siena as “M2,”Sister Miriam introduced undergraduate research and an addiction counseling program. Arguably, her most significant contribution in cancer research was her solution that unlocked the shape of DNA nucleobases. Jun Tsuji’s book The Soul of DNA records:
“For lack of knowledge of the DNA double helix, scientists were unable to understand the genetic roots of cancer, and subsequently they were unable to develop effective methods of treatment. In the early 1950s, scientists were on the verge of discovering the DNA double helix and unveiling cancer as a genetic disease. Stumped by the uncertainty regarding the shape of the DNA bases, the structural and functional “soul” of DNA, the male-dominated scientific establishment – from James Watson and Francis Crick to Linus Pauling – proposed models of DNA that were, in effect, inside out. In contrast, a woman, Sister Miriam Michael Stimson, OP, an Adrian Dominican sister and chemist, dared to imagine a solution to the DNA base problem. Using potassium bromide (KBr) to prepare the DNA bases for analysis by infrared spectroscopy, Sister Miriam Michael successfully developed a chemical method that affirmed the structure of the DNA bases and of the double helix itself.”
(Read more.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rochambeau and Washington

There would have been no America without the help of Louis XVI. From The Daily Beast:
The Franco-American alliance was more than two years old, in July 1780, when the Rochambeau-led Expédition Particulière arrived in Rhode Island with 5,500 troops, some long-range cannon, and a relatively small fleet. The alliance had already had two large military disasters, at Newport in 1778 and at Savannah in 1779. Rochambeau wasn’t sure what he could accomplish either, having been forced to leave behind a good chunk of his army and ships, and being burdened with a set of instructions from Louis XVI, dictated by Lafayette, that in unequivocal language put him under the command of General Washington and made the French troops and ships no more than auxiliaries of the Americans.

 Washington had dreamed of this moment, and of having naval superiority over Great Britain. He had long believed that the only way to end the war was to capture a significant British stronghold and army, and for several years he had been fixated on New York as the most likely target for such an attack. Now, with the French fleet, it could be achieved! But to Rochambeau, an attack on New York seemed difficult and dangerous, as likely to end in the capture of his and Washington’s armies as in the capture of British commander Henry Clinton’s. In Rochambeau’s view, he didn’t have enough ships and men to assure himself and Washington of victory.

Washington and Rochambeau first met in Hartford on Sept. 20, 1780, at the home of Washington’s former commissary general and longtime supporter, Jeremiah Wadsworth. To this conference, Washington brought an eight-page plan for the attack on New York. Rochambeau came with a neatly written series of 10 questions, with space on the sheets to record Washington’s answers. The French queries were an elegant, Socratic trap. By answering the first one honestly, Washington would be led, inexorably and through his own logic, to the only possible conclusion, the one chosen ahead of time by Rochambeau.

So Washington was asked whether naval superiority was essential to a big victory over a target defended by the British Navy. When he responded truthfully, “There can be no decisive enterprise against the maritime establishments of the English in this country, without a constant naval superiority,” his fate was sealed because the French fleet was not yet strong enough. After the 10 questions had been answered, Rochambeau insisted that there would be no attack on New York in 1780, and none until Louis XVI dispatched more troops and a larger fleet to America. And he was able to induce Washington to co-sign a letter to the king to that effect. It was the only real product of the conference. (Read more.)

No Starbucks at Church, Please

From FaithIt:
My husband endured cycle after cycle of chemo. He was separated from his children many nights. He was hooked up to chemo for 24 hours at a time. He listened to the doctors tell him bad news after bad news. He was left paralyzed and unable to get out of bed. And he never said how much he wished our church would incorporate coffee bars like many others were. Never once did he say he wished the lighting in our sanctuary resembled the lighting he saw other churches boasting of on social media. He never told me how cool it was that churches were putting couches on the platform. He didn’t boast of the graphics and props on the platform that some churches were incorporating. He talked about Jesus. He quoted scriptures. He reminded me of sermons we had heard. And in the middle of the night he sang songs of praise and worship to God and he spent his time praying. Because nothing a church does to strategize to bring in members helps you in the time of the storm. It is only Jesus.

On February 13th, I had to do the most difficult task of telling my children their dad was not going to make it, and the next day at 7:24 the doctors declared him dead.  And as I lay next to my children at night listening to my daughter sob uncontrollably because she misses her dad so much, I am not thinking about the trendiness of a church. I am thinking that my strength comes solely from God.

I don’t have my best friend with me anymore. And even though I take comfort in knowing he is in heaven, I can’t talk to my husband. I can’t text him during the day. I can’t share with him my frustrations. I can’t hold his hand. I can’t hug him. I can’t kiss him. He is not here. And as I drive to church during the week, I am not thinking that I wish the leadership at my church would read “how to grow your church” books and adopt cool sermon series. I am thinking how desperately I need Jesus.
As I look at two young children who now have to grow up without their amazing dad by their side, I am not thinking of how cool it is that ministers are relating the message to a Hollywood film. I am thinking of how much I need Jesus. (Read more.)

Father Sampson

From Aleteia:
Among those soldiers who landed behind German lines in Normandy on June 6, 1944 was the legendary chaplain of the unit, Fr. Francis L. Sampson (1912-1996). It was he (and not the character played by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan), who days later was ordered by military authorities to find Fritz Niland, the real-life “Private Ryan,” who had lost his three brothers on D-Day.

Father Sampson – better known as “Father Sam” – arrived in Normandy by parachute. The first thing he did when he landed was desperately look for his Mass kit, which he had lost during his landing. It was hard for him to locate in the dark, under heavy enemy fire, among the explosions, but he did. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
In the 70's and 80's we were told to avoid coconut oil because it caused cellulite. However, since then, a great deal of research has been done. Coconut oil has been proven to do wonders for the skin and hair. I fell in love with coconut oil during my trip to the Philippines. I found out that my great grandmother used it in her famously beautiful hair. When I created my face creams I made coconut oil a main ingredient. (Read more.)

Cardinal Sarah Supports Young Traditionalists

From The Catholic Herald:
Cardinal Robert Sarah has praised young Catholics who prefer the older form of the Roman Rite, saying he can “personally testify to the sincerity and devotion of these young men and women”. In a speech to the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum Pontificum, held at the Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum), the cardinal added that other Catholics should “open your hearts and minds” to these young people and the “good they do”.

“They are neither nostalgic nor embittered nor encumbered by the ecclesiastical battles of recent decades,” he said. “They are full of the joy of living the life of Christ amidst the challenges of the modern world.”

In turn, he called on Catholics who prefer the Old Rite to leave the “traditionalist ghetto” and mix with other Catholics as “many will benefit” from their faithful witness.

“Almighty God calls you to do this. No one will rob you of the usus antiquior of the Roman rite. But many will benefit, in this life and the next, from your faithful Christian witness which will have so much to offer given the profound formation in the faith that the ancient rites and the associated spiritual and doctrinal ambience has given you.” (Read more.)

Also from The Catholic Herald about young Catholics:
At the end of the day, it’s hard enough to be a young Catholic today, that I think most of us recognise that can’t let “liturgy wars” bring us down. Do you feel closest to God while wearing a veil and chanting Latin? Great. Is the Novus Order Mass in English, with the promise of coffee and donuts afterwards, the only way to get your butt into a pew on Sunday? More power to you. We’re just happy you’re here, because we want you to meet Jesus. (Read more.)

Church Suicide

From Matt Walsh:
Of course, this dissertation on the theological significance of Buzz Lightyear was pretty standard fare. The message preached from most pulpits in America is just like this: superficial, childish, empty, and seemingly designed to insult the intelligence of anyone who hears it. Christianity is dull and lifeless in this country because that’s what the church and its leaders have done to it. They’ve made it into something so bland, generic and inoffensive that it no longer bears any resemblance to the faith of our Christian ancestors. Even the church buildings themselves reflect this trend. Most of them look like shopping malls or government buildings. Sleek, gray, ugly, secular. But inoffensive. Inoffensive in the same way that the DMV is inoffensive.

Indeed, the primary goal of the modern church is to avoid offense, at whatever cost. And this is precisely why they’re dying. The problem is not merely that they’re boring people. After all, there are those who are bored watching anything that doesn’t involve explosions and car chases. The problem more specifically is that they’re starving people. There is no substance, no meat, in the message being preached. The congregants sit there and slowly starve to death.

Your flocks are starving, churches. You are starving them. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

More about Louis and Antoinette's Relationship

Continuing the discussion on BlogTalkRadio in which I analyze Queen Marie-Antoinette's relationship with her husband Louis XVI. The two teenagers first met hours before their wedding, endured many trials and humiliations together, and grew into a devoted couple who could only be separated by death. Was Louis really an ungracious dolt, incapable of being a true husband? Was he himself so completely unlovable as he has often been described? Did sexual frustration drive the Queen to spend money, which is the typical Freudian interpretation? Such questions and more will be explored, based upon scholarship, both old and new. Part One is HERE. Part Two, HERE.

(Image source.) Share

The Wall Is Actually Just Renovation of Old Fences

He's right. The fences have been there for awhile. I do not know why everyone acts like barriers on the border are some grandiose innovation. From Breitbart:
The president confirmed the fears of many supporters who worry that his campaign promise of a single “great wall” of “hardened concrete” and “rebar and steel” would go unfulfilled. The promised wall was a feature of Trump’s agenda, as he mocked current border infrastructure. After his inauguration, Trump described current border walls as “little toy walls” in an interview with Sean Hannity in January, vowing to replace them with something new. “I’m talking about a real wall. I’m talking about a wall that’s got to be, like, serious,” Trump said. Trump’s national security officials, including Gen. John Kelly, have argued that a solid concrete wall on the Southern border is not necessary, touting strategic fencing and border infrastructure. Democrats have vowed not to fund Trump’s wall winning an early concession from the administration in May. At the time, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer argued that funding for bollard fencing was an effective way to secure the border, but stopped short of saying that it was the wall that the president had promised. (Read more.)

The Death of Reading

From The Washington Post:
Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” analyzes the phenomenon, and its subtitle says it all: “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” Carr spells out that most Americans, and young people especially, are showing a precipitous decline in the amount of time spent reading. He says, “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” A 2016 Nielsen report calculates that the average American devotes more than 10 hours per day to consuming media—including radio, TV, and all electronic devices. That constitutes 65 percent of waking hours, leaving little time for the much harder work of focused concentration on reading.

In “The Gutenberg Elegies,” Sven Birkerts laments the loss of “deep reading,” which requires intense concentration, a conscious lowering of the gates of perception, and a slower pace. His book hit me with the force of conviction. I keep putting off Charles Taylor’s “A Secular Age,” and look at my shelf full of Jürgen Multmann’s theology books with a feeling of nostalgia—why am I not reading books like that now? (Read more.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Marie-Antoinette and Motherhood

Here is a podcast on Marie-Antoinette and her children. Her children were her life and she wanted to bring them up herself. She went through a lot to bring children into the world. We will discuss each of her four children and her adopted children as well. Share

Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley

From Life News:
Popular conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro continued to impress his audience Thursday at UC Berkeley when he rapidly refuted a young man’s abortion arguments.
Shapiro’s speech at the liberal California university drew massive media attention because of the violent protests that have broken out on campus during past conservative speakers’ talks. The university and local police increased security, and several people were arrested Thursday.

Inside the sold-out auditorium, Shapiro received a huge applause when he quickly destroyed a young man’s arguments in favor of first-trimester abortions. A video of the exchange received a lot of attention Friday, and some described Shapiro’s argument as an “epic takedown” of abortion. During the question and answer period Thursday, a young man asked Shapiro why he believes abortion is wrong.

“Why do you think a first-trimester fetus has human value?” the young man asked, explaining that he believes sentience is what makes humans valuable.

“Ok, so when you’re asleep, can I stab you?” Shapiro asked. The young man said no.

“Ok, if you are in a coma from which you may awake, can I stab you?” Shapiro continued.

Again, the young man said no. “But that’s still potential sentience!” he added.

“Do you know what else has potential sentience? Being a fetus,” Shapiro said, followed by a massive applause. (Read more.)

Independent Homeschoolers

From the Hmmmschooling Mom:
In homeschooling, we don’t have to have deadlines. We don’t have to follow schedules. We don’t have to be at a certain point at a certain time in our school year. We don’t have to get things done at a certain time. If it doesn’t get done today, we do it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or not at all! We are free and we are flexible, hear us roar! I mean, hey, new homeschooling mom, we’re not trying to do public school. But…she sorta had a point. Our independent homeschoolers can sometimes be rather dependent (or scatterbrained or uninspired) regarding tasks they don’t really want to do.

I think there is a fantasy that persists in homeschooling that once our kids get out into life and find that thing they want to do, they will automatically figure out how to manage time and stay on task and deal with less than awesome parts of the thing they love. And maybe some kids are like that. But many kids aren’t. And, just let’s just suppose…what if they need to manage time or follow through on something they really don’t love at all?

Hear me now, homeschooling mamas who crave independent homeschoolers: successful independence is made up of two other things: time management and follow-through. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Keepsakes of the Heart

From Victoria:
Often secreted in the recesses of fine antiques shops or street-side vendor stalls, Grand Tour boxes provide a fascinating link to the past. Seeking out these hidden gems and restoring their lost luster opens doors to imagining the previous owners who once held them so dear. Sometimes, it is the most diminutive thing that finds lodging in the heart. For collectors such as Rose Ann Kendrick, history-rich Grand Tour boxes offer unique insight into an aristocratic rite of passage and, perhaps, a captivating source of mystery. Who can help but wonder what treasures dear to someone’s heart were contained in such lovely cases? (Read more.)

The Secrets of Aloe Vera

From the Trianon Health and Beauty blog:
My grandmother always had a healthy, thriving aloe plant in her sunniest window sill. Whenever anyone would have a burn or a scrape, Grandma would take a piece of aloe and squeeze the juice onto the wound. Of course, I use aloe vera in the Day and Night Creams because of its healing properties and also because it helps to bind the other ingredients together. There is nothing like it in the whole world. (Read more.)


The Life of St. Robert. From Nobility:
His father was Vincenzo Bellarmino, his mother Cinthia Cervini, sister of Cardinal Marcello Cervini, afterwards Pope Marcellus II. He was brought up at the newly founded Jesuit college in his native town, and entered the Society of Jesus on 20 September, 1560, being admitted to his first vows on the following day. The next three years he spent in studying philosophy at the Roman College, after which he taught the humanities first at Florence, then at Mondovi. In 1567 he began his theology at Padua, but in 1569 was sent to finish it at Louvain, where he could obtain a fuller acquaintance with the prevailing heresies. Having been ordained there, he quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, in the latter capacity drawing to his pulpit both Catholics and Protestants, even from distant parts. In 1576 he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. He proved himself equal to the arduous task, and the lectures thus delivered grew into the work “De Controversiis” which, amidst so much else of excellence, forms the chief title to his greatness. This monumental work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, the blow it dealt to Protestantism being so acutely felt in Germany and England that special chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Nor has it even yet been superseded as the classical book on its subject-matter, though, as was to be expected, the progress of criticism has impaired the value of some of its historical arguments. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Autumn Alfresco

Eat outside as long as you can. From Southern Lady:
Autumn holds such allure, with picture-perfect weather and a colorful swirl of fiery hues all across the landscape. Take advantage of this incredible season by enjoying a meal on the patio. Bring out a rustic table, and dress it up with velvet-upholstered dining chairs. A selection of glazed dinnerware in the Jars Tourron collection anchors the setting, and its rich, earthy hues pair beautifully with shiny black flatware, black horn napkin rings, and tortoiseshell-patterned glasses. Complete the setting and serve our fall salad with molasses vinaigrette and peanut butter tart.  (Read more.)

Humanae Vitae Comes Under Fire

From The National Catholic Register:
In his encyclical, Paul VI re-affirmed the Church’s prohibition of artificial contraception, approved natural family-planning methods, and upheld the Church’s teaching on conjugal love and responsible parenthood. It caused a sensation when published: In the wake of the sexual revolution — when much of the world had accepted birth control — and after a five-year study by a pontifical commission that appeared to be vying for the Church to also approve it, Paul VI’s reaffirmation that contraceptive use is “intrinsically wrong” made it one of the most controversial encyclicals in Church history. Immediately, many clerics and academics outright rejected Humanae Vitae’s teachings.

And yet many, particularly those who have devoted their lives to defending life, vigorously uphold Humanae Vitae as prophetic. They argue that the widespread acceptance of artificial birth control, revolutionized by the contraceptive pill for women, has separated the unitive and procreative purposes of sexual relations. This, in turn, has fueled the sexualization of culture and promiscuity now prevalent in the West, precipitating legalized abortion, the collapse of marriage, and inflicting deep harm on the family. (Read more.)

On Judging

We are duty-bound to judge what is right from what is wrong. From Monsignor Charles Pope:
Who am I to Judge? I am a guardian, called to protect the Church, my family, and the world from wrongdoing. St. Paul warns that Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33) and that a little leaven (i.e., evil) leavens the whole lump (Gal 5:8).

Thus, in correcting the sinner, we are concerned not only for him or her, but for the community and the common good as well. Sinful and disordered behavior is harmful to community. Not only does it bring suffering to the sinner and others affected by the sin, but it also gives scandal and may incite unhealthy responses such as vengeance or hateful anger. There are times when, after repeated correction of the sinner fails, we must purge the sinful influence for the sake of the community. St. Paul says, We instruct you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us (2 Thess 3:6). Here, St. Paul seeks to preserve the community from disorder and heresy. He also declares, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Cor 5:11)

These more severe methods are sometimes necessary to reach a hardened sinner as well as to protect the community. Once again, this requires judgment.

Who am I to Judge? I am one who has been commanded by Jesus to do so. Jesus sayid, If your brother sins, go and point out his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him over (Mat 18:15).

The clear mandate of the Lord to set others right. This is not possible without first judging what is right from what is wrong based on the Lord’s teaching. Then, having observed wrongdoing or error, we must seek to correct it.
The Lord expects us to correct people we know and who are in sin. We ought to do it in humility and with love, but we are to do it. This is especially true if we are in a role of leadership or prominence: a pastor, teacher, parent, or elder.

In all of these senses, who are you not to judge?

There are certain judgments that we cannot make. For example, I cannot judge that I am holier than you, or that you are more holy than I. Scripture says, Man sees the appearance, but God looks into the heart (1 Sam 16:7). I cannot tell you if someone is in Hell; only God can make that judgment. I am also forbidden the “judgment of condemnation,” wherein I am unnecessarily harsh in punishments or conclusions. In this regard, Jesus, using the poetry of couplets, says, Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned (Luke 6:37). Indeed, the Lord further issues this warning regarding unnecessarily harsh judgments: For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you (Mat 7:2).
None of this is a mandate for silence in the face of sin or wrongdoing. We must judge between good and evil; we cannot shirk our duties to correct error and to rebuke sin in others. Who am I to judge in this regard? I am a watchman, a lover of souls, a guardian, and one who has been commanded by Christ to speak to a brother who sins. And just we are called to correct, we must also be open to correction ourselves. (Read more.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Wonders of Shea Butter

I have begun a new health blog. I thought I would begin with an introduction to the wonders of shea butter which is the main ingredient in Trianon Bouquet Beauty Creams. Please visit HERE. Share

Bigotry and Dogma

From Aleteia:
Just days ago, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sat before an eminently qualified law professor from the University of Notre Dame Law School, Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett, nominated for a federal judgeship on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee when it happened. Senator Feinstein leveled her gaze at Professor Barrett and declared,
When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you…And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.
This was an overt shot at Professor Barrett’s Catholic Faith. At issue was a 1998 Marquette Law Review article titled, Catholic Judges in Capital Cases, in which Professor Barrett clearly states that where a Catholic judge finds a conflict between her fidelity to a faith-informed Conscience and her legal responsibility to uphold the law (specifically in death penalty cases), the judge is obliged to recuse herself from the case. And yet Senator Feinstein’s pronouncement seemed to imply the judge held the opposite view. If that weren’t concerning enough, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Professor Comey if she was an “orthodox Catholic” and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) paraded his concern that the professor’s speech before the Alliance Defending Freedom (a religious liberty law firm which, along with the Becket Fund, successfully defended the right to religious Conscience for Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood Specialties at the Supreme Court) was a disqualifying event because the ADF is a “hate group”. (Read more.)

The Greatness of Churchill

From Nobility:
Allied propaganda often presented him alongside the other two – Roosevelt and Stalin – as if trying to level them. But that effort was futile and even counterproductive. Framed between the old Yankee president with common looks and an unimpressive, standard smile on one side, and on the other side the sinister Soviet dictator under whose hirsute eyebrows sparked two ignorant and threatening eyes, and under whose thick mustache were lips better suited to slander and drink than to speak, Churchill’s extremely expressive physiognomy stood out in a way that one would almost call splendid.

 Obviously, being very expressive is not enough for a person to shine. He also needs to express something worthwhile. The old English lion did so abundantly. His bald head reflected a vigorous and subtle diplomatic thought. His eyes – there would be so much to say about them! – expressed successively fascinating depths of observation, reflection, humor and aristocratic gentleness. His broad muscled cheeks lost nothing of their vigor with age. They looked like two facial buttresses, vigorously framing his highly intellectualized physiognomy. And they gave his face something that displayed an almost perpetual resoluteness and stability, an expressive symbol of the centuries-old strength of the English monarchy. His lips, thin and uncertain in their contour, seemed to accompany the movement of his eyes and thus were always ready to open up to utter an ironic saying, a slogan, to make a monumental speech … or smoke a cigar. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Empress Josephine’s Bedchamber at Malmaison

One must admit that the Bonaparte regime, while it espoused the ideas of the French Revolution, was as ornate, luxurious, and extravagant as anything that came during the Old Regime. Share

Brave Parents

From Conservative Woman:
It’s completely up to adults if they choose to go through a sex-change but utterly wrong to impose an adult agenda on children and then accuse them of bullying or hatred if they find it hard to accept. The Rowes are correct to note that the issues surrounding sex and gender are far too complex for young children to have to grapple with. Regardless of the wisdom of their case, the hate (coupled with a liberal helping of anti-Christian prejudice) unleashed by the media and political establishment upon this plumber and his wife for calmly stating facts, further demonstrates Orwell’s maxim: in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. (Read more.)

Pet Therapy for College Students

For thousands of years it has been known that pets bring comfort to humans. Science has confirmed the healing that a pet can bring to a traumatized person. But some of what passes for therapy is questionable, especially among college students. The question is: why do so many young people, at the most exciting time of their lives, think they need therapy? From LifeZette:
Animal-assisted therapy — in other words, sessions with dogs — is what the University of North Texas (UNT) is now offering its student body. Dog-facilitated workshops started in the spring of 2017 and are now part of the campus culture. Sponsored by UNT’s Counseling and Testing Services team, these sessions are designed to help students enhance their mood and mitigate anxiety while petting therapy dogs.

 Students can choose from among three canine workshops. The first session is called "Healing Arts with Rockstar the Dog," in which students pet Rockstar while completing an art project designed to increase self-awareness, compassion, and gratitude. The second session is entitled "Dog Breath" and allows students to hug Buddy while learning skills to relieve stress and manage anxiety. A third session will begin next month — it will show clips of the television show "The Office" and provide students with the opportunity to cuddle therapy dogs as they "learn to form healthy relationships and increase coping skills," according to a UNT advertisement.

Buddy (a poodle), Rockstar (a terrier mix), Dakota (a yellow Labrador retriever), and Willow (a chocolate Labrador retriever) make up the roster. The overall goal is for students to "learn skills that can be used to relieve stress and manage anxiety while spending time with a loveable pet," according to a campus flyer. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Peek Inside Château de Digoine

From The New York Times:
Jean-Louis Remilleux, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who is a member of the committee that oversees La Biennale Paris, is among the most passionate and experienced collectors of items from France’s ancien régime. Mr. Remilleux, 58, has a pied-à-terre in Paris, but his primary residence is the 15-bedroom Château de Digoine, on a 250-acre estate near the city of Beaune, in Burgundy. Parts of it date from the turn of the 18th century, and Architectural Digest has chronicled its contents, which include an array of antiques with a focus on works from the 16th through the 18th centuries. There is also a room dedicated to Marie Antoinette. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Camille Paglia on Gender Dysfunction

 From LifeSite:
Paglia says her feminism is the result of her "childhood experience as a fractious rebel against the suffocating conformism of the 1950s." She said that universities and the mainstream media are the new centers of conformism that are "patrolled by well-meaning but ruthless thought police." Paglia said in the video that she is concerned by the "popularity" and "availability" of sex reassignment surgeries.

"Parents are now encouraged to subject the child to procedures that I think are a form of child abuse," she said. These include "hormones to slow puberty" and "actual surgical manipulations" of children and teenagers.

"I think that this is wrong," she said. "People should wait until they're of an informed age of consent. Parents should not be doing this to their children. And I think that even in the teenage years it's too soon to be making this leap. People change, people grow, and people adapt."

Paglia said she suffered "gender dysfunction" as a child, dressing in men's clothing "as often as I could."

"But I still believe that there are fundamentally two sexes that are biologically determined," said Paglia. She wrote her dissertation on androgyny.

Reproductive biology is clear that there are only two sexes, Paglia said, and only a "very small," "minute" number of people are born with genetic abnormalities that make their "gender...ambiguous." It seems she is referring to hermaphrodites. 
On another occasion, she called the subjection of children to puberty blockers "a criminal violation of human rights." (Read more.)

Fr Tom Uzhunnalil is Free!

From The Catholic Herald:
Kidnapped Indian priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil has been freed from captivity and flown to Oman, the country’s government has said. Fr Tom was kidnapped when his care home in the Yemeni city of Aden was attacked in March 2016. Four gunmen posing as relatives of one of the residents killed four Indian nuns, two Yemeni staff members, eight elderly residents and a security guard. In May this year, a video was posted online showing the priest in poor health, calling for help. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A New Project

 Announcing the opening of my Etsy shop, Trianon Bouquet, where I will be selling homemade, all natural face creams. Both the night treatment Midnight Bouquet and the day treatment Morning Bouquet are offered. The beauty creams were created for women over thirty-five. The restorative formula is designed to help diminish signs of aging, as well as revive the skin's suppleness and softness, with regular use. The essential oils of orange blossom, rosemary, lavender and rose are reminiscent of the gardens of Trianon. Midnight Bouquet may also be used as skin therapy for dry elbows, knees, and feet, and as a hair masque to repair split ends. Trianon Bouquet Beauty Creams are inspired by Queen Marie-Antoinette, who loved her gardens at Petit Trianon, and was known to have beauty products made from her own herbs and flowers.

After traveling to the Far East, I fell in love with coconut oil, a time-proven beauty product of women in South East Asia. I decided to combine it with olive oil and other oils traditionally used in the West, to make an effective facial treatment for busy, stressed-out modern women. In the meantime, I was inspired to use the herbal and floral fragrances that Marie-Antoinette would have had in her gardens. I remembered how the Queen was fascinated by other cultures, and so would have appreciated the exotic touch of coconut oil as well as the wonders of African shea butter.

Please visit my shop HERE.


Giving Up on Matrimony

From The New York Post:
The share of Americans ages 25-34 who are married dropped 13 percentage points from 2000 to 2014. A new book by sociologist Mark Regnerus blames this declining rate on how easy it is for men to get off. Regnerus calls it “cheap sex,” an economic term meant to describe sex that has very little cost in terms of time or emotional investment, giving it little value. Regnerus bases his ideas, in part, on the work of British social theorist Anthony Giddens, who argued that the pill isolated sex from marriage and children. Add online pornography and dating sites to the mix and you don’t even need relationships. (Read more.)

The Problem with Politically Correct History

Historical persons do not always fit neatly into our preconceived categories. From Town Hall:
Even a Confederate general can change. Confederate Gen. William Mahone, one of General Robert E. Lee's most able commanders, owned slaves before the Civil War. But after the war, he led an interracial political movement. He organized and became the leader of the Readjuster Party, the most successful interracial political alliance in the post-emancipation South. In 1881, Mahone was elected to the U.S. Senate, at the time split 37-37 between Republicans and Democrats. But Mahone aligned with the Republicans, the party founded two decades earlier by Northerners trying to stop the expansion of slavery. From 1879 through 1883, Mahone's Readjuster Party dominated Virginia, with a governor in the statehouse, two Readjusters in the U.S. Senate and Readjusters representing six of the state's 10 congressional districts. Under Mahone's leadership, his coalition also controlled the state legislature, the courts and many of the state's coveted federal offices. (Read more.)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Montreal and Quebec City: A Tale of Two Cities

From Victoria:
Both Montreal and Quebec City remain, at their core, the towns French settlers built almost four hundred years ago, with plenty of joie de vivre. Autumn is the perfect time to explore the long history and exciting contemporary flair of these cities. Strolling the narrow streets of Vieux-Montréal, Montreal’s Old City, on an early autumn evening, it’s easy to think you’ve dropped out of time and place. Surely this is a long-ago evening in France, with cobbled streets and stone buildings rambling on either side. A visitor stops to read the menu outside a little auberge, while another practices lèche-vitrines (window-shopping) as she stands at the patisserie, transfixed by what a talented baker has done with butter and chocolate. Two children ride by on bicycles, giggling with one another, and in the distance, the smell of fresh, crusty bread fills the air. With a weekend ahead to sample the pleasures of the city, simply walking can be its own reward; there’s a discovery to be made everywhere you look. In the fall, the trees seem to pour rivers of scarlet and gold over the hills. The blaze of bold color is in sharp contrast to the St. Lawrence River’s pewter water and the gray of the old stone buildings. The air is mild but has just enough of a chill to make the homey inns and restaurants even cozier. (Read more.)

Hiring American

The ups and downs. From Politico:
The Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit, a seaside village in southeastern Maine, didn’t receive the eight H-2B visas it requested to supplement its summer housekeeping staff. To make ends meet, owner Sarah Diment recruited college kids through her Facebook network and cobbled together part-time shifts, some filled by American students and some by foreign students here on cultural exchange visas. In the past year, Diment estimates she had to boost housekeeping wages roughly 10 percent to keep employees. Diment could continue to increase wages, but the higher staffing costs, she says, would make it difficult to keep the business open year-round. “Raising wages is good in theory, until you put it into practice,” she said.

North American Midway Entertainment, a large traveling-amusement-park company headquartered in Indiana, requested roughly 400 H-2B workers this year, a quarter of its total seasonal workforce. But the Department of Homeland Security reached its 66,000-visa cap before the company could secure the guest workers. Company President Danny Huston said he had to skip three fairs and contract out some ride operations because of the visa shortage. In total, he estimates that North American Midway may have lost as much as $800,000. But the company was able to cover about one-third of the vacancies by hiring American through job fairs, newspaper advertisements, and social media. "We even set up a job fair in Puerto Rico," Huston said.

Other employers say hiring American just isn't an option. Michael Martin owns a Maryland-based landscaping company. Roughly 40 percent of his workers — and the majority of those performing manual labor — hold H-2B visas, he told POLITICO. Martin received his H-2B workers on time this year, but he knows other landscapers who didn't, and lost clients as a result. "It affects people, their bottom line," he said, "whether they’re still in business, whether they’re going to make it next year."
(Read more.)

The Orans Posture

From Catholic365:
A discussion that is common in Catholic parishes between the more orthodox members of the parish and the more “progressive” members is whether or not the faithful should use the Orans Posture during the Our Father. When such a question comes up, the obvious solution is to go to the rubrics. Unfortunately, in this case, the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) is relatively silent on the topic. Because of the GIRM’s silence, many people have taken this to mean that the faithful may do whatever they want. However, this is not the case. In the document, Instruction On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests, put out by the Vatican on August 15, 1997, we read,

"In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers — e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology — or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to "quasi preside" at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity" (ICP Practical Provisions 6 §2).

What the above statement means is that we may not say the Eucharistic prayers along with the priest — believe it or not, I see people mouthing the words along with the priest every week. More importantly to this topic, this also means the faithful may not use the same gestures that are reserved for the priest celebrant.

As mentioned above, the GIRM is silent with regard to the posture of the faithful during the Our Father, however, the Sacramentary (the book of prayers for Mass used by the priest) states that the celebrant is to pray the Our Father with hands extended. Looking back at ICP, the faithful are NOT to use gestures or actions proper to the priest celebrant. Using this argument, one would think that the rubrics could be used to appeal to the faithful. Unfortunately, many of the faithful view the rubrics as another set of rules and those of us who wish to enforce the rubrics are no better than the Pharisees. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Saints in Art

From Daniel Mitsui:
 As an artist, my preference is to draw saints from the Apostolic age, the age of the Fathers, and the Middle Ages. The task here is to construct an iconographic likeness of the holy man or woman - a different (and to me at least, more interesting) task than to represent a physical likeness known from photographs or portrait paintings.

When drawing saints who lived after Biblical times, I refer to the traditional hagiographies, those wonderful accounts of their miracle-filled lives. The Golden Legend is usually the first reference book that I pull off my shelf. It is a thirteenth-century encyclopedia of saints’ lives compiled from liturgical lectionaries and patristic writings. It represents the entire tradition better than any other single book.

When I first read The Golden Legend, I was impressed by the enormous wealth of information, and by the intellectual seriousness with which its compiler, Blessed Jacobus de Voragine, approached his task. He readily admits when a story is based on a doubtful source, or when different versions of it exist. Yet his attitude to the hagiographies is generous; he gives them the benefit of doubt whenever possible.

This starkly contrasts the attitudes of so many Christians of modern times, which are derisive, dismissive, or at best patronizing. It is cute, they may say, to draw St. Brendan celebrating Mass on the back of a whale, but of course we know that that didn’t really happen. Well, really? We do? What evidence is there against it? This is a very strange assertion for those who professes faith in an omnipotent God and in His revealed Word.

For St. Brendan’s whale is no less plausible than Jonah’s; the miracles of St. Nicholas are no more fantastic than the miracles of Elijah. The dragon defeated by St. Sylvester is no stranger than the dragon defeated by Daniel (a demonically-possessed crocodile would fit the description of either, although heraldic dragons are more fun to draw). No hagiography is stranger than the stories of the Old Testament and the stories of the New. What could be stranger than the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Of course, the Resurrection is an article of faith, something that a Christian is simply not permitted to disbelieve, and the words of the Old and New Testaments are inerrant; hagiographies are not (as Blessed Jacobus would be the first to admit). But our attitude toward the legends of the saints reveals and affects our attitude toward God, toward His creation, and toward His revelation.

We either live in a world in which these sort of things happen, or we do not.
(Read more.)


Antifa and Neo-Nazis

From The Washington Post:
As if to prove Cummings’s point, the antifa movement responded with jackboots and clubs — because their definition of “fascist” includes not just neo-Nazis but also anyone who opposes their totalitarian worldview.

And let’s be clear: Totalitarian is precisely what they are. Mark Bray, a Dartmouth lecturer who has defended antifa’s violent tactics, recently explained in The Post, “Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists” who believe that physical violence “is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective.” In other words, they are no different from neo-Nazis. Neo-Nazis are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that killed 25 million people last century. Antifa members are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that, according to “The Black Book of Communism,” killed between 85 million and 100 million people last century. Both practice violence and preach hate. They are morally indistinguishable. There is no difference between those who beat innocent people in the name of the ideology that gave us Hitler and Himmler and those who beat innocent people in the name of the ideology that gave us Stalin and Dzerzhinsky. (Read more.)
And the KKK's war on Catholics from The Catholic Herald:
 Ahead of the cataclysm, the Klan explained, Catholics would do their level best to ruin public morals and undermine American values. Klan audiences in the 1920s were routinely treated to speeches by women who claimed to be former nuns: they would often display leather bags in which, it was alleged, the newborn children of illicit liaisons between nuns and priests were carried to church furnaces to be cremated. Did people not realise, a Klan member in Sacramento asked, that “nearly all the bawdy houses, bootleg joints and other dives are owned or controlled by Romanists”? (Read more.)

The Need for Skilled Workers

 From PBS:
The United States has 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according to the Georgetown center. People with career and technical educations are actually slightly more likely to be employed than their counterparts with academic credentials, the U.S. Department of Education reports, and significantly more likely to be working in their fields of study. At California Steel Industries, where Esparza was learning industrial computing, some supervisors without college degrees make as much as $120,000 per year and electricians also can make six figures, company officials said. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Our Lady of Revelation

From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
It has only been just over two weeks since the occurrence of the Great American Eclipse at the start of St. Michael's Lent, and we have already experienced a whole plethora of foreboding events. First we had the earthquake at Ischia occurring just nine minutes after the eclipse ended on US soil, which just so happens to be the site of alleged Marian apparitions which foretell the destruction of New York City in conjunction with visions of volcanic eruptions and an entire island sinking into the sea. This earthquake destroyed the Church of St. Michael (known locally as the "Church of Purgatory"), which was right next to the alleged apparition site at Zaro in Ischia. Four days later, we had the destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey, which was the most powerful hurricane in a decade to strike the American coast. This was followed in quick succession by North Korea's hydrogen bomb test on Sept 4th, amidst several other provocations, accompanied by a threat of an EMP attack made by its leader Kim Jong-un. Since 2nd Sept, there has been an ongoing earthquake swarm in Idaho centred on Soda Springs - a location immediately adjacent to the path of totality, and just south of the caldera of the Yellowstone supervolcano. The largest earthquake measured here was 5.3 on the Richer scale, and there are concerns of a larger quake to come. Now we have the threat of Hurricane Irma bearing down on the coast of Florida which is currently Category 5, followed by other potential threats from Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Katia.

While all of this has been taking place on the ground, the night skies have been illuminated by another occurrence of the Northern Lights, following a powerful geomagnetic storm on 6th September, 2017. It is a well-known fact that Sr. Lucia had linked the Great Aurora of 1938 with Our Lady's words in the Second Secret, concerning the beginning of World War II:

"When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."

Scanning through the various reactions on social media, the dramatic uptick of significant events that has already taken place since the eclipse and the start of St. Michael's Lent has not went by unnoticed. In the post The Sign of Jonah and the Unbinding of Satan, we had already noted that it was a chain of catastrophic events centred around the timing of a total solar eclipse over the site of ancient Nineveh that had ripened the inhabitants' receptiveness to the words of the Prophet Jonah, causing them to repent en masse. In light of this combination of recent events, the idea that America has entered into a 40-day period of trial from the date of the eclipse to the feast of Yom Kippur/Michaelmas now no longer seems so far-fetched.  (Read more.)

Monsignor Charles Pope writes on earth, air, fire and water:
 God’s and nature’s most life-giving gifts are but a few degrees separated from disaster and instant death. We live on the edge of an abyss because that is where life is found. It’s such a thin line, really. Mors et vita duello, conflixere mirando! (Death and life compete in a stupendous conflict!)  To live is to cheat death.

All of the basic elements and forces: earth, air, water, and fire, are so death-dealing and yet so life-giving; somehow they are all part of the great cycle of living and dying that God intends. Only God is existence itself; the rest of us are contingent beings and part of a cycle. Only in union with Christ, who said, I am the life, will we ever cheat death. As Bishop Fulton Sheen once said, “Christ gave the earth the only serious wound it ever received, the wound of an empty tomb.” With Christ—and only with Christ—will we one day give the earth that same wound. For now, we live above the cauldron upon a thin crust; beneath us burns a tremendous fire. Somehow, mysteriously, it is the source of our bread. (Read more.)

How Britain Has Changed

From The Spectator Australia:
Across the UK, ‘sex education’ has been transformed and disfigured. TV programmes, aimed at children as young as three, promote ‘gender fluidity’, as an enabler of thoughtfulness and individuality.

At the same time, Ministers have denied worried parents the right to withdraw their children from primary school classes. Meanwhile, ‘outside educators’ teach children about sex positions, ‘satisfying’ pornography consumption and how to masturbate. Concerns regarding STI’s and Promiscuity, are derided as ‘old-fashioned’.

Independent religious schools are under intense scrutiny. Dame Louise Casey, a senior government advisor, recently insisted that it is now: Not Ok for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage’.
Ofsted, the body responsible for school-assessment, has been wildly politicised. In 2013, Prior to the redefinition of marriage, Ofsted visited Vishnitz Jewish Girls School. They passed the school with flying colours. In fact, they went out of their way to highlight the committed and attentive approach to student welfare and development. Four years later, Ofsted returned. This time, they failed the school on one issue alone. While again, noting that students were ‘confident in thinking for themselves‘, their report, pointed to the inadequate promotion of homosexuality and gender reassignment. As such, it was failing to ensure: a full understanding of fundamental British values’. It is one of an initial seven faith schools that face closure. (Read more.)

Who Killed the Princes in the Tower?

From On the Tudor Trail:
My biggest problem lies with the traditionally accused King Richard III and it boils down to two key holes in the case against him. Richard III must remain the prime suspect in any investigation, if the boys were indeed killed. The first problem with accepting that Richard III killed his nephews to prevent them being a threat to him is his failure to act against other nephews and nieces. If Richard chose to dispose of Edward IV’s sons to secure his own position, why would he fail to deal with Edward’s daughters and the children of his other older brother, George? It is true that they probably represented less of an obvious threat than the Princes in the Tower, but by October 1483 Henry Tudor was invading with the intention of marrying one of Edward’s daughters to improve his own claim to the throne, so within weeks of the disappearance of the Princes, their sisters were being identified as clear threats. George’s children Edward, Earl of Warwick and Margaret, later Countess of Salisbury lacked a personal affinity but nevertheless, Edward possessed a male line claim senior to Richard’s. He was barred by his father’s attainder, but that might be overturned by Parliament in an instant. Every other niece and nephew of Richard’s that was alive at the start of his reign was still alive at his death, so why not the sons of Edward IV? (Read more.)