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.)

Monasterboice and the Grace of the Divine Office

From Vultus Christi:
The first few days at Silverstream I enjoyed the beautiful chant and followed the text with my rusty college Latin as best I could. But I was still “outside” of it. It was only water, good, life-giving and necessary, but lacking the heartwarming power of wine.

It was on our outing to the nearby ancient ruins of Monasterboice that this changed. Monasterboice felt as if we had really reached old Ireland at last, the isle of saints and scholars. Surrounded by gravestones, by high crosses and only a few feet from the sky-high round tower, in the ruins of a 10th-century church we — my family and part of my monastic family (three of the monks, two aspirants) — chanted the office of None. Kneeling on the damp grass to sing the praise of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the grace of St. Benedict’s love for the Office entered my heart.

Monasterboice is a tourist attraction. I am sure we got a few stares that afternoon. Certainly, we were a spectacle to angels and to men, as Dom Benedict had preached that very morning for the feast of St. James: “For I think that God hath set forth us apostles, the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake” (1 Cor 4:9-10). But I think also that the souls of the Irish faithful who had prayed on this consecrated ground before us were pleased to look down and hear the praise of God rising again. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Elope

From English Historical Fiction Authors:
With the stipulations of the Hardwicke Act in place, how did a couple manage an elopement? An obvious solution might be to go somewhere else to get married, like perhaps Scotland. Scottish law merely required two witnesses and a minimum age of sixteen for both parties. (Of course for now, we’ll ignore the fact that whether or not Scottish marriages were legally valid in England was a matter of some debate.) Gretna Green was just nine miles from the last English staging post at Carlisle and just one mile over the border with Scotland. The town took advantage of the situation and made something of a business in quick marriages, not unlike Las Vegas today. Hence, it was known for elopements, and it became a favorite plot device for romance writers everywhere. (Read more.)

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

From TFP:
The Colin Kaepernick controversy is symptomatic of our days. A major league football quarterback sits down during the national anthem as a protest. The liberals crown him a hero exercising his freedom to protest against alleged injustice. The conservatives deplore his action (rightly so) because it dishonors the flag and the nation. Another case in point is that of the Satanic Mass in Oklahoma City held last month offending God and countless Catholics. Liberals hailed this event as an exercise in freedom of expression. Those opposing saw it was a horrific blasphemy of the worst sort....

In a society where everything is allowed—where if you can do it, you should—there is only one action that is not permitted: To affirm that something is categorically wrong and should not be done. There is only one thing that one is not free to express and that is the assertion that such controversial actions are immoral. Anyone who states there is an objective moral law based on human nature and valid for all times and places is censored, ridiculed, and scorned. As the Sorbonne students in the 1968 riots said: “It is forbidden to forbid.”

Against those who claim “if you can do it, you should,” the only defense is to proclaim loudly and clearly that “just because you can do it does not mean you should.” The mere fact that it is legally permitted does not mean it is right. (Read more.)

America and Mexico

From The Mad Monarchist:
Mexico, like the British colonies, had republicans and royalists as well. They also had an established and politically involved church, the Roman Catholic Church, which supported the Spanish Crown. Mexico became independent quite a few years later than the United States because the Spanish or pro-Spanish Mexican royalists had a stronger position in the country. Essentially, in Mexico, there were Mexicans who favored a republic and Mexicans who favored a traditional monarchy. When the republicans, such as under the heretical priest Father Hidalgo, rose up in rebellion, the Spanish were able to count on the support of the Mexican monarchists in suppressing such troublemakers. Yet, in time, the Mexican monarchists were alienated from Spain and, after having fought in defense of the Spanish Crown, decided to make common cause with the pro-independence republicans so long as the independent Mexico would be a monarchy rather than a republic. This coming together of the two sides for the cause of independence has long been represented by the legendary embrace of the conservative Don Agustin de Iturbide and the revolutionary Vicente Guerrero, the famous 'Abrazo de Acatempan'.

The result was the success of the anti-Spanish forces, the independence of Mexico and the short-lived first Mexican Empire with General Iturbide as Emperor Agustin I. It was short-lived, however, because the republicans were still there and soon fought to overthrow and ultimately kill their Emperor. Likewise, when Guadalupe Victoria assumed office as the first President of Mexico, those who had favored the empire were still on hand. They could not, as the Tories had done, simply move in a mass exodus to some other part of the Spanish-speaking world because they were, as far as the Spanish were concerned, just as much traitors as their former republican comrades had been. Iturbide, for example, had gone into exile in England rather than Cuba or Spain itself because the Spanish authorities would have executed him for treason. The Tories in America had, as their most fundamental principle, their loyalty to the British Crown and King George III whereas in Mexico, the monarchists had broken away from the wider, global Spanish empire in favor of having an empire of their own so that, even had they desired to, there was no way they could turn back from the path they started down with Iturbide. (Read more.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Castles of the Hundred Years War

 From History Extra:
 In Seats of Power in Europe During the Hundred Years' War, Emery studies 60 residences of the crowned heads and the royal ducal families of the countries involved in the conflict. Here, writing for History Extra, Emery explores nine of the most significant royal palaces built during the period…

The Hundred Years' War began in 1337 and lasted until 1453 – a span of 116 years – but in reality, the war arguably extended a further 30 years until its final conclusion in 1483 with the deaths of Edward IV of England and Louis XI of France.

The war was not a continuous conflict but one of battles, sieges and armed conflict interspersed with periods of comparative calm or even peace, at least in England. Nearly all the fighting occurred in France, with England suffering only from sea raids and the threat of invasion between 1370 and 1390. However, the war had wider European ramifications, for it extended into Scotland, Flanders, the Iberian Peninsula and even the Holy Roman Empire.

The reasons for building during a war varied from the likely presence in a region of armed forces to a person's financial capabilities and standing in society. The shape and character of a residence during a war was similarly determined by the leader's position in society, but also by his technical knowledge and as a demonstration of his lordship, power, and wealth.

The anticipation of conflict often determined the defensive character of the palaces built by the key protagonists, but it should be remembered that castles as well as palaces were as much a residence as a fortification, with considerable flexibility in their design. Even in war, kings and nobles were just as capable of building a manor house as a fortress, depending on that person's reaction to the political and military circumstances in the region. (Read more.)

Bibi on Putin

From PJB:
Putin is no Stalin, whom FDR and Harry Truman called “Good old Joe” and “Uncle Joe.” Unlike Nikita Khrushchev, he never drowned a Hungarian Revolution in blood. He did crush the Chechen secession. But what did he do there that General Sherman did not do to Atlanta when Georgia seceded from Mr. Lincoln’s Union? Putin supported the U.S. in Afghanistan, backed our nuclear deal with Iran and signed on to John Kerry’s plan have us ensure a cease fire in Syria and go hunting together for ISIS and al-Qaida terrorists. Still, Putin committed “aggression” in Ukraine, we are told. But was that really aggression, or reflexive strategic reaction?

We helped dump over a pro-Putin democratically elected regime in Kiev, and Putin acted to secure his Black Sea naval base by re-annexing Crimea, a peninsula that has belonged to Russia from Catherine the Great to Khrushchev. Great powers do such things. When the Castros pulled Cuba out of America’s orbit, did we not decide to keep Guantanamo, and dismiss Havana’s protests? Moscow did indeed support secessionist pro-Russia rebels in East Ukraine. But did not the U.S. launch a 78-day bombing campaign on tiny Serbia to effect a secession of its cradle province of Kosovo?

What is the great moral distinction here?

The relationship between Russia and Ukraine goes back to 500 years before Columbus. It includes an ancient common faith, a complex history, terrible suffering and horrendous injustices — like Stalin’s starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s. Yet, before Bush II and Obama, no president thought Moscow-Kiev quarrels were any of our business. When did they become so? Russia is reportedly hacking into our political institutions. If so, it ought to stop. But have not our own CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, and NGOs meddled in Russia’s internal affairs for years?

Putin is a nationalist who looks out for Russia first. He also heads a nation twice the size of ours with an arsenal equal to our own, and no peace in Eurasia can be made without him. We have to deal with him. How does it help to call him names? (Read more.)

The Durham Proverbs

From A Clerk at Oxford:
I find this an irresistible spur to the imagination, and as I read through the Durham Proverbs I like to picture young Osbern and his fellow schoolboys being reared on these eminently practical bits of wisdom. Perhaps when they were restless their masters used to say to them Geþyld byþ middes eades ('patience is half of happiness'), as my parents used to laughingly say to me, 'Patience is a virtue!' I wonder what the blind girl in Osbern's story would have made of the seventeenth proverb, Blind byþ bam eagum se þe breostum ne starat, 'He is blind in both eyes who does not look with the heart'. Perhaps once cured, as she marvelled at all the new sights open to her, she would have agreed with another of the proverbs: Ne wat swetes ðanc, se þe biteres ne onbyrgeð, 'He never knows the pleasure of sweetness, who never tastes bitterness'.(Read more.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Terror and Joy of Worship

Here is a young photographer's photo-essay of his pilgrimage to Ireland:
The sanctuary of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Drogheda, where the head of Saint Oliver Plunkett is kept with great reverence in a magnificent reliquary. Majesty: how much have we lost since this way of building and the way of worship that went hand in hand with it has been lost? (Read more.)

Trump and Stay-at-Home-Mothers

From Chronicles:
Leaving aside the details, the key to the Donald-Ivanka plan is the recognition that we need to stop pretending that as a common good parents’, especially mothers’, caring for their own children is worth exactly zero, and child care is only of value if you pay a stranger (almost always another woman, preferably a foreigner) to do it. It’s time to stop denigrating stay-at-home parents, especially moms, as “not working” and in effect subsidizing, even coercing, their exit from the home by squeezing them economically with worker-hostile trade, tax, and immigration policies imposed by a donor class that won’t be happy until American wages are on a par with those of Bangladesh. It is precisely this calculated war on home moms that Obama has waged, and which Hillary would prosecute further.

Approximately ten-and-half million American women are stay-at-home moms, and in the phony Obama Recovery that number appears to be growing. Trump’s family-friendly plan could have an impact on the election, especially in light of the Republican candidate’s polling shortfall with women. Married women are a key GOP voting bloc with which the polls show Trump lagging, but that might change—if they take note of his plans to help them. (Read more.)
 From Life Site:
The policy was lauded by pro-life, pro-family politicians and organizations. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who chairs the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and introduced Mr. Trump on stage Tuesday night, said the tax plan would “ensure women do not have to choose between work and family as well as ensuring that if a parent does decide to stay home to care for their children, they are not unduly penalized by the federal tax code.” Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler of Missouri, a pro-family champion, said, “Not only does Mr. Trump’s plan help working parents, but it also gives benefits for parents who chose to stay-at-home with their children.” Rep. Diane Black called the plan “both pro-growth and pro-family.” And Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming said his “thoughtful proposal shows a Trump administration will be a pro-family administration.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Center, added that “Trump's plan recognizes the importance of the family in society and the importance of children to future economic growth. His plan encourages family formation which will, over time, help boost the economy.” Rep. Blackburn, R-TN, called the initiative “a game-changer” on Fox Business Channel Wednesday morning, saying it will support traditional families while appealing to female voters.(Read more.)

The Real Eleanor

From Elizabeth Chadwick:
One of the things that fascinated me about Eleanor and one in which she truly was ahead of our time, even if not her own, was the amount of energy she had and how indefatigable she was right up until her last days.  She died at the age of 80, which was a marvelous span in a period without life-saving operations and medication. Most octagenarians, even the robust ones, these days are swallowing a raft of tablets to keep them up to scratch.

Like many of the medieval aristocracy  Eleanor had a peripatetic lifestyle.  As a girl she would have been constantly on the move throughout Aquitaine with her parents. At 13 she married the soon to be Louis VII and shortly after their wedding in Bordeaux, travelled up to Paris. Then it was back to Poitiers and then a return to France where again, the court was constantly on the move. Around the age of 23, she set off for Jerusalem with her husband on the Second Crusade. This took them down through Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria to Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) across the Bospherous, across Anatolia under constant attack, eventually to Antioch and then down the coastal strip to Jerusalem.  Eleanor and Louis returned home 4 years later via Sicily and Rome on what must have been one of the 12th century's most extreme military come sight-seeing expeditions. (Louis just loved his shrines).

Biographer Amy Kelly, coming from a literature rather than history background, among other dubious notions, had promulgated the whole courts of love theory which has now been discredited, although the idea remains dear to the hearts of popular history. Victorian biographer Elizabeth Strickland is responsible for Eleanor's reputation for gadding about on the Second Crusade dressed as an Amazon.  Her source for this scandalous happening goes no further back than 1739. There is no evidence for this story before that date, but it has come to be accepted by many as the truth. (See Inventing Eleanor: The Medieval and Post Medieval image of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Michael Evans).
There is the matter of the scandal of her supposed affair with her uncle Raymond of Poitiers en route to the second Crusade when Eleanor demanded an annulment of her marriage from Louis VII.  I discuss the unlikeliness of this one on my own blog Living The History. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Raymond of Poitiers and the Incident at Antioch  She is also supposed to have slept with her second husband's father Geoffrey le Bel, but since the chroniclers concerned were hell bent on bringing the Angevin monarchy into disrepute and were notorious gossips, it would seem prudent to err on the side of caution in that assessment. Geoffrey is supposed to have warned his son off marrying Eleanor, but since Geoffrey and his father had been desperate for years to get their hands on Aquitaine, I somehow doubt that warning would have taken place.  Indeed, I suspect that Geoffrey would have been keen to see his son marry Eleanor the moment the annulment with Louis VII was announced.

Many of the biographies and online articles (especially the latter) tell us that Eleanor incited her sons to rebel against Henry II because she was enraged that he had taken a young mistress, Rosamund de Clifford, and was treating her like a queen.  Serioulsy?  Eleanor would raise an empire-wide rebellion, dragging her sons into a war with their father because she was jealous of Henry's philandering with a baronial nobody?   It's a bit insulting to promote the idea that a savvy, intelligent woman such as Eleanor was some sort of emotional harpy who would throw over an entire kingdom because her husband, already known for sleeping around, was carrying on with another woman. Would the same be said if she was male?  What about the political machinations that were happening at the time as Henry undermined Eleanor's  authority as ruler of Aquitaine and held their sons firmly under the thumb?  Might that not just have been more pertinent to the situation than a supposed jealous snit over a mistress? (Read more.)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

My Mother, My Inspiration

A lovely post from Chartreuse and Company:
Mother/daughter relationships can be tricky.  We all have countless girl friends still reeling from the scars inflicted by this basic relationship.  Let’s just say Emily and Lorelai Gilmore are not extraordinary.

That said, through some wonderful gift and happenstance, I have been blessed with a fabulous mother.  She’s a little bit Zsa Zsa Gabor, a little bit Scarlet O’Hara, and very much her own.  It’s from her that I get my passion for decorating, creating a home, excellent food from the best ingredients, and complete focus on my extraordinary daughters.  My mother was all of that.  And raised four girls who, even as adults, are amazed by her energy, her enthusiasm, and her excellent taste. (Read more.)

Sleepwalking Into Tyranny

From The Spectator:
Should it be a crime to hate women? This unfortunate question is thrown up by the news that misogyny might soon become a hate crime across England and Wales. Two months ago, Nottingham Police launched a trial ‘crackdown on sexism’, investigating cases of, among other things, ‘verbal harassment’ and ‘unwanted advances’ towards women. Now top coppers from across the country are looking into criminalising misogyny elsewhere.

I find this terrifying. Misogyny is vile and ridiculous and I feel privileged to live in an era when, in the West at least, it is in steep decline; an era in which women work, run things, outdo lads at school, and no one bats an eyelid (except men’s rights activists who physically live in their mum’s basements and mentally live in the 1950s). But I am as opposed to the criminalisation of misogyny as I am delighted by its decline. For the simple reason that the state has no business policing people’s thoughts, even their dark thoughts. Have we forgotten this basic principle of the free society?

Imagine the potential for miscarriages of justice in this Orwellian experiment which would investigate people for what they feel (in this case, alleged contempt for women) alongside what they do. Short of inventing a machine that can measure wicked thinking, how does one prove that an individual’s mind is a murky swirl of anti-woman hatefulness? How do we know that the man who engages in an ‘unwanted advance’ towards a woman is driven by ‘ingrained prejudice against women’? He might simply be motivated by attraction to one woman, not hatred for all. (Read more.)

Getting Non-Readers to Read

From Jimmie's Collage:
Heidi said several times in the conversation that we have to remember the end goal — a love of learning. So everything we do to encourage reading needs to feed into that. You can’t force someone to enjoy something. But you can draw a picture of how attractive an activity is and then savor it yourself to model that joy.

One of Heidi’s suggestions that I most loved was simply to talk to your child about what you are reading. It’s that common advice of “let your kids see you reading” taken to the next logical step. Not only do they see you with a book in your hands, but they also hear you talking excitedly about the great story you read. You engage them in a conversation about the novel just like you would a television show or a story that happened to you.

She is a proponent of weekly library visits and letting kids choose things they are interested in and then check out as many books as they can physically carry. (Read more.)

The Struggle That Most Writers Never Talk About

From Emerging Writers Studio:
The journey from imagination to page is inherently fraught with what Twyla Tharp calls, “divine dissatisfaction.” In the theater of our mind, our story is a multi-dimensional, techno-color, high-def world teaming with life. But inevitably, in our early attempts to transfer that vision onto the page, that world disintegrates. It’s where a lot of writers get lost. Or stop writing altogether. But the truth is, every writer worth his or her salt grapples with this very same struggle. (Read more.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

David and the Last Journey of Marie-Antoinette

From Catherine Curzon:
In this simplest of sketches David shows not a queen, nor the hated figure so vilified by her persecutors, but a simple human in her final minutes. There was nothing remotely Royalist in David's work and yet his honest depiction carries with it a dignity of its own. He might have produced far finer works and laboured long hours over great canvasses but for me, this simple, human sketch is one of David's greatest works; it captures a singular moment in time and one that, as the tumbrel rolled on past the artist's window, was soon gone forever. (Read more.)

Help for Mothers

It sounds like a good plan to me, better than anything offered by any president or presidential candidate in the past, of either party. From Ivanka Trump:
 The current federal policies created to benefit families were written more than 65 years ago when dual-income families were not the norm. Today, however, in about two-thirds of married couples, both spouses work.

In addition, 70% of mothers with children under 18 work outside the home; so do 64% of moms with kids under age 6. The number of households led by single mothers has doubled in the past three decades, and the majority of these women work in low-paying jobs without flexibility or benefits. My father, in his campaign for president, has proposed a plan to bring federal policies in line with the needs of today’s working parents.

Part one is a rewrite of the tax code, allowing working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children, as well as for elderly dependents. This will be capped at the average cost of child care in each family’s state, and the wealthiest individuals will not be eligible for the deduction. The benefit is structured to ensure that working- and middle-class families see the largest reductions in their taxable incomes.

To bring meaningful assistance to lower-income Americans who don’t pay income tax, the Trump plan will offer rebates on child-care spending through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In a nation where almost two-thirds of mothers with children under age six are employed, child care is an undisputed work-related expense. In business, other such expenditures are tax-deductible. This single reform under the Trump plan will effectively increase the take-home pay for tens of millions of American parents.

And what if one parent staying home to raise the children is the best option for a family? This is the praiseworthy choice of many, yet there’s zero value or recognition by our government for this hard and meaningful work. Under my father’s proposal, stay-at-home parents will receive the same tax deduction as their working peers.

The plan’s second part is the establishment of Dependent Care Savings Accounts, created to aid families in setting aside extra money to foster their children’s development and offset elder care for adult dependents.

These accounts will operate like Health Savings Accounts, with tax-deductible contributions and tax-free appreciation year to year. When established for a minor, funds from a Dependent Care Savings Account can be applied to traditional child care, after-school enrichment programs and school tuition.

To help lower-income parents, the government will match half of the first $1,000 deposited each year. Balances in a Dependent Care Savings Account will roll over from year to year so that a substantial amount of money can be accrued over time.

When established for an elderly dependent, a Dependent Care Savings Account can cover services like in-home nursing and long-term care. The ability to set aside funds will be particularly helpful to women, low-income workers and minorities, who are statistically more likely to reduce time working outside the home in order to provide unpaid care.

The third part of the plan will address the federal regulations that currently discourage informal child-care—such as a mom watching her own kids and a few others in her home. Arrangements such as these are not now given fair consideration by our federal bureaucracy, which is biased in favor of institutional care. We need to create a dynamic marketplace to offer solutions and give parents greater freedom of choice.

Consider parents who work part-time, on a night shift or on call. The standard model of institutional care doesn’t serve these workers: How many day-care centers are open at night? It takes even less account of parents who live in low-income and rural communities.

The fourth part of my father’s plan will add incentives for employers to provide child care at the workplace. Breakdowns in child-care networks cause employee absences that cost U.S. businesses billions each year. On-site child-care centers help resolve avoidable employee absenteeism, in addition to saving time and helping companies retain valued staff.

Finally, under the Trump plan, the federal government will guarantee, for the first time, six weeks of paid maternity leave. This will be done by amending the existing unemployment insurance that companies are required to carry. The enhancement will triple the average paid leave that new mothers receive, and it will do so without raising taxes. (Read more.)


From Royal History Palace:
Over the course of the Tudor period there were marriages and many births that occurred within the red bricks walls. In the summer of 1491 Elizabeth of York retired to her chambers and on the 28th of June that year she gave birth to her second son Prince Henry (later Henry VIII). Two of Henry VIII’s marriages took place in private in the Queen’s closet at Greenwich; the first to Katherine of Aragon on 11 June 1509 and his fourth to Anne of Cleves on 6th January 1540.

Both of Henry’s VIII’s daughters were born and christened at Greenwich. Catherine of Aragon’s daughter and only surviving child, Princess Mary was born on 18 February 1516, but perhaps the mot eagerly awaited birth took place on the afternoon of 7th September 1533. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Power of Perfume

From Victoria:
Such is the power of scent that it can bring forth recollections of treasured moments in time. Perfume-makers, such as Galimard in Grasse, France, have been perfecting their fragrance distillation techniques for centuries. Today, the company offers workshops where attendees can choose from 127 different “notes,” or scents, to create a personalized fragrance.

Fragrance is rooted in the everyday, the romantic, in cosmetics, the culinary arts, and even in the therapeutic arts. And it is undeniably intertwined with our memories. The smell of freshly baked bread or a certain perfume often recalls specific moments in time. So perhaps it is no surprise that companies like Grasse, France–based Charabot employ ingredients from olfactive families including gourmand, fruity, and citrus, as well as the more traditional, such as spicy, ambery/vanillic, aromatic, and floral scents. (Read more.)


U.S. Bars Christian Refugees

Muslims are welcomed, though. From Newsweek:
The BBC says that 10 percent of all Syrians are Christian, which would mean 2.2 million Christians. It is quite obvious, and President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry have acknowledged it, that Middle Eastern Christians are an especially persecuted group. So how is it that one-half of 1 percent of the Syrian refugees we’ve admitted are Christian, or 56, instead of about 1,000 out of 10,801—or far more, given that they certainly meet the legal definition? The definition: someone who “is located outside of the United States; is of special humanitarian concern to the United States; demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.”

Somewhere between a half million and a million Syrian Christians have fled Syria, and the United States has accepted 56. Why? “This is de facto discrimination and a gross injustice,” Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told Fox News. Fox notes another theory: The United States takes refugee referrals from the U.N. refugee camps in Jordan, and there are no Christians there. (Read more.)

Should Catholics Cuss?

From The Catholic Gentleman:
Now that we’ve clarified that profanity isn’t always immoral, I will state my personal position on the matter. I strongly believe that obscene or profane speech should be completely avoided. Here are five reasons.

1. It is unnecessary – I haven’t used profanity in about 10 years, and I have yet to be unable to express myself adequately. In fact, there are many people who go their whole lives without using a single obscenity. So why bother?

2. Our words will be judged – Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” That’s a pretty scary thought if you think about how carelessly we talk many times. Do you really want to have to justify to our Lord why you let fly with an f-bomb? Do you really want to defend why you told someone to go to hell? I didn’t think so.

3. It might cause someone to stumble – St. Paul was once asked about whether or not eating certain foods was immoral. He answered that it wasn’t immoral for those who were mature enough to handle it. But he immediately added the caveat that we should never engage in liberties that might cause our brother or sister to fall into sin. Even if you’re a mature Catholic, you must consider the impact of using obscenities in front of someone who might be horrified and scandalized by such talk.

4. It desensitizes us – Back when I was in the habit of using profanity, it took a lot to shock me. I could listen to music or watch movies with the a lot of vulgar language, and it wouldn’t bother me at all. But now, when I hear obscenities, it seems so crude and repulsive. Vulgarity has a way of deadening our soul to things that would normally shock us. And there are some things we simply shouldn’t grow accustomed to.

5. It isn’t classy – Ok, I’ll admit this is the least compelling reason in my case against profanity, but I think it’s valid. If you wouldn’t walk around in public in your pajamas or wear your pants so low your underwear can be seen, why would you say things that are the verbal equivalent?
As Catholic men, we shouldn’t ask how much we can get away with. That’s an immature attitude. Instead, we should ask if our speech is fitting for a follower of Christ. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Miniature by Marie Gabrielle Capet

The image is thought to be the Princesse de Lamballe, Superintendent of the Queen's household. Share

Africa: Western Aid, Leftist Values

From The Stream:
Obianuju Ekeocha: I was born and raised in a small town in Nigeria. And I had the great blessing of assimilating, from my family and society, basic principles and values of faith, family, love, life, dignity and discipline. I was taught that sex was sacred and best reserved for marriage, that marriage was the foundation of family, and that family was supposed to be the center of love and support. I understood that human life was precious from the womb and so every abortion was a serious attack against human life.

I knew, even as a young girl going through the less-than-perfect educational system in Nigeria, that my empowerment was dependent on my continued access to education rather than my access to contraception (and abortion). By the time I moved to Europe in my mid-twenties for my masters degree, I realized that even though there was much to admire in the Western culture that I had moved into, there was a part of this culture that I could not accept or embrace because it was the direct opposite of the values I had learnt from my youth.

For years I held my thoughts, opinions and convictions to myself, but in 2012, when I heard that Melinda Gates was launching a multibilliondollar contraception and population control project targeted towards the 69 poorest countries in the world (most of which were African countries), I saw this as a bold move on her part to impose her worldview upon the poorest of the world. She was pushing to shift the views of millions of people on family, motherhood, marriage and sex.

This was cultural imperialism and I couldn’t reconcile with it or be silent about it. So I wrote an Open Letter which was providentially made public by Teresa Tomeo — a renowned Catholic show host on EWTN. The letter eventually went viral as it was published by one of the Vatican websites as well as many other websites around the world in different languages. (Read more.)

The Burning of the White House in 1814

From Historic UK:
By 1812 the Americans were at the end of their tether, and on June 5th 1812 Congress voted in favour of war. This was the first time that the US had declared war on another sovereign state. The next two years saw regular US incursions into British Canada, some successful but most short lived. Because of the war efforts in Europe, the British could not afford to send any additional troops to North America and therefore a defensive strategy was taken. To help the British it was decided that Canadian militia were to be drafted in, as well as local Native American forces.

At sea, the British had complete supremacy (with a few notable exceptions) and quickly set up blockades of American ports. In New England these blockades were much less strict, allowing trade through in return for the regions’ more favourable attitude towards the British. In fact, it was in the New England states where the Federalist party was in control, a party which favoured closer ties to Britain and were generally against the war.

By 1814 the war in Europe was over, and the British were able to send in reinforcements. The first point of call for these reinforcements would be Washington DC, an area on the eastern seaboard which was seen as relatively undefended. A total of 17 ships were dispatched from Bermuda and arrived in Maryland on August 19th. Once on the mainland the British quickly overwhelmed the local militia and continued into Washington. Once the army had reached the city, a flag of truce was sent, but this was ignored and the British were instead attacked by local American forces.

The British quickly defeated the insurgency and as punishment, set fire to both the White House and the Capitol. A Union Flag was subsequently raised over Washington. Although other government buildings were destroyed in the process (including the US Treasury and the headquarters of a newspaper seen as inciting anti-British propaganda), the British decided to leave the residential areas of the city intact. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Political Power of Marie-Antoinette's Hair

The Queen's hair
From Jstor Daily:
With the help of a French hairdresser, Marie Antoinette embarked on what initially appeared to be a happily fated alliance between the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. But trouble was brewing, and that trouble too manifested itself in the new queen consort’s hair. Marie had a taste for the extravagant, from 72-layered powdered creations to allegorical hairstyles adorned with charms and figurines that represented political themes. One hairstyle even featured a model ship designed to celebrate a French naval victory.

The over-the-top styles were victories for Marie and her hairdresser, Léonard, too—Léonard because they elevated him to superstardom, Marie because they allowed her to exert some control over her life. But not everyone was pleased. The queen was soon being pilloried for her extravagance even as she was copied by women throughout France. “The conflict between fashion and the queen’s dignity quickly assumed social and financial ramifications,” writes Hosford.

Marie Antoinette’s hair did not keep its epic proportions for long—her hairdresser famously cut her hair short after she gave birth for the first time, to give the by-then damaged locks a “clean start” —but its significance still loomed large. As the queen abandoned fancy clothing for a less extravagant style, she was criticized for supposedly triggering the fall of French industries in fabric, ribbons and other accessories. When the queen appeared in a portrait with a simple hairstyle, writes Hosford, it “was readily perceived as a blatant act of disrespect for French propriety concerning the external manifestation of royal dignity, a subversive rejection of queenly representation, and a national degradation.” (Read more.)

Basket of Deplorables

From LifeZette:
The Left should really get pressed on this. How can their candidate look out for the best interests of a country when you believe that so many people in the country are evil? How can you claim to support democracy when you believe that so many voters are unfit to govern? Do these facts explain why you are always trying to give away U.S. sovereignty? Do they explain why you have long supported giving more power to judges and other unelected officials? (Read more.)

Homelessness and the Progressive Mentality

The Imaginative Conservative:
The attempt to eliminate entry-level jobs by demanding that every position provides a “living wage” instead of a step on the ladder toward economic independence leaves millions stranded with no way to improve their economic condition. Progressives may feel good about themselves because they have voted to increase the minimum wage and allow the homeless to sleep in their cars year-round (with art!). But there simply is no substitute for work experience and the habits it inculcates if one is to build a decent life as an individual or a head of household. The alternative is not a hammock of governmental support, but rather the chains of welfare dependency, in which one dares not work for fear of losing benefits, and eventually loses the will to work for oneself and even for one’s children, instead surrendering to despair and resentment in crime- and drug-ridden neighborhoods filled with dangerous strangers.

In more general terms we in the United States are in the process of de-legitimizing work. One of many problems with a tech-centric ethos (the industry simply does not employ enough people to make for a tech-centric economy) is that it devalues work. The game-playing, puzzle-solving atmosphere of Google and other tech companies that encourage their workers to stay “on-campus” all the time is solidifying a world-view according to which ”smart” people are successful. It is not so much what the tech-savvy do for work, which is a limited activity, but what tech-savvy people are—smart, in a quite limited way—and how their personalities and lifestyles are shaped, that makes them valuable, at least in their own eyes. As for the rest of us, and especially for those who work with their hands, they are stand-ins, doing a job until automation takes over for them.

Particularly when one listens to the hypocritical virtue signaling of the likes of Messrs, Zuckerberg, and Gates, one senses an attitude of entitlement mixed with contempt that leaves little room for compassion, let alone a desire to allow people the means by which to forge lives of dignity. Importing workers who cannot leave or ask for raises for fear of losing their visas, exporting manufacturing jobs to veritable slave labor camps, and pushing for welfare and other government programs that provide a “safety net” that keeps the poor safely out of their way, today’s oligarchs see no need to maintain a society of opportunity for anyone who does not score well on college entrance exams or I.Q. tests. (Read more.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

St. Edward the Martyr

From History...The Interesting Bits:
Born around 962 he was the eldest son of Edgar the Peaceable, king of England. His mother was Æthelfled “the Fair”, daughter of Ealdorman Ordmaer. There seems to be some confusion as to Æthelfled’s actual status (not surprising given the distance of over 1,000 years, I suppose). Some sources say she and Edgar were married, but later divorced. However, others suggest that young Edward’s legitimacy was in doubt and that his parents never married. This last is compounded by suggestions of ‘youthful indiscretion’ on Edgar’s part.

Nothing is heard of Edward’s mother after his birth, possibly suggesting that she died shortly after. Edgar, however, married again – or at least formed another relationship. His 2nd wife was Wulfthryth, with whom he had a daughter, Edith (Eadgyth). Wulfryth became the abbess of  Wilton and young Edith followed her mother into the convent.

And then Edgar formed a 3rd and final relationship that would have far-reaching consequences for his first-born son, Edward. Edgar married the daughter of Ordgar, a powerful Devon thegn who died in 971. Unlike Edgar’s previous ‘wives’, Ælfryth was crowned and anointed as queen, following her marriage with Edgar, which was officially blessed by the church. Ælfryth gave Edgar 2 sons; Edmund, who died in 971  and Æthelred, born in 968. (Read more.)

How Millenials View Work

From Business Insider:
Today's young people have an entirely different view of work than their parents and grandparents. The boundaries between work and the rest of their lives are not as distinct, so Millennials expect more personal fulfillment from their day jobs.

But Generation Y — defined loosely as those born after 1980 — has also been acutely affected by the Great Recession, and this means that they also know the value of a hard-earned paycheck. 

In fact, entering the workforce during a down economy creates attitudes that could last up to 20 years, according to a recent study led by Yale economics professor Lisa Kahn. This includes a tendency toward risk-aversion, a greater willingness to settle, and a belief that luck plays a big role in future success. (Read more.)

Reverence and Holy Communion

From Roman Catholic Man:
Communion on the tongue helps to foster a proper sense of reverence and piety. To step up to a communion rail, and kneel, and receive on the tongue, is an act of utter and unabashed humility. In that posture to receive the Body of Christ, you become less so that you can then become more. It requires a submission of will and clear knowledge of what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what is about to happen to you.

Frankly, we should not only be humbled, but intimidated enough to ask ourselves if we are really spiritually ready to partake of the sacrament. Kneeling means you can’t just go up and receive without knowing how it’s properly done. It demands not only a sense of focus and purpose, but also something else, something that has eluded our worship for two generations.

It demands a sense of the sacred. Just like Peter, James and John before our Transfigured Lord, it challenges us to kneel before wonder. It insists that we not only fully understand what is happening, but that we fully appreciate the breathtaking generosity behind it. It asks us to be mindful of what “Eucharist” really means: Thanksgiving for GOD we are receiving. (my comments are from this article) (Read more.)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Hunted Priest

From The Christian Review:
Brian Arrowsmith was born in 1585 in the small hamlet of Haydock, Lancashire near England’s west coast to devout Catholic parents. Faith and perseverance ran in his blood. Because of their faith, both of his grandfathers were regulars at the local prison, and in one instance his grandfather Nicholas was forced to attend a protestant service, where he was promptly dragged back to prison after loudly singing the hymns in Latin.

Brian’s parents fared no better, and were often dragged to jail, leaving a young Brian to feed and care for his siblings. Though his family came from noble stock, the perpetual fines soon drove them to destitution and near starvation. During this hardship, Brian never abandoned his faith, and by his teenage years, he began considering the priesthood; a vocation that meant certain imprisonment or martyrdom.

When he was 20, Edmund was able to sneak out of England to study at the College of Doui in France, a university now immortalized by the Douay Rheims Bible translation. While at Douai, Brian received the sacrament of confirmation, where he took the name Edmund, in honor of the martyr Edmund Campion, a name he was fittingly called for the rest of his life. Edmund was ordained 1612 and was presented with an unenviable choice: instead of remaining in the comforts of Catholic France, Edmund chose instead to return to his native England and tend to his hunted flock. (Read more.)

Why the Left Hates Mother Teresa

From Breitbart:
Earlier this year, Salon called Mother Teresa “repugnant,” accusing her of glorifying suffering instead of relieving it. “Judged by any metric of medical standards,” the piece stated, “it is difficult to remember her legacy as anything other than an inefficient, sanctimonious and wholly ideological franchise.”

Last weekend, The New York Times showcased “one of the most vocal critics” of Mother Teresa, an Indian physician named Aroup Chatterjee who has made a career out of casting aspersions on the work of the Albanian nun. Chatterjee calls Teresa’s work “an imperialist venture of the Catholic Church against an Eastern population.”

“I just thought that this myth had to be challenged,” he added.

In 1994, Dr. Chatterjee teamed up with professional atheist Christopher Hitchens to produce a documentary trashing Mother Teresa and her missionaries, called “Hell’s Angel.”

Shortly afterward, Hitchens cashed in on Mother Teresa’s immense popularity by writing his own bestselling book excoriating the sister, irreverently titled The Missionary Position. In this “exposé,” Hitchens calls Mother Teresa “a religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermonizer, and an accomplice of worldly secular powers,” as well as asserting that the secret ulterior motive behind all her work was “furthering Catholic doctrine.” (Read more.)

Children Are Good for the Planet

From The Federalist:
Take this recent NPR piece that asks: “Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?” If you want to learn about how environmentalism has already affected people in society, read about the couple pondering “the ethics of procreation and its impact on the climate” before starting a family or the group of women in a prosperous New Hampshire town swapping stories about how the “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis.”

There are, no doubt, many good reasons a person might have for not wanting children. But, certainly, it’s tragic that some gullible Americans who have the means and emotional bandwidth — and perhaps a genuine desire — to be parents avoid having kids because of a quasi-religious belief in apocalyptic climate change and overpopulation.

Then again, maybe this is just Darwinism working its magic. In the article, NPR introduces us to a philosopher, Travis Rieder, who couches these discredited ideas in a purportedly moral context. Bringing down global fertility rates, he explains, “could be the thing that saves us.” Save us from what, you ask? The planet, he tells a group to students at James Madison University, may soon be “largely uninhabitable for humans” and it’s “gonna be post-apocalyptic movie time.” According to NPR, these intellectual nuggets of wisdom left students speechless. (Read more.)