So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"Christine Prayer Book" and "prying rosaries".

This past week USA TODAY published a pejorative article on Church Militant TV, an article associated with one from the Detroit Free Press. A recent Google search revealed the article no longer exists (404 alert).
http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2017/02/20/-%E2%80%99church-militant'-next-right-wing-media-empire/98154148/
A subsequent search (using the term "church militant") using the USA TODAY search window found the following page which could not be opened (i.e., Connection Error... (INTERNAL SERVER ERROR)):

Click on image to Enlarge

USA TODAY published an image along with the story with a caption that is as amusing as it is telling concerning the secular media's poor editing of religious news.

20-FEB-2017

The caption read "A Christine Prayer book and prying rosaries are seen inside the Chapel on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at the Church Militant headquarters in Ferndale."

Refreshing Architecture

Peter LeFave at The Christian Review posts on architectural developments.
Brick by brick, as Fr. Z might say.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Beauty is as beauty does. Part four: beauty does as beauty is — beauty sings!

Who but the most hardened soul would not agree that music makes life richer, and in those difficult times bearable? Truly, music is a gift from God. What better way to give thanks to the Giver than to honour His gift to us and produce the most beautiful music to offer in praise to the Giver of all good gifts?

For many, music is merely a drug to be passed around until one is distracted from reality. For the connoisseur, music is the finest wine. Remember the wedding feast at Cana (St John 2:1-12)? When the wine ran out, Jesus—at His mother's insistence—provided the best wine by performing a miracle.



Jesus' miracle invites us to consider the nature of the feast to which Jesus invites us. Good food, good drink, good music, good stories—if only people treated the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in the same manner as their own weddings!

When our wine runs out, Jesus is there to provide an even more beautiful symphony to purify our hearts and minds of cheap fixations that dull the senses and imprison us in mundane and trite things. Music presented with beautiful intent fuels the beautiful presentation of beautiful music. No matter how seemingly beautiful the heart, however, nothing can rescue falsehood for worship. A beautifully sung tribute to a fiction may tickle the ears, but the text which is fiction (heresy), no matter how pleasant, remains a fiction and effort wasted on a lie. Such fiction is poison. The musician who presents heterodox songs in the Mass, even though he or she be sincere in his or her conviction to honour God, does not honour God by telling half truths wed to, in most cases, syrupy melodies. Worse still is the presentation of a traditional hymn that has been "adjusted" to be politically "correct". Such a hymn, formerly poetry, has become a vehicle for idolatry.

Music, in the Catholic tradition, always points to God even when it speaks about the good things God gives to His people. Liturgical music, if it be true, has the worshippers speaking to God, not at nor around Him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The poisonous fruit of liberal fascism in the Church and society.

In the Church, and certainly in Western societies, plural, anyone with an ounce of common sense has seen the rise of an ideology, minded by its minions—typically of contemporary college age, and many legislators in so-called democratic political parties—and resembling something of the fascism of almost a century ago when young people, eager to fit in and do their part, and eager to betray critical thought, massed around charismatic figures and equally entrancing ideologies, which is not to say they are healthy philosophies in any way, and formed the storm front of a generational shift toward persecution of anyone of anything which exposed their fiction as fiction.
On the strength of Adrian Vermeule’s review last month (“Liturgy of Liberalism,” January 2017), I picked up Ryszard Legutko’s The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies. Legutko sees many parallels between the communism that dominated the Poland of his youth and the political-social outlook now treated as obligatory by Eurocrats and dominant in America, which he calls “liberal democracy.”
One parallel struck me as especially important: “Communism and liberal democracy are related by a similarly paradoxical approach to politics: both promised to reduce the role of politics in human life, yet induced politicization on a scale unknown in previous history.” We’re aware of the totalitarian dimension of communism. But liberalism? Isn’t it supposed to be neutral with respect to substantive outlooks, endorsing only the constitutional and legal frameworks for free and fair political debate? Actually, no. Liberals always assert that liberalism is the view of politics, society, and morality “most adequate of and for modern times.”
This gives liberalism a partisan spirit all the more powerful because it is denied.
Although such words as “dialogue” and “pluralism” appear among its favorite motifs, as do “tolerance” and other similarly hospitable notions, this overtly generous rhetorical orchestration covers up something entirely different. In its essence, liberalism is unabashedly aggressive because it is determined to hunt down all nonliberal agents and ideas, which it treats as a threat to itself and to humanity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Traffic Light Theology

How many people obey traffic lights when they want to, or need to, or when the time of day admits no bending of the rules?

How many people approach the commandments of Christ, the Holy Gospel, in the same way they approach a stop sign or red light at an intersection?

The California Stop, or rolling stop. Not really a stop. More of a deceleration as one approaches an intersection and then acceleration through the intersection. In this instant, 'stop' means 'yield'. 'Stop', to some, means 'optional'. 'Stop', to the faithful, means 'stop'.

Traffic signs are 'optional'. Do you observe traffic lights and stop signs in the wee hours, or do you consider them optional when no one else is on the road?
  1. Speeding. Life in the fast lane. The first rule of thumb in living a virtuous life, like driving, is knowing where the brakes are and how to use them.
  2. Running a red light. What don't you understand about rules that enable virtue? Do you enjoy putting yourself and others in harm's way?
  3. Not signalling.  Sin against courtesy. Pride assumes it always has the right of way. The proud assume their needs trump the needs of others.
  4. Crossing the median. Crossing the line... do it and you could end up in a head on collision with death. Cross the lines set by Jesus and the windshield of life will seem insignificant by comparison to the hell you'll face for not paying attention to your moral obligations.
  5. Driving in car pool lane. A sin against the eighth commandment. You're bearing false witness by pretending to be something you are not.