Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hypocrisy much?

When Indiana passes a law that is basically a reiteration of a federal law and based on a right explicitly discussed in the Constitution, all kinds of corporations and groups call for boycotts.

When China (or any of a dozen other countries) murder/imprison priests, bishops, and laity, we are happy to engage in commerce with them and look at these very real crimes as just the cost of doing business.

Good thing all these folks have their priorities in line.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Few Obscure Things From Tonight's 60 Minutes

I hope you watched it. There was a report on the genocide of Christians in the Middle East. The story largely speaks for itself, but a couple of things struck me that weren't really part of the discussion.

1. These poor people are living as refugees. They basically have nothing. However, their liturgies are still beautiful and spare nothing. Incense, elegant vestments, precious metals for sacred vessels, it's all there. I wonder what those who think we should dispense of such things would say. Well, not really, as I'm pretty certain they would lament how callous our brethren there are towards the poor or how primitive and stupid they are.

2. There was some commentary on the silence among Muslims but not a whole lot of discussion about the rest of the world. As I've said before, there's all sorts of retroactive grief over how nobody acknowledged the Holocaust until it was too late. We're watching a genocide in real time and nobody cares. I get that people in Israel say "Never again" and are worried about existential threats. They should be. The existential threat to Christianity isn't even a threat. It's reality. And it's treated as a fait accompli. The world has accepted the extermination of Christians in the Middle East (and probably Africa too if we're honest). At least Israel has a military to defend itself. When was the last time Christians did?

3. If you left the Faith because your daughter couldn't be an altar girl or because you wanted a place with better music or you just didn't like waking up early on Sunday/praying/whatever, then you should be embarrassed when you hear about the countless martyrs being created all over the world.

It goes without saying: note of these stories while you can. Remember them. They'll go away soon enough. And we'll listen to the hypocrites that lead our nations shed crocodile tears and comment on how tragic it all was. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Divine Madness

It occurred to me during the recent St. Patrick's Day how many great stories we have surrounding the Apostle of Ireland. Which made me think about all the other great stories we have about saints in general.

After that, I tried to imagine what the reaction would be like to these sorts of personalities if they were with us today. For example, consider the impressions people get when they hear about folks in Opus Dei who wear a cilice or use the discipline. Typically, they are horrified. If not horrified, they at least take the view that such people are weirdos and possibly even mentally ill.

Now compare that to this guy:

This is St. Symeon the Stylite. St. Symeon lived on top of a pillar for 37 years. The space at the top was about 1 meter square. This was how he did penance for the world.

This is Catherine of Siena.

Once, St. Catherine was having difficulty taking care of lepers she was trying to help out. Their sores and such were just too gross for her. She solved this problem by draining pus from one of the sores and drinking it. That got her over her disgust. 

The list goes on and on. Saints who jumped into thorn bushes and rolled around in them to strike back temptations. Saints who beat themselves with iron chains. Saints who wore nothing but rags, spent their lives begging, or spent all of their spare time in adoration. Saints who worked out the spiritual combat in bodily suffering and abuse from demons. And yes, saints who went to war for the honor of God.

Oh, and let's not even get into the saints who would be stoned for hate speech. Daring to call our Faith the True Faith, pursuing the conversion of Protestants/Jews/Muslims, condemning the sins of homosexuality and adultery? How quick would they be thrown out on their ears?

All of these people would now be regarded as insane fanatics who should be committed to institutions. When you hear about people advocating for a "radical" Catholicism, remember the examples we already have. Then ask yourself if this kind of personal mortification and/or commitment to orthodoxy is what they are talking about. 

Or when people lambaste these kinds of activities, recall who they are actually referencing when doing so. 

We know what saints look like. Chances are, it's nothing like us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Death Of Essence

A couple of things I've been told in the last few days:

ISIS isn't really Islam.

Pope Francis is our first really Catholic Pope since (heh) John XXIII/Popes Benedict and John Paul II weren't really Catholic.

Restricting the Eucharist to those in a state of grace isn't really charity.

Marriage isn't really a hard and fast concept.

When pressed as to the meaning of these statements, the last one is what comes the closest to honesty. What is actually being said in every one of these items is that none of the subjects being discussed are "hard and fast concepts." It's the embrace of what we have previously called the New Nominalism.

The whole notion of a thing actually being what it is has been shelved in favor of a wild merry-go-round of labels being applied and discarded like name tags at a mixer.

Don't like marriage? Well, let's just find some other stuff that isn't marriage and call it that. Feel better? Having difficulty with a religion? Let's ignore the professed beliefs of said system and just write the name in on a list that we pulled from a random orifice. Good deal?

I used to think that people who made up their own reality were subject to a diagnosis of insanity. If that's the case, then the inmates took over the asylum of the world a long time ago and show no signs of giving up control any time soon.