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To all of the veterans I know, and most especially to my own son, I want to say a heartfelt thank you on this Veterans Day.
I am, in particular, fond of this screen capture from that video:
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The United States of America held an election this week. That’s a good thing. Before continuing below, please listen to this two minute NPR clip.
These are women who have put all their identity into the ideology of the liberal feminist and into the person that is Hillary Rodham Clinton. They have chosen to not embrace being made in the image and likeness of God, but have made themselves into the image of Hillary Clinton. They are not alone in this, as the temper tantrums, protests and violence that came after Clinton lost the election have shown. All of these protestors seem to have identified their candidates and party’s success with their own success. This is never a good idea. When Obama was elected in 2008, I prayed for the man and for his success as leader of my country. I didn’t cry. I didn’t lash out on social media. I accepted the result and moved on. I did the same in 2012.
From Robert Royal’s column on Monday comes the following imagined exchange between Socrates and Glaucon:
Glaucon: What, then, are we to do, Socrates?
Socrates: First, O impetuous Glaucon, we must clearly understand our condition, which will not be solved by the vote because the disease is not, in the first place, political. To think that it is, is like the bad physician who prescribes a treatment for the stone when the real malady is gout. We are in a life-threatening state and cannot afford illusions about our health.
Glaucon: But what can we DO?
Socrates: We can do what good men must always do. Implore the god. Act well. Try to do good to our fellows, even when they do not do good to us. Make sacrifice for the city. Above all, the city that is divided will not become undivided unless the people undertake a serious time of conversing, face-to-face, among themselves, about the kind of city they wish to be. If the choice is a city that lives for the moment, that looks not to the past and the wisdom of the elders, or that cares not for those who must be allowed to be born for the city to survive – and for people to realize their own place in the generations – then the votes may hasten or slow the end. But the end will, in either case, be near.
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It is well worth your time to read this entire article by Kenneth Crowther over at Crisis. In particular I thought the following passage did a tremendous job of describing the noise of this past election season, and if the current nightly rioting is any indication, the noise to come. Our challenge is in recognizing the noise and learning how to combat it with silence.
Humanity’s hideous strength is our ability to create. It is a strength because it is a gift from God—he purposed us to work the land, to co-redeem his creation. It is hideous when it is perverted; we have turned our ability to create into our desire to destroy. In the shadow of that hideous strength the sons of Noah lost their capacity for communion and that same shadow still stretches through time and darkens the hearts and minds of men. It is the shadow which even now we find ourselves in; the shadow that spreads the babble of Babel.
And babble is everywhere. Politics has been reduced to a farcical parody, people merely talking past each other. Debate lacks all logic. No one is interested in hearing, only speaking. Our opinion is fact and requires no proof. Other opinions are false, and no amount of proof will convince us otherwise. Words mean what we want them to mean, and because meaning is fluid, they’re not worth the breath with which they’re spoken. What we have may seem like communication, but it is most certainly not communion.
Every day it is the babble of Babel that corrupts conversation. It is evident on Facebook posts and Disqus comments; in conservative and liberal media alike; in classrooms and schoolyards; on talk show panels and presidential debates; at home in the nursery while the young mother scrolls through Instagram, and at work while the middle-aged man cannot go five minutes without checking the football score. It is why students no longer read books, and neither do teachers. Josef Pieper once wrote that people have lost the ability to see because there is too much to see. The same can be said for hearing. Noise, chaos, confusion and pandemonium fill our ears and desensitize us to the rhythms of created order and the common sense of logic and reason.
We cannot communicate properly because we do not want communion. We want dominion. We choose to reign in a Hell of confusion, rather than serve in a Heaven of true communication.
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Becoming Catholic is to respond to a call to take up position in the front line of a battle – it is not for the faint hearted, or the cowardly; perhaps most importantly of all, it is, not for those who choose to leave something of themselves with the enemy – a sin, perhaps, or a ‘moral position’ that they are unwilling to surrender. In this war, which we call ‘life’, compromise with the enemy is fatal.
Perhaps the most truth-filled paragraph I’ve read in a long, long time.
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If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know how fond I am of the psalms. This article pulls from Chapter 14 of Peter Kreeft’s book You Can Understand the Bible. In particular the thing I like about it is its emphasis on how Christ is foreshadowed in the Psalms. Do yourselves a favor this weekend. Grab a highlighter, sit down with your bible, and make note of the following 22 Old and New Testament passages that Kreeft lists below.
Many passages in the Psalms, as well as whole psalms, are messianic. If we had none of the rest of the Old Testament but only the Psalms, we would still be able to “check it out” and we that Christ fulfilled the Old Testament patterns and predictions. For instance, compare:
- Psalm 2:7 with Matthew 3:17;
- Psalm 8:6 with Hebrews 2:8;
- Psalm 16:10 with Mark 16:6-7;
- Psalm 22:1 with Matthew 27:46;
- Psalm 22:7-8 with Luke 23:35;
- Psalm 22:16 with John 20:25, 27;
- Psalm 22:18 with Matthew 27:35-36;
- Psalm 34:20 with John 19:32-36;
- Psalm 35:11 with Mark 14:57;
- Psalm 35:19 with John 15:25;
- Psalm 40:7-8 with Hebrews 10:7;
- Psalm 41:9 with Luke 22:47;
- Psalm 45:6 with Hebrews 1:8;
- Psalm 68:18 with Mark 16:19;
- Psalm 69:9 with John 2:17;
- Psalm 69:21 with Matthew 27:34;
- Psalm 109:4 with Luke 23:34;
- Psalm 109:8 with Acts 1:20;
- Psalm 110:I with Matthew 22:44;
- Psalm 110:4 with Hebrews 5:6;
- Psalm 118:22 with Matthew 21:42; and
- Psalm 118:26 with Matthew 21:9.
(This list was compiled by Dr. Kenneth D. Boa.)
The Psalms are like an ocean fed by many rivers, many writers. They are for wading in, bathing in, swimming in, surfing in, boating on, and even drowning in (for the mystics have loved and used them too). Their authors include David (about half), Moses (90), Ezra (119), Solomon (72 and 127), Asaph, and many others. They were written during a period of perhaps a thousand years, from the time of Moses, about 1400 B.C., to the return from exile about 430 B.C. They will last forever.