Peace ! Peace!

                   islam_crescent

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!”

 “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased
at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!

Patrick Henry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Absolute Power

When Preaching The Gospel Releases The Power Of God

Chafing under the stifling rule of despotism, my life as a teenager underwent a stunning change in ways I had not expected; more sudden than a car wreck I arrived at University. What I had yearned for since my first sentient thoughts was freedom; expecting to receive it in gradual degrees much like a draftee moving up through the ranks to four star general. What transpired instead was a handshake, hug, and admonition to “make the most of this chance” – off into the waning afternoon sun went my last moorings of childhood, and I was free.

Expectations of liberty are far different than the reality of it; the nascent thoughts of, “I can do whatever I want”, soon give way to the sudden blanket of solitude. Never hearing the maxim “with freedom comes great responsibility”, the veil of yonder gives way, and I realize now that I very well could have uttered such a phrase if I had the erudition; I certainly had the emotion for it. Forty years of reflection gives way to certain conclusions that have matured over the decades like slowly curing Roman concrete; wrestling with life much like Israel and the mysterious Angel, I have as a certainty come through the contest with a permanent  hitch in my get-a-long, but without the victorious memories of pinning my opponent to the ground.

We all are under the illusion of bondage to higher things. Circumstances, be they economic, social, or political, have a habit of binding us with their chains; but these chains are not made of iron, but of brittle clay. There is no power over us in this life: indeed in many ways there is no power over us at all, for we have been given the most precious gift of all from He Who Is,; the power to choose our own fate. There is a wonderful line from the movie Kingdom of Heaven, “Jesus says, CHOOSE.” Through the mystery of fathomless Love comes the gift of absolute power- the power we all have to decide our destiny. There is no greater power than this; no other particle, or combination thereof within the bounds of Heaven and Earth, nor amongst the starry realms of the cosmos can claim this power but man. He who has unleashed this power within us now waits to see what we shall do. We stand as Adam and Eve did- much like I did once, at the edge of the future, endowed with liberty but restrained by the endless venues of choice that radiate from our present. If we fixate upon the past, we lose who we are in who we were; if we covet the future, we lose our sure harbor of security. Only in the present are we assured of making right choices; properly exercising the essence of being the sons of the Most High.

Each day this absolute power is with us, needing to be wielded in our constant skirmish against those who care not. The dark spaces of this world wish among other things, to fool us into the shadows of futility. Each day we must act, for their is no eternal security or damnation within the bounds of time and space. Vigilance is essential: and with vigilance comes the need to move, and movement is the exercise of decision. I know not choice others may take, but for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord


The Navigator

Breakfast this morning consisted of scrambled eggs, waffles, coffee and about six million vitamins(courtesy of Wifey, who is trying to keep me for a museum exhibit). I skimmed the news online (gasp), did some reading, barn chores and finally proceeded to work. These are the choices I undertook and executed as actions before 7am; and I dare say if experience is any guide the rest of the day will be fraught with an astounding array of many other mundane choices- each one part and parcel of daily life. However trite they seem, each decision made is fraught with consequence; and to be sure the more rote the decision seems to be, the more drastic the consequences if made incorrectly (I stop taking my pills and the resultant ire from my beloved, for example).

Life is rife with a wilderness of constant choosing; each change of degree on the helm of our voyage may not seem like much in the beginning. One degree of change is a sixty inch difference at 100 yards; at 1000 miles it is  1,140,480 inches, or almost 18 miles 9 you only can see 3 miles to the horizon: you will never even see your destination). Constant course correction (more choices) are essential to stay on the path that we have originally decided upon. If our goal is the far green country of Heaven, the we must take the steps necessary to achieve a proper execution of our plan. We need first of all the proper charts of the trip, made by those who have gone on before and returned; people who can tell us with a surety that the trip is possible. Secondly and just as important we need an authoritative entity who can interpret those charts and transmit their knowledge of chart symbolism and language along with their knowledge of the seas sky and stars. These class of men we call navigators then assimilate all of this data and translate it into understandable advice for the captain of the vessel. This captain (us) can subsequently order the helmsman (us once again in this crude example) to change course if needed.

The desire and decision to undertake an expedition is a brave and bold thing- to be commended in almost every instance: and much more so when this expedition is that of the most precious thing we possess, our life. However this is only the beginning of a long to-do list – once we decide where we are going, we must plan on how to get there, and it behooves all of us to carefully prepare for such a dangerous task. Some of us pick the right charts; some of us do not. Some of us hear rumors of Golden Lands and decide they can draw their own charts, our use charts obtained from specious sources. There are then others of us who use the proper charts, yet believe we can navigate the way on our own, without any previous piloting experience- or they choose navigators who suit their fancy due to slick advertising, or because said navigators acquiesce to any weird or dangerous choices of ship, crew, or cargo.

These are the choices that so many make– to charge off on our own heedless of the sound advice of others who have made the trip before: ” I’ll just take a rowboat, one oar and a baloney sandwich”, some declare, ” all I have to do is head west and eventually I will get there”. Perhaps. The seas are rough at times and filled with raiding corsairs, enemies more than happy to board your ship and clap you into chains and slavery… . They make their living doing so, and a very good living indeed.

Christ is the Chart Maker; and the Schooling of the Holy Spirit had given His Church the tools, experience and sage ways to get us where we want to end up. Beware of clever imitations! If you desire a short safe journey on this harrowing trek, please choose your Navigator wisely.


The Sixth Crusade

 

When General Eisenhower wrote his memoirs of the Second World War he titled his work, “The Crusade in Europe”. For him perhaps and for a surety, for the ones who bled and caused others to bleed, this was a concrete reality. I remember asking my deceased father-in-law why, when he was 30 years old with a wife and small child and a service exempt job on a military base, did he choose to go to Europe to fight in WWII. I will never forget the look he gave me, nor his succinct response. He actually jumped as though startled and beheld me much as an astronaut would when eyeing a strange new life form for the very first time. He slowly blinked and said in a voice like Cecil B DeMille, “Why, to save the World of course!”

He  fought with the fourth infantry all across the heart of Europe til the very end. Walter was the only man from his company to come home. The stories he told were mind boggling- so much so that many years later I took the time to transcribe what I could remember for his posterity. The best way to summarize these horrors for others is to tell them to watch “Saving Private Ryan”– then multiply it by a factor of three. One story he told was about liberating a concentration camp at the end of the fighting. Walter was a man who, ethnically German, always called the enemies “the Germans” never “the Nazis”: when he saw the camp, and what was in it, and how close it was to the town, he said to me,”Don’t let anybody fool you- those people in the town KNEW exactly what was going on in there. We should have killed them all”.

They went there to win, and win they indeed did– to rid the world of  a carbuncle upon its weary visage like one that had never erupted before. I am sure that he would be delighted to know that after the wreck that was the Second World War, and the scraping away of its terrible growth, even to the point of removing almost all of the scar it created on the rind of civilization, the root remained. And it begins to grow again.

The moral issues that were debated upon those miserable gut strewn fields seemed to be solved once and for all. The Godless States recoiled in ruin from the might and determination of those free, moral, and fundamentally charitable peoples that opposed them. The Good Guys it seemed, DO win when it matters most.

From a political standpoint however, it seemed that the only way to defeat the all-encompassing State was to become similar to one; and we dismissed the principle that States and Peoples, just as individuals are not mechanical, but organic. When they go bad, we cannot just start replacing parts and expect them to work properly. If their (or our) hearts are not properly disposed, if they are filled with envy, greed or hate; no amount of political restructuring or financial aid will help. If Goodness, Truth and Beauty, abandoned for comfort, security, and titillation become merely historical aberrations or the musty furniture of a forsaken past, the future becomes sooty and dim. For us now it remains to look beyond the hills from whence comes Our Help.

Another generation of Crusaders has come and gone .Their deeds mighty, their valor true and their hearts pure. Yet the lands in which they strived have reverted to the Enemy.


Society in Four Simple Sets!

 

The world is full of all kinds of folks: lets sort the herd and see what its composed of. There are the Talkers: these can be split into two categories; the ones who have something to say, (subset a) and the ones who believe everyone else exists to listen to them (subset A) . The next cut goes like this. There are those who act- they too can be refined as well into two categories: those who act for the sake of acting( subset B) and then there are those who act due to the fact that there are things that need to be done (subset b).

Subset A

This set talks mainly for the sake of listening to the fulsome tones of their own pie hole. Strange as it may seem, they are usually the ones who garner the most attention in the world. Look around and see- who do we end up hearing, because they are always flapping their gums? Who possibly can be so erudite that they are able to mechanistically reel out periodic blather containing consistent  merit and edification? Why of course,what they have to say is always “new” and “progressive” and certainly must be unique and worthwhile.  Well it is not. to paraphrase someone much wiser than I, “there is nothing new under the sun”.

Subset a

The people in this category– those who have something to say are generally ignored–  Trite and old fashioned ! Out of touch with “the way things are nowadays”!  How silly is it for any of us to take to heart such things as, “I AM the Lord, I change not”. Or, “I do not desire sacrifice, but obedience”. These folks don’t say much, due to the fact that the things they say are worth LISTENING to and pondering. They also don’t say much because… why should they bother?  No one listens anyway.

Subset B

Those who act for the sake of acting tend to turn action into a game, and all actions become codified and regimented into some sort of score card for self worth. They take a system such as free enterprise and turn it into a survival of the fittest, King of the Mountain contest we call Capitalism; or morph the agape ideals of ancient Catholic Christianity into an insane death dealing Dragon called Socialism. With these accomplishments come the sure knowledge that those who act for the sake of action are best suited to rule the rest. All they need is a bit of public relations and someone who can truly explain what’s in store for the rest of the world.  So… they seek out someone with an impossibly large smile, teeth beyond the reckoning of any dentist, and eyes that remain clouded in what some call mystery. The fact of the matter is those eyes, the windows of our soul, remain hidden for they are filled with deceit. We all have glimpsed a good representation of him at the gates of  Mordor: Tolkien named this being the mouth of Sauron. Ever so apt.

Subset b

Then there are these guys who are credulous, naïve, and without guile; the ones who listen to subset b and take it to heart.  The nameless blob that inhabits the world amidst the chaos of the great unwashed; hidden in the muck and mire of everyday living. Those fools who do the things that need to be done, as no one else will get off their lazy backsides. The ones who feed the fires of civilization with charity, mercy, love and hard work. These folks are the guts of the world: and most of us do not give one whit about them.

Why on earth should we?


Why we dont fight

 

 

 

la puchelle

We are in the midst of a tumult not seen in decades. Our culture, freedoms, and prosperity, built upon the foundations of a dissolved belief system are at stake (as well as our very lives). Periodically through the ages, civilization has been buffeted by incursions of anarchy and barbarism; previously there have been those who stood in the breach between  that darkness and the light ( Gandalf the Grey at the bridge of Moria vs. the Balrog, for those of you who dislike history). Each time, the darkness has receded unwillingly, due to the efforts of those who witness with their lives for the sake of others, and for their larger ideals:  the shimmering values of Christendom.  Each time, Evil slunk back into its greasy dim lair, and morning came… again.

But no more.

Every value held dear for the last twenty centuries has been abandoned in favor of subjectivism and materialist understandings of reality. There is no longer Evil: hence there is no longer Good. No system, be it spiritual, economic or political, is inferior to another, therefore none is superior. The State reigns supreme over all principles and doctrines; what is good for the government is The Good for all. Marxism may be dead, but its skin has been scraped,  salted and tanned; it now envelops the earth. Here and there are the unseemly wrinkles of resistance- no matter, for when you are covered up as a blanket, you cannot access the sun. Civilization has withered into a skeletal caricature underneath; like a vast stuffed behemoth displayed as the grand exhibit in The Museum of Diabolical Achievement.

Weak and flaccid, starved for meaning, we can find nothing worth fighting for due to the conclusion placed in our minds that there is nothing to win. Is indeed there anything worth fighting for beyond free health care, free sex, cell service and Facebook?. As “God” is a menu item selected from an ala carte raft of customized “one size fits one” mentality, any one is as good as another–  differences that makes no difference, ARE no different. A devout Catholic is no better than a devout Muslim; the only place for them is in same back alley margins of society with the trash cans, winos and stray cats. Convictions result in decisions, and it is decisions that change the world. Islam has decided, and  now we all shall pay the price. The world no longer wishes change- especially from within; but change is coming, if it is not already here. Those who sacrifice their lives for the lost cause of Christ are both marveled and snickered at; for every gain they died for cannot be seen by those who roam the earth blindfolded. The West is a ripe fruit, its stem weak and withering: more than ready to fall into the hands of those who have envied and hated it for the last fourteen centuries. What Hitler and Stalin could not do with rockets and tanks, mad monks of an evil religion are accomplishing with swords and smart phones.

There indeed are those willing to fight back; however there are none to lead them, none to supply them and none to support them. This time the soldiers will stay home, for no one is willing to shout “save us”.  Indeed most of us do not realize that we are all but beyond  saving. Remember one thing: every time you bow your head to pray from this day forward there is a good chance someone is going to remove it from your body: and there will be no one around here on earth to prevent it.


Death

 

 

It was his last candle; and the night pressed in on its flickering hope.  The darkness was like an invader seeking cracks amidst the ruins of an ancient castle. Cold and blackness seeped in from the edges of the yellowed perimeter; the lone taper emitting a thready illumination. The forlorn paraffin stub dissipated what little heat it produced at about two or three inches away. Yet it was alive, the last living symbol of what he remembered from the time before Evening.

There was nothing to see beyond, and he readily imagined that outside his dwindling hemisphere there was nothing at all. It came down to him, his pathetic little candle and his unfocusing memories of what was; and what is supposed to be. In his heart he knew that the candle was just a shield, while his patience and intellect were his true weapons against what assaulted him. No matter–the candle became much more than just twinkling depositions of photons jetting out into the night. The candle became more precious to him than all things he ever knew. Every dance of the flame or drip of wax became an element of profound consternation. The dwindling length of this wax taper caused alarm and terror as each minute passed.

All his life he was told by others about Morning, when a huge warm glowing light would arise from a place called Horizon. There would be light everywhere for all time; light that would banish all darkness forever. Standing there with just his candle alone for one by one everyone else’s’ candle went dark and they disappeared, doubt crept up from his toes and washed around his head in a howling shriek of terror…

“When this candle is gone, I am to be consumed by the Dark- this is what I perceive with my senses, and so this is what must be”.

“Stand when you wish to run” is what he had learned long ago- it had always been good advice before: in addition to the fact that all along he was told everything else was just a preliminary for one supreme moment in his life– and that moment was now. His hand started to get hot, so hot it sent searing pain up his arm; there was nothing left but a small pool of liquid wax with the tiniest bit of wick left. He screamed in pain, flicking his fingers without thinking. The light went out, but the pain stayed with him.

Blackness.

There was after a bit, a thin line far off in the distance, somehow less dark above than below. In an slow instant he saw it: this beautiful, brilliant glowing, climbing above the line– it was just as everyone told him– Horizon appeared; Morning came; and the Son rose up shedding His light everywhere.

He could see. With a shout of glee, he wiped the old dead wax off his hands in the grass below, and ran off into the distance.