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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.


HERETIC

“There is nothing that exists outside of matter”. ” The Darwinian model is absolute”. ” The natural world is all there is, and determinism rules all aspects of existence”. ” What is experienced by the senses is all there is”. These are the dogmas of my intellectual foundation. Educated and trained by the finest scientific minds of the 70’s in the hallowed halls of Ivy League academia, it was simple to fall into the slot determined for me by my mentors and society at large…. What the heck happened?

Perhaps it is because I actually listened to what was said– and thought about it. The high priests of science once said that anyone who travelled faster than 30 miles an hour would die from it-OOPS! Man cannot fly- OOPS! Man cannot travel faster than the speed of sound-OOPS! Germ theory is hogwash-OOPS! The New Soviet Man-OOPS! Eggs and butter are bad for you–OOPS! When my children were young, one asked me what a PH.D. stood for; I trotted out the old saw that it meant you “study more and more about less and less until you knew everything about nothing”. When one daughter received her Doctorate in Biomedical Science, she remarked to me that this long ago description was very apt.

I am a heretic. I do not believe that if something is either unmeasured, or unmeasureable, it does not exist. Early on I discovered Love and Hate, Beauty and ugliness; as well as evil and goodness. These were and are still, a part of my daily life. The science of measurement cannot account for these things; therefore they are reduced to unexplainable chemical interactions and electrical static.  The science beyond measurement can and does account for these things, and the greatest intellects of the ages have been commenting upon and charting their existence for millennia. There is no inescapability of empirical determinism; there is decision– and the agency of Will. Yes, the world is brimming with sorrow– yet it was not intended to be so; we ruminate the cud of Eves apple, hence submitting to blinkered halters so as to be acceptable to those similarly blinded plodding along in the traces of bondage: blinded by a hostile force crouching in shadows, laying veiled to our senses. Thus invisible to the eye the enemy and our assent to him proclaims not to exist.

I am a heretic. I believe in things both seen and unseen. If I can believe in air, which cannot be seen, but can be deduced from the effects it has upon me, how much more so can I believe in the world beyond  my senses, which I cannot perceive except for the effects it has upon my life and the life of others such as myself.  If you can believe a physicist through his  mathematical formulae to things such as dark matter or the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, or the speed of light– why not believe a metaphysicist when through his reason, logic, and physical evidence to the miraculous affirms the supernatural? Metaphysical things exist; both in the historical record and in the lives of those who experience them but keep them private for various reasons.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life. I am a Heretic.


AGE

In the early 70’sthe Mets were in the World Series for the second time. I was in my early teens, and watched fervently, as my grandfather, a former NY Giants baseball fan, had switched his allegiance to the Mets. I could root for them as a loving grandson could only do; with the demand that they must win for Grampa. The added excitement included two new twists, the hated Baltimore Orioles as an opponent, with Willie Mays in the Mets lineup. The Say Hey Kid! The player who could do anything on a diamond and do it with style and grace. Never having seen him play before, who could resist the pull of watching Willie play in the Series? Not this child.

This was the first time in my life I faced with mortality- and the memory of it is seared into my brain. Willie Mays up at bat in a run situation; he was pinch hitting of course, but this was Willie Mays– the Orioles were dead meat– or so I thought.

Pitch one; a high hard one, right in the wheelhouse; Willie steps in the bucket and swings like my old great grandma. Strike one!

The second pitch; another gopher ball, Willie swings as hard as he can, and falls down(I swear he closed his eyes!). Strike two!

Here comes pitch three, a repeat of the last two pitches. Willie steps in the bucket again, and somehow… SOMEHOW, he nicks the ball and it takes a crazy bounce over the mound, evading the pitcher. In a rage– (this sorry old man miraculously hit the baseball !) the Oriole pitcher takes his glove off and hurls it to the dirt in disgust. The ball squibs into the edge of the outfield very similar to a suddenly freed spiny hedgehog. Willie fell down again after the swing but amazingly reached base safely.

Had I witnessed the destruction of the Second Temple? No, but as a stupid kid, I doubt very much that I would have been more horrified at what I had seen. The Say Hey Kid; Willie Mays; THE number 24; was washed up, and showed it in a spectacular way. The results of the play are eroded away in the detritus of my neural net. Who on or lost the game? Don’t know. Who won the Series? Could not say.

All I can recall is my reaction to that earthshattering episode in my young life:

“When I get to be 41 years old, like Willie is now,” I promised myself, ” I am going to commit suicide, rather than be such a sorry specimen of humanity”.

Every birthday since, with increasing trepidation I remember that moment, and what I had vowed. Of course as I matured the wistful recollections took on a more tragicomic tone, rather than the sanguine horror felt at the time. I can assert here and now that it has been forty two years since then; I have not acted upon that solemn promise of so long ago: nor do I intend to. Thus the monolithic touchstone of Age within my existential realm. I am washed up and a functional shadow of my past. Yet somehow life is just as precious as ever before with substantive differences and yardsticks. I cant bend a horseshoe with my bare hands any more, but I can pray with more concentration and fervency. There is more hair in my ears than on my head; yet I know what true love is. I cant snap a waspy bronc an longer; but I am getting to be a real hand at riding mercy and compassion almost to a standstill. I have shed the costume of a boy, and am in the process of putting on the working clothes of a man.