Wednesday, September 17, 2014

There's nothing new under the sun

Whittaker Chambers on St. Benedict:
For the briefest prying must reveal that, simply in terms of history, leaving aside for a moment his sanctity, St. Benedict was a colossal figure on a scale of importance in shaping the civilization of the West against which few subsequent figures could measure. And of those who might measure in terms of historic force, almost none could measure in terms of good achieved.
...I venture that [St. Benedict's Rule] did something else as well. For those who obeyed it, it ended three great alienations of the spirit whose action, I suspect, touched on that missing something which my instructors failed to find among the causes of the fall of Rome. The same alienations, I further suspect, can be seen at their work of dissolution among ourselves, and are perhaps among the little noticed reasons why men turn to Communism. They are: the alienation of the spirit of man from traditional authority; his alienation from the idea of traditional order; and a crippling alienation that he feels at the point where civilization has deprived him of the joy of simple productive labor.
These alienations St. Benedict fused into a new surge of the human spirit by directing the frustrations that informed them into the disciplined service of God. At the touch of his mild inspiration, the bones of a new order stirred and clothed themselves with life, drawing to itself much of what was best and most vigorous among the ruins of man and his work in the Dark Ages, and conserving and shaping its energy for that unparalleled outburst of mind and spirit in the Middle Ages. For about the Benedictine monasteries what we, having casually lost the Christian East, now casually call the West, once before regrouped and saved itself. 
Chambers despaired of Western civilization. If anything, things have gotten worse since he went on to his eternal reward. I think we're headed for a catastrophic fall sooner rather than later. It wouldn't be the first time the West has descended into barbarism. This time too it will be the Catholic Church that stands tall and preserves the dying embers so future generations can rekindle them into a blazing fire. Like St. Benedict, the saints of the future won't set out to change the world. Their aim will heaven, and they'll get the world thrown in.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Deus vult, friends

The modern mind has enormous difficulty grasping concepts like universals, median, and average. If I say, "Men are generally taller than women," then it's inevitable some ankle biter will respond with, "Well I knew a girl on my high school girls basketball team who was 6'7"! Ha ha, what now smart guy?!" Last night I gave a talk to the LifeTeen group about Islam and why the ISIS wogs do what they do. They're a good bunch of kids. They were able to grasp that Islam may be a demonically inspired false religion that must be resisted to a martyr's end, but that doesn't necessarily mean all Muslims are evil. Catholicism is the one true religion outside of which there is no salvation, but that doesn't mean all Catholics are good people.

There's a peculiar line of thinking I've noticed among Westerners, even Catholics. They believe that Islam is whatever Muslims say it is. If that's so, then it follows that if we can get enough Muslims to agree that Islam is peaceful (by which it is usually meant that Muslims will become secular liberals) then Islam will be peaceful. Islam is a real thing that exists independently of what any particular Muslim thinks it is. To be Muslim is to be loyal to Islam. Being loyal to Islam means being loyal to some false and evil ideas. Just like Christians, there are good Muslims and bad Muslims, Muslims with strong informed loyalty and those whose knowledge and loyalty is nominal.

Mine wasn't the sort of talk they'd probably tell their parents too much about, but I did manage to tell them that the Crusades were mostly a good thing that got out of hand in a few isolated cases due to human greed.

John C. Wright tells us what victory looks like:
I submit that victory shall be ours by using the same methods we used to overthrow the Roman Empire and replace paganism with Christianity.
First, we must pray. We must live differently from the pagans around us, according to standards of higher discipline, displaying more fidelity in marriage, eschewing divorce, assisting the poor and downtrodden, and living lives so holy that even the devils are amazed.
Second, by being willing to suffer public scorn, loss of prestige, position, and fortune for Christ.
Third, by being open, vocal, coordinated, and relentless in our efforts. Fourth, by staying on message and never giving an inch.
Fifth and last, by showing the imagination of man that no one can live in the craven airless cesspool of the mental environment of political correctness, but that men flourish and grow strong and brave, not to mention more sexually appealing, in the walled gardens of the Church and the battlefields of life.
Traditionalists are an understandably pessimistic lot because our struggle has been one long defeat spread out over centuries. I'm a pessimist in the short term. Things aren't going to get better in my lifetime. I'm an optimist in the long run though because it's harder to prop up lies than to acknowledge truth. I imagine it's hard work for our progressive overlords to constantly monitor every public venue for signs of badthink. It takes a lot of mental energy to constantly believe transparent myths like racial and sex equality. They've built a citadel on the commanding heights of the culture, but the internet is their vulnerable flank. Keep fighting. Keep striving for goodness and right. Never, ever back down to them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lift high the cross

Today is the seventh anniversary of Summorum Pontificum going into effect:
Many priests deeply convinced that a return to the “Tridentine” Mass was needed, became frightened at the possible punitive measures they could have faced and did nothing more; thus the faithful entrusted to them did not even have time to realize what was at stake. We daresay that all of these punitive measures (made up of resistances – threats – large and small restrictions – transfers or confinements) concerning priests, who decided to celebrate the Old Rite, in themselves are unjust, but they have also been a good thing.

Indeed, the sufferings they have caused us, the sufferings to priests and faithful who asked to leave the disastrous post-council liturgical reform, have, all in all, been a good that God has providentially allowed, so that the struggle to live and die as Catholics and not as “crypto-Protestants, is purified.

What is it that we are trying to say? Simply that sufferings experienced for Christ, besides sanctifying those who experience them with Him, preserve[us] from a much greater evil for the Church in this age: ambiguity!

How did the disaster in modern Catholicism progress so far? Precisely with the method of ambiguity: some traditional aspects in the Church were apparently saved, but they were emptied of any real content and were re-interpreted according to a mentality no longer completely Catholic.

After the Council this is what happened: first the Mass was translated into Italian, then the texts were changed, then the priesthood was “re-styled” in a more democratic way, [so much so] up to reaching the modern hypothesis of modifying the Sacraments ( an example: the request for Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried). Ambiguity is the method of practical Modernism in the Church: it pretends to respect Tradition, but it changes the reality of the Faith and morality under the pretext of deepening the Faith itself and adapting to changed times.
Whenever neo-Catholics go on about how terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Traditionalists are, they're typically thinking of the ones old enough to remember the Ecclesia Dei regime. In his letter "Ecclesia Dei," St. John Paul II allowed the old Mass to be celebrated again with the permission of the local bishops. He encouraged the bishops to be generous in granting this permission. In practice, this meant the celebration of the old Mass was restricted to once a month, on a weekday, in the basement of the mental ward downtown or some such inconvenient time or place. It's difficult to overstate how passionately 1980s-90s era bishops despised everything that smacked of pre-Vatican II Catholicism.

Traditionalists picked up on this sentiment and returned it wholeheartedly. All they wanted was to live, pray, and believe the Catholic faith in the same way their grandfathers did, and yet their fiercest opponents were not the world, the flesh, and the devil but their own bishops! They became understandably bitter and distrustful toward the hierarchy. Hell, if I'd been in their place back then I would too.

Under Summorum Pontificum, a priest can celebrate the old Mass any where and any time he wants, in theory anyway. In practice, the old timers in the chancery still have a lot of bureaucratic tricks up their sleeve to ensure that doesn't happen. If Father gets a little too vocal in his preference for the old Mass and the old discipline, then he'll find himself banished to the diocesan equivalent of Siberia. He might have to shuttle between three different parishes out in the boonies, or spend the rest of his life in hospital or prison ministry.

Still, I remain optimistic. SP was the beginning of the end of the Spirit of Vatican II and the Modernists know it. The surviving members of the first generation of crazies are gathering what strength they have left for one last hurrah at the upcoming Synod on the family. That's not to say things will automatically get better once they go on to their eternal rewards. Father Z somewhat exaggerates the effectiveness of the biological solution. Even so, it's better to have lay Catholics and clergy who are simply ignorant of Tradition instead of furiously hostile to it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son

The Western World has an addiction problem:
The generally accepted definition of addiction is the dependency on a substance. However, addiction manifests itself in many different ways which are not discussed as regularly as they should be. Addiction can be understood as the inability to abstain from any activity which releases neurotransmitters in the brain; most commonly serotonin, endocrines, or dopamine.
Pornography, sex, television and video-games can fall into this category and can become the downfall of many. The underlying reason for addiction is a lack of happiness and fulfillment, leading the addict to compensate for the brain’s shortage of essential “feel-good” chemicals through unfulfilling, hedonistic activities.
Add the breakdown of the family into the mix and you have a recipe for an epidemic of addictions. Anxiety about our social standing appears to be deeply ingrained in our national character:
Tocqueville expresses wonder and awe at the activity of the Americans that he encountered during his visit to the United States in 1830-31. In contrast to the relative complacency of people in their social roles in aristocratic Europe—where no amount of work, effort or activity could move one either from the ranks of the aristocrats to the commoners, or vice-versa—Americans live daily with the awareness that their station in life is one of variability, potential, and fragility. The result was a society that was, by appearances, industrious, but more deeply riven with anxiety. Thus, Tocqueville was moved to call this condition one of “restlessness,” or “inquietude,” the inability to be “quiet” or still or in a state of quiescence.
We self-medicate with booze, drugs, sex, porno, video games, TV and any number of addictions to relieve our social anxiety. Always wanting to get ahead has made America the world's great superpower but it's come at a heavy social cost.

If I knew what to do about these things, I wouldn't indulge my internet addiction. Analysis paralysis is a real thing which affects many men. Choose one option or set one goal and pursue it to completion. Then move on to the next. Having a mission in life can cure many an addiction. Idleness is what gets most of us in trouble. Civilization depends on delayed gratification. Discipline hurts but you won't survive long without it. Unfortunately, many men grew up without a father. That's not to say mothers are incapable of instilling discipline, but women are inclined toward protection whereas men are inclined toward toughening the kid up.

Speaking of which, I need to toughen myself up and begin stockpiling supplies and ammo. I might be an old man when it happens but I expect the United States to break up within my lifetime.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen years ago

I was a twenty year old community college student back then. I remember my contemporaries and I wanted someone, anyone to die for what they did to the United States. I tried reenlisting but the Colonel said "Nothin' doin'" for my medical waiver. It's just as well. Hindsight is 20/20 but I'm glad I didn't kill and possibly die to give the Iraqis a few years of breathing space before they inevitably fell to an Islamic police state. Iraq is the greatest American foreign policy blunder since... well, arguably ever. The domino theory didn't pan out with Vietnam but ISIS is present in Iraq, Syria, and God knows where else.

The correct response to 9/11 would have been focusing exclusively on Afghanistan and then pulling out once we'd smashed up the place. Neither the Afghans nor the Iraqis will ever be transformed into mild mannered Minnesota Democrats. It was foolish to try. From what I've seen on Fox News, the neocons have been remarkably shameless about shifting the current state of Iraq onto Obama's shoulders. Many wrongs can be laid at the feet of the baby killer in chief, but the backwardness and savagery of the Islamic world isn't one of them. There's an old joke about there being a twenty year gap between Washington's foreign policy adventures and the demographics of its cabdrivers. I hope Iraq has tasty cuisine because a bunch of Iraqi restaurants will probably be the only thing America gains from this in the long run.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's like we're fundamentally broken in some way

Cail Corishev offers an important reminder:
The traditional Christian viewpoint is that it's Original Sin. Eve violated her husband's headship by eating the apple without his permission and then encouraging him to follow her example, so her descendants are cursed with the temptation to commit the same sin. Ever seen a woman in a restaurant second-guessing her husband's order and commenting on how much salad dressing he uses? It's the apple all over again.
There's a lot of justified bitterness in the manosphere about the injustice of Marriage 2.0 among other things. We shouldn't see women as the enemy though. They've been raised on the same lies that we have. That's not to absolve them of responsibility for their bad decisions, but many women are as miserable as men under feminism and liberalism. You don't need to peruse blogs to know that those two irrational and inhuman ideologies have created an ocean of human misery. Normal women want to be wives and mothers. Granted, they want the highest status man they can get, but most women aren't as happy working in marketing and HR as they would be as wives and mothers. They've been raised from birth to go against their most hard wired instincts.

If you ask any woman raised in a postmodern liberal society what she wants out of life, she'll likely parrot the script: get a college degree, begin a career, and then think about marriage.
At least that's what she'll say. Pay less attention to what women say and more to what they do. Marriage will be put on the backburner. In her youth she'll be treated as a rock star with CEO potential no matter where she works. Hordes of thirsty guys will validate her ego and maybe she'll sleep with or practice serial monogamy with the alphas. If an earnest young man lets slip that he's looking for a wife and not a girlfriend, she'll split. She has to earn her feminist merit badges.

What the world doesn't tell them is that her career isn't going to be there for her in her old age. Most women instinctively know this no matter how much they try to rationalize it away. It's amazing how quickly they change when they meet a man as opposed to a nice guy. Nice guys are like the furniture. Confident men sorely tempt them to throw the script in the trash.

Original Sin wounds us all. Women seem particularly tempted to rebellion. No matter how much they may feign offense, they crave male dominance. If you cede headship of your marriage to your wife, she will soon come to despise you with a seething hatred not even rapists can inspire. If you're a naysayer or an ankle biter, try it yourself. Tell a woman in your life to shut up. Tell her you're not interested in her opinion. If she henpecks you as you're working on something, then tell her she can do the damn thing herself. In short, don't put up with her bullshit. You'll be amazed at the results.

Friday, September 5, 2014

You're doing it wrong

That's our Dolan:
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City has finally thrown in the towel and agreed to let gay Irish groups march. The announcement was made yesterday. In response, Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington posted on that archdiocese’s website a short commentary saying that it’s time for the Church to withdraw support for events like this.
Msgr. Pope’s remarks were kind of grumpy, I suppose you could say, but pretty uncontroversial for a Catholic priest, yes? Ah, but you miss the back story: NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan has agreed to be the Grand Marshal for the 2015 parade.From the NYT:
The buffoon Dolan was once considered mildly conservative by the media. This is the same Cardinal Dolan who said "bravo" to an openly sodomite athlete and yukked it up with the baby-killer-in-chief Barack Obama. With shepherds like these, is it any wonder the flock is ravaged by wolves? If I may be so bold, Your Eminence, if you're trying to curry favor with the world, you're doing it wrong.