This Lifesite Headline is Absolutely True

Novak Djokovic, the greatest tennis player in history, was absolutely vindicated for his principled stand against the Big Lie. He took a stand without regard to victory and at personal cost. He is now “tied” for most grand slams with Vaxxboy, who threw Djokovic under the bus while benefiting from his persecution.

This victory is sweet, and not just for Djokovic. He could have two or three more slams than the official count, and Vaxxboy should have one fewer. No matter. People know the truth when they see it.

Rejecting the Stone of the Heart

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. Matt. 24:11-13.

Author and former feminist “icon” Naomi Wolf is one of those examples, not uncommon in times past but becoming rare as we slide down the hell-highway we’re on, of a person with a high degree of intelligence and an inquiring mind being open to at least consider true things. Without making too much of it, people like her and a few others in the public eye who are beginning to awaken show that God is the giver of gifts like intellect and that He is sovereign over the most propagandized “educational” systems suffered by guilty man. All that is required is for the person to cooperate with their free will, which our good God respects in his unfathomable plan.

I paid little attention to Dr. Wolf before the satanic, preplanned, coordinated population reduction operation pandemic. I knew her to be a feminist lauded by other feminists, so my interest level was less than zero. But as I stated above, whatever her background and reasons she was open to the truth of what was happening. She publicly opposed the lockdowns and mandates, she fought, personally and at the cost of her reputation among our betters, for God-given rights and freedoms inherent with the Divine order and natural law. You know someone is on the side of truth when the empire of lies labels him a “consipiracty theorist”. The great pseudo-knowledge box Wikipedia, after providing her glorious feminist credentials of the past, has this shovel of dirt to throw on top:

Since around 2014, Wolf has been described, by journalists and media outlets, as a conspiracy theorist. She has received criticism for promoting misinformation on topics such as beheadings carried out by ISIS, the Western African Ebola virus epidemic and Edward Snowden.

She has objected to COVID-19 lockdowns and has criticized COVID-19 vaccines. In June 2021, her Twitter account was suspended for posting anti-vaccine misinformation. (citations omitted).

Heck, if your Twitter account is suspended, why get up in the morning, right? You are un-personed.

Anyway, such is the providence of God, a sign of His good will and perhaps of His good humor, that a Catholic trying to get to Heaven in the 21st century will sometimes look to a semi-reformed feminist icon for occasional good news or a glimpse of goodness in the human condition. And make no mistake: her views on many important topics show she is not to be held up as some wishful-thinking convert, as some do when any celebrity says something sensible on a certain topic. I merely want to highlight, today, what happens when a modernist comes into contact with the Real and the Good in life.

Which of course leads me inevitably to post some excerpts about falling on the ice and a puppy.

Why? Simply because it provides a little insight to a normal, functioning human community. A neighborhood. With neighbors. People of whatever background having simple human compassion for another person in need. People who act on this compassion, acting manfully and simply to do what is right.

That’s it. An article one would never needed to have posted a century ago. Or 60 years ago. Or maybe 10 years ago. But these days it may make a nice moment in your day.

In her post, Dr. Wolf describes falling on the ice during a run with her dog (with the lamentable name of Loki). First, what happened:

________________

The next moment, I realized that I was on my back on the icy sidewalk, in an agony unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life, and probably screaming.

Worse still, I could see that Loki was about 100 feet further away from me on the sidewalk, with the leash, fallen out of my hapless grasp, trailing near him. He was looking back at me in confused concern.

But I was unable to get up, and I realized with horror that I could not move my left arm or hand at all. Loki could easily wander away and be lost, or get hit by a car.

I started shouting, ‘Help me! Please help me!’ I put all of my conscious will into those screams, and I prayed someone would respond before I passed out, or before I went into shock, which would mean that my puppy would be in terrible danger.

Amazingly, I soon felt someone kneel by me. A woman had come out of her nearby home, having heard my screams. She was seeking to calm me, even as someone else called 911.

‘Please get my puppy,’ I begged. Miraculously, another woman appeared, from another house — I believe from across the street. I heard two voices then gently luring Loki back toward where I lay, and then my heart was in my throat until one woman was able to seize his leash handle securely.

‘Please tell my husband what happened,’ I managed to say between groans, and I gave that woman our address. Her wife also, I believe, called 911 on my behalf.

Amazingly, this neighbor took Loki three blocks away, accurately located our address, knocked on our door, gave Loki safely to Brian, and let him know that I had fallen. Amazingly too, another neighbor, an older man, appeared out of nowhere, while all of this was happening, a look of concern on his face, and bearing a pillow and blanket.

The neighbors deliberated about not using the pillow, as they decided that they should not move me. Meanwhile I felt myself start to sink into shock – I felt my heart rate slowing, and I grew colder and began to tremble. I felt that sense of, ‘My body and mind can’t take this pain any longer; I am about to lose consciousness.’

Then the four neighbors, working together, put the blanket gently over me. The sidewalk was frozen and my body temperature kept dropping; keeping me warm, I am sure, prevented me from going into shock or hypothermia, and their decision not to move my head also helped me avoid further injury.

The first woman who had come out to help me, knelt beside me and asked about my dog’s breed. She kept chatting with me. This cannot have been pleasant for her, as I was still inarticulate – howling and groaning.

I realized, even in my increasing confusion and agony, that she was making small talk with me, in order to keep me from passing out.

_________________

She was soon taken by ambulance and treated for a broken shoulder, but was otherwise fine. Next, her observations:

_________________

What I mean to say is that four strangers came out at once into the freezing street at the sound of a human voice in distress. Four strangers stayed at the uncomfortable, no doubt upsetting scene, prioritizing a stranger’s and a little pup’s visible risks over whatever else they had been doing at that moment, and over their own cozy comfort; strangers patiently lured, and then secured, and thus saved the life of my little dog. A stranger patiently brought him home, and let my husband know I was hurt. A stranger had held my good hand and talked to me of random subjects, in freezing temperatures, for quite a long time, so that I would not pass out. A stranger had brought me a pillow and a blanket of his own, and put the blanket down for me on the icy, gritty sidewalk.

The decency of these people — who themselves may not have even known one another — created an instinctive choreography of goodness, which was lifesaving.

Then, once my dog and I were safe, these strangers melted away, back into their lives, asking nothing of the moment — not even my thanks. I don’t even know their names.

______________

Later, Wolf explains what this little incident proves about a functioning human society:

_____________

My larger point, if I may extrapolate from this extraordinary personal kindness I was fortunate to experience — is that our little community showed that it was emotionally and morally healthy. In a healthy community, humans save each other.

These people simply had in each one of them a moral compass and a sense of selfless compassion, that led them to act together with such a beautiful, positive outcome.

That is the society, the community, that sense of unity, we all used to have — at least as an ideal.

What, after all, is an angel? Maybe the angelic is just the human, acting with decency.

Human communities’ ability to save one another, to save the community itself, out of values of internalized decency and compassion, is a resilient, effective, powerful, unstoppable thing.

That is why when others wish to take power from us, they create policies to keep us apart, unknown to, and in fear of one another.

I don’t mean to politicize a great blessing I received at the hands of my neighbors, but I can’t help considering that if, God forbid, this had happened to us during ‘lockdown’ – or during some time of global messaging about our fellow humans being untouchable, or somehow dangerous to others — I might have lost consciousness, or frozen to death, and Loki too surely would have been lost.

[…]

Let us forever more defy any pronouncements that seek to turn making ‘a stone of the heart’ into a virtue.

Conversion of St. Paul

The richness and ever-relevance of the Roman Calendar presents today for our celebration and contemplation the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. From Acts 9:

[1] And Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, [2] And asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. [3] And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus; and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. [4] And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [5] Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad.

[6] And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? [7] And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him, stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no man. [8] And Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus. [9] And he was there three days, without sight, and he did neither eat nor drink. [10] Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord.

[11] And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the street that is called Strait, and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prayeth. [12] (And he saw a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) [13] But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem. [14] And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that invoke thy name. [15] And the Lord said to him: Go thy way; for this man is to me a vessel of election, to carry my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.

[16] For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. [17] And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house. And laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, he that appeared to thee in the way as thou camest; that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. [18] And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up, he was baptized. [19] And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus, for some days. [20] And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

As impossible as it looks to men; as impossible as it looks to reason; as impossible as it seems; Our Lord Jesus Christ can convert the hardest sinner, the most severe persecutor, the most hateful enemy of the Church. Whether He brings it about or not in His sovereign, Divine Plan, Christ wants us to pray for the conversion of sinners.

Even the ones hardest to pray for. Especially them. It would be a mistake to put limits on the power of God.

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter in Rome

Living as we are in this uniquely dangerous time, it would be good for us to reflect on the ancient feast day celebrating the final See of the First Pontiff. May the throne of Peter be restored and renewed! From my little iPieta app:

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January 18.–ST. PETER’S CHAIR AT ROME.

ST. PETER having triumphed over the devil in the East, the latter pursued him to Rome in the person of Simon Magus. He who had formerly trembled at the voice of a poor maid now feared not the very throne of idolatry and superstition. The capital of the empire of the world, and the centre of impiety, called for the zeal of the Prince of Apostles. God had established the Roman Empire, and extended its dominion beyond that of any former monarchy, for the more easy propagation of His Gospel. Its metropolis was of the greatest importance for this enterprise. St. Peter took that province upon himself, and, repairing to Rome, there preached the faith and established his ecclesiastical chair. That St. Peter preached in Rome, founded the Church there, and died there by martyrdom under Nero, are facts the most incontestable, by the testimony of all writers of different countries who lived near that time; persons of unquestionable veracity, and who could not but be informed of the truth in a point so interesting and of its own nature so public and notorious. This is also attested by monuments of every kind; by the prerogatives, rights, and privileges which that church enjoyed from those early ages in consequence of this title. It was an ancient custom observed by churches to keep an annual festival of the consecration of their bishops. The feast of the Chair of St. Peter is found in ancient martyrologies. Christians justly celebrate the founding of this mother-church, the centre of Catholic communion, in thanksgiving to God for His mercies to His Church, and to implore His future blessings.

Reflection.–As one of God’s greatest mercies to His Church, let us earnestly beg of Him to raise up in it zealous pastors, eminently replenished with His Spirit, with which He animated His apostles.

Welcome to Pottersville

Found this bracingly true little article at LRC blog, pointing out that we have let our Bedford Falls become Pottersvile, and there was no George Bailey to stop it. A brief excerpt, here, but as in the Capra movie I fully expect Divine Providence to remedy this situation. That is beyond doubt. But when, and at what cost to us, are the variables:

Ah, but what was my “Eureka!” moment? That moment was when I could see the difference between Bedford Falls run by and peopled with decent men and women and that same town in the hands of evil, godless people. “Welcome to Pottersville” is the “after” in a “before” (Bedford Falls) and “after” period of moral decline. We have left the Bedford Falls of my youth – and that was probably not all that innocent even then! – and are now full-time residents of Pottersville, and it’s not a pretty picture at all. Neither do I believe it is possible for us to undo what has been done. Why? Because the people in Pottersville were the same people that had lived in Bedford Falls with the exception of George Bailey, but they had succumbed to Potter and those who served him. We see a hint of this at one point in the movie after George’s father dies. George wants to go away. He’s bored with Bedford Falls and the Building and Loan and has accumulated a little money to go on his adventures but the board members tell him that they want him to lead his father’s company. George says no, that his Uncle Billy should do it. But they know Uncle Billy isn’t able and they tell George that if he doesn’t stay, the board will “vote with Potter” who will close the Building and Loan down as he had been trying to do for years! And so George stays. In other words, the moral decay was always there, but George’s presence prevented Potter from turning Bedford Falls into Pottersville.

Alas, no person or even group of people were there to stop our downward moral path from our “Bedford Falls” to our present “Pottersville.” Oh, there were good people from time to time but soon the whole milieu became too corrupt for any one person or group of people to influence the direction in which we were going. Even our churches became defenders of the indefensible whether it was abortion or sexual perversion or the Spirit of the Age. As I write this in the third decade of the 21st century I realize that all our signposts now say “Welcome to Pottersville” but, alas, there is no George Bailey or Clarence to return this world to a time of wholesomeness and decency. We are condemned to reside where evil has triumphed and it’s our own damned fault.

Morning Prayer

I read Ann Barnhardt’s recent short reflection on pain— “We are saved through infinite pain, proceeding directly from infinite Love. To experience pain is to be invited to enter into the Passion of your Savior.”– and thought of a poem from Dan England and the Noonday Devil, by Myles Connolly.

The title character, master of the apostolate of hospitality, undergoes an inner struggle throughout the book to give up worldly attachments. It reaches a climax, of course– it is a book. But the climax occurs only after the narrator, Dan’s friend and chronicler, shares this poem with us:

Morning Prayer

My dear, good Lord, my heart is too much glad;
Too eagerly she knows how life is fair;
How rich with honest love and laughter,
And how Your beauty lies upon it everywhere.

O much too glad, this morning heart of mine;
I cannot keep her mute of song, or still;
She must be surging forth and singing
That life is good and man may love it if he will.

(Last night, my heart, I saw upon a hill,
With two lone arms outstretched, a gaunt black tree;
The sky was red a sullen moment,--
And lo, it was Cross, and on that Cross hung He.)

This soft, white morning, I say you are too glad,
Too readily you gifts of Pleasure gain;
He loves you less for all your singing,
Love more, glad heart, love more-- and win His gift of Pain.

Man Up

This is a good time to repost the quote of St. Athanasius at the bottom of this blog. The Mass is the hill we die on. It cannot be abrogated and any attempt must be resisted:

YOU ARE THE ONES WHO ARE HAPPY; YOU WHO REMAIN WITHIN THE CHURCH BY YOUR FAITH, WHO HOLD FIRMLY TO THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE FAITH WHICH HAS COME DOWN TO YOU FROM APOSTOLIC TRADITION. AND IF AN EXECRABLE JEALOUSY HAS TRIED TO SHAKE IT ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, IT HAS NOT SUCCEEDED. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE BROKEN AWAY FROM IT IN THE PRESENT CRISIS. NO ONE, EVER, WILL PREVAIL AGAINST YOUR FAITH, BELOVED BROTHERS. AND WE BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL GIVE US OUR CHURCHES BACK SOME DAY.

The Baptism of Our Lord

Ecce, advénit dominátor Dóminus: et regnum in manu eius et potéstas et impérium. Ps 71:1

Deus, iudícium tuum Regi da: et iustítiam tuam Fílio Regis.

V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen

Ecce, advénit dominátor Dóminus: et regnum in manu eius et potéstas et impérium

Today’s Introit