Nope. No Resemblance to Our Days at All…

“Both St. Paul and St. Peter give us some account of the evil state of men at the Apostasy. St. Paul writes (2 Tim.iii):

Know also this, that in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

St. Peter gives a description which seems to apply with a special aptness to our own moment, as he speaks of

those especially, who follow the defiling appetites of their corrupt nature, and make light of authority. . . . Their eyes feast on adultery, insatiable of sin; and they know how to win wavering souls to their purpose, so skilled is all their accursed brood at gaining its own ends. . . . Using fine phrases that have no meaning, they bait their hook with the wanton appetites of sense, to catch those who have had but a short respite from false teaching. What do they offer men? Liberty. And all the time they themselves are enslaved to worldly corruption. (2 Peter ii).”

Excerpt From Theology and Sanity, by Frank Sheed

“My Chalice Indeed You Shall Drink”: The Feast of Santiago

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The quote in the title is by Our Lord to Saint James and his brother, from today’s Gospel; it is followed by the admission that to sit on His right or left is not His decision to make.  In short, yes, you will suffer for Me, but do it for love of Me and not for any reward.

In fact, this exchange reminds me of the poignant interview between the Mother of God and King Alfred in Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse:

“The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gold,
Men may uproot where worlds begin,
Or read the name of the nameless sin;
But if he fail or if he win
To no good man is told.

“But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.

“I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.”

“Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?”

In this vein, St. Paul speaks so beautifully about the mission of the apostles in today’s epistle from First Corinthians:

[9] For I think that God hath set forth us apostles, the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. [10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour.

[11] Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; [12] And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. [13]We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now. [14] I write not these things to confound you; but I admonish you as my dearest children. [15] For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

Dear Readers, in these days of woe, we are all called to the same task as the apostles, as Santiago himself, as King Alfred: Do we love and labor manfully, without (worldy-speaking) hope of success, as the waves grow higher?

Santiago Matamoros, ora pro nobis!

Mystery and Manners Indeed

Yes, this is my third post in 23 days. No, it’s not like the old days. Heavy workload and the mind-melting stupefaction of the suicide of civilization have rendered orderly posting difficult. But I read this article in May and have wanted to repost it for awhile now. It holds up Bob Dylan as an example (of course!) of the need we have to read and internalize the great literary works.

This generation is indoctrinated, ignorant, and dangerous.

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Several years ago, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. While many, including Dylan himself, found it a bit odd to honor a folk singer with the premier prize for literature, there it was. After a curious gap between the committee’s breathless announcement and Dylan’s reluctant acceptance, the seventy-five-year-old artist reflected on just how much his writing was born out of his studied immersion in folk music and the budding progenitors of rock and roll including Buddy Holly, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and the New Lost City Ramblers. Dylan would elaborate,

I had all the vernacular down. I knew the rhetoric. None of it went over my head—the devices, the techniques, the secrets, the mysteries—and I knew all the deserted roads that it traveled on, too. I could make it all connect and move with the current of the day. When I started writing my own songs, the folk lingo was the only vocabulary that I knew, and I used it.

In a few words, folk music became a part of his marrow. But then he went on,

But I had something else as well. I had principles and sensibilities and an informed view of the world. And I had had that for a while. Learned it all in grammar school. Don Quixote, Ivanhoe, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, Tale of Two Cities, all the rest—typical grammar school reading that gave you a way of looking at life, an understanding of human nature, and a standard to measure things by. I took all that with me when I started composing lyrics. And the themes from those books worked their way into many of my songs, either knowingly or unintentionally. I wanted to write songs unlike anything anybody ever heard, and these themes were fundamental.

Dylan’s speech would continue with a whirling exegesis on three of the most influential books—all classics—in his life: Moby Dick, All Quiet On the Western Front, The Odyssey. Now, I don’t know anyone who is reading these novels in grammar school (which is generally considered Kindergarten through eighth grade) anymore. And, sadly, there is hardly anyone anywhere who is reading them at any age, unless so compelled by some witchy, fun-hating college professor. 

Read the rest here.

Feast of the Visitation

Ex quo facta est vox salutatiónis tuæ in áuribus meis, exsultávit infans in útero meo, allelúia.

__________________________

O gloriósa vírginum,
Sublímis inter sídera,
Qui te creávit, párvulum
Lacténte nutris úbere.

Quod Heva tristis ábstulit,
Tu reddis almo gérmine:
Intrent ut astra flébiles,
Cæli reclúdis cárdines.

Tu Regis alti iánua
Et aula lucis fúlgida:
Vitam datam per Vírginem,
Gentes redémptæ, pláudite.

Iesu tibi sit glória,
Qui natus es de Vírgine,
Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
In sempitérna sǽcula.
Amen.

Blessed feast day!