It was the Summer of 1984. Ronald Reagan was riding high, and the Democrats had drifted to the left as a reaction to his (successful, but polarising) policies. Reagan had been insulted, for four years, as a “cowboy”, and derided as an “actor”. He was the guy who would plunge the world into World War III.
There was a lot of Reagan Derangement Syndrome around. On the other hand, there was a lot of quiet approval. Inflation down, economy up, a new sense of patriotism, a newly regained place in the world. Behind the ferocious controversies (and they were ferocious, though less explicit in language than today), it was plain to see that everything was fine above the fruited plains.
The Democrats reacted, as stated, with a drift to the left, as the reaction to Reagan’s unapologetically pro-American policies caused the leftist activists to increase their power within the party. They picked a clearly leftist candidate, Walter Mondale, to unseat the “cowboy”, the “warmonger”, the “actor”. They also continued their drift towards identity politics, and Mondale picked a woman, with no national recognition but fairly good looks, as veep. The newspapers, even in Italy, were full of the “historic” significance of picking someone with certain anatomic details. That the woman was, clearly, not ready for this kind of prime time, bothered few.
The Democrat convention caused a lot of fanfare. Mondale and Ferraro had a brief, and expected, boost in the polls. Those one or two weeks were, perhaps, the only ones when a detached observer might have given them a small chance to make it. It did not go well for them, though it went wonderfully for the West.
It was impossible not to see that it was morning again in America.
Fast forward to 2020, and you know where I am heading. It is, undoubtedly, morning again in America, and notwithstanding the challenge of a virus born of corruption and tyranny, America is growing strong again on the back of the greatest economic recovery every staged before the virus put a short, and soon to be overcome, pause to the play.
The Dems have veered left, more so than in 1984. They have a clear Derangement Syndrome, more so than in 1984. They play identity politics with a ferocious intent, that boxes them into worshipping more and more limited groups: deviant people of all sorts, lazy asses of all races, and women “of color”. They have, once again, felt obliged to choose a woman for Veep; but this woman is far more controversial than the other one.
Their candidate is much more tired, much less credible, much less equipped to face Trump than Mondale was. If, in 1984, you could say that it was not even close, today you can say that it’s not even on the same planet.
The economy is still reeling from the shock of the Chinese virus, and this is perhaps the greatest difference with 1984; but all too many Blacks, and blue collar workers, and decent people of all sorts, remember how the economy was roaring only months ago, and they can now clearly see the push toward the Trump economy roaring again.
Another difference with 1984 is clear. Like in 1968, riots feature prominently in this election. For those who don’t know, riots help conservative candidates. It is a testament to the incompetence of the Democrat political class that they still don’t get it.
Put all these similarities together and you understand why Trump is cleaning up. He has a laser-focused attitude, a clarity of intent again not seen since the days of Ronald Reagan. He is constantly on the attack. When, yesterday afternoon, I saw his call to boycott Goodyear, I had to make a double take, and I was taken aback by the energy, the audacity, the sheer grit of this guy.
He is winning, and is still on the attack. He will not give quarter. Not until November, not after reelection. Trump is not in the Washington game. He is in for the kill.
Look beyond the momentary disruption given to us by a corrupt tyranny and realise, like millions of voters, that it is morning again in America.
I remember very well my sadness at the rapid disappearance – and most people said: inevitable extinction – of the traditional mechanical wristwatch in favour of the new quartz one. It seemed to me an entire world was dying, and an entire planet was embracing a soulless technology and killing the beauty, the magic and, yes, the poetry of craftsmanship. Small firms – then – like Blancpain and Chronoswiss decided this was too stupid, and the surrender to the power of quartz by no means unavoidable. They started producing watches for people who love beauty, and do not live by the second. This was the turning of the tide. A few years later, the mechanical wristwatch was already established as the timepiece at the wrist of the discerning – if, back then, pretty solvent – man of taste. Today, mass production of perfectly affordable, excellent mechanical wristwatches is all but back, and back with a vengeance in terms of general quality and value for money.
Then there was the matter with Communism. Once progressing all over Africa, rolling over vast part of Asia, heavily influencing South America and even infecting many countries in Western Europe, its advancement seemed unstoppable. In those years, the US administration spoke of “containment” of Communism, as if a tsunami was obviously coming their way and the only thing they could do was to avoid being flattened by the impact. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher changed all this. In my eyes, Reagan’s election was the turning of the tide. Ten years later, Communism was all but bankrupt.
Then there was the “global warming” craze, by 2006 the pet ideal of the stupid and by 2008 clearly advanced to State Religion in countries like the UK. A few people kept swimming against this immense tide, unafraid. I mention here the Cato Institute with its brilliant work, and most of all an homosexual, Proto-communist, far leftist environmentalist with the rare courage to recognise he had been completely wrong all the time: Bjorn Lomborg, the author of “The Sceptical Environmentalist”. Lomborg was persecuted for years, as the Climate Mafia tried to deprive him of income and dignity. He was, last time I look, vindicated, and the new religion was – thanks also to new taxes, heavily challenging the masses who are only in favour of “good causes” when they do not have to pay for it – dead and buried by 2011. This time, the turning of the tide was, even, exceptionally fast.
Another tide is now turning: abortion. One must be blind not to see that what seemed only twenty years ago an unchangeable “new reality” all over the West, but particularly in Western Europe, is now crumbling under the pressure of a new generation of people not ready to accept murder as a way to solve a problem, and not willing to swallow the tales of the self-serving murderesses. This was a slow turning, and it will unfold very slowly in the other direction; but it’s undeniably there. What changed matters here is more difficult to point out. The army of aging women haunted by abortions committed decades before certainly played a significant role; the demographic also helped; the beautiful work of John Paul II was without doubt another big factor. This was a very slow turning, but I don’t think any Cuomo or Obama will be able to do anything against it.
And then there is another tide, that has not turned yet: Sodomy. As perverts and their helpers advance in the Western countries and try to have perversions recognised as human right, a strong opposition develops. Russia, under Putin’s guide, exposes the West’s godless stupidity with admirable energy, and may it long last. Many African countries refuse the drink the homosexual Kool-aid. Resistance develops in countries like France. I am under no illusion that the turning of the tide will come soon here. Rather, years of bitter fight await us. I am also afraid it will get worse before it gets better, as I see Italy unable to resist to the new wave of sugary goodism, and rapidly advancing towards legal protection of sodomy under the benevolent look of the “who am I to judge” Pope. It will get worse before it gets better, but when it gets better it will be because of those who have not shut up when it was very bad; and if we were to shut up now, who knows when it will become better.IN the matter of sodomy, I think the wake-up call will come when the children “adopted” by them will turn up to be victim of sexual abuses in percentages unknown among heteros. Unless, of course, by that time things will be bad enough that no one will be able to see the problem in the first place. hey, if forty years ago anyone had told me one day sodomy would be celebrated, I’d had laughed out loud, too.
Still, let us not lose courage, and let us stay in good spirits.
The same as for the watches, communism, global warming and abortion, one day this tide will turn, too.
And it came to pass the slandered priest of whom I have often written in the past is wondering whether the open attacks to his blogging activity are perhaps of detriment to the priesthood, and whether it would not be wiser to stop blogging so that the priesthood isn't damaged as a result.
By many other priest bloggers – or simple bloggers – I would smell the quest for sympathies and the implicit invitation to flood the combox with messages of support. Not by this one. By this one I believe what he writes, he also thinks.
Well, let me say two words about the blogger's fears, then.
The duty of a priest is to scandalise the secular world. I actually go as far as to value a priest according to the measure in which he can – for the right reasons, of course – do that. Therefore, the idea that a good blogger priest should stop blogging because some hack has no better way to earn his bread – poor chap, by the by – is as absurd as the idea a prophet should stop preaching and prophesying because the mob is getting angry at him. I am, in fact, an affectionate reader of the blog in question exactly because I see in its author – though I may disagree with him on single issues – one of the best ones the blogging priesthood has to offer. You can put it the other way, and wonder what good it is a blogging priest who never scandalises the secular minded, the idiots, or the journalists.
In addition, the reasoning is flawed from the start. If putting a priest in the middle of a controversy justifies his stopping of his blogging activity, the secular idiots will only have to mount an attack on every decent blogging priest to silence him; nay, they will be indirectly encouraged to do so. In which cases, one wonders why a priest should have a blog in the first place. On the contrary, I think a priest who feels so inclined should have a blog; and that he should have it in order to upset stupid journalists, and such likes.
Moreover, the assumption that the public perception of priests is damaged by having them publicly attacked is, if you ask me, deeply faulty. The priesthood is damaged by the priest who are never attacked, but she is exalted by those who are attacked because of their attachment to their job. The smart readers will be ble to discern; the less smart ones are, in fact, the ones in the greatest need of good blogging priest.
This is a time for choosing. We Catholics can choose to either be worried about the perception the world has of us – as laymen, or priests – or be worried about the message getting out there, and opening the eyes of at least a few; probably, in time, more than a few.
No, of course Father Ray Blake should not stop blogging. Actually, he should be proud of the scandal he caused, and proud of the better opinion of priesthood smart people will have because of him. We are called to be not of this world, and the Church should in fact be the enemy of the world.
Let the reactions of unspeakably bad journalists be a litmus test of how good a blogger priest is faring.
God knows we have no need for non controversial priests.
The Conclave is now upon us, and yours truly is becoming increasingly more aware of the historic days we are living.
With Christianity under a massive attack all over the West, the next days can decide the fate of a generation of Western Catholics. The choice of a (relatively) young but ineffective Pontiff can seal the fate of Catholicism as we know it in the once civilised West, with the continued deterioration of Catholic presence (old people die, and young people don't care) and Catholics, in time, requested to accept the unacceptable (say, “marry” homos in Catholic Churches) or face church closures, marginalisation and, in time, persecution.
A “young” but strong Pope could, in turn, be a game-changer for Christians (not only Catholics) the world over. A long and strong Papacy would not only change the public perception of the Pope from good uncle to real shepherd (with the rod and the staff; and using both, even when it hurts), but he would have the time to completely change the Church landscape at the front, with the proper cardinals, bishops, and teachers in charge everywhere.
Today,the grip of the Church on Catholics is strong enough to be a huge factor in every Western democracy, if adequately employed. Still it's not too late. But this will not go on forever, and in twenty or twenty-five years' time the leverage could have reduced almost to insignificance.
If we look at Europe, we can easily say the Church is the last Christian man standing. Whilst in the United States a robust Evangelical movement will take care Christians continue to be feared by most secular politicians, no Western European Country could see the erosion of Catholic power without the almost annihilation of its Christian heritage and culture. Look at Germany, The Netherlands, Britain to see how often Christianity has become an empty word, with no content other than a vague sense of inclusiveness and acceptance of every abomination. Look at Spain and France to see how fast the decline can be. Look at Italy to see how the unthinkable can become part of of the electoral platform of the biggest coalition in half a generation.
These are decisive days, then for us Western Europeans this might be the last chance. One day we might, with persecution clearly approaching, remember these as the last days of real hope before the fatal election of just another week Pope, happy to look on whilst Rome burns. Or, if our prayers are answered, we might remember them as the last day of uncertainty and apprehension before the turning of the tide.
I am old enough to remember the days leading to, and following the election of, Ronald Reagan. The contrast between Jimmy Carter and him could not have been greater. You knew, you felt a true epochal change was upon us, and the dance about to begin would be remembered for a long time to come.
More than thirty years later, a new Jimmy Carter – certainly far preferable in his thinking, but just as impotent in his actions – has thankfully decided to step aside. We need another Ronald Reagan, or someone as similar to him as The Lord might decide to give us.
Among the Papabili, I cannot see one Ronald Reagan around (with the possible exception of Cardinal Burke, whose chances I consider very slim), and our best shot would be one who has profiled himself as moderate and acceptable to the JPII/BXVI Cardinals, but ready to put on the armour when called to be at the top. I must say that the more I read about the papabili, the more I realise there is only one with the best blend of knowledge of the Curia, pugnacious character, and ability to win allies and be considered acceptable by two thirds of the Cardinals.
You know who he is.
O Lord, please give us a strong Pope.
Interesting reflections on the American Spectator about the stance of the Republican Party towards sodomites.
Unsurprisingly, the picture is one of a party increasingly more detached from his own supporter, in the increasingly more aggressive push to gain voters from the legendary “centre ground” that must be the mother of most Republican defeats in the last fifty years.
I see the problem as twofold: on the one hand, you have the usual RINOs desperately chasing for support: I’d say the hypocrisy of Rep. Allen West is very indicative of this group, with the claim of being “kept awake at night” from unemployment, but sleeping very well where his own salvation is concerned. On the other hand, you have the neocons and those who simply fail to get the proper religious side of things, with Coulter and Christie two obvious examples. I think the first group is lost to every good cause and should be kicked out and replaced with Republicans, and the second group should be moved to endorse Christian value either by the evolution (real one, this time) of their system of value of by the implicit threat posed by a clearly Christian electorate who will soon accept no bullshit from their representative concerning the matter. The very fact an openly homosexual group is recognised within the party says it all about the situation in today’s GOP.
Still, outside of the party corridors, in the real world, we can clearly see the American people are waking up. If you do not believe the Gallup polls showing a dramatic decline for support to so-called “gay marriage” among Republican, you have only to look at the real thing – the extremely eloquent outcome of the North Carolina vote – to see where the wind is blowing.
It is to me a source of never-ending amazement that so many politicians be intent in chasing a minuscule percentage of the electorate, with the risk of alienating vast part of the mainstream and the certainty of becoming the enemy of the hard-core conservatives. Even reasoning only from an electoral perspective, this might have worked when the issue was not such as to involve a vast part of the voters, but is more and more a suicidal policy as the voters take a stand and recover their Christian values.
I hope that come November a fresh wave of truly conservative – and I mean not mere neocon, but also religious conservatives – legislators will make their ingress in the corridors of power, and shift the Republican policy both in the legislative activity and in the party stance on the matter.
We are in for some very interesting months, with religious issues now destined to take a prominent role and the two camps more opposed than I dared to hope. The recent “outing” of the president will leave less excuses to committed Christians to vote for him, and I do not doubt but a number of them will draw the conclusion and deny him his vote. If the Church keeps pounding on HHS and starts a fresh battle about sodomarriages, the double pronged attack from Catholics and Protestant will make things very difficult for Mr B Hussein O.
I am sitting at home, trying to digest the Iowa results.
What has happened is, to put it bluntly, huge. Those non-Americans among us who have followed Santorum since last summer knew (erm, thought to know) that his was a pure flag candidature, very useful to give more relevance to pro-life issues but without any chance at all to make it to the nomination in real life.
I would be very naive if I would tell you that I have changed my mind now. If the past is any guidance, Santorum will be drowned in the next couple of weeks by the Romney war machine – no doubt, covertly attacking him as they did with Gingrich; it is very interesting how the PACs can be used to outsource nastiness; I think Gingrich will learn the lesson too … – and by the growing awareness that he is, however you try to twist and turn it, not a mainstream candidate. More likely than not, he will be the Huckabee of Iowa 2012. Still huge of course, but not a nomination.
Still, what happened in Iowa shows in my eyes the great force of social conservatism in America, a force we in Europe can only dream about. All those Evangelicals endorsing, of all men, an extremely orthodox Catholic show the ability to coagulate around a man – not this time, most certainly; but probably in future – able to openly defend pro-life and social conservative values and to lead his agenda to Republican nomination and eventual electoral victory.
Perhaps yesterday’s caucus, and the events that will follow until Santorum abandons, will be remembered in the years to come as the equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s “time for choosing” speech(es): as the phase in which he puts himself in front of a national audience as a valid candidate to incarnate serious, solid conservative values for an entire country, not for a minority of hardliners.
I still can’t imagine this will be Santorum’s nomination year. It’s not that I wouldn’t dream of it or that I enjoy defeatism, merely that I do not want my excitement to eclipse common sense. It’s still a very long shot, though the shot has just become a damn good sight shorter. What seems more probable to me is that Santorum has put himself in an excellent position to be a serious candidate in four or eight – or twelve – years’ time, when the pro-life and anti-perversion issued will have had some years to better penetrate the collective consciousness of the American electorate, and a couple of million pot-smokers and Sixty-Eighters will have gone to meet – or not, as the case may be – their Maker.
Yesterday, Santorum and his troop of fighters have made that moment a good sight nearer to us.
a) Barack Obama
b) Bill Clinton
c) Ronald Reagan.
There are no prizes for winning.
(with kudos to Green Mountains Scribes)
Perhaps no custom reveals our character as a Nation so clearly as our celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Rooted deeply in our Judeo-Christian heritage, the practice of offering thanksgiving underscores our unshakable belief in God as the foundation of our Nation and our firm reliance upon Him from Whom all blessings flow. Both as individuals and as a people, we join with the Psalmist in song and praise: “Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.” One of the most inspiring portrayals of American history is that of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That moving image personifies and testifies to our Founders’ dependence upon Divine Providence during the darkest hours of our Revolutionary struggle. It was then – when our mettle as a Nation was tested most severely – that the Sovereign and Judge of nations heard our plea and came to our assistance in the form of aid from France. Thereupon General Washington immediately called for a special day of thanksgiving among his troops. Eleven years later, President Washington, at the request of the Congress, first proclaimed November 26, 1789, as Thanksgiving Day. In his Thanksgiving day Proclamation, President Washington exhorted the people of the United States to observe ”a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” so that they might acknowledge “with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” Washington also reminded us that “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” Today let us take heart from the noble example of our first President. Let us pause from our many activities to give thanks to almighty God for our bountiful harvests and abundant freedoms. Let us call upon Him for continued guidance and assistance in all our endeavors. And let us ever be mindful of the faith and spiritual values that have made our Nation great and that alone can keep us great. With joy and gratitude in our hearts, let us sing those stirring stanzas: O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee. ————————————————————————————————————
NOW, THEREFORE, I, —– ——, President of the United States of America, in the spirit of George Washington and the Founders, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November –, —-, as a National Day of Thanksgiving, and I call upon every citizen of this great Nation to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings bestowed upon this land and its people.
Beautiful intervention from Bishop Conley, attacking the (aggressive) secular society at a pro-life meeting in Dallas.
“Atheocracy” is the name he chooses to describe
“a society that is actively hostile to religious faith and religious believers. And I might add — the faith that our society is most hostile toward is Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.”
Such a society is based upon purely synthetic moral values, based on pretty much nothing as far as inviolable principles are concerned.
“Hence, it has no foundation upon which to establish justice, secure true freedom, or to constrain tyrants,”
As an example, he took Roe vs Wade, “atheocracy” in action and “the violence of the strong against the weak”. Still,
“Without God, there is no basis for morality and no necessary protections for man. The strong decide what is right or wrong — even who lives and who dies.”
Abortion anyone? Euthanasia? Why does this ring a bell?
Atheocracy works very well, of course, in matters of sexual perversion, then a society with no place for moral values is a place with no place for condemnation of sexual perversion. This is when atheocracy starts to recognise so-called homosexual marriages, because
“our atheocratic government now deems itself competent to rewrite ‘the laws of Nature’s God’ — the God-given definitions of marriage and the family”
It wasn’t always that way in the old U S of A, though, as
“the Declaration’s expressed belief in the divine origin of the human person is everywhere presumed in the Constitution”,
and one can’t say that it hasn’t served the country well. Whether this will continue, and a country where homo soldiers have the right to shower together with their straight colleagues – what have homos to look for in an army, anyway? I mean, have we all become MAD?! – might discover before too long that being a world power is nothing automatic, or due to one country.
In short, Bishop Conley hits the bull’s-eye on the protracted deterioration of democratic institutions through aggressive secular thinking. Mind, though, that when a democracy betrays Christian values, this democracy has ceased to earn the right to exist, and the time will come when it is not able to withstand the onslaught of other – and hopefully authentically Christian – forces.
The great Ronald Reagan* used to say that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. The same thinking applies, I believe, to democratic institutions. As long as there are deep and universal values sustaining them, they will thrive and prosper. When, though, these values are substituted by caricatures of Christian values – see the fake “charitee” of the pro-homo lobby, or the fake Hitler-humanitarianism of
Lebensunwertes Leben euthanasia – the basis of democratic consensus will be eroded, up to the point where democracy is not in a position to defend itself anymore and dies; it dies, then, because it has deserved to. And when your democracy goes, be very afraid for your freedom itself.
About freedom again, Reagan – one who would have liked Bishop Conley – said it so beautifully:
How can we survive as a free Nation when some decide that others are not fit to live, and should be done away with.
Food for thoughts…..
*Three Hail Marys from me, and you’re welcome.
It is very well-known that Pope Pius XII, Pastor Angelicus, was a great supporter of the Fatima apparitions; so much so, that one of the names with which he is remembered is the Pope of Fatima.
An important issue of the Fatima apparitions is the great importance put by Our Blessed Virgin on the daily recitation of the Rosary. It is therefore no surprise that this great Pope would at some point address the importance of the rosary in an encyclical letter.
It is particularly indicative that this happened in 1951, in the middle of the Cold War. The Holy Father chose the day of the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, the 15th September, to address the entire Catholic world with Ingruentium Malorum.
Let us see some of the – in my eyes – most relevant and instructive passages of this work.
We well know the Rosary’s powerful efficacy to obtain the maternal aid of the Virgin. By no means is there only one way to pray to obtain this aid. However, We consider the Holy Rosary the most convenient and most fruitful means, as is clearly suggested by the very origin of this practice, heavenly rather than human, and by its nature.
The most convenient and the most fruitful means. This is an important reminder both of the power of the Rosary (that Padre Pio didn’t hesitate in calling “weapon”) and his “convenience”. What this holy Pope means by this is explained a bit later, when he says that through the Rosary
[….all, even the most simple and least educated, have in this a prompt and easy way to nourish and preserve their own faith.]
The Rosary is so beautifully simple, that everyone can profit from it, no matter how simple or uneducated. This simplicity is one of his greatest beauties, because it makes it so accessible.
The simple structure of the Rosary is also extolled by the Pastor Angelicus from a different angle, namely that:
The recitation of identical formulas repeated so many times, rather than rendering the prayer sterile and boring, has on the contrary the admirable quality of infusing confidence in him who prays and brings to bear a gentle compulsion on the motherly Heart of Mary.
This is not a new form of prayer (think of the endless affirmations and repetition of sacred words used in the Eastern religions), but it is a point that is still not less valid and also followed by the most elementary common sense and by the wisdom of the ages: repetita iuvant.
How does it work, concretely? The Holy Father writes beautifully about this that:
from the frequent meditation on the Mysteries, the soul little by little and imperceptibly draws and absorbs the virtues they contain, and is wondrously enkindled with a longing for things immortal, and becomes strongly and easily impelled to follow the path which Christ Himself and His Mother have followed.
Little by little, imperceptibly. One doesn’t have to expect miracles from the Rosary (or from any other form of prayer or devotion, by the way). Praying the Rosary is the work of a lifetime, not a specific event with a before and an after. It is like the habit of living a healthy life, not the injection which cures the disease. I would say that the The recitation of the Rosary is, in a sense, as much a way of living than it is a way of praying.
So much so, that Pope Pius XII stresses the importance of the recitation of the Rosary in the daily life of the family; he does so with extremely beautiful words:
What a sweet sight – most pleasing to God – when, at eventide, the Christian home resounds with the frequent repetition of praises in honor of the august Queen of Heaven! Then the Rosary, recited in common, assembles before the image of the Virgin, in an admirable union of hearts, the parents and their children, who come back from their daily work. It unites them piously with those absent and those dead. It links all more tightly in a sweet bond of love, with the most Holy Virgin, who, like a loving mother, in the circle of her children, will be there bestowing upon them an abundance of the gifts of concord and family peace.
In this fashion, the Rosary will help both the adults and the children:
This meditation on the Divine Mysteries of the Redemption will teach the adults to live, admiring daily the shining examples of Jesus and Mary, and to draw from these examples comfort in adversity, striving towards those heavenly treasures “where neither thief draws near, nor moth destroys” (Luke 12, 33). This meditation will bring to the knowledge of the little ones the main truths of the Christian Faith, making love for the Redeemer blossom almost spontaneously in their innocent hearts, while, seeing, their parents kneeling before the majesty of God, they will learn from their very early years how great before the throne of God is the value of prayers said in common.
Please note here a point rarely stressed this day, but extremely important in any age: as a child naturally sees in his parents the source of authority, seeing their parents kneeling before the majesty of God will readily impress itself in the child’s receptive mind.
Pope Pius XII spoke to Catholicism during the cold war, with the Communist monster reigning over half of Europe, and threatening the other half. This is what Pope Pius had to say about the way to destroy the evil menace:
We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy, repeating to him the words of the young shepherd: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies . . . and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for this is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands” (I Kings 17, 45-47)
“Not with force, not with arms, not with human power” was Communism defeated, but with the determination of staunchly Christian people (Ronald Reagan very probably the most important single person); the prayer of millions of Christians and, of course, countless shoots from that most powerful weapon, the Rosary.
This great Pope had the misfortune to become Pope in the most grievous of times, and to have to absolve his role in possibly the most dangerous situation a Pope personally – and Catholicism collectively – were ever called to confront.
It will be a comfort to you to know that the Rosary was always in his mind and in his prayers.
I have already written about the decision of the Colombo’s Cathedral to impose a rigorous dress code with obligation for women to use the veil during Mass.
Father Z posted an interesting poll meant at knowing whether his reader thinks that a) a head covering should be worn and b) in this case, whether this should be made mandatory.
You can go directly to the site and click your way to the poll, where you will be able to vote even if not registered.
Interestingly enough, the YES to the head covering variations are majority among both sexes, with in both cases those preferring to leave freedom of choice being more numerous than those preferring that it be obligatory as it was in the past.
I was very pleased to read Fr Z confirming that the habit of covering the head among churchgoing women seems to be coming back again as this confirms my anecdotal observations both at the Oratory and elsewhere.
I have voted for the mandatory covering of the head for the following reasons:
1) I don’t think that this is the kind of obligation that could let anyone feel uncomfortable. It is an obligation out of love and those actions of which we make obligations out of love are the most beautiful ones.
2) Men have the obligation, not the choice, of uncovering their head when in church. Rightly so. The resurgence of male headgear (from formal hats to baseball caps to, well, hoods) hasn’t had any effect on this very simple, natural rule.
3) The women’s obligation of covering one’s head in church was a tradition of the past. Beautiful concept, tradition. Something passed from generation to generation …… before the V II generation decided that hey, it was not good enough anymore. In my eyes, whenever one recovers Church customs of the past one can never go wrong. If it was good in my grandmother’s time, it can’t be wrong now and if my grandmother never wondered whether the veil or hat should be mandatory I don’t think we should wonder now. You see, my grandmother lived in time when Christianity was more important than individual freedom. Food for thought.
4) Head covering is considered a traditional sign of modesty for women even outside of mass (see photo). Whilst one doesn’t advocate women always having to cover their heads, it is clear that if the covering of a woman’s head is a sign of modesty, the church is the natural place for it.
I salute the return of this beautiful tradition, then. I see in it another small step towards the recovery of liturgical sanity. Let us hope that this old custom may spread more and more in the decades to come.
Beautiful post on Ann Coulter’s site comparing Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was launched on the national political scene during Goldwater’s presidential campaign, with the “time for choosing” speech, but Coulter makes a good job of explaining why Reagan surpassed Goldwater and went to triumphal victories not only as Governor but as President, too.
Ann Coulter is witty, vitriolic and highly entertaining. She is also spot on in remembering Ronald Reagan in a time of abortionist Presidents of very dubious Christian beliefs, picking lesbian activists as Supreme Court judge candidates.
Once again, we see the difference ideals make.
As every one of us, I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I thought life as we know it would change. No safe flying anymore, periodic announcements of the next aeroplane gone down, things like that. It may seem stupid to say it now, but it wasn’t so much at the time.
I remembered the terrorist years in Italy: they had started slow and then had become a truly dramatic phase in the life of the Republic. I really thought it would get worse before it gets better.
Nine years later I pray, like everyone else, for the victims of this heinous act.
But I would also like to share some reflections:
1) Huge, huge kudos to the security services and information agencies of all Western countries. It is now nine years and Nine Eleven never repeated. This is a stunning success. Perhaps this was achieved at the price of some rendition flights, some harsh prison conditions and some waterboarding to boot. Fine with me. We’ll never know how many lives have been saved.
2) The declared aim of the terrorists was to change the way we live. To make us feel afraid of living our free way of life. The mission is, emphatically, not accomplished.
3) That terrible day has brought on the Arab world a series of humiliations. Two countries invaded as a result of the attack, several others (like Syria and Jordan) told to choose the right side, sharpish, or face war. The Arab/Mulsim history is full of humiliations from the West (from the First Crusade to the Reconquista, from Lepanto to the European colonisation), but this was a sudden awakening to their utter military and social inferiority, (the religious one goes without saying) on their own ground.
Every Arab now knows that a strike to the West brings back humiliations on a multiple scale of the offence caused. Not a good investment. I wonder how many of them admire those idiots. A very tiny minority, I think.
4) From 9/11, paradoxically, hope also sprang. In Afghanistan, things might become less savage in the next years and in Iraq a most cruel and dangerous dictatorship has been replaced by an uncertain democracy now trying to walk unassisted. If it works in Iraq, democracy might spread to other countries. It will depend on the locals of course, but even from the humiliation of a foreign invasion a new dawn and a new hope has arisen.
As an Italian, I see in this what has happened in my own Country.
5) Bin Laden is just ignored. Forgotten. More dead than Disco for the media, probably truly dead since 2001 or 2002 anyway. Nine years later, he doesn’t even help to sell newspapers anymore. In the meantime, his people continue to die like flies, hunted down all over the planet.
6) Nine years later, the West discovers that it is stronger than ever. Iraq is on the way to trying to become a half-decent country; Afghanistan trying not to become a Taliban state; people in the West are flying, holidaying, living as they did before.
Nine years later, Ronald Reagan’s slogan remains more valid than ever: we win, they lose.
From the “Creative Minority Report”, a moving video featuring the voice of the unforgettable Ronald Reagan.
It is only three minutes long. I’ll let Ronald Reagan’s message speak for itself. I have only added an “eternal rest” for this great, great man and invite you to do the same.