Saturday, November 29, 2014

More G.K.

G.K. two days in a row:

 The truth is that we could all find reason for rebelling against theology every week; just as we could all find reason for rebelling against Government every week. But rebelling against Government is dangerous, so modern people (very characteristically) prefer to rebel against theology, which is safe.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, March 16, 1907

(But I got it, as usual, from here.  You can get these delivered directly to your twitterfeed, you know, and obviate the need to depend on the vagaries of The Inn's publishing schedule to get your GKC.  Yes, I know. Using the word "schedule" in regard to The Inn is stretching a point to its breaking isn't it.)

The St Andrew Christmas Novena

Sort of.

It's not really to St Andrew; but it begins, depending upon which tradition you follow,  on his feast day or on the 1st Sunday of Advent which is the Sunday nearest his feast day.  This year that's the same thing.  And it's not really a novena which is supposed to last nine days.

But it's a beautiful prayer tradition for the season.  The prayer is this:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
The tradition is to pray it 15 times a day until Christmas.  There are many mentions of it on the web but no site goes very deeply, or indeed at all,  into its history.  Mrs Vidal says as much as anyone here. There's another mention here. It seems that's as much as we're going to learn about it. My grandmother knew it and so as a good traditionalist, I've adopted it.


November 29 -- Blesseds Denis & Redemptus, Carmelite Martyrs

November 29th in the Carmelite calendar is the feast of Bl Denis and Bl Redemptus, two Carmelite friars martyred by the Mahometans in the 17th century.  There's an old post with their vitæ here.

The old collect:
O God, Who in Thy wondrous providence, didst lead blessed Dionysius and Redemptus through the perils of the sea to the palm of martyrdom, grant through their intercession that in the midst of earthly vicissitudes and worldly desires we may remain steadfast even unto death in the confession of Thy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(It's also the birthdays of Vin Scully, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and Janet Napolitano.  Let those who place great stock in the horoscope make of that what they will.)

[Addendum:  Yes, I had the wrong month typed in there for the longest time, hadn't I.  Well, it's correct now. November it is.]

Friday, November 28, 2014

All Punishment is Religious Persecution

For some mad reason in this mad world of ours the things about which men differ most are exactly the things about which they must be got to agree. Men can agree on the fact that the earth goes round the sun. But then it simply does not matter a dump whether the earth goes around the sun or the Pleiades. But men cannot agree about morals; sex, property, individual rights, fixity of contracts, patriotism, suicide, public habits of health – these are exactly the things that men tend to fight about.  And these are exactly the things that must be settled somehow, and settled on strict principles. Study each of them, and you will find each of them works back certainly to a philosophy, probably to a religion. Every Society has to act upon dogmas, and dogmas are exactly those things that are most disputable. It puts a man in prison for the dogma of the sanctity of human life. All punishment is religious persecution.
Remotely:  G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, March 16, 1907

More  immediately:  shamelessly pilfered from the Wit and Wisdom: G.K. Chesterton Quotes website on which you can find today's post here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dead Letters

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

But that was long ago.  Now we  have this.



Another Plague

Far worse than Ebola.

Friday, November 07, 2014

"I'll get you, my pretty . . . . and your little dog, too!"

It seems Toto and his kin are about to become illegal in Iran, along with cold beer, the New Testament, compound interest, pictures of Muhammed,  and heaven knows what else.

You'll be relieved to know, though,  that "get" in this case doesn't mean actual death as  the Wicked Witch of the West seems to have intended.  Just 74 lashes and a $3,700 (more or less) fine.

More details here.

(Who knew the cat lobby was so powerful in Iran?)

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Lost Sheep of the Lonely Revolution

Sæve indignatio from Anthony Esolen.

This is a magnificent essay.  Do read it.  I can't find a way to excerpt it here; it's a seamless garment of an essay.  I can't find a way to leave anything out.

Clicke, lege as a blogger once put it some dozen years ago.

Anthony Trollope Weekly Quote

"The Earl had been a man quite capable of making himself disagreeable ... Of all of our capabilities this is the one which clings longest to us."
From A.T.'s Phineas Redux via the Anthony Trollope Society website.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

No More High Hopes

William Murchison in Chronicles:

"The polls" have it that Americans in 2014 expect virtually nothing from the 2014 style in Washington politicians. 
Amid the horrors we trip over every morning when evacuating our beds, this revelation may count as very, very, very good news. 
We don't want to expect much from our politicians, of whatever sex, party, creed, and persuasion. A major roadblock to achievement of the earnest hopes of the past half dozen years—the Obama years—is ... well, those same earnest hopes. My brothers, my sisters, it wasn't ever going to happen that a smooth-tongued office seeker was going to set America right—or whatever it was we supposed he would do, once duly inducted as orator-in-chief. 
Aristotle may have thought politics a worthy tool for inculcating virtue, etc., but that was another place, another time, a world of more limited aspirations than the generalized hope for life without pain, inconvenience and undue suffering, marked by ethnic reconciliation, enduring peace and steady increases in the minimum wage.

More  here.


Votin' Day

The loathsome collection of liars, thieves, and venture capitalists that have been besieging our telephone these past few days seem to have retired.  I guess this means the polls are almost closed.

Yes, the civic religion proclaims this a Holy Day of Obligation and so we have fulfilled our Obligation and voted.  For all the good it'll do.  As has been mentioned before in this space, California in general and our area in particular are so precisely gerrymandered as to  render a non-Democrat vote a complete waste of effort.  And this year for the first time that I can recall, there are not even any third party candidates on the ballot.  The inmates of The Sacramento Home for the Criminally Insane, after years of effort, finally got their way and kept those pesky third party folks off the ballot.  Consequently, as neither the Evil Party nor the Stupid Party came  up with anyone palatable for governor or state assembly, I had to go to the trouble of writing in Frank Skeffington and Al Smith.  Yes, that was mostly a waste of time,too, wasn't it.  But I will get some satisfaction out of it and that's all that can be hoped for in this state.

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