~ OK, SO I HAVE seen the web-commercials for #Canada150, (official website) but apparently I’m mostly not invited. I saw every skin-colour/ race/ gender identity under the radar, 90% women, and a few white guys tagged on here and there. SMH.
I’ve had pre-Loyalist relatives here in Canada since the 1760s on one side, and as post-war newcomers (1955) from Scotland on the other. But.. just not Canadian enough. The men and women who built and suffered and sweat and spent to built this land into what it is all deserve our gratitude: and some of them were mine.
A Wee Bragging
All of my great uncles on one side served in WW2; another great uncle died serving his country in WW2 my Dad did 4 years airforce reserve, my brother 6 years artillery reserves, I helped organize part of the Legion VE 50 Day celebration for the Nova Scotia, and got to know & help many vets during my work… but, not Canadian enough?
This smug neo-Canada, this blood-soaked lying killing canting minoritarian crap-festival of political correctness and deception is not what I want to celebrate. Take your bullshyte Muslim socks and ghey parade pandering & stuff them, Mr. sub-Prime Minister. #NotMyCanada, this post-’68 zombie of newfangledness, Christian-baiting, Muslim violence & no-go zones, and identitarian politics up the wazoo.
All Canadians. All glad for God’s blessings on us. Together. One nation under heaven, from Sea To Sea To Sea, see? ~
O GOD, who providest for thy people by thy power, and rulest over them in love: Vouchsafe so to bless thy servant our Queen, and her Government in this Dominion of Canada, that thy people may dwell in peace and safety, and thy Church serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”
~ SO THERE WAS your humble WebElf, reading (online) the Pusey translation of The Confessions of St. Augustine (Book VIII), and I came across pre-saint Augustine’s comments about how deeply moved he was by the book, The Life Of Anthony (of Egypt). Quotation below.
My brain is.. well.. not unlike a goofy hamster on caffeine, so away I went to find a copy of the said other book, and started reading that.. before having finished Confessions... which I promptly forgot to finish. Welcome to my world.
What’s not to like? A book written by a saint.. about a saint, which inspired another man to eventually become a saint. Doesn’t that insta-rate five stars.. or, perhaps, haloes?
The Book Itself
Written by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, The Life Of St. Anthony of Egypt, primary founder of Christian monasticism, is a readable, gripping, and inspiring Christian classic. St. Augustine, in his confessions, describes reading it along with his friends, and being deeply moved by it.
None of us knows the effect of our lives, actions, words– or failures in the same– on our neighbours and times, or those to come. For St. Anthony and St. Augustine both knew that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is faithful, and sow they spiritually sowed their seed and cleared the fields of rocks in their times. Lo and behold, those earlier heroes of the faith inspired one of the great Church Fathers in his day and age to fight the battles, the good fight of faith, in his day and age.
A reminder to abide faithful, however hard the slog or dark the times.
Binks, Elf of Web
14. Upon a certain day, then, Nebridius being away (why, I do not remember), lo, there came to the house to see Alypius and me, Pontitianus, a countryman of ours, in so far as he was an African, who held high office in the emperor’s court. What he wanted with us I know not, but we sat down to talk together, and it fell out that upon a table before us, used for games, he noticed a book; he took it up, opened it, and, contrary to his expectation, found it to be the Apostle Paul—for he imagined it to be one of those books which I was wearing myself out in teaching. At this he looked up at me smilingly, and expressed his delight and wonder that he had so unexpectedly found this book, and this only, before my eyes. For he was both a Christian and baptized, and often prostrated himself before You our God in the church, in constant and daily prayers.
When, then, I had told him that I bestowed much pains upon these writings, a conversation ensued on his speaking of Antony, the Egyptian monk, whose name was in high repute among Your servants, though up to that time not familiar to us. When he came to know this, he lingered on that topic, imparting to us a knowledge of this man so eminent, and marvelling at our ignorance. But we were amazed, hearing Your wonderful works most fully manifested in times so recent, and almost in our own, wrought in the true faith and the Catholic Church. We all wondered— we, that they were so great, and he, that we had never heard of them.
15. From this his conversation turned to the companies in the monasteries, and their manners so fragrant unto You, and of the fruitful deserts of the wilderness, of which we knew nothing. And there was a monastery at Milan full of good brethren, without the walls of the city, under the fostering care of Ambrose, and we were ignorant of it. He went on with his relation, and we listened intently and in silence.
He then related to us how on a certain afternoon, at Triers, when the emperor was taken up with seeing the Circensian games, he and three others, his comrades, went out for a walk in the gardens close to the city walls, and there, as they chanced to walk two and two, one strolled away with him, while the other two went by themselves; and these, in their rambling, came upon a certain cottage inhabited by some of Your servants, poor in spirit, of whom is the kingdom of heaven, where they found a book in which was written the life of Antony. This one of them began to read, marvel at, and be inflamed by it; and in the reading, to meditate on embracing such a life, and giving up his worldly employments to serve You….
WHICH IS WORSE? Rebellion, or Blind Obedience? Or, is there another way?
In Tolkien’s story, times are dark and dire– Éomer son of Éomund, Third Marshal of the Riddermark– one of the great Captains of Rohan and nephew to the King– has seemingly gone rogue, to fight the enemies of Rohan as he sees fit. That’s the merest start of the woes.
To the North-West, the dark pinnacle of Isengard stands, surrounded by armies of huge mutant orcs, evil men, giant wolves, and the darkened powers of the fallen wizard Saruman. Rohan’s neioghbour is preparing for war on that kingdom.
To the East and South, mighty land of Mordor broods under Sauron’s cruel domination, his countless forces massing for an assault on Gondor– last bastion of the West and of all free peoples– then to fill all the lands with a second darkness. Doom will soon fall.
Worst of all, the king himself, Théoden King son of Thengel, a seeming lesser son of greater rulers, sits bowed and cowed, listening to the poisoned words of Isengard and Mordor via his usurping advisor, Grima Wormtongue. All faithful folk of the Rohirrim wait, and suffer, and hope for they know not what.
What then shall we say of Captain Éomer? Faithless traitor? #NotMyKing perhaps? Seeking his uncle’s crown? Enemy of Rohan and the King and the official direction of officialdom? So says Master Wormtongue into the King’s ear.
So the U.S. is currently embroiled in what amounts to an attempted coup d’etat– the Left-wing establishment & media are seeking to effectively un-elect the new president, because he’s not one of them. He’s a bad, bad, evil man, a traitor, an icky, and anything is more “truly” loyal than observing the rule of law, or respecting results of a democratic vote by the American public. Heaven knows, those who oppose you must be enemies of all things decent and right or are you an enemy, too?
The current U.S. crisis– as driven by radicals– gives a bad name to bullshit & nonsense. Yet all this is very serious, and not to be dismissed as some kind of insane joke.
We moderns love the advice of Jim Morrison & The Doors to “break on through to the other side“, and spent centuries now– since the European Protestant Deformation and the French Devolution– imagining ourselves as virtuous and innocent rebels against The Evil Them. All are shaped and entangled in this revolution, whether we are herd-minded, or cheering the revolt directly.
What is less common is a noble political, religious, and principled position of Loyal Opposition, if the times demand it: to have a sense of abiding right and wrong, of the good and true, beyond the momentary tug of war of the present, the misrule of rulers, and to abide faithful even in difficult circumstances. How to be good when the times are evil? How do we stay faithful if the government is bad, or the king is mad, or traitorous to his people?
The weakness of Rohan has had a cost. Éomer is caught between two obediences: his loyalty and his duty. For war marches on Rohan, but no orders come from the indecisive throne; orcs raid and plunder and kill the helpless farm-folk in Rohan, yet “Indeed in this riding north I went without the king’s leave”.*
How shall duty and loyalty and truth and love and hope serve in the seeming chaos? How shall we judge and be sure of anything? Tolkien writes—
‘As he ever has judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’
As in pre-Norman England, the battle is not between blind obedience to authority, or a chaotic popular revolution. The English sought one obedience, but defined in two ways– (a) Liberty Under Law, and (b) Freedom Under Faith. Without both parts of each, neither will be enough.
Lawless liberty cannot make a lasting society; Law without freedom is slavery. Likewise, faithless freedom tends towards chaos, for God is the greatest lawgiver, and saviour of mens souls and bodies; faith without freedom is cultish and demeans the faithful, and is not Christ’s way.
See Ya, Yahweh!
Each society, each soul, each age will fight the same battle, in different forms and garb. What is new since the Revolting Age is the attempt to live, legislate, and rule under freedom from faith, where man– or at least the ruling class and its guns & thugs and bankers– seeks to take the place of God, and dominate all things, and call it good, and true, and right in itself.*
That modern hubris and madness has also infected the Church, via the poisons of various kinds of utopianism. Man is now innately good, needing only guidance, freedom, and liberation to attain perfection. Jesus is a helper and example, and God is our ever-variable and surprising cheerleader. The Holy Spirit is constantly giving us novelties in thought, truth, worship, and everything else, leading and blessing the revolution.
Shall we submit to evil by blindly obeying power gone wrong, or become crazy rebels– or, the third way: suffering and even Martyrdom? Accused on all sides, and rejected by the spirit of the age, and the herd, and the power-mongers, and even the worldly rebels, too? St. Thomas More is an example to us all in this age of conflicting loyalties & duties.
Dissent is not automatically disloyalty, or destruction. Not all watchdogs are rabid. ~
~ Teh Binks
* As the story unfolds, faithful Éomer son of Éomund becomes a war hero for Rohan, and when Théoden King (having come to his senses) is slain in the Battle of Minas Tirith– having bravely led his armies to the rescue of Gondor against Sauron– loyal Éomer becomes king of Rohan. ~
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! — This morning whilst walking Wee Wallace The Wonder-Poodle (one cat, no dogs, no birds to startle), I prayed for my own father, and my father in-law; my grandfathers and great-grand-fathers, and forefathers before that, giving thanks for them, and praying that they were resting in peace. I’m also a Dad, of twin young men.
THE Father– self-naming in revelation– is the source of all things, and Fatherhood, the Trinity itself, all creation, all living creatures; and all human fatherhood is a shadow and pointer to that original archetype.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For whom all fatherhood in heaven and in earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
These are the True, the Real things.. to align with them is like a compass pointing North, a bird homing for nest or breeding ground or Winter home; to try and unmake or remake God’s Fatherhood in our own image and likeness is madness, destruction, and a huge part of our current crisis in marriage, youth, and society.
As I did the drive-through at Tim’s this AM, I asked the window-girl (whom I tease constantly in a fatherly way) what she was up to for Father’s Day. She said ruefully: “My Dad’s in Digby.” That said it all. Whatever the cause, some fathers go rogue, yet their kids still need and crave fathering and fatherly love and guiding. Some Dads are not very noble or dadly; and modern family & divorce law torture fathers in particular, making it even harder to be faithful if a marriage goes awry. As always, the kids go wanting, and suffer most.
Our clever bossy people talk of countless gender-identities and social constructs and #BanFathersDay, and are too earthly-minded to grasp that they are dealing with heavenly and eternal mysteries, great things which cannot be bent or broken by human will or evil or madness, only half-forgotten, in ways which leave broken lives and hearts amidst our ruins. Or, that those great mysteries are dealing with them. You cannot break or bend God, or his truth, only yourself.
Pray this day as well for those called to spiritual fatherhood as clergy or monks: by God’s name and grace, they can be conduits of grace to make whole what nature and life may have scarred or left wanting. Pray for their courage, leadership, and adherence to the truth in love, for we are in the midst of near-apocalyptic battles in Church and society, and the very foundations themselves are shaken.
There is a war afoot, and men and fathers and fatherly men of all kinds must set down their effing smartphones: there’s work to be done. Learn up & pass it on, love and defend the truth, follow God, and set to fixing & saving All The Things. It’s what we’re supposed to do: show up, and Get ‘Er Done, and not sit around waiting for approval, thanks, or the enemies of the good just to become good, somehow. The kids are watching, and waiting.
Sniff. I love you, and I miss you, Dad, Grampa George, and Grandpa Bill, and all my forefathers. You all helped make me who I am as a person, a man, and a father. Thank you– and God bless and keep you.
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen. ~
WAS SHE A NICE NUN? I suppose if you think Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act” is accurate history, or a great life-lesson.
The nun-professor (RIP in 2013) was probably a post-war vocation, and then when the Vatican II Asteroid hit and asploded all the things, she joined the revolution. Heaven on earth! Telling all the bad people how to think! The reputation & power of the older idea of a consecrated nun, whilst undermining all the things! Women clergy now!
We talked in her office one day at the theo-illogical school where she taught. She seemed astonished to meet someone who actually still believed all the things in the Creed– without smirking, mental reservations, or intellectual finger-crossing– as if I were a centaur or leprechaun or some other such legendary beast. A hard case.
“It’s a ‘symbolum‘, a symbol, a meaningful affirmation of our unity,” she said nicely. Indeed, The Apostles‘ Creed is sometimes entitled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, likely` from Rome.
Younger me piped up. Incorrigible young twerp.
“Well, it’s that, too, but it’s also unity based on common truths, revealed by God in the Scriptures and the life of the Church by the Holy Spirit, isn’t it?”
“You need to go and read about symbolism, and not to over-emphasize ideas”, she said not quite so nicely. After all, too much of that olden-times theology taken seriously, and you might stop fighting for the revolution. ‘Heavenly minded, no earthly use’ and all that.
I don’t recall how the rest of it went, except I was puzzled, slightly mystified by the power of Latin and the ‘Symbolum” thing. You know, how the Revolution undermines and then wrecks actual beliefs, like that hidden rust eating away quietly until the floor of your car is suddenly gone, replaced by… nothing.
Come the Roman Legion, their symbols over them of Legion and Rome and Eagles and battle-honours; and within each living breast, the symbol or vow of their military promises to serve, not to run, The Senate And People Of Rome (SPQR) and all that.
You see that coming, from 200 BC until AD 400-ish, and you’d better surrender, run, prepare for a fight to the death.
Early Christian philosopher Justin Martyr (c. AD 150) wrote to Emperor Antoninus Pius:
“….And so it was said by the prophet, The breath before our face is the Lord Christ. And the power of this form is shown by your own symbols on what are called vexilla [banners] and trophies, with which all your state possessions are made, using these as the insignia of your power and government, even though you do so unwittingly. And with this form you consecrate the images of your emperors when they die, and you name them gods by inscriptions….”
These were not advertising symbols, like McDonald’s or Nintendo; nor ’empty symbolism’ like a now viciously secular university still preserving the dusty chapel built by the faith of the founders. Or something we ‘affirm’ but not too specifically. It was life and death: for Legion, and your brother beside you, and for Rome.
So the nun might have been nice (she did smile a lot), but she was not being entirely honest about the ‘symbolic’ nature of the realities affirmed by Christian Creeds of the Church. This glowing supernatural true Symbol– like flags or banners of an army, a nation, a clan– represent outwardly the inward promises and abiding truths taught in the Bible– and of God’s promises to us.
Every morning I walk the dog, and pray. For me, I say the Apostle’s Creed each morning as marching with the Lord’s Army– of angels, archangels, martyrs, saints, as the promise and rallying cry of a better country, as a spine-stiffening and soul encouraging reminder of the Real, revealed by God in His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our conquering Captain, who has led the forces of darkness captive in a triumph by his dying & rising again. It’s a battle cry, not an advertising jingle, or empty statement.
Try it, in Church, and in your devotions– say the Creed with deadly serious joy, and commitment, since we are all in a battle against evil, Satan and all his works, and the world seeking to replace God. Souls hang in the balance, including mine and yours.
Whatever happens to the West in the next generation, I beg God’s grace that I will not surrender, betray, or fail to serve in my time. Amen: may it be so. ~
Ideally, of course, she would not just stop at alt-right Red Pillism, and seek the fullness of reality in Catholic Christianity. One thing at a time.
It has been said before (by me and others) that Cultural Marxism is a false religion, and a brain-disease. Pleasantly presenting facts, real people, contrary evidence is not the key to saving people from such delusions– it requires a total conversion of mind, heart, and will, a painful death of delusion, and awakening to the Real.
Equally, people willing to kill & die for Allah don’t want to hear about milk-water diversity and lukewarm “Don’t Care Too Much” inclusion, which is the food of ghosts and dessicated half-souls, and people who don’t believe in the Real anymore. Jihadis are people craving serious crusade (remember those?), committed to their deity, and offering everything– you know like pre-asteroid Catholicism represented.
The new stuff? “Hurray us, God!” Yawn. Or “Be nice? Pleeeeease?”, between booms.
Many Muslim converts to Christianity report not being converted by sock-puppets, wince-worthy worship, or endless rounds of ‘Kumbayah‘– but by overwhelming meetings & visions with the real & risen Lord Jesus himself.
Supernature hates a vacuum– if we are empty, Something will replace God in us and for us. The answer to Feminism, the Alt-Right, and Islam is that we and they need to meet Jesus anew– and in the conversion of each one, find the world has been redeemed as it always has been, one soul at a time. ~
THIS IS a new take on an old blog by long-time internets blogger Binky The WebElf. I’ve been online doing things since about 1995.. then web-news since 1997, then blogging and suchlike since the early 2000s.
What am I on about? News, views, Christianity, history, and defending what remains of the West in the long defeat against enemies outside and inside the walls. The abiding Gospel versus the darkness without and within.