A Battle-Cry

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Look! It’s Theology! And one of those Irritating Yo-yos.. er, Fidget-spinners.

WAS SHE A NICE NUN? I suppose if you think Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act” is accurate history, or a great life-lesson.

drmaryThe 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.

She trotted out the ultimate weapon– Latin! You know, cuz in TV shows like ‘Supernatural‘, or the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, Latin works wonders against evil things. Plus, I was Anglican, and had only a passing familiarity with Latin.

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Oddly enough, opposing the forces of ultimate evil with felt banners, puppet-shows, happy-clappy guitar songs, singing ‘Kumbayah’, and 1960’s churchy cultural Marxism was not  found to be so effective. Who knew?

“It’s a ‘symbolum‘, a symbol, a meaningful affirmation of our unity,” she said nicely. Indeed, The ApostlesCreed 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.

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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.

Symbolum!

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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….”

[ Apologia, Chapter 55. Symbols of the cross ]

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.

Finally?

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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. ~

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When They Remember…

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~ ITEM: Son And Dad with Alzheimer’s Sing Together.. Quando Quando Quando (1968)

~ ITEM: Astonishing YouTube Vids– Alzheimer’s & Music Therapy; and visit www.MusicandMemory.org to learn more.. OR DONATE AN iPOD!! Speak to your local nursing homes & health care politicians about this, if it’s not in your area.

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~ DO YOU HAVE you have a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s?

I’ve seen the amazing musical memory of such people over and over and over in nursing homes, in the ‘quiet’ wards.

The soul is still there, but a veil has fallen in the brain, and ‘Now’ is just a jumble. The past? Still very present and alive for many. That’s why they often won’t recognize close loved ones– you didn’t look like that 30 years ago. Make of them what can be made, and rejoice with them when they can.

How Do I Even..?

Bring music. Hymns (old ones); music from the time of their youth (when were they 15-30?). Sing to them and with them when they click in. Read to them form the old version of the Bible– familiar Psalms and Gospel stories, and familiar prayers. Learn up and talk to them about old news, events of past days, interests they had when younger.

I remember one dear lady in Cape Breton who was suffering from this– but she still played the organ every week for the nursing home chapel services, and almost never missed a beat. Likewise, a dear lady in a wheelchair who recognized almost nobody, and did not respond to mostly anything– except tapes of old-timey hymns, which she remembered completely, and sang along with her husband, who would bring the tape-player in three times a week. She didn’t know him any more– but she knew love, and the music and the words.

A Battle For Life

And in the face of increasing pressure & laws to kill the sick & old– here’s a pretty specific way to help, to show love, and redemption of the time, and to fight for each creature of God, and the dignity of every human being as made in the image of God.

The main problem with helping such folks is us– it feels weird, and awkward, and we wouldn’t like to be like that. Get over yourself. +

Saith

Teh Binks

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Did We Forget A Second Thing?

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~ ITEM: Did You Forget Something? (Part I)

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~ TRUTH IS Truth. To doubt that is to despair of knowing anything, let alone God, or ourselves.

However, there’s Truth, and then there’s how you go about seeking & speaking about truth. And not all matters of opinion are absolutely clear or one-sided: there are passing matters, topics on which free folk of good will may legitimately disagree. It might even be the case that both sides of an argument may be wrong!

Then It Gets Ugly

However, there’s no denying a very human tendency to absolutize one side of a debate or argument. Then, the most dangerous and ugly step follows: to label your opponent as ignorant, or evil– or both. After all, you’ve told them over and over the right position, so they aren’t misinformed– it must be wilful evil and denial of the truth.

Why, such people are the very devil! Barely human. Severely horribly yucky. Orcs, in human skins! Just mistreat them however seems good to you! Let ’em have it!!

Whoa, There

Except… all people are made in the image and likeness of Almighty God. Such cruelty, dehumanization, domination, combativeness, and prideful exaltation is not of God.  Jesus did not act that way, and He is the Son of God incarnate. He is the final Judge and Jury of all souls, and his is the last and final word.

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If you find yourself or someone else utterly writing other people off in a harsh and heavy-handed manner, you yourself are under the very judgment of heaven, no matter how much you might actually me technically in the right. “Speak the truth in love” says the Apostle Paul– and now, more than ever, we need to keep that command and admonition in our hearts and minds.

Speaking only truth without love is Christless cruelty and pride. Speaking only love without truth is sentimentality and unjust and– ultimately– uncaring. Both errors (or, virtue gone wild & wrong) are truly hellish.

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For Christians, the Creeds tell us what to believe in; the Commandments teach us how to live; and the Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to seek & find God. It is never wasted effort to learn or refresh ourselves in these heaven-sent fountains of life, and to ask God to give us the good fruit of seeking him in truth and love, and telling others about him in ways that are winsome, humble, loving, and yet also truthful.

Why bother?– Souls hang in the balance, including mine and yours. See you on Judgment Day. ~

Did You Forget Something?

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“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” [ Proverbs 15:1-3 ]

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~ CURRENT EVENTS are testing a lot of us, and many are falling into temptation and sin because we are not close enough to God. THe war is especially visible online.

Harsh words, harsher attitudes, insults, disrespect, hate, contempt, social media flame wars, defriendings.. and please don’t tell me it’s all of the Lord, and that Satan isn’t rejoicing to see brothers and sisters in Christ at each other’s throats like rabid dogs. Gack.

To be tested or tempted is not in itself sinful.. only to give in, to wallow in it, to take the easiest way, and thus to have ourselves revealed in that moment to be unstable mud, and not polished steel. It’s humbling, and calls for repenting and beseeching grace, not more of the same.

We must forgive those who trespass against us, if we would be forgiven; we must ask God not to allow us to fall into the time of testing, because we too easily fail. These two petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are all the more important in perilous and troublesome times.

So warneth the Binks to himself, and to others.

Some catechetical goodness on the matter to ponder and pray about, from equally difficult and divided times, the mid-to-late 1500s:

http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/trent/tpray05.htm

http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/trent/tpray06.htm

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Thus saith

Teh Binks

Battle Ready, Cool, and Durable

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~ ITEM:I looked at this “masculine and muscular” military rosary, and said to myself, “The men need to have these!!”

~ ITEM: RUGGED ROSARIES® = The spiritual strength, durability, and reliability of the Holy Rosary PLUS the proven strength, durability, and reliability of paracord.

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~ WORD HAS IT that many persons of a popistical sort have no end of problems with their cool prayer-tool: the rosary. Knotted up in tangles; spontaneously breaking into a pocket full of beads and broken wire; just wearing out.. and for Catholic men, having, well, rather girly-looking jewelery in hand.

Well, no more!

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Witness two new products for the prayer-warrior in these troublous times: the military paracord rosary, and the World war reproduction rosary (seen at top)! That’s right, actual military parachute cord, able to support up to 550 pounds of weight, and ever-useful in survival, fishing, and emergency situations to tourniquets and the like; and metal bead on chain rosaries given to U.S. Catholic soldiers in two world wars, meant to survive just about anything and everything.. actual military service, travel, hiking, construction sites, rough handling, small children, and more.

For the manly Catholic men out there, both give the lie to the old saying that “rosaries are for old women”, and that they must look like tacky Victorian costume jewelry, fit for a dowager. The para-cord ones are especially suitable for military personnel, and can survive a great deal of rough accidental usage; they can hang off your belt, in your car, off your ruck-sack, or (OK, ladies, you can have one too) in your purse.

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Listen TO MC Hammer!

Why? We got to pray, as noted cultural philosopher and performer of musical tunes MC Hammer has noted in one of his songs. As the chaos rises, as the persecution of Christians (especially Catholics) grows under secular regimes, and Jihadi attacks, as out souls thirst for the living God, we need the power, peace, and comfort.. as St. Paul commanded.. “Pray Without Ceasing”. Part of why our civilization is so sick? We’ve ceased to water it, ourselves, or our neighbor and various problems with patient, persistent, and powerful prayer.

Surely Binks has sold his soul for this one? Nope. The WebElf gets no Vatican kickbacks, bribes, inducement, incentive, pay-off, graft, sweeteners, sop, backhander, enticement, hush money, payola, allurement, or corrupting gift for praising up this gear, nor do I own either (yet). I just surf the web, and come across interesting answers to age-old problems, get enthused, and start talking about it online. Squee!!

What Are You Waiting For?

So drop a line to Fr. Richard Heilman and ask about his awesome 1916 Military Combat Rosary and mini prayer-manuals; or over to the paracord people of Cordbands.com’s Rugged Rosaries®, for their wide & interesting line of paracorded holy gear, and other stuffs. They have a lot of different products, scattered over several pages, so check out the entire site if you’re interested.

P.S. Teh Binks loves the Memento Mori’ Skulls Rosary, as seen below.

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So Saith,

Teh Binks

Couldn’t Agree More…

… if there were three of me.

~ ITEM: Watch Kenny Chesney’s Chaotic ‘Noise’ Video

~ ITEM: Photographer Depicts Evils of Smartphones in Stunning Photos

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THERE’S A world-wide conspiracy against silence, quiet, calm, and it’s coming at us from all directions at once. For those of us who don’t do life at volume-setting 11, it’s destructive, distracting, confusing, and enslaving. All this noise noise noise noise!

Several times in the past few months I’ve waved or called out a greeting to a neighbour on the street– nope: glued to the phone, the iPod, the distractor. It got me thinking.

What To Do?

Kenny Chesney is right that our modern West is all about noise, propaganda, selling things, babble, infotainment, endless electronic demands, devices which gobble our time, our days, our hours of rest. The question, after awakening to the racket and noise, is to ask “What else is there, instead?”

Everything else ever anywhere. The all-precious electronics? Turn them off.

Leave it home. Silence the alerts. You don’t actually need to answer that e-mail or  text or to see the funny new kitten video. Tell people when you’d like them to call on the phone, instead of jumping for every call like it’s the police or the lottery.

Unplug. Just go for a walk– you, God, the birds, the breeze, the bugs, the sunshine on the grass.. no disconnecting or dehumanizing smartphone or iPod or shiny thing. Take a nap. Call a friend. Give an ear to someone who could use a good listener. Real things are best: friendship, society, leaving things and people better than you found them.

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Make more room in your life for quiet. Read before bed, instead of surfing or chatting or sharing that one last trivial bit of forgettable fluff.

Enquieten your soul, so you can really begin to hear and listen to yourself, and nature, and for the voice of the Lord.. that still small voice which is paved over by the avalanche of modern noise, that needy neighbour or family member or stranger who vanishes behind the distractions.

Not So Easy?

Like any overpowering addiction, it may be painful and take some time to wean yourself away from constant technophilia and hollow ‘connectedness’. Then, try to help your  kids, family, friends, co-workers. Shhhh. Listen.

So saith,

Teh Binks

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Noise

Wrecking balls, downtown construction
Bottles breaking, jukebox buzzing
Cardboard sign says “The Lord is Coming”
Tick, tick, tock
Rumors turn the mills back home
Parking lot kids with the speakers blown
We didn’t turn it on but we can’t turn it off, off, off
Sometimes I wonder how did we get here
Seems like all we ever hear is noise

Yeah we scream, yeah we shout ’til we don’t have a voice
In the streets, in the crowds, it ain’t nothing but noise
Drowning out all the dreams of this Tennessee boy
Just tryna be heard over all this noise

24 hour television, get so loud that no one listens
Sex and money and politicians talk, talk, talk
But there really ain’t no conversation
Ain’t nothing left to the imagination
Trapped in our phones and we can’t make it stop, stop this noise

Yeah we scream, yeah we shout ’til we don’t have a voice
In the streets, in the crowds, it ain’t nothing but noise
Drowning out all the dreams of this Tennessee boy
Just tryna be heard in all this noise

Every room, every house, every shade of noise
All the floors, all the walls, they all shake with noise
We can’t sleep, we can’t think, can’t escape the noise
We can’t take the noise, so we just make noise

Yeah we scream, yeah we shout ’til we don’t have a voice
In the streets, in the crowds, it ain’t nothing but noise
Drowning out all the dreams of this Tennessee boy
Just tryna be heard in all this noise

All this noise
Can’t take the noise
Can’t take the noise
Can’t stand the noise
Can’t take the noise

Lord Have Mercy.

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~ ITEM: The Fort McMurray fire, as seen from space; Fort McMurray fire’s worst case scenario: The fire doubles in size tonight

~ ITEM: PROVINCIAL Gov’t partly to blame for playing with fire in the budget?

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PLEASE PRAY for rain for Alberta, and lots of it; please pray for each and every emergency responder, and volunteer; please pray that everybody evacuates to safety.

And why? What Rex said.

Oh, and PM Hair, this is actual news, and something in your imperial lap, so don’t break anyone or hurt anything. And, as always, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

Plus, Mr. “Karma guy“? What next, dancing around on the ashes of people’s hopes and dreams, peeing on the ruins? Humanity 101 FAIL.

So saith,

Teh Binks

During a catastrophe, for volunteers beginning service

Almighty God, merciful Father, your thoughts are not our thoughts, and your ways are not our ways. Keep all of us and all who have been afflicted by this calamity from despair and do not let our faith be destroyed by the hopelessness we encounter. Sustain and comfort us. Direct all our efforts to attend the injured, console the bereaved, and protect the helpless. Deliver any who are still in danger and bring hope and healing that we may find relief and restoration. Through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

For Rescue Workers

Merciful Father, we command to your loving keeping all who work to bring rescue and relief especially the firefighter, police, paramedics, medical personnel, and volunteers, all who are helping, Give them courage in danger, skill in difficulty, and compassion in service. Sustain them with bodily strength and calmness of mind that they may perform their work to the well-being of those in need so that lives may be saved and communities restored. Through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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