~ I AM AN ONLINE FRIEND of Donna’s and am excited to see launch of her new project– Livia Magazine. How do we live well in the midst of our times? How do we redeem our days and years to live and be fully and joyfully alive?
In this first article I’ve seen, Donna herself speaks up on a very current matter to her, to modern women and families, and a modern suffering-averse society tending more and more to ugly eugenics, and erasing the blessings of having children with special needs–
Wow.. smart, interesting, unflinching, thoughtful discussion about a serious question posed by life in a child-indifferent and disability-hating society– what lives are worth living? How shall we bear our burdens as parents, friends, or supporters of special needs people, as an affirmation of life? Where will we find the blessing in life as it is actually lived?
“We at Livia believe in the innate worth of every single human being as a unique person.
We believe that the key to a good life lies in discovering our potential as a unique person, and through that, developing a health sense of self-worth.
And we believe that society is strongest when the people within it are able to harness their true potential to the benefit of themselves, their families, their friends and their communities.
Our mission at Livia is to help young women embrace their womanhood and realise their potential. We do this by encouraging them to:
engage with the wider world around them: its culture, its history and its people.
think for themselves, to develop their own opinions, and to critically assess new ideas and concepts.
be the best them they can be, by trying out new activities and finding out what it is that they are gifted at.
Broadly centre-right in our political positioning, our voice is generally informative, but also witty, light, interesting, lively. We embrace and promote Livia values of self-reliance, entrepreneurship, curiosity, civic-mindedness and, of course, femininity.
Crucially, we feel that in these divisive times a commitment to emphasising the ties that bind us is essential. At Livia we are determined to maintain a positive outlook in our editorial output.”
Sounds pretty good, huh? Binks thinks so. As most of you know, I calls ’em like I sees ’em– if this was crap, I’d say so, friends or not. I think Livia Magazine is the beginning of something really good.
So please support this project with your stories, your hits and reading and sharing and pondering. Pass on the articles to people who might need to read them, and gain a better perspective on all the topics Donna puts out there. Seek to live well, and to encourage others to do likewise.
~ 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….
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. ~
~ 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!
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.
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.
N.B.: Please read the very helpful comment below by Pete B.
~ YOU KNOW PEOPLE who live with chronic pain, and some of them you don’t even suspect of it. We can look fine; sound fine; but behind the tight smile and the subtle tension in our body lies the reality.
I have been in some form of chronic or recurrent pain & various diseases since I was a teen. It’s gotten worse since then.
Any of us get little bruises, cuts, headache, a broken bone, minor surgery, sore throats and the like. We then have a swift return to our normal largely pain-free life. We forget what the pain was even like, glad to be well again.
That’s not the life of someone with chronic pain, disabling, or disease– whatever the cause. Pain is the norm, relief the occasional thing.
Sometimes, it keeps you awake at night, trying to find a position where the break-through pain does not ruin whatever sleep you can manage (chronic pain can push away deep, restorative, dream-sleep).
Often, it blights an entire day if you don’t manage to distract yourself with video or audio or busy-work, and the sweet embrace of pain-management. It ranges from aches and throbs, stings and stiffness (think the morning after a really hard exercise day) all the way to– well– pondering suicide to just make it stop. And no, I’d never make a nurse or doctor or clinic co-guilty with my self-murder.
Loved ones try to sympathize, understand, help us– but after a while, it gets exhausting for them, too. Just Get Better! Man Up! Rub Some Dirt On It! Is It Really That Bad? Get Over Yourself! Might this be a cure? Oh, What Now?!
Or, with the vultures hovering about in the euthanasiac movement: Surely Death Is Better Than This! It’s the very voice of Satan, promising false peace.. for a moment. “Did God really say….?“
Be Vewwy Vewwy Quwiet
People in chronic disabling pain get used to keeping secrets, forcing smiles, not wanting to bother or burden others, keeping everything to themselves– it’s like a double-punishment sundae with a cactus on top: (1) the pain, (2) then the feeling bad for being in pain, and (3) the stress and depression and anxiety and disappointment of a pain-filled life, then– (4) keeping most of it to yourself, and not wanting to be a bother.
Sometimes, it’s just easier not to say anything much.
If it were not for my wife, reading, prayers, my dear dog Dr. Wee Wallace, some blogging and some online friends, and video/ movies/ computer games, my life would be immeasurably more unpleasant than it is. I have blessings.
It’s one of the reasons I object to Social Justice Warriors trying to rewrite, forbid, whitewash and fiddle with pop culture, literature, the gaming world, and whatever else they can toxify with ideology. Or the euthanasiac death-merchants, selling damnation and suicide in one fell swoop.
As I’ve remarked before, for me that’s a lot like asking how much poop I’d like in my soup. None please, and Go The Eff Away, Thank you very much.
Take It Up
Until I die, apparently I have some suffering to do. Some offering up of prayer, pain, joy, peace, all of it, until all my sins are burnt away, and I am refined in the furnace of eternal love.
This is my cross and burden, to bear with love. This is the cross burning into my flesh, crucifying me to My Saviour, and Him to me.
This is my cross and calling, and I will not shrug it off, or run away, nor seek to set it down until He tells me that it’s time to do so. ~
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.
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.
THE POINT OF TERRORISM is.. terror: submission, paralysis, fear, to control & change you inside. Politics, warfare, & conquest by other means.
You acquiesce to increasing levels of “peace and security” fascism at home, to supposedly prevent internet & mosque made Islamofascists from home and abroad. And you’re never allowed to forget or think otherwise than: You. Are. Helpless.
So, welcome to the new normal, and the atypical and strange form of war, where you are on the front line of the Jihad. Your ordinary life– but suddenly with added machine guns, bombs, soldiers & police, and ever more safety-rape at security checkpoints. This is, of course, daily life in much of the world, now coming home to roost.
These terror attacks are not going to stop, although thankfully some are prevented by the authorities, despite themselves— though one does wonder if such terrorism isn’t found useful by advocates of a disarmed populace in a prison-state. You know, “useful crises” for the dark powers within the West, and the Jihadi threat-makers, too.
You can be safe, but not free. Or, you can be free, but not safe.
This truism is our life in 2016, and we made it. It’s founded on the fact that Baby Boomers and later could not did not or would not have replacement levels of children; that we imported people to replace our own missing kids; BUT (and thus the Canadian & more general problem) after Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau removed the educated-immigrant requirement, we increasingly allowed in welfare-ready, criminal, and under-educated people, including non-Westernized Muslims (and others) who brought their radical problems and ideas from home to here.
Canada In The Bullseye?
So far, useful-idiot Canada has been part safe-house, and part money-bags for radical terror groups. Our naive and well-intentioned “Multiculturalism” was supposed to mean cool new restaurant menus, and neighbours with exotic outfits and recipes at FolkFest. That’s because to us, faith and politics and Big Ideas and even our entire society are no longer to die for.. that’s the government’s job, now. Yet we import (or create) serious radicals who can operate well below our mental and political radar, people who are gladly misusing Canada’s nice reputation and passports and smug cluelessness.
Moreover, the informal hawalabanking system which allows money to be brokered all over the world from Canada? It means that some families are getting extra money from their Canadian relatives.. and so are some groups who like killing, bombing, raping, and decapitation. Terror gets saddle-bags of cash sent to them from Western supporters and mosques, and there’s no easy way to track it. It might– just might– mean that Canada will only be targeted by homegrown solo or small-group Jihadis, and not ISIS bombing a major airport, big city, or some mass gathering of people.
Who To The Rescue?
Since we’re all unofficially evil & dangerous, even law-abiding peaceful citizens in Canada can go to jail if they shoot or stab a home invader, or, one presumes, a bomb-strapped terrorist. Don’t worry! we’re told, polices will protect you!
This is a fraudulent promise, in the case of Jihadi-suicide terrorism, since the moment the scumtards start shooting or/ and then explode is the moment you’d like really some protection. When seconds count.. the police are only minutes away! I’m not saying that a gun-toting citizenry can solve everything, but nobody really can– even a total police state, overflowing with “Pe-E-e-eace & Se-E-e-ecurity“, and where everybody gets lightly raped at the airport.
Never forgets (until next time)! Roll out the fraidy-cat hashtags, avatars and animated GIFs! Signal that virtue! Lower the flags and light the monuments! Much sads! So feels! Tweet your defiances! SHHHTerror-nausea risingSHHHH….
What’s to be done, Binks? Be proactive, prepared, and not a victim. Because I said so, dammit! You. Are. NOT. Helpless.
In Canada, and gun-lite Europe, everybody CAN and SHOULD have (1) An Every Day Carry (EDC) kit, (2) An Emergency Plan, (3) A Way To Help, and (4) Some Self-Defence Skills. Even if our modern airport faux-security theatre undercuts some weapon-options, you don’t have to be totally helpless if dangerous, terrorist, weather crisis, or other emergency situations arise.
1. Your Very Own EDC
(1) Google or YouTube search for ‘Every Day Carry’ (EDC)– and most items are detailed on Amazon.com, so you can buy them more affordably on eBay. Every responsible, mature, and thus safety/ self-defence minded person from 8-year old on up should have some basic daily carry items.
Your EDC, for example? A rescue knife, keychain, good flashlight, a paracord bracelet, a mini-BIC lighter, a tiny Swiss Army knife (with tweezers & a pen), emergency whistle, small multitool, a smartphone, a watch or other time-piece, pen and paper (you can even get self-defence pens), some water, an LED micro-light, a firesteel. In the U.S., you should also have a punchy small gun (.40 or 45ACP), and your concealed-carry license, where possible.
Then.. there’s yer plastic raincoats, emergency mylar blankets, a compass, power-bars, a small backpack, tissues, some Ibuprofen, a bandana (for slings, wounds, and many other uses)….
There’s an EDC out there for every budget, level of readiness and complexity, and you can even colour-coordinate if you wish, ladies and gentlemen. Make an EDC keychain for each person in your family, and one for the car. Start small, build up, and switch items depending on your daily needs and travel.
Ask yourself: if you were ditched in a snowstorm, on a sinking ship, or caught by a hurricane, or some other emergency, how happy would you be to have these items? How much would you be willing to pay to have them on your belt, in your coat, or stocked in your purse?
2. Get Me Outta Here!
(2) Fun With Escapism. Play this video game in your head, wherever you are. If a bad guy or group of them were to come from this or that direction around me, where could I and my loved ones escape/ run to/ hide from bullets or other violence? Practice this mentally at home, the mall, supermarket, parking lot, airport, tourist location, nightclub, school or university, wherever.
Always try to have a plan A, B, and C– such options keep you from just panicking, and freezing in place. Think: I must be where the danger ISN’T.. and move away if it’s coming close. Don’t be conspicuous, or needlessly heroic– be bland and grey and unremarkable.
Americans: if you have your conceal carry license, use it and carry your sidearm, at very least to create a safe-zone or an escape route for yourself and others. Usually, the police will not be rushing in to save you any time soon. That’s not their job.
3 & 4. Help Out, Self Defence
(3) Do you have a basic First Aid/ CPR course? Could you operate one of those emergency Defibrillator machines you’ll sometimes see around? Could you stanch a wound, secure a broken neck, or use a tourniquet? Get those skills, now, when it’s not urgent. Sign up the office, or the whole family, or the whole school.
Re: helping– Beware that rushing right in after a bombing may be super-dangerous, because some bombers will plant delayed secondary explosives, for when they think the ambulance, police, and firemen have arrived– for even more horrible and costly collateral damage. Do what you can, be cautious, but a dead or wounded you is no use to anybody in need of help.
(4) Basic men or women’s self defence courses are available almost anywhere. MMA/ Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Krav Maga clubs are all over the place, and give you health, confidence, and some self-defence skills at the same time. A little weapon-training will help you fight with various weapons, or improvise, or know how to defend yourself (and others) against different attacks.
Almost Done, Ye Windbag Elf?
The middle class and upwards in Western Europe and much of North America have been generally safe, soft, and peaceful for almost three generations. We’ve enjoyed an extended local vacation from readiness, preparedness, living on the edge, thinking in an emergency.. because we’ve been mistakenly taught in the nanny state mental universe we live in that The World Is Safe, and if not, that Somebody Else Will Always Come Along To Save And Help Us.
A helpless, needy, compliant, disarmed & sheepish populace is ideal for those in power– but not the people themselves. Especially in emergencies.
This is naive at best, and grossly negligent and irresponsible at worst. The world isn’t really like that, so thank emergencies and bad people in this at least: we must be prepared as a minimum level of responsible adulthood. Sure it will cost some time and money and learning– but how much is your life or my life worth? That of our kids, grandkids, or neighbours?
Please keep learning up on those four starter-topics, via Google, YouTube, even Pinterest (and more here)– and pass the word on to others. We don’t have to either live in fear and terror, or in a prison-state.
Be free, and brave, and responsible with that freedom.