Look! A Squirrel!

squirrel-300x172

~ 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 (then) book, The Life Of Anthony (of Egypt) Quotation below.

My brain is.. well.. not unlike a 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.

St-Anthony-of-Egypt

What’s not to like? A book written by a saint.. about a saint, which inspired another man to eventually became a saint. Doesn’t that insta-rate five stars.. or, perhaps, haloes?

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.

augustinemonica
A youngish St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica, she of the very very patient and constant prayers for her wayward son.

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. St. Anthony and St. Augustine both knew that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is faithful, and sowed their seed 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 and fight the good fight in his day and age.

A reminder to abide faithful, however hard the slog or dark the times.

Cheers,

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….

Conf. VIII. 14-15.

The F-word

mydearestdad
Binks-Dad: Smart, weird, punny, a prankster, a genius, a contrarian to herd-think, a helper, and teacher.

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.

St. Paul writes to the Ephesians:

“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.

craycraydadday

Via

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.

fr-richPray 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.

+

Don’t wait until too late to appreciate and tell your Dad & grandfathers and fatherly people how grateful you are. Now.

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. ~

+

God_father_kotarbinski-b

 

Battle Ready, Cool, and Durable

combatrosary1-1024x443

~ 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.

+ + +    + + +    + + +

~ 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!

r2_1024x1024

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.

20151231_104751_1024x1024

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.

Skull04_grande

So Saith,

Teh Binks

There Are Days….


Lyrics

~ ITEM: How the spoon theory helps those suffering chronic pain and fatigue, by
Emily Band

N.B.: Please read the very helpful comment below by Pete B.

chronic-pain-arthritis

~ 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.

Another Life

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.

Figure-2-WhiteBG_web

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.

Meaning Well

free-advice

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

maxresdefault

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.

Blessed Distractions

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

il_340x270.550103933_ca2t

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. ~

take up your cross 001

 

Easter: The Re-Creation

Or, But But But… That’s Unpossible!

pia20051-16-1024x576

~ ITEM: NASA captures a huge pulse of energy coming out of a black hole; Mysterious Object That Came Out of a Black Hole Has Just Been Measured

~ ITEM: Black Hole Has Major Flare – Jet Propulsion Laboratory

~ ITEM: Fulfilled Prophecies about Jesus’ Death & Resurrection – See more info here; also,  Google search.. “prophecies of the resurrection in the old testament”; see also Prophecies of the Resurrection

~ ITEM: Silent Saturday: a tomb, a seal, a guard

~ ITEM: What happened on Easter Sunday?

~ ITEM: The Edicule of the Tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will be restored for the first time in 200 years.

+ + +

IN 2007, CANADIAN astronomers in Binky’s home town were astonished when something apparently came OUT of a black hole. Yup. Escaped.

According to all the postulated ideas of physics, models of what black holes are and how they are supposed to work– as collapsed super-dense star-cores operating like giant cosmic vacuums sucking up everything nearby — including stars, and even light itself– this new observation just makes no sense.

Now, all the rules and assumptions and theories have to be reworked. Once again, reality and what is smashes through our ideas of the universe and what should be.

Could it be that these monstrous whirlpools of interstellar doom called black holes might also be, somehow, giant engines of creation? That’s a comfort, since there’s also thought to be a ginormous black hole eating away at the star-crowded heart of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Black holes may giveth, as well as the more obvious aspects of black holes taketh-ing away.

maxresdefault (1)

Another Mighty Mystery 

An event changing everything, forever– just like the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Easter is more than a day, it’s a whole church season. It’s more than a past event, it’s an omnipresent engine of recreation, new birth, the operating principle of the spiritual universe, the underlying power: Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead on Sunday, April 5th, A.D. 33. It’s not just a past dead written in a book moment, it’s a present and powerful principle of the transformation of all things.

For Christ is risen from the dead: He lives in and through his church & people; in Him, all of creation is groaning and awaiting the remaking of all things into a new heaven and a new earth.

Christ arose, transformed and shining with eternal life— and as he is, we shall be. Jesus was first seen by Mary Magdalen, then by 10 apostles; He appeared on the road to the town of Emmaus to two disciples, walking and talking with them. Later he was seen, the Bible said, by above 500 Christians at once. He preached, comforted, and taught, preparing his apostles for their work, after He departed into heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost-Day.

Heartburn
The Risen Jesus on the Road To Emmaus

The Heavenly Ground Zero

Where is the tomb of Jesus? St. Helena the Mother of the Emperor Constantine toured the Holy Land in A.D. 326, and founded several churches on various holy sites remembered by the local Christians down the years as the original places where events connected with Jesus took place. Some may be uncertain, but one is not– the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The Tomb of Jesus has survived burial by the pagan Romans; excavation by the Byzantine Christians with the erection of a glorious basilica and rotunda; the AD 614 invasion by the Persians (destruction of the basilica), waves of Jihad; then a near-total demolition in AD 1009 ordered by Fatimite Khalif al-Hakim, the Caliph of Egypt (one of the indirect causes of the Crusades); then a rebuilding by the Crusaders, then further earthquakes, fire, and the like. The current building and tomb sure doesn’t look like it originally did– but it’s been through a lot over almost twenty centuries.

217
Basilica & Rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre, c. AD 335, Romano-Byzantine city of Jerusalem.

The original Tomb was uncovered by the Byzantines, and cut away from the small hill it was cut into. That small building was surrounded by a beautiful rotunda, after which the Dome of the Rock was directly copied from the Rotunda (see ‘Finders, Keepers‘) by a later Muslim ruler over Jerusalem, for fear that the overwhelming beauty of the Christian building would draw Muslims to be converted (or in some cases, to return) to Christianity.

theedicule
Edicule (centre), Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

That rotunda was deliberately demolished, and the very tomb itself beaten with hammers and burnt with fire until only part of the funerary-bed and a low wall remained. The crusaders built a small building around what was left, called ‘The Edicule‘. The remaining original stone of the surviving Tomb of Christ is covered and faced with medieval marble, to protect it.

burial-16-inner-edicule
Inside the Tomb Of Jesus.

Some Protestants are piously and deeply enamoured of a more ‘original’-looking site designated in the 1860s by a British army colonel, called ‘Gordon’s Tomb‘, but it is of the wrong date, and location. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, shrines and chambers and icons, just doesn’t feel right. Plus, it’s full of Catholics, and exotic Orthodox Christians.

gordonstomb

How do we know that the Church of The Holy Sepulchre really is on the right place where Christ was buried and rose again? It’s simple, really. Some other surrounding tombs: and because these tombs are pointed mostly the wrong way. What-now?

burial-17-burial-shafts
First Century Jewish-Christian Burial Shafts, Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

More specifically, there are many small early 1st century Jewish-Christian tombs near the Tomb of Jesus. They are not oriented according to proper Jewish custom, West to East, the heavenly East the direction from which the Messiah is supposed to come. From their various encircling locations, these ancient tombs all point, like compass needles seeking True North, towards the central Tomb. This is where it all happened.

Says one writer:

“These burial shafts (kokhim) date to the time of Christ’s death and thus attest to some kind of burial ground in the area. Bolen writes, ‘Combined with the evidence from tradition, this church is most likely the true location of the Christ’s death and burial.'”

That is– no need to point East, awaiting Him who is to Come: He has come, he has lived, was crucified and died, and risen again from this very place. This is the new centre of the world, where all things began to be made new; the spot where heaven begins, where new life broke forth from the broken tomb, where angels sat atop the great door-stone and declared “Why do you seek the living amongst the dead? He is not here, he is risen, just as he said.”

risen2

This, then is truly the very place and supernatural heart of the great explosion of love that is the new creation– the hub of the world, as it used to be depicted on ancient Christian maps. Like creation, the Resurrection is both a moment, and an ongoing life-giving divine energy and re-creative process, of the Father indwelling the Son, and the Son indwelling us, and we indwelling him. God is making all things new: a new creation.

By comparison, the unlimited and eternal energy, living power, and unfolding consequences of that first Easter make even a super-massive black hole look like a pop-gun. ~

Dome_over_the_Tomb_of_Jesus,_Holy_Sepulchre_2010
Dome Over The Tomb Of Jesus

So saith,

The Binks

Easter III: Thus Saith Hilary

~ WISE WORDS worth pondering, about where we are in 2016, spiritually, and what it all means in the light of Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. The article is by commentator and freelance writer (and lucky friend of Binks), Miss Hilary White.

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.

Cheers,

~B~

Hatred, Wisdom and Easter: What’s the Connection?

7561370

Easter II: Preach It, Brother

The Paschal homily of St John Chrysostomos (Archbishop of Constantinople)

This sermon is read at the Paschal Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of the Resurrection in Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. It was written c. AD 398. Via.

+ + +

The Paschal Sermon

Icon

 

IF ANY MAN be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.

If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.

If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof.

If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.

If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.

He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.

He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: ‘Hell’, said he, ‘was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.’

It was embittered, for it was abolished.

It was embittered, for it was mocked.

It was embittered, for it was slain.

It was embittered, for it was overthrown.

It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.

It took a body, and met God face to face.

It took earth, and encountered Heaven.

It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?’

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.

Christ is risen, and life reigns.

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

‘For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’!

To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen! +

+ + +

A video version of the sermon.


About The Preacher:

St. John Chrysostom (“Golden Tongue”) was born at Antioch On The Orontes in about the year AD 347, into a military family. St. John spent his early years studying under the finest philosophers and rhetoricians and was ordained a deacon in the year 381 by the bishop of Antioch Saint Meletios. In AD 386 St. John was later ordained a priest by Bishop Flavian, successor to St. Meletios. Beginning in 390, he preached a famous teaching sermon-series on the New Testament, including ninety sermons on Matthew, eighty-eight on John, and thirty-two on Romans, many of which still exist.

Over time, his fame as a holy preacher and teacher grew, and in AD 397 after the death of Archbishop Nektarios of Constantinople— successor to Sainted Gregory the Theologian— Saint John Chrysostom was called from Antioch to be the new Patriarch & Archbishop of Constantinople. His serious and outspoken reforms to purify the church actually led to conflict with the Empress and others, and thus he was banished.

Exiled in AD 404, he fell into ill health. He was moved to Pitius in Abkhazia. There, St. John, after receiving the Holy Eucharist, said, “Glory to God for everything!” He then fell asleep in the Lord on 14 September AD 407, at the age of fifty. +