In That Day

All Soul’s Day: Dies Irae

For to this end Christ died, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” Romans 14. 8, 9.

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~ FOR MODERN MEN & WOMEN, losing any sense of Death, Judgment, Heaven Or Hell leads inevitably & directly to man acting as a self-judging mini-god. That leads to warfare, supremacism, mercilessness, and getting away with things. Thence madness, violence, lies, and 2018.

As I’ve been reading about our Western cultural elites, I’m shocked/ not shocked by what the rich & powerful do behind the scenes. Many ordinary people likewise.

But what if there IS a right & wrong? Good & evil? What if we are accountable? Much of ordinary human life is all about distracting us, crushing silence and unsettling thoughts and questions.

What if all desires are known, and no secrets truly hidden? What if our old unrepented forgotten hidden sins have not just dissolved with time? What if the evil whispers shall be shouted from the rooftops in That Day?

What if God is as the Church has taught, and we are a few missed heartbeats & breaths from standing naked & defenceless before His perfect infinite goodness.. and love?

Pray this day for those who have gone before us through the veil, especially our friends & enemies, family & benefactors, and all those who died with nobody to pray for them and with them.

O FATHER of all, we pray to thee for those whom we love but see no longer. Grant them thy peace; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

REST eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him. Amen.

Thus saith

Teh Binks

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Dies Irae/Day of Wrath
DIES irae, dies illa,

solvet saeculum in favilla,

teste David cum Sibylla.

Day of wrath and doom impending,

David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,

Heaven and earth in ashes ending.

Quantus tremor est futurus,

quando iudex est venturus,

cuncta stricte discussurus!

O what fear man’s bosom rendeth,

When from heaven the Judge descendeth,

On whose sentence all dependeth.

Tuba mirum spargens sonum

per sepulcra regionum,

coget omnes ante thronum.

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,

Through earth’s sepulchers it ringeth,

All before the throne it bringeth.

Mors stupebit et natura,

cum resurget creatura,

iudicanti responsura.

Death is struck, and nature quaking,

All creation is awaking,

To its Judge an answer making.

Liber scriptus proferetur,

in quo totum continetur,

unde mundus iudicetur.

Lo, the book exactly worded,

Wherein all hath been recorded,

Thence shall judgment be awarded.

Iudex ergo cum sedebit,

quidquid latet apparebit:

nil inultum remanebit.

When the Judge His seat attaineth,

And each hidden deed arraigneth,

Nothing unavenged remaineth.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?

quem patronum rogaturus?

cum vix iustus sit securus.

What shall I, frail man, be pleading?

Who for me be interceding

When the just are mercy needing?

Rex tremendae maiestatis,

qui salvandos salvas gratis,

salva me, fons pietatis.

King of majesty tremendous,

Who dost free salvation send us,

Fount of pity, then befriend us.

Recordare Iesu pie,

quod sum causa tuae viae:

ne me perdas illa die.

Think, kind Jesus, my salvation

Caused Thy wondrous Incarnation,

Leave me not to reprobation.

Quarens me, sedisti lassus:

redemisti crucem passus:

tantus labor non sit cassus.

Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,

On the Cross of suffering bought me,

Shall such grace be vainly brought me?

Iuste iudex ultionis,

donum fac remissionis,

ante diem rationis.

Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution

Grant Thy gift of absolution,

Ere that day of retribution.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus:

culpa rubet vultus meus:

supplicanti parce Deus.

Guilty now I pour my moaning,

All my shame with anguish owning,

Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,

et latronem exaudisti,

mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Through the sinful woman shriven,

Through the dying thief forgiven,

Thou to me a hope hast given.

Preces meae non sunt dignae:

sed tu bonus fac benigne,

ne perenni cremer igne.

Worthless are my prayers and sighing,

Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,

Rescue me from fires undying.

Inter oves locum praesta,

et ab haedis me sequestra,

statuens in parte dextera.

With Thy sheep a place provide me,

From the goats afar divide me,

To Thy right hand do Thou guide me.

Confutatis maledictis,

flammis acribus addictis.

voca me cum benedictis.

When the wicked are confounded,

Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,

Call me with Thy Saints surrounded.

Oro supplex et acclinis,

cor contritum quasi cinis:

gere curam mei finis.

Low I kneel with heart’s submission,

See, like ashes, my contrition,

Help me in my last condition.

Lacrimosa dies illa,

qua resurget ex favilla.

iudicandus homo reus:

huic ergo parce Deus.

Ah! That day of tears and mourning,

From the dust of earth returning,

Man for judgment must prepare him,

Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.

Pie Iesu Domine,

dona eis requiem. Amen.

Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,

Grant them Thine eternal rest. Amen.

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Let’s Be Revolting?

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“If only we kick out the Romans”, thought the Zealots, “then a perfect Kingdom on earth will come to pass.”

~ SURELY BY NOW GOD has had enough of our corrupt governments and perverse churches and fallen ways? Isn’t a revolution in order?

Fire them all, burn it down, start over! We’ll do better! May the last aristocrat be strangled with the entrails of the last priest, etc., and so on.

Utopia Now!.. Somehow..

Such has been the modern spirit since the 1700s, imagining utopia, by our own hands, and according to our own wisdom. This blood-dimmed tide is still claiming victims in many places on earth even as you read this.

A softer and stupider version of this revolution has taken hold in our schools, and many parts of our overgrown government, not to mention in the leadership of many churches and sects. The revolution seems like a good idea, until (1) you actually see what it entails, and (2) your remember that it’s the same bent and failing human nature out of which perfection and utopia will come, (3) “They”, the horrible ones with power, are the same as most of us, if we had their power & opportunities. Salvation comes not via good intentions.

What then? Shall we be enamoured of the old evils, or favour new ones?

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First Things.. First

The teaching of Jesus as worked out in the early Church set’s up some distinctives. Unlike the zealots of Israel, the Kingdom of Jesus comes by His blood, not the blood of cadres and their victims. We cannot abandon God and His love, in an impatient practical atheism.

St. Paul makes it even clearer. We must remember: the kings he’s talking about are the divine Caesars. At the time of the writing of his Letter to the Roman Christians, about AD 57-58, it’s one Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus. Yup, THAT Nero.

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His Mommy Dearest had helpfully prepared the way for her darling Nero by murdering the previous Emperor, Claudius, in October of AD 54, just two or three years before Paul wrote his Letter to the Church in Rome. Under this same Nero would come the first great persecution of the Church, including the executions of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome. Pretty grim.

Yet– surely Paul could see the injustices, the persecuting ways, the false divinity of such so-called sons of the gods, and Emperors over the earth? Of course he could. But he also knew that Jesus the divine Son did not win that kind of victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. “My Kingdom is not of this world”, says King Jesus to Pontius Pilate.

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Get Yer Reading Glasses

Romans 13:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

Whatever the law may be, do better. Whatever situation you are in, honour the Lord, and see in the powers that be– however imperfect– signs of the overarching rule of heaven. Why? Paul writes:

“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

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Behold a Kingdom in the world, but not OF this world– not sharing it’s dreams, devices & desires, its fallen and failing ways. Not of one race or only for men or for women, the  reborn sons and daughters of the Risen King Jesus are not revolters, burners, subverters, utopians, impatient for perfection now, on their terms.

Here we have no abiding city; here our hearts are not set forever. We are pilgrims, travelling on our way home, yet leaving all things and people better than we found them: redeemed, blessed, brought to God.

How Does This Work?

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In the very early Christian Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus Ch. 5 (c. AD 130), we read the following of how this works out, practically. We read:

“For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity.

The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners.

As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring.[19] They have a common table, but not a common bed.

They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified.

They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.”

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Sounds Like Conversion

The world is imperfect, and so am I, and so are you. Therefore, I’m not interested in any revolution, powered by pride, envy and vengeance, built out of the house of cards that is fallen human wisdom. Our Kingdom is not of this world, yet by truly seeking it, we transform lives and societies, and the world around us– or we are supposed to do so.

Our way is His way, if we are His and He is ours. It requires effort, love, repentance, sacrifice, and a painful transformation by grace. Groan: sounds a bit too much like work, doesn’t it?

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [St. Matthew, 5]

Burn it all down? Leave? Slay all the sinners? Seek that greener crass in some imagined perfection just over there? Sounds like the exact opposite of taking up our respective crosses, and following Him, loving & converting souls, and redeeming all the things by His grace, and in His name.

Thus saith,

Teh Binks

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Black Dog Tales

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NOT a good dog.

> Black Dog Days: How to Deal with Depression

 


A Few Questions

— Do you pray regularly for the depressed?

— Do you visit them and just be a good friend?

— Do you or someone you know & care for suffer from ‘The Black Dog’?

— Does that addict or drunk or sad co-worker suffer from depression?  Do you?

— Do you “helpfully” offer endless free advice and ‘fixes’ because you find dealing with depression really awkward?

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~ FOR MANY PEOPLE, depression is a day, a week, a season.  It is left behind as an sour note in an otherwise happy life.

In our happy “we can fix everything” universe, TV and movie stories resolve every problem via heroism and happenstance and all is well again. E xcept.. people can break, and sometimes only partly tape and glue and tie themselves half-together again, enough to limp along a while longer.

What Kind Of Beast IS This?

This Black Dog is patient, vicious, and quiet: it has hunted & haunted my parents, and grandparents, and down the genetic pathways for generations.  For others, life & crises and trouble starts it up fresh for them.

Yet for others– yes, of all ages– it is interwoven into the very stuff of life, perhaps as far back as memory reaches, a misty shadowed valley that never seems to come to an end, with light only breaking through now and again.  The Valley of the Shadow; this vale of tears; the bleak lands where affliction dwells.

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Yet even there, Christ the Lord walks and talks with his own sheep. Sometimes, he will shift us up onto his shoulders awhile. Faith can make an infinite difference in the experience & severity of depression.  I’m there: so’s He.

Pilgrim Walking

All better? Nope.

There are no magic happy-cures, nor skipping through the sparkly flowers on a unicorn– but a costly cross-bearing love which both lightens your burden, and enlightens the path and things around you.  Suicide– the permanent solution to temporary problems– may lurk like a vulture on the crag, but need not live on your shoulders.

The proper meds & counselling and living life the best you can any given day will help, too.  The grinding miserable trudge can thus become a pilgrimage: but to where?

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The shadowed vale of tears is not infinite.  God is.

Just A Little Farther

There is a fair City and golden castle farther on ahead, with towers and steeples and fair pennons flying.. you know not exactly how far.. but in it is light, and peace, and no more pain or black dogs, suffering or tears, and all the former things are passed away.  There are battles to fight and people to help along this path– and many needing help– on our way.

orgAnd perhaps in that City, the black dog– which can teach us so much about perseverance, tribulation, compassion and understanding– will be revealed as having golden fur, for the troubles that lead us closer to God are blessed troubles.  St. Paul besought the Lord to remove his sufferings, and instead, God said “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Without such hope and faith and love– and the mercy of God & others– I would be long-dead.  Will you walk beside me and the others like me, or pass us by on the other side? ~

Thus Saith,

Teh Binks

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Death By A Thousand Deaths

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>> Telegraph: Liberal identity politics has ruined Star Wars for the fanboys; and also Star Wars Fans Seem To Hate The Last Jedi And SJW’s Couldn’t Be Happier About It

>> J.J. Abrams says Star Wars: The Last Jedi trolls are ‘threatened by women’; yeah, that’ll go over well, Jar Jar

>> Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – Rotten Tomatoes — Only 48% of fans actually liked it

>> All the ways ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ disappointed me

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~ JUST TO BE CLEAR— Nope. Nope nope. NOPE.

I’m an original Star Wars kid. Saw the first one 14 times that Summer of ‘77. Spent a couple thou on merch over the years, helping make the Dark Lord George rich. Those first three movies were big pivotal events. Cultural moments. Good versus evil, heroes vs. villains, big over-simplified sloppy-science nerdy space-opera.

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Darth George The Hutt.. wanna buy a toy, kid?

Then, George got mad about the success of Titanic, and James Cameron. Enter the prequels. Meh, take the kids, maybe there’s something.. oh. What’s that smell? Little Rebel filmmaker George had morphed into Darth Jabba, bully billionaire toy-seller with a side-order of movie-making.

I Gotta Bad Feeling About This

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Hey Fanyboyz.. get butthurt! Girl POWER!

The latest branded product? Pretty much that South Park episode with Lucas & Spielberg raping Indiana Jones, and the audiences of that dreadful UFO+Indy movie. Except now, it’s Jar Jar Abrams, Kennedy, Mickey Mouse, and Johnson taking their turns violating Luke Skywalker, and the nerdly audiences of these three beautifully filmed– but contemptuous– violations of the SW universe & fandom.

There’s a lot of puzzled, offended, angry, and turned-off fans out there right now. And it hurt 2017 ticket-sales, toy & collectible sales, DVD & BluRay and all the knock-on money expected from big tentpole movies like this.

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Murdering Movie Franchises is FUN!

This feels like part revenge for #GamerGate; and the industry flipping the bird at the public for slumping ticket-sales for recent Hollywood rubbish; and the spoil-it-all ill-will of progressives towards anything they didn’t make, and of which they disapprove. Take something good, kill it & skin it, and wear the carcass while demanding respect for the new thing as if it’s still the old thing. Then, mock the fans, and drink their tears. Ha ha ha.

Clearly the next movies must be about hunting down each & every surviving character.. Chewie, R2D2, C-3PO, Nien Nunb, and Lando Calrissian in the retirement home for space-rascals, and killing them. Then, dancing on the grave of old Star Wars.

Deeper Stuff Is Important, Too

The nihilist meta-narrative that there is no good or evil, nothing worth living & dying for, no unifying spiritual force above & beyond appearances— so we can just all live in John Lennon’s craptastic revolutionary songImagine’? What a horrible dead life that would be, of competing chaotic forces wrecking everything & each other in a race to mutual bored destruction. This new Star Wars is a paean of praise to that “Eff It ALL”  mentality.

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Embrace the suckitude. Gray on gray on gray. Colourless and lifeless is the new awesome. Whatever. Shrugs all ’round.

The original movies were exciting & inspiring BECAUSE each person & their decisions mattered, made a difference. The protagonists were willing to live and die to help others, to hope and love and act in the face of apparently insurmountable tyranny. Leaving aside fanboyism and online insta-opinionated word-wars, it’s those deeply human elements that attracted us original kids in 1977.. a new take on movies, heroes & baddies, and interesting stories, remade with amazing effects and things we hadn’t seen before.

Of course they weren’t perfect. Of course they don’t make for a good religion or life. Of course you want to punch some fans in the nose and tell them to get a life and a religion.. but using a movie to do that is a pretty arrogant and dumb way to do it– and it’s bad business, no matter how many fart-sniffing film critics you make smirk with such work.

Nope. This original Star Wars fan is done. Not one more penny. Down with the Disney dystopia, and this disastrous train-wreck of a film franchise. ~

Thus saith,

Teh Binks

 

 

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Even More Strange Things

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“The Upside Down is an alternate dimension existing in parallel to the human world. It contains the same locations and infrastructure as the human world, but it is much darker, colder and obscured by an omnipresent fog…. [a] dimension that is a dark reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay and death, a plane out of phase, a place of monsters. It is right next to you and you do not even see it.” … “Nope. No parallels under here.” (Hilary White)

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>> Hilary White: Two religions; one Church? – the infiltration of the Modernist Anti-Christ (Nov. 2017)

>>  REPORTING on the UnChurch: One Peter Five

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~ BINKS IS just about to finish ‘Stranger Things‘ on Netflix, Season 1. Must say, I love it.. and it’s hard not to binge-watch it.

No major spoilers ensue below. Promise.

Like The Matrix‘, the hit-show Stranger Things employs that familiar & human sense of displacement, weirdness, that there is an Unseen all around us which sometimes breaks in upon us in our ‘ordinary’ lives. That there is more going on than meets the eye.

In the popular Netflix series, which overflows with references to 80’s pop-culture, there is literally an evil copy parallel dimension called ‘The Upside Down‘, where people can be trapped, and eaten by a monster. The dimensional doorways can appear anywhere and everywhere: the wall of a house, a tree trunk, the basement of a top-secret government lab.

What both ‘The Matrix‘ and ‘Stranger Things‘ lack to make them universal is a spiritual universe above and inter-penetrating the visible ‘ordinary’ universe.. and a clear sense of God & His guiding providence. Sadly, religion plays almost no part in the show, or the lives of the characters.

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What ‘Meant’ Means

By comparison, the writer J.R.R. Tolkien repeatedly mentions providence without explicating that it is of the Valar (archangels) and Eru (God). The wizard Gandalf’s own long mission in Middle Earth was a sending from the Blessed Land to fight evil, help the free peoples via suffering and pity, and– ultimately– to defeat Sauron, the dark successor to Morgoth (a fallen Valar, the Satan-figure).

In that Lord Of The Rings scene– which Peter Jackson moves from Frodo’s kitchen to the Mines Of Moria– we read:

Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring Movie Review DVD Review

That ‘meant’ bears a world of significance. Consider.

‘Meant’ is God’s providence, in the world, in events, ‘coincidences’, and via people. The Bible proclaims: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” [Rom. 8:28] Note: NOT ‘all things will be pleasant, easy, and straightforward’.

Remember: Christians serve a Crucified and Risen King, who still bears His (now glorious) scars. No easy path there: take up your cross. Follow, die.

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Living Our Double Sight

And there’s another sense of “the unseen dimension”, our own actual “Upside Down”, which tempers our anger and enlightens our struggles. As Saint Paul teaches the Christians of Ephesus, and us:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Eph.  6:12]

Any battle with sin, darkness, heresy– in the church and the world, and in our own hearts, is a combination of many forces, many invisible, or acting through us or other people in a greater & darker pattern than the simply human (as bad as we can be).

Exorcists are still busy in 2018. Possessed people still exist– some in politics, and in the Church itself. Even some clergy may be thus.

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The Disorientation Is Real

In the current pontificate of Francis, there is unprecedented darkness, division, dishonesty, confusion and discouragement afoot. Papal hyper-loyalists rally ’round the revolutionary throne, throwing accusations at critics and radical (deep-rooted) Catholics who demand the whole witness of the Church to be heard, respected, lived, taught.

Sometimes, it feels as if an UnChurch from some evil parallel dimension like ‘The Upside Down‘ has invaded our reality, and is seeking to proclaim itself as the real, true, and only thing to serve. There is a spiritual war afoot: each of us can play a double part, on earth as in heaven, for good or bad. The darkness is not simply the opposition themselves, nor we only the bright good ones– for humility and reality’s sake, we admit there are brighter and darker forces in conflict within what we see, and in each soul.

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Via 1 Peter 5, Steve Skojec.

Holy loyalty and faithfulness and restraint are good: but we do not honour the Church or her current leadership via our blind obedience, nor forgetting Whom She really belongs to, and Whose Voice she is supposed to obey. His will is not simply to be identified with the novel dictates of people who seem bound to another message, an unKingdom, a utopia of exalted man making himself into a God, his desires and feelings the measure of all truth and goodness. OUR kingdom come, OUR will be done: and yet, even in this, a greater darkness can be felt, seeping through, pushing, ruining, distorting the Church, but also the fever dreams of utopia, too.

Some Christian Basics

That evil unholy being is not some exact counterpart to God, but a created and fallen Enemy, and likewise all the fallen angels and powers under his control. Alone, we cannot defeat such darkness, for we are but mortal and finite and compromised with darkness ourselves. From such, Christ came to deliver us.

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Ancient Paganism sought to placate the dark powers; to deflect the ill will of spirits, gods, sprites, and malicious beings of every sort. Animal and human sacrifice was the trading of precious life for benefits, or being left alone.

The Incarnation changed all that. Jesus is become the Lord of the living and the dead. The suffering King Jesus lays bare the plans and pride and shining schemes of Lucifer; He bore in himself our sin, and has already won the victory over sin, and death, and Hell.. yet the long wrapping up of the battle will seem almost like defeat, as the faithful must abide darkness in the world, the Church, the human heart, and in malicious spiritual forces.

But, but– What To DO?

Read the headlines; pray; comfort one another; love the sacraments; repent. Read the Bible & the Church Fathers, and the saints. Read solid blogs and books. Same as it ever was, and there’s no greener grass elsewhere. Cheer up! It will very likely get much worse.

Stay faithful, for God is faithful, and will not abandon us, or leave us weak and comfortless and enslaved to the machinations of the Enemy and his minions, nor to our own sins, negligences, and ignorances. These bizarre times WILL be sorted by God, and by his judgment & mercy, and by better Church leaders and theologians in decades and centuries to come. +

So saith:

Teh Binks

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“Lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
[St. Matthew 28:20]

… On The Feast of Stephen

 

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>> Catholic Activity: Story of St. Wenceslaus

>> New Advent: St. Stephen, First Martyr

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~ THIS IS THE DAY, and the story, of two inspired young men connected by faith and death.

This day, after the celebration of the Joyful Nativity, we count the cost of God’s coming amongst us as one of us: St. Stephen’s Day (sometimes called Boxing Day in English-inspired lands). Faith costs: possibly everything.

Less than two months after the Crucifixion, outside one of Jerusalem’s gates, an angry mob stones to death a young Christian man– who fearlessly preached to the very people & religious leaders who had condemned Jesus to the Cross. Away with him! The dying even forgave his murderers as he died. Looking on was a persecutor of the young Church– one Saul of Tarsus, who would later himself convert and become St. Paul, Evangelist to the Gentile world.

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St. Stephen was the first of so many to witness unto Christ Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem become Risen King by their life unto blood, called martyrs. Holy Innocent’s Day, also following Christmas, reminds us of the slain babes of Bethlehem, by the wrathful King Herod.

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St. Stephen’s Gate, Jerusalem, where the martyr was slain.

 

Meanwhile, In Bohemia..

Long centuries later, Wenceslaus (or Vaclav) I, Duke of Bohemia (from 921-935) would likewise serve Christ as a martyr. His grandmother had passed onto him the faith before she was murdered; yet many nobles and the establishment powers of Bohemia preferred the old ways of sacrifice, exploitation, murder of each other, and cruel selfishness. Vicious political intrigue was a sport for such leaders.

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Why should anyone care for peasants? Why the gentler ways of the new god, Jesus? Why waste money on busy-body missionaries, and teaching the people, and building churches? Why let the exiled Christian clergy back into Bohemia? Why did the Duke live like a humble man of peace, and not a warlike, powerful, and wealthy noble? Away with him.

Before long, young Duke Wenceslaus (in his latter 20s) was slain on the steps of a church by his own treacherous brother, Boleslaw. And yet the Church and the ordinary people remembered their young duke’s Christ-like love and witness, his service and aspiration for a better way for his own lands, and for the world– and so do we unto this day. The holy Duke is the patron saint of the Czech Republic, and his relics are honoured in St. Wenceslas’ Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague (below).

Saint_Wenceslas_Chapel,_St._Vitus_Cathedral,_Prague_20160809_1

Though a Duke, Wenceslaus became a inspirational figure for the Middle Ages of the “Rex Justus“, the godly and Christlike Christian king, using his powers for good, to teach & help & raise up all his people, to rule by law and love, a princely ruler whose power comes from vigour and deep piety.

The saintly friends of God Stephanus and Wenceslaus remind us that young people in general and young men in particular deeply need faithful, knightly, courageous, life-inspiring examples and opportunities to serve as fathers, heroes, leaders, helpers, world-changers, God-servers. If we do not allow this– or squander it– then the church and the world are ill-served, and young lives are wasted in idleness or violence or base pursuits, and not in bold witness unto the Babe of Bethlehem, and King of all nations and People, Jesus Christ.

The famous hymn about Duke Wenceslaus was a lovely bit of Victoriana (much despised by hymn-snobs) based on an older legend: a reminder of the kind of man the Duke was, the people and service he loved, and the kind of people we should be, in loving our neighbour. +

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The skull of St. Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia

 

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

~ John Mason Neale, 1853, the Hymn based on his ‘Legend of St. Wencelaus

 

 

She Blindsided Me With Science!

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~ RECENTLY, Canadian Governor General Julie Payette exploited her position for a bully pulpit, abusing her role & authority as a chance to tell off the peasants.

Some pundits have chimed in:

>>> Rex Murphy: Governor General appoints herself umpire of questions of faith and science

>>> CBC Opinion: In what universe is it appropriate for a Governor General to deride people for their beliefs?: Urback

>>> CTV: Trudeau applauds Payette for standing up for science in convention speech

>>> Brian Lilley: GG Payette stepped way out of line

Yeah. It has been stepped in. It has hit the fan.

So the ever-humble Binks wrote the GG the following, partly stolen from a past blog post wherein I bashed some smarter-than-thou guy. Enjoy, peasants!

So saith,

Teh Binks

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Prime Minister with a certain Science-worshipping woman. 

 

Your Excellency:

Congratulations on serving as Canada’s new Governor General, and representing the Queen to Canada, and Canadians to the Queen. It is an historic and storied role. Representing all Canadians is a wonderful opportunity.

Thank you for speaking out for science recently, at the 9th annual Canadian Science Policy Conference on Wednesday, November 1. Canada has long led the way in technology, innovation & invention, and in medical fields, amongst many others.

However, during your remarks it is reported that you said:

“”Can you believe that still today in learned society, in houses of government, unfortunately, we’re still debating and still questioning whether humans have a role in the Earth warming up or whether even the Earth is warming up, period,” she said.

“And we are still debating and still questioning whether life was a divine intervention or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone, oh my goodness, a random process.

“And so many people — I’m sure you know many of them — still believe, want to believe, that maybe taking a sugar pill will cure cancer, if you will it!

“And every single one of the people here’s personalities can be determined by looking at planets coming in front of invented constellations.”.

Your Excellency– as I understand it, your role is to speak to and represent all Canadians– including those who need to use non-prescription supplements, those who believe that there is no contradiction between science and religion, those who are not convinced– on actual evidential bases that climate change as popularly represented is primarily anthropogenic– or whatever other beliefs are out there which you seem to have slighted in your comments.

The following distinguished people have believed there is a divine being: Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. Einstein. Moses & Jesus. St. Thomas Aquinas. Galileo. Leonardo. Sir Isaac Newton. Nicholas Copernicus.

The following Noble Laureates in Science are also people who had some kind of agnostic or actual faith in God (mostly Jewish & Christian)–

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_Nobel.html

Also include the following Christians who were– or are– leading inventors & scientists in their respective fields-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_scientists
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric-scientists

My father was trained in the fields of computers, nuclear physics, general medicine, and the difficult specialty of pathology & medical examination. He served Canadian communities up and down the Annapolis Valley for two decades, as did his immigrant Scots father– also a Pathologist– did for 30 years prior. My father was also a Christian. He had no difficulty believing that God both created and was creating– through his created things and beings– all that is.

As a Canadian, I do not feel anyone in such a position as Governor General of Canada should be– or be seen to be– alienating or dividing our country, or possibly provoking and insulting Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, or those who follow aboriginal beliefs.

I hope this letter finds you well, enjoying your opportunities for the betterment of our Country, and richly blessed in all you do. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Yours very sincerely,

Etc., etc., so on and so forth.

UPDATE– VICTORY!  😉

Dear Mr. Binks,

Thank you for sharing your views and suggestions with Governor General Julie Payette.

Responses to specific inquiries can be expected within three weeks. All emails will be read, but general comments and opinions may not receive a response.

****

Monsieur Binks,

Nous vous remercions d’avoir transmis vos points de vue et vos suggestions à la gouverneure générale Julie Payette.

Veuillez prévoir trois semaines pour l’obtention d’une réponse à une demande précise. Tous les courriels seront lus, mais les opinions et les commentaires généraux ne recevront pas automatiquement une réponse.