Friday, February 15, 2013

Gregory the Great: The Fast That Pleases God

Adam, the author of our death, broke the commandments by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree of life (Gn 3,6). Let us who have fallen away from the joys of paradise through food, rise up to them again, as much as we can, through fasting.

But no one should believe that this fast alone can suffice. The Lord says through the prophet: “Do you not know the manner of fast I wish? Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them and not turning your back on your own” (Is 58, 5-7). Fast, then, by lifting up acts of almsgiving before his eyes, by doing what you do with love of your neighbor, by being holy. What you take from yourself give to someone else so that your needy neighbor's body may be restored by the affliction of your own.

The Lord says through the prophet: “When you fasted and mourned. Was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, was it not for yourselves that you ate and for yourselves that you drank?” (Zac 7,5-6). He eats and drinks for himself who nourishes his body with the Creator's common gifts, without regard for the needy; and he fasts for himself if he does not bestow upon the poor what he takes for a time from his own use, but keeps it instead to fill his own stomach later. Hence it is said by the prophet: “Sanctify a fast” (Jl 1,14)... Cease to be angry, put aside quarrels. You weaken your body in vain if you don't restrain your heart from all its pleasures. The Lord says by the prophet: See, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits; you oppress the poor and drive all your laborers. Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting” (Is 58, 3-4)... God forgives us what we have done unjustly-if for love of him we alleviate what is justly owed us.

H/T Daily Gospel.

Commentary of the day

Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church

Homilies on the Gospel, no.16 Migne (trans. ©Cistercian Publications Inc.,1990)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Get your Marco Rubio Water Bottle Today!

You know you need one of these. Click on the picture below.

Liberation Theology Rerun

So, in honor of Pope Benedict’s retirement, I thought I’d give him a retirement gift by buying and re-reading An Introduction to Christianity.  Well, not really re-reading, but more like finishing it this time I started reading it some time ago in a print version but became distracted from it for one unimportant thing or another. 
This time, I am reading the newer Kindle edition (2nd ed., 2004 in print (in English), and 2010 for Kindle).  And I am stunned by Benedict's introduction to this edition (subtitled “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”), which describes the the rise of liberation theology in Latin America following the historical milestone year of 1968.  The stunning part is its spot-on description of how religious faith is currently considered by the Obama Regime (I’m thinking about the perversion of the free exercise right into merely “freedom of worship”, the repeated Obama speeches about shared responsibility and being our brothers’ keepers, the HHS mandate enforcement, etc., not to mention O's connection to '60s radicals and to Black Liberation Theology).  Let me share a few passages:

Anyone who makes Marx the philosopher of theology adopts the primacy of politics and economics, which now become the real powers that can bring about salvation (and, if misused, can wreak havoc).  The redemption of mankind, to this way of thinking, occurs through politics and economics, in which the form of the future is determined.
That sounds familiar relative to the past four years.  Benedict goes on to describe the role of religion in this context:
From this perspective, speaking about God belongs neither to the realm of the practical nor to that of reality. . . What remained was the figure of Jesus, who of course appeared now, no longer as the Christ, but rather as the embodiment of all the suffering and oppressed and as their spokesman, who calls us to rise up, to change society. . . .
Man is, indeed, as Aristotle says, a “political being”, but he cannot be reduced to politics and economics.  I see the real and most profound problem with the liberation theologies in their effective omission of the idea of God, which, of course, also changed the figure of Christ fundamentally (as we have indicated).  Not as though God had been denied – not on your life!  He simply was not needed in regard to the “reality” that mankind had to deal with.  God had nothing to do. . . .  
Has not Christian consciousness acquiesced to a great extent – without being aware of it – in the attitude that faith in God is something subjective, which belongs in the private realm and not in the common activities of public life where, in order to be able to get along, we all have to behave now etsi Deus non daretur (as if there were no God).  Was it not necessary to find a way that would be valid in case it turned out that God did not exist?  And so actually it happened automatically, when the faith stepped out of the inner sanctum of ecclesiastical matters into the general public, that it had nothing for God to do and left him where he was:  in the private realm, in the intimate sphere that does not concern anyone else. 
Funny how Popes seem to have a knack for understanding human nature, isn’t it?  Wonder where they get that?  ;-)
I look forward to this reading project.

David Ryan to Working Boy: Shut Up

Here's a recent post near the top of the Google search for Rod Dreher by a serious boat captain guy named David Ryan. We'll do our part here to help keep it near the top. He has titled the post simply Rod Dreher needs to shut up.

He quotes Rod's musings about how he seems to be so distracted and has to blog about everything. My initial reaction to reading the first quote was thinking that there's a pretty fine line between laziness and lack of discipline; it's a distinction without much of a difference. Trust me; I know about all forms of laziness and lack of focus first-hand.

Here's Ryan's conclusion:

Rod, with as much love and charity as I can muster: You’ve identified the problem. Now stop talking and start doing.

No more trips to Paris. No more sportfishing. No more blogging. Travelocity now. Iona. Monastery.


Be quiet.

You’re welcome.

All I can add to this is "Aye, Captain."

Yeah, I know it's a sync, but even so...

Blows me away every time.

Oh, cool, you can listen to the whole Boston debut album by clicking here.

This explains Everything

With a capital E. Found this little cosmic summary in a comment on a post about the whole Kabbalah/Tree of Life thingy which I ended up at after a short web surfing session beginning with an image search on fiat lux (no, I'm not into Kabbalah, sheesh).

Thanks for your research on this matter REGAN. Yes! The Etz Chayyim is indeed full of yet undiscovered mysteries that the Profane knows absolutely Zilch about as yet for the simple reason that when the LIGHT is given too quickly it can do more damage than good.Such ones then still happily pupate in their comfort zone. Do you having studied this Cabbalah have any deeper knowledge of the Kether as 37x 8 to be 296 from where the rest of the Sephirot is obtained like in the First Supernal we have the third sephirot as Binah to be 3 which is then 3 multiplied by Kether (296) to give us the 888 of Jesus? The SEVERITY or Chesed is the 5th as 5 x 296 to be CHRIST as 1480 in Greek Gemattric value (Gv) and the 8 as 3+5 or 8x296 is 2368 as Yod and or Jesus Christ as 2368 that is 2+3+6+8 = 19 that is the Alpha and the Omega, the 1 and the 9 the Beginning and the End that is ONE as WAHD and in Arabic Haroof-e-Abjad W=6,A=1,H=8,D=4 and this added is 19 OVER IT ALL in sura 74:30 and equally Phil 2:9 that all knees shall as yet bow down to this Name of the RIGHT HAND PILLAR in this Cabbalah. Have you gone this far yet? If not it is time that you find out more related to the KETHER of 37 x 8 and or why the DOME of the ROCK is built on the Name of Jesus in Jerusalem as the Trinity of Infinity as 888. I suggest you read the matter on for more Solomonic wisdom revelations as encoded into the Bismillah.

That link for Apocrypha999 is dead. Shame, really. I think this guy was just getting started.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Results of the Australian Gun Ban

Armed Robberies UP 69%
Assaults With Guns UP 28%
Gun Murders UP 19%
Home Invasions UP 21%

And for some odd reason, there's a huge decline in the number of people who want to become policemen Down Under as well.

People who don't think this could happen here must think that America has more decent criminals than Australia. One of the reasons criminals don't break in to a house is that they think there might meet resistance. If they case a joint and see an old guy wandering around by himself they figure they can take him—unless there's a chance he has a gun. That chance will instill fear, uncertainty and doubt in the criminal, which is not just a sales tactic. FUD is a way to control behavior. It's a psychological fence, if you will, which you wield to get people to leave you alone. In many ways it's a first line of defense which might never be penetrated. Actually using a firearm might be a last-line of defense, but the right to bear arms is not, because of these many implications.

The criminal who would undertake a home invasion cares more dearly for his own life more than the law-abiding citizen, and he cares less about everyone else's life. He is a coward in the worst sense of the term. He preys on those he perceives to be weak and defenseless. A society which outlaws guns cares nothing about elderly people, single mothers, or poor people living in bad neighborhoods, no matter how big the social security payments or assistance checks are. In such an unarmed society, calling these people "at risk" because they have less money than suburbanites is a mean joke. These people are at risk because they can't defend themselves with aluminum ball bats or expensive monitored alarm systems. A fat lot of good government assistance will do for them when they're lying in a pool of blood because they didn't have a first or last line of defense against the criminal.

Titus Rocks

Love the shots where he's lying down with a pacifier in his mouth. LeBron James would look good with one

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Little Way to Big Money

Wow, lots of news today! As I was copying the link for the famous book, Crunchy Conservatism earlier, I noticed that the new offering of the famed author, Rod Dreher, is now available for pre-order. Yes: The Little Way of Ruthie Leming is coming out in April 2013, almost 7 years and 2 months after Dreher's ground-breaking debut.

We knew this was coming and discussed it excitedly earlier here and here. And, of course, our parody song was required reading and meditation material.

Now—guess what I'm going to do for all of you? I, humble Pauli, am going to purchase (most likely on Kindle), read and excerpt this million dollar biography right here on Est Quod Est when Little Way makes its big debut in April. We'll praise and condemn, share the joys and sorrows, analyze and critique this monumental writing. We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll dream... etc. Also we'll post times for promotional media appearances, especially on call-in shows so we can band together to ask the famous author really good questions which, if you think of any, please post below. ("Baba-Booey! Baba-Booey!")

And... don't forget to check this link from time to time.

Whence Rayne?

I was discussing some recent matters this morning with some of the veterans of the original Contra Crunchy blog when the name of a mysterious commenter on said blog came up: Rayne. A circumstantial email correspondence back in 2009 informed me that commenter Rayne is female. Here are several of the comments which she made about Crunchy Conservatism at the time.

Here's her first insightful comment.

Now this is rich. The rest of us are "soft" - but Dreher et al - padding about in their lesbian sandals on the cobblestone paths to their artsy-crafty bungalows fretting about their profiles in the Style section of the Washington Post - THEY are the poster boys for Alpha males. Is a Crunchy Con anything but a disaffected metrosexual with a ludicrous passion for food and an unhealthy preoccupation with home decor and ugly, expensive footware? I cannot wrap my head around Dreher hailing from Southern Louisiana - it just doesn't seem possible. No wonder those guys love homeschooling - they probably got the living crap beat out of them on the playground.

Bwa-ha-ha. Next:

Oh my - you're right! The New Pantagruel is Stegall's (aka Fr. Jape, IMO) little self-created soapbox where guess who? James Rovira! is a contributor. Shocking! You're right about the jig being up, Contra Crunch - looks like Dreher's biggest cheerleader, Frederica Mathews-Something, just threw him a rope with which to climb up from that hole he was trying to shovel his way out of:

"Rod... would you answer a question? Earlier today you said:

'I’ve learned a lot from critics of the book.'

Like, what, fr'instance? Care to list off a few? Or is there anything you would change or present differently in the book, from your current perspective?"

Would an accurate translation be: "Rod, you've dug your own grave and there's no graceful way up. Let me help you climb out & then back away slowly; otherwise, they'll bury you."

Here's a third

Great expose - now Whole Foods & Birkenstock should fire their entire PR departments for this colossal advertising failure! Dreher has only served to repulse everyone except his Crunchy Choir with his sanctimonious and hypocritical I'm-so-much-better-and-holier-than-you attitude; basically, just being a crashing bore. What does Dreher care that it's all a scam? - he's laughing all the way to the un-crunchy bank. Anyway, no one is even pretending to dignify it anymore by responding on the NR blog - only Dreher and a new poster (Amy Welborn) already in his Crunchy Corner have appeared today. Not surprisingly, Ms. Welborn has posted 2 nonsensical and irrelevant musings in attempt, I think, to be profound. Someone wake me when this is over...

...and on the same page, a really interesting one...

It's just that the Weinkopf guy didn't say anything remarkable - in WHAT sense is drinking organic milk, staying at home with the kids, and working less than 80 hours a week crunchy? LOTS AND LOTS of nuclear families across the political, social, economic & religious spectrum live exactly this way for a myriad of reasons - but QUIETLY without making exhibitions of themselves and demonizing anyone else who doesn't share their lifestyle choices.

Now Dreher drags in my beloved Benedict to support his self-aggrandisement. Has he NO shame?!

No shame indeed, especially since Dreher admitted today that he was on his way out of the church at the time of Pope Benedict's election, which was 10 months before the publication of Dreher's book Crunchy Conservatism, widely embraced by many Catholics at the time—for some reason. One wonders if that would have been the case if he had left the church before the publication date.

Well, I actually feel confident that Rayne might show up again on this here Est Quod Est blog. She and her wise contributions shall be welcomed by all of us.