By The Hermits, Aug 25 2014 12:24PM
Last night there was a report published by the daily Telegraph revealing the results of an international forensic team based in Britain on the video of James Foley's murder. It is entitiled 'Foley's murder video may have been staged'.
They do not deny that he was probably murdered all the same.
This morning it is extremely difficult to find the article on the Telegraph's web-site, so I am inserting a link to it here for all who are interested in reading about it first hand. SORRY, I've just tested the link, and suprise suprise - it doesn't work. However, if you put the address of the page into your browser bar it does work - at least for now! It is http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/11054488/Foley-murder-video-may-have-been-staged.html
In fact, maybe I should just insert the article in full to make sure. Is this information really so important that they should censure it?
Foley murder video 'may have been staged'
Analysts believe the British jihadi in the video may not have been James Foley's killer, although it is accepted that the journalist was murdered
By Bill Gardner12:52AM BST 25 Aug 2014
"The video of James Foley’s execution may have been staged, with the actual murder taking place off-camera, it has emerged.
Forensic analysis of the footage of the journalist’s death has suggested that the British jihadist in the film may have been the frontman rather than the killer.
The clip, which apparently depicts Mr Foley’s brutal beheading, has been widely seen as a propaganda coup for Islamic State miltant group.
But a study of the four-minute 40-second clip, carried out by an international forensic science company which has worked for police forces across Britain, suggested camera trickery and slick post-production techniques appear to have been used.
A forensic analyst told The Times that no blood can be seen, even though the knife is drawn across the neck area at least six times.
“After enhancements, the knife can be seen to be drawn across the upper neck at least six times, with no blood evidence to the point the picture fades to black,” the analysis said.
Sounds allegedly made by Foley do not appear consistent with what may be expected.
During Foley’s speech, there appears to be a blip which could indicate the journalist had to repeat a line.
One expert commissioned to examine the footage was reported as saying: “I think it has been staged. My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”
However the company, which requested anonymity, did not reach a definitive answer.
It concluded: “No one is disputing that at some point an execution occurred.”
By The Hermits, Aug 24 2014 2:21PM
The Gospel for this Sunday is traditionally the one which validates the primacy of Peter and Papal infallibility. People will argue that the keys are given to all the twelve Apostles, and in a sense that is true, but when God works throughout Salvation, it is not by using democratic principles or Reformation principles, or even the present Orthodox stance on the Papacy, which is that the Papacy has departed from its ancient way. No Christ always chooses one person to do something, never a committee. Thus Abraham becomes the head of people of Israel, Isaac follows him, and then God decides through Rebecca’s conniving for Jacob to be the one who inherits the blessing, and not Esau. The Old Testament is not governed by committees. There is Moses, there is Joshua, and all the Judges, and then there is David and all the kings, a few good, and most not very good at all. Some are terrible like Ahab and Manasseh, and the religious authorities are not much better. It is left to the prophets to call the people of Israel and Judah to task.
Peter is the rock, only because Christ is The Rock. In fact it is rather amusing, because Matthew who relays this incident must have smiled wryly to himself, when he was writing his Gospel, for whatever Peter was he was not a rock. He was impulsive, rash, boastful, lovable, but when frightened by a serving girl was reduced to a trembling, frightened coward. This makes this affirmation of Christ all the more startling, and so to speak confirms, not only Peter, but all his successors, weak though they be, in their role as rocks, and key bearers. If Peter the Key bearer was so weak to begin with, and who made mistakes after the resurrection, then there is hope for all those who have the terrifying responsibility of being successors of Peter. It is not my intention here to discuss Infallibility, but in a leaderless world Peter’s voice must be heard.
Pope Francis is doing whatever he can to promote peace and that is all to the good, but I think, he should, in a very public way, inform the world as to why there is no peace. It is because of sin plain and simple, and it is, in particular, that sin that no-one is worrying about which is causing all the problem, namely sexual sin. The heroism of Paul VI in bringing out Humanae Vitae in 1968, and the marvellous comprehensiveness with which St. John Paul II dealt with sexual sin, sexual ethics, and marriage have still not be able to turn the tide.
So what does sexual sin do apart from damning the soul. It causes the person to become immersed in pleasure, and those pleasures which will heighten sexual sin and tempt people to sin sexually. This is true of drugs and drink. The magnifying of sexual pleasure will cause people to sin without restraint, given contraception, and abortion which makes it all so easy. Abortion, a really terrible sin, is seen as a woman’s right, and is a huge industry, where wicked doctors make a vast amount of money, and so cause endless suffering psychological, social, and spiritual. Both abortion and contraception have to find a raison d’ètre. The justification for all this is “The Woman’s right to choose”. What she chooses is what Eve chose, spiritual death, and this then entices the man. Added to this, oestrogen from the pill is finding its way into the water system from the urine of women, and causing sterility in men. So death in the form of being unable to transmit life becomes the man’s inheritance of the woman’s contraception, and her rights to do with whatever she wants with her body. Thus we have a continual replay of the Fall.
With Homosexuality the sterility continues, and its reward so often is Aids. However homosexual men can find women who will incubate their sperm so that they can have children. However this breeding can get so confused that it will mean that no child will know where he or she comes from, and who his real parents are. What dreadful cruelty to children, what an enormous sin. The situation is a nightmare world of sexual profligacy selfishness to vast to comprehend.
The final lunacy is the whole world of transgenderism which takes sterility to new heights, if you are a man becoming a woman, and no doubt the same will be true if you are a woman becoming a man. Of course sex changes do not change your genes. Sex changes are more like changing ones skin, so to speak.
We can see from all this that the successor of Peter must speak loudly and emphatically. For too long the Papacy has been tempted to false compassion because of the demands of the Media and that most secular of bodies the United Nations, whose headquarters should be in Switzerland, a neutral country, which the United States of America is most certainly not.
In 1917 Our Lady told the children at Fatima that most people went to Hell because of sexual sin. It would seem so strange then, and what would peasant children of that age know about sexual sin? However today since the poisoning effect of Holywood over nearly a century, whose spider like tentacles of sexual sin have had the most devastating effect on the whole world for too long millions of souls have been lost because of impurity on the Big Screen. In that sense the media is the Devil’s greatest weapon, especially in the normalization of adultery, divorce, fornication, homosexual sin, and myriad forms of perversion.
Thus we look to Peter for a clarion call to purity, which is all but disappearing in the Western World. Who could have thought that the Christian West could have become so sinful and corrupt and then go on to corrupt the rest of the world? This finds its most ludicrous expressions in such organs as the United Nations and the EU. That the present Secretary General of the United Nations Ban-Ki-Moon can enthusiastically support Gay Rights is bizarre. I am sure that there is nothing in Korean culture to point in this direction, but then neither was there in Christendom.
We are standing under the Justice of God, and all we can do is talk of human rights, leisure, and pleasure, but we never talk of the utter holiness of God, his majesty, his might, and his mercy. Modern man thinks that he is master of everything, and will soon understand the Universe, but how can he, for he has not made it? We can only hope and pray that Peter from his throne will speak fearlessly on the dreadful corruption of sexual morals, otherwise countless souls will be lost.
By The Hermits, Aug 24 2014 1:57AM
Just a very little post, on the fact that here in the UK it is probably against the law to watch the video of James Foley's murder. Why has this particular I.S. death video been prohibited when all the others were not?
I have not watched any of the killings - I did not want to! And I do not advise anybody to watch James Foley's killing, it would be an unnecessary breaking of the law, and also pure voyeurism. But the fact of the ban intrigues me and raises up some phantoms of the past.
First the intrigue - there are many comments around the web as to the lack of blood, but the Pentagon said they were satisfied that he had in fact died - so I suppose he has. It does seem that the desert scene was probably a projected background, like the map is during TV weather forecasts, but where-ever they were doesn't actually matter, that would have been a good tactic to hide their position from their enemy. It would be wonderful if he wasn't dead, especially for his grieving family, but that is probably too much to hope for. However, the ban on people in Britain watching the video is intriguing, because there has been to call for us to try to recognise the killer 'John'. The Government has said that he might be recognised by his old friends or neighbours, but how can they if they don't see and hear him on the video? Do they want us to try to recognise the killer or not?
Now for the phantom of the past. The killing of James Foley is being used as a justification of the USA, and everyone they can take with them, into a war within Syria and Iraq. Now remember what were the triggers for the last wars or attempted wars, the weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist etc etc. if the murder of James Foley is being used in a simular way to justify a war, it just makes me wonder, is that why we cannot watch, or rather examine, the video?
With all the conflicts around the world, the evil and moral degredation, the 'normalization' of the morally indefensible, it certainly seems that this is the time in which Satan, the prince of this world, has been allowed to reign for a time, until the Prince of Peace seals the victory over Satan and death, which Jesus Christ has already won. But for the present - remember - Satan is the prince of lies.
By The Hermits, Aug 22 2014 4:28PM
With the re-ordering of the Liturgical Calendar in 1969 we are still dealing with anomalies that of necessity accompany such changes. Prior to the Liturgical changes in 1969, August 22 was the date for the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1969 that feast was moved to the Saturday following on from the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. The feast of the Queenship of Our Lady prior to 1969 fell on 31st May and was called Our Lady Virgin and Queen.
Now when you look at the prayers an antiphons for the two feasts of Our Lady Virgin and Queen and the Queenship of Our Lady, you see how different the approach is, the former feast delights in Our Lady’s Queenship. The Introit gives us the atmosphere immediately.
"Let us rejoice in the Lord and make a festive day in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen; at whose solemnity the Angels rejoice and give praise to the Son of God. (Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia). Ps. 44.2. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my song to the King."
Then with the Collect we are asked to consider Our Lady’s care for us.
"Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to those who are celebrating this solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen: that safe in her protection we may deserve to enjoy present peace and future glory. "
The Lesson, i.e. the first reading is from Ecclesiasticus 24. 5,7, 9-11, 30 31. It is an evocation of wisdom, and it prefigures Our Lady’s Queenship in the most beautiful terms. It begins with the lines:
"I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures; I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of cloud."
It is a wonderful description of the glory of Our Lady as Queen.
The Alleluia for the feast in Eastertide shows Our Lady at the foot of the Cross, but out of Eastertide the Gradual is not the remembrance of the Passion that we are called to reflect upon, but on Christ the triumphant King, and Mary the Glorious Queen who protects us.
"He hath on His garment and on His thigh written: King of kings and Lord of Lords. Ps.44. 10. The Queen stands on the right hand, decked with gold from Ophir.
Alleluia, alleluia. Hail, Queen of mercy! Do thou protect us from the enemy, and at the hour of death receive us. Alleluia."
Here we see Our Lady as protectress and the one who intercedes with God for us at the hour of our death.
The Gospel continues the theme of joy with the Annunciation. At the Offertory Mary’s luminosity is evoked, and her prayers are invoked.
"That Mary springs from royal stock shines out; with most devout mind and spirit do we beg the help of her prayers."
In the Secret, joy in offering the gifts to God, and reliance on Mary’s prayer are the theme.
"Accept, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the gifts which Thy Church in her joy doth offer thee; may we receive in return, through the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen, all help for salvation."
The Communion antiphon recalls Mary’s Queenship of the World an calls upon Our Lady to “intercede on behalf of our peace an safety”. Thus Our Lady is the one who brings peace and safety. Ultimately, of course both the safety and peace are heavenly realities, because so many of the saints, if not most, who are canonized, have been martyrs. Still we ask Our Lady for peace and safety, precisely for the reason that threatened with death we might betray Our Lord.
The Postcommunion prayer brings everything to an exultant close.
"We have reached the end, O Lord, of the solemnities for this festivity of holy Mary our Queen: in her honour exultantly we performed them; may her intercession be salutary on our behalf."
Even the title of the feast is almost in the vocative. It certainly would be if one put a “O” before it. The title is an exclamation. The new title for the feast is simply a description, an observation; The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is abrupt and to the point.
The quote from psalm 44, which in the Gradual for the Old Rite, is like a jewel in a proper setting. Here it sounds as if we are having to remind Jesus a) that his mother is with him, and b) how she is dressed. There is very little context to it, bar that it is scripture, because in the dark old days of pre Vatican II there was so little scripture, but as we can see as we continue with the new prayers, that the old prayers were abounding in scripture.
The New Rite Collect is stately and somewhat pedestrian.
"O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mother and Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession, we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children".
It almost sounds like that not only will we go to Heaven, but we will receive there the promised glory, but what else are we going to receive. There is a pedestrian feeling about the whole thing.
The Offertory prayer sensing that we might be descending into Mariolatry starts with another observation, namely “As we observe this Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. Then it goes straight to the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass. There is obviously nothing wrong with that, but how could it not be. It is obvious because we are at Mass, and the Cross is what it is all about.
The Communion Antiphon is once again scriptural. It is exclamation of Elizabeth at the Visitation: “Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord will be fulfilled”.
Elizabeth’s words are wonderful, and obviously we can make them our own, but they hardly compensate for the outpouring of love in the words “O Queen of the world most worthy, Mary, Virgin Perpetual”
It is all thoroughly didactic. And so when we come to the Prayer after Communion. There is no joyful ending of the liturgy:
"Having receive this heavenly Sacrament, we humbly pray, O Lord, that we, who reverently celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may merit to be partakers at your eternal banquet."
There was this wonderful urgency and trust in the Old Rite. I am afraid today in the Church we are all so busy congratulating ourselves at how good we are, and that we have come of age, and how silly and naïf they all were in those bad old days. We are today the spiritual inheritors of the French revolution, wandering around in a sort of world of classical make believe. This is not helped by the Gay Revolution, also a throwback to Classical “make believe”, which is fast growing apace in the Western World. But against this extraordinarily powerful movement stands Our Lady Queen, Virgin and Mother, and her Son, Jesus, God and Virgin as well.
This is a profound mystery, but not so mysterious that we cannot glean some remarkable insights. Everything has been created through Christ, who is the Logos, who is the Word Incarnate. He has, so to speak, brought Creation to birth, even though the Father is the Creator in a particular fashion. Our Lady brings Christ to birth in his humanity through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Lady has a virginal marriage to Joseph.
We see in all this Love in all its purity. With the Fall sexual love has been compromised dreadfully and has been a captive too often to jealousy, and lust. With Our Lady and Christ there can be no jealousy, nor carnality.
Through his Passion and death, Christ has raised humanity to a greater height than it had before the Fall. Christ is our King, but he is also our brother, the first born of all creation. Mary his mother is Queen precisely because of her Fiat, which reached its most perfect form when her heart was pierced at the foot of the Cross.
In the chaos that is afflicting the world at present, moral, spiritual, and temporal, the worst is the spiritual. False spiritualities abound in the Church, and throughout so many of the other churches, which are leading to a dangerous sympathy with the world, especially with regard to sexual immorality. This sin is having the most devastating consequences throughout the world, not only in the West, but in the East. Opposed to sexual immorality is an increasingly violent and cruel Islamic opposition. The great globalist elite could not be less worried for war is their aim, for they wish only to cull the world population, and seat themselves on thrones dispensing their deadly and Satanic ways, for surely they must know that though Satan may appear attractive in this world, he will, in the next, be their eternal torturer. Would that there was a John the Baptist to call them to conversion, but sadly, as yet, there is no John to shock them into repentance.
And so, as the Christians suffer abominably in Iraq, Syria, and Palestine, and the Ukrainian Christians suffer from each other, there is a marvellous side to it all. How many martyrs have been given to Christ in all this terror, mayhem, mad cruelty, and bestial violence. Not only is Our Lady Queen and Virgin, but she is Queen of martyrs. To her we must commend all those suffering at the hands of the Islamic State, whatever that strange being is. One thing we can know is this, that it is the progeny of wicked politicians, who have no care for the people that they govern, but this they must know; Our Lady’s power is immense, and they must turn to her before it is too late. These terrible oligarchs, be they American, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Western European, African, or Asian, they must all turn to Our Lady Virgin and Queen for time is running, and soon Christ will show the power of his arm.
He hath on His garment and on His thigh written: King of kings and Lord of Lords. Ps.44. 10. The Queen stands on the right hand, decked with gold from Ophir.
Alleluia, alleluia. Hail, Queen of mercy! Do thou protect us from the enemy, and at the hour of death receive us. Alleluia.
By The Hermits, Aug 20 2014 9:27PM
ST. BERNARD AND ST PIUS X HERALDS OF THE DIVINE
Unfortunately we live in a secular age, and not surprisingly also a very superstitious age. At the close of 19th century the middle classes were all rushing off to seances, and now it is the new age, and the occult which attracts not only the middle classes in Anglophone countries, but there is a veritable army of white witches advising, healing, and goodness knows what else; all of which is sadly, not of Christ, not his Gospel, nor of his preaching and his Church. We are assailed by a welter of science fiction films, which seems a desperate way of trying to be religious without being Christian. I am not sure that Buddhists, Hindus, and Moslems are rushing to see science fiction films, when their myths far outstrip the often imaginative, but shallow, plots of many of the science fiction stories. The whole underlying problem with science fiction is that it does not rely on the miraculous, whether pagan or Christian, but on super technology. Technology has taken the place of miracles, and science has become a god, but a somewhat pantheistic deity.
When so many Christians, and high ranking ones at that, have problems with the miraculous, we are faced with two great saints who stand as sentinels to the Divine, St. Bernard of Clairvaux born in the 11th century, and St. Pius X born in the 19th century. Two men who had to deal with two terrible heresies, and a Europe changing before their eyes. St. Bernard had to deal with Albigensianism, and St. Pius X had to deal with the effects of modernism. St. Bernard had to deal with the re-emergence of Islam, and was asked by Pope Eugenius III to call the Second Crusade. He also founded the Knights Templar to fight against the Saracens.
The extraordinary spread of the Cistercian Order throughout Europe was mainly due to Bernard and the wonderful constitutions of the Order. In fact the Cistercians reclaimed so much of Europe’s land from marsh and wilderness and turned it into rich pasture lands. He rushed all over Europe reconciling enemies, advising kings, exhorting popes, and encouraging the great St. Hildegard of Bingen. I think that it would be fair to say that in some ways he changed the face of Europe. He certainly changed the face of England with all the wonderful Cistercian abbeys founded across her rolling landscapes.
St. Pius X had to lead the Catholic Church in far more difficult times. He wished to restore all things to Christ. This he did by condemning the heresy of modernism. Here he was only partial successful. In this he was just like Bernard who thought that he had crushed Albigensian, and had only temporarily put it underground. At least Bernard was followed by St. Dominic, whose order did indeed destroy Albigensian. Sadly a century after St. Pius’ death which will fall tomorrow, no Dominic has appeared to crush Modernism which has contaminated so much of the Catholic Church, so that things look truly desperate. Pius X also inaugurates the liturgical reform, which was then hijacked at Vatican II. Perhaps his greatest gift to the Church was the lowering of age so that children could receive communion when they achieved the age of reason. This was indeed wonderful. However a reaction set in after the deaths of both Bernard and Pius. Pius, they said, died of a broken heart as Europe was caught up in the conflagration of the First World War.
The contemporaries of both men knew that they were saints, and great ones at that. I have no doubt that both John XXIII and John Paul II were saints, but neither are really of the calibre of Bernard and Pius. Both John and John Paul were unwitting celebrities living out their lives in the full glare of 20th century media.
They said of Bernard that carried the 12th century on his shoulders. That could not be said of Pius X, though it might appear that something similar could be said of John Paul II that he carried Europe and the World and so destroyed Communism. Sadly because of his innate gentleness he was unable to truly reform the Church; that was left to Benedict XV, who had to heroically admit that he could not steer the Church any longer, and now his Holiness Pope Francis has informed us that he thinks he will not live long. And this is just when we need a strong Pope at the helm for rumours of wars, real wars, and earthquakes and volcanoes threaten the lives of millions. In these tragic and trying times we beg God to send us another Bernard and another Pius.
St. Bernard and St. Pius pray for us.
By The Hermits, Aug 17 2014 10:00PM
At one point in the hilarious Ealing Comedy “Passport to Pimlico” Mrs Pemberton (Betty Warren) shouts from the upstairs of her husband’s shop “We’ve always been English; and its precisely because we are English that we’re sticking up for our right to be Burgundians!” If you are wondering at this strange exclamation, let me take you swiftly through the plot of this delightful 1940’s comedy.
Owing to some boys accidentally setting off an unexploded bomb in Pimlico just after the Second World War, the grocer Mr Pemberton (Stanley Holloway) falls down the bomb crater and finds a treasure. It turns out that it belongs to part of the estate of Charles VII (“the Rash”) Duke of Burgundy. When the eccentric Professor Hatton Jones, played by the equally eccentric Margaret Rutherford, is called upon by Mr Pemberton, and the local bank manager Mr. Wix (Raymond Huntley), to authenticate the testament, it is discovered to be a document whereby King Edward IV had ceded what is now Miramont Gardens, Pimlico, to the Duke of Burgundy. So the inhabitants of Miramont gardens declare their independence from England.
The British Government thinks that it can scotch the whole independence plan by saying that the residents of Miramont Gardens need the Duke of Burgundy to appoint the council, for without a council nothing can be done. Not surprisingly a charming Frenchman appears, who is no other than the descendant of the Duke, and thus the present day Duke of Burgundy. His presence thus validates the council of Miramont Gardens.
People from other parts of London flood into the new Dukedom as it is not subject to rationing like the rest of Britain, and before long it is a haven for shoppers, entrepreneurs, gangsters, and spivs. The Government, worried about the chaotic situation in the Dukedom, closes the borders, and shuts off the water and electricity of the tiny state. So the residents find themselves having to live off gin, beer, and whatever they have saved in the way of food. The children are evacuated to England. However the only policeman in the Dukedom, P.C. Spiller, (Philip Stainton) is able to sneak through the barbed wire, and goes to the nearest fire hydrant, and pipes water through to the local reservoir. Unfortunately somebody left the tap on in Pemberton’s shop, and all the food is destroyed by flooding, and so there is a real danger of the inhabitants of Miramont Gardens being starved into submission. The evacuated children then return to the borders of their homeland and throw sandwiches over the barbed wire to their parents and friends. The English onlookers follow suit, and people are soon hurling all kinds of food over into Burgundy. There is even an airlift, and also a helicopter that drops down a hose to supply milk for the community’s milk churns. A pig is airlifted in as well. The British people are right behind the Burgundians, and there is massive pressure on the Government to resolve the situation.
A deadlock ensues, and is finally broken by the suggestion of the Bank Manager that the treasure, which is what is at the root of it all, should be loaned to Britain. And so everyone lives happily ever after.
The English, so long a people of whimsy and rollicking good humour, are these days so sunk in moral depravity, that their legendary good humour is a pale imitation of what it used to be. God willing it will return. However this lovely comedy has a profound message for the Ukrainians and the Donbas Region. The Donbas was originally part of Russia; other parts of Western Ukraine could be debated about. It would completely complicate the argument to remind the reader that at one time most of Western France was part of England.
The Donbas, like Miramont Gardens, has a treasure trove of minerals, mining and industry. No doubt there is an army of Mrs Pembertons, who are shouting from their upstairs windows in the Donbas region, ( That is if they have any upstairs these days due to all the shelling and bombing.) and saying “We’ve always been Ukrainians and we’ll always be Ukrainian; and it’s precisely because we are Ukrainian that we’re sticking to our right to be Russians.” The analogy is not quite exact but it serves its purpose.
A Federation is the only thing that makes sense for the Ukraine, and someone should have the sense to get the Government of Kiev, and the Government of The Donbas Region to sit down and watch “Passport to Pimlico”, which they can do for free on the Internet. Despite all the fear, the hatred, the bombing and the killing, perhaps among Western Ukrainians and Eastern Ukrainians there is an Edward Said, and a Daniel Barenboim, who could bring together young musicians to make music, and in the harmony, and the beauty help to heal and forgive.
Ultimately peace, true and profound peace, is a gift of God, which springs from the Cross of Christ, and his Redemptive Passion. All Ukrainians are for the most part Christian, and there is no excuse for them to be at war with one another. After all our true homeland is not our nation, however much we might love her, but our nation as Christians is Heaven and our commonwealth must be our Christian living, our baptism.
Wars are the result of our sins, and from God’s perspective they are punishments. If we live in true Christian peace and brotherly love there would be no wars, but nationalism a corrupt form of Patriotism, always a difficult concept to understand, to put it mildly, dogs true fraternal love, and makes every other nation an enemy or an object of abuse.
I only hope and pray that there is an important member of the Kiev government and the Donbas government who might read this article and ponder it. As Shakespeare says so eloquently “if music be the food of love play on”, not romantic love as he supposed, but true love, true charity.
The artist and pastor Howard Storm, when he had his mind blowing death experience and underwent terrifying torments at the hands of demons, and tutelage from angels, found that as the Greeks thought, that the Universe is run by music, then music perhaps has part of the answer, for after all Christ is the Logos, the Word made Flesh, and perhaps he brought creation into being with a song. Certainly C.S. Lewis thought so in “The Magician’s Nephew”.
So Dear Ukrainians, Western and Eastern, and Dear Russians think upon your great musical traditions, especially in your Church Music, and amidst the chaos of violence and war bring harmony, and perhaps take a moment to listen to Vaughan Williams great work “Serenade to Music”, where he takes a speech from Merchant of Venice and endows it with a beauty that caused the great Rachmaninov, who attend its world premiere, to weep because it was so beautiful! God after all is perfect beauty, who alone can bring beauty and peace to the Ukraine, to Israel, to Palestine, and to the Middle East. Our Lady Queen of Peace pray for us.
By The Hermits, Aug 14 2014 9:00PM
Recently I have been reading Ian Ker’s truly magnificent biography of G.K. Chesterton, and all the memories of his wonderful books, and superb essays coming flooding back into my mind. For it was 33 years ago, when I first started reading Chesterton, and along with C.S. Lewis, he has been a great guide in our perplexing and perverse World. Ian Ker stresses Chesterton’s fascination with limits. Life has to be limited by laws, and things like the sea, because that is how life works. He would have been an absolute opponent of “Let it all hang out”, which was the great rallying call of the 60’s. One wonders what was meant to be hanging out. It is also interesting to hear people who were not born in the 60’s saying that something is cool. No doubt “good news” which I first heard of in 1976 may make a come back, but not as the Gospel. For Chesterton humour was essential to Christianity, and Ian Ker makes some very telling observations in the following:
‘Hilarity’ he wrote elsewhere ‘involves humility’, and being undignified is ‘the essence of all happiness’. There is, he insisted, ‘an alliance between religion and fun’; whereas Socialist like pagan utopias ‘ have all one horrible fault. They are all dignified.’ For religion ‘is much nearer riotous happiness than it is to the detached and temperate types of happiness which gentlemen and philosophers find their peace.’ Without religion, humour is impossible anyway since it involves humility: ‘No man has ever laughed at anything till he has laughed at himself.’(G. K. Chesterton: A Biography by Ian Ker, Oxford University Press, 2011 ; pp. 272-273)
This sums up on one level the sheer riotous joy that we should feel on the Feast of the Assumption, which has already begun in the East, and which will soon be upon us two and a quarter hours time. For Our Lady has achieved through utter openness to Grace and perfect humility, what we have lost through Original Sin. Our Lady is God’s great joke against Satan. This wonderful girl from Nazareth has been utterly important for our salvation, and the Assumption is the beginning of a great Dance leading us by the hand to heaven. We have to allow Our Lady to make us laugh and jump about with sheer glee, for that is the path to Heaven, which is why I have appended to this short piece an explanation of Bushy’s Song, which is one of those riotous scenes in ‘The Catmoot’, which is on the website.
The song is sung as a duet by Bushy and Tommy, with the chorus made of of the other cats!
When We Go Out Abroad
When we go out abroad,
We cats so many and more,
All jumping and turning,
And dancing and purring,
We’ll follow Our Good Lord.
He will lead us to a place
And show us his gracious face.
We will fly in the sky,
And sing praises on high,
As we follow in his wake.
Both and Chorus
A Gaudium et Spes young man,
A Nostrae Aetate young man,
An ultra-theological, new philosophical
Out-of-the way young man.
Conceive me if you can,
A Vatican II young man:
A progressive type,
With a sneer and pipe,
And a priestly patter pan;
Who thinks folkloric “pops”
More fun than Sunday “tops”
Who’s fond of his dinner,
And doesn’t get thinner
On clerical wine and chops.
Both and Chorus
A Vatican II young man,
Not a Council of Trent Old Man
A steady and “Constance” no time for such nonsense
A Vatican II young man.
An up-to-date young man,
An aggiornamento young man,
A Teilhard de Chardin, so charming parlando,
A Roman Curial man,
A Modernist trained young man,
A very delectable, highly respectable,
A sickly and thin old man,
A grieving and sad old man,
At a Church gone so batty, its thoughts gone so scatty,
A foot in the grave old man!
A Chalcedonian man,
A Lateran IV old man,
A feisty old cardinal who knows all the articles;
A tower of strength old man.
Both and Chorus
Receive me if you can,
A loyal and orthodox man,
Who takes the tradition and all its munitions,
For the sake of the Son of Man.
Bushy’s song whose Gilbert and Sulivan's tune and original lyrics are to be found in Bunthorne and Grovesnor’s hilarious duet at the end of Act II from Patience. Gilbert was sending up the whole aesthetic movement, which was best exemplified by Oscar Wilde and James McNeill Whistler.
The lyrics are a send up of much of Vatican II, which though a great Council on one level was disastrous on many others, due to vagueness and a hopelessly optimistic view of modern man. I have had to incorporate some of the lines of Gilbert’s as it would be hard to better them, and I do not have the talent to better him.
A Guadium et Spes young man. Guadium et Spes was the flagship document of the Council. Parts of it were criticized by Cardinal Heenan as being banal, and that is very accurate. Reading them they have the feel of a sanctified United Nations document, or something that a pious member of the social services might come up with. It is like so much of Vatican II utterly enraptured with man, and putting God, albeit unconsciously in the wings, so to speak.
Nostra Aetate was the document on dialogue with Non Christian religions. It was a small document, but it has created a mine field of theological problems and great havoc. Its gestation and final emergence as the document we know began its career as a result of a meeting between Jules Isaac, a famous French Jew and John XXIII. It was a meeting of hearts and not of minds. Jules Isaac was a modern metropolitan man, although old by then, and John XXIII thought he was talking to a Jew of the Old Testament. This misunderstanding was fuelled by various interested parties for the next several years, which by turns was tragic and farcical. The main villain of the piece, and there were many, was the maverick, and immoral Irish Jesuit Malachi Martin, who ended his days in the late 90’s, or early this century, as a highly orthodox man who was living with his mistress!!!
An ultra theological, new philosophical, out of the way young man. This is the modern priest, whose formation is weighed down with huge doses of academic theology, usually of a highly dubious nature, half baked psychology, and once again is man centred. It was Good Pope John’s wonderfully optimistic, and happy nature that opened the first session of the Vatican Council by saying that the Church no longer needed to condemn error because modern man was so reasonable that he would be persuaded by the Catholic Church’s teachings. This opened a Pandora’s Box. 11 days later the Cuba crisis erupted onto the world stage. However the optimism rippled throughout the Church then and in the following decades and still is here, but optimism and hope are two different things. Optimism led to the most madcap schemes for the formation of priests, and religious and goodness knows who else, and ended up causing chaos, much of which I have witnessed, and it usually has led to a loss of Faith and the destruction of vocations and marriages. The whole problem is that unwittingly The Second Vatican Council, or its movers and shakers, were infatuated with man. The philosophy taught in seminaries would include anybody but Aquinas as far as I could see. We studied most of the German philosophers, some of whom would not have been remotely interested in God. The out of the way young man, could be the trendy priest, the rebel priest, the Marxist revolutionary, the purveyor of permissiveness and goodness knows what else, but he was and is certainly not priestly. I am not sure whether that is worse than the bureaucratic priest who has been in the Church since Constantine.
Who thinks folkloric “pops more fun than Sunday “tops”. Church music in the Western World has suffered both in its Catholic liturgies and Protestant liturgies. For the most part it has been dreadful. Folk masses, which do not use folk music at all but ersatz American folk music, which as far as I can see was created by Pete Seeger. Country and Western would have made more sense, as the great Country and Western singers are often devout Christians. Though Popes have reiterated the importance of Gregorian Chant and polyphony, their words have fallen not so much on deaf ears, but rebellious ears, and this is what is meant by Sunday “tops”. A Shaman would have a better idea of liturgical music than most modern Catholic Clergy, I am sad to say.
The Council of Trent was after Lateran IV, the greatest council since the schism between the Catholic West and the Orthodox West. A famous Anglican Canon, Donald Alchin said to me many years ago that no Church during the Reformation reformed itself more thoroughly than the Catholic Church. The Tridentine Church ends with the opening of the Vatican II, and quite what this era will be called is hard to say.
The Council of Constance in many ways prefigures Vatican II. It had to re-unite the Latin Church so it held that a Council was higher than a Pope. It wanted the Church to be governed by Councils, or some of its members did. However when Martin V was elected Pope, he put paid to that and the Pope then was once again governing the Church.
Aggiornamento is the Italian for “updating”. This became a mad craze. In every department of the Catholic Church had to be updated. Architecture, habits, theology, philosophy, and even marriage!
Teilhard de Chardin The famous French Jesuit along with the famous Austrian theologian and Jesuit Karl Rahner, have done untold harm to the Church. Teilhard has taken in brilliant theologians, and a vast army of religious and priests. His theology to a simple child would be nonsense. It is the Emperor’s new clothes. Teilhard was, as far as one can see, nothing more and nothing less than a dishonest Palaeontologist. He was involved with the Piltdown hoax, for which he could be forgiven, as he may well have been duped. But he was involved with Peking Man with an English palaeontologist. His English Palaeontologist colleague who wrote the definitive bibliography on all the writings to do with the find, failed to incorporate into the bibliography the work of a French Palaeontologist, who looking at the supposed humanoid’s remains concluded that the site was a prehistoric kitchen and the bones were monkeys’ bones. Teilhard’s theology is meant to be Scotist, but the truth is, it is all fantasy. Sadly such fine although dubious theologians as de Lubac thought his work wonderful. Teilhard is the the theologian of Evolution, which makes him something equivalent to a theological oxymoron.
Historico-critical young man. 19th century German theologians are the villains of the piece when it comes to Scripture Scholarship. Their fundamental thesis was, unless it is scientifically verifiable then it can’t have happened. In the realms of philosophy it is known as logical positivism, and it is very dull, and wrong. Miracles do happen of the most astounding nature, but they do not happen with enough frequency to convince 19th century German theologians, or such English philosophers as A.J. Ayer, and people like Richard Dawkins. The end result of such literary criticism is that Jesus ends up just as a great and good man. This leads to Modernism.
A Modernist trained young man. Modernism is the logical outcome of the historical critical method, and evolution, namely that religion is just a subjective thing. The great truths of Christianity simply become wishful thinking. The famous modernist Catholic is George Tyrell S.J., and the most famous Protestant theologian who was a modernist was Bultmann, who flourished in the 20’s and 30’s. The great scourge of Modernism in the Catholic Church was St. Pius Xth, who is now considered by many Catholic Clergy from Cardinals down to ordinary priests as being antediluvian. The great Protestant opponent of Modernism is the giant Karl Barth, of whom Pius XII said, was the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas!!!
A sickly and thin old man, This stands for all those who are faithful to the Ancient teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church that cannot be changed without changing the nature of the Church. Thankfully the Second Vatican Council was only a Pastoral Council, which just to complicate things produced two Dogmatic Documents Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum, which were both orthodox, but had unfortunate loop holes that could be used by the unscrupulous and were.
A Chalcedonian man One of the greatest councils of the Church, second only to Nicaea. It was called in the mid 5th Century when Leo The Great was Pope. It stated that Christ had two natures Divine, and Human.
Lateran IV This was the Council that recognized such new religious orders as The Franciscans, Carmelites, and ultimately the Dominicans. Guided by the most powerful Pope that ever lived, namely Innocent III it did much to reform the Medieval Church.
A feisty old cardinal describes the much maligned “Conservative” cardinals such as Ottaviani, and Siri of Genoa among others, who were not the dreadful dinosaurs that the revolutionary theologians such as Yves Congar, and Rahner would have us believe. The Cardinals were men of irreproachable morality which could not be said of Rahner, and some others.
Thankfully to be truly Christian one does not have to be a theologian, but one must accept the great truths of the Faith, which are all expounded in the first 800 years of the Church’s life and ends with the Seventh Ecumenical Council, Nicaea II, which takes place in 787.
Bushy’s song does for the nonsense of much modern Catholicism what Gilbert did for the aesthetic movement of Wilde and Whistler. I know that Pope Francis has received a copy of the Catmoot book, and seems to have read some of it !!!
By The Hermits, Aug 14 2014 3:49AM
The media is now filled with France, America and the United Kingdom going back into Iraq yet again to bomb, kill, and hopefully rescue, people in Iraq. Over 1000 of those on the mountain had been rescued by the Kurds before the West got involved, and hopefully now the rest can be saved too.
But it isn't in Iraq and Syria that 1000 people have been killed in the last two weeks. It isn't either in Gaza, that poor beseiged overcrowded strip of land, where too too many people have been killed and injured by its powerful neighbour Israel.
No, the country where 1000 people have been killed by thier own government forces without the Western media even turning a hair is in Europe, it is the Ukraine.
The official United Nations spokeswoman Cecile Pouille told Reuters: "This corresponds to a clear escalating trend,". She added that over 60 people have been killed or wounded every day, and almost 5,000 have been wounded, but that these were: “very conservative estimates,”.
So that brings the total up to at least 2,086 killed since the start of the conflict.
But where is the censure of the Kief government. Israel are rightly being censured by much of the world, even though in their eyes they were responding to the missiles coming from Hamas. Kief excused their actions by blaming the demands for some degree of self governance by the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, but the regions hadn't sent any missiles against Kief or the rest of the Ukraine, all they had done when Kief moved agaist them was to have taken over some regional offices, and flown the Donbass flag. So why isn't there the same outrage against Kief that there rightly is against Israel?
There are 3,000 - 4,000 people trapped on the mountain in Iraq without water, they need to be rescued and it seems the international community is going to do so. There are 250,000 people trapped in the city of Lugansk without water for over a week now, who is going to rescue them?
By The Hermits, Aug 13 2014 4:43AM
I know that a lot of people are very concerned about the spread of Ebola in this age of International travel.
As far as I can see, it is possible that it could come to the temperate regions such as Europe and the USA, and although Ebola does not usually spread through air borne transmission, there has been a report that this strain did spread between two animals in a laboratory who did not have direct contact with each other, but this is only one instance, and it would be conceivable that the laboratory technicians cross-contaminated the animals by accident. And although it is terrible that 1000 people have died of this ebola outbreak, it is still a very small outbreak compairing it with all the other diseases we have got used to having around us. So try to be reassured that it is extremely unlikely that you would catch it.
In America laws have been set in place whereby people who have respiratory infections, or even totally well people, can be involuntarily detained for three days for evaluation, and then for as long as needed for testing. In the UK we do not have large detention centres set up simular to the FEMA camps in America as far as I know, and simular laws are not in place at present - but I suppose they could be enacted almost immediately if the government wanted.
But the main reason for this post is to let you know that there is something you could do if you have reson in the future to think that you have been in contact with someone with Ebola. The incubation period is between 2 and 21 days, so you have the chance to stop it before it starts. Elderberries are antiviral - and have been shown in scientific studies to have activity in an encapsulated virus very simular to Ebola. They are also much more useful if used right at the start of a virus, and in this case can be used before you even know if you have it! The syrup is delicious, and the way to take it is to have a tablespoonful every hour or two for two to three days, and that may - and I do say may - abort the viral attack. It works with flu beautifully, so while you or someone you know is waiting to see if they are unfortunate enough to have caught Ebola you might as well try elderberry syrup.
It is not yet the season for elderberries so I will give the recipe using dried elderberries - if the blue/black elderberries are ripe where you are, just double the volume of berries used. (Don't eat elderberries raw as the raw seeds can make you feel unwell.) I am giving the volumes in cups and mls/gms for people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Put one cup (250ml) dried berries in a saucepan with about 2 tbs grated or finely sliced fresh ginger, you can add a stick of cinnamon and up to 10 cloves if you want. Add 4 cups (1 ltr) water and bring to the boil, simmer for about half an hour until the volume is reduced by half. Strain off the solids and add two cups (500ml) of honey. Instead of the honey you could add 2 cups (400g) of sugar and the juice of one lemon with the other ingredients at the start, before you bring them to the boil.
Store the syrup in the fridge, and take a tbs (or a mouthful from the bottle) every hour or two for two or three days.
Remember, this works for flu and colds too, just start taking it right at the start. And if you need a doctor - then go to a doctor!
You see, God is wonderfully kind to us. As it says in the Bible, God gave us plants for our healing. Conventional medicine has very limited means of fighting viruses, but we do have Elderberries, and many other anti-viral herbs and spices too. Elderberry is just the one that grows around here that had tested active against viruses simular to Ebola. In Africa God provided another herb which has also tested active (in the 1990's) against Ebola, that is the Garcinia kola.
You can buy dried elderberries online in Britain from such places as Baldwins, Justingredients, Woodlandherbs and other herbal suppliers, in the USA I hear that Mountainroseherbs is very good, but I am sure there are many other sources too.
Hopefully none of us will need anything to help us with Ebola, but elderberry syrup is delicious anyway, I think it is one of the best things about catching a cold or flu!
Let us just thank God for the wonders of his creation.
By The Hermits, Aug 10 2014 9:53PM
In our increasingly sexualized world, where sex is torn from marriage, and in which sex is pivotal to the Media and entertainment business, and where the foundations of marriage are being rocked to their very foundations, it is both instructive morally and spiritually to turn our gaze towards that wonderful and heroic woman, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the great Spanish Queen Isabella of Castille, and her less impressive and astutely political husband Ferdinand of Aragon.
I do not have time to tell the whole story of Catherine’s life, suffice it to say that this woman was one of the most courageous defenders of Christian marriage, and her name should be written in letters of gold as long as this world lasts. St Jane of France, who was Queen of France and 21 years Catherine’s senior, was also separated from her husband, but this was in accordance with Rome, because Louis XI, her husband, had been forced into the marriage. This fact was supported by one of the greatest saints of the age, St. Francis of Paola. St. Jane then went on to found the lovely order of the Annunciades. However, there was no constraint in the case of Henry VIII. He genuinely loved Catherine. The problem for Henry is that he wanted a son. Ironically the woman who destroyed his marriage, and whom Henry married bigamously, namely the disastrous Anne Boleyn, herself failed to produce a male heir. In fact she produced, from a purely secular point of view, one of the greatest English monarchs to have ever sat on the throne, Elizabeth I.
Catherine was utterly convinced, and rightly so, that her marriage to Henry was valid, on every count. A dispensation was granted her by Pope Julius II so that she might marry Henry, as she had been previously married to his brother Prince Arthur before his very early death. This is what we would say in English is “ a belt and braces job”. It was to make the marriage to Henry absolutely valid and watertight. It goes without saying that Catherine always protested that her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated. If Leviticus said that a man must not marry his dead brother’s wife, Deuteronomy positively encouraged the man to marry his death brother’s wife. Also it never seems to have crossed anyone’s mind to quote Christ’s parable about the woman married to seven husbands; all brothers!
Catherine’s rock-like refusal to accept that her marriage was valid to Henry VIII brought out the very worst in Henry VIII, who was a gargantuan egotist who would brook no opposition, and who, to get his way, caused the English Church to break with Rome, and gave the necessary back bone to the Reformation, which to some extent it lacked. This was revolution from the top. Henry was the prototype for Ivan The Terrible, and Joseph Stalin.
In Giles Tremlett’s fine biography on Catherine he describes her state of mind when she was talking to her great friend and supporter, Chapuys the Imperial Ambassador, not many days before she died. It must be remembered that Charles V, the Emperor was Catherine’s nephew:
"Chapuys went to Catherine’s rooms for two hours each afternoon for four days. She was worried about her daughter Mary’s trials. Catherine complained, once more, about the inaction of the pope and the emperor. Chapuys stretched the truth to calm the sick woman’s worries, claiming that the pope was now enraged by the executions, and that he (the pope) was determined to act against Henry.
Catherine’s sharp mind was probably not fooled. She admitted, instead that her conscience was troubled by the thought that England’s problems, or at least the ‘heresies’ and ‘scandals’ let in during the divorce battle, might be her fault. Had her obstinacy in choosing to fight her husband pushed her adopted country away from Rome and brought the unnecessary deaths of good men? It was an uncomfortable question. The honest answer was that it had --- even if the ultimate blame lay with Henry’s overarching selfishness. Chapuys, however, reassured her. She might have ‘doubts and scruples’ but, he said, she could have done nothing else. Perhaps Catherine, seeing her life’s mission of binding England and Spain in tatters, secretly deposited her hopes for the future in her daughter." ( Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s Spanish Queen, Giles Tremlett pp.420-421)
As Tremlett points out, if Catherine had really wanted to she could have pressured her nephew the Emperor Charles V to invade England, and many of the nobility would have rushed to Charles V’s standard. Catherine however would not have an invasion on her conscience. The great tragedy was that her brave hearted, and devout daughter, Mary Tudor failed to have a child. It would seem that the Protestant Reformation was destined by God to replace Catholicism in England, and then it would triumph in her colonies in North America.
The Anglican Church founded from the loins of Henry VIII and consolidated by his brilliant daughter, Elizabeth I, would gradually over the centuries accept divorce, at first grudgingly, until at the end of 20th century, it was widely accepted. It would only take a small leap of imagination for the Anglican Church, born to execute the English State’s every dictate in the spiritual realm, to accept “Gay Marriage”.
The problem is oddly enough not “Gay Marriage”, but what lies behind it, namely that a secular ruler can interpret Scripture, and change the Church into the lackey of the state. Against such a thing, only the rock of Peter can withstand such a heresy. Just as in Catherine’s day, the papacy seemed to speak with a weakened voice, even when the Pope is such a good man as Pope Francis so obviously is.
Catherine is a great light in the darkness of the present age. We can only hope that she will one day be canonized, as the one person who more than any other, defended marriage. What is even more important is that she is a counterblast to all the nonsense of our wickedly permissive age. Before her courage such politicians as Obama, Hollande, Cameron, and Merkel are cast into the darkness. Whatever the fears of such fine men as Alex Jones and all those, who with him see only darkness and a Satanic world order, we see Catherine at the head of that great band of English and Welsh martyrs, led by her great champion St. John Fisher, and aided by the unimpeachable St. Thomas More, and the Carthusian martyrs. For what really matters at the end of the day, is not so much how we have lived, but how we die, for how we die decides our eternal salvation. Catherine died a saint, her husband most certainly did not. May God have mercy on his soul, for much of America’s present plight must be laid at his door. America’s successes in worldly terms have decided her future, and it looks a terrible one, and so we hope and pray that this wonderful people of America, ruled by such dreadful leaders, may repent of their folly, which they have sadly inherited from us English.
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