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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Yalta Then and Now: Churchill, Stalin and the Division of Europe


Remarks by Angela Stent at the International Churchill Society.

Angela Stent is Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European
Studies and Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
She is also a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the Brookings Institution and co-chairs
its Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs. From 2004-2006 she served as National
1999 to 2001, she served in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of
Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council. From
State.


Sunday, January 12, 2020

Rest in Peace, Sir Roger Scruton

Six years ago we posted the following tribute paid by Daniel Hannan, author and British Member of the European Union Parliament, to the great thinker and champion of the good, the beautiful, and the true, Sir Roger Scruton.  Hannan's tribute might well have been a eulogy to this great thinker and champion of Western Civilization.  Sadly, Roger Scruton has now died of cancer.  Let us honor a beautiful mind by embracing his timeless message.
"Some years ago, while canvassing for his wife in a local election in Wiltshire, Roger Scruton was asked on the doorstep, “What is conservatism, anyway?” The voter had unwittingly put the question to the man who, more than any other, has defined what conservatism is; the man who has as good a claim as any to be the cleverest living Englishman.
If he were on the Left, Roger Scruton would be recognised as one of our towering public intellectuals; but it’s a peculiarity of our age that conservative thinkers occupy a space beyond the mental horizons of most commissioning editors. There will always be Rightist columnists of the Richard Littlejohn variety, I’m delighted to say; but a Rightist professor whose writings range from German philosophy to the oddities of common law, from religious art to country sports, is likely to be regarded as an eccentric class traitor.
Still, Roger will be read and remembered when many of the prominent literary figures of our day are footnotes – partly for the keenness of his intelligence and partly for the consistency of his vision, but mainly for the grandeur of his prose. He can ennoble almost any subject – economics, cooking, telephone boxes – by his gentle logic and his courteous insistence on treating readers as his intellectual equals.
Roger’s detractors call him an unthinking man’s thinking man, alleging that he will justify any prejudice, from insistence on traditional marriage to dislike of immigration, with allusions to Herder or Aristotle. In fact, the good professor makes a solidly Burkeian case for prejudice. Life, he holds, would become impossible if we had to think through every situation from first principles, disregarding both our own experience and the wisdom of our ancestors."  Read the full essay here.



Saturday, January 11, 2020

Father Rutler: Prophecy and the Right Use of Reason

Father George W. Rutler
Prophets proclaim the truth, and they predict the future only in a derivative sense of cautioning about the consequences of denying the truth. Thus, the Church distinguishes between holy prophesying and sinful fortune-telling. There is a “psychic” near our rectory, who will tell your future for $10, but you have to ring the bell first, and I should think that if she had the powers she claims, she would not require a doorbell.
The less the Wisdom of God is heeded, the more people rely on fallible human calculations. Inevitably, the list of mistaken predictions keeps growing. We may remember being told in the 1960s that within twenty years, overpopulation would cause universal starvation. Instead, we now have crises of empty cradles and obesity: birth dearth and increased girth. As the new year begins, we can reflect on a prediction of the president of Exxon U.S.A. in 1989 that by 2020 our national oil reserves would be practically nil, while the solid fact is that those reserves are far higher than even back then.
In 1990, The Washington Post was confident that carbon dioxide emissions would have increased our planet’s average temperature about three degrees (and six degrees in the United States) by 2020. The increase has been only about one degree. If we trusted some experts, by now one billion people would be starving in the Third World due to climate toxicity, but instead the World Bank tells us that there has been a significant alleviation of dire poverty, with the assistance of developed countries and access to investment capital and prudent production. 
There still are glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro, despite a warning of the United Nations Environment Programme in 2003 that by now they would have melted. In 1997, the Reuters newswire announced that by 2020 some eight million people would have died because of global warming catastrophes, while such deaths actually have reached historic lows. Taking up that theme, a New York congresswoman and former bartender predicts that the world could end in twelve years.
While to err is human and to forgive is divine, as the Catholic sensibility of Alexander Pope opined, forgiveness requires apologizing. Wrong predictions in recent decades are conspicuous for their authors’ lack of contrition. It is as if they had absorbed the bromide uttered at the end of the sentimental film “Love Story” in 1970: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” If that were so, there would be no Act of Contrition in the Holy Mass, which is the world’s most sublime manifestation of love. But we are talking here about simple humility in anticipating the future. 
Without accountability to God for the right use of reason, ideology mimics theology, disagreement is treated as heresy, neurosis fabricates its own apocalypse, and mistakes claim infallibility, with no need to say “I was wrong.” 
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Father George W. Rutler


Friday, January 10, 2020

Join the League of Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI

There are a lot of prayer initiatives around, which are merely human in origin. But when we pray, we should do so out of supernatural motivation and especially when requested by Heaven.
One of the most important prayer initiatives in Catholic History, is the Request that we pray much for the Holy Father. This request comes from no less than the saintly Children at Fatima, who urged us not only to pray very much for sinners, but that we should pray very much for the Holy Father.
This prayer request for the Holy Father comes from Sr. Lucia and from Jacinta, who being shown the grave difficulties in the Church spoke of the need to pray for the Holy Father for 2 reasons:  That he might perform the Consecration to Russia requested by Our Lord; and that he might endure the persecution that he would one day suffer from those all around him.
Regarding the first reason, Sr. Lucia makes this statement in her Memoirs, p. 414:
“‘The Holy Father! Pray very much for the Holy Father! He will do it, but it will be late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia, which has been entrusted to it.'”

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Jacinta’s Two visions

Regarding the second reason, Jacinta calls for prayers for the Holy Father, after seeing TWO the events which are now taking place in the Church (Source), which speaks of what Sr Lucia wrote in her third Memoir:
Also, in her third memoir, she tells us about two incidents in which Jacinta saw visions of a future Pope, and these also relate to the secret.
One day, while they were near the well at Lucia’s home, Jacinta asked her if she had seen the Holy Father. When Lucia replied, “No,” Jacinta said: “I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones; others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him.”
Sr Lucia then tells us: “At another time, we went to the cave called Lapa do Cabe├žo. As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the prayers the Angel had taught us. After some time, Jacinta stood up and called to me: ‘Can’t you see all those highways and roads and fields full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?’ Some days later, she asked me: ‘Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?’ ‘No. Don’t you see that that’s part of the secret? If you do, they’ll find out right away.’ ”

Let us respond!

Many authors believe that this FIRST vision of Jacinta is a prophetic revelation of what Pope Benedict is suffering since February 2013, because at no time in the history of the modern Papacy has a Pope resided in a small house, and been nearly universally derided by those in the Church. The image of a house being pelted with stones by those around it, also seems to imply that the worst enemies of the Holy Father are those in the Vatican which surrounds where he presently lives: in the Monastery of Our Lady Mother of the Church, at the heart of the Vatican Gardens.
The second vision of Jacinta appears to be Heaven’s indication of how to respond to the First vision: namely by JOINING WITH THE HOLY FATHER in prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Let us be that “so many people” praying with the Holy Father “before the Immaculate Heart of Mary”!
Chose whatever prayers you wish, but PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
THIS IS THE LEAGUE OF PRAYER for the Holy Father. Spread the word and recruit others to offer:
  1. Daily prayers.
  2. Worthy communions and confessions.
  3. Acts of penance and sacrifices.
  4. Fasting and abstinence.
  5. Alms for the poor.
  6. Recitation of THE MOST HOLY ROSARY.
  7. Acts of Consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, whether personal or in groups, parishes, Dioceses etc.
This Call to Prayer is reprinted from the From Rome Blog
Where you can find links to all the Blogs and Websites which are participating
in making it known.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Father Rutler: Salvation Means Sanity

Father George W. Rutler
Who the “Wise Men” were is a recurring question for inventive debate, but the point is that these sophisticated scholars were from “a foreign country.”
Here in Manhattan, tourists can be annoying when they stop suddenly to look at a novel sight. But they also do us the favor of noticing what we take for granted. Those Magi from a foreign land pointed out that the locals had missed the greatest event in history. They also wisely distrusted King Herod (his heir Archelaus was even worse, as Saint Joseph knew), and so they ignored him. When Herod found out that a child had come into the world who threatened his complacency, he set out to destroy him, killing many innocents in the attempt.
Christians must always be tourists in this earthly realm, pointing out the wonders that others take for granted. That can be threatening to many. True Christians disturb the settled ways of a culture. People who succumb to the insanity of sin will accuse Christians of madness. That is how we get martyrs, as happened a couple of weeks ago in Nigeria when Muslims killed eleven Christians. Such hostility was an expression of the killers’ conviction that Jesus Christ brought madness into the world.
In a 1959 ”Twilight Zone” television episode called “Eye of the Beholder,” some exceedingly ugly people unsuccessfully perform plastic surgery on a beautiful woman, thinking that she is the one who is ugly. In our decaying culture, there are those who think that history’s Perfect Man was ugly and that those who are like him should be crucified one way or another, usually by ridicule and censorship. The media and demagogic politicians do this as a habit.
In recent days, a woman in Britain gave birth, although she was bearded after hormonal treatments that made her appear as the man she had “transitioned” to be twelve years before. Her partner is “non-binary”—which means neither male nor female, and the “sperm donor” was a man who thinks he is a woman, while the obstetrician, according to vague reports, was either a man who claims to be a woman or a woman who claims to be a man.
Thus, our rattled culture poses a dilemma: either these people are mentally ill, or Christians are. And this is not confined to the esoteric. An Ivy League institution has just mailed forms to alumni, asking them to choose the descriptive pronoun they prefer. This gives new meaning to “institution.” And this is why sane voices increasingly are banned from speaking in such places, because the function of prophets is to point out that inmates are running the asylum.
Observant souls never take for granted the sanity Christ brought into the world. Salvation means sanity. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Father George W. Rutler