Thursday, March 29, 2012

Like a weaver I have rolled up my life....

Our year in Canada ends next week, a year to the day after after we flew into YVR. We are frantically divesting ourselves of our possessions accrued here, as we must leave with the same four bags we came with (OK we'll ship out the skis we bought here, but you get the idea).

We sold off some things we had acquired over the year at a garage sale (boy are Persians hard bargainers!). The rest of the stuff goes to friends here who can use it or charity shops and much of the household stuff will go to the boys' swimming coach who is setting up in his first apartment away from his mom and dad when he starts his postgrad studies this Fall. At least that's one trip to Ikea he won't have to make.

As a spiritual exercise it has much to commend it:

"Don't need it"
"What about this?"

This stripping ourselves of our material possessions and saying goodbye to the people we have grown to know and love here is (and I am not over-dramatising, I hope) akin to the process many of my patients go through when they know they are dying.

Like much else here, it has been good for the soul.

Deo gratias for our year in BC and for a glimpse of Sister Death.

Laudato si mi Signore, per sora nostra Morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo uiuente pò skappare:
guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trouarà ne le Tue sanctissime uoluntati,
ka la morte secunda no 'l farrà male.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whirr, whirr,whirr, whirr....

Do you hear that? It's the sound of Archbishop Worlock spinning in his grave.

Friday, March 16, 2012

When Mass is hardly recognisable as Mass, is one obliged to go?

I will blog more on this in good time. But here is a simple question. We went to Mass in the US state where we were on vacation last Sunday and it was such an utter wreck of a Mass liturgically (all the usual North American vices: non-stop Haugen-n-Haas; everyone shaking hands at the priest's invitation at the start of Mass; a 'cantor' more prominent than the priest, a condemnation of preconcilar Catholic practice in the sermon, the laity holding their hands up/holding hands at the Our Father, 14 (YES, FOURTEEN) extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the reader holding the gospel in the entrance procession etc etc).

Eldest (who is 12) came out of Mass shaking his head saying, "I couldn't stand any more of that, dad, it was just awful. That was not how you should say Mass".

Is there a point where away from home and where we had to travel some distance to get to Mass on Sunday - would there have been any justification to saying that it is better to avoid such an abusive litrugical celebration than imperil the development of a tender soul, who is clearly badly affected by such abuse? Could we adopt the "three miles even with a car" Evelyn Waugh rule, even though we had gone the same distance to buy milk?

Answers in the box, please.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

So, who are the haters?

Theodore Dalrymple writes of his experience of praising the behaviour of religious people in a left-wing publication:

I once made the mistake of writing an article in a left-wing publication saying that, in my experience, the best people were usually religious and on the whole religious people behaved better in their day to day lives than non-religious once: and I wrote this, as I made clear, as a man without any religious belief.

As a frequent contributor to the public prints, I am accustomed to a certain amount of hate-mail, and can even recognise the envelopes that contain it with a fair, though not total, degree of accuracy. Of course, e-mail has made it far easier for those consumed with bile to communicate it, and on the whole it exceeds in vileness what most bilious people are prepared to commit to paper. I don’t think I have ever hated anyone as much as some of my correspondents have hated me.

Suffice it to say that I have never received such hate mail as when I suggested that religious people were better than non-religious in their conduct. It seemed that many of the people who responded to me were not content merely not to believe, but had to hate. Although I had not denied that religious motivation could motivate very bad behaviour, something which indeed can hardly be denied, I was treated to a summary of the historical crimes of religion such as many adolescents could provide who had recently discovered to their fury that they had been made to attend boring religious services when the arguments for the existence of God had never been irrefutable.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Five Stages of Liberal Moral Decay

So we have gendercide, the advocacy of infanticide and the advocacy of bestiality (though thankfully some criminal charges to go with the practice of zoophilia by the writer of the article - BC is not finished, just yet).

As Dr Edward Feser points out there are a number of stages to this madness:

To the charge that liberals are (or, given their principles, should be) in favor of X [where X = legalizing abortion, liberalizing obscenity laws, banning smoking on private property, legalizing “same-sex marriage,” outlawing the public advocacy of traditional sexual morality, etc. etc.], the standard liberal response goes through about five stages (with, it seems, roughly 5-10 years passing between each stage, though sometimes the transition is much quicker than that). Here they are:

Stage 1: “Oh please. Only a far-right-wing nutjob would make such a paranoid and ridiculous accusation - I suppose next you’ll accuse us of wanting to poison your precious bodily fluids!”

Stage 2: “Well, I wouldn’t go as far as X. All the same, it’s good to be open-minded about these things. I mean, people used to think ending slavery was a crazy idea too…”

Stage 3: “Hey, the Europeans have had X for years and the sky hasn’t fallen. But no, I admit that this backward country probably isn’t ready for X yet.”

Stage 4: “Of course I’m in favor of X - it’s in the Constitution! Only a far-right-wing nutjob could possibly oppose it.”

Stage 5: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law…”

Bear this in mind next time someone calls you a deluded hardcore Catholic/ closed-minded bigot/ medieval dinosaur /Sky-pixie-spaghetti-monster-believing dupe/ enemy of progress [delete as appropriate] for not swallowing their latest 'modest proposal'.