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Tuesday 27 March 2012

Lepanto Remembered

It is time to post the great poem of Chesterton on Don Juan. Especially after the news coming from France today on the filming of the killings by the late Mohamed Merah. Disgusting.

G. K. Chesterton. 
WHITE founts falling in the Courts of the sun, 
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; 
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, 
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard; 
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;         5
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships. 
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy, 
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, 
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss, 
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.  10
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass; 
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass; 
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun, 
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun. 
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,  15
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred, 
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall, 
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, 
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung, 
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.  20
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid, 
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade. 
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far, 
Don John of Austria is going to the war, 
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold  25
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold, 
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums, 
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes. 
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled, 
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,  30
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free. 
Love-light of Spain—hurrah! 
Death-light of Africa! 
Don John of Austria 
Is riding to the sea.  35
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star, 
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.) 
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees, 
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas. 
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,  40
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees; 
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring 
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing. 
Giants and the Genii, 
Multiplex of wing and eye,  45
Whose strong obedience broke the sky 
When Solomon was king. 
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn, 
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn; 
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea  50
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be, 
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl, 
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl; 
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,— 
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.  55
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide, 
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide, 
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest, 
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west. 
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,  60
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done. 
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know 
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago: 
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate; 
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!  65
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth, 
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth." 
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar, 
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.) 
Sudden and still—hurrah!  70
Bolt from Iberia! 
Don John of Austria 
Is gone by Alcalar. 
St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north 
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)  75
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift 
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift. 
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone; 
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone; 
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,  80
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise, 
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room, 
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom, 
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,— 
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.  85
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse 
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips, 
Trumpet that sayeth ha! 
    Domino gloria! 
Don John of Austria  90
Is shouting to the ships. 
King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck 
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.) 
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin, 
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.  95
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon, 
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon, 
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey 
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day, 
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work, 100
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk. 
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed— 
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid. 
Gun upon gun, ha! ha! 
Gun upon gun, hurrah! 105
Don John of Austria 
Has loosed the cannonade. 
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke, 
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.) 
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year, 110
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear. 
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea 
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery; 
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark, 
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St. Mark; 115
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs, 
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs, 
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines 
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines. 
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung 120
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young. 
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on 
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon. 
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell 
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, 125
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign— 
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!) 
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop, 
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop, 
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds, 130
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds, 
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea 
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty. 
Vivat Hispania! 
Domino Gloria! 135
Don John of Austria 
Has set his people free! 
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath 
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.) 
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain, 140
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain, 
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade.... 
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)


The Latin Mass in the Diocese of Shrewsbury

Damian Thompson in The Telegraph has this fantastic story about the  Bishop of Shrewsbury, Rt. Rev. Mark Davies supporting Summorum Pontificum in his diocese. Here is the link and a section of the article. Take heart, Traddies.

 Summorum Pontificum has finally been fully implemented by a diocesan bishop – the Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, who has entrusted the Shrine Church of Ss Peter and Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, Wirral, to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. This much-loved building, once known as "the dome of home" to returning sailors, had previously been closed. Bishop Davies saw no reason why this dynamic apostolic institute should not revive it.

I must say that other bishops have encouraged the TLM in their dioceses by allowing it and responding to priests who want to say the Mass of the Ages. At this time, more than ever, Britain needs the Latin Mass. 

On the Lunge Line

Virtue is an extension of the interior life of the spirit. Narcissism is a result of many things, including a lack of discipline, as well as an inherited disorder. Narcissism can be taught. Some of the  children of today believe that the world revolves around them and that their parents are there to meet their needs. This narcissism has been created by the lack of parental authority in families Many parents praise their children without the children earning the praise. This is the irony of the over-use of the self-esteem. Like a horse on a lunge line, one needs to break the will, but not the spirit. The life of the virtue cannot be taught until the will is under an authority. The life of virtue follows the breaking away of a life of the habit of sin. Habitual sin must be broken before a child can develop the virtues. But, an emphasis on the virtues is necessary and the earlier a child learns kindness, humility, charity, honesty and the other virtues the better.

Habits learned early create a happier adolescent time. Children need to learn and love boundaries. Boundaries and virtues go together. The so-called modern idea that children can express anger or hatred without compunction creates a child without boundaries. How far have we moved away from natural law and the common sense rearing of children is too sadly seen in deviant behavior. The popular anarchist movement, in my mind, is connected to this lack of boundaries and lack of virtue. We only have ourselves to blame as parents if there is now one or two generations of children who have and are being raised without virtues. If the parent is not honest with himself or herself with regard to sin and perfection, the children will follow in the sad footsteps of those who do not understand the interior life. The interior life can only be won with discipline and dying to self. Such a journey must be part of child-raising by parents who have gone before them in mercy and justice.

Materialism, Socialism and Civil Unions

Yet, again, I am surprised at the number of Catholic adults who not only are socialists, but have never bothered to study the teachings of the Catholic Church on this cleverly deceitful ideology. I have written many times on this blog of the evils of socialism and have several encyclicals linked at the side for further study. What is also not understood is that socialism, as well as communism, in our cultures and societies, have degraded the parental roles and the nature of marriage. In fact, I shall make the case here that the push for homosexual and lesbian civil marriages is not only part of the lgtb agenda, as stated in After the Ball, but part of the socialist agenda. And, why?

In the ideology of socialism, there can be no private property. All things, including people, belong to the State. The State becomes the Perfect Parent, knowing how to raise one's child better than one's self. The State dictates that home schooling must be bad, as the State has no power over what is being taught. Sweden and Germany have outlawed home schooling, and POTUS, as I have shown below in another post, wants to do the same. It is not only a power game, but who has control of the children has control over the future.

Socialism denies that there are any differences in people, as all are equal in the eyes of the State with regard to private property and supposedly talent. To bend the perceptions of people to make them deny that we are not all talented in the same manner, or that there are not differences in aspirations among people, is again, to make the State decide who does what when, how, where. The great social engineers of education, Bismarck in Germany and Dewey in America, planned an education system which would create non-thinking but obedient citizens, who would believe propaganda and deny free will. This has happened in America and most parts of Europe, creating a non-thinking populace, who are so used to the media controlling their minds, and the lack of logical discourse, that one is hard put to find a thirty-something who has actually learned how to think. Socialism demands conformity. The socialist redefines the nature of the individual, denying person-hood, as it the case of abortion or euthanasia, and redefines also the role of the individual in society. There are no differences in people.

The irony of socialism is that it also destroys the State. The State is not only subjected to the undermining of those States which are Catholic, but the very nature of a State, as a free organization of individuals contributing to the common good. The State becomes the end of all energy and organization, thus becoming the end of all individual accomplishments, including finances. To some Catholics who do not understand that it is the individual who should benefit from the State, this sounds like heresy. The State becomes something other than the servant to and for the people. It becomes god.

But, of course, the greatest evil of socialism is that it is based on the philosophy of materialism. There is no eternal life, no spiritual life, no Church, no Revelation, no Sacraments, etc. The materialistic philosophy pushes the idea of utilitarianism and production. Nothing, therefore, is important but things, which are temporary and ephemeral. In addition, authority does not belong to God, but to the State, or rather, those who control the State. So, what has all this to do with civil unions?

The push for civil unions not only undermines the sacrament of Marriage and the status of the natural family, but the State. Why? Socialism takes away the natural definitions of the individual, so that a person is merely there for the State. Civil marriage obviously takes away authority from the Church, but ultimately, it takes away authority from the State and undermines the entire concept of authority. By definition, sexual unions outside of the traditional heterosexual ones, are materialistic and ultimately, anarchic.  In a socialist system, the materialistic philosophy means there is no afterlife, no sin, no judgement. The entire idea of civil unions is based on the here and now, that there is no sin, no judgement, only the now, only the present pleasure. One needs a basis of morality in order to make spiritual decisions. Socialism denies this. There are no authorities which can dictate moral frameworks--the churches cannot impose religious views on society, as it is materialistic and never points to the Eternal. which does not exist. The gay lifestyle, which seems so capitalistic and free actually feeds into the denial of the individual as a person with a soul and a spiritual goal. All that is important is the same type of hedonism which pushes utilitarianism and the obsession with production. If I had to categorize this tendency as sin, I would call it the ultimate Idolatry of the Material.

Civil unions do not point to salvation. Gay marriage does not entail spiritual love. Civil unions by definition are materialistic. Such a false definition of marriage fits into the socialist agenda. All that does not serve God, all that does not admit of the spiritual life will bring spiritual death.

May I add that the misuse of language in socialist propaganda is similar if not the same in that of the lgtb factions. Words, such as freedom, liberty, brotherhood, justice, equality, and solidarity are the language of propaganda, the original meanings distorted for the use of an ideology. Socialism has murdered the English language, just as Nazism distorted the German language for at least three generations. The lgtb factions do the same thing, changing the definitions of words, like those listed above, to mean something else than the traditional meanings, based on a shared cultural and moral framework. Even claims to "love" and "caring" as words which mean something in a heteosexual relationship, have been used in a twisted and unnatural manner. That ideologies have much in common is obvious, but that the socialist agenda of disturbing the natural concept of the family, the State and marriage makes it a real partner with the gay marriage proponents.

Gemini and the Night Sky

Orion moves out of the Spring Sky, leaving us with the constellation Gemini, as one of the most obvious. Several planets may be seen, including Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mars.  If one knows where to look, these objects are easy to spot. Mars is best seen now at nightfall. It and Saturn are obvious. Remember, that planets do not twinkle or blink, but look stationery. I also saw the Space Shuttle. It is very bright and moves faster than the satellites.

Gemini, the Twins named Castor and Pollux, have two bright stars and a cluster. I highly suggest using binoculars to look at the various clusters found on the Hubble site. Have fun.