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Thursday 27 December 2012

On Old Men and Wizards

Some young people are not happy with the old Gandalf, (who will be much older in the next two films), and the old Radagast. This is simply a symptom of the Westerners growing lack of respect for age. In the Eastern cultures, especially pre-Marxism, the ancient ones are revered.  That young viewers want young wizards is odd to me. The Istari are ancient anyway, and so who cares if they look old.  It is a serious lack of sensitivity to want wizards to look 35 or 40 and be super strong. That is not the point of a wizard to be a superhero, but to watch, wait and give advice.

Sigh, old is good.

On those who claim they have no dogmas....

Dogma is actually the only thing that cannot be separated from 
education. It IS education. A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply
 a teacher who is not teaching. There are no uneducated people; 
only most people are educated wrong. The true task of culture
 today is not a task of expansion, but of selection-and rejection.

The educationist must find a creed and teach it.

Lying about vocations

Why are so many Catholics in the pew lying to themselves about the future of their own parishes and access to the sacraments?

When I hear that in my home diocese in 2015, only 15 priests will be available to minister to 110,000 Catholics or so, I am concerned. When I hear that some dioceses in England and Wales have only two to four seminarians in the process of becoming priests, I am concerned. When I see hundreds of parishes closing in the States and know that such a plan to close parishes is underway in Europe, I am concerned.

Those who suffer most will be the elderly, who now walk to Mass or take a bus, or somehow get to the closest church weekly. Those who have been most faithful will suffer most.

But, here is my dilemma, my question--why are their not vocations coming out of the Traditional Latin Mass congregations? I know of several groups of TLM parishes where perhaps one young man is considering the FSSPs or the Institute of Christ the King. I know of several where there are no young men considering vocations. None. Why do not the TLM young men consider the diocesan priesthood, where the TLM is becoming more accessible and where they will be able to say such a sublime Mass?

Why? Why is it that the TLM is not calling forth the numbers of priests one would expect from such parishes or chaplaincies?

Reader feedback, please.....

Adoration and Holy Communion

Before and after receiving Holy Communion, the laity must be doing only one thing. Adoring Christ.

In the NO, this is almost impossible with the constant movement and lack of respect, as well as banal songs, which mark so many parishes.

I suggest that liturgical leaders recognize that silence or a simple organ instrumental piece allows the faithful to pray and adore God both before and after receiving Our Lord.

The amount of distractions causes many pain. But, the reality is that the angels and saints fall in adoration at the Eucharist.

As to the laity, the position of adoration opens our hearts and minds to God.

If you are in a position in your parish to create an atmosphere of adoration, please help us all in this regard.

The Night Sky in December

Iowa, where my family lives, has had snow. Five inches with ice underneath means that many older people have trouble getting about..

Here, the weather has turned colder and the raindrops are large and cold. The few balmy days around Christmas seem to have turned. But, January is on the way.

If one can be in an area which is clear, a spectacular heavenly event may be seen. Jupiter is next to the Moon in the early hours of the morning providing a great reason to either stay up or get up early.

I mentioned the Summer Circle earlier this year and now I draw your attention to the Winter Circle.

Two nights ago, despite some clouds, I could see the brightest of these stars. I suggest a look. Orion is up and huge, the constellation of Christmas, the Hunter, called Strider, and therefore, as I have noted before here, a reference Tolkien put into his character of Aragorn, one of the three Christ figures in LOTR.

Remember that stars twinkle in the sky and planets do not. The full moon is tomorrow and this is a great time to look at the Winter Circle if you can look south to south west, then west, over the hours of the night.

Check out this site on a regular basis

The Hobbit

I saw The Hobbit this evening and I shall not spoil it for anyone, but here are some interesting notes from my point of view. Happily, I got a discount.

First, it is more like Tolkien, in that the pace is slower and more like a book.

Second, the character development is better than in LOTR  most likely because it is a smaller book divided into three movies.

Third, it is violent and children should not see it under 12 or 13.

Four, it is not a chick-flick, but aimed at men, which is also true to Tolkien in some ways, although the book was written for children.

Five, the ads and trailers for other movies are horrendous and inappropriate for kids.

Six, the music and songs are true to the book and add a lot to the story.

Seven, Martin Freeman steals the show, hands down.

Eight, Galadriel is more like the character in the book, simply because the actress is older and was too young for the first three movies, as Galadriel, as we know, is an elf with a past and should act older and wiser.

Nine, the world of Middle Earth seems less mythical and more like a real world, as Tolkien intended.

Ten, the images are scary and again, not for children under 12.

Nostalgia and Music Two

In my thoughts about concerts I had attended in the 1960s and 1970s, I remembered hearing John Denver, going with one of my brothers to a homecoming concert, and mortifying him as everyone thought I was his date. I did not mind, as I was/am eight years older and having fun.

John Denver died in a Rutan Long-EZ experimental plane, which he probably could not handle. He was alone and the accident was horrible. As you all know, the singer was relatively young when the accident happened. "Stay in the state of grace", my Grandma T. use to say. She was right. If he were living, he would be coming up to 69 at the end of December.

Purity of heart and how we see others.

If one does not understand the evil in one's own heart, one cannot pursue perfection.

"Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain. You need me, or you're nothing."

Moriarty to Sherlock "The Reichenbach Fall".

I mentioned before the Sherlock series. I want to note the last episode of the previous year, as it is a study in evil. This is the episode wherein Moriarty and Sherlock meet "on the falls", in this case on top of a building.

But, the study in evil is what builds up to Moriarty's suicide and Sherlock's apparent demise, which we all know, is orchestrated.

Moriarty begins a campaign very sneakily to undermine Sherlock's reputation as a good person, bringing justice into the world. That the villain succeeds in telling the whole world that Sherlock is a fraud and has set up murders, kidnappings, etc., in order to create a mythology about his prowess is owing to one thing.  The latent evil in others allows them to believe evil of Sherlock. Now, the evils vary, the vices are personal to those who capitulate to Moriarty's Satanic plan.

For one person, it is envy. For another, it is pride. For another, it is hurt and revenge. Dr. Watson is the only one who believes in Sherlock to the end, as he is honest with himself about his own lack of perfection. Only those who are pure in heart can think good of others. This does mean that we do not have discernment. But, it does mean that we judge others according to the evil in our own hearts.

The object of the journey of perfection is purity of heart. If we have discovered God in our own hearts, then we see with the eyes of Christ.

To put on the mind of Christ is our goal. That the evil genius succeeds so easily is why men like Hitler and Stalin succeeded in heinous crimes. Evil cooperates with evil and good cooperates with good.