Another book purchased and being read about Thomas More, by Peter Berglar (Scepter). I have read many books about More (notably, somehow I have missed Ackroyd's rendition.) So far so good. My favorites are by James Monti (Ignatius) and Gerard Wegemer (Scepter).
I finished Warren Carroll's final volume in his history of Christendom series a couple weeks ago. It took a year, but that was because it was interrupted by other book several times.
Started the week on December 8th at St. Ann's in Charlotte at a traditional Latin Mass. It was beautiful; a wonderful way to celebrate this great feast of our Lady. My son Matthew and I ended the week going to an Opus Dei men's evening of recollection, again in Charlotte, this time at St. Matthew's. If only every week could have such bookends!
Many Republicans want to claim the mantle of Ronald Reagan, but few are qualified. These Republicans are usually hawks (always seeing use of the armed forces as the solution to foreign policy crises). But Reagan was no hawk. Sure he built up the armed forces capability, and he sent an occupying force to Lebanon (disastrously), and he raided Granada, but the greatest foreign policy conflict of his presidency was won without a shot fired by the US armed forces.
Let us look at some instances. First consider “star wars”, the program Reagan championed, intended to prevent Soviet warheads from reaching our shores. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was criticized from the beginning as being unrealistic and even unscientific. Without going into the merits of SDI and the success of some of the program (or failures), look at the rationale. Our foreign policy to prevent nuclear war had been mutually assured destruction (MAD) for many years; that is, that because both sides could destroy the other, neither the US nor the Soviet Union would dare launch a nuclear attack. I’ll bet most of us know of games of “chicken” which have gone bad. MAD was another game of “chicken” waiting to blow up. Reagan recognized this and thought there must be a better way, a defensive way while other avenues were pursued.
Reagan partnered with Saint Pope John Paul II, English Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and others to bring down the Soviet Empire peacefully, through moral and economic pressure.
Reagan was patient. He wasn’t concerned about his legacy-that the Cold War would end during his presidency. He was content that the Iron Curtain would crumble someday, even on someone else’s watch.
Today’s politicians and so-called statesman should learn some lessons as we throw ourselves into more and more armed conflicts around the world which spawn even more conflicts. Just because we have the biggest and best fighting force in the world, not all the battles and wars can be won with them. (I recall what Saint Pope John Paul II said about war always being “a defeat for humanity”, and “Peace is not just the absence of war. Like a cathedral, peace must be constructed patiently and with unshakable faith.”
How many of our foreign military interventions in the past 20 years have built peace?
The anti-Federalists warned us over 200 years ago that a strong central government with a standing army was more likely to fight wars to settle disputes than any other way. Our history has borne this out repeatedly, and especially in the last 20+ years.
I am not strictly a pacifist; I believe there are times a country and a people must go to war. But I also believe fervently that often we use our armed forces simply because we have them. (I am not implying that we use them to justify large defense budgets, but perhaps the case could be made ….) It seems to me that our government (both the Administration and Congress for many years) lacks creativity in foreign policy.
South Carolina Amendment 1 of 2006 amended the South Carolina Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the US state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 78% of voters.
Who and by what corrupted authority does the judiciary to strike down the just will of the people!
We need to stand up for our rights! All across this nation courts manned by just a few (who are beholden to special interests and political favors) are once again changing the laws voted upon and written by great majorities of the people.
Freedom is being lost daily. Laws are being made for and by the rich and powerful special interests who only have their own interests and those of greed and power at heart.
Beware fellow travelers. The days are numbered....
Matthew, Thomas, and I just got back tonight from an excursion to Crowder's Mountain State Park in NC. We had last been there in April 2007 (see the report here ).
I should have read about our previous trip before heading out yesterday. The firewood at the park was still unseasoned and hard to burn, and once again we forgot salt.
It was a great trip. We hiked into the campground (about 1 mile from the park office) around 4:00 PM. We cooked some pork plate steaks wrapped in aluminum foil on the coals, rounding the meal out with brown beans.
This morning we took the 2 mile hike to the King's Pinnacle. It was strenuous for this old man who is out of shape! I note though that the hike took the same amount time as it did 7 years ago (when I also complained I was out of shape.)
It is good to home and warm (It rained most of the night and was very cold this morning.)
So we travelled to Columbia for All Saints Day Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church. While some of Columbia was being snowed on, we got rained on while participating in the last day of a 40 days for life prayer vigil. We don't get much chance to pray outside of abortion clinics as there are none close to us (Thanks be to God!).
It was cold. I recall way back in the 70's when Ellen McCormick of NY was running in the Democratic Presidential primary on a pro-life ticket. We (my siblings and I) were volunteered to hold her signs at the polling place. It was February and it was cooooooold and snowing. I think I was partnered with my sister Judy. I recall my hands freezing, but we had a good time. And of course I was disappointed when she didn't win.
Here's another installment of a rosary meditation.
The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple:
Mary's joy, that has lived from the Angel's first visit through the birth of her Son, has a shadow of sorrow cast today. She is told a sword of pain and sorrow will pierce her heart as she will watch the suffering of her Divine Son.
Again the Cross. Most of us are born to live, but her Son is born to die on the Cross.
Can I accept God's will when it is not pleasant, or do I abandon my prayer when I am not consoled?
It is one thing to abrogate the obligation for a Holy Day of Obligation for certain reasons. It is another to move the Holy Day to a Sunday so that all can celebrate it. And while I might not agree with either of these options in general, what is happening this year is an outrage.
So the Holy Day obligation, All Saints Day, is abrogated because it falls on a Saturday. However, just because the obligation is gone doesn't mean the Holy Day is eliminated! Try to find a Saturday morning Mass this year in order to celebrate the Solemnity. We finally found one over 60 miles away-but the only reason they are having Mass is that it is 1st Saturday-laudable in itself, but it should be because of All Saints Day.
And to take the cake, this past Sunday at Mass they had a 2nd collection for All Saints Day (because there would be no Mass on All Saints Day to take up the collection.) So what exactly is the collection for?
I could make more comments, but I think the facts speak for themselves!
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