Inauguration Day and a Tour of the Brewery
(the Italian version of the video)
Academic Fighting about the Emoluments Clause and an Apology
48 minutes ago
There is a distinction between natural and artificial societies. Natural societies grow organically within a group of people with a shared ancestry. This is why patriotism is natural – it grows from emotional relationships and does not need a theory or ideological underpinning. There is more to human nature than reason and the act of bonding with your people and territory is a process of feeling, instinct, intuition and other human qualities.
There is a heavy responsibility on everyone, man or woman, who has the right to vote, especially when the interests of religion are at stake; abstention in this case is in itself, it should be thoroughly understood, a grave and a fatal sin of omission. On the contrary, to exercise, and exercise well, one's right to vote is to work effectively for the true good of the people, as loyal defenders of the cause of God and of the Church.The words are taken from Papal Directives for the Woman of Today, Allocution of Pope Pius XII to the Congress of the International Union of Catholic Women's Leagues, Rome, Italy, September 11, 1947.
Be present everywhere for the faith, for Christ, in every way and to the utmost possible limit, wherever vital interests are at stake, wherever laws bearing on the worship of God, marriage, the family, the school, the social order are proposed and discussed.Why do so many people act surprised when politicians lie or break their promises? You didn't know them well enough to begin with to judge them to be trustworthy and reliable.
Vatican City, (VIS) - In response to frequent requests for information concerning the recognition by the Holy See of Equestrian Orders dedicated to the saints or to holy places, the Secretariat of State considers it opportune to reiterate what has already been published, namely that, other than its own Equestrian Orders (the Supreme Order of Christ, the Order of the Golden Spur, the Pian Order, the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, and the Order of Pope Saint Sylvester), the Holy See recognises and supports only the Sovereign Military Order of Malta - also known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta - and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The Holy See foresees no additions or innovations in this regard.Some may believe that it is right to hold on to such traditions, because they have been passed down from preceding generations. Is there a way for a different sort of aristocracy or republicanism to arise in Europe, as the old aristocracy has very little real power (just that which comes with money and nostalgia and some measure of influence in certain circles). I'm probably too American to accept those sort of honors as really meaning much - having the respect of a group of men whom one respects would be sufficient, and when one is a part of that group, that's the sort of honor that really matters. The hollowing out of the state may be a work in progress, but wherever there are men working together as men, there is a potential republic. The honor that goes with a title of nobility may be commensurate with doing some good work or philanthropy or service in the modern nation-state, but can that compare to the honor associated with the deeds, sacrifices, and friendship accompanying life in a real community?
All other orders, whether of recent origin or mediaeval foundation, are not recognised by the Holy See. Furthermore, the Holy See does not guarantee their historical or juridical legitimacy, their ends or organisational structures.
To avoid any possible doubts, even owing to illicit issuing of documents or the inappropriate use of sacred places, and to prevent the continuation of abuses which may result in harm to people of good faith, the Holy See confirms that it attributes absolutely no value whatsoever to certificates of membership or insignia issued by these groups, and it considers inappropriate the use of churches or chapels for their so-called "ceremonies of investiture".
Here is the best advice I can give anyone: Live until you die. If you can figure out what that means, you are already on the road to sanity.
As a European historian specializing in the 19th century, I’ve never been able to figure out what American journalists and politicians (not to mention academic sociologists) mean when they refer to “classes.” This term has two time-tested meanings. Either we’re talking about social groupings with legally recognized statuses which until the 19th century had certain political rights that other groups did not, or else what we mean is what Marx understood as “classes,” socio-economically dominant forces like the medieval aristocracy or the bourgeoisie that replaced them. Classes are not simply people who fall at one point or another into a particular income bracket or who buy SUVs rather than compact sedans or high-definition TVs instead of pick-up models at Kmart. It drives me absolutely nuts when I hear geeky-looking “economic experts” yapping on about how the “middle class,” that is, middle-income families or clusters of co-inhabitants, are hurting for this or that. “Middle class” used to translate as “bourgeois,” which referred to a social class of many centuries, as opposed to those who are moving up and down the income scale. The indiscriminate bandying about of the term shows how culturally ignorant we’ve become.
A former colleague of mine who teaches political theory observed that it’s now impossible to teach students about Aristotle’s conception of the family as a household. The kids get annoyed that an ancient Greek thinker held such a skewed view of family relations. It makes no sense, for example, that an aging dude was put in charge of other family members. After all, women should be wage-earners as well as make their own decision about reproductive rights. One young Brazilian exchange student went ballistic when the instructor failed to scold Aristotle for not discussing gay marriage. Isn’t this about family togetherness, the student asked, an attitude we should be praising instead of ignoring?
Cambon, by the way, would remark after the war that a revolution had taken place in Britain in the years between 1914 and 1918. It simply was not the country it had been. How right he was. Huge numbers of the best people were dead, and so were centuries of tradition, loyalty, faith and kindness. In my view it was a revolution we could well have done without, and whose effects we still feel. I treasure the fantasy that at Christmas 1914, the truce in the trenches had spread and spread, across time and distance, until the soldiers of both armies, recognising the whole thing was futile and wrong, piled up their weapons, shook hands and walked home to their wives and children, laughing at the puce-faced ‘statesmen’ who swore and shouted at them to remain at their posts.
Like other conservatives, we strongly believe in the study of our own history—that of England and America—and we are well aware that the burden of this history requires us to pay special attention to the traditional Anglo-American liberties that are asserted and defended in the Constitution of the United States. Even if we are Catholic, we are not especially attracted to ultra-Catholic arguments, made by otherwise fine people who do not share our "Anglo-Saxon" traditions, that equate the American with the French Revolution and refuse to understand the historical circumstances to which the Constitution was a reasonable and effective response. One might happen to prefer some other tradition, the Dual Monarchy, for example, but such sentimental preferences belong more to the realm of poetry than to politics. Paraphrasing Popeye the Sailor, we can say, "We are what we are and that's all what we are."
Some conservative Catholics have seen the connection between the American federalism (particularly of the anti-federalist variety) and the older traditions going back to the Calvinist Althusius, St. Thomas, and Aristotle. Christopher Check's brother, now Fr. Paul Check, some years ago invited me to give a talk to the students (mostly seminarians, as I recall) at the North American College in Rome. My theme was a detailed comparison of Jefferson's thinking about ward-republics with the very similar understanding of Thomas and Aristotle. I wanted to call the talk—echoing a famous piece by Ezra Pound—"Jefferson and/or St. Thomas"--but Fr. Paul spotted the allusion and politely suggested a less provocative alternative.
I am not suggesting that the Constitution is a perfect document drawn up by a council of demi-gods, quite the contrary. It was a shrewd piece of politicking that drew upon the wisdom and learning of several Americans—including two important statesmen not present in Philadelphia (Adams and Jefferson)—who had made a serious study of political history and theory. Our Constitution was not the exclusive product either of ideological dreamers or of political pragmatists, but relied on both types. Nothing human is perfect, but the Constitution is worthy of respect, not only because it is ours but also because it combines the British aspirations to political liberty that grew out of their experiences in the 17th and 18 centuries with a deeper understanding of what some Catholic theologians have termed, "subsidiarity." This "well-known principle of subsidiarity" is the elegant insight that the power to make decisions should be left to the lowest level of the people affected. I should note that I typically use the term federalism to mean not the centralizing tendencies in the Federalist Party of Hamilton but to politics based on the subsidiarity principle and more typical of the misnamed anti-federalists, who were in fact the truest American federalists.
These aren't the gods of narrow backed poltroons, or dastardly over civilized urbanites; these are the gods of real men who carved a raw living from the earth, and by hacking gobberts of gore from their enemies' living flesh. They were not smarmy urban stock brokers, vegetable fetishists, or grubby cube-dwelling software developers. For that matter, they weren't even soldiers; they were freebooters, farmers, and hunters. I suppose the original gods of the Vedas and of the Greeks were something very similar to the gods of the Norsemen, but, through the mists of time, they have been corrupted. Certainly, the way the gods are spoken of in Homer is much like enormity of the Norse gods. The stories of the Greek gods are transmitted to us and filtered by centuries of perfumed city-dwelling degenerates, so we now think of Jove as a semi comedic fellow who had sex with a duck and a cow in his attempts to get away from his shrew wife, Hera. Alas the urban thunderer. But with Thor, we get the raw, unexpurgated, red-bearded, wild eyed, hammer wielding original item.Jack Donovan writes that this essay had a great influence on his own thinking.
There are two types of mysticism in the Catholic Church: restrained (inner work) and ecstatic. Both schools are rooted in the monastic tradition. The first school that originated in Sts. Macarius, Anthony, and Evagrius is the inner mysticism, “inner work.” But St. Macarius’ Homilies contain the other school too, more affective mysticism. Therefore he is traditionally considered to belong to the softened or semi- Messalianism, that is a kind of ecstatic monasticism. I think, that here we could see just two different spiritual temperaments that confront one another. That’s why it’s difficult to find a common language. The follower of the inner work could say to his opponent, “You are too sensual,” and the latter could reply, “You are too reasonable. You don’t have any inner experience.” And both these opinions would be wrong.I want to focus primarily on liturgy in this post, and not on living the order of charity towards a man's neighbors.
However, I have to admit that in the Middle Ages there were purely women’s mystical movements on the West that seem strange to me and are beyond my comprehension. I belong to a different school. I don’t have anything that could help me to understand or feel deeply that affective, ecstatic mysticism. The main rule of any spiritual life for me is restriction and lack of exaltation because exaltation itself is a ground for demonic prelest. This experience we can find today in charismatics. To avoid mistakes that Evagrius calls imitation of spiritual and mystic states, we have to be very careful, wise, and to possess simplicity and purity. Today it is called a self-suggested condition, that is, an imaginative mystic (spiritual) condition.
St. Theophan the Recluse, who is very popular in the West, by the way, understood the matter of western mystics very subtly. Once he exclaimed: “Oh, these Western people, they cannot distinguish between psychic and spiritual!” And really, when I talk to people who come for confession, I see how often they mix these things. One has to teach and help people to see the difference between their feelings and true spirituality from God. People quite often feel something deep inside and think “Here it is, here is that true spirituality.”