Man’s uniqueness

God fashioned man in his own image and likeness; he gave him knowledge of himself; he endowed him with the ability to think which raised him above all living creatures ….

The Rule of St. Basil

The modern objective consciousness will go to any length to prove that it is not unique in the Cosmos, and by this very effort establishes its own uniqueness. Name another entity in the Cosmos which tries to prove it is not unique.

Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos (1983)

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Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Mammon

“Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.”

Goldsmith’s sad paradox is with us yet;
in fact, the situation’s sadder still:
dollars, by nature sterile, now beget;
the human race is eunuched by a pill.

Mark Amorose, from City under Siege: Sonnets and Other Verse (which I highly recommend — $6.99 on Kindle)

The coming festival of our redemption

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AND THERE SHALL COME FORTH A ROD OUT OF THE ROOT OF JESSE: AND A FLOWER SHALL RISE UP OUT OF HIS ROOT. AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL REST UPON HIM: THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND OF UNDERSTANDING, THE SPIRIT OF COUNSEL AND OF FORTITUDE, THE SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE AND OF GODLINESS.

(Is. 11:1-2.)

May we receive Thy mercy, O Lord, in the midst of Thy temple, that with due reverence we may prepare for the coming festival of our redemption. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Postcommunion prayer for First Sunday of Advent, New Roman Missal (Fr. LaSance) (Benziger Brothers, 1956).

Random quotes

“I’m a married man, as you know, Peter. A comic figure, the married man kept by his wife.”

“We all have to be kept by somebody, you know. Better one’s wife than a person of low character.”

Lord Peter Wimsey in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers, BBC production, 1973.

The statistics on crime and guns are often confounding. Nationally, guns account for 60 percent of all homicides; and yet gun violence has been declining for the last decade. The murder rate in Texas has dropped from 16.9 per 100,000 in 1980 to 4.8 in 2015 — an astonishing decline. In California, the most restric­tive state in the country for gun ownership, the murder rate is exactly the same as in Texas. The states with the lowest homicide rates are North Dakota and Wyoming, which have very permis­sive gun laws; and lowest of all, at 1.6 per 100,000, is Vermont, which has ‘constitutional carry’ — i.e., anyone over the age of sixteen can carry a gun. (Vermont is one of thirteen states where permits to carry concealed weapons are not required.) Chicago, which has highly restrictive gun laws, also has one of the high­est rates of gun homicides in the country, but it doesn’t compare with the District of Columbia, which tops the charts in both restrictive gun laws and gun homicides.

Lawrence Wright, God Save TexasAlfred A. Knopf (2018), pp. 150-152.

I once tried to explain the problems faced by faithful Catholics to my good friend Eric Metaxas. [author of good books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce] “Imagine you felt your salvation depended on staying inside a Church with apostolic doctrines, which is run by liberal Protestants.”

John Zmirak at Stream (quoted by Fr. Z).

 

Agellius sells out

If you’ll excuse me for commercializing this blog, this business is run by someone close to me. He designs and sells travel bags and accessories, specializing in anti-theft features. He recently lost a couple of large buyers and is therefore clearing out his inventory at deep discounts. In all sincerity, he is one of the kindest, most generous people you would ever want to meet. His stuff is not Gucci or Chanel, but is very well made with quality materials, and he stands behind his products. I get nothing for endorsing his business.

Integralism and Ralliement

Laodicea

Ralliement

“[T]he principle of the separation of the State and Church … is equivalent to the separation of human legislation from Christian and divine legislation. We do not care to interrupt Ourselves here in order to demonstrate the absurdity of such a separation; each one will understand for himself. As soon as the State refuses to give to God what belongs to God, by a necessary consequence it refuses to give to citizens that to which, as men, they have a right; as, whether agreeable or not to accept, it cannot be denied that man’s rights spring from his duty toward God. Whence if follows that the State, by missing in this connection the principal object of its institution, finally becomes false to itself by denying that which is the reason of its own existence. These superior truths are so clearly proclaimed by the voice of even natural reason, that they…

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The all-natural, organic conundrum

I was in Sprouts Market the other day and noticed the decor. It was made up to be like the interior of a barn or an outdoor farmers market. The way they achieved that effect was to use a lot of unfinished wood and green and orange paint. Sprouts sells of a lot of organic stuff, all-natural this and no-hormones that. Evidently people who shop there like this kind of thing: farms, wood, nature. They’re concerned about things like global warming, industrialization and de-forestation.

I wondered if this presents a conundrum for them: They like to be surrounded with natural materials, not synthetics. All-natural cotton or hemp clothing, and natural, not synthetic wood furnishings. But all this wooden decor means that trees had to be cut down to make it. Either that or you have to manufacture fake wood finishings. Isn’t this a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation?

In the last couple of years on HGTV there has been a show about “tiny houses”. At first the idea was to build homes with just the bare minimum of space needed to live in, so you have less area to heat and cool, cutting down on your “carbon footprint”. But then the trend started turning towards tiny houses on wheels. That way you could up and relocate without much trouble, or travel around and see new places while taking your home with you.

This is what we old folks used to call a motor home or a trailer.

The problem with motor homes and trailers is that they are industrially mass produced. And that’s bad. Plus they use big engines to haul themselves around, causing a lot of pollution. Huge carbon footprint. Much better to live in an all-natural tiny home. That you haul around with a truck. With a big engine.

Not only must mobile tiny homes be hauled around with trucks, but something made entirely of all-natural wood is heavy. Industrial-scale RV manufacturers have spent decades figuring out the lightest, most efficient materials with which to build motor homes — aluminum and plastic are generally lighter than wood — and also have designed them to be reasonably streamlined, all of which translates to lower fuel consumption. Whereas not only are tiny homes on wheels made entirely of wood, they’re also not designed with aerodynamics in mind. Usually they’re just big, heavy (but fashionable!) wooden boxes on wheels.

Again the conundrum: Mass-produced items are efficiently produced items, efficient to make and efficient to use. The manufacturers have every incentive to make them so, in order to increase both sales, and profits on sales. But people who build their own mobile tiny homes out of all-natural wood — who evidently can’t bring themselves to go RV shopping — what is their incentive?