Prayers you don’t hear any more

As in the days when you came out of Egypt
grant us to see wonders.
The pagans, seeing it, will be confounded
for all their power;
they will lay their hands to their mouths,
their ears will be deafened by it.
They will lick the dust like serpents,
like things that crawl on the earth.
They will come trembling from their lairs,
in terror and fear before you.

Micah 7:15-17.

Can a modern Christian say “amen” to that?

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Intellectual and moral capital

Modernity, it now becomes evident, has been all along eroding its own foundations; its projects and comforts have depended on an inheritance to which it has itself been inimical. Walter Lippmann spoke of “the acids of modernity”; as it turns out, the stones attacked by this acid have been those on which the modern world was itself erected. Analysts from all relevant disciplines converge on one insight: Modernity has lived on a moral and intellectual capital that it has not renewed, and indeed could not have renewed without denying itself. They moreover agree that this intellectual and moral capital was that built up by the Christian church’s long establishment in the West, [even] if they themselves do not share the church’s faith or even admire it.

Robert W. Jenson, “How the World Lost Its Story,” First Things, March 2010.

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)

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.