Monday, November 23, 2009
Most fittingly on this day after the Feast of Christ the King, today is the feast day of Blessed Miguel Pro in the Catholic liturgical calendar. An overview of the life, work and martyrdom of this holy priest may be found here. Fr. Pro was a scholar and Jesuit, who had studied and taught in Europe during the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution. He returned to his native country and ministered to Catholics being persecuted by the viciously secular regime of Plutarco Calles. He was martyred in 1927 by the Mexican government.
A patriot who loved his country and his Catholic faith, Blessed Miguel Pro's last words were to forgive his enemies. Then, just before the firing squad did its deadly work, he shouted "Viva Christo Rey!" - "Long Live Christ the King!" He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988.
Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us, ruega para nosotros.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, Michael Medved has some very timely reflections on the Puritan goal in colonizing New England in the 17th century.
Most children learn that the Mayflower settlers came to the New World to escape persecution and to establish religious freedom. But the early colonists actually pursued purity, not tolerance, and sought to build fervent, faith-based utopias, not secular regimes that consigned religion to a secondary role. The distinctive circumstances that allowed these fiery believers of varied denominations to cooperate in the founding of a new nation help to explain America's contradictory religious traditions — as simultaneously the most devoutly Christian society in the Western world, and the country most accommodating to every shade of exotic belief and practice.Make sure to read it all.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), Canadian Army.
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below...
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields...
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
An interesting observation, built upon the expression of the idea that while America is a secular polity, that polity is built upon the bedrock of an essentially Christian culture:
America is a Christian nation; this is a matter of fact, not of opinion. Whether America will remain a Christian nation is matter for argument, perhaps: the creation of special rights for pathics, for instance, indicates that Christian morals are going by the board; and the prevalence of abortion, the deliberate destruction of one's offspring, is another suggestion that both Christian belief and Christian morals have begun to succumb to total religious indifference, if not yet to atheism. But if Christian faith and morals will be generally rejected by the coming of the twenty-first century, then probably the whole culture will disintegrate, the material culture as well as the intellectual and moral culture; and human existence here will become poor, nasty, brutish, and short: unless some quite new culture, which as yet nobody can imagine, should rise up. Any such unnameable innovative culture, to endure, would require some transcendent sanction, perhaps some theophanic event -- something more enduring than mere Marxist ideology, which was a violent attempt at a new faith and a new culture.- Russell Kirk, Renewing a Shaken Culture (1992).
Monday, November 2, 2009
There's a great review of a new book on Paine is posted over at the American Conservative online. The review is well worth a read -- pointing out both the liberalism of Paine and a bit of a his appeal to modern conservatives.