Sunday, July 24, 2016

First 3 Commenters Win an Amazon Gift Card!

Ok, so if you've ever blogged before, you'd be familiar with the function that allows you to check your daily traffic. Somehow today I received 36 visitors, without sharing my latest post anywhere else but on the blog.

Either I'm creating something of a following (??), or I'm getting regular visits from Marketing Bots.  I'm inclined to think the latter.

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I find it interesting--if not a tad bit concerning--that a sizeable flow of traffic recently came from the former USSR. One Blogger function shows a World map of countries with most blog visitors.  Up until now its been almost exclusively the US, Canada, and France (France?) lighting up in dark green, but Russia is starting to light up in light green which perks my interest.

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Ваше здоровье! – [vashee zda-ró-vye] – Your health!  (Russian Drinking Toast)

So they tell me one way to expand your blog is to offer PRIZES!  So here you go! The first three people to Comment below will receive a PRIZE!  Not to mention a rise in serotonin levels knowing you've helped this Novice Blogger nail down IF all this Traffic is from real flesh-and-blood humans!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump's Acceptance Speech

Trump's Acceptance Speech

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Let me first throw out 3 things I loved about the speech:

1. Trump's nationalistic passion.  "America First" he says.  Which rings true.  If government authentically serves those citizens in most need of help (the poor, women, children, elderly, sick, minorities), then it must focus first on taking care of Americans before it can take care of the World.

2. It was unifying!  Hardly a protest, a virtual unanimous embrace of the The Donald for President.  And consider this, if Tens of Millions have gathered around Trump's campaign forming a verifiable, anti-Establishment/Nationalist movement, and if now the GOP is in fact unifying around this current Leader of American Conservativism, then in fact the Republican Party is/will embrace Trump's vision.

3. It laid out clearly his platform.   A successful tactician can't show the cards in his hands in order to outmaneuver his political opponents, which is why Trump hasn't and shouldn't give minuscule details.  BUT he did clearly lay out his Plan of Care, his short-term and long-term goals.

That said, I have a couple criticisms.

1. The speech was a bit monotone and too rehearsed. Teleprompters are not Trump's thing.  I get it, a formal acceptance of the nomination warrants a certain degree of preparedness and formality.  BUT, imo, a key element in Trump's success or failure between now and November, will be "being himself."  So far no matter what he says or how he says it, despite subsequent media attacks, his reputation as a potential President just keeps getting bigger.  Just let Trump be himself!

2. He seemed to miss the mark on key social conservative issues like abortion or religion.  I get it, he's secured the pro-lifers and needs to attract more Sanders independents, but God-willing in the months and years ahead, he will experience more enlightenment about matters of faith and Christian culture.

Anyway, the next 4 months will be entertaining.  15 rounds of Trump vs. Clinton! I predict a Trump win, based on his campaigning genius so far.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Donald Trump

After months of eager anticipation of the Republican National Convention, wondering if Trump will really in the end get the nomination, the presumptive nominee has finally walked the stage as the only candidate left.

So from here on out, we'll have 3 choices:  1. Don't Vote,  2.  Vote for Trump,  or 3. Vote for Hillary.

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One day perhaps (today?) some Super Power Search Engine will scan this post, tag it to me in real life, and cause me some socio-economic strife of some sorts, but here it is folks:

I support Donald Trump for President!  He's a sincere patriot beholden only to the voter, and conservative enough for me to vote for.

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Imagine what 2017 might look like.  No doubt the Slouch Towards Gomorrah will continue (Bork's Book), but its the Jam in our Bread that will keep us sane.  

Imagine a President Trump building the Wall, leading the culture war against political correctness from the White House, and going on a spree firing all the Obama appointees.  

Imagine on the ecclesiastical stage the Society of St. Pius X accepted AS IS by the Vatican, and given an official structure as a Personal Prelature.  What a sight it will be to see these holy Priests wage war within the offficial structures of liberal dioceses, yet build anti-modernist coalitions in the more conservative dioceses.

The point is we traditionalist, conservative, patriotic traditionalist Catholics might get some good old-fashioned refreshment or relief from the heat of the time we're living in.  

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Then again, I could very well be wrong.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Peace of Soul

Searching for and Maintaining Peace

I just got in from tending to the garden after arriving home from work.  The Asian radishes were a flop (besides 1 or 2 good sized ones I'll cook using this recipe: RECIPE).  Lots of big, floppy, wild-looking leaves with next to nothing of a radish at the end.  My estimation is that I hurriedly planted the seeds too close together one evening in May.  I can recall that evening having a bit of disharmony in my soul as I frenetically tried to check off another item on my daily To-Do List.

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Lesson learned: it is essential to a successful garden crop to not plant too many seeds, or too close together. Radish overpopulation spells puny radishes.

Searching for Peace:

Which leads me to the topic of this post: "Searching for and Maintaining Peace."  As much as my exaggerated ego would  like to take credit for this excellent theme, it is instead the title of an excellent traditional Catholic book on the spiritual life, by Fr. Jacques Philippe (Order here:  ANGELUS PRESS).

My wife leant (hint, hint: recommended) this book to me the other day, and I said "Why not?"  Two chapters in, I've seen the Light. Wow, what an angelically simple presentation of the Interior Life.

quote-for-every-man-peace-of-soul-is-precious-with-those-who-have-attained-peace-of-soul-the-nikolaj-velimirovic-77-71-92.jpg (850×400)I will do you a service and succinctly summarize what I've re-discovered in its first pages.  Happiness in life depends entirely on God working through us, but the fruitfulness of our life absolutely requires that we possess an interior "peace of soul."  The author compares the soul to the surface of a lake; in order for it to reflect most clearly and beautifully the sky (i.e. God in this analogy), the water must be calm and even.  Choppy water results in a blurred image.

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Peace of Soul

Also, says Fr. Philippe, the path to peace is through war.  The Christian commonly makes the big mistake of choosing the wrong subjects of life to wage war against.  Rather, the Christian puts on the armor of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation to defeat sin, selfishness, worldliness.  The mistake is to wage war against the natural ills of daily life and society; instead the TARGET is INSIDE ourselves.  The enemy is discord, or lack of peace in our soul!

Last point he makes in the first chapters:  if God will work perfectly through us, to produce the best, happiest life--in this life and the next--then we must not wage war against our own weaknesses or daily failures.  We must accept them in stride, and seek total abandonment to God through daily prayer.

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St. Thomas' definition of Peace: "The tranquility of order, particularly in the will."

That said, may I grow in peace of soul that the harvest of my life is abundant!  And hopefully in August when I plant new seeds for the Fall garden, I won't be in such a hurry.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Recovering the Home as a "Microcosm"

  1. a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.

Sunday Musings from the Heartland:

As I sit here in my armchair sipping my southern-style ice tea this fine Sunday afternoon after Mass, keeping shelter from the squelching Oklahoma heat, I muse over an old philosophical subject--i.e. MICROCOSMS--I ran across reading Josef Pieper.  Or was it Jacques Maritain (scratching head)?  Can't recall at the moment.  
It was one of those modern-day classical Thomists with a knack for professional-philosophical musings on modern culture in light of Catholic philosophy.

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What's a "Microcosm"?

The concept goes something like this...within Creation, there are many local environments defined by a boundary, and that boundary makes that locale a kind of microcosm or "mini-universe."   If the Ancient Sages are correct, that local place would somehow contain all the universe inside it.  Not physically, but metaphysically.  Basically in a way that "goes beyond the physical."  The universal properties of natural things corresponding to transcendental reality, beauty, natural goodness, and created order would be found--in some sense--within each microcosm.

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Yes Joseph Ostermeir, I believe you are referring to what the Philosophers called "Transcendentals" - Sister Wendy

The Home as a Microcosm:

 A "house" becomes transformed into a "home" by what it contains.  Flowers, wall art, and interior decoration that communicates a connection with the outside World, would reflect Universal Reality.

In my opinion, Pieper (or was it Maritain?) was right.  Modern man has lost a sense of his home, work place, etc as a "microcosm."  


 a) we artificially build up the walls of our home so much that we effectively disconnect from Nature (cue the kids isolated behind internet/TV, not playing outside with neighborhood friends )

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b) we seek to "tear down walls" in pantheistic, materialistic fashion (cue modernist nuns tearing down the cloister wall to dissolve themselves in existentialist fashion into the modern mainstream).

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A Microcosm.  

But not only do our homes' walls protect us physically from the weather and intruder, they also manage to help the interior place metaphysically become a small society that reflects universal society.  The most local and smallest society, that is Father-Mother-Child reflects the body politic of government, economy, and common man.  Plants and pets in the home reflect the Kingdoms of Life on Earth. 

One mere framed and hung photo of a European village with a church in the background, could connect one beyond time and space to the World, Europe, the Christian West, etc.

Microcosms are a funny thing to me.  They're everywhere, and of all sizes.  The little area I've carved out around my armchair is a microcosm of my home --> my home is a microcosm of Oklahoma--> Oklahoma is a microcosm of the US -->the US is a microcosm of the World.  

Even the walls of a car form an interior microcosm where most of us spend hours every week.  

What if you could transform your home (or even car) into a transcendental, Catholic microcosm?  What would it look like?

The Comment Box is Open!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The "Benedict Option"

Some pro-monarchy Catholic bloggers have been sharing this idea lately called the "Benedict Option," i.e. a movement of sorts in the USA of Catholic "communities" which ultimately aims at a future Catholic nation.

In Thomistic moral philosophy, all actions are teleological, that is they follow a hierarchy of means and ends.  One means reaches towards an immediate end, which in turn serves as a means to a proximate end, which in turn aims at remote ends, which ultimately culminate in the ultimate end.

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Something like this would have to happen:

So, if the ultimate end were to somehow one day be a new American Catholic monarchical kingdom, then the remote end--imo--would likely first have to be mass conversion of the American public to the Catholic Faith.  The proximate end/means might be practical collapse of our current American-secularist system; and the immediate end/means may very well be, in the foreseeable future, a global economic collapse and/or war.  Well respected economists and politicians have already made this prediction.

Catholic "Communities" ??

Two "Catholic communities" come to mind here in the Heartland, one in my own home state of Oklahoma, both of which I have visited multiple times in my youth.

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1.  The Friends of Clear Creek Abbey near Tahlequah, OK.  Dozens of families have formed a kind of hamlet around the monastery, sharing a love for the Traditional Latin Mass, Benedictine monasticism, and Catholic counter-cultural living.  One can trace this Experiment to the writings of Dr. John Senior (RIP), once a famed professor of humanities at Kansas University.  He was the intellectual and spiritual mentor to many student converts, some of whom would go on to become French monks returning to Oklahoma, to found a monastic community based in part on Senior's vision.   His vision was for Catholics to organically come together as actual communities around monasteries, or to re-found Catholic ghettos in the city.

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A MUST READ:  Get it Here

2. St. Mary's, Kansas.  3000+ traditional Catholics, devoted to the Latin Mass and all things traditionally Catholic, live in this small northeastern Kansas town.  The Society of St. Pius X runs a parish, elementary school, and college there, serving as a spiritual and cultural center for the citizens of St. Mary's.  It is no separatist commune, but rather simply a large school/parish founded by Archbishop Lefebvre that gradually attracted so many Catholics to make the move that they effectively took over the town.  Most of the town's teachers, attorney's, nurses, doctors, police officers, councilmen, and even the mayor himself are traditional Catholics.  It is de facto a local Catholic society/government.


Other similar American Catholic Community Experiments exist:  Star of the Sea in Arkansas, John Michael Talbot's community also in AR, Post Falls, ID, Ave Maria, FL, and another in western Wisconsin to name just a few.

The "Benedict Option"

St. Benedict's monasteries--often with their attached lay communities--once served as localized cells of Catholic culture during the Dark Ages.  If today is a sort of Dark Age, the "Benedict Option" is an "immediate means" as it were to the "remote and ultimate ends" of a Catholic nation.  To create analogous social cells today centered around the Faith, traditional liturgy/piety, if not also monasteries.

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Mont Saint-Michel in France, at high tide.  LINK


Friday, July 1, 2016

New Tulsa Bishop

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Tulsa has a newly ordained bishop, Bishop David Konderla.  Traditional Catholics, accustomed for years to the traditional-bent of his predecessor, Bishop Edward Slattery, are wondering how the new bishop will treat traditional Catholics, or rather how will he treat traditional Catholicism and the Traditional Latin Mass?

Will Bishop Konderla continue +Slattery's tradition of celebrating Sunday morning Mass at the cathedral "facing East" "ad orientem," with Latin and chant?

Will Bishop Konderla likewise actively promote "traditional Liturgy," the Tridentine Latin Mass, Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, the work of Clear Creek Abbey, the FSSP, etc?

He is from Texas and loves woodworking, which sounds good.  Other than that, I have no earthly idea.


4th of July for an Okie Trad

From the Lakes of Minnesota
To the Hills of Tennessee
Across the Plains of Texas
From Sea to Shining Sea

(God Bless the USA, song)

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I remember patriotically singing this Southern Country song as it played from my radio driving my first car in high school.  Americans, especially here in Heartland Oklahoma, were united in winning the Persian Gulf War.  Neighborhood friends still played in the streets, and many of us wanted to enlist to serve our country.  It was cool and righteous. 

Two decades later the country is now understandably splintered into a pleurality of narcissistic, pessimistic ideologies.  We have effectively grown to disdain our own country and government.

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135. Which are some of the other moral virtues?
Some of the other moral virtues are:  Filial piety and patriotism, which dispose us to honor, love, and respect our parents and our country...

(Baltimore Catechism)

Times have changed.   The new morality of Millenials reigns.  Secular humanism is now officially our value system.  Freedom has been crushed.  I myself have transitioned over the years from Republican neo-conservatism to Monarchial paleo-conservatism.  My optimism in our government has dwindled.

Yet as a traditional Catholic, I am compelled by the catechism to declare on this 4th once again my "filial piety and patriotism" for my country--for better or worse--this grand US of A!!!  I am grateful for the freedoms, economic opportunities, and justices for which my mother and aunts immigrated from post-Nazi/Communist Germany. 

So my fellow countrymen and traditional Catholic friends (emphasis mine):

And I'd gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
'Cause their ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA

(God Bless the USA, song)

Happy 4th of July!