Some triviality to distract from the dire times:

If you have put your beer into the freezer to chill it and stupidly left it for too long, what do you do? You will normally get quite an impressive frozen beer volcano, but this worked for me (yes, yes, it is alcohol-free beer, but stilll…)

DSC_0206

Actually, it is not that cheerful after all, is it?

P.S.: Gah! WordPress is sporting a rainbow banner today! Can’t remove it while typing this. Will probably need some eye-bleach, Or was there some whiskey left somewhere?

The great march of mental destruction will go on. Everything will be denied. . . . Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. . . . We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. . . . We shall be of those who have seen and yet have believed (Chesterton in 1905).

Today is perhaps the worst day for Christian civilisation since the fall of France to the freemasons in the 18th century. If I were an American citizen I should certainly be hoping for a secession of the healthier states from the tyranny now being exercised from Washington D.C. Let the whole land-mass be shared between two entities, a real State and the pseudo-state. One cannot live with such people. They are brain-washed. They are more like zombies than human beings. This is not like the co-existence of Catholics and pagans in the Roman empire. The pagans did not by their laws abolish marriage and the family, or even dream of such a thing.

One can pray for these people and do penance for them; one cannot live with them in society.

Charles_ClarkeThe former Labour Education Secretary Charles Clarke has called on the government to legislate to have the state determine the religious content of all teaching in all schools in Britain whether private or state, denominational or not. I heard him propose this on the Today Programme a few days ago. He sounded oh so reasonable and the sweeping and draconian nature of his proposals was glossed over by both ‘statesman’ and interviewer. It is not surprising that Mr Clarke should seek to wipe out Christian education as he has already advocated the airbrushing of Christendom from the minds of the nation’s students. This is the man who said the concept of education for its own sake is “a bit dodgy” and that Mediaeval history should not be funded in universities. The university exists, his then official spokesman explained, “to enable the British economy and society to deal with the challenges posed by the increasingly rapid process of global change.” It is interesting that it was Mediaeval history that particularly revolted Mr Clarke. In this week when we are supposed to be remembering the liberties established by our mediaeval Catholic forebears it is fitting that this particularly banal representative of modernity should manifest the contempt in which freedom is ultimately held by him and his kind. The thirteenth century, the apogee of Christendom is the century that gave us universal isonomia – liberty under the rule of law. It is particularly interesting that the parliamentary system of government, which inherited the liberties of Runnymede is a transposition of the Constitutions of the Order of Preachers. It is often forgotten that the First English Parliament of 1258 wasmagnacarta summoned by Simon de Montfort who knew St Dominic personally and met in Blackfriars Oxford. The author of parliamentary democracy is thus also the apostle of the Rosary and the founder of the Holy Inquisition. Stephen Cardinal Langton Archbishop of Canterbury and probably the author of the Magna Carta (who imposed obedience to the Charter upon all Englishmen under pain of excommunication in 1225) is also responsible for the chapter divisions in the Bible, the elevation of the Host and Chalice at Mass and the Golden Sequence. No wonder an atheist like Clarke doesn’t want us studying Mediaeval history. Were we not ignorant of our history we might chose to repeat it.

“The God who is enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offence to man. One must deny him for man’s sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honour that belong by right to man”

– Walter Kasper

In Book 8 of the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle points out that friendship is more difficult to establish the greater the difference in excellence between the persons and that consequently friendship between God and man is impossible.

“[I]f there is a great interval in respect of virtue or vice or wealth or anything else between the parties; then they are no longer friends, and do not even expect to be so. And this is most manifest in the case of the gods; for they surpass us most decisively in all good things. But it is clear also in the case of kings; for with them, too, men who are much their inferiors do not expect to be friends; nor do men of no account expect to be friends with the best or wisest men. In such cases it is not possible to define exactly up to what point friends can remain friends; for much can be taken away and friendship remain, but when one party is removed to a great distance, as God is, the possibility of friendship ceases.”

In addition to this problem there is another problem with the concept of friendship between God and man. Friendship itself, it would seem, from the perspective of natural reason is a symptom of finitude and imperfection. As St Thomas puts it in an objection in De Potentia “to depend on another for the fullness of one’s joy and love is an indication of insufficient goodness in oneself. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 4) that the wicked through finding no pleasure in their own company seek the companionship of others: whereas the good seek to commune with themselves through finding pleasure in so doing.”

Thus it would seem on two counts, if not inherently impossible, infinitely unfitting for God to offer friendship to created persons. And yet, He does. How can this be?

There are two possible explanations either the self-communicative nature of the good characterises even the Uncreated Good and God is compelled by His very nature to diffuse Himself infinitely, but unable to generate a coequal second divine person, God generates all the creatures He could possibly generate bringing them to the highest degree of perfection of which they are capable, or, God is more than one person and friendship is a pure perfection.

If the first possibility were true then intellectual creatures (indeed all finite beings) would not really be creatures at all but emanations of the Godhead and their participation in the divine nature and vision of God would not be God’s gratuitous gift but their right. This is the claim made by the Devil in his rebellion against God. It is also apparently the basic credo of Cardinal Kasper.

If the second possibility were true then, as the other half of the objection in the De Potentia makes clear, God is Triune,

…the fullness of joy requires the companionship of several in the divine nature, because there is no pleasure in possessing a thing unless we share it with a companion, according to Boethius. Moreover perfect love is to love another as oneself.

How were our first parents to know which was true? God made this known to them through the precept “of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat”. For by imposing upon man as a condition of friendship with God a precept of Divine Law in addition to the law proportionate to man’s nature, God made clear that the offer of friendship is gratuitous on His part.

St Gregory of Nyssa (Cant. 7,350,2-4) teaches that the tree of life and the tree of knowledge are the same tree. Because they are both said to be in the centre of the garden, which is impossible unless they are the same tree. The tree of knowledge was not poisonous and evil nor did it afford knowledge of good and evil only to those who ate of it. It would have afforded knowledge of good and evil to our first parents regardless of whether they ate of it or not because, by occasioning temptation, it taught them obedience. By eating of the tree and ignoring the precept they denied the gratuity of God’s offer of friendship and asserted their equality with God.

Once they had put themselves at enmity with Him, God expelled Adam and Eve from paradise to prevent them eating of the tree of life and living forever in separation from God, that is from going to Hell. In His mercy God denied them access to the Tree of Life, which for them would mean everlasting death. 

And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken.

What would have happened if Adam and Eve had resisted temptation and not eaten the fruit? They would have acted meritoriously and the infused charity with which they were created being perfected by wisdom they would have known connaturally that friendship is a pure perfection, their intellects unclouded by sin would have perceived the Triune nature of God and eaten of the tree of life. For Wisdom “is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed.”

What then was the precept of Divine Law to which the fallen angels refused to be subject in their earlier rebellion? Submission to a man called the Christ. This combined with the realisation that men were in part created to replace them instilled into the fallen angels a raging hatred of the human race. The mystery of the Incarnation was revealed in a veiled form to Adam and Eve through the primaeval sacrament of marriage but without the knowledge of the Trinity neither they nor the fallen angels understood the Great Mystery that the Christ would be not only man but God as well.

The precept forbidding the fruit was the means by which we acknowledged the gratuity of grace, obedience to it was the original eucharist: the thanksgiving. To submit to the conditions that God lays down for the reception of His gift of Himself is to recognise that it is His gift and not our right. It is to say ‘thank you’. It is not to count equality with God a thing to be grasped. The recognition of the necessity of explicit faith, of conscious submission to revealed Divine Law is the recognition of the gratuity of salvation and so ultimately of the Trinity itself because the gift of friendship with God is unthinkable unless friendship itself is a reflection of the inner life of God.

The eucharistic typology is powerful. For what is the Tree of Life and Knowledge but the Cross? What is its fruit but the Eucharist? What is the purpose of the Cherub with the flaming sword but to prevent our first parents eating condemnation upon themselves? Why is marriage between one man and one woman but because the Church is one and grace unmeritable? Why is marriage indissoluble but because the Church is indefectible? What then is sodomy but the anti-sacrament of Satan’s rebellion against God? What is the communication of adulterers but the recapitualation of original sin? The Kasperian heresy is a satanic abomination.

Upon the Cross the changeless God who is enthroned over the world and history stooped down to share with us the dignity and honour that are His by right because He Who Is love chose to do so. Who is like God?

IT is a miserable time when a man’s Catholic profession is no voucher for his orthodoxy, and when a teacher of religion may be within the Church’s pale, yet external to her faith. Such has been for a season the trial of her children at various eras of her history. It was the state of things during the dreadful Arian ascendancy, when the flock had to keep aloof from the shepherd (from Newman’s ‘Idea of a University’)

The Vatican announced on Monday that Heiner Koch would be the new archbishop of Berlin. He was one of the bishops who participated in the ‘Shadow Synod’ in Rome the other day which according to one of its participants (and the fact is well-known, in any case, and denied by no 0ne), sought “a pastoral opening on issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, and the pastoral care of homosexuals”.

Moreover:-

In a February interview with a German newspaper, Bishop Koch called for changes in the pastoral care of homosexuals, saying that to “portray homosexuality as a sin is hurtful,” adding that the Church “needs a different language when it comes to homosexuals … I know gay couples who value reliability and commitment and live these in an exemplary manner.”

The archbishop of Berlin knows ‘gay couples’ who live their ‘commitment’ to each other in an exemplary way? Clearly we are not talking here about people who suffer from but resist temptations to unnatural lust, or how could he speak of ‘couples’. I don’t see how any reasonable person can think that Koch accepts the Church’s teaching about the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts. Yet this teaching is infallible in virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium, and whoever denies it is a heretic.

So, what should Berlin’s Catholics do now? If we read in a history of the Church that some Catholics of the mid 4th century had blockaded the door of a cathedral so that the Arian bishop appointed to that see might not take possession of it, we should admire their initiative and determination. I suggest that it would be a good idea for Berlin’s Catholics to do the same. Not to stand to one side and hold placards; to keep him out. They are soldiers of Christ, in virtue of their confirmation. Let them fight for Him, and against Sodom.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers