The entire Internet is still in a state of consternation after the recent performance of Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards. Since I am way past the MTV viewers median age, I found out about it from a post on a social network. Although I was bracing myself for something innapropriate, I was in for a surprise. In fact, it was so painful that I could not watch more than a few seconds of the recording. It hurts deeply to see a beautiful young woman like her descending so low on the scale of decency. The only thing on my mind was: why? I saw in her all the lost daughters of the world that allowed themselves to be transformed by premature success, bad company, and misguidance.
But what this has to do with St. John the Baptist?
Read more via Miley Cyrus and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
Filed under Culture, Faith
Freedom is the movement of the heart to embrace what is good, or beautiful, or noble. A man may be a servant, and admire; but a man who cannot admire is a slave. The world is given to us gratis – but will only be taken on those terms. We must be grateful to be free.
via Life Under Compulsion: Contemplation – Front Porch Republic.
Filed under Culture, Faith
It was a report of the now numbingly familiar sort. Witnesses at the synagogue in Paris recounted that an Iranian immigrant had been screaming “Allahu Akbar!” while he chased the rabbi and his son. When he finally caught up, he slashed away at them with a box-cutter, causing severe lacerations. Nevertheless, the Associated Press assured readers that “[a]n official investigation was underway to determine a possible motive.”
Quite a mystery, that.
via If you see something, say nothing by Andrew C. McCarthy – The New Criterion.
If your big media does not provide you with the truth, take action.
Every person possesses the image of God; every person receives the greatest grace, God’s great gifts, at the Mystery of Baptism. But starting from childhood, from infancy, we begin to squander God’s goods, receding ever further from God by our sins into a “far country.” What is this “far country”? It is a spiritual condition in which the soul is entirely full of such thoughts, feelings, impulses, words, and deeds as are characteristic of the devil alone and separate us from the Lord. And the graver the sins, and the more of them there are, the further man becomes separated from God. Thus has all mankind become separated; thus is each one of us separated from the Heavenly Father.
via Returning from a Far Country: On the Prodigal Son : A Russian Orthodox Church Website.
Excerpt from Walter Russell Mead in rebuke of caustic NYTimes columnists:
Bruni doesn’t even think [celibacy] is worth discussing; as far as I can tell, there are no ‘brides of Christ’ in his world view, only delusional and embittered old maids. The argument boils down to this: since human beings can’t be satisfied or fulfilled by relationships with God, celibacy has no point. It subtracts but it does not add. The celibate priest or nun is running away from normal human life and running toward… nothing.
Bruni is of course entitled to his opinion, and it’s one that many great scholars and philosophers have held. God either doesn’t exist or is so much in the background of things that he might as well not be there at all. Satisfaction is to be sought in the here and now; this life on earth offers all we need and in any case is all we have. Forget all this talk of mystical unions with Christ, forget the ecstasies of the saints, the Beatific Vision, the dream of fulfilling your life by picking up your cross and following Christ as closely as you can. Find an age-appropriate spouse of whatever gender works for you, and lead the rich and satisfying life of an upper middle class professional who enjoys the newspaper of record, and try not to think about old age, death, or anything else that suggests that the natural order is either incomplete or flawed.
This is a perfectly coherent point of view, but it is not very rational to suggest it to the Catholic Church. Bruni’s argument against celibacy is predicated on the disappearance of God; he is giving the Church advice on how to organize its affairs in the absence of Christ.
As a rule, TIME Magazine covers are sensational, pushy, too colloquial, and seek to incite controversy. Typically I don’t go for that. This one, however, I kind of like.
TIME Magazine Cover: They’ve Been Losing Ever Since – Jan. 14, 2013 – Roe v. Wade.
William J. Tighe on the Story Behind December 25
Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.
Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Son” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.
Read the rest at Touchstone Archives: Calculating Christmas.
Filed under Culture, Faith