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“America’s Big Problem”

20 April 2021

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“America’s Big Problem: ruling class Snobs that won’t just shut up and go away but have to be continually digging up the American garden to plant the latest fashionable plant from the local nursery. Problem is that each succeeding generation of ruler Snobs has to blame the previous Snobs for all the government mistakes, so they can implement more stupid Snobby programs to fix the problems created by the previous crop of stupid Snob programs and Snobby cultural fashions.”

Christopher Chantrill

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Read more here.

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Gregory Nazianzen: “The measure of His kindness”

20 April 2021

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“I seem indeed to hear that voice, from Him Who gathers together those who are broken, and welcomes the oppressed: I have given you up, and I will help you. In a little wrath I struck you, but with everlasting mercy I will glorify you (cf. Isa. 54:8). The measure of His kindness exceeds the measure of His discipline.”

St. Gregory Nazianzen

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“the ‘religious’ nature of almost the whole of modern life”

19 April 2021

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On a daily basis, I have become increasingly aware of the “religious” nature of almost the whole of modern life. That might seem to be an odd observation when the culture in which we live largely describes itself as “secular.” That designation, however, only has meaning in saying that the culture does not give allegiance or preference to any particular, organized religious body. It is sadly the case, however, that this self-conception makes the culture particularly blind to just how “religious” it is in almost everything it does. I suspect that the more removed we are from true communion with God, the more “religious” we become. It is, I think, an idolatrous substitute for true existence, and a misguided attempt to impose an order and meaning that we ourselves create. Our social life thus becomes dominated by our continual efforts to convince (or compel) others (or to convince ourselves) to accept a worldview and way of life that has no true existence apart from our own efforts to make it so.”

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“For more than 200 years, modernity has labored under slogans that promise a better world. While the sentiments they contain are always well-meant, in truth, they serve primarily to stir passions and demand actions that transcend reasonable and rational strategies. They presume that no problem is insurmountable as long as we care enough (that’s a sentiment that I expect to see someday on a bumper). It is, of course, not true.

“The “religious” sentiment of modernity is a vortex of death. You need look no further than the warring culture, where the religious factions (some of which imagine themselves to be secular) are drawn up in constant battle array. Neither can vanquish the other. You never win a religious war.

“Scripture teaches us that our warfare is not with flesh and blood but against “angels, principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.” The only place such battles can be waged is within the human heart. St. Seraphim taught us that if we acquire the Spirit of peace, a thousand souls around us will be saved. By that ratio, we could save the world. Such a salvation would appear as quiet and ineffectual as 12 peasants in an upper room. God has never had any other plan.”

Archpriest Stephen Freeman

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Read more here.

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Macarios of Egypt: “The heart is but a small vessel”

18 April 2021

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“The heart is but a small vessel; and yet dragons and lions are there, and there likewise are poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There also is God, there are the angels, there life and the Kingdom, there light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace: all things are there.”

St. Macarios of Egypt

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Cyril of Alexandria: “They who make a sacrilegious Communion”

18 April 2021

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“They who make a sacrilegious Communion receive satan and Jesus Christ into their hearts—satan, that they may let him rule, and Jesus Christ, that they may offer Him in sacrifice as a Victim to satan.”

St. Cyril of Alexandria

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Kierkegaard: “What else can one expect from following the truth?

17 April 2021

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“…no one becomes a believer by hearing about Christianity, by reading about it, by thinking about it. It means that while Christ was living, no one became a believer by seeing Him once in a while or by going and staring at Him all day long. No, a certain setting is required – venture a decisive act. The proof does not precede but follows; it exists in and with the life that follows Christ. Once you have ventured the decisive act, you are at odds with the life of this world. You come into collision with it, and because of this you will gradually be brought into such tension that you will then be able to become certain of what Christ taught. You will begin to understand that you cannot endure this world without having recourse to Christ. What else can one expect from following the truth?”

Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations

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“The illusion of a temporary passport”

17 April 2021

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“Why care in the first place? After all, doesn’t a vaccine passport solve the pandemic, as it ensures that possibly infected people do not mingle with those who are vulnerable? 

“The fear needs to be this: If it is introduced, the vaccine passport is unlikely to be just a temporary measure. The COVID passport is likely to see the same evolution as today’s common travel passport. The existing travel passport only dates back to the early 20th century, at the early stages of World War I. Warring nations France, Germany, and Italy were the first to introduce passports in 1914 to keep better track of “enemy” citizens and their movements. 

“Under the U.N.’s predecessor, the League of Nations, a passport conference was held in 1925 in an effort to remove these war-time restrictions and restore freedom of movement, but to no avail. Those who argued that seven years past the Great War’s end security concerns remained won the debate. Instead, the conference decided on uniformity by introducing an international passport standard that we still use today.

“The illusion of a temporary passport is just that, an illusion. “

Bob Wirtz

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Read more here.

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Makarios of Egypt: “when the soul recognizes – what is indeed the truth”

17 April 2021

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“… when the soul recognizes – what is indeed the truth – that all its good actions for God’s sake, together with all its understanding and knowledge, are to be ascribed to God alone and that everything should be attributed to Him, then God accepts this as the greatest gift that man can make, as the offering that is most precious in His eyes.”

St. Makarios of Egypt, The Philokalia

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The Covid vaccines and doing evil to achieve good

17 April 2021

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“We must reject, on moral grounds, all COVID-19 vaccines that have any connection to aborted preborn baby cells (especially those babies who were “kept alive” long enough for scientists to extract the kidneys or retinas from which they derived the desired “material.”) Time and distance are irrelevant to profiteering from such abominations for any reason, even life-saving in the present or future. According to traditional Orthodox moral theology (as opposed to revisionist variations so common today), certain actions (“means” to “ends”) are objectively,  intrinsically evil under any “circumstances”—most notably, abortion, rape, incest, child abuse, physical torture, and deliberate targeting of non-combatants in war.

“Otherwise, we fall into a utilitarian or, worse, the consequentialist temptation that justifies anything however repellent and abominable for the “greater good” that one may have as his intention. The New Testament, the consensus patrum, and our own Orthodox-informed consciences all testify to the uncontestable moral maxim that we may not do evil to achieve good. There is no “lesser evil” that is tolerable to achieve, ostensibly, a “greater good.” If the means or action toward even a good end is intrinsically evil, the entire decision must be deemed immoral and unacceptable in all circumstances. A “lesser evil” decision process cloaked in “greater good” language is sophistry, prelest, and sheer moral evil.

“Is our own bodily health, including likely immunity via vaccination from a pandemic that, despite the toll of deaths—each one tragic and unnecessary—is only one of many other, some more deadly pandemics in human history, worth compromising an informed moral conscience by benefiting in any way from the abomination of abortions?

“Ultimately, our unbroken faith and hope in God the Holy Trinity and in the life in the world to come will sustain us in this present biological trial. It will take that—as well as courage—to eschew tempting but immoral medical solutions to the COVID-19 virus while waiting for a truly moral alternative.

“May our Lord grant us the strength to do so.”

Fr Alexander F C Webster, PhD

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Read more here.

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Gregory Nazianzus: “Anyone who refuses to progress this far …must be wanting in judgment”

16 April 2021

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“No one seeing a beautifully elaborated lyre with its harmonious, orderly arrangement, and hearing the lyre’s music will fail to form a notion of its craftsman-player, to recur to him in thought though ignorant of him by sight. In this way the creative power, which moves and safeguards its objects, is clear to us, though it be not grasped by the understanding. Anyone who refuses to progress this far in following instinctive proofs must be wanting in judgment. But still, whatever we imagined or figured to ourselves or reason delineated is not the reality of God.”

St. Gregory Nazianzus, On God and Christ

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