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John Adams: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence”

24 October 2016

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“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence, were … the general principles of Christianity, in which all those sects were united, and the general principles of English and American liberty, in which all those young men united, and which had united all parties in America, in majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her independence. Now I will avow, that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature and our terrestrial, mundane system.”

John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 28 June 1813

Archbishop Charles Chaput: “never be satisfied with bourgeois, mediocre, feel-good religion”

23 October 2016

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“If men and women are really made for heroism and glory, made to stand in the presence of the living God, they can never be satisfied with bourgeois, mediocre, feel-good religion. They’ll never be fed by ugly worship and shallow moralizing. But that’s what we too often give them. And the reason we do it is because too many of us have welcomed the good news of Vatican II without carving its demand for conversion onto the stone of our hearts.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput

More here.


Bernard of Clairvaux: “holy fear”

22 October 2016

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“For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but filled with holy fear.”

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

John Adams: “Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution”

22 October 2016

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“While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.”

John Adams, Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia: “there are poor people in our society”

21 October 2016

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“Unfortunately, there are poor people in our society whose parents couldn’t give them anything … except money.”

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

Archbishop Chaput: “What Christians mean by “freedom” and “equality” “

21 October 2016

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“What Christians mean by “freedom” and “equality” is very different from the secular content of those words. For the believer, freedom is more than a menu of choices or the absence of oppression. Christian freedom is the liberty, the knowledge and the character to do what’s morally right. And the Christian meaning of “equality” is much more robust than the moral equivalent of a math equation. It involves the kind of love a mother feels for each of her children, which really isn’t equality at all. A good mother loves her children infinitely and uniquely—not “equally,” because that would be impossible. Rather, she loves them profoundly in the sense that all of her children are flesh of her flesh, and have a permanent, unlimited claim on her heart.”


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput


More here.

Thomas Jefferson: “we have more machinery of government than is necessary”

20 October 2016

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“I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Johnson, 1823