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Isaac the Syrian: “he who confesses his pain is near to health”

6 May 2016

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“The sick one who is acquainted with his sickness is easily to be cured; and he who confesses his pain is near to health.

Many are the pains of the hard heart; and when the sick one resists the physician, his torments will be augmented.”

– St. Isaac the Syrian

Thomas Molnar: “a society itself unmoored from foundation and tradition”

6 May 2016

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“Culture has come to mean … anything that happens to catch the fancy of a group: rock concerts, supposedly for the famished of the third world; the drug culture and other subcultures; sects and cults; sexual excess and aberration; blasphemy on stage and screen; frightening and obscene shapes; the plastic wrapping of Pont-Neuf or the California coast; to smashing of the family and other institutions; the display of the queer [that is, bizarre], abject, the sick. These instant products, meant to provide instant gratification to a society itself unmoored from foundation and tradition, accordingly deny the work of mediation and maturation and favor the incoherent, the shapeless and the repulsive.”

– Thomas Molnar

Sam Gerrans: “Gender is not a spectrum, it is a polarity”

6 May 2016

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“And this is the point. Gender is not a spectrum, it is a polarity.
If its ‘ideals’ are opposing, that is part of its purpose. They are designed to complement and perfect each other – while remaining distinctly different.
Any society that loses its grasp on this obvious reality has no future – a point that for me is instructive.
It may be that some small numbers of girls are destined to be great scientists – and bully for them. But the vast majority of women are not going to be found crying into their cups in their dotage because they missed their calling as nuclear physicists. Whereas the number inflicting their painful neuroses upon the rest of us because they were duped into buying into feminism and trashing femininity, and thus find themselves with no husband or children, is so commonplace it has become a modern-day stereotype.
I detect a polarizing agenda running through the media narrative. It has the insanity of Cultural Marxism on the one hand, and the insanity of so-called Sharia law on the other. These two agenda items will naturally be brought into conflict.
Those familiar with the Hegelian dialectic will recognize the familiar ingredients – thesis and antithesis – as the set-up for the inevitable synthesis. What that synthesis will be, I can’t say, other than it will have nothing to do with what normal men and women normally want.
What I am sure of is that both the progressives and Sharia-touting Islamists are unwitting pawns in bringing that end about – and that both will continue to be useful to that small clique which decides social policy and declares war on those who wish to have sane, generative, enduring families.”

– Sam Gerrans

 

You can read the article that this quotation was excerpted from here.

Carl R. Trueman: “We have no culture to engage, let alone transform.”

5 May 2016

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“Let’s face it: We now live in a world where refusing a man the right to expose himself in a woman’s toilet is enough to risk your city losing the right to host a football game. Even to suggest there might be a debate to be had about such a thing is enough to render one liable to accusations of irrational hatred and dismissal as a benighted bigot. Culture did not bring that about. Anti-culture did—the wholesale repudiation of the past and its institutions and interdicts, and a Devil-may-care attitude to the future. The anti-culture warriors of this present age have very long, very strong arms and—unfortunately for the coming generations—very short sight. Just think of the Talibanic fury recently released on university campuses against any vestige of the past which does not conform to the exacting morality of the present.

Christians need to wake up to this. We have no culture to engage, let alone transform. It is thus time to drop the hip rhetoric of cultural engagement and transformation that comforts us that we are part of some non-existent dialogue and that grants the world of our opponents a dignity which it simply does not deserve.” …

… “The church is a culture and the West is now an anti-culture. And we can no more engage or transform anti-culture than we can hunt unicorns or turn lead into gold. Or find a mildly coherent insight or a hint of lasting musical merit in a Lady Gaga song, for that matter.”

– Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary

 

More here.

Augustine of Hippo: “when people withdraw from God”

5 May 2016

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“Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God.”
– St. Augustine of Hippo

Basil the Great: “so thy life be made one ceaseless and uninterrupted prayer.”

5 May 2016

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“As thou takest thy seat at table, pray. As thou liftest the loaf, offer thanks to the Giver. When thou sustainest thy bodily weakness with wine, remember Him Who supplies thee with this gift, to make thy heart glad and to comfort thy infirmity. Has thy need for taking food passed away? Let not the thought of thy Benefactor pass away too. As thou art putting on thy tunic, thank the Giver of it. As thou wrappest thy cloak about thee, feel yet greater love to God, Who alike in summer and in winter has given us coverings convenient for us, at once to preserve our life, and to cover what is unseemly. Is the day done? Give thanks to Him Who has given us the sun for our daily work, and has provided for us a fire to light up the night, and to serve the rest of the needs of life. Let night give the other occasion of prayer. When thou lookest up to heaven and gazest at the beauty of the stars, pray to the Lord of the visible world; pray to God the Arch-artificer of the universe, Who in wisdom hath made them all. When thou seest all nature sunk in sleep, then again worship Him Who gives us even against our wills release from the continuous strain of toil, and by a short refreshment restores us once again to the vigour of our strength. Let not night herself be all, as it were, the special and peculiar property of sleep. Let not half thy life be useless through the senselessness of slumber. Divide the time of night between sleep and prayer. Nay, let thy slumbers be themselves experiences in piety; for it is only natural that our sleeping dreams should be for the most part echoes of the anxieties of the day. As have been our conduct and pursuits, so will inevitably be our dreams. Thus wilt thought pray without ceasing; if thought prayest not only in words, but unitest thyself to God through all the course of life and so thy life be made one ceaseless and uninterrupted prayer.”

– St. Basil the Great

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica: “In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos”

4 May 2016

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“Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos, Everything is distorted and turned around. Because of our disobedience to the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we have lost the natural order.”

–  Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

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