Weeds, Immigration, and Culture | The Southern Agrarian

Several years ago, in an effort to improve the quality of the soil in my garden, I bought a truckload of topsoil. It was carefully spread, then tilled and worked into the soil. The original soil and the new topsoil were mixed until they became as one. At first, it was great. The soil was darker and richer looking than the native sandy soil, and the plants that I grew there were bigger and stronger. Then came the weeds…

Source: Weeds, Immigration, and Culture | The Southern Agrarian

A superb allegory for our present crisis.

As an ecologist, environmental educator, and sometime organic farmer, I have long seen the parallels between “invasive aliens” in natural ecosystems – or gardens! – and in our cultural ecosystem. Diversity in an ecosystem, or in a diversified small farm, is a strength; it increases the robustness, the resilience, of the whole. But it must be native diversity.

Import aliens – kudzu, Japanese stilt-grass, autumn olive, multiflora rose (or allow, through negligence or oversight, even more perilous and secretive invaders like chestnut blight or emerald ash borers to sneak in), and the list could go on – and they quickly choke out the natives. And once introduced, they are difficult or impossible to ever totally eradicate. At best, one might achieve a tenuous and combative equilibrium. Likewise, as The Southern Agrarian notes,

“Culture is a very precious thing, and it must be cared for and defended. A culture – just like agriculture – requires work to maintain. There are no shortcuts. Bringing in, or allowing in, foreign elements into a native culture brings with it serious risks. While on the surface, there may appear to be benefits to mixing cultures, the hidden costs will quickly show up. Like an invasive species in nature that finds no natural enemies, it takes over and the original culture disappears. Forever.”

Words to the wise. Those who have ears, let them hear!

Some reflections on Maryland Day

Source: the Ark and the Dove – from the rectory porch

Reflections on Maryland Day, the founding of the Maryland Colony in 1634 – now the State of Maryland – and the Feast of the Annunciation, from the Rev. Greg Syler, Episcopal priest and rector of St. George’s Church and Church of the Ascension, St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

My comments follow…

O Lord Christ, whose prayer that your disciples would be one, as you and the Father are one, inspired certain of your followers to create on American shores a colony that would practice tolerance, consecrated in the name of your blessed mother to whom the angel announced this day a new gift: Grant that the people of this land may continually give thanks for your protection and uphold the liberty of conscience and worship, until all shall receive the benefits and follow the disciplines of true freedom, endowed by the Name of the same, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

On 22 November 1633, a group of English travelers — about 150 in all — boarded two ships, the Ark and the Dove, and set off from their mother country from the Isle of Wight.  Most of the group were indentured servants who would help settle the new colony and prepare the way for future arrivals, roughly equal numbers Catholic and Protestant, in fact, and on board was also at least one Jesuit priest, Fr. Andrew White, as well as Leonard Calvert, the intended future governor of Mary’s Land, the third English colony in the so-called “new world,” and Lord Baltimore’s younger brother. Continue reading “Some reflections on Maryland Day”

The Angelus – YouTube

The Angelus – traditional salutation to Mary, in honor of the Incarnation of her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, recited or sung at morning, noon, and evening – as chanted by the Daughters of Mary: in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation.

The full text of the Angelus, in both Latin and (traditional / liturgical) English, together with some background history, is found here.

The Annunciation of Our Lord | For All the Saints

The feast of the Annunciation celebrates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to the Virgin Mary that she was to become the mother of the Messiah, and her willing submission to God’s will.

Source: The Annunciation of Our Lord | For All the Saints

The feast of the Annunciation celebrates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to the Virgin Mary that she was to become the mother of the Messiah, and her willing submission to God’s will, whereupon the Word of God was conceived and made incarnate in her womb.

The celebration of the feast probably began in the East in the fifth century and was introduced into the West in the sixth and seventh centuries. By the time of the Tenth Synod of Toledo in 656, it was celebrated nearly universally in the Church. While the feast falls exactly nine months before December 25, it is likely that the dating of the birth of Jesus depends on the dating of his conception, rather than the other way round.

There was widespread belief amongst first century Jews in the “integral age” of prophets and other great men of God, like Abraham; that is, that their lives formed an integral whole, and that they died on the same dates as their birth or conception. Thus, from a presumed dating of the crucifixion to March 25, the angelic announcement to Mary and the conception of Jesus were dated to March 25, and the birth of Jesus to December 25, nine months later.

Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive and bear a Son who would be the Messiah, the Son of the Most High, whose name would be Jesus. Astounded, Mary asked how this could be so, since she was a virgin and as yet unmarried. The angel replied that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and that the power of the Most High would overshadow her, and through this divine means she would conceive. “With God,” said Gabriel, “nothing is impossible.”

This is, therefore, the first feast in the Nativity Cycle, the miraculous conception of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, by the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary – even though we are still in Lent! It is, to me, fascinating to see how the cycles and seasons of the Christian year overlap and mutually infuse one another, even as do the cycles and seasons of the natural year… concerning which, it is very appropriate that as Christ is “the Sun of Righteousness,” we should celebrate these His feasts at or near the Solstices and Equinoxes!

Prince Charles visits the casualties of Wednesday’s terror attack in hospital – Royal Central

The Prince of Wales has visited some of the victims who were injured in Wednesday’s terror attack in hospital.

Source: Prince Charles visits the casualties of Wednesday’s terror attack in hospital – Royal Central

The heir to the throne travelled to King’s College Hospital in London on Friday where he met those who were injured, as well as the medics who treated them.

King’s College Hospital is one of several hospitals in London to treat those injured in the Westminster attack.

More than 50 people were injured during the incident, with over 30 being admitted to hospital.

Eight of those victims are being treated at King’s College Hospital, where Prince Charles has visited – one later died after succumbing to his injuries.

“Beauty is vanishing from our world…”

beauty-is-vanishing-from-our-world-because-we-live-as-15967758

To destructively compress Plato and the Neoplatonists, all truth points to the transcendent Truth; all good points to the transcendent Good; all beauty points to the transcendent Beauty; and in turn, the transcendent True, Good and Beautiful is the One, the source of all being, which classical theism identifies as God, and is in turn identified with the God of the Bible by orthodox Christianity” (Pascal Emmanuel Gobry).

It follows from this that, in a sense, to live as if beauty does not matter is to commit an offense against God Himself!

Mass shooting in Lille near Metro station leaves at least three injured and sparks terror fears – Mirror Online

Source: Mass shooting in Lille near Metro station leaves at least three injured and sparks terror fears – Mirror Online

“A shooting in Lille has left at least three people injured and sparked terror fears days after the attack in London… It is believed the drive-by shooting may be linked to criminal gangs. But the proximity to a train station and armed police response sparked fears of terrorism as Europe remains on a high state of alert. The identity of those injured in the attack is unknown. France has suffered a string of Islamist terror attacks during the past 12 months.”

And a significant plurality, if not majority, of criminal gangs in France these days are – wait for it – Muslim. Not meaning to jump to conclusions (sorry, not sorry), but I’d be surprised, indeed shocked, if it’s anyone else…