QOTD: Progressives, sin, and soul-bleach

“The nineteenth-century progressives who founded socialistic communities to bring about a paradise here on earth took for granted that sin could be bleached out of the human soul as easily as you can smile and utter words of beneficence. The results were not good.”

— Anthony Esolen, Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World (2018).

 

38926312
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38926312-nostalgia

Medieval (and later) English wine-cask units: how big is that barrel (and how big is a “barrel,” exactly)?

Now, as Monty Python used to say, for something completely different…!

And as the late Paul Harvey would have said, “Now you know the rest… of the story.”

(And yes, a butt-load of something would indeed be a lot – 126 gallons’ worth – but not nearly as much as a tun of it would be!)

Finally, here is a piggin with which to dip wine from your firkin:

No photo description available.

 

The West’s Parish Church | Chronicles Magazine

Notre-Dame_île_de_la_Cité_HDR_BLS

The emotional outpouring prompted by news of the fire at Notre Dame de Paris has been extraordinary. It has been marked by both depth and breadth… A lot of us, it turns out, think of Mary’s church in the heart of France as a friend. And that friendship reveals several important truths and, ultimately, suggests a reason for hope.

Source: The West’s Parish Church | Chronicles Magazine

It is easy – all too easy! – to become dismayed, distressed, and disillusioned in today’s world, when so many good things are being defamed, derided, and even destroyed, often by those unworthy to unloose the sandal-latchets of those they are attacking, or the makers of the things they are attacking. It is even all too easy to fall into despair.

But despair is a sin – reflecting a lack of faith in the God of all Creation to protect and preserve, ultimately, the good, the true, and the beautiful, despite the damage misdirected human pride and free will can do in the short run. It is also a sin, because it gives too much credit to evil. Things may rarely be as good as we wish they were, true; but it is also true that they are rarely as bad as we fear they are, either.

Take, for example, the fire that so badly damaged Notre Dame, le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris: the jewel of Western Christendom, and what author Tom Piatak calls, in this essay, “the West’s parish church.” I, myself, was absolutely heart-sick at the thought that it might have been destroyed. And it is easy to see in those flames a metaphor for the plight – perhaps even the downfall – of the Christian West.

But the Cathedral of Notre Dame stands, and as Piatak points out, there is reason for hope. As my dear late mother would have reminded me, God is still in charge! After citing a number of specific and encouraging signs – which I encourage you to read for yourself in the essay – both before and after the Notre Dame fire, Piatak concludes,

“In the last few days, the world has been considering what it would mean to lose one of the masterpieces of medieval Christendom for all time. There is widespread agreement that such a loss would be profound. And there is reason to hope that the near loss of something that people have come to realize is so dear to them will cause at least some to reflect upon their attachment to Notre Dame and, as a result, come to cherish the civilization that built her…

May the near loss of one of the greatest monuments of Western civilization and an irreplaceable treasure lead us back to the Faith without which the West would not have come into existence, and without which the West will not continue to exist.”

Amen. May God grant it!

President Trump has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the UK | The Royal Family

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

Source: The Royal Family

Text of the announcement follows:

The President of the United States of America, President Donald J. Trump, accompanied by Mrs Melania Trump, has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the UK.

The visit will take place from Monday 3rd June to Wednesday 5th June this year. President Trump and Mrs Trump previously joined The Queen for tea at Windsor Castle in July 2018.

The Queen has hosted two previous State Visits from Presidents of the United States of America. President George W. Bush and Mrs Bush made a State Visit in November 2003. President Barack Obama and Mrs Obama made a State Visit to the UK in May 2011.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have made four State Visits to the USA, during Her Majesty’s reign. In October 1957 to visit President Eisenhower, in July 1976 for the US Bicentennial – President Ford, in May 1991 – President Bush and in May 2007 – President George W Bush.

Find out more about State Visits here – http://bit.ly/2Zs2ds3

God save the Queen! And God bless President Trump.

The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe | Gatestone Institute

“Notre Dame is more than 800 years old. It survived the turbulence of the Middle Ages, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, two World Wars and the Nazi occupation of Paris. It did not survive what France is becoming in the 21st century.”

Source: The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe | Gatestone Institute

Sobering.

“French President Emmanuel Macron, who had never even mentioned the attacks on Saint Denis or Saint Sulpice, quickly went to Notre Dame and declared, ‘Notre Dame is our history, our literature, our imagination.’ He totally left out cathedral’s religious dimension…

“For the foreseeable future, the heart of Paris will bear the terrible scars of a fire that devastated far more than a cathedral. The fire destroyed an essential part of what is left of the almost-lost soul of France and what France could accomplish when the French believed in something higher than their own day-to-day existence.”

Ah, ma Françe! Qu’est ce qui t’es arrivé? Où vas-tu et que seras-tu quand tu arriveras?

(Ah, my France! What has happened to you? Where are you going, and what will you be when you arrive?)

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy…

Post-Pascha Reminder: Easter Is Not a Pagan Holiday | Patheos.com

Related image

“No, Easter isn’t derived from the name of the Babylonian fertility goddess, Ishtar, nor any pagan festival. But even if it were, so what?”

Source: Post-Pascha Reminder: Easter Is Not a Pagan Holiday | Patheos.com

It is rare for Christians on the Puritan / fundamentalist side of the spectrum, Neopagans, and atheists to agree on anything, but one thing many (though not all) do agree on is that Easter, like Christmas, was originally a Pagan holiday that was wrongfully adopted / borrowed / swiped from the Pagans.

“You stole our holiday(s)!” complain the neo-Pagans. “You shouldn’t celebrate Easter / Christmas, it’s a Pagan holiday!” complain the neo-Puritans. “Ha, ha! Christians are so dumb they celebrate Pagan holidays and think they’re theirs,” chortle (some of the less-knowledgeable and less-charitable) atheists.

Well, they may be in rare agreement, but they’re all wrong… Continue reading “Post-Pascha Reminder: Easter Is Not a Pagan Holiday | Patheos.com”

The Notre Dame fire: what was saved and what was lost | Aleteia

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/000_1fp2s4-1.jpg

Amidst the fire’s wreckage, much of the treasures of Notre Dame were saved.

Source: The Notre Dame fire: what was saved and what was lost | Aleteia

While the damage to le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris from Monday’s fire was very severe, not only the structure of the Cathedral, but many of the priceless, irreplaceable artifacts and relics contained within were preserved. In fact, it is remarkable, gratifying, and – I would maintain – miraculous, how much has been saved!

The roof and the spire are gone, of course (and the current plans to update the spire – rather than restoring it – are very concerning, to those of us who care about tradition, heritage, and aesthetics); but the treasures that remain include:

  • The High Altar and its Cross:

“However, amidst the chaos, the cross suspended above the altar remains intact, “painful and luminous at the same time,” in the words of Fr. Grosjean, a priest of the diocese of Versailles.”

  • Many statues, including three of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • The largest and most famous of the Cathedral’s four organs, dating back to the 13th century
  • Incredibly, the Rose Windows and much of the Cathedral’s stained glass, including all or nearly all of its medieval stained glass
  • Furthermore, all of the major Christian relics appear to have been saved:

“The tunic of St. Louis and the Crown of Thorns were saved, said Bishop Patrick Chauvet, rector of the cathedral, on Monday evening. Two other relics kept at Notre Dame, a piece of the Cross and a nail from the Passion, also escaped the flames, thanks to the work of the firefighters.”

  • Even the rooster-shaped bronze reliquary that topped the Cathedral’s spiral survived both the inferno that consumed the spire, and the long fall that followed, and

“was found intact on Tuesday—damaged, but whole, according to Bishop Patrick Chauvet. The three relics that were miraculously saved within it are a piece of the Holy Crown of Thorns and relics of St. Denis and St. Genevieve, patrons of Paris.”

Follow the link for more details. But if this – both the fire itself, and what has by God’s grace survived it – is not an allegory for the times we are living in, and an inspiration to Christians concerned by the decline of Western Christendom, I do not know what is!

Only by returning to the Faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame | Catholic Herald

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/gettyimages-1137435829.jpg
Image by Getty.

What should make us tremble is that to truly rebuild Notre Dame will require becoming the kind of people who built her in the first place.

Source: Only by returning to the Faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame | Catholic Herald

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was built out of stone and wood and glass without electricity or computers. It was not built by committee, or consultants or according to state regulations. It was built by a culture superior to our own. And we know it..

“As the spire cracked and buckled, millions of us felt civilization trembling…

“We tremble because we know that the world has been drawing down a Christian inheritance for centuries, drawing down the cultural wealth of the Faith into rampant prodigal decadence.

“The proximate cause of the fire is not yet known, but the symbolic cause is hundreds of years in the making…”

 

Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact | New York Post

Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris

Source: Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact | New York Post

Deo gratias!!! Thanks be to God! The interior damage to Notre Dame seems to have been much less severe than feared. The Altar and Great Cross are intact, along with much else (including woodwork!); even the very candles seem to have survived un-melted! You can say what you want, I call that a miracle. Again, thanks be to God!

“Photos from inside Notre Dame show the central part of the historic Gothic cathedral still intact. Rows of wooden pews and much of the nave appears to have been saved, according to the images. ‘Only a small part of the vault collapsed. Interior seems relatively untouched. Hallelujah!’ wrote @CathedralNotre

“Still, a massive hole can be seen in the 850-year-old cathedral’s roof. The pictures also show smoke emanating from the chancel, the area around the altar. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told Le Monde there was ‘a big hole in the roof.'” However, “‘The altar and its cross are preserved. It’s not as bad as I feared,’ she told Le Monde.”

That’s not to say there isn’t severe damage; there is. The spire and most of the roof is gone; there are several honking great holes in the vaulted ceiling. But the medieval stone-masons who built it, 800 years ago, did their work well! It holds, it stands; it appears to be, in fact, significantly intact. God grant it remains that way!

I go to bed with a much lighter and very grateful heart!

Massive fire breaks out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Fox News

Flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019 afternoon.

The famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames on Monday leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire.

Source: Massive fire breaks out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Fox News

Horrific. I am – uncharacteristically – all but speechless. And heartbroken.

200 years in the making, 800 years old, Notre Dame – the Cathedral of Our Lady – is the heart and soul of Catholic France… arguably, of European Christendom. Even in secular terms, so much priceless, irreplaceable art and architecture embodied in that structure. And the prayers of so many Christian faithful, for so many centuries, have winged heaven-ward from those walls and towers.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.