HRH The Prince of Wales – “Recovery of the soul”

HRH Prince Charles - Recovery of the soul

I do not agree with everything Prince Charles has to say, but in this I believe His Royal Highness is 100% correct. When I do agree with him, it usually has to do with architecture, agriculture, or tradition!

Why not “Smash Cultural Atheism”…?

An amusing little meme (please excuse the language in the last frame) which actually asks a very good question:

Smash Cultural Atheism

Note: This is in reference to “Smash Cultural Marxism” (see my post on the subject), which has become something of a buzzword or catch-phrase in some quarters. Some militant atheists (and, unfortunately, a few militant pagans / heathens) have responded with “Smash Cultural Christianity.” This meme takes a more balanced view – and asks the appropriate follow-up question!

The irony of atheism, of course, is that while it claims to be grounded in “reason” and “science,” it is in actuality just as much of a belief system as any religion. While it is not possible to conclusively prove the existence of God, neither is it possible to conclusively prove the non-existence of God: is anyone really foolish enough to think that a deity capable of creating the entire cosmos, from quasars to quarks, couldn’t build sufficient ambiguity into the system to make belief in “his” existence a matter of faith and not fact?

Speaking personally, the idea that all the incredible wonder, splendor, and complexity of the Cosmos, from astronomy to biology to particle physics, came about by sheer chance, and/or spontaneously generated from nothingness, requires more faith than I can muster. So I take my hat off to the deep faith of atheists, even as I question their supposed rationality.

Thus, while a discrete and humble agnosticism is an entirely reasonable approach to the question of the existence of God, and the relationship between that God (if in fact, as seems most probable, He exists) and humans – for there is indeed much that we do not and cannot know – militant atheism comes across, to me at least, as ignorant, arrogant, and downright silly, no better than the most extreme and fundamentalist forms of Christianity. The fact that it denies that it is a belief, a matter of faith in fact, just makes it seem all the more silly…

That being the case, both Christianity and Paganism have a great deal more, intrinsically, to recommend them – as this meme humourously points out!

Traditional vs modern society

Traditional vs modern society

One of the reasons that I am a traditionalist.

Please note: this does not mean that traditional societies were, or healthy societies ought to be, static or stagnant. There was, is, and ought to be a dynamic equilibrium, incorporating ebb and flow, travel and interchange, etc.

But what is rejected – and what I reject – is the absurd notion that “change is good,” that change for its own sake should be the norm, and the preferred option.

Change is not good! Not intrinsically. Good change can be good, but the burden of proof is on those who desire the change, to demonstrate how and why it will be good, and that the difficulties and challenges that accompany it – for there will always be those – do not outweigh the benefits.

Stability, balance, equilibrium: these are the things that make for stable, peaceful, and long-lasting societies. Without a great deal of caution and care, change can result in chaos, and chaos is more likely to be destructive than otherwise.

If Middle Earth were the 21st century West….

 

I especially “like” this one:

Gondor calls for aid

Not that thoughts and prayers are not important! They are. And sometimes prayer is all one can do; if so, then one has an obligation to do what one can. I am not one of those who disparages people for doing all they can, or know how to, do! Even “positive energy” has its place. But if that is all King Theoden had done, not suiting actions to thoughts, Orcs and Haradrim would have been feasting in Minas Tirith, while the Lord of the Nazgûl reigned from the throne of the Kings of Men…

In real-world history, if thoughts, prayers, and positive energy had been all King Jan III Sobieski sent to the relief of Vienna, instead of Winged Hussars, Ottoman Turks would have ruled from the Imperial City, and the history of Europe and the world might have been much different!

Beauty Matters

Beauty Matters.png

Indeed it does.

Nor is it limited to the Roman observance, although traditionalists in the Roman Catholic Church (and more generally, the liturgical, sacramental Churches, including Eastern Orthodoxy and – when it is being true to itself – the Anglican tradition) are often acutely aware of its importance:

“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced, and the art which has grown in her womb. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art which have arisen in the community of believers than by the clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history. If the Church is to continue to transform and humanize the world, how can she dispense with beauty in her liturgies, that beauty which is so closely linked with love and with the radiance of the Resurrection? No. Christians must not be too easily satisfied. They must make their Church into a place where beauty – and hence truth – is at home. Without this the world will become the first circle of Hell.”

Pope Benedict XVI: The Ratzinger Report, p. 129

Beauty, however, is the birthright of all Christians – ours is, after all, a sacramental and incarnational faith, and therefore one which values the created order as an important source of God’s self-revelation to us. The Scriptural warrant for this goes back at least to the Psalmist:

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Psalm 29:2, 96:9

And of course the classical Christian tradition, at least in the West, has repeatedly cited the “three Transcendentals” (Goodness, Truth, and Beauty) as not only pointing toward God, but being aspects or attributes of God – ones that we should seek to mirror and live out in our own lives:

[The] Three Transcendentals of ancient philosophy (which has so greatly shaped Christian Tradition) [are] the True, the Good and the Beautiful. 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.

In short: for Christians, “Beauty Matters.” It is not an extrinsic, superficial adornment to our lives and our liturgy; it is an intrinsic, essential element of them.