Restoring the Sacred

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Words of Relevance: Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev on Secular Consciousness and Religious Values.

Today’s quote is from Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, in an address at a conference in London, on February 21, 2014.

The entire address can be read HERE.

The address was posted on the website, Inside The Vatican, by Dr. Robert Moynihan.   The following is from that post.

...and what Alfeyev sees is a process of  "de-Christianization”, of the removal of Christian symbols and Christian teachings in the public and private life of the West, and of the world, which proceeds apace, year after year, decade after decade. "And today," he said, "we can hear of how in democratic Europe an airline employee was forced to remove her cross, supposedly in the name of tolerance, peace and harmony in society."

In the clearest example of the error in the currently predominate secular notions of free choice, Metropolitan Alfeyev uses the story from scripture of the  woman about to be stoned for adultery.

Here’s the quote:

When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Christ he said to those who demanded that she be stoned to death: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." He not only did not condemn the woman but saved her from death. And yet he said to her: "Go, and sin no more" (Jn. 8: 2-11). If we are to follow the secular notions of free choice and human dignity, then the Saviour of the world ought not to have said these words but recognize her behaviour to be normal and say: "Go and continue to do the same."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Words of Relevance: Fr. George Rutler on Euphemisms

Fr. George Rutler, pastor of St. Michael's Church in New York City, posted an essay on the Blog of Crisis Magazine today, entitled Recalling Euthanasia's Legacy of Death.

In his essay, Fr. Rutler laments the passage, six days ago, by the Belgian Chamber of Deputies of "an amendment to its 2002 euthanasia law, extending its provisions to include the killing of children…"

A man watching the proceedings cried out, "Murderers," so of course he was immediately silenced for having the bad taste of calling something by its truthful name.  Fr. Rutler then takes off on the use of euphemisms, and the reason we are currently inundated with them.

Reading the essay, several of the euphemisms that should be familiar to many came to mind, for example: "A woman's right to choose," "Planned Parenthood," "Compassion and Choices," the new name for The Hemlock Society, and here in Florida, "Competitive Work Force Act," a thinly disguised title bestowed by something called "Equality Florida," an organization dedicated to forcing the acceptance of the LGBT agenda on an unaware public.

Fr. Rutler understands euphemisms more clearly than anyone as is evidenced by today's quote of the day.

Here's the quote:
A euphemism covers shame, a timid confession by syntax rather than by sacrament, for a euphemism wants approval and not absolution.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Words of Relevance: David Berlinski on Climate Change

David Berlinski, PhD, manifestly one of the most educated, and intelligent (there is a difference) men in America, sat down recently with Peter Robinson of The Hoover Institution, and expounded upon various topics, one of which was global warming or what has now become climate change.  He does not think much of the "science" of global warming or of the "scientists" proselytizing their theory (and getting government grants to do so).  His most damning quote on the subject was published at, on August 26, 2013.  The quote was mentioned during the interview with Peter Robinson (on the left in the above photo), and it serves as the quote of the day today.

Here's the quote:
"Global warming?  Who knows?  Not me, for sure.  But what I do know is that climate science is and has been in the hands of intellectual mediocrities and pious charlatans."

Here's a link to a segment of the interview:

If you have 44 minutes, you can click below to watch the entire interview.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Words of Relevance: Fr. Barron on Inclusion & Tolerance vs Love

Fr. Robert Barron, the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary/University of Saint Mary of the Lake, near Chicago, and the founder of Word on Fire, posted on his Blog back in May of 2013, an insightful piece about a sermon preached around that time by Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America.  The post, and the analysis of the sermon can be read HERE.

Fr. Barron totally deconstructs the Bishop's understanding of St. Paul's first visit to the Greek town of Philippi recounted in the 16th chapter of The Acts of the Apostles.  That's the story of the driving out of the demon from the slave girl.  The Bishop's understanding of that event is beyond understanding: she describes it as a "tale of patriarchal oppression and intolerance."

Fr. Barron summarizes his analysis of the Bishop's sermon as follows: What is at the root of this deeply wrong-headed homily is a conflation of early twenty-first century values of inclusion and toleration with the great Biblical value of love.  Then he provides us with the quote of the day.

Here's the quote:
To love is to will the good of the other as other. As such, love can involve—indeed, must involve—a deep intolerance toward wickedness and a clear willingness to exclude certain forms of life, behavior, and thought. When inclusivity and toleration emerge as the supreme goods—as they have in much of our society today—then love devolves into something vague, sentimental and finally dangerous.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Words of Relevance: Plato on Civilizational Decay

Plato, in his Socratic dialogue and best known work, The Republic, written in 380 B.C., warned us of possible pitfalls that could lead a society toward civilizational decay.

Here's the quote:
“A society in which there is a multiplicity of doctors and lawyers is already a sick society,...constant litigation and consultation are signs of civilizational decay.  Complete absorption in the pursuit of justice and health somehow ends up with neither.”

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Words of Relevance: Flannery O'Connor: Tenderness & Terror

Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964), has been described by Fr. Damien Ference on the Word on Fire Blog as:
One of the greatest disciples of the twentieth century was neither a priest, nor a religious, nor a married person. She was a celibate, single woman who spent the last 13 years of her life battling lupus while writing some of the best fiction the world has ever known—all while living on a 544-acre dairy farm in Milledgeville, Ga. with her mother, her books, and forty-four peacocks. Her name was Flannery O’Connor.
Today's quote manifests her concern over attempts by the secular world to discredit faith in the goodness of God, and replace it with a misunderstanding of the origin of tenderness.

Here's the quote:
One of the tendernesses of our age is to use the suffering of children to discredit the goodness of God, and once you have discredited his goodness, you are done with him... In this popular piety, we mark our gain in sensibility and our loss in vision.  If other ages felt less, they saw more, even though they saw  In the absence of this faith now, we are governed by tenderness.  It is a tenderness which, long since cut off from the person of Christ, is wrapped in theory.  When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. 

Mary Beth Bonacci, expounded on the relevant words of O'Connor in a piece she wrote at, entitled:   Compassion Leads to the Gas Chamber?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Words of Relevance: The Seahawks and Jesus

The 2014 Super Bowl was, for all Peyton Manning fans, a  great disappointment, but the below linked video has erased any feeling of disappointment for at least one such fan.  The comments made by members of the newly crowned champions are certainly words of relevance - especially to our youth, who might be totally consumed with the pursuit of  worldly accomplishments, perhaps forgetting their place in the total scheme of things.

Here's the video:

H/T: rkwlsn

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Words of Relevance: G. K. Chesterton: The Value of Purity

Dale Ahlquist, the president and co-founder of the American Chesterton Society, is the creator and host of the Eternal Word Television Network series, "G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense."  He wrote an essay today on the Blog of Crisis Magazine, entitled: Sin and Purity.

Drawing on Chesterton in his essay, Ahlquist tells us: It should not be that difficult to understand what purity is, and that when we talk about purity, we mean something that has not been befouled by something that befouls, namely sin. There is something all-or-nothing about purity. Purity needs to be completely pure to get itself so called. A little purity does not go very far. A teaspoon of clean water does not purify a tall glass of sewage, but a teaspoon of sewage utterly ruins a glass of clean water. But physical cleanliness should not be confused with moral purity. As Chesterton says, “Saints can afford to be dirty, but seducers have to be clean.”… Though the modern world seems utterly mystified by the ideal (purity), Chesterton points out that there is an unconscious acknowledgement of it in the modern worship of children, and,

Here's the quote:
Why else would anyone “worship a thing merely because it is small and immature?”
It is because we value purity.