Restoring the Sacred

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fr. George Rutler: The Secularist Response to Islam

Father George William Rutler, was an Episcopal priest for nine years before being received into the Catholic Church in 1979.  He writes often for Crisis magazine, and back in October 2014 wrote an essay entitled: Mad Intelligence: The Secularist Response to Islam. In that essay, Fr. Rutler called out the Secularists (including those in high places, elites, and even naive religious leaders) who refuse to call evil by its name.  It will be left to the informed reader to determine who among those in high places, which elites, and which naive religious leaders Fr. Rutler had in mind when composing his essay.  Today's quote may help point the reader in the right direction.

Here's the quote:
Secularists play down Islamist atrocities because they seek to eradicate the graceful moral structure that can turn brutes into saints.  Heinous acts are sometimes dismissed as “workplace violence.”  There even are those in high places who pretend that Islamic militants are not Islamic and foster the delusion that false gods will not demand sacrifices on their altars.  These elites are like Ambassador Davies who said, “Communism holds no serious threat to the United States.”  Naïve religious leaders who live off the goodwill of good people, will even say that Christians and those who oppose them share a common humane ethos, a similar concept of human rights, an embrace of pluralism, and a distinction between political and spiritual realms.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Words of Relevance: St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelic Doctor

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), one of the most important figures in Roman Catholicism, is honored today by the Catholic Church: it's his Feast Day.

Many books have been written about him, and the many books authored by him have been analyzed and dissected by the greatest minds in and out of the Church.  To select a single quote of his would be unfair to the many famous quotes attributed to him, so herewith a number of my favorites:
Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will.
Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.
Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
To love is to will the good of another.

Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam [Pt. 1] - Crisis Magazine

Egyptian President el-Sisi lectures Muslim clerics and scholars on the need to revolutionize Islam - not the religion, but the ideology.

Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam [Pt. 1] - Crisis Magazine

Video of the speech by el-Sisi is at the end of the article.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Words of Relevance: Robert Royal: Abortion And Magical Thinking

The March for Life is held in Washington D. C. in January every year, and today marks the 42nd year in a row for this all-but-ignored event in the eyes of the main stream media.

Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing is there today, and wrote today's essay on the Magical Thinking of Abortion:

"In two and a half days, we kill more babies than American troops have died over the years in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Kill. Let’s speak bluntly and truthfully. What dies is alive, has human DNA, and is deliberately eliminated."

He points out just how much the abortion industry has perverted language and understanding to keep their industry functioning in spite of the ever increasing opposition  from people no longer willing to be manipulated into accepting evil.  He leaves us with a powerful quote that is difficult to dispute.

Here's the quote:
Punch a woman in the stomach, and you may get punished depending on circumstances and what jurisdiction you live in. Punch a woman in the stomach who’s pregnant and cause an unwanted miscarriage, prepare yourself for manslaughter charges and an expensive civil action.
But if a doctor working for Planned Parenthood essentially does the same thing, by some form of magical thinking, the same human entity may be disposed of under the category of “women’s health.” It becomes a “product of conception” or “unwanted pregnancy,” which – as Pope Francis has emphasized – may be discarded at whim in our throwaway culture.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Vittorio Messori: The Real Root of Extremism

Vittorio Messori, the "most translated Catholic writer in the world," published an essay this week on the Rorate Caeli site, entitled: The Real Root of Extremism.

Messori discusses a newspaper article by "Rabbi Giuseppe Laras (renowned in Italian Judaism not only for his culture but also for his religious sensitivity)," who thinks we are now in engaged in a fourth world war.  According to Laras: The hypocrisy of the dominant ideology today - political correctness – has been attempting exorcisms and in order to tranquilize us they have built an ideal of “moderate Islamism” encouragingly increasing it by repeating the mantra of “dialogue”. Nevertheless, those who know the Koran, those who know history and the society that has given it form over a thousand and a half years, know that those Muslims we call “extremists” (to use our Western categories) are not wrong in shouting (Kalashnikov in hand) that a “moderate” Muslim is a bad Muslim.

Messori then goes on to relate the following story: A French friend, a Catholic religious in Jerusalem and well-known biblical scholar, told me recently that in their convent, there was an old Muslim who had worked for them for a long, long time as a factotum. Honest, trustworthy and a hard worker, he had become part of the family and all the religious had great affection for him which was sincerely reciprocal. One Friday, the man came back from the mosque with a dejected air about him. The Superior of the House, after insisting, was finally able to make him talk. He said: “Today the Imam who conducts the prayers told us during the sermon that, on the day of the triumph of Allah and his Prophet, which will arrive soon, we will then rid this Holy City of Jews and Christians, and all of those infidels who don’t make a profession of faith at once will have to be killed. This is what the Koran wills and we are bound to obey it.”

The French priest friend of Messori, paused after reaching that point in his story, then added the final words of the old Muslim employee of the convent, which will serve as the quote for today.

Here's the quote:
“But have no fear Father, you know that I love all of you. I know what to do if I have to kill you, I’ll find the way not to make you suffer.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Words of Relevance: Anthony Esolen on Honoring our Forefathers

(Photo from the Catholic Artist Society):

Anthony Esolen, whose writing has been featured here before wrote another outstanding and relevant essay today on The Catholic Thing Blog, entitled: Disowning the Father.

Professor Esolen tells the story of "Captain Robert Shaw, who had trained and led the Massachusetts 54th, one of the first colored regiments in the Civil War," and of the bronze memorial in his honor sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

He speaks of how things were in days past (and how they should be today): "Healthy people honor their forefathers. It’s a natural thing. They forgive their failings, and remember and honor their virtues."

Unfortunately, too many people feel differently today.  Esolen laments that fact in today's quote from his essay.

Here's the quote:
We are the only people I know who do the opposite. We scorn our forefathers. We forget or deny their virtues, and magnify their failings. We delight in thinking worse of them than they deserve.

Finally, here's the monument to Captain Robert Shaw:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Words of Relevance: Michael Keaton's Golden Globe Speech

Michael Keaton won the Golden Globe Award for his role in the film Birdman a couple nights ago, and gave an acceptance speech that was to say the least atypical for a hollywood star.  Think what you will of the film itself (or Michael Keaton), this acceptance speech certainly deserves a wide audience.  Here it is:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Words of Relevance: Turkish President Erdogan Defines Islam

That's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey, with his friend Barack Hussein Obama. It's a sure bet that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of The Republic of Turkey in October 1923, is spinning in his grave as Erdogan dismantles his creation.  

Erdogan's policies leave no doubt that he has abandoned the idea of the secular republic of Ataturk, and would like very much to return to something more like the absolute monarchy of the Ottaman Empire.  

That, fortunately, not being a possibility, he has done all he can to return Islam to its proper place (in his mind) throughout Turkey.  At least he has no qualms about providing the rest of us with a clear understanding of the "religion of peace" as it has been described by our last two presidents.  Who better to define Islam than Erdogan himself, and he does so in today's quote.

Here's the quote: 
"...descriptions (of moderate vs immoderate Islam) are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”
Finally, here's an earlier post, from September 2010, with an interesting video about the "religion of peace."

Friday, January 2, 2015

Words of Relevance: Wise Old Man to Young College Grads

The most important ingredient in the archetypal "wise old man" is "old."  The older one gets, the more likely he is to be dismissed by those much younger as being out of touch, or worse, a has-been, or worse yet, a never-was.  A little known quote from the "wise old man" which should be emblazoned on the back of every college diploma would be helpful in the education of the younger generation: those who despite any real experience see themselves as "special."

Here's the quote:
One of the pleasant surprises on growing old is the realization of how little you knew back when you thought you knew everything.