Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Psalm of Life

BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   “Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.
   
Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
“Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Finds us farther than to-day.
   
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
   And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
   Funeral marches to the grave.
   
In the world’s broad field of battle,
   In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
   Be a hero in the strife!
   
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
   Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
   Heart within, and God o’erhead!
   
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time;
   
Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again.
   
Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
   Learn to labor and to wait.

 

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The Book Thief

Here is a photo of the book I stole:

hymnbook1

I was ten years old and due to leave my primary school for secondary school.  This was the only thing I couldn’t bear to leave behind (since my friends were all coming to secondary school too).  Ironic, don’t you think, that it’s a hymn book?  Already feeling a victim of God’s sublime sense of humour, I just noticed, as I was taking this photo, that the Scripture reading is the one the priest chose for my baptism last year.

As you can see in the photo I didn’t choose a pristine copy.  This was not a spur-of-the-moment theft, this was pre-meditated larceny.  As in “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, the custodian of this book may very well have let me have it if I had asked, seeing my desperate need, but I didn’t ask.  I chose the most raggedy copy I could find, reasoning that the school ought to replace it anyway.  In this way it didn’t feel like theft.  I was doing the school a favour in fact!

And why couldn’t I bear to part with this book?  It wasn’t the scripture.  It was just that I couldn’t imagine leaving behind the songs.  I’ve always had a deep love of music, and I was always trying to learn to play different instruments.  As a ten-year-old though, all I had access to was a recorder (which used to be the standard instrument in Welsh schools, as the tin whistle is here in Ireland) and my own voice.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a particularly good singing voice and I was also terribly shy.  When I played recorder on the school stage I would mime because I was too nervous to play properly.  I even mimed in the school choir when we competed in the Urdd Eisteddfod.  But that didn’t stop me playing in private.  Often when I sang, and later when I played my electronic keyboard, it would move me to tears.  It connected me to some higher reality, something I was missing in my life, something which I now suspect was of the heavenly variety.

Two of my favourite Welsh songs are about singing.  There’s “Calon Lan” which I’ve featured on my blog before, and there’s what I’ve always called “Canaf yn y bore” (see photo below).  My Welsh is incredibly rusty so I’m using Google Translate here.  It seems to think the first verse means “I sing in the morning for your care, through the dark walnut. You have seen me.” but I’m pretty sure that’s wrong.  😀  It’s definitely about singing in the morning anyway.

hymnbook2

Here’s the tune:

Cultural Marxism

This is something that I have only just come across and haven’t had time to investigate further.  Some might consider it rash and irresponsible to share something sensitive like this without further checks but I trust my readers to be adult about this.  If you don’t like it you can ignore it, but if you’re interested then you can do your own investigations.  The reason I am rushing with it is that it seems timely given the current state of affairs in the West.  We all need to be getting up to speed with the possible reasons for and ramifications of cultural meltdown.

Here is my transcript [all mistakes mine] of about five minutes of the video below, starting about twenty minutes in:

György Lukács of Hungary and Antonio Gramsci of Italy, the fathers of cultural Marxism, taught that Communism was impossible in the West until both Western civilisation and Christianity were destroyed since they had blinded the working class to its true Marxist class interest. György Lukács recognised that the great obstacle to the creation of a Marxist regime was Western civilisation itself. As he said, “I see the revolution and destruction of society as the only solution. A worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones.” So there we have the agenda of cultural Marxism in a nutshell explained by one of its creators.

Antonio Gramsci, the other creator of cultural Marxism, argued that the West would have to be de-Christianised by means of the ‘long march through the institutions’. Now what he meant by this is that the culture must be the new battleground and all cultural barriers to the acceptance of Marxism must be removed or reconfigured according to Marxist principles. All cultural barriers to the acceptance of Marxism had to be removed or reconfigured, starting with traditional family, moving on to the churches, the Arts, cinema, theatre, literature, science, history, entertainment, schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, civic organisations, the organs of mass media, the newspapers, magazines, radio, now television, and so forth. Pat Buchanan comments on the long march, “In other words, they had to get into the culture and change the people’s way of thinking. And if people were thinking about patriotism and nation and God and country, that was too resistant to Marxism. It could never take hold. So you had to erode[?] and destroy that in the individuals. That began what is called the long march through the institutions, through the seminaries, through the churches, through the media, through Hollywood, and all the rest of it, to create an anti-Christian culture which would destroy Christian beliefs and convictions in the vast majority of the people so they would embrace the ideas they had rejected and would be open to a takeover, basically, by Marxists – not political Marxists but cultural Marxists.”

Now the great historian Christopher Dawson reflected on the consequences were a society to lose its common principles and ideals, which is exactly the explicit goal of the cultural Marxist. Christopher Dawson: “It is easy enough for the individual to adopt a negative attitude of critical scepticism but if society as a whole abandons all positive beliefs it’s powerless to resist the disintegrating effects of selfishness and private interest. Every society rests in the last resort on the recognition of common principles and common ideals. If it makes no moral or spiritual appeal to the loyalty of its members it must inevitably fall to pieces.”

Well, here we are, watching what precious little remains of Western civilisation falling into pieces. Or more accurately, being smashed into pieces. The question is how did this move from Marxist theory into the wider culture? How did we get here? Given the time [constraint], we only have the time to make a thumbnail sketch of the work of the Frankfurt School. It was founded in 1923 in Frankfurt, Germany, with the primary goal of destroying traditional Christian culture in Germany. When Hitler came to power in 1933 they fled to the United States since every single member of the Frankfurt School was not only a cultural Marxist but also a Jew. With the help of Columbia University the school re-established itself in New York City and changed its focus from destroying traditional Christian culture in Germany to destroying it in the United States. They realised that the American working class would not lead a Marxist revolution because it was becoming part of the middle class, the Bourgeoisie. Who then would lead the revolution? They sifted through our society, tried to find disaffected people and in the 1950s they settled on the idea of a coalition made up of blacks, students, feminist women and homosexuals. By crossing Marx with Freud they invented something called ‘critical theory’. Critical theory involves making the most destructive criticism of every possible cultural norm in order to destroy the current social order. For example, everyone who is successful in business or who has a position of power in the church or state is an oppressor. Those who are not successful are automatically victims. Somebody who defends the notion that there’s actually different social roles for men and women is a misogynist or a chauvinist or a fascist. Fathers and bishops are patriarchal tyrants. And so forth and so forth.

They took a long view, and their unfortunately influential writings continually poured out contempt on the different institutions; the traditional family, the churches, the Arts, cinema, theatre, literature, and so forth. In institutions of so-called higher education the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School was more commonly known as multiculturalism or more loosely as political correctness. The Frankfurt School also adopted the technique of psychological conditioning – “Today, for example, when their foot soldiers want to do something like normalise homosexuality they do not argue the point philosophically. They just beam television show after television show into every American home with the only normal-seeming white male as a homosexual.” (The Frankfurt School’s key people spent the war years in Hollywood.) One author summarised specific recommendations of the Frankfurt School:

“1. Creation of racism offences

2. Continual change to create confusion

3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children

4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority

5. Huge immigration to destroy identity

6. The promotion of excessive drinking

7. Emptying of churches

8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime

9. Dependency on the state or state benefits

10. Control and dumbing down of media

11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family”

That Remarkable Photo from the Grotto at Notre Dame (Part 1)

Thoughts from the Side of the House...

Introduction:What began very simply and quietly has now developed into an ongoing story that just keeps going. Originally, this was the only post I expected to write on this photo. But as events have unfolded, the story has required several additional entries. So for ease of reading, I have now numbered them so new readers can read them in order. I had no expectations when I initially posted the photo on December 11, 2016. I wrote this blog post about a week later because the interest was overwhelming me and I needed a place to send everyone to read the story. Beyond anything I could imagine, this blog has received 250,000+ hits from 170+ countries. That I know. From what I can tell, I estimate that the photo itself has been viewed over 750,000 times on social media where it went so crazy viral that I can no longer keep track.

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APOD

From APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day), a website well worth adding to your daily news-feed.

Getting our Planet into Perspective

Just for extra amusement, leave the captions on at the end.

Unequivocal Daisy

I just love this! ❤

WORDS IN THE LIGHT

© Frédéric Georges Martin

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Dublin Rally For Life 2017

The organisers told us that there were 80,000 of us.  I’m not sure about that but there was certainly a great turnout.  Please take the time to watch the video in this article on the rally in the Irish Times.  It’s important for all nations to see what’s going on here.

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Save the 8th

placard

My home-made placard

There’s going to be a referendum in Ireland soon.  The pro-choice lobby wants Ireland to repeal the 8th Amendment to its Constitution, thereby removing the right to life of the unborn child.  I’m hoping to attend a pro-life rally in Dublin on Saturday.  One of the speakers will be Karen Gaffney.  If this amazing woman had been born in Britain in the current pro-choice climate she would have only had a 10% chance of escaping death by abortion.  If her mother was Icelandic she wouldn’t have been born at all.  She has Down Syndrome.  If you want to find out more try here or here.

Yes, I know my placard is wonky. 😦 That’s because sticky-back plastic is my nemesis.  I borrowed the board and most of the graphics from the Guadalupe Centre in Knock which provides pro-life resources through Human Life International.

Update: If you’d like to sign a petition calling for the referendum to be scrapped, click here.

 

Pope Francis ignores Cardinals’ request for an audience to discuss Dubia

Interesting that Facebook and Twitter have waded into the fray (see below). It hardly seems something that would merit their attention but I guess the prince of this world is acting more openly now.

These are anxious times for the Church. Doctrinal anarchy and unorthodoxy are reigning in Rome. We had hardly caught our breath after the shocking news of the new heretical appointees to the Pontifical Academy of Life, when we hear about this….

ardinal Carlo Caffarra, the archbishop emeritus of Bologna, asked for an audience on behalf of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals. (Edward Pentin photo)

National Catholic Register correspondent, Edward Pentin, had only two days earlier reported on the ‘Doctrinal Anarchy’ as Bishops’ Conflicting Positions on Amoris Laetitia Show: “Since the publication last year of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, a “doctrinal anarchy” that was feared and predicted at the synods on the family is becoming apparent”, and the urgent necessity for a final Papal clarification on these confusing conflicting interpretations of AL, when news of the latest rebuff towards the four Cardinals who signed…

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