Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Why I am Renewing my 2017 Resolution to Keep My Sundays Internet-free -

Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution that I would make my Sundays Internet-free. It was not easy but, with one small exception, I was able to make a complete break with the worldwide web on Sundays. As we enter 2018, I will be renewing the resolution.
I made the resolution because I was frustrated by how the Internet can waste countless hours. There is so much more to life than emails, websites or social media. I was sickened by the allure of pop-up notifications that never deliver the boost they promise.
Something had to be done.
Making the Break
However, I knew I could not cut off all Internet connections. I needed these links to survive in our modern world. Not having email is the closest thing to non-existence. I also needed to read articles and publications if I were to fight effectively against the evils of the day. The complete no-web option was not, and still is not, an option for me.
However, making Sunday Internet-free is a refreshing and restful option for me and others like me. Sunday was a free day. I did not need to be connected for work purposes. And so I decided to make the break, cold turkey. No Internet, email or social media would be permitted on the Sabbath thus made holy. The break had to be total.
Getting Used to Disconnecting
I must admit it was not easy in the beginning. The desire to check email was constant. Every possible excuse came to mind to shake my resolve. In such a state of withdrawal, the mind fantasizes and tries to create situations that might justify a quick virtual fix. Perhaps there were important messages that needed immediate attention. Maybe there was a schedule change that I needed to know about before Monday.
On one trip, for example, I received an urgent text message on Saturday night informing me that my early Monday morning international flight might be delayed due to weather conditions. I was advised to check the website on Sunday for more information. I resisted the temptation, thinking how I had survived similar situations before the Internet. I calmly went to sleep Sunday night and awoke to find there were no problems at the airport.
Things Could Wait
At times, I found myself helpless. When I needed urgent directions or other information only found on the Internet, I was reduced to the humbling position of asking others to help me. This almost medieval situation helped me rely on the charity of others. It taught me patience. I soon found that I did not have to have everything instantly. Things could wait.
When friends told me that they were going to email me an article or document on Sunday, I had to ask them to print it out or put it on a thumb drive. Likewise, I could not send anything to them and often had to make an old-fashioned phone call. Friends quickly learned not to ask me for things on Sunday. I found they respected my Internet fasting and I suspect that some even envied my state.
The Benefits of Internet Fasting
With each passing Sunday, I found myself increasingly disengaged from the frenetic world around me. I could read and write without interruptions. I had more free time to do things I wanted to do. I would engage in more conversations because frankly there was no other option. Everything was calmer like Sunday should be.
I now find my Sundays uncluttered. It is a welcome break from a frantic pace of life.  There is time to think and reflect on things. Being disconnected from the web connects me more to God. It is easier to pray in disconnected silence.
My Reasons for Continuing
Thus, as we enter 2018, I will renew my resolution to keep my Sundays Internet-free. I list again my three reasons for doing so. These reasons come in handy because they steady me in my resolve when tempted.
The first reason is that it is the Lord’s Day. This day is not mine; it is His. It is only right that it be consecrated to God. I should be spending my time thinking about Him and the wonderful universe He created for us, I should be praying, worshiping and giving Him glory.
Secondly, Sunday is traditionally a day of rest. It is proper that we leave our daily rat race for at least one day to ponder and rest to prepare for the week ahead. As we are social beings, it is a perfect occasion to visit and converse with others.
Finally, I believe that a true culture can only come from those who take the time to contemplate the meaning of life during their leisure. The failure to seek psychological repose leads to much anxiety and stress. An Internet-free Sunday is my personal and positive way of contributing to a culture in much need of rejuvenation.
I am not claiming that this one resolution will transform lives completely. After all, it is but one day out of seven.  However, it will help people slow down and think about those things that matter.
From experience, I am encouraged by the fact that I know it can be done. I survived Sundays Internet free for a whole year. Others can also do this. It is something practical and feasible for those who are frustrated by their Internet usage. For those looking for a New Year’s resolution, it is well worth a try.

Why I am Renewing my 2017 Resolution to Keep My Sundays Internet-free -: Why I am Renewing my 2017 Resolution to Keep My Sundays Internet-free

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Victory! Satan Kicked Out of Boca Raton -

Over 200 faithful Catholics in Florida converged on Boca Raton’s Sanborn Park Square on December 1 to protest a satanic “Christmas” display next to a Catholic Nativity scene. They soon learned to their joy that the display would not be appearing this year as it has for the past two years.
Sponsored by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its Return to Order and America Needs Fatima campaigns, the protest quickly became a “victory and thanksgiving” rally. Jubilant protesters praying the rosary were thrilled to hear that Satan was kicked out of Boca Raton.

To challenge this affront to God, the Return to Order campaign collected over 50,000 signatures this year asking that a permit be denied. Local press coverage reported earlier that city officials were resigned to allowing the display since they did not have the legal resources to fight it.For the last two years, a Boca Raton middle school teacher has placed an inverted pentagram display inscribed with satanic slogans in the park. It has triggered widespread protest from Catholics offended by horrendous slogans such as “May the Children Hail Satan.” The school teacher told the media that he had every intention on bring the display back to the park this year.
Working with local activists, Return to Order decided to confide in Our Lady’s power over Satan and protest with a rosary rally on the actual site of the display on December 1 when it would have been installed.
As the finishing touches were being put on the rally preparations, news suddenly circulated that the school teacher had “missed” the permit deadline. Satan was defeated.
“This display has been the talk of the town for this upcoming Christmas season,” said activist Willy Guardiola with the local Christian on a Mission group. “After this powerful protest, the city will not be displaying the satanic atrocity.”
The Boca Raton victory rosary rally came after a similar victory on November 4. The Return to Order campaign protested a huge porno-sculpture of a naked female figure that was scheduled to be displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for four months. The moral disaster was averted when the National Park Service denied a permit to the sponsoring organization.
These successes show that protests do work. Satan can be kicked out of town if people let their voices be heard.
“Our Lady of Fatima is more powerful than Satan,” said Sergio de Paz of the outspoken Miami-based Cuban exile group Cubanos Desterados. “We just need to be out there to fight for her. She will do the rest!”
Victory! Satan Kicked Out of Boca Raton -

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christ at the White House Inn -

Christmas_Novena_Day7_300x300 Christ at the White House Inn

As Christmas approaches, there is much talk of a post-Christian America. No one can dispute that the Christ Child finds no place in many secular hearts. For these, Christmas is merely a time of holiday and sparkle with little real significance.
Over the ages, so many have followed the route of those who dismiss Christmas as foolish. They claim Jesus has no power over souls and nations. And yet the Christ Child has always overcome the hardness of human hearts. The Infant King has triumphed and will triumph in the end. Foolish are those who refuse Him a place in their hearts.

To those who boldly claim America to be post-Christian, let them consider that even in these most secular days, Christ is honored and glorified in surprising ways. The mighty machines of industry stop on the blessed day of His birth. Government halls darken on this day. All major institutions pause to give him honor. Families everywhere gather to celebrate the grace of Christmas when one can still sense the sweetness and perfection that emanates from the Divine Infant in the manger in Bethlehem.
Even now, the most powerful nations bow before Him. Let them consider the fact that for decades, the Christ Child has found shelter in the White House.
The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. Its president is the most powerful world leader. And yet in the house of the President, a crowned Christ Child occupies a place far more honorable and important than that reserved for the president himself. He resides there as king, and the house is decorated at its best to pay Him homage. No foreign leader is treated with more honor and respect than this tiny Child.
Indeed, this Christmas, this Presence shines with particular pomp and splendor. There is open mention of Christmas in addresses and greeting cards. It is as if some forbidden decree has been lifted. This year’s refreshing celebration, while not ideal, reflects a desire of countless Americans that He be treated in a privileged way. This new splendor is welcomed by a society long stifled by politically correct diktats.
For too long, the nation has suffered by those in power who have tried to minimize the event. They have even tried to make it non-religious or politically correct. They have avoided mentioning Him by name.
But the force of that compelling grace of Christmas has proven stronger. No president has dared to expel the Child from the inn. For decades, the beautiful Nativity Scene has always been set up. While failing to acknowledge Him properly, there at least has always been room in the White House Inn—even in supposedly post-Christian America.
That is why winning the war on Christmas is so important. America will not be post-Christian as long as Christ has a place in the hearts of its people. The Christmas season is an annual time to renew that bond full of tender goodness and innocence. America must not allow Christ to be expelled from hearts and society. Christmas must be merry again.
If enough Americans recognize God, God will indeed bless America. Christmas is a reminder that all things are possible with God. Indeed, on that ineffable night when a Savior was born to Mary ever Virgin, an immense impossibility became possible: the God-man was born.
In these days so much like those of Christ’s time when everything seemed impossible, similar wonders can happen. The seemingly impossible return to Christian order will be possible as long as He is recognized and still finds a place in hearts, society and at the White House Inn.
Humanity is given the unimaginable on this sublime day. Puer natus est nobis, Et filius datus est nobis, says a passage from the Christmas liturgy. “For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us.”(Is. 9:6)

Christ at the White House Inn -: Christ at the White House Inn

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why Ladies and Gentlemen Are Forbidden on New York Trains

organic_society Why Ladies and Gentlemen Are Forbidden on New York Trains
Passengers, customers or whatever you want to call them are welcome to ride in the New York City transport system. Just don’t call them ladies or gentlemen. The city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has outlawed the expression in yet another bizarre episode of the politically correct Culture War.
“Ladies and gentlemen” is not inclusive enough for the thought police patrolling the lines. Never mind that conductors have been doing this for a century. Never mind that the automatic announcement systems are programmed with the old courtesy formulas. Never mind that passengers might even like to be addressed in this manner.

All this must be changed immediately on buses, trains and stations. The MTA has ruled that conductors must now use new formulas that scrap the traditional “Ladies and gentlemen” suggesting “passengers” or “riders” as replacements. Conductors will be monitored by management for compliance. They must even manually override the automatic systems until new recordings can be made. Thus has it been decreed, and let no one dare do the contrary.
The Little Things are the Culture
Some people might think these small changes are insignificant. Such things make no difference in our daily lives. However, things like this are indicative of what is wrong with America today. They change the culture because little things are the culture.
Whenever a revolution breaks out, there is always an attempt to change the little things. Curiously, revolutionaries always change the manner of addressing people. The French Revolution of 1789 quickly stripped people of their titles, however humble, and insisted that everyone be called “citizen.” The Russian Revolution in 1917 likewise made people equal by calling them “comrades.”
These were changes in the culture that indicated a shift in society’s way of understanding people. They were tiny alterations forced upon the people, and that promoted an ideological agenda. During these revolutions, the neutered terms of address signaled that everyone was completely equal in everything, including intelligence, ability and talents. Using “comrade” signaled to all that the person was part of the communist tyranny that leveled society and controlled all aspects of life.
A Postmodern Diktat
Suppressing ladies and gentlemen has a particular postmodern overtone. “Citizen “and “comrade” at least identified people as something permanent. The new designation of “passenger” or “rider” resists a permanent condition and merely describes someone’s temporary state.
It fits well with the postmodern ambiguity that blurs all distinctions and hates all definitions. People are what they decide to be at the moment. People are encouraged to self-identify as what they perceive themselves to be. It is not a coincidence that the suppressed terms were changed because they were not inclusive of “transgendered” passengers who did not feel comfortable being defined by our God-given male-female binary categories.
The train authority diktat is postmodernity at its worst. It reduces people to mere simulacra (to use their term) in which everything becomes insubstantial forms or semblances of something.
The Meaning of Ladies and Gentlemen
That is what is wrong with suppressing ladies and gentlemen. It strips people of their dignity. It takes away from both women and men all that is distinguished, honored, or worthy of respect.
When a woman was called a lady, it used to be a compliment. In accepting this title, the woman is held to the high standard of behaving like a lady that appreciates grace, modesty and beauty. It assumed a desire to be feminine and glory in those qualities that today are so neglected.
When a man was called a gentleman, it was also a compliment. It assumed a willingness to be held to high standards. Men were asked to overcome the more brutal part of their nature and display masculine gentleness that spoke of courtesy, consideration and protection—virtues that are now neglected.
When a group was addressed as ladies and gentlemen, it expressed a complementary and mutual respect between the two sexes. It had none of the class struggle overtones of feminist propaganda. Instead, it celebrated the differences between the two with ceremony and distinction.
This treatment is the fruit of Christian civilization. It was the Church that first recognized and elevated the dignity of men, but especially women who were so degraded in pagan lands and times. Christian morality created an atmosphere of charity, trust and respect that both harmonized and protected the sexes.
Return to Barbaric Ways
Thus, the seemingly-insignificant suppression of ladies and gentlemen on New York’s trains represents a giant step backward. It affirms that we need no longer behave like ladies and gentlemen but rather like whatever we want to be or happen to be at the moment.
We are free to revert to the barbaric ways of old. People are free to disrespect, harass and offend everyone equally bad. Other people become merely the instruments of our gratification.
The recent sexual harassment scandals should come as no surprise. They are the product of a rotten culture where people no longer treat those around them as ladies and gentlemen.

Why Ladies and Gentlemen Are Forbidden on New York Trains

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Legends About Luther: The 95 Theses He Never Nailed Up - RTO.org

by John Horvat
Every revolution needs legends to capture the imagination of its followers. It needs some act of defiance in which a major character charges into the mouth of the lion and plants his manifesto for all to see.
Such is the case of the October 31 commemoration of the five hundredth anniversary of Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. All over the world, people are marking the day with portrayals and reenactments of the event. The only problem is that it appears that Luther never nailed the document to anything. The defiant act never happened.

On October 31, Luther mailed, not nailed, his 95 theses to the Archbishop of Mainz and the Bishop of Brandenburg. Only one of the original two letters is still extant. The 95 theses, which he enclosed, have also faded into history since there are no existing copies of the original document (and therefore no verifiable nail holes). There is no record of any open and raging debate on the document in Wittenberg supposedly triggered by the non-event of its church-door nailing.
The legend of the nailing comes from an account of a disciple, Philipp Melanchthon, who could not have been an eyewitness to the event since he was not in Wittenberg at the time. His account was written well after Luther’s 1546 death.
It appears that the legend was embellished with time. Georg Roer, a friend of Luther, has him nailing theses, not to one but several church doors. Like Melanchthon, he also was not in Wittenberg at the time, and more than likely was drawing on Melanchthon in his account. The heresiarch Luther never mentioned this crowning act of defiance at any time during his lifetime.
Even the noisy act of nailing was uncertain. Willi Winkler, a Luther biographer, doubts the nailing took place but does acknowledge the legend. He noted that during the first centenary of the non-event in 1617, the instrument remembered was a simple feather pen which Luther used to write on the cathedral door. Apparently, the hammer was not part of the legend at the time and was added in later commemorations for dramatic effect.
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The legend of the nailing was brought to light by Catholic researcher Erwin Iserloh in 1961. He pointed to the lack of primary sources or eyewitnesses to the nailing claim. Since then, many scholars, including Lutherans, have admitted the improbability of the nailing.
While the debate still simmers, the real issue is the use of legend to promote a revolution.
Historical legends have always existed that tend to embellish reality or highlight qualities of major figures. Heroes often appear larger than life because of their great projection and impact upon a people. However, such portrayals are usually based on some elements of truth that become embellished with age. The legend of El Cid in Spain builds upon the historical figure and recounts his exploits. These legends tend to cultivate a love of virtue, social harmony and heroism.
With the dawn of the modern age, revolutionaries have always skillfully used legendary figures to pursue their goals. However, unlike heroic figures or epic tales, these depictions often consist of fabrications made to fit a narrative of class struggle. Such revolutionary deeds never happened, but they are made to capture the imagination of “the masses.” These myths are then repeated continuously and become part of popular history.
What does Saint Thomas Aquinas say about Marriage?
Such is the case of Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses. Despite the lack of proofs, the story of the nailing is constantly repeated as a proof of Luther’s bold act of defiance to the Church. His disjointed and empty musings about the Church are elevated to the status of “theses.”
All this cloaks the real tragedy of the Lutheran revolt that split Christendom asunder. The non-event of October 31, 1517, was an empty and false gesture that marked the beginning of the catastrophic process of revolutions and divisions that would later follow.

Legends About Luther: The 95 Theses He Never Nailed Up - RTO.org

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Growing Tyranny of the Culture-killers

The controversy around Confederate statue removal rages. Revisionists are on the rampage with all the fury of communist mobs that want no memory of a past culture to remain. They are involved in a cultural cleansing of heroes, legends, and symbols that threaten to fragment yet more a divided nation.
The wrath of the iconoclasts knows no limits. High and mighty captains of industry quiver in fear of being labelled politically incorrect. It is the hour of the spineless and mediocre to scamper into hiding, losing themselves in the darkness of history. Leftist city officials nationwide rush to swear fidelity to the new keepers of the culture by cowardly removing Confederate statues in the silence of the night.
Nations have been devastated and robbed of their treasures. But there is no greater treasure of a people than the lives of those among them that developed great thoughts, produced great works or fought great battles. Their deeds made those leaders legendary.
It is true that these figures were not all saints. It is also true that they lived by the standards of their times, which were far from perfect, just as the present times are imperfect. But they did set a standard. They challenged countless people to look above their own interests and sacrifice for the nation. The fact that their statues peacefully stood in public spaces for well over a century is silent testimony to their popular esteem.
The meaning of these statues has suddenly changed, not because they are no longer legends, but because those who have set themselves up as the self-appointed keepers of the culture now decree their removal. That is the crime of the legend killers. They destroy that which does not belong to them. Legends belong to the people who create them. The new censors ascribe to these figures attitudes and labels that do not correspond to the real person but rather what they want them to be.
These revolutionaries know that by taking away the physical structures they undermine and hope to destroy the much more important pillars of the American soul. Sociologists speak of the need of nations to have representative characters and symbols that capture the imagination of a people and provide points of reference that help harmonize a society. They serve to assure a continuum with a nation’s heritage and traditions.
In creating their legends, people look beyond the flaws and defects of the individual, and idealize those qualities that stand out and deserve to be imitated. They see and love these figures not so much as they historically were, but as if they had attained that sublime measure of perfection they were called to by God when He endowed them with brilliant qualities. Thus, they become timeless figures, from which any member of society can borrow to give dignity and meaning to life.
The legendary figure of George Washington, for example, serves as a point of unity for all those American values that he upheld. Any American at any time can draw inspiration from his example.
However, it is not the very real defects of these legendary figures that inform the destruction wrought by the statue-topplers. Their target is the Christian culture of times past. They abhor anything that represents the virtues, honor and purity that stands as a rebuke to their amorality. They shrink from sanctity as devils flee from holy water. Above all, the keepers of the culture hate the Christian narrative that calls for acceptance of the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the symbol of resignation and suffering that is part of the human condition after the fall.
That is why these legend- and symbol-killers can also be found tearing down crosses wherever pious Christians have placed them in memorials and parks. These symbols must be removed to make way for a world stripped of all virtue and heroism. However, the new inquisitors curiously have no problem with the setting up of Satanic monuments that counter those of Christians.
In the face of a world in which people only look after their own gratification, more not fewer self-sacrificing figures need to be put on pedestals, presented to and esteemed by the public. In a healthy society, such recognition would create conditions whereby every family, community or association could have “legendary” members. Such figures, by their extraordinary deeds, sacrifices, and works, would elevate the whole family or group.
What is needed today are legions of legendary figures at all levels of society not a brave new world of empty monument pedestals.

As seen on American Thinker.

The Growing Tyranny of the Culture-killers - Return to Order: