Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Master, it is good that we are here...

I went to Rome today and saw the pope.

“Dear brothers and sisters…The Lord is calling me to "climb the mountain", to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this, it is so I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength”. "We will always be close in prayer!".

Dear brothers and sisters!

On the second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy always presents us with the Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The evangelist Luke places particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus was transfigured as he prayed: his is a profound experience of relationship with the Father during a sort of spiritual retreat that Jesus lives on a high mountain in the company of Peter, James and John , the three disciples always present in moments of divine manifestation of the Master (Luke 5:10, 8.51, 9.28).

The Lord, who shortly before had foretold his death and resurrection (9:22), offers his disciples a foretaste of his glory. And even in the Transfiguration, as in baptism, we hear the voice of the Heavenly Father, "This is my Son, the Chosen One listen to him" (9:35). The presence of Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets of the Old Covenant, it is highly significant: the whole history of the Alliance is focused on Him, the Christ, who accomplishes a new "exodus" (9:31) , not to the promised land as in the time of Moses, but to Heaven. Peter’s words: "Master, it is good that we are here" (9.33) represents the impossible attempt to stop this mystical experience. St. Augustine says: "[Peter] ... on the mountain ... had Christ as the food of the soul. Why should he come down to return to the labours and pains, while up there he was full of feelings of holy love for God that inspired in him a holy conduct? "(Sermon 78.3).

We can draw a very important lesson from meditating on this passage of the Gospel. First, the primacy of prayer, without which all the work of the apostolate and of charity is reduced to activism. In Lent we learn to give proper time to prayer, both personal and communal, which gives breath to our spiritual life. In addition, to pray is not to isolate oneself from the world and its contradictions, as Peter wanted on Tabor, instead prayer leads us back to the path, to action. "The Christian life - I wrote in my Message for Lent - consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love "(n. 3).

Dear brothers and sisters, I feel that this Word of God is particularly directed at me, at this point in my life. The Lord is calling me to "climb the mountain", to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength. Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary: may she always help us all to follow the Lord Jesus in prayer and works of charity.

I offer a warm greeting to all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer, especially the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School. I thank everyone for the many expressions of gratitude, affection and closeness in prayer which I have received in these days. As we continue our Lenten journey towards Easter, may we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the Redeemer, whose glory was revealed on the mount of the Transfiguration. Upon all of you I invoke God’s abundant blessings!

If you look very closely at the photo above, you can see where I was. Start just where the Holy Father's right hand is, then go left to the first statue. Immediately above the statue's head, you can see a dark speck. That's me.

I was crying, so don't look too closely, ok?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Grinding to a halt

Sorry, but I can barely bring myself to write anything at all. Watched the Papal Audience today and could hardly stand it. People continue to ask me what I think, but I just keep having to tell them that I've got nothing that could possibly be of any help. If you've read me more than a couple of months, you all will know already what I think, and if you haven't then I wouldn't be able to help you anyway. We are Catholics, and Traditionalists; you already have all the information you need.

I can tell you how I'm feeling, though.

Imagine for a moment that you are a footsoldier in the British army and the Duke of Wellington, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, just announced that he didn't feel up to it any more and went home. How would the English soldiers at Agincourt have felt if, instead of hearing, "We band of brothers," it had been, "I'm too tired. You're on your own." What do you imagine would the effect have been on those men? How would they have felt?

We've been looking to this man for leadership in our War for 30 years, since he first came to Rome to serve in the CDF. Then when the other pope died, he took the reigns in what we all thought was an appointment direct from heaven. Remember? Remember how you felt that day. It wasn't just ordinary joy at a new pope, it was a feeling of hope that we'd not had in the Church for a long time, that, at last, things were going to start to turn around. The news when it came was perhaps the brightest light we had seen in this increasingly horrifying and darkening world since the Asteroid hit and started the War. I remember thinking that I didn't dare hope it would be him because I was afraid to jinx it. I've been told many times by a lot of people that they were thinking the same thing.

We knew, in broad terms, what was coming, and we had a pretty good idea that only a man like Ratzinger was going to be equal to the task. And now, it ends like this? At the moment when the world seems ready to explode, he isn't dead, he hasn't been threatened (that we know), he isn't incapacitated, he isn't going mental. He's just quitting. Walking away because it's too hard? Because he's tired?

What kind of idiot would ever believe that? When has this ever happened? What could possibly, conceiveably, be so horrible, so threatening, that he would do this? And if it was some horrifying threat to the Church, what could possibly be gained by this? How could quitting solve any problem, deflect any danger or resolve any crisis?

These questions will not leave me alone, have kept me awake into the wee hours the last couple of days, and I'm pretty sure will be asked by many people for a long time. I doubt, though, that we will ever have a satisfactory answer before the Parousia.

Now we have a few weeks or perhaps a few months to wait to see if what I think is happening is really happening. Part of me hopes it is, because in the last 14 years that I've been active I've swallowed all of this that I can choke down.

I can't entertain you all. I can't be witty or clever or amusing today. And I've got nothing comforting or encouraging to say. It's just as well that this is Ash Wednesday (a fact I'd actually forgotten until about an hour ago) and I can take Lent as an excuse to clam up for a while. I'm going to try to give up blathering on the internet.

How do I feel? Paralysed. Betrayed. Abandoned.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

“You cannot possibly imagine what is going to happen. A great revolution shall break
out and the streets shall be stained with blood. The Pope’s sufferings on this occasion may
well be compared to the agony that will shorten his pilgrimage on earth. His successor
shall pilot the boat during the storm. But the punishment of the wicked shall not be slow.
That will be an exceedingly dreadful day..."

Blessed Elena Aiello (1895-1961)

After Benedict, the wolves.

Thanks to modern over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, I've had the first decent night's sleep I've had since November, and am feeling physically better, but not one tiny lick further ahead than last night when I gave up trying to think of something to write about This Thing that would not come off sounding crazy.

We like to forget that there are large supernatural realities behind our day-to-day lives, and most specifically behind the ecclesial realities we talk and write so much about. We like to keep that spooky stuff at bay and reduce it all to silly small talk on the internet. But that is the really Real behind all this and it is often not the sort of thing one makes polite table conversation about.

My sense of foreboding has deepened, if anything, as I've weighed in more of the many different things this act of Benedict's will affect, the various possible reasons, the possible repercussions. Stuck between two impossible obstacles: what I think is true is horrifying and would not be accepted; what I think I can write that would be accepted is not true.

I can't bring myself to do what everyone else seems to be doing, and put up cheery little stars and hearts notes on Facebook about how we're all grateful for eight wonderful years and wish him well in all his future endeavours. The thought that keeps coming back to my mind again and again is that now things are going to start getting much, much worse.

Benedict's was, perhaps, the lone voice on the world stage making a rational case for the Real in the face of an insane, murderous, global mass self-delusion. What was he holding at bay? What is now going to have even more freedom to act in the world? From the things I've written about for the last ten or twelve years, I think I've got an idea.

And I'm not sure that we glib and flippant moderns are really capable of grasping the utter strangeness of a papal abdication. My first reaction to it was simple confusion. A friend called me from the states while I was napping, and my muzzy brain simply couldn't grasp what he was saying. "Pope Benedict has resigned". No. Stop saying that. That doesn't mean anything.

How quick we are, with our five-second, internet-trained attention span, to be ready to move on to the next news item. How quick we all were to start making childish conversation about who was "going to be next". As though the fact that Benedict has resigned is a sign of absolutely nothing of interest.

Last night I talked with my buddy Chris Ferrara (who seems perfectly cheerful as always) as he was putting this together. Some of what I'm thinking about is in there. But not all.


OK yeah, here's the thing...

what happened today is bad. And big. Bad in a really big way. And more than I can suss out in a day.

So, no. Nothin'. Not now anyway.

And I really would like it if we could all refrain from making stupid comments about it on FB or here.

No bright and cheery speculations about who is going to be the next one. (And as I said on FB earlier today, the first person who starts making idiot comments about how great it will be when it's Burke or some other American pro-lifer favourite, is going to get the back of my hand. At this blog, we are devoted to The Real, not to our precious little fantasies.)

This is serious. Grown-up serious.

And bad.

It's not blog-fodder, in other words.

So, how's about we do something new. How's about we stop talking about it on the internet? How about we deal with it the way people used to deal with important things and not turn it into yet another five-minute soundbite.



Saturday, February 09, 2013

Totally awesome stir-fry

How to make the most totally awesome spicy Thai stir-fry.

1) buy all your ingredients in Italy (sorry)

2) Take:

Fibonnaci broccoli
1 whole zucchini, cut into large chunks
1/2 very green and tart Granny Smith apple, peeled, sliced into thin wedges
1 large carrot sliced into thin oblongs
couple of handfuls of sliced mushrooms

1 tbs green thai curry paste
blob of tomato paste
juice of 1/2 and orange
tsp chicken powder
mint from the balcony, chopped
dried or fresh chopped basil

Stir fry all the veg in a pan or wok with a little olive oil and a handful of basil until they start to release juices. Mix the curry paste, tomato paste, orange juice, chicken powder and mint in a bowl. When the veg is about 1/2 cooked, pour it on top with just about 1/4 cup of water. Quickly cover with a tightly sealed lid and turn the heat way down, and allow the water to steam the veg for about 6-8 minutes.


If it's too spicy, stir in a tablespoon of plain white Greek yogurt.


Friday, February 08, 2013

Burke on graphic images

About “certain images which portray the horror of abortion,” he said, “One must observe that we have a habit in society today to use language which helps us to avoid the reality about which we are speaking.”

“Certainly one must be careful not to use graphic images for the sake of being graphic,” Burke added. “On the other hand, our fellow citizens should know what an abortion actually is. Images of the act of abortion or the results of abortion, when carefully presented to the public, can help the public, in general, to recognize the grave evil which besets us and to take appropriate action.”


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Still locked out

So various nerd-friends have had a shot at unlocking my email, with no success. Still no idea how or why it happened, but it's been six days now and I can't get in. Now I'm worried that they will delete the account.

So, (sigh) I guess I'll have to set up a new account, which mostly means reconstructing my contact list, which was up to about 1100 people and dates to ten years ago. So it's going to be a bit of a job. Y'all are going to have to help.

If you've sent me an email or received one back in the last five years or so, drop me a note at this address

hwhite at lifesitenews dot com

and I'll (grrrrrr) start putting the public address back together again elsewhere.



Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Tree-Down Day

So, I had to delay a few days to take my tree down. When we brought it in, it was all tied up with string and wrapped in plastic, but of course, it all flopped out and became Big. So I couldn't get it out the door and had to go buy a saw.

It's funny what your brain can do to you. As I was sawing off the dried limbs, and the needles were raining down around me, I suddenly felt guilty. It was as if I had been a bad host. Like I had invited this beautiful thing into my house and had neglected it until it died.

It still smells wonderful. I wish I could have a tree in my living room all the time.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Sick. Of. The. War.

Looking longingly at that old Dream Job.

It's come up again.

Puffin-counter on Skomer Island off the Welsh coast. £12,500 for four months "work". Living on the island included.

There are lots of puffins there. They need to be counted.

It's important.


Friday, February 01, 2013

Let's talk about sex!

Specifically, gay sex.

Wait, where's everyone going?

It's a funny thing about the Newfangled people, that though the whole world appears to be totally obsessed with sex, the people at the heart of the Sexual Revolution (MPs) seem to be unable to bring themselves to talk about it. We talk around it. We look at nudie pictures and watch hotsie-totsie videos that imply all sorts of boinking, but the actual physical realities seem to be something none of the Englightened wish to address.

Consider this little point by homosexualist promoter Chris Ashford, writing about the "Gay Marriage" (yes, scarequotes are obligatory, especially now) bill in the UK:

He notes that the bill is actually pretty sweeping, and among other things, removes from the law on marriage the idea that sexual congress is a definitive requirement. "Gay marriages," under the new dispensation, will not need to be consummated in order to be considered valid. This appears on the face of it to be an acknowledgement that they can't be. That "gay sex" is not, in fact, sex at all...
The act of consummation is deemed not applicable as a voidable ground (whereby you essentially argue that a marriage never really existed as you didn’t consummate it with a sexual act) for same-sex marriage but remains in place for different-sex couples.

Why? Well, he says it's because "Civil Servants...just couldn’t figure out how to define the sexual act for same-sex couples."

Mmmm... actually Chris, I think that's probably not it. I think they know, as we all do, what "gay sex" is. It's just that one man sticking his thing into another man's bum, isn't. Sorry, but until very recently, all laws that ever had anything to do with sex, anywhere, ever, knew and acknowledged that sodomy is not sex. Sex, despite what the culture desperately wants to believe, is a biological thing about creating children. It's not about mutual self-gratification, but about physical survival of the species. And that part only works one way.

I think maybe it's time to start talking about what we're talking about. If the drafters of legislation that is proposing to abolish the legal traditions of nine or ten thousand years of human civilisation can't talk about what it's doing, then I think it's time that we stopped being little girls about all this. A man sticking his thing into another man's bum and jiggling it about until orgasm, isn't sex. At most it's a form of self-gratification, using another person as a sex toy that doesn't require batteries.

That in some cases some homosexual men may have genuine warm human emotions towards their sex dolls, is more or less beside the point in marriage law. In fact, wait, it's totally beside the point in marriage law, the same way laws regulating fishing quotas are beside the point in marriage law.

So far the entire argument has been "But we weally wuv each other!" and cries of "It's not FAIR!" But marriage law, sadly, has never had anything to do with love. It has never been interested in the question of how spouses feel about each other. That's because, until the Global Temper Tantrum, the law wasn't about feeeewings. It was about rather more hard-nosed things like biological reality, money, property and taxes. Things that are pretty relevant when you're making laws that pertain to children.

I don't know whether it is a good sign or a bad one that the UK's legislation drafters couldn't bring themselves to talk about the gruesome nitty gritty of homosexuality, but it seems certain it's a sign of something. Perhaps that, though the Sexual Revolution, shortly to be codified in law in Britain, is determined to continue not to believe it, and apparently to force everyone else to pretend it's not true, marriage is about sex and sex is about procreation. And rubbing your bits against another object, whether that object is another person or not, and whatever your feelings about the act or about the other person, doesn't make it sex.

Perhaps, and here's me going out on a wildly thrashing limb in a high wind, there was just enough of a grip left on reality by the bill's drafters to stop them from coming out and actually saying, "Why yes. Sticking your thing into another man's bum is exactly the same as natural procreative sex."

It has been noted elsewhere, here and there, that the Sexual Revolution has had some odd long-term side effects that weren't perhaps what everyone expected. It's being documented lately that people, though more saturated than ever by sexy stuff in the media, are actually having way less sex. Married women in some countries are just giving it up as pointless (since they're mostly contracepting, this seems merely sensible, actually). Men, in increasingly large numbers are giving it up as a bad risk (don't conceive and she'll start manipulating you; conceive and you'll find yourself in court and losing everything). I don't know about gay men, but I'll take a wild guess and say that the bath house parties are losing their cachet.

And the SR seems to have had the odd effect on legislators of turning them into even bigger prudes than our Victorian ancestors. At least we could be sure that Queen Victoria, Shelley and Lord Byron knew what sex was. And all without the benefit of Marie Stopes bringing them condoms to fit on bananas in their schoolroom.

~ * ~

An interesting side-note: Chris Ashford also says that the only place in the bill where "gay sex" does actually get a mention is in the bit that "allows for a marriage to be voidable if a partner was suffering from a communicable venereal disease". Reality biting a little hard there?


Hey! Nerds!

OK nerds, I need help.

I accidentally erased my "cookies" (whatever the hell they are) and now Yahoo won't let me into my email. When I try to log on, it gives me an extra pop-up window (not the regular login one) asking me a security question. When I type the answer in, it won't accept it (even though I know it's the right one) and then it says I'm locked out of my mail for 12 hours. Been around this little carousel twice now, and I can't find anything about it online.

And yes, I've done the whole change-your-password thing. Didn't help.

Hey! Nerds! Over here! Put the video game down!