Saturday, September 11, 2010

Readings from…

ANDREW OF CRETE (660–720): By the cross the martyrs were strengthened

We who worship Christ on the cross must try to grasp the greatness of his power and all the wonders he has wrought through the cross on our behalf; the holy David says: Our God and eternal King has wrought salvation throughout the world. For through the cross the nations were caught as in a net and the seeds of faith were sown everywhere. With the cross, as though with a plow, the disciples of Christ cultivated the unfruitful nature of humankind, revealed the Church's ever-green pastures, and gathered in an abundant harvest of believers in Christ. By the cross the martyrs were strengthened, and as they fell they smote down those who struck them. Through the cross Christ became known, and the Church of the faithful, with the scriptures ever open before her, introduces us to this same Christ, the Son of God, who is truly God and truly Lord, and who cries out: Any who wish to come after me must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
–– Oratio 1 in exaltatione crucis: PG 97, 1041-1045.

ST. AUGUSTINE: The Inner Voice

Consider this great mystery. The sound of my words strikes the ears, and the Master is within! Do not suppose that any human is the teacher of another. We can admonish by the sound of our voice; but unless there is one who teaches on the inside, the sound we make is futile. I, for my part, have spoken to all; but those to whom the Anointing within does not speak, those whom the Holy Spirit within does not teach, go back untaught.
-- Sermon on 1 John 3, 12

Prayer. Instruct me, Lord, and command what you will. But first heal me and open my ears that I may hear your words.
-- Soliloquies 1, 5


Let us consider for a moment our Redeemer on the cross, where He died for us by a death more loving than love itself! Ah, why do we not cast ourselves in spirit upon Him, to die upon the cross with Him Who for love of us has truly willed to die? "I took hold of him and would not let him go..." [Sg 3:4]
–– T.L.G. Book 7, Ch. 8; O. V, p. 35

Verily, why not?


Modern Nonconformist newspapers distinguish themselves by suppressing precisely those nouns and adjectives which the founders of Nonconformity distinguished themselves by flinging at kings and queens.
–– 'Heretics.'

In a similar fashion, feminism and the homosexual movement are undermined by their underlying conceptual liberalism. Whereas it was once heroic to campaign for the equality of women, now it is passé to defend the notion of sex––"male versus female"––as anything more than a social construct. If however there are no femmes, there can be no féminisme. If there is no objective difference between men and women, there can be no objective difference granting or denying rights to the alleged biological groups. Similarly, the ever popular campaign on behalf of "gay rights" is subtly but steadily undermined by the belief that sexuality––what you do with your body for your body––is also a naive social fiction. If however there is no such thing as human nature, and therefore no such thing as "natural human sexuality," then homosexuality loses its status as a naturally legitimate expression of human nature. Social rights cannot be based on social fictions and if sexuality is completely plastic––an arbitrary wax nose––, then campaigning for "gay rights" is equivalent to campaigning, not for rights, but for privileges favored by one group of organisms verusus another. Hence, the peak of modern civilization––secular liberalism––finds itself dissolving into the most archaic drum-banging tribalism.


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