Tuesday, October 31, 2006

O miserum et infelicem deformationis diem!

"...foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard..."
Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine

On this day 1517, Martin Luther nails his 95 theses on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg. They would spark a theological debate that would eventually rend Western Christendom asunder.

Having sparked a revolution, Luther noted; one "cannot meet a rebel with reason: your best answer is to punch him in the face until he has a bloody nose" (Paul Johnson, "A History of Christianity", page 283).

The peasants' ears "must be unbuttoned with bullets, till their heads jump off their shoulders... he who will not hear God's Word when it is spoken with kindness must listen to the headsman when he comes with an axe." (Will Durant, "The Reformation: A History of European Civilisation from Wycliffe to Calvin: 1300-1546", page 393).

"I think there is not a devil in hell; they have all gone into the peasants." (page 390).

"It is God, not man, Who hangs, and breaks on the wheel, and decapitates, and flogs; it is God who wages war."

"The world cannot be ruled by a rosary" (page 448)

Luther also recommended that the Pope, cardinals and others in the Papal curia "have their tongues torn out by the backs of their necks, and nailed in rows on the gallows" (page 450).

Eventually, Luther considered all other Protestant sects "tools of the devil", and as he died, he believed that the whole world was going to the devil because of the Catholics, the Jews, other Protestants, and the rising tide of irreligion in his own Germany.

It is hard to believe that this lunatic is almost singlehandedly responsible for the 45,000 Protestant sects around today. Inna, a Russian parishioner, answered me some 2 years ago, "Luther may have had good intentions, yes - but his work is of the Devil." Indeed, schism is never the solution to any problem in the Church.

Kenny of the Sleepless Eye, asks that we remember this day with black armbands, ashes and sackcloth.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quote du Jour

Glossolalia - it's what highly educated people do when they're drunk.

Magda, commenting at Orthodixie

Serving at the Altar

Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his Temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Revelation 7:15

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

P. O. V.

Oh no! The world has suddenly turned neo-Cubist!

It all started when Constantine engaged an associate in a minor debate! Soon Constantine could see both sides of the issue! Then poor Constantine began to see both sides of everything!

The traditional single viewpoint has been abandoned! Perspective has been fractured! The multiple views provide too much information! It's impossible to move! Constantine quickly tries to eliminate all but one perspective!

It works! The world falls into a recognizeable order!

Absolute truths exist.
Abortion is murder.
Kosovo is Serbian land.
Sex is not a hobby.
Gay marriage is immoral and contrary to nature.
Multiculturalism is really just anti-culturalism.
Contraception disrespects life.
Sigmund Freud was dangerously inaccurate.
Existentialism is part of the very ideology which it attacks, and its radicalism is illusory.


Research on "Diversity"

Study Paints Bleak Picture of Ethnic Diversity

The Inquisitor puts it finely:

The effects of "diversity" are just as disastrous as we would all expect. If some foreign power had imposed this monstrosity on us, we would rightfully consider it an act of war. Nonetheless, through our government (through forced integration and immigration policies), we have brought this on ourselves.

Getting It Right

One word - to a wise man;
One lash - to a bright horse.

How many words/lashes do you need?

Aren't these enough already?

Life: The Scientific Truth

The more you know, the less simple it becomes to wave of those worthless little clusters of cells:

The First Fourteen Days of Life

[via Mark Shea]

I have a bad feeling about this...

This is disturbing:

Neocatechumenate to Coach Russian Orthodox Priests

I have some rather serious issues and worries concerning the Neocatechumenal Way (whose leadership, I might add, was recently informed by the Pope that their masses need to conform to the norm of the Church) and I do not look favourably on this.

As Michael_Thoma posted:

– the life of the Way is totally separate from that of the other parishioners,

– catechism and more importantly liturgies (even Sunday ones which are always celebrated Saturday evening after first vespers, and including the important Easter Vigil), are also separate and exclude "outsiders",

– abandoning of the church hall and its consecrated altar, and thus devaluing them, in favour of other venues which are not assigned to the Eucharist,

– upsetting of the territorial order of the parish,

– and finally, preparation of the (many) candidates for priesthood in specific seminaries set up by the Way, and separate (even these!) from the "normal" ones (I won’t call them the “diocesan” ones because those of the "Redemptoris Mater" are already known as such).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Quirky Sunday

I had a dream early this morning. In it, I saw Natalia standing by the steps of the church and looking back at me. Looking rather blank, she exclaimed, "Давай, давай пойдем! Давай пойдем с тобой туда!" (Come on, come on, let's go! Let's go there!). Waking up with a jolt, I noticed it was already 8:30 am in the morning. Had I woke up any later, I'd have been too late to arrive in church and stay for a decent amount of time.

This isn't the first time something like that has happened. On another Sunday morning last year, I dreamt of my godmother asking me to wake up.

On another note, it seems that six year old Elizaveta has a crush on me. In addition, she's given me her birthday, possibly hinting at something. SO cute.

Sundays don't get any more peculiar than this.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fasting Makes You Crabby

"Conservative" Christianity

...as the liberals view it.

Simply hilarious.

My favourite rant:
Aren't you all entitled to your half-assed musings on the divine? You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions.

I love the phrase "Internet-assembled philosophy". Sounds like a good number of liberals I know.

[via Clifton]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The True Liberal

"But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice and madness, without tuition or restraint."
Edmund Burke

When one thinks of the term "liberal" these days, one thinks of people who champion democracy and freedom of individual choice. These are truly noble ideals worth fighting for and dying for, but time has shown us repeatedly that the notions of freedom and liberty have been corrupted by the very people who advocate them.

The freedom of speech has been debased into the freedom to insult. Democracy has evolved into mob rule. The freedom to choose has been sullied by the deaths of millions of aborted babies worldwide. Political correctness reigns supreme.

The liberal today is someone with no morals or conscience. Believing moral standards (and just about every notion) to be relative, he lives by his own rules alone. Nobody tells him what to do. A vicious advocate of "multiculturalism", he sees Aztec blood sacrifice as an ethnic custom, pandering to Islam at the same time while slighting Christianity at every chance he gets. Make no mistake about it, he is educated and widely-read. However, he is highly subjective about what he absorbs - he will never know anything beyond what he sees with his own two eyes. He lives a loose, immoral life, believing himself to be devoted to the perfection of experience. He does all that and more while condemning others for being superstitious or Puritan. Today's liberals are perhaps more stubborn and pigheaded than the conservatives. In short, the liberal today is one whose whole personality is dominated by ego.

Whatever has happened to the true liberal? The very word liberal should not (and cannot) be associated with abortion, anti-Christianity and homosexual marriage. The word "liberal" suggests one who is broad-minded and tolerant of the different views and standards of behaviour in others. The liberal can never preach or forcibly attempt to further his views, for the honest liberal, if he must remain true to his libertine beliefs, must never try to argue and promote his cause or agenda, because if he does, he assaults his own system of belief and knowledge since everyone's beliefs should be equally correct and valid.

Should he wish to win an opponent over to his way of thinking, he does so with gentle, logical reasoning. He does not air his views in public and force all present to accept them (e.g. gay pride marches). If he truly believes his stand to be superior to all others, he will not have to lift a finger. Society will learn to understand and accept it. These are the true liberals. They are those who truly practice fairness and equality. They are those who have learnt to see beyond.


I overheard a conversation between two young men this weekend, worth a mention here:

"Do you always make such astounding leaps of logic?"

(awkward silence)
"Well, what I say is factual, blah blah blah etc etc, so on and so forth (I wasn't really paying attention)"

"Self-assuming ones at that."

(awkward silence)


Prayers Requested...

...for my laptop.

A large and formidable army of Chinese (yes, Chinese!) spyware has swamped my system, quickly subduing any defenses I had put in place over the past months. Apparently, the single wireless network system (I've been criticisng that silly, impractical system non-stop since day one) that Republic Polytechnic has uses has served as a passage way for the virus to travel, infecting a great deal of computers around.

The IT people have recommended a reformatting (how wildly creative!), which will be performed tomorrow. I hope that will save the machine. I have to use it every day, and I really don't want to go on like this.

I managed to salvage most of my beloved files (including my priceless collection of photographs taken over the past 4 years), but I am afraid I have lost many of my favourite fonts forever.

This post was composed on my mother's ancient machine.

The New Religion: The Rights of Man

Now, I don't usually quote Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (founder of the SSPX), but having weathered a liberal storm in the past week, his words ring with more conviction than ever before:

"Modernism replaces the Faith by research, purely masonic ideas! 'We are all searching for the truth. We will never find it. We don't know if it exists.'

We do know our Faith, and we wish to maintain it! The Ten Commandments have been replaced by the Rights of Man. What we have now is the religion of the Rights of Man, in place of the Ten Commandments. Now we know perfectly well that the Rights of Man and justice in this world exist only in virtue of the Ten Commandments. When we have done our duty to God and our neighbour, justice will prevail — but not in the fight against the authority of God, against all authority.

The Rights of Man is simply the struggle against the authority of God..."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Evil and Inhuman

"To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death..."
Emperor Maunuel II Palaeologus

Compass Direct, Thursday October 12, 2006:
Iraqi kidnappers who abducted a Syrian Orthodox priest three days ago left his beheaded corpse in an outlying suburb of the northern city of Mosul last night. Father Boulos Iskander, 59, was snatched off a Mosul street on Monday afternoon (October 9) while searching for car parts at local mechanic shops.

The Muslim kidnappers telephoned the priest’s oldest son soon afterwards, demanding $350,000 ransom from the family. After negotiations in several more calls, the kidnappers gradually reduced their demands to $40,000 but added another stipulation: that the priest’s church must publicly repudiate Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about Islam in his lecture in Germany last month. The family managed to raise and pay the ransom, and the St Ephram parish of the Syrian Orthodox Church placed 30 large signboards on walls around the city, distancing itself from the pontiff’s comments. But then the telephone calls stopped. Fr Iskander’s dismembered body was discovered last night (October 11) at about 7 pm in the remote Tahrir City district, two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the center of Mosul.

His arms and legs had been severed and arranged around his head, which rested on his chest. His remains were brought to a local hospital, which then notified his church.

News of the priest’s murder reached Damascus as Patriarch Zakka Iwaz was meeting with bishops of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch. The Bishop of Mosul Saliba Chamoun returned immediately from Damascus to Mosul in time to conduct the funeral service this afternoon. He announced during the service that he had been commissioned by Patriarch Iwaz to bestow on the martyred priest an honorary title of archimandrite, a cleric just below the rank of bishop.

A Syrian Orthodox clergyman present at Fr Iskander’s funeral service today told Compass that at least 500 members of the Mosul Christian community attended, many of them weeping profusely. "Many more wanted to come to the funeral," he said, "but they were afraid. We are in very bad circumstances now".

Fr Iskander is survived by his wife, Azhar, sons Fadi and Yohanna, a married daughter, Fadiyeh, and a daughter, Mariam, 13.

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman," Emperor Manuel II said in 1391. 615 years on, the Mahometans worldwide continue to prove him right. The irony is so incredibly astounding - were it not so horrific we would be laughing.

St Amer Iskander, New Hiero-Martyr, pray to God for us!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Weathering a Flood of Emotions

An incident today afternoon triggered within me a deluge of emotions I hadn't experienced since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon earlier this year. My hands are left shivering in the wake of this outpour. That is perhaps, the most visible sign of such a sensation - I am not one to display my emotions openly, be they anger, disappointment, frustration, grief, ecstasy, anguish, indignation... well, I can be quite flexible when being indignant.

The incident will not be elaborated upon for I wish to keep it within myself and trusted ears only. However, I am sure most readers can empathise with such an incident - one that triggers numerous emotions all at once. At times such as this, I delve yet again into the wisdom of the desert fathers. I have read certain portions of The Sayings of the Desert Fathers many times, but they never fail to astound me. Here are three passages that have been especially comforting at this time:

Abba John taught, if a king wishes to subdue a city belonging to enemies, he first of all keeps them without bread and water, and the enemy harassed by hunger, surrenders; so it is in respect of the hostile passions, for if a man endures fasting and hunger , his enemies become stricken with weakness in the soul.

A brother asked Abba Poemen, "What does it mean to get angry at one's brother without cause?" And he replied, "When your brother attacks you, whatever the insults are, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Even if he were to pull out your right eye, and to cut off your right hand, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Yet if he were to try to take you away from God, then get angry!"

It is told that a thought came to a monk, "Rest today and you can do penance tomorrow". He replied, "No, I will do penance today and rest tomorrow".

I'm including three gems on humility by Abba Dorotheos, for they never fail to speak to you under any circumstances:

Before anything else we need humility.

Courage stands in the middle between cowardice and foolhardiness; humility in the middle between arrogance and servility. Modesty is a mean between timidity and boldness.

Humility protects the soul from all the passions and also from every temptation.

Simply... Bizarre

Just when you thought you had seen everything...

From the dreadful Panteleimonites...

...the outrageous true Catholic Church...

...the absurd Charismatic Orthodox Church...

...the insipid Palmarian Catholic Church...

...the ludicrous Russian Orthodox Church in Exile...

...and the strange Neocatechumenal Way.

Then these guys come along...

...and you don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

They have a "patriarch of honor", a metropolitan archbishop, 7 bishops, an abbot and several priestesses.

For starters, they hold Marriage and Holy Union are in equal esteem and respect in this jurisdiction. If you didn't quite understand that, read it again, using your imagination.

Rather unsurprisingly, all clergy "must live in the Tentmaker Paul tradition, drawing their living income from secular or not compensated for by this jurisdiction nor by any congregation thereof", given that this "Church" seems to be in desperate want of a laity.

Ernest says these guys utilise the shock and awe tactic very well. They are positively shocking... and tremendously awful.

Someone please tell me this is a joke. These silly, outlandish people look like the Episcopalians with Orthodox/Catholic trappings. Nothing can be more nonsensical or pointless.

The CoE Takes a Stand!

An "astonishing attack" on multiculturalism, (i.e. anticulturalism) in the UK:

...the attempt to make minority "faith" communities more integrated has backfired, leaving society "more separated than ever before".


...divisions between communities have been deepened by the Government's "schizophrenic" approach to tackling multiculturalism. While trying to encourage interfaith relations, it has actually given "privileged attention" to the Islamic faith and Muslim communities.

[via the Western Confucian]

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bad Headline, Good Article

This is probably the worst headline I've come across in days:

Woman Turns Down Sex for Jesus

The article itself, though, is a nice one on a consecrated virgin.

Friday, October 06, 2006

CHILDREN: Rights & Obligations

"When you are not married, you have rights and obligations. When you get married, you have fewer rights and more obligations. When you have children, you have no rights, but only obligations."

Elder Epiphanos of Athens (1989+)

[via Fr Joseph]

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dumb Singaporeans

"...I live in Singapore, an island with less culture than a pot of yoghurt, and where the vast majority of citizens are dumb illiterate cattle without the capacity to think and reason, without common sense, without manners or any graces at all."

Strange as it may sound, I never quite wanted to fully believe the above statement. After all, I count many among my friends who absolutely do not fit that description. Could I ever say that the rational and prudent Norman was without common sense? Or perhaps label the eloquent Vernon and well-read Yang "illiterate"? Nay, it would be impossible, even though all were born and bred in this country.

Let live and learn, they say, and every day in every way, I discover that Singaporeans are indeed capable of performing feats of astounding ignorance and displaying a shocking lack of manners.

Take my new class of this term for example. Every day spent in class causes me great distress. The students are shamelessly arrogant about their stunning degrees of ignorance. This not only exasperates, but have, on many occasions, infuriated me. Who would've thought anyone would consider illiteracy a badge of distinction; or uncouth manners typical behaviour of teenagers? Apparently, this lot does.

Now, I know I cannot make sweeping generalisations, and admittedly, there are some students are worthy of respect and admiration (you know who you are).

I am accustomed to answering questions, but over the course of two weeks, I have been pummeled with questions ranging from the provocative to the bizarre. The ruffians may not notice it, but I am very much insulted when one would rather question my choice of graphics over the subtler points of my presentation.

Muttering snide comments whenever I am speaking to the class about a supposedly esoteric term is a good indicator of a desire to remain dumb and ill-educated. Derisively sarcastic comments are best said when one has a purpose and wicked sense of humour. Anything less comes off as nothing more than a juvenile insult. Sadly, it is often the latter that I hear uttered.

Media/art students are expected to know terms like "socialist realism" and "golden ratio" - well, perhaps not understanding them fully, but at least having heard of them before. I am not excessively educated in the arcane arts when I know. It is no fault of mine when people choose to be stupid.

One more thing. While being illiterate and uncouth might sound good in the world they reside, but I live in a little place called reality. I am against asking silly questions about demeanour and public speaking skills and deploying ad hominem attacks but maybe that's just me and my silly sense of professional courtesy.

Here endeth today's rant.