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What in God’s Name…? PDF Print E-mail

YHWHFebruary 6, 2011
By Barry Bercier, A.A.

When Cain builds man’s first city, designed to protect the first murderer from those who would come after him, God provides one of its laws, the law of sevenfold vengeance.  The family of any murderer is to suffer seven times as many deaths in punishment of the original crime.  Cain’s city then is a remedy, assented to by God, for the evil and violence of men, but not given God’s blessing!  It is governed by evil and violent men who restrain each other in their evil doing only by terrifying them with greater evils still.

 
NOSTALGIA AND REVELATION PDF Print E-mail



January 22, 2011
By Barry Bercier, A.A.

Faced with the nihilism, disorder and totalitarianism that seem the destination of Enlightenment progress, we can find ourselves longing, naturally enough, for a return to that from which the progress first started out. If for philosophic types like Leo Strauss “return” meant return to pre-Christian Greek philosophy, for Catholics there can be a strong desire to return to something like the order of Christendom. Even while willing to acknowledge the failings and extremes of that earlier time, still there was something so good, true and beautiful about it, something in its own way so entirely without parallel in the human story, that we can’t but be roused, some of us, to a sort of powerful spiritual nostalgia.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 23:42
 
Progress or Return PDF Print E-mail

January 3, 2011

The title for this entry is stolen from the title of an article written by one of the great conservative thinkers of the 20th century, a real aristocrat of the mind if ever there was one, Leo Strauss.  Strauss was a witness to the monstrous unreason that shattered the old order of things in Europe and beyond, and spent his life in the effort to understand how it came to be.  Given the catastrophic consequences of that unreason, the consequences of which had not played themselves out in his lifetime (and have not played themselves out in ours), he went in search of a reasonable response and, if at all possible, a remedy to which such a response might lead.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 January 2011 20:07
 
FATHER D’ALZON AND EDUCATION PDF Print E-mail

December 30, 2010.

At about the time the young aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville was traveling horseback around the United States to study the character of the American Revolution, another young French aristocrat was getting ordained to the priesthood. He was Emmanuel d’Alzon, the founder of the Assumptionists. His family had experienced the terrific upheaval that was the French Revolution, and the new priest was to live out the rest of his life dealing with its consequences for the Church.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 January 2011 11:43
 
Feast of the Holy Innocents PDF Print E-mail

Dec. 28, 2010.

We don’t know the shape of the future massing up before us here in America and the democratic West. We don’t pay it much heed. But the power required to guarantee our supposed right to pursue whatever we want…that power is very great. The more we demand from it to satisfy our desires, the more power over ourselves we place in its ready hands. The power to satisfy is the power to manage, direct, supply and control, which is to say, it is the power to mismanage, pervert, deprive and enslave.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 January 2011 11:43
 
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