Friday, November 09, 2012

What to do now

There's a long road ahead of us. Time to remember Eliot's East Coker again, I guess:

There is only the fight to recover what has been lost 
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions 
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss. 
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Why not a Catholic Party?

Shortly before the election, a friend sent me a copy of a message her parish received from its pastor.

In the introductory paragraphs, the pastor wrote something to the effect that it's unreasonable to expect the platform of any political party to match up exactly to the teachings of the Catholic Church. And as long we think in terms of the Democratic, Republican, Green, Peace & Freedom, American Independent, etc., etc, parties, that's bound to be true.

But what if there were a political party whose entire purpose was to match up with the central Magisterial teachings of the Church?

It wouldn't even have to be a party in the sense of fielding candidates of its own. It could exist primarily to provide a single organization to which Catholics and others could attach themselves, knowing that this party would never compromise when examining the claims of other parties' candidates.

The original "Catholic Center Party" arose in Germany in 1871, to counter growing anti-Catholicism pressure, and soon persecution, by the triumphant secular state brought into being largely through the work of Otto von Bismarck.

As we face a similar situation today, which will only intensify in the near future, I think we need to give some serious consideration to following the example of 1871 -- and then act.

More on this, anon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Words for the day after:

Mene, mene, tekel upharsin.

For those who may not recognize those words, they were the original "handwriting on the wall," traced by a ghostly hand on a palace wall in Babylon. For Belshazzar, their unfortunate addressee, they meant:

Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign, and brought them to an end.
Tekel: You have been weighed in the balance, and have been found wanting.
Upharsin: Your kingdom will be divided among [your enemies] the Medes and Persians.

I don't know where, but on some wall in America this morning, that same hand is scrawling a modern take on the old verdict...

Mene: America, God will soon bring the days of your world dominance to an end. Your people are now too foolish, too carelessly evil, to be trusted with such power as their nation now wields.
Tekel: You've been given two hundred years of freedom without precedent, and you've just used it to re-elect a mendacious tyrant to rule over you.
Upharsin: Your power will be divided up among your enemies -- China, Russia, the rising Islamic Caliphate. Your lands? We'll see.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Two thoughts for the day

Two things came to mind as I woke up this Election Day 2012.

First, the prayer of King Asa:
Lord, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in Your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.  -- 2 Chronicles 14:11
And this, from Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry's final line before the battle of Agincourt:
... Now, soldiers, march away: And how Thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!
UPDATE: Now we know -- in that Shakespearean scenario, we are the French.