Battle Chic?

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“It’s lots of fun. Very, very addictive,” Gardiner said.

Ceramic chain mail art? Hmm. The venerable invention of the ancient armorers is now considered a craft, as in artsy-fartsy kind of craft. To each his own.

I can appreciate the beauty and versatility of the wonder material, strong as steel, yet supple as cloth. So its being put to new uses that are marketable. I guess this one I can appreciate, a t-shirt. Nice.

Come on, Knights and Squires of Lepanto! Lets have some ideas. Lets get the coifs and halburks going.

I’ve been thinking of making a chain mail rosary. Don’t laugh. It will work. You’ll see.

Marian Chivalry and a Pro-Life Judge

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Judge Andrew Napolitano has recently written a book, A Nation of Sheep, in which he “frankly discusses how the federal government has circumvented the Constitution and is systematically dismantling the rights and freedoms that are the foundation of American democracy.” Sound’s like a good read.

More interestingly though is his recent interview with Celebrate Life Magazine, in which he manifests a very bold pro-life perspective. Most interesting is the end of the interview where predictably and wisely commends the pro-life leadership provided by women. Surprising, at least for me, is who tells us his favorite pro-life leader is:

On that note, Judge Napolitano’s favorite pro-life leader is a woman. He explained, “I say that because it’s politically wise and because the Church teaches that we should go to our Lady, the Blessed Mother. Not a Mass should be said without reference to her. Not a war should be waged, not a prayer should be uttered, not a contact should be sought without her assistance.

That pretty much elicites a “wow!” from me. He states himself simply without explanation, but his words say volumes. I have scattered a lot of ones and zeros across cyberspace trying to get across this very important Catholic male intuition. The Judge must have had a pretty traditional Italian upbringing. This certainly is my choice for “quote of the year,” so far. Let’s scatter those digits one more time:

Not a Mass should be said without reference to her. Not a war should be waged, not a prayer should be uttered, not a contact should be sought without her assistance.

Get that through your heads gentlemen. Memorize it. Engrave it on your hearts. Keep it by your side, as a sword, and let it guide you by day and by night.

Thanks to an Other Mary for the lead on this one.

Fathers Praying for Fathers

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Please excuse a more local concern. I will justify this post on the basis of its illustration of Knights of Lepanto Spirituality.

The knights here in Griswold are organizing a series of holy hours for men. Our third Thursday discussion group meeting will go from less prayer and more talk to more prayer and less talk. Our exact plan is to organize a novena of holy hours for men between February and October. The object is to have Fathers and Sons pray for fathers: fathers of families, fathers within the Church and fathers within civil society.

We do a lot of complaining and nowhere near enough prayer. We are all very concerned about the future of our country with the upcoming elections, and in Connecticut specifically, many are upset by the recent decision of the Connecticut bishops to go along with our anti-Catholic legislature and permit Plan B contraception in Catholic hospitals. It is time for men to come together and storm heaven that we might find the fortitude to regroup the Church Militant and fight for what is right. . . and do it in an honorable way.

I always say that the spirituality of the knight, that is, masculine spirituality, is concerned with translating faith and prayer into action. For us men, we easily understand the action part, but usually it is not based on faith and prayer. Hence, such things as sports becomes our religion. (Don’t forget that this Sunday.) This format for our holy hours is a great way to put prayer first in a masculine way.

Here is the flyer for our holy hours, and here is a blurb for Church bulletins. Anyone who is in the vacinity is free to print them out and do what you can with them. Ask your pastor before you post them in your church vestibule.

Pullman: Trivializing Tolkien

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I am not particularly eager to attend to Philip Pullman or his atheistic propaganda piece, His Dark Materials, but a few days ago I read something he said that makes my blood boil. In an interview, recently published in Intelligent Life Magazine, Pullman called Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings “trivial”:

Several times Pullman reminds me that a work of fiction is not an argument. Perhaps it’s safest to say that in “His Dark Materials” he has constructed his own imaginative world so as not to submit to anyone else’s. He likes to quote William Blake’s line: “I must create a system, or be enslav’d by another man’s.” His story is a rival to the narratives put forward by two earlier Oxford writers, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Pullman loathes the way the children in Narnia are killed in a car-crash. “I dislike his Narnia books because of the solution he offers to the great questions of human life: is there a God, what is the purpose, all that stuff, which he really does engage with pretty deeply, unlike Tolkien who doesn’t touch it at all. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is essentially trivial. Narnia is essentially serious, though I don’t like the answer Lewis comes up with. If I was doing it at all, I was arguing with Narnia. Tolkien is not worth arguing with” [emphasis mine].

Continue reading

Pope Benedict Once More Into the Breach

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Update Below: Glorious picture of the event and comments from the disgruntled.

Pope Benedict, our fearless leader, has jumped into the breach again, this time celebrating the Holy Sacrifice ad orientem (toward the East, i.e., facing the altar, not the people) at the ancient altar in the Sistine Chapel. A Vatican spokesman defended the pope’s action saying that it was an act of respect for “the beauty and the harmony of this architectural jewel.” That explanation is enough to provoke endless commentary on the “reck-ovations” that have claimed the beauty of so many Churches here in the United States over the last 40 years. The senselessness of the destruction, the indiscriminate disregard for beauty an patrimony, has been no less than barbaric. Continue reading

The Betrayal of Chivalry

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The murder of pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child, brings to the surface both the unfortunate phenomenon of the murder of pregnant women and the societal complacence that makes such tragedies commonplace. I was shocked to learn that the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States is murder. Horrifying.

A study published in the March 2005 edition of the American Journal of Public Health found that homicide was a leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States between 1991 and 1999. Data taken from the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the pregnancy-associated homicide ratio was 1.7 per 100,000 live births.

A 2001 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association said 20 percent of Maryland women who died during pregnancy were murdered. Researchers found the same trend in New York from 1987-1991 and in the Chicago area from 1986-1989. According to the CDC, approximately 324,000 pregnant women are hurt by an intimate partner or former partner each year.

In this particular case, the suspect, whom Lance Cpl. Lauterbach had accused recently of raping her, is another Marine, a man of honor presumably. Semper Fi is what we expect. Not here.

In law the man is presumed innocent. In any event, it is ironic that in this case the military, sworn to protect the our country and especially the vulnerable, is in the predicament of explaining how a woman who cried for help is now dead. I don’t suppose this will raise the issue of the way in which women have been integrated into all facets of public life, as if they were men, has, indeed, made the modern woman just “one of the boys.”

Even the National Organization of Women has acknowledged the statistics concerning the rate of death by murder relative to pregnant women. Of course, the vulnerability of pregnant women is best addressed, in their view, by the availability of abortion. I have not seen a breakdown of the statistics, but I would be interested. The article linked to above, suggests that pregnant women might die just as often at the hands of other women as at the hands of men, but I don’t think so. Would it be so unreasonable to follow the hunch that they and their child are murdered most often because the pregnancy is unwanted by the man?

We have ourselves one big problem, and our arrogant social engineers are still not likely to see the obvious.

Templar Baloney Every Bit

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I am obliged to follow up on my previous Templar posts (category), regarding the events surrounding the release of the Chinon Parchment. As it turns out, the reports released by the secular press, which included interviews with Templar pretenders, gave the impression that the absolution of the Templars, recorded in the Chinon document, was an effective rehabilitation, that is, an acknowledgment that the Templars were unjustly accused. This is in no way the case. The rough translation of the Chinon Parchment, which until now, remains unchallenged, makes it clear that the Templars were guilty of grave sin, confessed their sin and were mercifully absolved by the Church. Continue reading

The Last and the First

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Pope Benedict’s last words of 2007 and his first Wednesday audience two days ago link together nicely:

In his last public appearance of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the “the dark evil of modern Western society,” caused by a “deficit of hope and trust in life.” The darkness, he said, can be dispelled only by faith

Then Wednesday:

Pope Benedict suggested that Christians should start out the new year by calling upon Mary’s intercession, asking her to “help us to be true friends of her Son and courageous architects of his Kingdom in the world: a Kingdom of light and truth.”

Courage and faith through Mary, is necessary for those who are to be architects of God’s kingdom in this world. The last and first place to look is at the foot of the Cross.

A “deficit of hope and trust in life” leads men to run from the Cross. We need to stand and fight.