Thursday, January 02, 2020

To Start Off the New Year: Some Facts We Can’t Deny

- Having vehemence, eloquence, passion and charisma does not mean you are right.  Adolf Hitler possessed all of those characteristics.

- Only legitimate authority can command our obedience.  We are not required to obey authority figures when they exceed the scope of their authority.  Sometimes, we even have a duty to disobey, since no one, not even the Pope, has the authority to command us to sin.

- It is a curious but undeniable fact that, by pursuing our own legitimate interests, within the bounds of the moral law, we make it possible for others to pursue theirs.  When we work to make an honest living, we create goods and services that others want and need yet lack the ability to produce efficiently on their own, and so provide them with the means of making their own honest living.  Some people are talented enough to make extra, which enables them to exercise greater than average generosity to others who cannot provide for themselves.  Everyone engaging in honest pursuits bestows on society as a whole the benefits of order, peace and tranquility — which in turn further enhance our ability to pursue our own legitimate interests.

- Where there is no private property, it is impossible for people to pursue their legitimate interests.

- The common good is greater than the good of an individual; yet it does not rule out the good of individuals.

- The purpose of the Second Amendment is, purely and simply, to prevent tyranny.  It is a mark of tyrants — whether in the government or in the conference of Catholic bishops — that they seek to disarm the populace.

- The reason we are afraid to do the right thing is because we don’t trust in God and His providence.  It’s no more complicated than that.

- Worrying about things we can’t control takes away both our energy and our motivation to deal with things we can control.  Failing to deal with the things we can control may well bring about the very results we fear when we worry about the things we can’t control.

- Jesus truly is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in that tiny Host that is confected on the altar in the Catholic Mass.  If you dismiss the Real Presence as medieval superstition, then consider that some of the most gifted minds mankind has ever produced over the last two thousand years have believed in it.  This side of Jesus and Mary, there has probably never been a greater intellectual than Thomas Aquinas, and he wrote some of the most beautiful paeans to the Blessed Sacrament that ever flowed from the pen of man.

- And speaking of superstition, I doubt if there was ever an epoch in human history that was less superstitious than the Middle Ages, or an epoch more superstitious than the one, still ongoing, that was ushered in by Martin Luther.

- What sign of the Zodiac you were born under has absolutely nothing to do with who you are or what your life will be like.  The Zodiac is nothing more than the stars that lie along the celestial equator, a tool for mapping out the night sky.  Your destiny is not controlled by the motions of celestial bodies.  The destruction of any one of them outside our solar system would have zero practical impact on your life.  In fact, since most of them are so far away that we are only seeing them as they looked centuries ago, it is possible that some of them do not even exist anymore.

- We currently have a bad Pope.  The evidence for this is undeniable, and it is not virtuous to try to deny what is right in front of our faces.  Yet, while the Pope is the touchstone of Christian unity, he is not, and should not be, the center of our everyday lives.  The Catholic Church is much bigger than the Pope, and not even a bad Pope can destroy her.

- Pope Francis embodies the sort of absolutism that the Church’s enemies have always falsely ascribed to the papacy itself.  Interestingly, however, these same enemies like Pope Francis and embrace him as one of their own.  This proves that it is not absolutism that they object to: in their book, in fact, anything less than absolutism in the service of their pet ideologies is treason.  What they really object to is the authentic content of the Catholic faith, so they favor Pope Francis to the extent he seems to represent a rupture from Catholicity.

- If there is a silver lining to the dark cloud of the current pontificate, it is that the enemies of the Church, both within and without, are now showing their true colors.  This is because they think that they are now having their Big Mo.  The same thing is happening, by the way, in the secular world.  President Trump is exposing the enemies of America and all the good things for which she stands by overturning the order which the entrenched political elites have set up for their own enrichment.  God is allowing all the poisons that lurk in the mud to hatch out.

I would like to close with my favorite quote from George Neumayr, a Catholic reporter who has devoted much of his career to exposing corruption within the Church:
Be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves, Jesus Christ told his disciples. In dealing with enemies, in other words, prudence is not a vice and stupidity is not a virtue. 


  1. I wish "good" actually was "common".
    And that those in control of our Church didn't make me cringe. And thanks for the reminder to focus on the things I can control. Too many sleepless nights last year thinking about the downward spiral the world is in.

  2. Yes, Shirley, no doubt about it, it is depressing as hell. But all we can do is what lies to hand, and leave the rest to God.