Tuesday, 26 May 2020

"The science"...


In a world as wicked as this, it's hard to be certain of anything temporal. This new strain of coronavirus has inexplicably ground the world to a halt. Everybody is affected, not just those infected and their loved ones. Simple things like walking unmolested into a supermarket or visiting the sick on a hospital ward are gone, perhaps forever. Worse still, the Devil has worked with hideous delight to have all the churches closed. Not even Stalin managed to close every church in the Soviet Union and yet our bishops and pastors have supinely accepted this blow to our faith, with few voices raised in protest, and all for what? Some epidemiologist's report? From what I can tell, Covid-19 (with very few exceptions) only affects the very old and the very sick. Never have I heard of anything so ridiculous as putting the hale in enforced quarantine in order to, perhaps slightly, extend the lives of the morbidly obese or those over the age of 75. It's the most crass materialism I've ever seen and is only possible because not one of these "scientists" believes in the life eternal.

Since the start of this civil year we've heard a lot about "the science." What does that mean? I don't imagine that it's a phrase chosen at random. It's the new idol, like capitalism and the separation of church and state. Those who dissent from "the science," even if they are sober and considered persons like Lord Sumption, are treated with derision. From where I'm standing as an Orthodox Christian, medical science is as imprecise, uncertain and subject to just as much political manipulation as any other academic area. To make matters worse, because of the growing adulation people have for "our NHS heroes" and the kind of credulous trust that people have in our institutions, they are more easily manipulated by the government. I was surprised and shocked that people took to this "lockdown" so easily, even voluntarily. I've seen a few instances of protest, mostly people grumbling in the endless queues to buy food, but I've also heard of narks ready to involve the police in the minor doings of their neighbours. It's chilling. That's not to say that I think little of the effect Covid-19 has on people. I take reasonable precautions; I observe social distancing when I am out, I have kept to the "lockdown" rules to the best of my ability, etc. I was even, back in March, in favour of the lockdown. The trouble is, in Britain we haven't really had one.  If we'd had a strict house arrest, enforced by the army, with a "track and trace" policy from the start then we might be in a better position than we are now. Instead we've had this protracted semi-quarantine in which large numbers of people have disobeyed government advice, and what evidence is there that this stupid policy has saved even a single life? Meanwhile peoples' livelihoods are down the pan. This crisis could see the ultimate end of private proprietorship.

Cui bono? That's difficult to say at this stage. I'm not going to give air to conspiracy theories but I'll say this much: this strain of coronavirus is proof that the Chinese (the "yellow peril") will eat anything. Does it strike you as coincidental that this disease has come in the wake of the "extinction rebellion" protests last year? Furthermore, if private proprietorship is at an end, perhaps it's also the end of other private institutions. I have a great dread of the future. Already we're heading into a self-inflicted economic recession. It won't be long before your government starts seizing your assets, raiding your pensions and savings. But in the words of Christ, Take no thought for the morrow for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Lord, have mercy!

Art: Poussin. It's the adoration of the golden calf.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Gregori Rasputin-Novy...


Fr Andrew Phillips over at Orthodox England has written the first sympathetic biography in English of Gregori Rasputin-Novy that I have ever read. At 12,000 words it's worth reading. See here.

What are your thoughts about Rasputin? Do you believe the stories of the "mad monk?" The drunk debauchee who wormed his way into the good graces of the Tsar? Do you share the naive disdain of Grand Duchesss St Elizabeth and Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes, who despised all Russian peasants? Comment below.

I personally see the atheist revolution in Russia as the ultimate culmination of the Raskol. When Russia abandoned its purity of worship in favour of contemporary Greek praxis, and the Tsars were educated by foreign (sometimes Jesuit) tutors, this sort of thing became inevitable. Decembrists and Turganev be damned!

Friday, 17 January 2020

The last Inkling has died...

A working bookshelf of mine.

I read yestereven with surprising shock that Christopher Tolkien, the youngest son of my literary hero J.R.R. Tolkien, died on 15th January at his home in the south of France. He was 95 years old. It seems pointless to remind you but Christopher (to distinguish him from his father) was the greatest Tolkien scholar in this world, and I am reminded at his passing of the words of Faramir at the death of Gandalf:
"It is hard indeed to believe that one of so great wisdom, and of power - for many wonderful things he did among us - could perish, and so much lore be taken from the world." (The Lord of the Rings, Book IV, Chapter V).
He was the greatest scholar simply because he was there (almost) from the beginning, and listened in wonder to the tales of Bilbo and the Dwarves and the great gestes of the Elder Days in their rude and primitive forms. He witnessed the living growth of a mythology so immense in its scale and so profound in its catholicity that nobody could rival it. Narnia, while charming, is frankly puerile by comparison; and I need not mention more contemporary (in both time and ethos) fantasy literature. Upon his father's death in 1973, Christopher took up the unenviable task of collating and transcribing Tolkien's manuscripts and typescripts, many of them dating back to the First World War and written in diaries under shell fire, and later on exam papers and the backs of envelopes. Four years later Christopher published The Silmarillion; about as coherent and succinct a narrative of the Elder Days as could be reliably drawn from the sources. Over the next thirty years he produced the scholarly "The History of Middle-earth" in twelve volumes as well as other works by his father; tales of the whimsical Tom Bombadil or Farmer Giles of Ham with his blunderbuss. Perhaps dearest to my heart is the complete The Children of Húrin, a dark tale of curse and incest and drawing much from Kullervo and Oedipus. Christopher's introduction to that epic narrative is excellent and evidence not only of a deep appreciation for the legendarium but of a profound understanding of evil, as imagined and of course rejected by his father. His exposition of the interpenetrating themes of fate with Morgoth's gigantic will and Túrin's character is as much worth the read as the tale itself.

Christopher drew this map of Beleriand.

Another invaluable resource for people who appreciate Tolkien is The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, compiled and edited by Christopher and Tolkien's biographer Humphrey Carpenter. It seems fitting to quote therefrom in Christopher's memory. Written seventy-six years ago on the 8th January, at the height of the Second World War to his son away south in Africa, the prelude in the series Pater ad Filium Natu (sed haud alioquin) minimum, Tolkien writes:
"If you don't do so already, make a habit of the 'praises'. I use them much (in Latin): the Gloria Patri, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Laudate Dominum; the Laudate Pueri Dominum (of which I am specially fond), one of the Sunday psalms; and the Magnificat; also the Litany of Loretto (with the prayer Sub tuum praesidium). If you have these by heart you never need for words of joy. It is also a good and admirable thing to know by heart the Canon of the Mass, for you can say this in your heart if ever hard circumstance keeps you from hearing Mass. So endeth Fæder lár his suna. With very much love.
Longað þonne þy lǽs þe him con léoþa worn,
oþþe mid hondum con hearpan grétan;
hafaþ him his glíwes giefe, þe him God sealde.
From the Exeter Book. Less doth yearning trouble him who knoweth many songs, or with his hand can touch the harp: his possession is his gift of 'glee' (= music and/or verse) which God gave him.
How these old words smite one out of the dark antiquity! 'Longað'! All down the ages men (of our kind, most awarely) have felt it: not necessarily caused by sorrow, or the hard world, but sharpened by it."
Sound, loving advice. I like to imagine that the venerable Christopher, with eyes as profound and yet present as Treebeard's, looked towards God on high with those joyful words in his heart and on his lips. We owe Christopher a tremendous dept for his life's work, the gift of glee which God gave his father, and through him, us. I pray God that his death was good and that he was reconciled to the Church of his father.

Give rest, O God, unto Thy servant Christopher, and appoint for him a place in Paradise; where the choirs of the Saints, O Lord, and the just will shine forth like stars; to Thy servant Christopher that is sleeping now do Thou give rest, overlooking all his offences. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Christopher John Reuel Tolkien, 1924-2020. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Megxit...


So one British tabloid called the Duke of Sussex' and Meghan Markle's decision to "step back" from whatever it is that they do. I'm becoming increasingly tired of our Royal Family. From Her Majesty The Queen's political correctness ("diversity is a strength") to the useless spongers and clingers on; the arrogance and sordid private life of the Duke of York (and who could forget his trollop of an ex-wife?), the late Lady Diana Spencer swanning about like the Queen of Hearts; all this progressive, Zeitgeist stuff about mental health, LGBT rights, &c. Why bother having an aggressively secular government ramming this stuff down our throats when you have a nominally Christian institution to do the same? And now this. I knew Meghan Markle was trouble but I didn't foresee this. I thought she would be unfaithful to Harry or some skeleton from her past life as a second-rate actress would come to light, throwing a spanner in the works and causing more heartache and embarrassment for our long-suffering Queen. In a sense this is worse. It is an obvious welshing on implicit royal duties, and I am supremely confident that the driving force of it is this latter day Wallis Simpson, who seems to have the Duke of Sussex under some manipulative, sexual spell. They've tried to spin it as a sort of effort to modernise the Royal Family, but how much modernisation does an institution need before it becomes fully secular and indistinguishable from celebrities and the mega-rich, and therefore not worth keeping? And this comes hard from an ardent monarchist like me. I have always believed in Monarchy. Deep down it is my absolute conviction that a Christian Sovereign is the only acceptable Orthodox form of government.

I don't know, perhaps I'm too old fashioned and I'm missing something. Time was when a divorced person could never be received at court. Fast forward to our own time, the age of shoddy, and things look very different. I mean if Elton John is the sort of person at your wedding, what room is there for a young reactionary like me? But what I find extraordinary is this trope that any criticism of Meghan Markle has its uttermost origins in explicit or unconscious racism. That would make sense in a country without meticulously-enforced diversity laws. No. The reason I despise Meghan Markle is because I see through the fairytale princess of mixed race, the white wedding gown and hair let down as though she were a virgin. She is a grasping, ambitious and opportunistically cunning actress (a bit like Donald Trump, actually!). A Hollywood Phoney. She has wormed her way into the good graces of HM The Queen and has seemingly filled a maternal void in Harry's life left by the traumatic departure of his mother in 1997. She has almost certainly come between Harry and the Duke of Cambridge, and this latest move clearly demonstrates that she wants all the money, privilege and adulation of the fairytale princess but is not willing to pay her dues. I said before that she represents the nadir of the Royal Family. If The Queen doesn't punish them for this breach of an essentially unwritten contract then there will be wider ramifications for the Royal Family and the future of the Monarchy and history will judge Meghan Markle for having lit the fire of revolt (well, referendum seems to be the elixir of revolution these days) that will end a cherished and, I would say, necessary institition.

God save The Queen!

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

St Spyridon...


St Spyridon is the patron saint of Corfu. While this photo was taken on another island (Ithaka), here he is shewn with two other saints dear to the Greeks, St Gerasimos of Kefalonia (in the middle) and St Dionysos (on the left), whom I've never heard of.

The Nativity fast is on hold for the day as I share Saturnalia with my family. I suppose the consolation is that I have come down with a terrible cold that started over a week ago and won't go away. At least that limits my appetite!

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Ideas...


I'll return to my post on liturgical reform some time this week. In the meanwhile, a few thoughts on the new political landscape of this (present) United Kingdom.

For the moment, for the moment mind you, I welcome the result of the 2019 General Election. I voted Conservative. I have no particular liking for the Conservative Party; in fact I have long expressed a desire that it collapses and is replaced by a political party that is actually socially, culturally and economically conservative and patriotic, a position in mainstream politics that is distinctly lacking. Nonetheless, I voted Tory to break the deadlock of yet another hung Parliament. I have some regrets about the election. I'm sorry that the SNP are still in power in Scotland. They are the mirror image of Sinn Féin minus the obvious connexion to a terrorist organisation; every bit as strident and arrogant, and the champion of every left-wing reactionary cause you care to name. In that sense, I would have welcomed a resurgence in support for the Labour Party in Scotland (if only to shut her up) but under Mr Corbyn that just wasn't going to happen. And now we're seeing yet more demands for an independence referendum. I have every confidence that Mr Johnson, as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, will flatly refuse to entertain such treasonous nonsense a mere five years after the last one. I also regret the triumph of Sinn Féin at the expense of the Unionist tradition. I imagine a border poll will be on the table in the coming years.

My other regrets are the two former Labour-held constituencies of Don Valley and Bolsover turning blue. Caroline Flint, the former member for Don Valley, was that rare thing in the Labour Party; a politician who was in touch with the feelings of her constituents, particularly with regard to Brexit. In fact, I wrote to her in October and praised her rightful criticism of the Letwin Amendment. As for the "beast of Bolsover," the would-have-been Father of the House Mr Dennis Skinner, it's a sorry and ironic end for so principled a parliamentarian. There was a man who campaigned his entire life, even after the emergence of New Labour, for our seccession from what he called the "lousy club" of the European Union. His constituents clearly felt the same but had no confidence in the Labour Party. That is the crucial point. People don't vote for MP's, they vote for Parties; it's a tradition that goes back to Disraeli and Gladstone and it's the only way our Parliament can work. All this new stuff about the independence of MP's, epitomised by that awful John Bercow (like Letwin, another Jew), has done nothing but frustrate the democratically-expressed will of the British people where MP's have defied the whips. Mr Johnson was reviled in the [social] media as a Machiavellian tyrant for "purging" the Conservative Party of dissidents. What did he do but restore party discipline? Good riddance, I say.

Of course, there are other MP's I'm certainly not sorry to see go, Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna in particular. I would like to have seen Yvette Cooper, Stella Creasy and Stephen Kinnock join them as well but one can't have everything, I suppose. These politicians have the distinction of making me very angry whenever they speak, and I don't just mean mild irritance, I mean the sort of quivering rage you'd expect from Greta Thunberg. Soubry is an elitist with an air of fishwife or battleaxe woman (remember Peggy Mount?). The morning after the 2016 Referendum she was on BBC news outside Parliament bewailing the result as the worst day of her life. Now, I can understand the conviction that our continued EU membership is stabling and pragmatic but I've always seen her kind of Eurofanaticism as a strange disease that needs stamping out so her reaction thereto was rather pathetic. Stella Creasy, aged 44, made her speech on election night holding a two month old baby. That's a supreme irony given her aggressive support for "reproductive rights" (or "termination," another euphemism the left have invented for child murder), particularly her, in my view, unconstitutional, intervention into the holy province of Ulster. But then, it's not ironic. She'd rather have a masculine career and let nannies bring her children up. What better way to instill the kind of detached, contemptuous intellectual worldview of the left into the next generation? Cooper and Umunna are just Blairites, but as for the Kinnocks. As far as I'm concerned the name "Kinnock" is mud. I'm not against the Opposition, as such, but I'd rather it were filled with men like Tony Benn and Michael Foot, men of integrity, education and some class as opposed to the dregs there now.

The Conservative Party has a lot of, probably irreformable, problems. Hence my desire for its implosion and replacement by something else, but what should we say of the Labour Party? I think they have too many ideas. In fact, I would say that an explosion of ideas has been the root cause of much of the resentment and polarisation of recent times, a lately-occurring symptom of the 1960's revolutions. Too much liberty is also clearly a problem. Where people have no cultural or moral constraints, they're free to start thinking about things. Combined with universal suffrage, and the right to freedom of assembly and protest, and you have a dangerous mix. It was Quentin Crisp, of all people, who observed this in 1981. It sounds better spoken but he said: "wherever I look, people are not singing, they're shouting; they're not dancing, they're marching; they are not rejoicing, they are complaining." Compare the Scottish National Party; like a broken record, all you hear out of them is shrill cries of "against our will," and "mandate for another independence referendum." They don't strike me as particularly happy people. But to come back to the Labour Party, they have very dangerous ideas based on worldly utopianism and the creation of equality in this life. To some extent, those ideas have infiltrated every institution in the west but it's too obviously on display in the Labour Party. Hard as this may be for the metropolitan elite to believe, working class people aren't stupid. They also tend to be more patriotic, so when a white British man sees a Labour Party billboard in Hackney, saying that they will put black and ethnic minority families first to preserve racial diversity (that was masterminded by Diane Abbott, photographed on Thursday wearing two left shoes), or takes exception to the sneering of Emily Thornberry at a white van parked outside a council house draped in England flags, why on earth should he vote Labour?

The face of modern Labour. Should there be calls for repatriation of these people? I'm not racist but I find ideas like this totally repugnant and insidious.

Mrs (or Ms, whatever) Thornberry was laughed to scorn on BBC Question Time some weeks ago for her party's ridiculous position on Brexit. She also once said that if you believed in the ideas of international socialism then you'd best vote Labour.

The average voter is not a Marxist, or a socialist or a libertarian. In fact, the average voter doesn't have ideas. He's a mechanic with a mortgage and wants to sit at home watching football with a bottle of cheap lager (there's my snobbery anyway!). Salt of the earth! However, he does want to have a voice in Parliament, and the Labour Party has largely abandoned him. Having abandoned the majority, they have gone whoring after the strange gods of minority groups and the radical left. I don't think that the parallels are exact but it reminds me of the Democratic Party in the United States. Mrs Clinton's election campaign was marked by perpetual courting of Hispanics and homosexuals. These things don't endear them to the working man, who, as I said, doesn't have ideas.

These are early days yet. Who knows what way Mr Johnson will steer the nation. He has already said that he needs the Remain camp to help organise Brexit. That doesn't bode well, but we shall see. Perhaps he will return to the kind of centrism he displayed as Mayor of London. Who knows but I imagine that I shall come to regret my vote soon enough. What do you think?

Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Novus Ordo at 50...

So the "apostolic" constitution Missale Romanum reached a milestone anniversary yesterday. We've seen the tradunculi all over the Internet marking the anniversary with predictable contempt (see Peter Kwasniewski here, and Fr John Hunwicke here). I'm not going to discuss the hypocrisy of their entire position, which I have discussed at length in the past and about which I profess total carelessness now. I'll let Fr H.A. Reinhold do that for me:



These are cold facts, presented in black and white for anybody interested in a more or less non-partisan liturgical history. Incidentally, Reinhold's book is dedicated to Pius XII as renewer ("instauratori") of the sacred liturgy. From my perspective, that's like dedicating a study of the Irish Confederacy to Oliver Cromwell as renewer of Anglo-Irish relations!

We know that Pius XII, in his position, not as senex infirmans but as sacrae liturgiae instaurator, was kept well-informed about the progress of the liturgical conferences and took an interest in the conclusions thereof. We also know that many, if not most, of the participants took some part in the comprehensive reforms that took place in the 1960's. What am I saying? I'm long past making points but I suppose this is a dig at the position that there was no reform before Vatican II and that Sacrosanctum Concilium was hijacked by a bunch of German reprobates. My position is therefore non-partisan and intellectual. The reforms that culminated in the promulgation of the Novus Ordo, whether they were good or bad (I think many of them were good!), took place in the way that they did for a variety of interpenetrating historical, cultural, linguistic, theological, pastoral and, let's face it, political reasons. Some of the reforms were intelligible. Latin obviously had to go. I know it's touching reading how the ploughman learned his Pater Noster but except in Italy or Spain, where Latin has the position of a hieratic language (akin to Church Slavonic in Russia), Latin is incomprehensible to most people, especially in these primitive days in which Latin is no longer taught in most schools. The argument that Latin, being the universal language of the Church, is a unifying principle is an indefensible one and akin to the story of Babel.

What else? Provision for High Mass without a Subdeacon was also a wise reform. We've all seen this:


Looks rather grandiose, doesn't it. All those assistant bishops, Uniate deacons, the various mitres and tiaras on the altar; Enrico Dante (the papal Master of Ceremonies) kneeling at the north end (remember the papal basilicas face west), &c. But Sunday Mass in a typical parish was pretty humdrum and a missa cantata at best. Perhaps things were different in Italy but certainly in Britain low Mass was the norm. Now, low Mass is an unquestionable liturgical abuse. That has been my unswerving position for many years and it is the official position of the Orthodox Church, in which the phenomenon is entirely unknown and in which the ancient custom of concelebration (so sneered at by the tradunculi) is maintained. Low Mass came about by a combination of theological debate, monastic decadence (too many priests), and was never intended to be a public celebration. The Missal of Pius V was the first to contain precise rubrics for the celebration of low Mass, presumably because the custom had got out of hand and wasn't seen as all that bad anyway (or at any rate as the least offensive of the mediaeval attenuations reconcilable to the contemporary Roman position on the Eucharist). In tandem with this is the view of the Roman Communion of the Subdiaconate as a major order, rather than a minor order. If bishops had simply ordained dedicated, pious men as Subdeacons things might have turned out differently in a lot of parishes. But I'm forgetting my O'Connell. His view was that Deacons and Subdeacons simply enhanced the dignity of a celebration of Mass, not that those ancient, apostolic orders had an integral part of their own to play independent of the celebrating priest.

I could go on. If you'd like me to expand on these hastily-written thoughts, please let me know in the comments. I'll conclude this bald post by making the observation that liturgical reform in the Roman Rite by 1962 was badly needed. A sure indication that things had gone awry in the first place. There is no pinpoint year. Gregory II's abolition of the aliturgical days in Lent is the first recognisable departure from the erstwhile Orthodox liturgical position. But the tradunculi blame everything on the Council. My position is that the Council was a modifying and beneficial influence and that had the popes had their way the present state of the Roman Rite would be much worse. What do you think?

I am grateful to an old friend for sending me the appendices for Reinhold. He needn't have done so, as I own the book, but we were discussing it over a very pleasant lunch on Thursday and his sending them rekindled my burnt-out interest in Latin liturgical reform. I was also reading the Eclogues on Saturday. I haven't done any strenuous Latin for a long time so it was nice to dust off my Lewis & Short and sit down with a pen and paper.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Ordo 2020...


The liturgical ordo published by the Saint Lawrence Press for the Year of Our LORD 2020 is now available to order. I encourage you to support the work of the Saint Lawrence Press by buying the ordo. It gives a thorough presentation of the temporal and sanctoral cycles in the Roman Rite before the reforms of Pius XII. Go over and buy it now!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Monkhood...


I have known two monks in my life, both members of the Catholic Order of St Benedict. The first, young Christopher, was a rather frivolous man whose failure at the vocation I saw before he did. I think he now works as a fry cook. The next was Matthew, whom I knew at Heythrop. Matthew was a general practitioner who gave up worldly success in medicine for the strict observance. He'd be about 50 now, but he was closer to my age when I knew him. I didn't know him well but I was disappointed when I heard that he'd failed because outwardly he seemed very suitable. I vividly remember watching him as he observed five minutes of silence at the railway station. His eyes were distant but he seemed in every other respect present. I became envious because silence seemed to me to be an unattainable ideal. I fidget a lot, with autistic habits (picking at hangnails, bruxism, cracking my joints, &c), and while I suppose I can detach from material things and simply not engage in conscious thought, I never could achieve what I consider to be true silence. It is not just the absence of sound!

I'm sure to discuss these things with my Bishop in the weeks to come but Fr Andrew is not the first to suggest that I should become a monk. See the comments on my old blog here. Another friend, when I suggested the idea, said "yes, yes, of course!" It was a very emphatic yes too. My grandmother always said that one day I'd be a priest. I don't suppose she ever had an experience of monasticism, though.

Now let me tell you why, far from sneering at them, I would be just like Matthew and Christopher. I have few material things (besides my precious books) to renounce in the first place; I have no worldly success; indeed, on the face of it, monasticism would be my material salvation more than my eternal! I have no passable skill to offer a monastery; I am practically useless; I don't think I can sing. Failure has been my principal success to date, and there's no reason to believe that I wouldn't fail at monkhood. St Tikhon of Moscow was destined to be a monk, and this was apparent to his contemporaries when he was at school. With me, it seems that people just want to lock me away as a nuisance and eccentric as opposed to divining in me something palpably holy. I'm not a saint; I'm an ordinary backslider who eats and drinks too much, and loses his temper. I suppose that exchanging my present lot for the sweet labour of God's vineyard would be good in principle, but is understanding that enough? I have my doubts.

I also feel a sense of obligation to my father. With my mother's health the way it is, he has confided in me his fears of giving up and becoming a tramp. I think he exaggerates a bit there but even my mother said, in a cryptic reference to her mortality, that he doesn't even know how to change his bedding. These are the things that go around my mind as I try to come to a decision. But I'm getting ahead of myself, having yet to arrange to meet my Bishop. He's over the sea in the Evil Empire at the moment but I shall call him on his return.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

The steam has gone out...


For those of you dwindling faithful who still make the occasional appearance here, I thank you sincerely for your dedication! But I fear that the steam has gone out. What little I had to say in the ten years and more since I started blogging, I think I have said. Nobody takes me seriously! Distinguished people don't write to me asking for my advice; I am not invited to give talks at conferences or asked to pen articles for academic publications. I can go a whole week without a single e-mail these days (except routine stuff). That's a stark contrast from around 2009-2013. I think I'm happier this way. I'm slipping further and deeper into obscurity, and can say with Charles Spurgeon: "let my name perish, but let the name of the LORD Jesus Christ be glorified."

There are two things I wish to relate to you. One is that my mother is gravely ill. In the summer she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer and is presently undergoing chemical therapy treatments, which are due to conclude in December, around the time of my parents' wedding anniversary. Initially, she was resolved to refuse all treatment but she decided to go ahead with it because the look on my father's face was harrowing. Most of her hair has now fallen out and she wears a woolen hat most of the time. I have had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with her over the years. We don't see eye to eye on the most important things in life but my heart reached out to her in yearning and sorrow some weeks ago when I watched her walking to the bus stop in her red rain mac. I felt as though she had become very dear to me, and I told her that. These days I spend as much time as I can with her because the time is short. Please pray for her! Her name is Lisa and she is 58 years old.

The other is that Fr Andrew thinks that I should embrace the monastic life. He is probably right. With my unique combination of skills and personal failings I think I could just about make a passable monk. It would be a timely thing too, if my mother died. I am going to arrange a meeting with my Bishop some time in November to see what options there are, but it would undoubtedly mean leaving the country. If it is right for me then it would be my salvation.

Today was the 953rd anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the prelude to the most devastating acts of cultural, religious, linguistic and legal vandalism ever visited upon this country. The only two things that come close to it were the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Beheading of King Charles ye Martyr. On this day, let us remember the pious and courageous ethno-martyrs of England, particularly the deposed King Harold, who died defending these shores from crusading Normans and their alien religion. No Popery!

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Speaking the Truth in Love...

My mother knows me better than I know myself. I once asked her, reflecting upon a friendship that had recently ended (but which I can't now remember), "why don't people like me?" Without hesitation, and seemingly without any thought whatever, she replied: "because you can't keep your mouth shut!" And this is very true. There have been people in my life, from my own sister to old friends and contemporary work colleagues, who are so repulsed by me and the thoughts in my head, and motives in expressing them, that they shun me as the Devil. They have their reasons; I have mine. I say quite openly that I am very intolerant. People simply say and do things that get on my nerves. I think the trouble comes because I am simultaneously a repressed individual and not very assertive in public (very different online!). I certainly don't like confrontation. This might be complicated by personal autistic traits; perhaps an overbearing mother? Who knows? Who cares? But I constantly find myself in situations where I deliberately explode in a spasm of pent-up self-righteousness and wrath. A recent example: two colleagues at work (a mother and daughter, actually) had been getting on my nerves for several months. Their attitude, their appearance, what they seemingly got away with (gosh, it all sounds so petty now...), &c. So what did I do? Did I confront them to their faces? Of course not. I waited until they were on holiday and then blurted out at a team meeting my opinion of them in a very unprofessional way and lambasted the management team for not doing anything about them. At the subsequent mediation (I've had so many of those...) they both swore they'd never speak to me again, which they haven't. From my perspective, I've lost nothing. I didn't like them anyway, and certainly didn't need them for anything. I have just successfully ditched some deadwood. The consolation being that I no longer have to pretend to like them. Having said that, it doesn't make for a comfortable work environment.

My latest post (published on 6th October 2019, false style), which I have had to remove because I was threatened with legal action, is another example. I won't say anything more about it.

St Elizabeth Feodorovna, pray to God for me.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Pope Francis and the migrants...

Pope Francis is not a force for good in this world. Questions of theology and monstrous pretense aside, I would say that he is actually a force for evil and should be removed and gagged. In a special Mass "for migrants" in St Peter's on 8th July (conspicuously closed to the general public), the pope once again came to the defence of illegal immigrants and railed against the Italian government for defending its borders. You can read the brief article here.

There's something very wrong with Francis' attitude towards migrants. These people make a conscious choice to face the perils of the sea, and pay large sums of money to cynical shipmen, who are no better than pirates, and ferry them in unseaworthy boats. These people then have the audacity to illegally enter a sovereign state and expect to be housed, fed, given jobs and other handouts because of some bogus "human rights" theory. Statistically, many of them are responsible for violent crime and fraud. It’s the same along the US-Mexican border. I sometimes wonder what Pope Benedict XVI's view would be, were he still Pope. I also sometimes wonder whether his resignation was timed for this, and that the United States and the European Union wanted a more left-wing Pope to be their oracle in this crisis.

If there were any surety that the migrants would return to their country of origin after a brief stay, then maybe people would be more open to receiving them. As it is, we've all suffered the effects of mass immigration since the 1960's, and an unprecedented demographic and cultural revolution as a direct result. Do we really want more of it? If not, then pope Francis can sod off with all this soppy mush. It has very little to do with the doctrines of Christianity and his silly rhetoric seems more political than theological to me. Francis says: "The weakest and most vulnerable must be helped"; well, why should that be a violent youth from Sudan or Nigeria who has come here to rape our women and make multiple benefit claims, becoming a burden on the state? Are there not enough weak and vulnerable people already present to our senses here? My heart is shut! These people pose an ethnic and cultural threat to us. They should all be rounded up and sent back from whence they came.