Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eight Years a Tertiary

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31st marks the eighth anniversary of my profession to the 3rd Order of the SSPX, Deo gratias. Being a Tertiary involves keeping the Rule of the Third Order, which is an aid to personal sanctification and a means of making oneself better fit to assist the priests and religious of the SSPX in their mission To Restore All Things in Christ.

The Rule includes morning and evening prayers, daily spiritual reading, daily attendance at Mass or – when that is not possible – meditation, daily Rosary, Confession twice a month, and a retreat every two years. On the negative side, Tertiaries are obliged to abstain from habitually watching television.

This last one is often a show-stopper for a number of people considering entering the Third Order. Give up television? Isn’t that pretty strong?

Indeed. Television shows these days are created by closed-minded people who are sadly infected with militant liberalism and modernism. The most reasonable solution is to turn off the box.

I'm showing restraint; gross distortion is the hallmark of the other side of the debate on this subject. Consider: recently a legal consultant in Los Angeles named Ben Shapiro – see http://benjaminshapiro.com/
– taped 39 interviews with TV industry executives, producers, and writers about whether they think there is a pro-liberal, anti-conservative bias in Hollywood. The answers were vehemently in the affirmative -- the interviewees were proud that Hollywood is an overwhelmingly left-leaning town. Shapiro’s book on the topic was released last Tuesday, and the videos (for those with the stomach to watch them – this crowd is fond of vulgar, coarse, and abusive language) are being made available over the next several weeks. Here’s a sampling of what Shapiro recorded.

* Vin Di Bona, who produced MacGyver and America’s Funniest Home Videos, said of the lack of political diversity in Hollywood: “I’m happy about it.”

* Leonard Goldberg - executive producer for the show Blue Bloods and former executive producer of Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, and Starsky and Hutch, said that liberalism in the TV industry is “100% dominant, and anyone who denies it is kidding, or not telling the truth.” When asked if being politically conservative is a barrier to entry in the industry, Goldberg replied, “absolutely.”

* Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg said that he tried to make Republican character Alex the bad guy, but nobody could hate actor Michael J. Fox.

* Conservative critics, according to Soap and Golden Girls creator Susan Harris, are “idiots” with “medieval minds.”

* Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said that she “put together a staff of mostly liberal people” to create the show.

* COPS bad-boy creator John Langley said he deliberately shows more episodes of white people involved in crime than is statistically valid.

* Producer-director Nicholas Meyer, when asked whether conservatives are discriminated against in Hollywood, said, “Well, I hope so.” Meyer added that for The Day After, an ABC TV movie he directed in 1983, “My private, grandiose notion was that this movie would unseat Ronald Reagan when he ran for re-election.”

* House creator David Shore said that “there is an assumption in this town that everybody is on the left side of the spectrum, and that the few people on the right side, I think people look at them somewhat aghast, and I’m sure it doesn’t help them.”

* Fred Silverman, the former head of ABC and later NBC, said that in TV comedy today “there’s only one perspective, and it’s a very progressive perspective.”

* The advancement of a gay and lesbian political agenda is mentioned by Marcy Carsey, a producer of Soap and Roseanne, and Marc Cherry, gay Republican and producer of Desperate Housewives.

* President of the ultra-liberal MTV Networks Entertainment Group Doug Herzog said his network has “superpowers” when it comes to its influence over young people.

A number of these individuals readily showed their true colors as members of the Obama Cult. This is an even richer exposé than Bernie Goldberg's 2003 magnum opus.

This is confirmation for most folks; even the liberals I know won't be surprised by this. I mention these details merely as a preliminary to my conclusion: if you haven’t considered assisting the SSPX by becoming a Tertiary, you might consider giving it some thought – start with the information at http://sspx.org/third_order.htm. And if you have already given the matter some thought and are wavering over what to do with your television, waver no more. If you’re traditional-minded or conservative, the people who produce the shows on TV really do dislike you and want to see you humiliated and the things you cherish eradicated. They are doing you no favors; turn the switch to off when you turn the other cheek,
and free yourself of the trappings of a modernist mind-killer.

Instaurare Omnia in Christo.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Children as Accessories


A proposed bill in Congress exposes a fatal flaw in the notion of allowing for considerations of conscience in the public forum only on subjective or personal grounds.

How so? The bill would effectively ban Catholic adoption agencies by terminating considerations of religious conscience. And -- given the operating principles -- it would arguably be consistent for this to happen.

Of course it would be a chilling irony that the most effective child placement agencies would be driven out of business for the sake of conformity to a liberal ideology. And there's the fact that children are being used as pawns by self-styled social progressives to prove that they are just as good as non-progressives in caring for children.

But when selected matters of individual conscience are not afforded public recognition, and when the people whose conscience is in question accept that formulation, then they build on sand when they try to effect public policy.

As a matter of necessity, private considerations can hold sway over others only by consent. The corollary is that the considerations cease to have any import when the consent is withdrawn.

So long as everyone adheres to the same belief system, individuals can get away with playing around with profound realities of human nature and the meaning of human existence by trying to get by on shared opinion and mutual good will. The moment a serious alternative is put forth, however, all private considerations are shown the back door -- on the brutal but logically consistent grounds that one party simply does not share the opinion of the other.

The proper activities of legislatures must proceed from the establishment of proper principles grounded in the recognition of objective reality and a correct understanding of human nature. Absent these, and you have little but current mood or fancy to drive decision-making. Even precedent becomes only another convention that nobody is obliged to recognize; as one uber-liberal I used to debate put it, "I don't care what the Founding Fathers intended."

Universals exist; thus, not everything is relative. Ideas correspond to reality -- i.e. they are not all just artificial constructs of the intellect -- and a thing exists in the mind as a universal. Natures exist, and while they are encountered only in concrete individuals, the mind can learn to recognize the universals that form them -- that is why we can recognize the color yellow every place it appears, whether it is as a yellow article of clothing or a yellow street sign. Human nature is a reality, which is encountered in individual human beings, and we can learn to recognize the characteristics of this nature: e.g. among other qualities, it possess a vegetative aspect of growth, an animal aspect of movement, and a spiritual aspect of a rational intellect that is nurtured by truth, beauty, and goodness.

To bring matters back to my original point: humans are adaptable, but if you treat a human as something inhuman you destroy the person. Similarly, you do violence against a person's human nature when you try to do things like raise him in a home with poor substitutes like same-sex care-givers instead of mother and a father. Children need a mother and father who show both the maternal and paternal aspects of the Divine Love; in this way a child is naturally fitted to grow in knowledge and love of his Creator. This is not a matter of private opinion; rather, this is a matter of considering the objective spiritual aspect of human nature. Further, individuals who oppose or refuse this are at war with reality itself; no right-thinking person should sit by silently when this unreality is forced on them. Or on innocent children.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Ugly Modernist Statue for Rome

A 16' tall bronze statue of Pope John Paul II has been erected at Rome's Termini train station. Dedicated on May 18, the ugly and pointless structure was immediately loathed by a staggering majority of Romans.

Deformed Statue of Pope John Paul II

The head of John Paul II appears on top of a large empty box. Though hideous, it is an accurate representation of a head at the summit of a large, empty Church body, with a dwindling clergy and deserted sanctuaries. It's the modern Church in miniature!

Friday, May 27, 2011


In this post I described how an Indian co-worker instructed me in the way to say thank you ("Dhayanwad") in India.

I told that sory this week to anoyther pair of Indian so-workers. Today Jay (full name: too difficult for me to pronounce) explained that the "Hinglish" spelling is actually "Dhanyavad

Hinglish, of course, being the blended Hindi-English structure.

Lest you think this is merely a fad, in 2005 author B.K. Mahal wrote the book, "The Queen's Hinglish." Not the stuff of Receive Pronunciation, of course, but an indication that the topic has staying power.

Oh, and "Shukriya" = "Welcome."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trinity Redux

This post describes the nature of the Blessed Trinity and includes a few implications of what the reality of Triune God means in terms of relations between the sexes. The heart of all creation is Love, of a kind that forms and sustains life.

It's worth noting that laymen such as this author ought to tread carefully when expounding on matters of dogma: a fellow with nearly everything to learn who presumes to instruct can become a blind guide leading the blind readily enough.

Let the record show, then, that everything written in the post referenced above is in accord with the constant teaching and practice of the Church. What's more, this author sought the advice of three well-formed and well-trained traditional Catholic priests to weigh in on whether the essay held inaccuracies; all three censors said it was fine.

If at any time a competent authority should give attention to the writings in that essay or to any others on the entire Maps, Keys, and Clocks blog and find them wanting, this author protests that these writings are merely the efforts of a traditional Catholic layman to describe in inadequate terms his ruminations on living an integrated Catholic life in a modern milieu, and that no harm to the Faith has ever been intended; further, the author readily submits to the sound judgment of Holy Mother Church, and surrenders any opinion expressed or implied that is false, dangerous, rash, contrary to sound and true doctrine, or ruinous to souls.

And if any incompetent individual should care to offer an opinion on the topics described in this blog, let him know that this author's traditional Catholic colleagues once dubbed him "Hammer of Heretics." You've now received your fair notice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

English Bishops Reinstate Meatless Fridays

Source - ZENIT

From the article:
* The bishops of England and Wales are re-establishing the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays.

* From the bishops: It is "important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance."

* The date for the re-establishment of meatless Fridays is Sept. 16.

Read more at http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Catholic-Church/Events/Bishops-Conference-May-2011

It's a start. They've actually only reminded the faithful of the rule already on the books: abstain from meat on Fridays, or perform some other act of penance to be prescribed by the Bishop's Conference. The rule had been neglected, however; this announcement brings the matter back to the attention of the man in the pews.

Nay-sayers, Socialists, and other people of bad faith will say that with so many problems in the Church today, the Bishops should turn their attention to something more significant. A sufficient response to this kind of nonsense is that every chance should be seized on to remedy the damage caused by nay-sayers, Socialists, and other people of bad faith who have been wrecking the Church from the inside for the past century. If they don't like, they can just quit calling themselves Catholics.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Faith and Works

The other day this question came up in a discussion (I paraphrase):

"Evangelicals say that Catholics have a work-based salvation. I know that this is not true -- that it is presumptuous to say that once saved, always saved, being that a person may become a traitor. But my question is: does it sound that Catholics are working their way to heaven? What words do you say to Evangelicals when explaining the Catholic position?"

The scriptures refute this Protestant error. Consider:

James 2:17: "So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself."

James 2:26: "For even as the body without the spirit is dead: so also faith without works is dead."

Thus, if one thinks he can get to Heaven without good works, he denies the New Testament teaching.

When the Apostles talked about works not being able to save you, they were talking specifically about the ritualistic works of the Old Covenant. Thus, the old work of Circumcision does not save; it is Faith that saves.

But not a formless Faith; rather, what saves is Faith manifested in acts of adoration for the Almighty and works of charity and love of Truth and self-sacrifice for the sake of the Kingdom. That is why St. James wrote in the same epistle:

James 2:9: "You believe that there is one God. You do well: the devils also believe and tremble."

Faith or belief alone, the Scriptures tell us, is inadequate for salvation.

Our Lord Himself also warned that there would be those who professed His name but whom He will reject:

Matthew 7:22-23: "Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in your name, and cast out devils in your name, and done many miracles in your name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."

Works without Charity is condemned here, just as Faith without works is condemned elsewhere. We must have Faith to be saved, and this Faith must be manifested in works of Hope and Charity.

I Corinthians 13:13: "And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Gizmo

I am the recipient of a new birthday present: an Apple iPad.
For now I'm occupied in my spare time downloading applications for the device and configuring it for my own use. One of the first apps I installed was iBooks.
* First digital book downloaded: The Lord of the Rings
Second digital book downloaded: The Hobbit
My first personal touch, however, was to have this Latin inscription added to the reverse side:
Instaurare Omnia in Christo
Rendered in the vulgar tongue, it means, "To Restore All Things in Christ."

Qua patet orbis.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Incorrupts

A video on YouTube shows shots of 19 incorrupt saints. There are over 250 on the books; of the 19 here, I've seen numbers 1, 2, 4, and 9. Two additional ones I've seen not shown here includes Pope St. Pius V (d. 1572) and Pope St. Pius X (d. 1914), both in Rome. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbMuB3leqKQ&NR=1

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Favorite Dessert

A 20-year tawny port and a plate of mixed cheese and fruits.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two Kinds of People

"There are two kinds of people in the world," a fellow said at lunch this week. "Those who look to the past, and those who look to the future."

He'd said several things of the sort in a number of conversations, and we'd parted company on our viewpoints more than once. This was another one of those times.

"No," I interrupted as he raised an index finger to accentuate his point. "The world is divided into these two kinds of people: those who seek the truth, and those who don't care."

He and I let it go at that.