Friday, September 28, 2018

The West That Could Have Been, Part 5: Spiritual Beauty

In addition to these external labors, the monk had his daily regime and personal ascetic practices.  One has but to read a little of the Irish monastic “Rules” that have come down to us to see the ascetic intensity, single-mindedness, and severity with which these monks pursued their goal.  Yet they were not pursuing asceticism as an end in itself:  they were seeking to enter into a deep relationship with the Source of all beauty and truth:  Christ God.

This Christ-centered striving directly flowered in tremendous artistic creativity.  The monks became “co-creators,” creating things beautiful because they had been fashioned in the image of Him Who is the Creator and because they had consciously developed an inner likeness to the Source of all that is, both heavenly and earthly.  This can be seen in the carved Celtic crosses, manuscript illuminations, the beautiful “Litanies” and poems that have come down to us, but, most clearly of all, in the “Lives” of these saints.  It is this spiritual beauty that today attracts the soul of Westerners.

--Monk Nicodemus, Saint Herman Calendar 2001: Saints of Scotland, Platina, Cal., p. 3


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Offsite Post: ‘Religious Freedom as Geopolitical Weapon’

The [u]nited States Department of State held its first ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom on July 24-26, 2018.  Evangelical Protestants in the States are hailing this as an historic moment:

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence hosted the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom last week at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination and to protect religious freedom around the world. This was a historic first for any country in the world, and representatives of international organizations from over 80 countries attended.

Vice President Pence delivered the keynote address which stressed the importance of international religious freedom and its role in American foreign policy. Pence said, “The right to believe or not believe is the most fundamental of freedoms. When religious freedom is denied or destroyed, we know that other freedoms are imperiled. That’s why the United States stands for religious freedom yesterday, today and always.” Pence also announced the establishment of the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program in response to genocide perpetrated by ISIS to “ensure that religious freedom and religious pluralism prosper across the Middle East as well.”

It all sounds very noble, but what does this signify?  It means that religious freedom will now be a very visible weapon in the hands of the globalists in Washington City to destroy the cohesion of traditional societies around the world for the purpose of creating more vassals for themselves.  For a shared religion is at the very heart of national identity: 

 . . . In an article written in 1970, and entitled "Three Attitudes to the Homeland", the Russian Slavophile Vladimir Osipov proposes the following set of criteria: "What is a nation? Faith, blood, language and the land. Religion, and even a certain complex of rites, are a part - indeed, the most important part - of the spirit of a nation. An individual person can get by without religion. But without religion, an individual nation cannot survive as a nation... A people disintegrates literally before one's eyes when faith in God disintegrates..."

 . . . as a nation begins to lose its faith, the keeping of the traditions, and the preservation of the spiritual unity of the nation in and through the traditions, will come to seem less important than the fulfilling of the needs of the individual citizens. And at that point, as has happened in the history of almost all the European nations, the opportunity arises for an antimonarchical, democratic revolution. For democracy, as we have seen, is oriented to the needs of the individual as opposed to society as a whole, and of the individual as a materialistic consumer as opposed to the individual as a member of the people of God.

--Vladimir Moss, Religion and Nationalism, pgs. 98, 99,

Take away a people’s ability to regulate their common national religious life in favor of an abstract, internationally sanctioned and supervised, individual right to ‘believe or not believe’ in God and so forth, and you have hollowed out one of the greatest bulwarks against the globalized, uprooted, mass man there is.  But this is directly where the State Dept. is heading with its ‘Potomac Declaration’ issued on the final day of the Ministerial (26 July).  It reads in part,

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims in Article 18 that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” The freedom to live out one’s faith is a God-given human right that belongs to everyone. The freedom to seek the divine and act accordingly—including the right of an individual to act consistently with his or her conscience—is at the heart of the human experience. Governments cannot justly take it away. Rather, every nation shares the solemn responsibility to defend and protect religious freedom.

 . . .


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The West That Could Have Been, Part 4: Monasteries as Leading Cultural Centers

At times some of the monks living together in the same community dwelt in solitude, while others lived in small groups of two or three, alternating periods of solitude with periods of communal life (liturgical prayer, meals, and spiritual instruction) under the spiritual guidance of the monastery’s elder. Others lived in succession within the different forms of monastic life, moving from coenobitism to eremitc life and back. Such were St. Elias the Younger, St. Vitalius of Castronovo, and St. Nilus the Younger. There were generally no fixed rules governing the details of daily life. The community was centered around their elder, who often lived apart.

While during the ninth century the level of education among the monastics was not high, this gradually changed in the tenth century. Monks then began to study and copy various manuscripts, among which were liturgical and scriptural texts, Greek patristic works (such as those of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, and St. Theodore the Studite), and the Lives of various saints of the East. Few of their written commentaries were local in origin; most were the works of the Holy Fathers. However, by the end of the tenth century an abundance of hagiographical material, as well as hymnography, began to appear.

The Italo-Greek monastics played an important part in both the civil and ecclesiastical life of that era. They had a great rapport with the local people, who would come to them for prayers, blessings, counsel, and other kinds of help. This in turn gave them great freedom in dealing with both civil and Church authorities, who as a result interfered little with the life of the monasteries. Rather, bishops and civil leaders often came to the monastics for spiritual guidance. The monks also exercised a prophetic role in dealing with secular authorities, admonishing them for wrongs committed and defending those wrongfully accused or excessively punished by them.

Finally, the coenobitic monks greatly affected their immediate environment by their assistance in the formation of rural settlements and communities. This occurred when monastic communities began to clear the land around their monasteries to make it arable. By cultivating the land they not only provided their own sustenance but attracted the local peasants, who helped them in their work and eventually settled nearby. The land became more productive and drew other local people, and so previously uninhabited areas became settled. A movement of this type was repeated in Northern Russia from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries.

--Saint Herman Calendar 2007: Saints of Southern Italy, Platina, Cal.,


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!