So far as the politics of our debased republic go, the mid-twentieth century quarrel of the leftist C. Wright Mills with his liberal critics comes to mind. Said Mills by way of response to their demand for what he acidly termed “A Balanced View”: “I feel no need for, and perhaps am incapable of arranging for you, a lyric upsurge, a cheerful little pat on the moral back.”2 In our pitiable circumstance, we all, whether we’re making policy or casting votes, face nothing more immediately hopeful than prudential choices for compromised parties, positions, and politicians—which is not to say that all such options are equal. We have real choices to make. To my mind, the most urgent political action today centers on our systemic needs: protecting and promoting (negatively) the separation of powers and (positively) citizen rule. Such a stance at least will keep us, whatever our take on globalism, from succumbing to nationalist fantasies of repristinated bliss.
— Read on www.frontporchrepublic.com/2018/12/when-in-gotham/
Washington Irving has been credited with inspiring the romantic revival of Christmas in America. But does romanticizing the holiday and its trappings carry with it a moral danger? (essay by Christine Norvell)
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2018/12/home-hearth-old-christmas-washington-irving-christine-norvell.html
Ambrose of Milan, Pastor and Hymnwriter
Born in Trier in A.D. 340, Ambrose was one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church (with Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory the Great). He was a prolific author of hymns, the most common of which is Veni, Redemptor gentium (“Savior of the Nations, Come”). His name is also associated with Ambrosian Chant, the style of chanting the ancient liturgy that took hold in the province of Milan. While serving as a civil governor, Ambrose sought to bring peace among Christians in Milan who were divided into quarreling factions. When a new bishop was to be elected in 374, Ambrose addressed the crowd, and someone cried out, “Ambrose, bishop!” The entire gathering gave their support. This acclaim of Ambrose, a 34-year-old catechumen, led to his baptism on December 7, after which he was consecrated bishop of Milan. A strong defender of the faith, Ambrose convinced the Roman emperor Gratian in 379 to forbid the Arian heresy in the West. At Ambrose’s urging, Gratian’s successor, Theodosius, also publicly opposed Arianism. Ambrose died on Good Friday, April 4, 397. As a courageous doctor and musician he upheld the truth of God’s Word.
The Collect of the Day:
O God, You gave Your servant Ambrose grace to proclaim the Gospel with eloquence and power. As bishop of the great congregation of Milan, he fearlessly bore reproach for the honor of Your name. Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching and fidelity in ministering Your Word that Your people shall be partakers of the divine nature; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
And for an evening meditation to cap this very musical week of commemorations, St. Ambrose’s hymn O lux beata Trinitas (“O Trinity, Most Blessed Light,”) as set to the 16th-century German tune “O heilige Dreifaltigkeit” and translated into English by John Mason Neale:
— Rick Krueger
Greg West, at The Poached Egg, has a fascinating account of how a song from Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon album started him on a search for meaning that ultimately led to faith. Read the whole thing – it’s a nice example of how you can find evidence of God at work in the unlikeliest of places.
The Weird Thrillers Bundle, curated by Kevin J. Anderson: Just when you thought it was safe to go back to your e-reader! I’ve curated an innovative new StoryBundle, imaginative thrillers, each with a fantasy twist, some funny, some nail-biting, all enjoyable.
As always with storybundle.com, you get a lot of books and you name your own price—in this case (of strange cases!) you’ll receive 14 novels for as little as $15. A portion of the income goes directly to a wonderful charity, and the rest is split among indie authors.
— Read on storybundle.com/thriller
I’m always up for supporting Kevin J. Anderson, our greatest living sci-fi author.
Presidential libraries symbolize so much that is wrong about our present-day republic: abuse, corruption, and decadence. For my money, a presidential library is treason, bribery, and a high crime and misdemeanor. A real republican leads because he is needed. When he is done, he does not ask for a monument. (essay by Bradley Birzer)
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2015/01/presidential-libraries-treason-republic.html
[Full confession–I have a honorific from the Reagan Presidential Library, so I’m being a bit hypocritical]
If we still had a republic, we would NEVER have allowed the kind of ceremony that disgraced the very essence of the Constitution yesterday.
It’s one thing to honor a worthy man for his service, it’s another to bury him as a god-king.
Without getting into his politics, George Bush seems to have been a good father and grandfather. Certainly, his service in World War II against the Japanese imperialists was extraordinary.
But, in the end, he was just a man. And, if a republican, he should have departed as once did Cincinnatus.
President Andrew Jackson even refused a simple monument, noting that real republicans die in peace, not in stone.
Sadly, yesterday’s pageant had far more in common with Caesar than with Cicero. Disgusting and abhorrent.