Chesterton’s Voice

Back during a time when the word kindle was a verb you would use to describe starting a fire, people would read actual hard-cover or paperback books.  Today, its a device you can use for reading books.   I don’t have a kindle.  I have an iPod, and I’ve got into buying audio books that I can download to my iPod and listen to while I drive, or while I’m puttering around at home, or even if I’m on a break at work.

The first time I read Orthodoxy I actually read it.  I bought a paperback copy of the book and read it.  It was the first book I’d ever read by G.K. Chesterton.  I don’t think I fully grasped what I was reading.  I was reading it because I heard it recommended and talked about by a Priest (now a Bishop) of the Catholic Church, Robert Barron.   I assumed from the title “Orthodoxy” that it would be a little more scholarly in structure and style than what I found, but I read through it anyway, and found it at least enjoyable even if I didn’t understand everything I read.

Today I have an audio book version narrated by John Franklyn-Robbins.  I was listening to it earlier and appreciating the work much more than I did the first time I saw the words on paper.  You don’t really realize it right away, though it seems obvious once you think about it, but the voice of the narrator is quite important to the enjoyment of the book.

John Franklyn-Robbins is the voice of G.K. Chesterton.  I can’t read Chesterton without hearing his voice.  I’ve listened to audio book versions of “Heretics”, and “What’s Wrong With the World”, both weren’t narrated by Mr. Robbins.  I thought both were good, but if I read a hard copy of a Chesterton book, like his biographical sketch of St. Francis of Assisi, I hear the voice of John Franklyn-Robbins.  It has a distinctiveness and character that just seems to scream “Chesterton!”.

Its almost like listening to a baseball game on the radio that’s being called by one of the great announcers, Harry Caray, Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, etc.  You can see and feel what’s being described through the spoken word of the narrator, even though you can’t literally see it or feel it.   You hear the voice and you just relax and nearly slip into a stupor while you imbibe the action being described as if you were there watching it yourself.

The kindle you might use to read a book today won’t start a real fire, but when you read G.K. Chesterton and you hear the voice of John Franklyn-Robbins, it could start a fire in your heart.

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Our Lady of Fatima

The apparition at Fatima is one of the great apparitions of the Catholic Church.  Our Lady revealed certain truths to three children in Portugal.

From Hilary White:

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart.” This must be done by the pope in conjunction with all the bishops of the world before 1960. If this were done, Russia would be converted and a period of peace would be given to the world. If Her requests were not granted, “Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer and various nations will be annihilated.

 

But, really, who can say it better than Archbishop Fulton Sheen?  I was going to read the Wiki entry which I heard isn’t bad as a basic introduction, but I think listening to the Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen is a better option than me trying to write 500+ words on the subject.

Our Lady of Fatima, Ora Pro Nobis.

 

 

I never knew…

You can buy personal health insurance in Canada!  The land of socialized medicine has insurance agencies that offer personal health plans.  I never realized it until today.

Last week I moved an investment from TD Canada Trust to Sun Life Financial.  Today, I was on the Sun Life website to see if I could check on my investment to see how its doing.  Just through browsing around I stumbled across a page where you can buy personal health insurance.  There’s three categories, basic, standard, and enhanced. Given my relatively young age and good health, I don’t think I need enhanced, but the basic and standard plans look pretty good, and they aren’t prohibitively expensive. The basic plan is $53/month, and the standard plan is about $75/month.

I haven’t bought coverage yet because I want to see how it compares to what I currently have through my employer, but I think it might be good to have just in case I’m out of the country, and I need emergency medical treatment.  Particularly if I’m in the United States.

Isn’t it interesting how these options aren’t talked about by politicians?  You wouldn’t want word to get out that you can buy your own private insurance, even though health care delivery  is still a near-government monopoly.

What is Alt-Right?

The term or phrase “alt-right” which I presume is shorthand for right wing alternative has been used a lot since the U.S. Presidential campaign that elected Donald Trump. What does it actually mean?

In Canada there isn’t room in public life for people with an openly religious perspective on politics.  Right now there’s one or two candidates for the Conservative Party leadership who are openly religious, and take stances based on religious convictions.  I support one of them.  His name is Brad Trost.   I can see the day coming when people like Brad Trost simply won’t be welcome in the “modern” Conservative Party.  Opposing abortion and even more so opposing homosexuality and so-called same-sex “marriage” is going to result in social conservatives being marginalized or tossed out of the Party all together.

I would propose that the term alt-right is eventually going to stand for all religious conservatives.  All the traditional Canadians (or Americans, Europeans, etc) who are worried about the future of their society and their communities, and don’t want them over-run by globalist, culturally Marxist elites who want to superficially eliminate all meaningful differences between peoples.

Real community requires commonly held values and mores that govern social behaviour, not just laws that dictate what you can say or do based on the feelings of your neighbour.  Our immigration levels combined with increasing secularization is eroding the common values that previously held our communities together.   Its unfortunate if it upsets people, but communities can’t be held together by government.

In the end this isn’t a problem that will be solved through government action.  It will likely be solved through something like the Benedict option.  St. Benedict is the founder of a religious order, and author of what he called “The Rule of St. Benedict” which was the rule that people lived by within his communities.

 

 

Oh, Good Grief.

It is just a rumour thus far, but this is ridiculous.  I want to remain charitable and faithful to the One, True Catholic Church, and I don’t want to just vent and gnash my teeth in response to the obvious undermining, or worse fracturing of the Catholic Church, but this is…goodness gracious.

Sweet baby Jesus have mercy.  Tell me it isn’t true.

Pope Francis, it is reported, accepted the Commission’s recommendation, apparently in contradiction to the Congregation’s determination. [I can believe that.  Card. Müller must be going crazy.]

However, the Holy Father determined that, while the ordination of women to the diaconate could, in fact, go forward, it would at first be conferred in the “internal forum”.  [Behold, the fruits of Amoris laetitia!  But… why not?  If penitents who are not really penitents can, according to their own consciences, be admitted to the sacraments of Penance and to the Eucharist, then why not ordination?  More and more people claim that conscience is supreme.]

 

We need clear blue water.

Sorry, its not a post about our water quality which deserves a post for itself.  This is about the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race.  I want to share an interview that was done by Mark Steyn with Maxime Bernier.

Affectionately known as “Mad Max” by some of his supporters, he’s running a principled campaign based on mostly fiscal ideas that some people would label “Republican”, “laissez faire”, “trickle down economics”, or something like that.  In his own words, his campaign is about freedom, personal responsibility, fairness, and respect.

If you want the government out of your life, and you want to pay less tax, and be more responsible for your welfare, then Max Bernier is your guy.  He won’t rank at the top of my ballot for reasons to do with life and marriage (stop marching in Pride parades Max!!), but he’ll be close!!

As I said in the title, and as Mark Steyn said at the end of the interview, keep putting clear blue water between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party of Canada.  We’re never going to accomplish anything by trying to out-liberal the Liberal Party.

Budget Day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of deficits and debt.  Both the federal government in Ottawa and the provincial government in Saskatchewan are running larger than predicted deficits.  To the credit of the Saskatchewan Party, the provincial government is taking steps to address the issue and bring the budget back to balance.  The feds on the other hand are continuing to ignore the looming fiscal cliff because apparently a few extra billions in spending right now is what we need to prepare for the retirement of the baby boomer generation, and a much small workforce over the next twenty years.

The SK government unveiled a plan to increase a whole host of taxes (PST by 1 point, property taxes (education portion), and sin taxes (taxes on beer, wine, spirits, and cigarettes), and end a series of PST exemptions in order to raise the revenue to balance the budget.  I’m surprised that the PST will now be applicable to children’s clothing.  I thought if there was one exemption that would stay, that would be it.

This budget really seems to hammer home the reality that there’s no significant appetite for making the government smaller at either level of government.  Canadians – in Saskatchewan and elsewhere – seem to really love their government programs.  A right wing party (the Saskatchewan Party) has authored what normally would be called an NDP budget, the only difference is that there’s no new spending.  We need serious root and branch reforms to our health care and education systems.  Its not good enough to just reorganize the administration of these programs.  The programs need to be altered fundamentally.  It’d be nice to have two clear choices in an election and to have some clear blue living sky between them on the issues that really matter.

Its time to take on the tough challenges and start having the courage of our convictions.  The Federal Liberal Party won a majority government by running to the left, let me repeat that, to the left of the NDP.  I think Conservatives should stop settling for a slightly right of left of centre party, and be a genuinely conservative party again.