Just before the Lord Jesus embraced His bitter Passion, He sat on the Mount of Olives with His disciples and outlined the signs of the end of the world. Almost everything He said was utterly terrifying.
From where the Lord and the disciples were sitting, they could see the enormous Temple built by King Herod the Great.
“There will not be left one stone upon another that will not be thrown down,” Christ said.
And it got worse:
“Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes, famines…” “You will be beaten in synagogues…” “Brother will hand over brother to death…” “There will be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.” “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” “Unless the Lord had shortened the days, no living creature could be saved.”
It has been a decade since a U.S.-Open Men’s Finals match went to five sets. Delpo just beat Federer in the fourth-set tiebreaker. The tall man is making Federer Federer. Very exciting…
My father, my brother, and I attended St. Albans School during some formative years of our lives. The school opened 100 years ago this fall.
I was pretty miserable at the time, but I thank God for my years at St. Albans.
I had more homework at St. Albans than I ever had in college or graduate school. The boys at the National Cathedral school were mean to each other, cruel. The cross-country coach made us run until we threw up.
But I came to understand four crucial things while I was a St.-Albans boy:
1. Being a gentleman is always its own reward.
2. The Church is as inevitable as the sun and/or moon.
3. Liberal Protestantism could not account for the truth of #1 and #2, so the discerning man looked to the Pope for clear teaching.
4. If you can write a clear sentence, you can make an impact in this world.
I wouldn’t be who I am without these precepts firmly entrenched in my mind. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to pray to God: “Vouchsafe thy blessing, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the School and upon all other works undertaken in thy fear and for thy glory,” as the St. Albans school prayer has it.
…We will discuss the court case that led America magazine to call New York Supreme Court Justice John E. McGeehan “an American, a virile and staunch American.” But first, let’s consider one of Bertrand Russell’s reasons for not being a Christian.
Russell regarded the Catholic doctrine of natural law to be irreconcilable with human freedom. He confused natural law with scientific “laws of nature.”
All just law proceeds from the Eternal Law of God for the good of everything that is subject to it. Law liberates its subject to attain fulfillment and goodness.
Creatures that do not possess intelligence are governed by the intelligence of the Creator Himself. Flowers bloom because they follow the law that the Creator inscribed in their flower-ness.
Natural laws of this kind are laws of sublime intelligence, inscribed in unintelligent nature for the good of the governed.
Intelligent creatures, on the other hand, possess the capacity for self-government. This is the natural law for man: that we govern ourselves according to reason.
This does not give us unlimited freedom. We are not, after all, unlimited beings–only God is. Our scope of freedom is determined by our human nature: we are rational animals, destined for the glory of God.
In other words, we possess the degree of freedom which is good for us. We have the freedom to do good and avoid evil. By doing good and avoiding evil, we…
1. Obey the natural law.
2. Act freely.
3. Advance toward our ultimate good.
There is no contradiction between the doctrine of natural law and the freedom of man…
It will take a few posts to cover “The Bertrand Russell Case.” So, if you would like, you can imagine James Garner’s answering machine message and sweet Pontiac Firebird as these little essays come your way…
…Bertrand Russell styled himself a philosopher, a man of relentless reason and openness to truth. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.
Half a century later, his essays read like mean-spirited hatchet jobs. He credits “religion” with only one contribution to history–standardizing the calendar. He dismisses Jesus Christ as a deluded and malicious crank–if He even existed at all.
Russell does not support his arguments with evidence, and many of his assertions are simply untrue.
On the other hand, he occasionally raises an interesting question. For instance, at the beginning of “Why I am not a Christian,” he confronts the problem of defining the term ‘Christian.’ He acknowledges that the term has been watered down, and he calls the bluff of non-dogmatic, liberal Protestants who more or less insist that a Christian is a “good person.”
Russell’s work IS offensive to pious readers. He is a propagandist of anti-Catholic prejudices and a P.R. man for Darwin and Freud. He provided a generation of “cultured despisers” of Christianity with its half-baked ideas.
When the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York appointed Russell as a professor of philosophy at City College in 1940, was it an affront to the common good? More to come on this question…
…At the Legg-Mason Tennis Classic, Del Potro and Andy are going at it in extreme heat, in front of a long-suffering crowd, including Brooklyn Decker Roddick.
Roddick looked like he had the match in hand. The tall Argentinian was wilting in the heat.
But Delpo just broke Roddick to win the second set, and now it’s anyone’s match.