The Thinking 
Housewife
 

“The Child of the Snows”

December 16, 2017

THE CHILD OF THE SNOWS
—- G.K. Chesterton

THERE is heard a hymn when the panes are dim,
And never before or again,
When the nights are strong with a darkness long,
And the dark is alive with rain.

Never we know but in sleet and in snow,
The place where the great fires are,
That the midst of the earth is a raging mirth
And the heart of the earth a star.

And at night we win to the ancient inn
Where the child in the frost is furled,
We follow the feet where all souls meet
At the inn at the end of the world.

The gods lie dead where the leaves lie red,
For the flame of the sun is flown,
The gods lie cold where the leaves lie gold,
And a Child comes forth alone.

 

Christmas Regrets

December 16, 2017

THE curtains of his bed were drawn aside, I tell you, by a hand. Not the curtains at his feet, nor the curtains at his back, but those to which his face was addressed. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you, and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow.

It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. The arms were very long and muscular; the hands the same, as if its hold were of uncommon strength. Its legs and feet, most delicately formed, were, like those upper members, bare. It wore a tunic of the purest white; and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand; and, in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem, had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm. Read More »

 

Mystery and Knowledge

December 15, 2017

Every mystery contains a central nucleus of truth that is comprehended, surrounded on all sides by things that we do not comprehend. Think of it as a globe of light surrounded by darkness. The man who rejects mystery is rejecting the central globe of light and accepting the impenetrable darkness. Whereas for the man who accepts it, the light grows and expands, sending longer and longer rays into the darkness around.

— Frank Sheed, The Map of Life

 

An Advent Hymn

December 15, 2017

 

 

In Praise of Glory

December 14, 2017

Herein lies, however, for millions of souls, the supreme temptation because they live in a world where the word “glory” has become almost meaningless. It still exists in the dictionaries, it is still used at times in familiar language – for example, in the names of cities, streets or hotels, or on cigar labels like Glória de Cuba. Other than this, it could almost be said the word is dead. And, with its disuse comes the disappearance of other words related to it: honor, prestige, decorum … 

It would be interesting to read a newspaper from 100 years ago to see the role that these values had, then, among people, families, social groups or nations. Today, one opens a newspaper and usually reads about men joining together or fighting for other reasons: exports, imports, foreign exchange, tariffs and the like. 

— Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, 1959

 

Snow Artistry

December 14, 2017

 

Silent Night, George Sotter; 1932

SNOW falls on the good and the wicked.

It falls on the proud and the humble, the arrogant and the shy, the successful and the incompetent, the rich and the indebted.

Snow is undiscriminating. It lands on the heads of snow lovers and snow haters. An invisible painter, working only in white, reaches out with his brush. He dabbles on the car, on gloves, on the wings of chickadees, on industrial wastelands. He erases the outlines of the world with his dissolving medium. John Ruskin, the 19th century art critic, wrote, “Pictures of winter scenery are nearly as common as moonlights, and are usually executed by the same order of artists, that is to say, the most incapable.” Perhaps, but who can compete with the original artist?

Emily Dickinson explains:

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, —
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —
The summer’s empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, —
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

We cannot hold up our hands and stop it from falling. We — and the roof over our heads — are part of the canvas.

 

An Advent Chant

December 13, 2017

 

COME, thou Redeemer of the earth,
and manifest thy virgin-birth:
let every age adoring fall;
such birth befits the God of all.

 

White Self-Persecution Syndrome

December 13, 2017

EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE devours its own as searing white guilt destroys any semblance of rational debate.

Read More »

 

Tolerant Canada

December 13, 2017

 

MARY WAGNER was dragged out of an abortion clinic in Toronto on Saturday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Lifesite News reports:

She carried red roses. Attached to each was a model of a 10-week-old unborn baby, a card with contact information for the Sisters of Life, and another that read: “You can choose life for your baby. Love will find a way.” Her companion, Immolatia, carried a poster with the same message.

 

The Menorah and the Christmas Tree

December 13, 2017

BOTH THE National Menorah, which as the largest public menorah in the world stands 30 feet tall, and the National Christmas Tree, which is also very imposing (its exact height this year is unclear), currently occupy the Ellipse outside the White House. At the base of the tree, there is also a smaller menorah and a small nativity scene. For all the fanfare about Trump being a staunch Christmas traditionalist, the tree is decorated this year in the unconventional, non-Christmas-y, presidential colors of gold and blue — in keeping with Trump’s nationalism.

The idea that these two symbols — the menorah and the tree — can be reconciled is strange.

More than strange, it is irrational. Read More »

 

Liar

December 13, 2017

AND above all else, we know this, America doesn’t worship government, we worship God. And all of us here tonight are united by the same values. We believe the United States military is the greatest force for justice in the history of the world, and we are going to take care of it, and we are going to properly fund it and we are going to have the finest weapons because when we do all of that, we are much, much safer, and far less likely to have to use them. It’s amazing how that works. Isn’t it?”

— Donald Trump [Quoted in “Trump Serves the War Gods” by Brother Nathanael Kapner]

 

The Hindu Widow

December 11, 2017

 

THOUGH the Hindu custom of sati in which a widow — even if she is still in her teens or twenties — is buried alive with her husband or burned to death on his funeral pyre was outlawed in India in 1987, the life of a Hindu widow remains one of misery and loneliness in many parts of the country. Showkat Shafi wrote in 2016:

The women often live in acute poverty and are ostracised by society due to various superstitions – even the shadow of a widow can wreak havoc and bring bad luck, people believe. Lack of education and any source of income forces them to beg on streets and many turn to prostitution for survival.

“My children threw me out of the house after my husband died,” says Manuka Dasi. “I try to earn money by singing devotional songs in temple and manage to get one meal for the day. I am just waiting to die so that I can be out of this life of misery.”

The barbaric treatment of widows is an indication of the falseness of the Hindu worldview. There is nothing even remotely comparable in Christian history.

See moving examples of Indian widows here.

 

Read More »

 

The Miseducated Girl Athlete

December 11, 2017

MANY MORE girls participate in athletics than ever before. Federal social engineering under Title IX has led to an explosion in female athletics at lower levels.

In 1972, just 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports; today, about two in five do, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. The number of women playing at the college level has skyrocketed by more than 600 percent [as of 2012]. [Source]

While returning from a conference in Florida this weekend, I noticed this phenomenon close up. The airport was filled with female high school soccer players who had been competing in a tournament nearby. The girls, with their skimpy clothes and pack behavior, seemed to be part of a primitive tribe. The softness and individuality of their faces was lost with their ugly, synthetic uniforms, messy hair, beefy muscles, and loudness.

It’s true that girl athletes are taught discipline and hard work. Parents are proud of their daughters’ athletic skills and believe that intense competition is good for them. You can’t blame them really as they are nowhere taught the truth. Many girls intensely enjoy their athletic experiences. Athletic exercise for girls is not inherently wrong. The problem is not physical activity but the level and style of competition.

Trained to be immodest, aggressive, overly competitive and overly scheduled, the girl athlete of today is deprived of the basics. She is set up for failure as a woman. Intense competition cultivates willfulness, a quality that is often disastrous for the adult woman, whose primary sphere in life requires nurturing qualities. As Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira wrote:

The feminine soul is a fountainhead of grace, delicacy and sensibility, which enriches the moral and social life of humanity with spiritual values that man does not give it. The equilibrium of mankind demands women with a rich mental structure displaying all the gifts proper to their sex, just as it demands men with profoundly virile souls. It would be absurd to educate a generation of boys in the most effeminate way possible. No less absurd would it be to educate a generation of girls with the intention of making them as masculine as possible.

A certain pedagogy of our days, however, seems to have completely forgotten this trivial truth. And, instead of forming girls for the role that they will naturally have in society, it forms them precisely as if she were a boy intended in the future to assume the weight and the responsibilities proper to men.

Girls are not meant to travel in teams or battalions the way boys are. The more athletic women become, the less of an elevating influence they are. The boyish girl athlete loses the chance to flower. She becomes a fighter, not a nurturer of individuals and a defender of beauty. Modern girl athletes bring the world down to an infra-human level. Read More »

 

The Only Perfect Woman

December 8, 2017

 

Carlo Crivelli – Madonna and Child with Saints, 1490

It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity, could not be reconciled with her undergoing the humiliation of this punishment. 

— Dom Gueranger, O.S.B., on the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which is celebrated today

 

Know Your Capital Sins

December 7, 2017

 

Trump Pays his Debts with Jerusalem

December 7, 2017

JAMES PERLOFF writes:

Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli, like his bombing Syria & upping Afghan war, shows his “MAGA” speeches were only rhetoric. [The Powers That Be] knew US military wouldn’t follow Hillary into new Middle East wars, so opted for Trump to keep endless wars & illusory left-right paradigm going.

Some relevant links:

See “Trump Gives Away Jerusalem to Settle $100m Campaign Debt” at Global Research.

Trump’s move is a “declaration of war.

Theodore Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, repeatedly promised that Jerusalem would not be included in the Jewish state.

And from The State of the Nation“Trump, himself, has literally triggered an international firestorm, the flames of which may burn down the entire Middle East.”

 

Moving to Jerusalem

December 6, 2017

SOME theories as to Trump’s motives for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a popular step:

Even the US public rejects the idea. A recent survey from the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, shows that 63 percent of Americans oppose the move, against 31 percent who back it. Democrats more strongly oppose relocation, while Republicans are almost evenly split. Read More »

 

A Novel by Charlotte Yonge

December 6, 2017

 

Charlotte Yonge

ELEANOR PARKER recently reviewed the novel Abbeychurch by the Victorian author Charlotte Yonge. Parker writes:

She was a very popular author in her day and, though little read now, she is a fascinating guide to the tastes and interests of a certain class of bright, intellectually engaged young women of the 19th century. One of those tastes is a fervent passion for history and in Abbeychurch two characters – clever, well-read girls of 16 or so – have a conversation of just the kind to catch a historian’s attention.

One is making a collection of ‘true knights’ throughout history – men who exemplify her ideal of chivalric perfection, from Alfred the Great to Philip Sidney. It is a romantic and motley collection, inspired as much by the novels of Walter Scott as by more sober works of history, but the girls discuss with real insight how far they should allow the standards of different historical periods to modify their ideal of ‘knighthood’. Is it right to include in the collection men who committed acts of cruelty which would be unacceptable in the 19th century, since the views of an earlier age were different?

These girls find their own way to a critical approach, balancing the impulse to hero worship or to condemn with an understanding of historical context and how ideas change over time.