I wonder at times why I continue to maintain this blog. I thought, when I set it up, that it would be a continuation of the previous polemical blog over at Liturgiae Causa. That was set up in defiance of manifest charlatanry and was for long the forum for me and others to discuss all the tired and bogus arguments surrounding Rome’s liturgical history relative to its present situation. I profess no more interest in those questions or putative solutions to them, even if there were any, and I am too much of a novice in my new faith to speak with authority about it; still less am I a patristics scholar or theologian. I set this place up more to just let people know that I was still alive, and I suppose that vainly I missed being a “voice” out there. But I don’t anymore. It occurred to me soon after the first few posts here that I had nothing left to say. “Blogging,” which started for me in 2008, was very much the manifestation of “Patricius,” a person reminiscent of my new self but myself no longer. Sort of like what one of my old tutors at Heythrop said to me about a chapter in a book he had written thirty years ago with which he no longer agreed. My whole world view has undergone a profound change. I am therefore giving serious thought to just packing it all in. Readership has haemorrhaged, perhaps because I don’t write anything of substance these days, but undoubtedly because I have offended people with my views or with silence. If you care to know, I feel as if I have become stopped clock!
In any case, I have more important things to do for the Church of Christ than to commit myself to the frivolity and futility of this stuff. The LORD’s work, in fact; such as finding a suitable new church for mission work in the area. I wonder if, years from now when I look back on my blogging years, I’ll ask myself what on earth possessed me to take it up in the first place? But perhaps I am asking myself that already.
I wish you all the temporal and spiritual blessings in the manifestation of Christ to the world on this feast of the Theophany. As ever, Pravoslavie has some interesting stuff to look at.
Pravoslavie.com is a useful resource for Orthodox news, theology and traditions. In the spirit of the Christmass season, here are some Orthodox carols.
I wish you all a very happy and holy Christmass. Christ is born according to the flesh in Bethlehem! Alleluia! In token of this dearest of feasts, a few words from one of the most eloquent of the Orthodox Bishops of Old Rome, St Leo the Great:
Nativitas carnis manifestatio est humanae naturae; partus Virginis divinae est virtutis indicium. Infantia parvuli ostenditur humilitate cunarum: magnitudo Altissimi declaratur vocibus Angelorum. Similis est rudimentis hominum, quem Herodes impie molitur occidere; sed Dominus est omnium quem Magi gaudent suppliciter adorare.
O, when East and West spoke with one voice…
I can’t help but include this. I taped Carols from King’s when it was broadcast two weeks ago and shall watch it to-morrow with a mince pie and port. In the meantime, this is without doubt my favourite rendering of that antient carol In Dulci Iubilo. O that we were there! Merry Christmass!
This new book by Douglas Murray looks interesting. (Thanks to John of Ad Orientem for highlighting this). Or it could be another eloquent piece of pseudo-profundity, describing water to a drowning man. That’s the trouble with many on the political “right,” particularly neo-conservatives like Murray. They bemoan many of the things that do enormous damage to our way of life and yet fail to grasp the hypocrisy of their position. For example, they like to point out the decline in Christian faith in Western countries and yet most of them are not practitioners of religion at all. My secular parents often complain about encroachments upon the Christian values of this country and yet they see my faith as a kind of eccentricity. They don’t read The Bible, they don’t go to church, they don’t fast; and they think that people who do are rather weird. The question of immigration is also a hypocritical one. All these comfortable baby-boomers don’t want to clean toilets or make cappuccinos for a living; they’d rather inferior immigrants did these things, and yet they complain when the immigrants need housing, schooling and access to other services. Many of the loudest and most obnoxious of the anti-immigrant voice in this country are themselves descendants of immigrants!
As an Orthodox Christian, my views have undergone a slight shift in the last year or so. I find most of the arguments about the future of Europe rather tiresome. I certainly don’t see it as a Muslim problem, and even if it were, I can’t see secularism and consumerism being a viable, attractive alternative to a utopian caliphate. As to the question, posed by Murray, of there being a popular “backlash” against mass immigration, it won’t happen. Civil strife only happens when people truly believe in something, and love what they believe. Unfortunately, Western peoples are too comfortable and apathetic (an interesting combination) about life to bother taking to the streets. Many of my generation actually encourage what is happening too. There will be no scouring of England’s shires.