Happy feast day of St Thomas Aquinas!

Today is the traditional feast day of St Thomas Aquinas, patron of Catholic schools, confessor, and (Angelic) Doctor of the Church!

St. Thomas Aquinas, depicted at St. Rose Church, Springfield, KY (fun fact, this window is [practically] identical to that found at St. Patrick’s Church, Columbus, OH)
The super psalm antiphon from First Vespers is lovely:

The Blessed Thomas, Doctor of the Church, light of the world, glory of Italy, virgin shining with the bloom of chastity, rejoices in a twofold crown of glory.

As a gift to the digital world on this feast day, here are images of two scans I made of paintings that were once featured in the illustrious Church of Saint Louis Bertrand, Louisville, KY, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary this past October.  (Images taken from the Paintings in St. Louis Bertrand Church, Louisville, KY, printed by The Rosary Press, Somerset, OH, December 1916, written by T.L. Crowley, OP)

Book reading update

At the end of April, I publicly shamed myself and am trying to hold myself accountable to more book reading in 2016.  So, August is nearly halfway through, let’s see how I’m doing?

Last we heard, I had completed two books (shameful!) by the end of April (Island of the World and Watching Baseball Smarter).  I was working on five books (Hounds of the Lord, Soul of the Apostolate, the Council in Question, New Wine of Dominican Spirituality, and the Little Catechism of the Cure d’Ars).

Since then, I’ve made it through “The Divine Office” by Fr. O’Sullivan, OP, “The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic” edited by Fr. Simon Tugwell, OP, I finished up “Hounds of the Lord” by Kevin Vost, read “The Knighthood of Truth” by Fr. Raymond Bruckberger, OP, (notice a trend yet?… ha!), and also “The Sacred Monster of Thomism: An introduction to the life and legacy of Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP” by Fr. Richard Peddicord, OP.  (Granted, DO, 9 Ways, and Knighthood were more pamphlets than books, so I’ll only count them as half!)

So, that puts me at 5.5 books!  Leaving me to do…  another 18.5 books.  I definitely do not have a shortage of books to read, so I guess we’ll see where the rest of August and September take me, in terms of book reading.  Hopefully I can knock out the books in progress (Soul, Council, New Wine, and Little Catechism, along with the Memoirs of Fr Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP) by my next update!  That’d put me at just under halfway through (well, guess I ain’t hittin’ 24 books!  *sad trombone*) 3/4 of the way through 2016.  Overall, not terrible.  Just means I have a good goal for next year!  😀

Allouez Cemetery chapel update, and a proposal!

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Photo Credit to “Preserve the Red Chapel” on Facebook
The Badger Catholic recently covered a chapel about to be destroyed up in the Green Bay Diocese (something which I thought I chimed in on… must have been on Facebook?).  He recently posted an update on the progress of that destruction which, for now, at least, has been postponed!

What’s known as the “Red Chapel,” is owned by the Diocese of Green Bay and was scheduled to be demolished this summer, but the Diocese now says that plan is on hold.

I think this is a really good development, even if it is a little disheartening.  Why disheartening?  I think it is an embarrassment that Catholics need to turn to secular institutions (in this case, the Brown County Historical Society) to save our Catholic landmarks.  As the earlier article noted, construction of the chapel started at the same time as the construction of the Green Bay cathedral.  Now, while a chapel might not be a priority (as it hasn’t been, for the last 40 years), there’s still something to be said for saving our old Catholic structures.  If we let everything pass into decay that is old, what will we have left?  Probably won’t be that pretty.  Plus, what has Europe been doing for the last few centuries?  Their cemeteries are usually comprised of super old buildings and structured, preserved for use, and continually used.  We need to end this American habit of “have it built, wait a few decades, tear it down, and start all over.”  The loss of identity, roots, and tradition is the root of some American ills, I’m convinced.

On Facebook, there is a page “Preserve the Red Chapel” and they have posted a photo album of the current condition of the chapel.  I think it’d be particularly wonderful if they were able to restore the chapel and restore it to monthly use, and have traditional Requiem Masses said for the dead buried in the cemetery and diocese!  Heck, even the altar has been untouched, having been not-used since the 1970s…

And, according to the news, it seems the cost to restore it is around $200,000.  Doesn’t seem all that terrible, all things considered.  It’d be really neat to see some traditional group get together, work with the Diocese and Historical Society, and start a perpetual Mass society for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.  There’s only a handful of groups I can think of that provide such a society (the monks at Papa Stronsay and St. John Cantius down in Chicago are the only two I can think of off-hand).  But, it also seems like you could even try to wrap such a society “into” the plots at the cemetery for a “lower” cost, if the cemetery would want to “play ball” (both the cemetery and Diocese would need to be “in on it,” I think).  I know I’d be looking to get a plot in a cemetery that had Masses said for me each month (is this standard at Catholic cemeteries?  I don’t really know).  To get the $200,000 to restore, you’d need 1,500 enrollees in the society (a lot, but for a lifetime membership and monthly Masses, with a suggested donation of $150 per enrollee….).  But, if you offered that option to people who purchase plots in the future as well, that’s a bit ‘easier’ to manage.  I think it’s a great idea!  Maybe I should write a letter to someone in the Green Bay Diocese?

Regardless, it seems this little chapel might still be preserved!  Let us pray they raise the money!

St. Stanislaus updates!

St. Stanislaus Oratory on Milwaukee’s South Side has been making visible progress on its restoration!  Hooray!

As you might remember from my end of May/start of June roundup post, St. Stanislaus had some scaffolding hide the sanctuary.  Well, this week, it’s finally (!) been coming down.

So very exciting to see the church restoration work continue.  God willing, more money will continue to come to the oratory to complete the work in a timely fashion.  Next up are the doors to the church, then after that, I think, comes the nave ceiling, then the stained glass windows.

But, in the meantime, the scaffolding looks like it’ll all be down by the Feasts of the Assumption (Monday, August 15th).  The ICKSP will be having a High Mass with candlelight procession at 6:30pm, with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament to follow.  And, for the first time in a few months, Mass should be back at the restored high altar!

Looking further ahead, mark your schedules for the weekend of September 24th and 25th.  The 150th Anniversary Celebration of St. Stanislaus Parish is that weekend.  On Saturday the 24th, a Novus Ordo Missae will be offered, and at 5:30pm, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with Te Deum, presided by His Excellency Archbishop Jerome Listecki will follow.  On Sunday the 25th, at 10:00am, a Pontifical High Mass will be celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, and the restored main altar will be consecrated.  Should be a wonderful weekend of Catholicity, capped off by a proper consecration of the restored altar!

One of the many reasons I like my Archbishop…

The Badger Catholic posted an excerpt of Archbishop Listecki’s “Love One Another” column for this week.  In this week’s column (letter?  article?), His Excellency tells about his recent interaction with Robitussin.

My favorite part (aside from him coming out of it safely) of the article has to easily be the following:

With every second, my features were changing. I expected the paramedics to say, “Does your face hurt you? Well, it’s killing me.”

Not only is the Archbishop able to find humor in dangerous situations, but he is also apparently a fan of one of my favorite jokes (as anyone who knows me can attest to…).

I think the ending mention of “be prepared” is also an important one, and it shows the importance (and grace!) of having our clerics live together/in community, or at least somewhat close together.

Brief blogly roundup

After a month’s hiatus, it’s about time I get back to putting words onto the screen and through the series of tubes to you (!) the reader.


In lieu of any actual original topics for the moment, here’s a few thoughts on some articles I’ve come across the last few weeks.

Over at New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo posted an article about “The Consecration of Westminster Cathedral“, reproducing chunks of a 1910 article from the Tablet.

The long vigil of fifteen years has ended. Fifteen years of strong endeavour have achieved a splendid triumph. The crowning act was the Consecration on Tuesday. The act was clothed with all the solemnity with which the Church, with its matchless heritage of ritual, knows how to surround its life and express its spirit. And now Westminster Cathedral takes its place among the great Cathedrals of the world, unique and original in design, itself alone, with its own message, and its own significance.

You don’t often get flowery writing like they did “back in the day” (when journalistic standards meant something?).  Plus, you get a contemporary account of a ceremony rarely (if ever) seen nowadays in our post-conciliar world.  Then, you also get armed with anti-liturgical reformer arguments with examples of the Archbishop and his clerics pray the Office and commemorate such splendid occasions.  If you want more things like that, I cannot encourage more the Google Newspaper Archive.  I’ve spent many an hour combing through the treasure trove of Internet wonders (primarily for obituaries).  Sadly, Google is no longer adding more content, which is a true loss.


Next, Badger Catholic points its direction south of our border to the Chicago Archdiocese, and the on-going saga to keep St. Adalbert’s open.  The following comes from a Chicago Tribune article on a possible future for the church.

The Chicago Archdiocese is in preliminary discussions with the Chicago Academy of Music about purchasing the property and converting the church’s adjacent convent into dormitories for students, its rectory into housing for master musicians and its Italian marble sanctuary into a concert stage.

A reader of Badger Catholic wrote the following in to BC, explaining the short-term future:

Despite the Tribune article, the effort to keep Adalbert open as a church is not over—in fact, as I understand it, the appeal to the Vatican will proceed. And, despite the issuance of the decrees and the denial of an appeal to the Archdiocese, there will be Masses throughout July at least and, I believe, the Friday night prayer vigil and adoration (6-9pm) will also continue.

The church is truly spectacular and I would urge any of your readers to try to attend Mass or simply visit during those hours that it’s still open. It is definitely the kind of church that will not be built again!

Frankly, as good as it might be to see the church still stand, turning it into a secular concert hall perverts its purpose.  At that point, I’d rather see the wrecking ball taken to it than see yet another Catholic edifice be turned over to profane use.  The travesty of this is this is the culmination of decades of neglect, not only physically, as in the work the towers require to stay standing, but also spiritually and devotionally.  Where are the current residents of the Pilsen neighborhood?  Do they no longer require a Catholic church?  Where are the priests that should have been formed and come out of this parish in the last 50 years?  What of the religious sisters and brothers?  Yes, it is good and fine that there is a small community working to keep their church open, but where was the truly hard (and rewarding) work that takes decades to do and see the fruits of?  On top of that, there is the complete lack of stewardship (authentic stewardship) in this parish.  This lovely church was built with the hardwork and dedication of the Polish immigrants, and now it is closed and the parish suppressed while Americans enjoy relative prosperity.  What a shameful time we live in!


Charles Cole over at NLM posted some lovely pictures of the CMAA’s Colloquium Mass in the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, MO.  The basilica is hands-down one of the finest in the country, and there’s always something new to discover while taking in the beauty!  My favorite photo of the set is number 20, which shows the altar being used properly (and as Cardinal Sarah has recently called for), which is to say used in the “ad orientem” way (the true, historical way, as well).  That all Masses might be said this way (and with the undoubted reverence, glory, and honor that is usual with the CMAA)!…


Finally, Msgr Charles Pope has an article entitled “Beware of Fake Mercy – Behold True Mercy in the Call of St. Matthew,” an important consideration given the atmosphere and spirit being fostered in the Church.  A very good insight from the good Monsignor is this little bit:

For the Lord, mercy is necessary because there is sin, not because sin is “no big deal.” It is because sin is a big deal that mercy is needed and is glorious.

Definitely worth the read (plus, it’s a bit shorter than his usual fare).  Head on over and check it out!

St. Alphonsus on the Divine Office

The following excerpt comes from the same source as my previous post, Year of Mercy, Mother of Mercy, namely, “The Divine Office, How to Say it Devoutly, How to Make it a Pleasure,” written by E.D.M. (Engant de Marie, Child of Mary), a nom de plume of Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, OP.  As some might be able to tell, I’m a big proponent of the Divine Office and its recitation (even if I’m not the best at it!…), and I thought these were interesting reflections on the efficacy of the Office and the spirit with which we might approach the Office.

What St. Alphonsus Teaches (On the Divine Office)

1. A hundred private prayers can never have the efficacy of a single petition presented in the Divine Office; for the latter is offered in the name of the whole Church and in God’s own words.

2. Let us be persuaded that, after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is no greater treasure than the Divine Office, from which we may every day draw rivers of graces.

3. Oh! if all priests and religious said the Office as they ought, it is certain that the Church would not be in the deplorable state in which we see it in certain places and at certain times.

4. If they said the Office as they ought, so many priests would not always be the same – always imperfect, prone to anger, greedy, attached to self-interest, and to vanities.

5. God promises to hear all our prayers how then does it happen that certain priests say a thousand wonderful prayers in the Divine Office, which they recite every day, and are never heard?

6. The Apostle says that no fruit can be expected from the prayer which is pronounced with the tongue without the attention of the mind.

7. Of this God complained one day to St. Bridget, saying that some priests lose so much time every day in conversing with friends on worldly affairs and afterwards when conversing with Him, in the recitation of the Office, they are so hurried that they dishonour Him more than they glorify Him.

8. Hence St. Augustine said that the barking of dogs is more pleasing to God than the chant of such priests.

9. Alas! may not the Lord complain of some priests, as He once did of the Jews <<Populus hic labiis me honorat: cor autem eorum longe est a me.>>
The Lord has said, by the prophet Malachy, that He curses the praises offered by priests who bless Him only with the tongue while their heart is occupied, not in giving Him honour and glory, but in attending to other things.

10. When a priest recites the Divine Praises, muttering or truncating the words, and with a mind dissipated and distracted with the affairs of the world and earthly pleasures, the devil stands at his right hand. His reward for such an Office will be his eternal condemnation, since his very prayer is imputed to him as a sin.

11. In beginning the Office be not, as some are in a hurry to finish it as soon as possible; would to God they were not the greater number! Oh, my God! we undertake the labour, we say the Office; and will we, in order to save the little additional time necessary for the devout recitation of it, give displeasure to You, and lose the graces and merits which we may gain by reciting the Office with the requisite attention?

12. If you wish to draw great fruit from the Office, be careful, in reciting the psalms, to renew your attention and affections from time to time, that your devotion, which gradually grows cold unless frequent efforts be made to inflame it, may not be entirely extinguished.

13. But he who says the Office barely with attention to the words, without any attention to the sense, or to God, will never say it with devotion, nor with much fruit, nor without many defects.

14. Endeavour then, not only at the beginning of the Office, but also at the commencement of each psalm, to renew your attention, that you may be able to feel in your heart, all the sentiments which are expressed in the words you read.

15. Many priests consider and call the obligation of the Divine Office a great burden, and I say that they who say it with irreverence, without devotion, and with an eagerness to finish it, have just reason to call the Office a heavy burden; for they have to toil every day in reciting it without relish and with great pain.

16. Dearly beloved priest, when you take the Breviary in your hand, imagine that an angel stands on one side to register your merits in the book of life, if you say the Office with devotion; and on the other, a devil, who, if you recite it with distraction, writes your faults in the book of death. With this thought, excite yourself to say the Office with the greatest possible devotion.
(Extracts from the Selva)

Year of Mercy, Mother of Mercy

I was recently making my way through “The Divine Office, How to Say it Devoutly, How to Make it a Pleasure,” written by E.D.M. (Engant de Marie, Child of Mary), a nom de plume of Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, OP.  Eventually, I came to the section I have copied below, and thought it a very appropriate section for consideration, particularly in this Year of Mercy.

Mother of Mercy
Mary’s great prerogative is Mercy. St. Alphonsus tells us that Jesus Christ has divided His kingdom with His Blessed Mother. He is King of Justice. He has made Her Queen of Mercy.
Jesus came to us through Mary so He wishes that all His mercies, graces, and favours come also through Her.
St. Bernard says that it was never heard of in any time, in any place that Mary refused a grace to anyone who called on Her for help, were he even the worst of sinners.
How often has it happened that a poor sinner, whose life has been one long crime, lies dying without God, without sacraments, without friends, abandoned, alone.
The demons stand around his bed, watching his laboured breathing, waiting for his last breath when he shall be theirs for ever. Weaker and weaker he grows. One moment more and he is irretrievably lost.
But a long-ago memory, a thought of Mary flashes through his mind. He sends up one cry, one faint but confiding cry to His Mother in Heaven. She hastens to his side. He is saved.

Angelic Warfare Confraternity Daily Prayers

logoIf you’re a member of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, you likely (well, you ought) to be praying a few prayers each day.  Those prayers include fifteen Hail Mary’s, the Prayer to St. Thomas for Purity, and the Prayer of St. Thomas for Purity.  However, this has not always been the case in the history of the Confraternity.  How’d I figure this out?  Well, most of the thanks can go to my friend Michael, who found a 1940s-era A Dominican Mission manual, written by A Dominican Missionary and printed by the National Headquarters of the Holy Name Society (with an imprimatur of 1942).  Seeing as the Manual was both Dominican and pre-conciliar, I could hardly help myself, and quickly found one on eBay.

While paging through this treasure trove of Catholicity, I found the entry for the Angelic Warfare.  The book gives a brief overview of the Confraternity, and then it only specifies one prayer, that of the Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas for the Preservation of Innocence and Chastity (I reproduce the prayer below due to its lovely translation):

Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas for the Preservation of Innocence and Chastity

Chosen lily of innocence, most chaste St. Thomas, thou who didst ever preserve thy baptismal robe unspotted, thou who wast by two angels girded, thou who wast thyself a true angel in the flesh, I entreat thee to recommend me to Jesus, the spotless Lamb, and to Mary, the Queen of virgins, that wearing around my loins thy holy girdle which was granted to thee as a pledge of thy purity, and imitating thy virtues upon earth, I may one day be crowned with thee, O thou powerful protector of my innocence!
Our Father.  Hail Mary.  Glory be.
℣. Pray for us, O St. Thomas
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.  O God, who didst deign to arm us with the girdle of St. Thomas in the assaults made upon our innocence, grant to our earnest prayers that, under his heavenly protection, the impure enemy of our body and soul in this warfare may be happily overcome; and that adorned with the unfading lily of purity, in the midst of the angelic host, we may receive the palm of celestial bliss.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Did you notice it, though?  Yes, while this is simply one of the two “modern” prayers, it is a little bit longer!  This, naturally, piques my interest!  Had it been the case for the AWC to pray just one prayer per day?  How will I find out?

Well, searching through the stacks one day at that glorious Milwaukee treasure, I stumbled across a book entitled “Key to the Spiritual Treasures, an illustration of some of the most precious confraternities and practical instructions for the canonical erection of these confraternities at home and in foreign countries (A gratuitous offering to the poor missionary fathers for the spiritual welfare of the faithful in foreign mission),” compiled by Maria Cosmas Seeberger, C.PP.S, chaplain of St. Mary’s Home Convent, Padua P.O., Mercer Co. Ohio, USA, and printed in 1897.  Inside, it contains information on the “Cincture of St. Thomas Aquinas”, another name by which this Confraternity is known.  In this book’s description of the requirements of the Confraternity, the members are recommended to say the Prayer to St. Thomas for the Preservation of Innocence and Purity, along with the Prayer to Obtain the Preservation of Purity.  The prayers are printed as follows:

Prayer to St. Thomas for the Preservation of Innocence and Purity

Elect lily of purity, most chaste St. Thomas, who didst preserve the garment of baptism without stain of sin, who, being girded by two angels, hast ever been an angel in the flesh, I humbly pray that thou recommend me to Jesus, the Immaculate Lamb, and to Mary, the Queen of Virgins, that girded with the holy cincture, I may obtain the grace of purity bestowed upon thee, and that, imitating thy virtue on earth, I may be crowned with thee, O great protector of my innocence, among the angels in paradise.
Our Father.  Hail Mary.  Glory be to the Father.
℣. Pray for us, O St. Thomas
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.  O God, who deignest to gird us with the cincture of St. Thomas in the difficult battle of purity, grant our fervent prayers, that under his heavenly protection we may always conquer the lustful enemy of our body, and being adorned with the lily of constant purity, we may in the midst of the pure choirs of angels receive from Thee the palm of everlasting glory, through Christ out Lord.  Amen.

Prayer to Obtain the Preservation of Purity

My dear Jesus, I well know that every perfect gift, and more so that of purity, comes from the powerful influence of Thy grace, and that without Thee the creature can do nothing.  Therefore I humbly ask Thee that Thou mayest defend with Thy grace the chastity and purity of my soul as well as of my body.  And should I ever conceive a lustful impression which could stain the virtue of purity and chastity, banish the same from me, Thou who art the Lord of all the powers of my soul, that I may advance with a pure heart in Thy love and service, whilst every day of my life I consecrate myself in purity upon the altars of Thy Godhead.  Amen.

So, the quick answer to my A Dominican Mission Manual question is “No, the Confraternity has traditionally prayed more than just ‘one’ prayer.”  Going through the booklet written by Fr. Mullady, I re-read the enrollment ceremony, and what do I find?  The long-form prayer preserved!  If you look in the enrollment ceremony, you’ll see that the Director asks the enrollees to recite the Prayer to St. Thomas.  It concludes as below (…with you among the angels.), but continues as follows:

Taken from the Enrollment Ceremony, The Angelic Warfare Confraternity, by Fr. Brian T. Mullady, OP (Fourth printing, 2006)

[Prayer to St. Thomas for Purity]

Our Father…, Hail Mary…, and Glory be to the Father…
℣. Pray for us St. Thomas,
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.  O God, who mercifully helps those engaged in the fierce struggle for chastity, / by means of the sacred cord of St. Thomas, / grant to us who implore your help through his intercession / that we may successfully overcome the temptations of body and soul / and come to be crowned with perpetual purity and integrity among the choirs of angels, / where we will receive the reward of eternal happiness. / Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

How wonderful that the long-form is preserved, if even “only” in the enrollment ceremony!  However, I dare to propose one small change to our daily prayer life.  Considering that we Catholics love tradition, and given the traditional daily prayers, I propose the modern Confraternity member include the “long-form” prayer to his daily AWC prayers.  Since this was previously part of the prayers of our predecessors in the Confraternity, I think it would be fitting to pray those prayers not only for us, but also for those members of the Confraternity now in Purgatory, who so desperately long to see the face of God.

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

Current prayers of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity

The Prayer to St. Thomas for Purity
Chosen lily of innocence, pure St. Thomas,
who kept chaste the robe of baptism
and became an angel in the flesh after being girded by two angels,
I implore you to commend me to Jesus, the Spotless Lamb,
and to Mary, the Queen of Virgins.
Gentle protector of my purity, ask them that I,
who wear the holy sign of your victory over the flesh,
may also share your purity,
and after imitating you on earth
may at last come to be crowned with you among the angels. Amen.

The Prayer of St. Thomas for Purity
Dear Jesus,
I know that every perfect gift,
and especially that of chastity,
depends on the power of Your providence.
Without You a mere creature can do nothing.
Therefore, I beg You to defend by Your grace
the chastity and purity of my body and soul.
And if I have ever sensed or imagined anything
that could stain my chastity and purity,
blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers,
that I may advance with a pure heart in Your love and service,
offering myself on the most pure altar of Your divinity
all the days of my life. Amen.

Rebellion?

Every few months, I try to get a handle on my ever-growing “bookmarks” collection.  Sorting through them all, I came across a Reddit thread, entitled “Do any other millennials here feel like the true rebels?”  In it, the OP posts the following:

Being of the minority, amongst millennials, that is practicing Catholic; I feel like I’m the one revolting against other people my age. Many people that I know, my age, seem indifferent or against religion. It’s gotten to the point where, unless given a reason to think otherwise, I just assume my fellow classmates and other people my age are nonreligious. Maybe, someday, it’ll be considered cool to abandon the secularism of your parents for a devout religious life. It sounds unlikely but you never know. What do you guys and gals think?

Maybe it is part of my own bias, but it sounds like OP is making “rebellion” a good and positive thing.  As a Catholic, this doesn’t sit right with me.  Rebellion is rarely, if ever, a good or positive thing.  The first rebel was, of course, Lucifer, and we know how THAT turns out…  From what I’ve seen, heard, and read, rebellion just… isn’t something that should be lauded or praised (except in perhaps dire circumstances?).

Also, considering the present-day chaos of our world, is it right to view the status quo as what things really should be?  Or, ought we take the long view, and see today’s circumstances and conditions as the rebellion against Western Civilization, see things as but one battle in a centuries-long war?  I tend towards the latter, for as much as modern man wishes to break the bonds of history and tradition, he is still mired in a world crafted decades before he was born (it’s an undeveloped thought of mine that we are still caught in the post-Great War world, 100 years on).  His casting off of tradition stems from his pride and his arrogant belief that he can (re)make the world in his own image.