President Elect Trump

trump-victoryDonald Trump has been elected the next President of the United States of America, an outcome that I, and many others, welcome, albeit with some degree of caution.  As I wrote yesterday, he is a lot better than another four years of the Clintons in the White House, a quarter century after their first foray in the halls of power, a privilege upon which they are still living and cashing sizeable cheques.


A great swath of people in America are sick and tired of the corrupt cronyism and sense of entitlement of the political class, that is almost personified in Mrs. Hillary Rodham-Clinton (I notice she dropped the Rodham when running) and her disdain for the basket of ‘deplorables’. Father Raymond de Souza wrote yesterday in the National Post that he expected her easy victory, as did most, along with, one may presume, Mr. And Mrs. Clinton themselves.  I suppose, in their minds they are entitled to the presidency almost by divine right. In the midst of an otherwise clear article, the good Father de Souza claimed curiously that she was not a ‘nasty woman’, the truth of which I am not sure how he knows, for I must presume he has never met her, nor spent time in her company behind the rictus grin she portrays on stage.  There are any number of videos, and personal testimony, that evince in her some level of, shall we say, entitled privilege and disrespect of others.  Furthermore, she has never admitted to any restrictions upon the ‘unspeakable crime’ of abortion.  Not to mince words, as John Paul II advocates, she is a public and unavowed supporter of the murder of the unborn.  Perhaps she does not qualify for the primary meaning of nasty (whose origin in Middle English is obscure), as in ‘filthy or obscene’, and perhaps Mr. Trump should not have used the term in that pejorative sense (as he should not have said many of the things he has said), but Mrs. (and Mr.) Clinton do qualify for a more analogical notion of the term, as in ‘morally objectionable and unpalatable’.  After all, many Nazis were cultured, urbane men, with refined tastes and manners, as are any number of their modern-day philosophical descendants who have adopted their own ‘nasty’ views that some human beings, and the most innocent ones at that, are just not worthy of the right to life.  Along with all of their other apparent and alleged corruptions, I for one am glad to see the Clintons gone from the stage, and hope and pray they repent of their crooked ways before they shuffle off this mortal coil (as I hope and pray for myself).


Yet, at the same time, I am no great fan of Mr. Trump, and find the ‘In Trump We Trust’ slogan not only in bad taste, but at least quasi-blasphemous.  Some of his proposed policies are bizarre and unrealistic, and hopefully checked by more prudent and measured minds than his. But at the very least Trump and his vice-president Mike Pence have declared publicly that they are pro-life, and will instantiate policies, laws and, most significatly, Supreme Court Justices with that in mind.


Of course, not everyone, to put it mildly, is pleased, with the Mexican peso and many Mexican spirits in the tank, and, according to one pundit, women across North America feeling ‘gutted’ that a man like  Trump has made it so far (but, then, more men are ‘like Trump’, and in fact more ‘like Trump’ than they may know or be willing to admit).


It is curious that Trump’s victory occurred on this feast of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the Pope’s, and Christendom’s, primary church.  We all know who is ultimately in charge, Who holds the heart of the king like water in His hand. In the midst of all this division (which Christ predicted), and the transitory nature of politics and temporal authority, somehow, someway, God’s providence for America was played out in this election.  We should take heart in this small, limited, somewhat disordered, but still very significant victory for some level of truth, justice and what might just be the American way forward.


Election Day: Are We Headed for Venezuela?

trump-clinton-2It will all be over later today, one way or the other, after a bizarre and unenviable election process:  The United States of America, still the greatest economic and military force on the planet, at least for now, will have, to all intents and purposes, a new leader, either Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton, neither of whom seems ready nor worthy of the office.  The difference is that Clinton is vehemently pro-‘choice’, while Trump, whatever his other foibles, along with his running mate Pence, have declared themselves pro-life. We sometimes have to choose the lesser of two evils, and politics is the art of the practical and possible, not the ideal.


Someone mentioned to me today that Abraham Lincoln was a third-party candidate, so one never really knows what will happen, but, if my brief and rather superficial knowledge of United States history tells me anything, things were different in the spring of 1861. But I sort of agree with the late Joseph Sobran, that no one can really govern the current United States, with such immense power over 300 million-plus, concentrated in a few acres in Washington, D.C..  As I concluded a recent post, the whole Augean stables and the privileged class of our benighted rulers needs a thorough catharsis.


Will the fall of 2016 be the beginning of the fall of the Republic?  I, and many others, wonder. Rome did not fall all at once on that fateful September day in 476 when the German ‘barbarian’ Odovacar, who was a soldier of the Roman army and spoke fluent Latin and so was not really a ‘barbarian’, deposed little Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman emperor, properly speaking.  There are those who say Rome never ‘fell’ at all, pace Gibbon, but simply transformed, as things are always transforming, sometimes more significantly than others.


So I suppose we are in for just such a transformation, which may or may not be the end of the U.S., at least as we know, or have known, it, and I wonder if there is our very own Odovacar waiting in the wings…


I was teaching the document on the priesthood from Vatican II the other day, and was pleased to be reminded that the  natural requirements listed for candidates for the priesthood, an authoritative role if ere there was one (or should be), overlapped quite nicely with the ones I listed in my recent post on the requirements for leadership:  As the decree, Presbyterorum Ordinis, states, praising “certain virtues” which “contribute a great deal” to the perfection of the priesthood:


such as goodness of heart, sincerity, strength and constancy of mind, zealous pursuit of justice, affability, and others


But, alas, the Thomas Mores of this world are few and far between.  We live with the rulers we have, and whom God in His mysterious providence, sends, either as a reward or a punishment or, like many things, a bit of both.


Here’s hoping that whoever is elected will steer the United States away from its Obama-esque descent into crony socialism, or what the great Pope Saint John Paul II termed ‘state capitalism’, with the worst of both.  If one would like to read the dire effects of over-governmental interference in the economy, however well-intended, peruse this grim article on Venezuela, which has by any number of measures the worst economy in the entire world.  This was all predicted by the prescient Maggie Thatcher, who once declared with droll British humour that the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.


People will sometimes ask me, to whom does a country owe its debt?  That is a complex question, and Deacon Chabot has his own take on that.  But you may read in said article that the current Presidente of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded the tragic-comical-pathetic Hugo Chavez (Maduro claims to hear Chavez’ voice guiding him from the afterlife), now has to decide whether to pay his Chinese creditors (who prefer payments in oil, rather than the near-worthless Bolivar), or to feed the once-prosperous country’s schoolchildren.


robin-hoodBut if you want a rather Catholic take on the reality behind the quasi-‘socialist’ hero Robin Hood, who would ‘rob from the rich and give to the poor’, check out Ms. Balestri’s article on the English crusader and his band of merry men.


Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. 


Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patron of the United States, ora pro nobis! 

Honour and Ambition: Thoughts on the Requirements of Political Office

ambitionPolitics is a curious business, and not just in the United States as the Big Day approaches:  Here in Ontario, Canada, about a four hour drive from where I live, a nineteen year old Brock university political science student, Sam Oosterhoff, was just chosen as the upcoming candidate for the riding of Niagara West-Glanbrook, and could well be elected the youngest member of provincial parliament in the upcoming by-election. Students around the country still in their teens are now asking, hey, how about me?  After all, if he wins, young Sam is guaranteed a hefty income (well into the six figures), plus expenses and top-tier-no-questions-asked benefits, along with all the power and perks of office, with an unending stream of sycophants at his feet.


Yet, when I saw Peter’s boyish face beaming with victory, receiving kudos from all over Canada, I in my curmudgeonly Scottish mind could notsam help but think of the verse, or rather the curse, from the prophet Isaiah:


And I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them. (3:4)


A few verses later on, I was struck by the continuation of the prophet’s lament, which brought to mind a few of our other current leaders:


My people — children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths.


I suppose Isaiah’s, and God’s, point is that, in any ideal world, which in any sense means a world before the modern one, grown, adult and independent men would not be ruled over by children or women.  Yes, yes, I know, politically incorrect and all that, especially the ‘women’ part.  Many would argue that the Jewish proscription against female rule was a culturally conditioned misogynistic prejudice, rife within Israel and the ancient world.  But I am not so sure, for France had Salic law, forbidding any woman from attaining the throne, right up until the end of the monarchy in the French Revolution.


But I digress, for that is not my main point.  Although we may agree or disagree with the conclusion, the principle is sound, which is that, again ideally, those less able to rule should not lead those more able to rule.  Authority, defined as the “quality by virtue of which persons…make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them”  (CCC, 1897), should flow from the ‘qualities’ of the person himself, his intrinsic and developed capacity to rule and govern others by his own virtue, gained by long and hard discipline and life experience.


Of course, the qualities that make for a good and virtuous leader will vary from society to society, and from culture to culture.  In the days of the Old Testament, and up to quite recent times, it was required that a leader fight and lead his soldiers into battle; hence, the kingship was restricted to men, and men of military mettle at that.


Yet there are, of course, other qualities of leadership that are perennial and more fundamental, pertaining to all cultures across the board:  Personal integrity, maturity, prudence and capacity to make decisions, trust from one’s subjects and, not least, disinterestedness in the perks, honours and prestige of authority, displaying a level of altruism, leading others as a service, not out of self-interest.


Which brings us to Saint Thomas, and why so many men seek authority, or any other ‘honour’, in the first place.  In his first treatise in the Prima Secundae, discussing what might make men ‘happy’ (or, more clearly, ‘fulfilled’), he asks whether honour should be sought for its own sake.  In other words, does honour and prestige make us ‘happy’?


He responds with a resounding ‘no’, for who would desire an honour outside of the actual good for which one is honoured?  Would not any man be embarrassed to receive a trophy or reward he has done little or nothing to deserve?  As Thomas clarifies in the reply to the first objection, to work for honour for its own sake “would no longer be a virtue, but ambition” (I-II, q.2, a.2, ad 1). It was not until I read this years ago that I realized ambition to be a vice.


And so we arrive at the nub of the problem:  One should earn authority, or any other honour or privilege, and accept it for the good that is recognized in oneself, or that one might bring to the service bestowed.  If one feels at all unworthy, one should do one’s best to hide and flee from the honour like the plague, for who would want to be unworthily placed over others, to lord it over them?  Amare nesciri, Saint Philip Neri used to say, ‘love to be unknown’.  Or in Christ’s own words, seek the lowest place, until He brings you higher.


When a new Pope is elected in a conclave, the first room he visits to vest in the papal garb is quite appropriately called the ‘crying room’, where he weeps, whether really or figuratively, over the unimaginable responsibility placed upon his shoulders, the souls of over one billions Catholics and six billion potential Catholics.  No wonder the cardinals pray, or should pray, not to be chosen.  Any one of them who votes for himself would be considered a madman.


Which brings me to my main point:  Prescinding from the present case, why, in general, do so many seek the baubles of temporal authority, especially those who seem so manifestly unfit for them?  As I have written before, in most cases, it is often the person who most desires the authority who should be the last one chosen (again, as the Gospels attest).


Ponder, in all honesty, why most people want to be politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, police officers and so on:  Is it the intrinsic worth of the job, which they seek truly as a service, for which they see themselves in all humility as the most qualified?  This is, of course, what they all say in the interviews, confessing a desire ‘help’ and ‘serve’ others, but that can be done in hauling boxes at food banks and in protesting abortion clinics.


Or are they in it for the money, the prestige and the power?  Would they do it for half the money, or if the job lost its prestige, if people spat on you and reviled you, calling you all sorts of names; if you had a truly significant chance of persecution and even a violent death?  I wonder.


That is why the poverty and hiddeness of religious life makes it so appealing from a spiritual and supernatural perspective.  Whatever one says of Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity (pace  the hatchet job by the late Christopher Hitchens), they are most definitely not in it for the money, nor the fame, nor the comfort.  They are just in it, as their name attests, for the love of God and neighbour.


Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the rewards of office, and few of us are called to the heroic level of sacrificial service of Mother Theresa.  But we should ask ourselves, and ask of our would-be authority figures of whatever stripe, which intention predominates?  Is it ambition, or is it zeal motivated by charity?


Which brings us back to our young Mr. Oosterhof.  I have nothing against, and know little about, him.  But if I we were ever to talk, I would ask him why he feels, in the bloom of his youth, that he is the one best qualified to run an entire riding, to govern men far older than he.  It was illegal for him to quaff a beer but one scant year ago, the same span of time in which he has been able to vote.  At this stage, outside of politics, in our stagnant economy, and with the few credits he has earned in ‘political science’ at Brock University, Sam would likely have to compete for a job at the local hardware store.  I don’t mean to be overly critical of the man, only to assess him by the qualifications for leadership he presents.  Perhaps he may prove to be a Doogie Howser of politics, a veritable genius in the art of governing, yet there is little proof of that.


Of course, the Trump argument is at the ready, ‘he’s better than the alternative’, and at least he’s a ‘social conservative’.  Sure, I might vote for him if the other guy was all gung-ho for abortion and euthanasia. But if that is the minimal level of standard for governance to which we aspire, we are in deep trouble. But, come to think of it, we already are.


Analyzing the situation in Greece over two millennia ago, whence we derive most of our forms of rule, Aristotle supported aristocracy, which originally and literally means ‘rule by the best’, not by some privileged class, as the term seems to imply to our modern ear.  This, rather, is oligarchy, rule by the rich and entitled few (which is what we now more or less have). In other words, Aristotle demanded that the ruler, or rulers, be virtuous (arestoi), demonstrating a capacity to govern in the broad sense, which is not surprising, since he likely adopted this from his own mentor Plato’s idealized philosopher-kings in the Republic, wise men with much experience, immersed in the greatest of what had been thought, at least up to that time.  Even in their forms of democracy, or rule by the people, the Greeks restricted the vote to those whom they considered ‘virtuous’, generally land-owning citizens who were independent of governmental bribes and influence, and who had demonstrated that they were an asset, and not a burden, to the city-state. So much for the Clintons.


The standards to vote, to say the least have dropped to ‘eighteen and breathing’, and sometimes I am not sure about the second requirement.


We are a far, far way from Aristotle’s altruisitc ideal, alas, and I see little hope of returning.  In the ‘old days’, governing was done as a service, parallel to one’s normal occupation.  In fact, people took their turns serving their fellow citizens (a concept which still lingers ironically in the notion of the ‘public service’).


The argument is now made that we must pay our authority figures heftily and well, for otherwise ‘the best’ won’t be attracted, a concept which has led to the current enrichment of our political and governing class, all at the expense of the ‘taxpayer’, which means you and me.


I for one have never found that argument convincing, and not just because it leads to spiralling debt and bankruptcy.  There were (and still are) innumerable admirable people who work not for money, but for the love of what they are doing (see, again, all those struggling faithfully in small apostolates and associations across the globe).  Also, do we really see ‘the best’ go into politics and public service?  On the contrary, the evidence seems to speak for itself:  To paraphrase Saint Paul, if money and worldly honours really are just a big pile of dung, it is no surprise that more than a few flies will gather, who too often serve their own ‘lord’.


The deficiencies of many of our modern politicians, a comfortable lawyerly class, with limited philosophical acumen, sorely lacking in solid and rational moral principles, are all too evident.  Yes, there are a few good men amongst them, who do what might be their best, but they are immersed, cocooned and drowned out, pick what metaphor you might, by a corrupt, byzantine system which stifles virtue and breeds complacency, self-aggrandizement and excess, shutting out the hoi polloi, the common man, from any real influence, who in frustration drowns in widespread unemployment, debt and misery, taxed well beyond his means and then some.  The will of the people?  That was left in the dust a long time ago. We are but pawns, whose votes are all they need (for now) in their quest for power and privilege, concentrated ever-more in Ottawa (or Washington, D.C., as your country would have it).


At least, so the perception goes, and there is much truth therein.


Which brings me to the U.S. and ‘the Donald’, himself not exactly an ideal candidate for authority:  We need not wonder at the groundswell of popular acclaim for the manifestly imperfect, unready and unstable Trump whose tropes are hardly a voice for true conservatism, but who, like Mother Theresa’s Sisters, is not in it for the money (but at the other end of the spectrum, with too much of it), and he at least promises (with whatever sincerity, with his own ties to ‘the system’) to huff and to puff and blow the whole crooked house of cards down.


Is it then time for pitchforks and firebrands? Many of our fellow citizens certainly seem to be demanding a thorough and cathartic hosing of the Augean stables, not more political horses mutually nuzzling each other’s rumps, while helping themselves and their cronies to the trough.


Perhaps Trump is such a man, but we may never find out.  What I do suggest is that until such a cleansing and purification occurs, by whatever means, it is no wonder that we, who have allowed this whole bureaucratic mess to metastasize into its current malignant form, will continue to be burdened with more and more inexperienced foals, broken down mares and tired-out geldings, with fewer and fewer heroic Hercules.



Beware Bagpiping Scotsmen

bagpiperA bag piping Scotsman was recently fined in Montreal for carrying an ‘illegal weapon’, namely, his sgian-duh, literally his ‘black’, but more properly his ‘hidden’ knife, tucked into his thick Highland socks. I wondered at the triple standard:  Sikhs are permitted by law to carry their own ceremonial daggers, so why not bagpipers?  And the police in Montreal are still engaged in their own work defiance, wearing camouflage pants to protest a proposed change to their (unrealistic) pension plan, signifying a petulance and a defiance of their own law, unbecoming an officer of said law.


This is, as are most things, part of a bigger picture, namely, the selective application of the burdens of law.  Saint Thomas states that a promulgated law must be applicable to many, and if it is not proportionately applied in a reasonable way, it ceases to be a just law.  One cannot have a curfew, or a ban, or any limitation, for only a select group of people, with some ‘getting away with it’, unless there is clear, a priori and verifiable reasons why they should be so limited, such as 13 year olds driving, drinking or voting (and especially not at the same time).


So why Sikhs, and not Scots?  Are Sikhs naturally more careful, or less prone or random, unpredictable violence, with their daggers?  Then again, I suppose Scots are a volatile people, so perhaps should be more rigorously controlled. Next thing you know, they’ll be coming after our claymores…


The sad reality is that police, nor any security procedure, can rarely ever stop crimes a priori, especially of the random variety.  There is a serious side to knives and daggers, as the apparently random horrific killing of an Abbotsford teenager by a random drifter, and the wounding of another student, demonstrate (God rest her soul).  How does one protect oneself against such aberrant acts of free will or, more properly, liberum arbitrium?  The mystery of the human heart, and its capacity for evil, know no limits.  Again, as Saint Thomas states, following Aristotle, as man is the most noble of animals if he be perfect in virtue, so is he the lowest of all, if he be severed from law and righteousness; because man can use his reason to devise means of satisfying his lusts and evil passions, which other animals are unable to do.  The only way to stop such crimes is to instill virtue in the citizens, which is accomplished through the gradual evangelization of the culture through Christian principles of morality. Canadian ‘values’, and ever-greater police presence, cannot stop our descent into mayhem.


That is why the upcoming election in the United States, although significant, will not really solve anyone’s problems.  The difficulties with our society run deeper than that which can be ‘fixed’ by new laws and policies (although these may help).  Again, back to Thomas, who declares that custom, our ‘mores’ which flow from our culture, has the force of a law, abolishes law, and is the interpreter of law.  Trump may help instantiate better laws, which will ameliorate our customs, and Clinton will likely vitiate them, but it is ultimately up to us, each individual in the depths of his conscience, to choose between good and evil, truth and falsity, and so live in the light.  As John Paul II declared in his very first encyclical, that the Church’s focus is upon precisely this man in all the truth of his life, in his conscience, in his continual inclination to sin and at the same time in his continual aspiration to truth, the good, the beautiful, justice and love.

So let us too focus upon each and every ‘this man’ who enters the ambit of our influence.  For only such will truth, goodness and light grow, dispelling the darkness that is spreading over our land.

Conservative, Liberal, Vive La Difference?

I have an article on the ‘requirements for political office, posted this  morning on Crisis magazine.  Again, feel free to peruse, and I will post it here in a few days.


And speaking of ambition, there are so many contenders in the upcoming race for leadership of the Federal Conservative Party that I have lost count, with a wide spectrum from the most socially ‘liberal’ (we have to find another word to describe what that term means…immoral and  anarchic come to mind) to the most socially conservative.  I suppose you can guess where my proclivities lie, for the Conservative party is gradually ebbing away what conservatism it had.  Was Stephen Harper a conservative, or just a slower and less radical liberal?  (There we go again).


We do need a real conservative alternative here in Canada, not just a slightly less-socialist Liberal party, and here’s hoping we get one.


The Liberals (one more time!) apparently have no fear of retribution, racking up $130 billion in deficits, not-so-slowly moving Canada’s debt to the trillion dollar Rubicon.  People will vote for them, for their votes are paid by them. Stalin once quipped that “the death of one man was murder, the death of millions a statistic”.  The same could  be said of money:  Wasting $15 on a glass of orange juice, or deviating from abstruse Senate rules of expenditure in the mere thousands will garner you months of media vilification, and even a criminal trial.  Yet Trudeau and his band of merry Liberal sycophants can waste billions, driving the economic bus of the country into the financial Grand Canyon, and a yawn is unheard across this fair land.


We dwell in a crony socialist State, with Trudeau as our very own Hugo Chavez, and I will leave it up to the reader to decide who is the worse ofchavez the two.  If we don’t turn this ship around soon, our own made-in-Canada Venezuela may well be just around the corner.


In the meantime, in the next eight days, you may gain a plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead, with the usual conditions.


A blessed All Souls.  All the faithful departed, requiescant in pace.

The Providence of Earthquakes

There was another earthquake in Italy the other day (October 30th), in the town of Norcia, the birthplace of Saint Benedict, where norcia-after
there are a group of Benedictines, men and women’s Orders, that adhere to the way things were done in the days of their founder in the 6th century.  Well, not exactly, since they do use cell phones and brew what I hear is a delicious beer with some modern techniques, but they are traditional and faithful and, like Saint Benedict, a light to the world. I was glad to read that no lives were lost in the earthquake, which was larger (6.6 magnitude) than the one that killed 289 people on August 24th in and around Accumoli (6.2 magnitude) about 30 km south.


Many buildings, however, were levelled in this quake, including the cathedral of Santa Maria. Some nuns, who were praying therein, escaped without harm in what may well be a miracle.  Like the two toddlers who survived the suicide-murder jump of their father, I suppose the heavenly Father looks after His own sons and daughters.  There is nothing random in God’s providence, whose care of the universe is both ‘concrete and immediate’ (CCC, #303), including every block of concrete and stone in the buildings made by Man. Is God telling us something here? Perhaps, as Saint Paul writes, the form of this world is passing away, and, from the lesser lights of the Scottish bard, even the best laid plans (and buildings) of mice and men gang aft awry


A curious interplay of said providence: Voltaire, the French anti-Catholic satirist (his aphorism was l’ecrasez infame, destroy the infamous thing) who went to meet the God whose existence He denied in 1778, a decade before the French Revolution whose philosophical underpinnings he helped to create, used the great Lisbon earthquake of 1775 to disprove God:  That mighty tremor (nearly 9 on the Richter scale), which struck on this day, All Saints, took perhaps 100,000 lives in Lisbon alone, including many who were praying in the churches, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.  Why, cried Voltaire, would God destroy so many of His own faithful?  Could He not have spared them?


Well, yes, but perhaps He wanted them in heaven, to add to the panoply of saints on this blessed solemnity.  This may sound harsh to those like Voltaire, whose vision is limited to this world alone (at least, so the apocrypha goes, until his deathbed), but death, as Pope John Paul II declares in Evangelium Vitae, is but a penultimate evil. The ultimate evil, of course, is to die unrepentant of one’s sins and face an eternity separate from God, which fate we may hope even the witty rapscallion Voltaire, who used his intellectual and literary gifts so apparently for a bad end, avoided by a last breath of contrition and remorse.  The faithful in those Lisbon churches, like the monks in Norcia, were likely all ready to meet their Maker, and, even for those not so ready, we know not the limits of the mercy of God, Who, as the saying goes, writes straight even with the crooked lines of a pen like Voltaire’s, and Whose care is evident even in the tossing to and fro of the very foundations of the firmament itself.


I read somewhere that if you were to enlarge an egg up to the size of the Earth, its shell would be many times thicker than the relatively paper-thin crust upon which we live and construct all of our edifices.  Under that, is the ‘yolk’ of thousands of miles of semi-molten rock, much of it under intense pressure and in constant fluid motion.  We are quite literally walking on eggshells all the time, hanging by the all-powerful, yet rather unpredictable, thread of God’s protective care, which He sometimes allows to go ‘slack’, to remind us that our hope is not in this world, but the next, and that we must all, like the good Benedictines, be ready, for we know neither the day nor the hour.


All the Saints of God, orate pro nobis!