Sunday, August 28, 2016

Oh, OH! (A Prediction)

Why Blogs Will Die

It doesn’t seem possible that I have been blogging for ten years, but it’s true.
I started Standing on My Head in September 2006.
For the last six months I have been blogging less and less and I have been wondering why.
One of the reason is that I have simply run out of steam, but there is more to it than that.
I think blogging itself has pretty much run its course. Over the last ten years with blogging, e-books and print on demand everybody and anybody can have access to instant global publication.
Remember the old saying, “Everyone has a book in them….and for most people that’s where it should stay.”
With the technology we now have it doesn’t have to stay there anymore. Neither do the articles, opinion pieces, news videos, speeches, pictures of your supper or your latest rant when you were feeling hangry…. need to remain unpublished.
As a result everybody and anybody is able to write whatever they want, whenever they want and push it out there.
The problem with this is that there is no editing, to sifting, no discernment. Every blog is created equal. Your blog is on the same playing field with everybody else’s. This means that the most rational, witty, intelligent and learned writer is published at the same level of importance as your crazy Uncle George who breeds squirrels for food and believes the moon landings were faked.
This is not necessarily a problem because the cream rises. Lots of bloggers fall away either because they can’t write, they’re boring or they don’t have the dedication. However, there are still enough bloggers, podcasters, video makers, e-book publishers and wannabe authors who pump out their stuff.
Unfortunately those who have an axe to grind, have a cause or are simply crazy are the ones who are all to eager to have an audience. Those who are obsessed with some conspiracy theory or are rabidly  against this or that or the other are the ones who are most eager to write, write, write. Furthermore, their audience LOVE the bad news, the hidden conspiracy, the “other guy” who is evil, corrupt and heretical. So all the sour, angry and scary people write more and more stuff to feed their wild eyed audience, and a sick symbiosis develops between the adoring audience and the attention starved author.
Then there is the scary truism that “If you feed rats, more rats will come.” The dynamic begins to snowball and weirdness and nastiness beget more weirdness and nastiness.
There’s another problem: those who receive payment for their blog are often paid by the amount of traffic their blog generates. I went through a phase of learning the tricks of boosting my blog traffic. It’s not too difficult. You write about current events and “hot topics”.  You learn how to craft an attention grabbing headline. You write short and punchy. You take a “position” and if the “position” is to attack someone or something bad, then your traffic zooms up.
This does not mean that these bloggers are always writing trivial junk, but is difficult for bloggers who receive income from their blogs to resist this temptation, and if they go down that path too often then the quality of their blog is bound to suffer. Where they used to write thoughtful, funny and personal pieces for love not money they evolve into writing  increasingly shallow, tabloid and controversial pieces to boost their traffic.
When you throw in social media and comments boxes the poisonous atmosphere becomes even more toxic. The fact that social media and comments boxes also help drive traffic and boost earnings doesn’t help.
This has led the blogosphere to become an ingrown, self absorbed, hotbed of unhappiness and hatred–and the Catholic blogosphere has not been exempt from this pollution.
Of course there are good and sane bloggers out there, and many readers are happy, well adjusted people who are looking for good teaching, inspiration and encouragement. Problem is, blogs are increasingly not the place to find that.
Consequently, I’ve decided that my own blog here at Patheos will continue to be open, but I’ll be blogging less, and when I do, I’ll be blogging positive. I’m going to try to at least mention all the books I get for review, and I’ll comment when I can on church issues and current events as I have done in the past. I’m also keeping the blog open because there is ten years worth of material archived here. I’m going to be promoting old posts that are worthwhile and working to use this blog positively to spread the faith and build people up.
Furthermore, when I get the chance I’ll be blogging more at my other blog The Suburban Hermit. That blog focuses on Benedictine spirituality, worship, art, architecture and prayer.
I think blogs are going to peter out or evolve into something new and interesting. This is the state of media today–always morphing into something new.
That’s exciting and if I’m right and blogs do wither and die, that’s ok.
As for me, I’m working on a big book: The Mystery of the Magi. I’ve also got that stage play I want to write about the Holy Maid of Kent and  simmering on the back burner is that screenplay about Shakespeare the Catholic.
I’d like to write a novel too, but I think they’re going to die out also.
Blogging? It was nice knowing you.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pope Francis blasts “gender” ideology, quotes Benedict XVI: “this is the age of sin against the Creator!”

Here is an excerpt.  From Vatican Insider:

“In Europe, America, Latin America, Africa and some Asian countries we are seeing some real ideological colonisations,” he repeated. “And one of these, I’m going to say it outright, is gender”: “Today, children, children! are told at school that they can choose their sex. Why are they taught this? Because the books are supplied by the people and institutions that give you the money. These are the ideological colonisations backed also by countries that wield a great deal of influence. And this is terrible. Speaking with Benedict XVI,” he said, “who is well and lucid, he told me: ‘Holiness, this is the age of sin against the Creator!’ He is intelligent! God created man and woman; God made the world like this, like this, like this… and we are doing the exact opposite.” Watch video:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How the Devil Works

As I relate in my book, Paul VI Paul VI offered libido as one way Satan, the “malign, clever seducer” undermines man’s sexual morality with his “sophistry.” The Devil’s strategy here, as the Pope cautioned, is “eminently logical.” He approaches man with what amounts to a false reason in his mind, which, if dwelled on, can influence the will by rousing him to do something evil which seems to be good. Deceit is basic to his strategy.

A contemporary demonstration:

During the Synod on the Family in 2015 Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge argued against using the terms “intrinsically disordered” or “evil” to describe homosexual acts.  Moreover he argued that the traditional Catholic understanding of loving the sinner while hating the sin “no longer communicates” “in the real world” where sexuality is “part of [your] entire being.” Result? The moral legitimzation of mortal sin as revealed by the Creator!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ain't No Sunshine?

At the close of Vatican II, Blessed Pope Paul VI remarked that Christianity, the religion of God-Incarnate, had encountered the religion of man-made God. He was of the opinion that much of the Council was given over to demonstrating the compatibility of Enlightenment belief with Catholicism.  Several years hence, on June 29, 1972, Paul delivered another assessment of the state of the Roman Catholic Church since the close of Vatican II. As Cardinal Silvio Oddi recalled it (in an article first published on March 17, 1990, in Il Sabato magazine in Rome) the Holy Father told a congregation:

We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation. And how did this come about? We will confide to you the thought that may be, we ourselves admit in free discussion, that may be unfounded, and that is that there has been a power, an adversary power. Let us call him by his name: the devil. We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned instead was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, ofsearching and uncertainties. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A View from the Bottom

The following discourse took place on social media, concerning Hilary Clinton's view that  the Unborn Person Doesn’t Have Constitutional Rights’: 

Susanne Sadly many women vote democrat on this one issue ... most of them have ZERO clue as to what third trimester abortion is or that the unborn "person" would likely survive birth. Makes me sick!

Rose Thank you for sharing Donald.

Donald What you also notice and what I think God will judge more harshly than disbelief in God, are this folks who claum to be Christian but don't speak out against abortion. This of course, makes them hypocrites but far worse than that in God's view. It takes courage to speak out. Most people are not courageous.

Kim I know many people who claim to be Catholic but are pro abortion. I just don't know how the justify this in their head and heart...

Did you ever notice that when people take issue with Catholic teaching, rarely does it concern the Hypostatic Union, the Vatican’s guidelines on road rage, or the Vatican Conference on Extraterrestrial Life? No, those things with which they take issue bear directly or vicariously on their sexual lives — homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” premarital sex, adultery, contraception, masturbation, population control, abortion, divorce, remarriage, in vitro fertilization, etc. Remember Our Lord’s words on this: "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man." Recall too that, as Fr. Charles Curran has reminded us, dissent from Humanae Vitae “was paradigmatic of the dissent in all specific moral questions.” My advice to those who still doubt in our sexually-befuddled world is that it is a fatal error not to observe “how Lucifer actually works and why he is so intent on perverting our sexuality.”  Indeed, a Catholic understanding of human sexuality gives us “a glimpse of the ‘great mystery’ of God’s plan to unite all things in Christ.”

Friday, August 12, 2016

Deliver Us From Evil

Pope Paul VI became of a mind that by 1972 an “adversary power” which he called by his name  –   the Devil  –  had entered the Church. Bishop Fulton Sheen warned us in his popular retelling of the life of Christ, The Eternal Galilean: "Do not mock the Gospels and say there is no Satan. Evil is too real in the world to say that. Do not say the idea of Satan is dead and gone. Satan never gains so many cohorts as when, in his shrewdness, he spreads the rumor that he is long since dead." Such an attitude only leaves the devil freer than he would otherwise be to work to gain souls for hell. “I am who am not.”
A 1997 survey of beliefs about Satan revealed that 69 percent of Catholics believe that “Satan is only a symbol of evil;” only 26% believing that “Satan is a living being.” Pope Paul instructs us that the former position is “a departure from the picture provided by biblical Church teaching.…” This appears as one little “crack in the wall” through which the smoke could enter. Priests, catechists and religious who take the Devil lightly are indeed the easiest target for what St. Paul termed “the mystery of iniquity.”  What the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur taught me regarding the reality of the Devil prior to Vatican II is no different from what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches today:

The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free[emphasis added]. Original sin entails 'captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil. Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals.

This originally good angel, the Devil, is a powerful spiritual creature whose goal is to destroy us by turning us against the Father. Christians refer to him every time they pray the Lord’s Prayer—“deliver us from evil” refers to the Evil One, of and to whom Jesus spoke regularly in the Gospels, the angel who opposes his Father. The Catechism broadens this teaching, noting that “heresy, apostasy, and schism--do not occur without human sin: Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes.” Thirty years of teaching in Catholic schools, all of them since the time of Vatican II, has taught me that the Church has witnessed the aforementioned errors in the Sacred Liturgy, religious life, catechesis, social action, and morals, all of which have divided the People of God.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Faith in Teens

I am one of the generational Catholics schooled in the Faith by the teaching of the Baltimore Catechism prior to Vatican II, which the post-Vatican II religious education establishment branded as defective pedagogy. My quarrel with them is not over their contention concerning the style of teaching, but rather their view that the truths of the Catholic faith on the existence and nature of God, the creation and Fall, the Incarnation and Redemption, and the Church set down in the Baltimore Catechism were defective as well. My experience after 36 years of teaching in Cathodic schools, all of them since Vatican II, is that CAtholic students are still doctrinally illiterate when compared with pre-Vatican II students. Here is proof.