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Non sequitur time killer – “Le Mans” (1971 film) July 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, foolishness, fun, history, silliness, Society, technology.
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I stumbled across the 1971 Steve McQueen vehicle (heh) Le Mans, a movie about the famed 24 hour race held in France every June.  Steve McQueen, like his pal Jim Garner, were both big race fans and apparently pretty accomplished drivers (God rest both their souls).  Le Mans isn’t much of a movie, but it has very little that is objectionable in it, but it does have a whole whooooole bunch of great car pr0n in it.  If you are a car buff like me, especially that “golden age” before computers and electronic fuel injection and all that, you should appreciate this movie.  There are some amazing visuals that would be quite a technical achievement even today, but today no one would actually bother to film real cars from amazing angles, putting you in the driving seat, they’d do it all with fake looking CGI.

Some amazing hardware in this film.  Porsche 917s, of course, but also Ferrari 512LMs, Corvettes, many Porsche 911s (and even 914s……this was, after all the 70s!), and assorted others.  Just hearing those engines scream is music to the ears of many.

There is one brief moment of (absolutely non-nude) immodesty from one of the race-watchers fairly early on.  I did not catch any swearing – there is very little dialogue at all.  McQueen, for whom this movie was a very personal effort, lets the machines speak for themselves. There is some sappy 70s melodrama, but the beauty of Youtube is you can just skip right past and get back to the thundering machines.

Even though it’s not a great movie, it does build up some nice tension.  No, there is nothing virtuous in watching this, but if you find yourself needing a moment to decompress, and you like fast cars/auto racing, this could be fun for you.

I’m not sure how much if any footage was actually shot at the 1971 Le Mans.  If it was all just for the film, the drivers went pretty far out pushing the machines for realism.  As far as I know, these are real Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s going at it, more or less full tilt.  I have to think quite a bit of the footage was “real.”

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Twelve Advantages to be Derived from the Contemplation of Death July 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, error, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition.
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I haven’t visited Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in some time.  He has some excellent meditations on the Four Last Ends.  This one is on the advantages gained by souls who contemplate their own death on a regular basis.  I found this very good, I pray you do, too!

1. Contemplation of death enables us to judge properly and prevents our being imposed upon in all affairs. With nothing we came into this world, and with nothing shall we leave it.  Why then should we consume our very lives in the accumulation of riches?

No one is to accompany us out of this world and to our final judgment; why then are we so fond of creatures?

The stench and corruption of the grave in which the pampered body is the prey of the lowest vermin shows us the folly of carnal pleasures…..

2. ……..It is our best instructor through life, laying down but one simple rule, which is the direction of all our acts to one last end.  This consideration drives away all the petty troubles which punctuate this life with unfailing regularity; it steadies us on the course and sustains us on the journey.

3. It teaches us to know ourselves, one of the essential points of true wisdom.

4. It teaches us to despise all that this world can offer, and is the solace of all true servants of God.

5. It is like ice, and helps to chill and deaden the fire of concupiscence; it is a bridle which curbs our sensual appetites.

6. It is a continual source of humiliation, a specific remedy against pride and vanity.

7. It is an excellent preservative against sin.  “In all thy works be mindful of thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.”(Eccl VII:40).

8. It brings exasperated minds back to peace and reconciliation.  Whoever considers seriously that a certain and unavoidable death will one day bring him before the Judge Who shows no mercy but to those who show mercy to others, he will easily be induced to forgive.

9. It is an antidote against the pleasures and vanities of the world…..

10.  It teaches us a provident economy with regard to our salvation, by setting before our eyes the transitory character of this life, and the necessity of laying up a treasure of good works while it is in our power to do so.

11. It induces us to embrace penances with a cheerful spirit.

12. It encourages us to persevere in the way of penance with unshakable firmness.

———-End Quote———-

We live in a culture that is absolutely terrified of growing old, being old, etc.  65 year olds want to be like 28 year olds, wearing skinny jeans and partying.  I think much of this is due to a great, latent fear of death, a fear so great many people have quite willingly bought into the grave error of universal salvation.  So now Catholic funereal Masses are more instant canonizations than they are Requiems imploring prayers for the departed souls.  How many souls languish in Purgatory as a result?

If they are that lucky.  Given the omnipresence of grave sin, Purgatory might not be nearly so populated as it once was.  I pray I’m wrong.  But there is much to be said for contemplating death, the extinguishing of this life, and our judgment before the all-powerful Lord. “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of Almighty God.”  Indeed, it is.  And we would be very well to contemplate all the four last things, to better prepare ourselves for the end that inevitably awaits all of us.

A far better thing it is to know Jesus

 

 

After 1300 years, Islam has not been driven from Europe July 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, persecution, sadness, Saints, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition.
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I titled the post in the somewhat provocative way that I did, in light of two recent and very good posts by Fr. Carota on the role Saints played in helping drive the scourge of islam – for that is how it was always seen by Catholics everywhere, at least until very recently – from Europe.  Fr. Carota discusses Saint Lawrence Brindisi and the Crusade against islam in Hungary at the beginning of the 17th century in this post.  Some excerpts of the role that great Saint played in helping stem the muslim tide in Hungary in 1601:

30 years later, [30 years after the magnificent victory won at Lepanto, in which Our Lady of Victory miraculously led Catholic forces to victory over a much larger Turkish fleet, and which was revealed via a prophecy to Pope St. Pius V hundreds of miles away]  Pope Clement VIII asked St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin friar, to go to Germany to organize their princes into a crusade against the muslim attacks going on in Hungry.  He was very successful and organized the crucial resistance needed to save Europe….[Brief mention of protestant treachery, common in all the later wars against islam, intervenes, I exclude.  Sadly, there was also occasional Catholic treachery, as with the case of Louis XVI allying with the Turks against the Holy Roman Empire in 1683]

…..The Battle of Stuhlweissenburg Hungry took place on October 11, 1601.  St. Lawrence led the battle on a horse carrying a large cross in front of the troops.  Again on October 14th of that same month, these Catholic forces, with St. Lawrence leading, had to fight the muslims in another battle and won.

St. Lawrence, when leading the troops in front into battle, was miraculously saved from all injury and claimed that all the success came from God and Mary.  The Catholic troops, numbering 18,000 men, way out numbered by 80,000 muslims.  The Turks, after suffering the loss of 30,000 men,  withdrew their army behind the Danube. [The muslims dominated the Balkans and Greece for over 3 centuries, from the late 1400s until the mid 1800s]

Whenever the crusades were led by holy people and all those envolved prayed and fasted, they had success.  Whenever they were unjust or doing evil sins, they lost.

Great point.  Christianity is presently being mauled by islam on so many fronts because the Church is so weak, lacking in piety, and divided right now.

Fr. Carota discusses, very briefly, a long arc of Crusades against islam in Europe from 1456 to the 1700s in this post.  He notes how St. Juan de 754px-Battle_of_NandorfehervarCapistrano led the Crusade against islam in 1456, helping keep the Ottomans out of much of modern Serbia and Hungary through much of the 15th century.  Some great art accompanies, which I cheerfully (but gratefully) rip off.  Father notes that the “final defeat” of the muslims in Europe did not occur until the Battle of Peterwardin Vojvodina in 1716.  This battle did recover Belgrade, but it left much of southeastern Europe in muslim hands.

But good Father Carota, who I respect immensely and who made my week a few days ago (private), misses out on long struggles to overcome Ottoman rule in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, much of modern Romania, and other locales throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries.  Greece, cradle of so much of Western Civilization, did not become independent – in part -until 1832, and did not recover Macedonia until 1913!   In fact, the Balkan wars of 1913 were the culmination of nearly two centuries of efforts by Christians to overthrow muslim rule in southeastern Europe.

GreekhistoryHowever, until this very day, islam still occupies a toehold in southeastern Europe in what is called Eastern Thrace and what was the most glorious city in Christendom for over a millenium (and the bulwark against the encroaching muslim), Constantinople.  Greece seized much of East Thrace after WWI, but lost the territory in fighting against the new nation of Turkey.

Ever since the first wild eyed Mohammadans crossed the Strait of Gilbratar and conquered Spain, Islam has been in Europe.  Note that many radical muslims still lament, and get extremely angry, whenever they think of the Crusader States in the Holy Land that existed from ~1096-1291.  That was an intolerable affront to islam and “proof” of Christian militancy, even if all those lands were Christian for centuries before they were converted by islam’s usual method – the sword.  In terms of overall victimhood, since that is such a popular way of viewing things Atak_husariithese days, Christians have borne far more attacks, invasions, raids, piracy, and general cruelty from islam than the reverse – by a huge margin.

But today, for the first time ever, Europe is very willingly and happily allowing tens of millions of muslims into the heart of Europe as immigrants.  This is being done because Europeans have so contracepted and aborted themselves into near sterility that there aren’t enough Europeans to keep the economies of those states going, absent mass scale immigration from the south.  Muammar Gaddafi himself said that in 50 years, islam wouldn’t need to invade or attack Europe, Europe would be predominately muslim!  That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.  In 50 years, if present trends hold, Europe will be between 35-40% muslim.  But of course, Stephen-of-Hungary_illumthese populations are not evenly distributed, and even now, there are places in France, Britain, Germany, and other nations where western women dare not go without wearing the hijab.  One might argue that substantial portions of these nations are muslim already.

What will happen when Europe, the heart of Christianity, is nearly half muslim?  What is being done to strengthen the Church for this ultimate challenge?  Who will man the ramparts?  Who will be there to preach Jesus Christ to all these millions of lost souls?

Lord, send us new Saints in the mold of the ones of old!  Your Church faces threats unlike any in history!  Please help us!  Send us new Saint Lawrence Brindisi’s, new Saint Juan Capistrans, to help us!  Have mercy on us all!  May we become those Saints!

“We are at the beginning of a new Christian holocaust…..” July 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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So said Fr. Ray Blake on his blog a few days ago, and given the ongoing pogroms against Christians throughout the Mideast, I don’t think this claim was an exercise in hyperbole.  Fr. Blake also asks whether world leaders will act any more effectively in this new holocaust than they did during WWII.

Rorate Caeli has done a thorough job of bringing the plight of Christians in the Mideast, and in particular Iraq, to the attention of many faithful Catholics.  We are witnessing an event not seen since WWII and its aftermath, at least, the deliberate and premeditated genocide of an entire people from a large area of the world. The crazed islamists in Iraq and Syria have driven virtually all Christians from the area under their control.  In Mosul, which has been a seat of Catholicism for 1800 years or more, ALL Christians – save perhaps a literal handful hiding underground – have been driven from the city by the new demonic “caliphate.”  And as Rorate has noted, until today, when Le Figaro in France finally broke the silence, the world’s media has indicated by the absolute paucity of coverage that they couldn’t care less about this ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.  Because Christians don’t count, apparently, and have no rights or dignity.

Rorate has also noted, and I will second the call, that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has asked all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate the First Friday for August (Aug 1) to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering direly in Iraq, Syria, and the entire Levant.  The Carmelites will have First Friday as usual August 1, I can think of no better way to participate in this great work of spiritual mercy than by spending a good bit of time during the All Night Adoration at the Carmel.   The note from the Fraternity, calling souls to action:

August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.

I will try to provide more reminders as August 1 draws near.  St. Peter in Chains is certainly a most apropos Feast for the current climate facing the Church.

I must take this opportunity one more time to reiterate my strong concerns over the “interfaith dialogue” many in the hierarchy, down to a fair number of priests and laity, constantly trumpet with regard to islam.  As the Lebanese woman in the video below notes, certainly there are many peaceful muslims, but the problem is, we far too rarely hear from them, nor do they ever take any observable action to oppose the very large number of radical jihadists.  If even 10% of muslims are radical/jihadists, that’s over 100 million radicals.  That large a group can not only do a great deal of damage, they can alter the course of civilization, which is just what they’re doing.  Sitting blithely back singing kumbayah, holding hands, and allowing Mahomet to be preached from the pulpit of Catholic churches will do nothing to stem radicalism and in fact only encourage them further.

Centuries of experience have demonstrated that islam respects only one thing: strength.  They don’t respect dialogue, they don’t respect progressivist guitar strumming dreams of peace (in fact, they loathe nothing more about the West than our decadent progressives), they don’t care about your dreams of peace – they feel a “divine” command to spread their religion by the sword and that is what they’ll do.  To the extent that useful idiots and fellow travelers within the Church assist islam by enervating the faithful, spreading confusion regarding the longtime approach the Church took to muslims, and encouraging foolish worldly indifferentist ecumenism, they only serve to aid the radicals in the Mideast, Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. And Catholics in Iraq, Syria, and other places are currently paying a large part of the price for decades of totally unrealistic, ideologically blind “dialogue.”

You may have seen the exchange below, but it is worth sharing:

 

 

I said yesterday there were many progressives in the US who would rather wear a burqa that acknowledge Jesus Christ.  I wonder how many there are who claim to be Catholic who are the same way?