Tag: education

Parenting Today – I

Parenting Today – I posted in Eleison Comments on February 17, 2018

Nearly 20 years ago a priest of the Society of St Pius X, master of an Ignatian Retreat House in France and therefore in close contact with Traditional Catholic family problems, wrote an excellent editorial on How our youngsters are evolving. He paints a dark picture. Alas, the picture has grown only darker in the meantime. We must not despair, but on the other hand parents must see things as they are. It is not as though today’s youngsters are blameless, but parents must do everything possible to put them on the path to Heaven, because even today that is still the responsibility of parents. Here is the dark picture, adapted and abbreviated from Revue Marchons Droit, # 90, avril-mai-juin, 2000:—

In the Retreats we see youngsters growing up, incapable of rebuilding Christendom. The sacrifices made by parents and teachers seem to have borne no proportional fruit. Clearly something is not working , and if we do not react, then within two generations we will be swallowed up by the spirit of the world.

Young people we observe between 18 and 30 years old are profoundly ignorant of the crisis in Church and world, not because they have not been taught, but for lack of interest . Broadly speaking, they follow along the lines of their parents, but they cannot explain on their own what is wrong with the New Mass, with Vatican II, with the New World Order. Never having had to fight, to defend their beliefs or to resist, and so never having studied for themselves, when they meet the world they easily give way. They want to be like everybody else , they do not want to be different, they lack the personal conviction to stand up for Catholic Tradition, and so instead of being Apostles of Christ, little by little they go with the flow.

Where will there be tomorrow the good vocations, the good Christian families we so urgently need? Vocations grow rare, marriages grow weak or dry up altogether, formation grows soft, immaturity takes over. All the youngsters want is to enjoy. The boys lack character, sense of responsibility, generosity, self-control, everything that parents should be inculcating in them to turn them into the men we can rely on for tomorrow: men chaste, mature, thoughtful, hard-working, magnanimous. Without such men of conviction, where will be the heads of tomorrow’s families? The girls are also being reared in disorder.

Instead of preparing for motherhood and for looking after a family, they learn to look down on the domesticity which is their true vocation, and they are encouraged to study longer and longer, thus acquiring a spirit of independence , alongside a worldliness turning to fashion, parties and rock music. How can mothers give way to their girls’ mini-skirts and trousers, to their loose dress for parties which are obvious occasions of sin, where they waste their time and soil the purity of their hearts?

The result is young people getting married at 20 or 22 years of age, when they are absolutely not ready. And soon the children are arriving whom they have no idea of how to bring up. If I look at the young couples I have married – in Tradition – since my ordination in 1980, thank God there have been no divorces, but I have to say that half the marriages are hanging on a thread, being held together only by the youngsters’ Catholic principles. Parents, do you realise what you need to be giving to your children for their future in today’s world? You must for God’s sake form your boys to be men worthy of the name and your girls to be women worthy of the name. Do your duty. Otherwise, your children risk losing their souls, and Christendom is finished.

Surely Fr Delagneau is right. Christendom is in serious danger, no less. Now can we see why in 2018 God is allowing Europe and France in particular to be filled by His enemies with His enemies? And why He is allowing the Society of St Pius X to be sliding into the arms of His enemies? He did not create us to fall into Hell. He created us to fight the good fight to get to Heaven. And He will permit any disaster that will shake us off the road to Hell, and put us back on the road to Heaven. Wait for it!

Kyrie eleison.

Declining Slowly – II

Declining Slowly – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 1, 2017

The original letter of last week’s writer from the USA was rather longer than the EC taken from it, and many interesting things were left out. Here are another two valuable paragraphs, on Traditional schools and Traditional women. The great lesson is always the same – if I do not live as I think, I will inevitably think as I live. Patience. God does not ask of us the impossible, but on the other hand He does expect us to do our best possible:—

Perhaps modernism is making its greatest inroads into the Traditionalist Movement in education. All kinds of modern practices have made their way into its schools without anyone seeming to notice. The modernist pedagogical and psychological philosophy of the 50s and 60s is being brought in, along with all the usual buzzwords and paraphernalia. Old-fashioned teachers have become the problem. A modern army of administrators, curriculum specialists, educational experts, child psychologists, etc., is now in charge, promising as usual to make everything better, especially in worldly matters such as test scores, college placement, and lucrative careers. Supposedly Traditional schools are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from the public schools.

The social revolution going on among the children in our schools daily, is especially strong among the young ladies. There is a virulent new strain of Traditionalist feminism. Many have imbibed the modern poison of equality with, and competition against, men. From a young age they are pitted against men. They want to compete against them, and they think they can do almost anything a man can. They think that the only test of whether or not a woman should do something is whether she is physically capable. To whatever Tadition may say about the role of women, they pay little or no attention. They believe the same lies that have already ruined a generation or two. They have the idea that they can have a highly successful professional career in any field, and still be a good Catholic wife and mother at the same time. The old phrase “A woman’s place is in the home” is not heard anymore in Traditional circles, in fact it is openly scorned. Worst of all, our young ladies are hearing and learning this not from the world, but from our own people. There are too many women in positions of public authority in our schools and there are too many women teachers. This is Revolutionary, and it sets a terrible example for our young ladies, which cannot be overcome by any amount of preaching. Yet what good does it do for a woman to dress modestly if she acts like a man in every other way, especially socially, economically, and politically? A few years ago anyone, not just Traditionalists, would have known this, yet now here it is, being promoted as Traditional.

Then what is so wrong with modern education and its modern methods? Answer, the heart and soul of true education is the Catholic Faith, meaning adults with the backing of the (true) Church, using their authority to teach youngsters, by direct human contact, firstly how to get to Heaven, secondly how to live sane lives as adults in the world, consistent with getting to Heaven. How many “administrators, curriculum specialists, educational experts and child psychologists” even have experience of the living classroom, let alone have the Faith? For lack of the Faith, today’s living classroom is a jungle full of wild beasts. No wonder the “experts” flee it. They are clueless, and powerless to educate.

And what is so wrong with modern women? Modern men, who have let them get out of control. God made women to be under their menfolk, even before the Fall. So what can a good girl do? Pray to St Joseph and to St Anne – both found wonderful spouses – to find a husband that she can respect. God’s arm is not shortened by the wickedness of men (cf. Is. LIX, 1). And men? Your womenfolk will find it much easier to obey you, if you yourselves obey God (I Cor. XI, 3).

Kyrie eleison.

Academia Diagnosed

Academia Diagnosed posted in Eleison Comments on July 23, 2016

When your Excellency asked me as a student of history whether I agreed with you that the agnostic phenomenism condemned in Pascendi is the greatest single clue-in to the modern scene, I briefly concurred. Then I asked myself how men, especially learned men, could ever take seriously such nonsense as the mind knowing nothing beyond the phenomena, or appearances. And I recalled how, after sitting in University classrooms for the past 3 1/2 years, and listening carefully to some brilliant professors who seem to have a sense of reality, and to many who do not, I myself had begun to wonder why some have a great sense of reason and others with the same or similar Doctorate Degrees have adopted such wild and unreasonable ideas. Let me give you the answer of this long-time observer of the academic scene . . . .

It dawned on me after a little thought that the professors who were the most logical were Catholics, because they may be conservatives at best, but they have a realistic view of the world. The ideas and concepts they teach are, for the most part, sensible. On the other hand, the instructions of a majority of professors are muddled, confusing, and nonsensical. They profess bizarre and outlandish ideas and back them up with half-truths. They adopt almost any trendy notion, such as Global Warming or Climate Change ( the new “Evolution”), and present it as truth. Their reasoning behind these notions is pure nonsense and cannot stand up to close scrutiny. I began to wonder, how can such learned men be so ignorant? After much thought I came up with what I am sure is the true answer.

Since the professors who are more sensible are men at least striving to be Catholic, it would stand to reason that they possess something that the heathens do not. Before the revolt by Martin Luther, most scholars or learned men were Catholics who used their reason and possessed common sense, so that most taught and believed the same truth. When Luther ravaged the Church, he also ravaged many learned clerics and university professors. In particular, his new religion eliminated the Sacrament of Confirmation by which we know that Catholics receive the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, four of which are for the mind: Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding, and Counsel. All four are now lacking to today’s agnostic professors. These may be well-educated, learned people, but they cannot use their learning in a reasonable way, or apply it to reality. As Pius X says, they develop fantasies and present them as truths, and furthermore convince themselves that they are brilliant, when in fact they are wallowing in ignorance. They are the 2+2=5 cult! And proud of it.

On this theory, today’s destruction of academia would go back to Luther’s abandoning of the Sacrament of Confirmation, and to Europe’s universities becoming less and less Catholic. Eventually thousands of professors were unleashed on the world of academia who were educated beyond their ability to reason. Lacking Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Counsel in their highest sense as Gifts from God, they developed in universities the panoply of today’s errors, or “isms.” For instance, to claim that Global Warming will destroy man and the world is sheer nonsense, yet it is taught and believed in modern Universities, as if it were 2+2 = 4. And these poisonous ideas are gobbled up by the wide-eyed youth in Universities, like biscuits at High Tea, especially the idea that Truth is merely what each of us believes it to be, and Reason be damned.

So it would follow that when Vatican II chose to follow in Luther’s footsteps by abandoning Tradition and by so “renewing” the sacrament of Confirmation as to threaten its validity, Catholics too imperilled the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, and lost correspondingly the ability to reason, because Newchurch Confirmation is now meant simply to make them “better Christians.”

Kyrie eleison.

Dickens Conference

Dickens Conference posted in Eleison Comments on August 16, 2014

The Dickens Conference held two weeks ago at Queen of Martyrs House in Broadstairs, England, went very well, within its modest limits. On the Saturday there was only a little rain, the Sunday was all sunshine, and nearly 30 participants, mostly from England but also from Denmark, France and the USA, much enjoyed the house, one another’s Catholic company, and the three lectures of Dr David White on three novels of Charles Dickens (1812–1870), England’s best loved writer after William Shakespeare.

“Within its modest limits” because outside of the devoutly attended Masses on the Saturday and Sunday, there was little outwardly supernatural about the Conference. Let us say that it was a session of sanity rather than sanctity, but we notice immediately that at least in English the word “sanity” makes up three quarters of the word “sanctity.” Grace builds on nature, and it can hardly build on the insanity and corruption of nature to which the world around us is giving itself over, day by day. Sanity is therefore more important than ever, even for supernatural purposes. If the “Resistance” is presently making so little apparent headway, is it not because there is just not enough sanity still around to recognize and cast out the mind-rot, and the rot of true obedience and sanctity?

In Dr White’s first lecture he spoke of David Copperfield, Dickens’ own favourite amongst his many novels, and specially linked to Broadstairs. This is because on Dickens’ many visits for work or holidays to his beloved seaside town, he came to know an eccentric old lady who lived in a small house still existing on the sea-front. She so impressed him that he built her into David Copperfield as Betsy Trotwood, an eccentric old lady who takes in the orphaned hero of the novel and protects him until he finds his way in life. In her mouth Dickens puts his own hatred of Puritanism and Calvinism, said Dr White. At least once in his life Dickens was told that Catholicism is the one true religion, but he never became a Catholic. However, he had a supreme respect for the Gospel of Christ, and genuinely good-hearted characters tumble over one another in the pages of his novels.

On Saturday afternoon there followed a visit to the sea-front house of “Betsy Trotwood,” now a Dickens Museum; full of Dickensian memorabilia and with a Dickensian curator. Then the second conference was on Bleak House, first novel of Dickens’ second period, when England was growing darker. Bleak House attacks lawyers and the law in particular, but in general, said Dr White, it attacks a System more and more in control of society, demoralizing and crushing the innocent sheep. Politics are becoming meaningless and the aristocracy is losing touch with reality, but an inhuman System is driving forward until it will finally collapse under its faksehood, in the manner of Vatican II, added Dr White.

The third lecture presented on Sunday morning Hard Times, another of the darker novels, about the total lack of real education, 150 years ago! Without education of the heart, Dickens knew that human beings will be cold and inhuman. Dr White drew on his decades of teaching in the USA Naval Academy to back up Dickens’ portrait of the enormous stupidity of the social robots engineered by an “education” spurning history, the arts, music, literature and especially poetry. The result, he said, is the boundless boredom of youngsters today, a reflection of pure nihilism.

However, Conference participants went home feeling neither bored nor nihilistic, but much refreshed. Deo Gratias.

Kyrie eleison.