Patton’s Weather Prayer

Friday, December 12, AD 2008




“Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.”

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4 Responses to Patton’s Weather Prayer

  • Warfare is Spiritual as well as earthly. When we look at WWII especially, the lines are very clear as to what was right and what was wrong. Without spiritual guidance, men lose their consciences, without conscience, atrocities will occur un-abated and un-punished. As a combat veteran of Iraq, even if you disagree with Iraq, one can see the good that can come from that war when they are involved over in Iraq. My chaplain was staunchly opposed to the war in Iraq, and yet he did his job and took care of the people as best he could. He also pointed out that the military is best manned by men and women of faith.

    There is also an old saying that rings true: “There are no atheists in foxholes” and I never met an atheist while I was in the military, not once (the ones that said they were all were agnostics who believed in “some higher power”).

    If prayer for success in war is blasphemous, there are a lot of Old Testament figures, and lots of Saints, who have committed said blasphemy. I find the idea of prayer for success on the battle field as blasphemy to be grounded in nothing Biblical (or Jesus would have told the Centurion who’s servant He healed to quit the Roman Army no matter the consequence).

  • Sudsy,

    Thank you for your comments. I couldn’t agree more with your statement.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • sudsysutherland, well said, and thank you for your service to our country.

2 Responses to Death and Forgiveness

5 Responses to The Illinois Way

  • Would be nice if Pat Fitz stays in job. Round here, must give serious props to former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan with his own share of scalps. A former City Councilman. The brother of the previous mayor. The former city managing director. Various investment types trying to get in good with the previous mayor. The rich loon who murdered a wrestler resisting his advances- who previously had naming rights to what is now nicknamed The Ski Lodge, at Villanova University. Set in motion the current trial of a prominent former state senator from South Philly. Seems like U.S. Attorneys are busy in places that were big FDR Whistle Stops back in 1932. The places where gummint expanded and expanded. Thus creating more and more opportunities for official mischief. May the Lord be with Mr. Fitz in his august responsibilities.

  • Here’s a great quote:

    “As FBI Agent Robert Grant put it: ‘Illinois might not be the most corrupt state in the union, but it’s a helluva competitor.'”

  • Correction- Meehan’s office bagged city finance director. Would have nailed a local attorney for whom the finance guy served as loyal servant, but passed away before trial. Rats. Philly politics still not weird like Chi-town’s.

  • “As FBI Agent Robert Grant put it: ‘Illinois might not be the most corrupt state in the union, but it’s a helluva competitor.’”

    Unfortunately there is a lot of competition. Louisiana comes to mind. And New Jersey. And Alaska.

3 Responses to Buyer's Remorse?

  • Anti-war progressives admired Obama for opposing the Iraq war, without realizing that he was merely catering to his Hyde Park constituents with that position. It took no audacity at all.

    It is possible that Obama will push cultural leftism as a way to compensate for his otherwise establishment views on foreign policy and such.

  • Dem pols have this habit- Campaign Moderate, Govern Left. Many of us who did not vote for our President Elect still believe his administration will unfold in this manner- FOCA, Fairness Doctrine, cardchecks for unions, etc. Then there is this morning’s developments from Don Mac’s home state. His governor, roused from bed by Federal law enforcement officers to go downtown and do the perp walk. November 5 phone taps on Gov. Blago feature “Ive got this thing and it’s bleeping golden….I’m not giving it away for bleeping nothing…..” Bleeps added as this is a family blog. tuff about wanting paper in return for the Senate seat abandoned by Chicago’s Own Messiah. Then more stuff like offering cash for Tribune Co. to help sale of Wrigley Field….. in return for purge of Chicago Tribune editorial board- the Trib having the audacity to report shenanigans on or about him. Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald insists our President Elect did nuthin and knew nuthin about Blago’s alleged financial antics. But again we remember the Apostle Paul’s admonition that bad company corrupts good morals. Consider Obama’s pals- Blago, Rezko, Ayers, Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, etc. Not the best way to begin a New Era of Hope and Change.

  • These self-styled progressives forgot one thing about Obama….he’s a politician.

17 Responses to A Word to the Wise

14 Responses to Sixty-Seven Years Ago

  • We must never forget. Sadly, too many people have never known at all.

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  • Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive.

    The direct opposite of the Gospel.

  • Ah Catholic Anarchist, I knew that this post would draw you like a kitten to cream.

    Too bad Christ didn’t have you around to advise Him to berate the Centurion instead of complimenting him:
    “5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. ”

    Then of course you could have told John the Baptist that he was wrong in his advice to soldiers in that he did not demand that they stop being soldiers: “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”

    Finally, with you at his side no doubt Saint Paul would have dropped the military imagery that he used in some of his epistles.

    Time will not permit me to relate all the aspects of Catholic history that would have been changed if the Church dropped its just war teaching and accepted your view that all war is evil, so one example will have to suffice. No doubt God would have changed his revelation to the Maid of Orleans so she wouldn’t have written the following letter:

    King of England, render account to the King of Heaven of your royal blood. Return the keys of all the good cities which you have seized, to the Maid. She is sent by God to reclaim the royal blood, and is fully prepared to make peace, if you will give her satisfaction; that is, you must render justice, and pay back all that you have taken.

    King of England, if you do not do these things, I am the commander of the military; and in whatever place I shall find your men in France, I will make them flee the country, whether they wish to or not; and if they will not obey, the Maid will have them all killed. She comes sent by the King of Heaven, body for body, to take you out of France, and the Maid promises and certifies to you that if you do not leave France she and her troops will raise a mighty outcry as has not been heard in France in a thousa nd years. And believe that the King of Heaven has sent her so much power that you will not be able to harm her or her brave army.

    To you, archers, noble companions in arms, and all people who are before Orleans, I say to you in God’s name, go home to your own country; if you do not do so, beware of the Maid, and of the damages you will suffer. Do not attempt to remain, for you have no rights in France from God, the King of Heaven, and the Son of the Virgin Mary. It is Charles, the rightful heir, to whom God has given France, who will shortly enter Paris in a grand company. If you do not believe the news written of God and the Maid, then in whatever place we may find you, we will soon see who has the better right, God or you.

    William de la Pole, Count of Suffolk, Sir John Talbot, and Thomas, Lord Scales, lieutenants of the Duke of Bedford, who calls himself regent of the King of France for the King of England, make a response, if you wish to make peace over the city of Orleans! If you do not do so, you will always recall the damages which will attend you.

    Duke of Bedford, who call yourself regent of France for the King of England, the Maid asks you not to make her destroy you. If you do not render her satisfaction, she and the French will perform the greatest feat ever done in the name of Christianity.”

  • I’m not asking you to be a pacifist, Donnie. I only wish you would accept just war teaching and take it seriously. And drop the whole idolatry thing.

  • I ask for nothing from you Catholic Anarchist and am therefore never disappointed. Your comment about idolatry is as feeble an insult as your using a diminutive of my first name. Schoolyard comments haven’t had an impact on me since 1968.

  • Tell me about the god you worship, Don.

  • You will find Him quite well described Catholic Anarchist in the Apostles’ Creed.

  • The fact that Christ didn’t address the matter explicitly does not mean that he condoned it. War by its very nature destroys what it tends to protect. The family is the building block of societies and war is a direct attack at that foundation. Men, women, and children die; it is no small matter and I think the “Catholic Anarchist” did not ask for anything contrary to basic Christian teaching on war. If man tried to engage with one another peacefully as quickly as man goes to war, the world would be more in accord with the Gospel.

    War is never a moral good; at best, it can be a justified morally neutral act to protect the common good from quickly spreading grave evil or in defense when all other measures have been exhausted.

    However to use the fact that the Lord didn’t address this in an opportune moment is a flawed argument in my view. There are a host of things Jesus didn’t specifically address, e.g. slavery — doesn’t mean that the Lord condones that either. Paul didn’t argue against slavery when talking to slave owners, does that mean the Catholic Church should reconsider its thinking on slavery?

  • No Eric, the Catholic Anarchist views all wars as evil and believes that the Church has been in error in adopting the just war doctrine. God was quite explicit throughout the Old Testament in deeming certain wars to be just. If the argument is made that Christ commands that His followers never participate in war then the burden of proof is on those make the argument. Catholics are not Quakers and absolute pacifism has never been a majority position in the Catholic faith at least since the time of Constantine. Our data for the first three centuries is so incomplete, and the Roman legions were so encrusted with pagan rituals, that I hesitate to draw conclusions from that time period as to the position of the Church as a whole as to military service. Certainly the Fathers of the Church found no moral difficulty with Christians serving in wars once the Emperor was Christian.

    In any event I do not think the Catholic Anarchist is making a theological point but rather giving vent to the deep hatred he has for the United States, as demonstrated by such juvenile tactics on his part as not capitalizing America or the United States.

  • Eric, as to Christians and military service, I believe this letter of Saint Augustine to Count Boniface is instructive.

    The pertinent portion:

    ” Do not think that it is impossible for any one to please God while engaged in active military service. Among such persons was the holy David, to whom God gave so great a testimony; among them also were many righteous men of that time; among them was also that centurion who said to the Lord: I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed: for I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it; and concerning whom the Lord said: Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Matthew 8:8-10 Among them was that Cornelius to whom an angel said: Cornelius, your alms are accepted, and your prayers are heard, Acts 10:4 when he directed him to send to the blessed Apostle Peter, and to hear from him what he ought to do, to which apostle he sent a devout soldier, requesting him to come to him. Among them were also the soldiers who, when they had come to be baptized by John,— the sacred forerunner of the Lord, and the friend of the Bridegroom, of whom the Lord says: Among them that are born of women there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist, Matthew 11:11 — and had inquired of him what they should do, received the answer, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. Luke 3:14 Certainly he did not prohibit them to serve as soldiers when he commanded them to be content with their pay for the service.”

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  • Froom now on this man is my new hero. I can just say that I agreee 100%

Compare and Contrast II

Saturday, December 6, AD 2008



Something for the weekend.  Two legendary singers singing one song, Hank Williams’  immortal “I Saw The Light“.  Simple and powerful, the song has not lost any of its force since it was composed in 1948.  Both Hank Williams and Johnny Cash were men very familiar with sin but who also testified to the power and mercy of God.  I hope and pray they are enjoying the mercy of God now.

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8 Responses to Compare and Contrast II

  • I’m considering the implications of Jerry Lee Lewis joining Johnny & Carl Perkins on this one. Jerry Lee, as many of you know, is the cousin of Jimmy Swaggart. There’s much more palpable sense of the tension between sin and mercy in this music than in almost all “Contemporary Christian Music” and in any recent Catholic music I’ve heard. An exception would be some of the songs by Jars of Clay.

    This is a pity. While we should certainly praise God in our music, our lives are often more like some of the sadder Psalms, the ones in which we sing of our feelings of abandonment and sorrow and beg for God’s mercy.

    By the way, a young June Carter — later Mrs. Johnny Cash — is in the first video singing with Hank and Roy Acuff.

  • why two great entertainers, from across the pond its your leaders who should ask your gods for help. tapaloy from telegraph england

  • We should all ask God for help michael joseph no matter what our occupation.

  • Mr. McClarey-
    very much so. I still feel sorry for that guy, and fear that Ms. Spears is headed the same way.

  • I Walk The Line- as much a metaphor as song for Johnny Cash’s life. Totally comfortable singing to lifers in Folsom Prison as at Grand Ole Opry. Carried on affair with June Carter pretty much in public long before it was pretty much accepted, but comfortable asking God for help. Quite the commentary- CMT refused to play the stripped-down videos from the first album he recorded with rap/metal producer Rick Rubin behind the controls. Gave his career new life in dingy clubs with young people wearing his beloved black. Matches lyrics from a song by his pal Kris Kristofferson- ‘he’s a walking contradiction/partly truth and partly fiction.’ Up to the time of his passing, clearly a man that one did not mess with. No one remotely like him. No other nation could have produced him. As for Hank- the progenitor of the trend of Death As A Career Move. Too many myths around him. Cash lived long enough to maintain his realness.

  • Some of the most honest music I’ve heard is on those Cash albums with Rick Rubin. Many of the songs aren’t his, and there are definitely some misses, but overall they are brilliant. Not many artists can make music like that in their 60’s (or in their twenties for that matter).

  • Johnny Cash is a class unto iself.

    For one, nothing compares to his rough, but most vulnerable vocal delivery. His “God” compilation on Sony, I believe, is amazing too.

    Thanks once, Donald, again for this compare and contrast series. I am enjoying it immensely.

    If I were you, I’d put next a Billy Holiday rendition of some standard, over against that by Ella…

  • Some weekend I will probably do that.

God's Secret Agent

Friday, December 5, AD 2008


“And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league – all the Jesuits in the world – cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted; so it must be restored.

Hat tip to Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons.

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Electoral Defeat-1780

Thursday, December 4, AD 2008


“For I must do it justice;  it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts.   It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

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6 Responses to Electoral Defeat-1780

2 Responses to Pension Wipeout

  • It is GM times 100,000. The tick tick tick under most local and state governments. Given the fact that at least a dozen states have publicly displayed their financial distress- CA, NJ, NJ, MI, others- root through the financial records and you will find this potential mess. Now switch to Washington and the administration of the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security. Which many experts will claim goes kablooey on or around 2016. You have a potential crisis that makes the current kerfuffles look trivial. Watch the next four to five years. There is radical change underway in virtually every major American institution. It is what Phila. Mayor Michael Nutter faces during his current round of community meetings to explain the $108 million tax revenue shortfall and why their neighborhood libraries, pools and rec centers will close. How ironic. Just before the Great and Handsome Apostle of Big Gummint assumes the Presidency, the Era of Big Gummint is coming to a screeching halt.

  • Quite right Gerard. I used to jokingly tell people that my retirement plan was to be carried dead from behing my desk at 85. Now I fear that my retirement plan may become a reality for many.

One Response to Fourth Party Hearsay

2 Responses to Catholics Come Home!

7 Responses to What He Said

  • I posted some thoughts on this article indirectly in a separate post. Let me say that it is a very good exploration of some of the problems with President-elect Obama from a pro-life perspective and that people like Kmiec who claim to be ‘pro-lifers,’ but then make pro-choice arguments are not really worthy of engagement. However, I think the denunciations of the Vox Nova crew are unfair; they are in an entirely different category than Kmiec for the most part, and contra the post, they have spoken out rather clearly about their pro-life concerns in an Obama administration. I recognize they can be extremely irritating, obtuse, etc., however I frequently dislike the way they express themselves much more than with the substance of their posts.

  • We shall have to agree to disagree on this point John Henry. I believe that “pro-lifers” who voted for the most radical pro-abort to ever run for President simply cannot be taken seriously as pro-lifers.

  • Fair enough, Donald. I could not justify voting for President-elect Obama personally, and I can certainly sympathize.

  • John Henry, can you please provide me any links to where the Vox Nova bloggers who endorsed Obama also expressed concerned about his abortion policies?

  • Paul – they have devoted a page of their web-site solely to asking Obama to reconsider some of his positions on abortion:

  • John Henry –

    That post was put up by Henry Karlson, and I’m one of the original signatories on that petition.

    Henry was not one of the four at Vox Nova who publicly endorsed Obama for President, that I’m aware of.

    My view is that someone who is pro-life, and yet who spent so much energy persuading pro-lifers to vote Democrat, is now obligated morally to spend a like amount on energy on persuading Democrats to be pro-life.

    Not a single keystroke from any of those I’ve named has been spent in such an effort.

  • Paul,

    You are correct. Henry did not endorse Obama, and he has said he did not vote for him. I agree that it would be nice if the contributors showed as much enthusiasm for debating pro-choice Democrats as they do for attacking pro-life Republicans, but that is more because it is irritating than because I think it would make much of a difference in changing anyone’s mind.

    At the same time, I know MM, Michael and Katerina signed the petition (not sure about M.Z., RCM but I assume they did as well), and they all were happy to support it. That is something.

10 Responses to La Marseillaise

  • How many were slaughtered and martyred by people singing this song?

  • No doubt far fewer French Catholics than died in wars fostered by French kings often for dubious reasons. The heroic revolt in the Vende was far in the past by WWII, and de Gaulle, a serious Catholic, and other French Catholics fully embraced La Marseillaise which had been banned by the Vichy regime. De Gaulle sang the song at the liberation of Paris in 1944. The Republican regime of the Terror was an evil regime. The Vichy regime that the Free French forces fought against was likewise an evil regime. The wheel of history turns and old symbols can become attached to new causes.

  • “No doubt far fewer French Catholics than died in wars fostered by French kings often for dubious reasons. ”

    Such as the American War of Independence?

    I don’t mean to be too snarky, but there is a deep paradox in the American Republic’s dependence upon the French Monarchy.

    The sentimental revolutionary spirit unleashed by the French Revolution has also done untold damage to the world, even to this day. Brief but regular acknowledgment of its victims might be warranted.

  • Monarchies can commit evil just as republics can. I do not regard revolution against tyrannical governments to be a sin, no matter what the tyrannical government calls itself. The idea that Catholic monarchy is some sort of ideal form of government is amply refuted by history. Napoleon was a tyrant, but so was the Sun King. Poor Louis XVI, excellent family man, good Catholic, hapless and feckless monarch, was living proof of the limitations of hereditary monarchy. The Altar and Throne combo has no charms for me.

  • It’s one of the ironies of history that the French monarchy and Tsarist Russia fell to revolutions during the reign of basically well intentioned (if ineffective) rulers. And that while many reasonable people could have wished to see those regimes reformed or abolished, it was the very worst people available who took the opportunity to take power.

  • Quite right. There were decent elements in both revolutions: Lafayette in the French Revolution and Kerensky in the Russian Revolution that deposed the Tsar. Unfortunately they proved singularly ineffective in the internecine struggles that ended in Napoleon and in Stalin. America was very fortunate indeed in the Founding Fathers.

  • I know one brave group of soldiers that fought the people who began singing that terrible song…

  • I’d have to respectfully disagree with Donald on this one.

    But the Sun King did not systematically kill frenchmen such as the Committee of Public Safety did. I hope you were just making generalizations and not making “moral equivalency” charges between the Sun King and the anti-christ that was Napolean.

    I’m not a monarchist nor am I a proponent of the Bourban line, but I would like to see the French Republic less hostile to the faith and make some reperations to the Church. Granted there was the concordant between Napolean and the Church, but it would be nice to see the Fleur-de-lis replace the tri-color to represent Catholic France (not necessarily the Bourbons).

  • The comparison actually Tito was between the Sun King and Napoleon. In their indifference to liberty and their faith in authoritarian rule I find little to choose between them. Napoleon actually modeled his policy towards the papacy on the Gallicanism of the Sun King. The Declaration of the Clergy of France of 1682 definitely has a Napoleonic ring to it.

    “Kings of France had the right to assemble church councils in their dominions.
    Kings of France had the right to make laws and regulations touching ecclesiastical matters.
    The Pope required the king’s consent to send papal legates into France.
    Those legates required the king’s consent to exercise their power within France.
    Bishops, even when commanded by the Pope, could not go out of the kingdom without the king’s consent.
    Royal officers could not be excommunicated for any act performed in the discharge of their official duties.
    The Pope could not authorize the alienation of landed church estates in France, or the diminishing of any foundations.
    Papal Bulls and Letters required the Pareatis of the king or his officers before they took effect within France.
    The Pope could not issue dispensations “to the prejudice of the laudable customs and statutes” of the French cathedral Churches.
    It was lawful to appeal from the Pope to a future council or to have recourse to the “appeal as from an abuse” (“appel comme d’abus”) against acts of the ecclesiastical power. ”

    The “Eldest Daughter of the Church” has been in rebellion for a very long time indeed.

  • I knew there had to be more than just a disagreement. That makes more sense. Again I like the democratic structure of France over an absolutist rule.

    My only point was the many killed during the French Revolution.

    The French still don’t get it right after so many centuries in my opinion.

    Thanks for the document, I’m a history buff so this is certainly enlightening.