September 23, 2012

There Is a Harmony in Autumn...

...[T]here is a harmony

In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,

Which through the summer is not heard or seen,

As if it could not be, as if it had not been!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”

I have been very busy the past few weeks—and will be so in the days to come—so I haven’t been blogging much lately. Sorry about that, but believe me, I have a good reason… I’ll let you know more in due course. In the meantime enjoy the full text of the beautiful poem from which the above quote was taken. Happy Autumnal Equinox!

September 13, 2012

Why the Obama Administration is Wrong About the Embassy Attacks

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

A few simple, but very appropriate, remarks by Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School:

The White House and diplomats may wish to believe a distasteful, provocative, and inflammatory film motivated the violence in both Egypt and Libya. It is comforting for politicians and officials to ascribe the root cause of Islamist terrorism to grievance because if grievance motivates terror, then resolving the grievance could provide the solution.

Islamist terrorism, however, has far less to do with material grievance than ideology. [...]

Read the rest, it’s worth it.

September 3, 2012

If Only They Could Have Imagined

A new knighthood has appeared in the land of the Incarnation, a knighthood that fights a double battle against adversaries of flesh and blood and also against the spirit of evil. This new knighthood is worthy of all the praise given to men of God. The knight who protects his soul with the armor of faith, as he covers his body with a coat of mail, is truly without fear and above reproach. Doubly armed he fears neither men nor demons.

~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux, De Laude Novae Militiae

Seal of the Templars
Image from the Wikimedia Commons
The first master of the Order of the Knights Templar, Hugh of Payens, came from Jerusalem to France to obtain the approval of the new order, and with this objective he went to his friend, the future St. Bernard, then the abbot of Clairvaux, the most influential person in Christendom. And he fulfilled his purpose very well, in fact, in response to repeated requests from his friend—“Three times, if I do not mistake, have you beseeched me, my beloved Hugh, to write for you and your companions in arms a sermon that would raise your spirits” (quoted in Americo Castro’s The Spaniards: An Introduction to Their History)—Bernard wrote the document De Laude Novae Militiae (In Praise of the New Knighthood). And as a result the rule of the new order was approved by the Council of Troyes in 1128.

Of course neither Hugh of Payens nor the abbot Bernard of Clairvaux would have ever imagined that one day, some two centuries later, King Philip the Fair—grandson of St. Louis of France—had engineered the election of the pope and the relocation of the papal court to Avignon, with what this would mean for the Knights Templar... What a wonderful story, that of the Knights of the Temple, but what a sad end!

Oh, I almost forgot, if you want to learn more about the whole thing, then read this article by Christopher Check in Catholic Answers Magazine: “The Sad History of the Knights Templar.”