Friday, April 6, 2018

APRIL

The stranger warmth of the young sun obeying,
Look! little heads of green begin to grow,
And hidden flowers have dared their tops to show
Where late such droughty dusts were rudely playing.
It's not the month, but all the world's a-maying!
Come then with me, I'll take you, for I know
Where the first hedgethorns and white windflowers blow:
We two alone, that goes without the saying.

The month has treacherous clouds and moves in fears.
This April shames the month itself with smiles:
In whose new eyes I know no heaven of tears,
But still serene desire and between whiles,
So great a look that even April's grace
Makes only marvel at her only face.

~H. Belloc
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"Allegory of April: Triumph of Venus (detail)"
by Francesco Cossa. Fresco, A.D. 1470; Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

"The breakdown of Christendom today"

"Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it—we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today. The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines—the very structure of our society is dissolving."

~H. Belloc: The Great Heresies, Ch. III.—The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

"The Resurrection of that real historical Man"

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH alone and from its origins proclaimed the Divinity of a real historical Man and the objective truth of the doctrines which it affirmed Him to have revealed. It proclaimed from the beginning the Resurrection of that real historical Man from the dead; and the popular nickname, “Christian” (which became like so many nicknames the general term) arose from that fact.

All the other popular worships with their mysteries and initiations and the rest of it were admittedly myths. They did not say, “This happened”; what they said was, “This is a parable, a symbol to explain to you the nature and possible fate of the human soul and its relation to the Divine.” Not one of them said, “I was founded by a real human being whom other men met and knew, who lived in a particular place and time; one to whom there are ‘a cloud of witnesses’.” Not one of them said it was the sole guardian of revealed truth and that its officials held a Divine commission to explain that truth throughout the world. 

It was the affirmation that a criminal who had been put to death in a known place and time at Jerusalem, under the Emperor Tiberius, condemned to scourging and to ignominious death by Crucifixion (whereto no Roman citizen was liable) was Divine, spoke with Divine authority, founded a Divine Society, rose from the dead, and could promise to His faithful followers eternal beatitude. This is what shocked the intellectuals, but this also was what gave stuff and substance to that new society and so led to its persecution.

~Hilaire Belloc: The Crisis of Our Civilization, Ch. 1—The Foundation of Christendom. (A.D. 27-33 to A.D. 500)
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"Scenes from the Life of Christ" by Fra Angelico.
Tempera on panel, A.D. 1451-52; Museo di San Marco, Florence.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Mortality is but the Stuff you wear"

MORTALITY is but the Stuff you wear 
To show the better on the imperfect sight. 
Your home is surely with the changeless light 
Of which you are the daughter and the heir. 
For as you pass, the natural life of things 
Proclaims the Resurrection: as you pass 
Remembered summer shines across the grass 
And somewhat in me of the immortal sings. 

You were not made for memory, you are not 
Youth's accident I think but heavenly more; 
Moulding to meaning slips my pen's poor blot 
And opening wide that long forbidden door 
   Where stands the Mother of God, your exemplar. 
   How beautiful, how beautiful you are! 


~H. Belloc: Sonnets and Verse, VII (1923)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

St. Patrick

"We know that among the marks of holiness is the working of miracles. Ireland is the greatest miracle any saint ever worked. It is a miracle and a nexus of miracles. Among other miracles it is a nation raised from the dead."

~Hilaire Belloc

Read the complete essay,
St. Patrick

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"Teaching is today ruined"

"Now teaching is today ruined. The old machinery by which the whole nation could be got to know all essential human things, has been destroyed, and the teaching of history in particular has been not only ruined but rendered ridiculous."


~Hilaire Belloc: On The Reading Of History

Monday, February 26, 2018

"Positive falsehoods were increasingly suggested"

“MEN GRADUALLY came to notice that one thing after another of great public interest, sometimes of vital public interest, was deliberately suppressed in the principal great official papers, and that positive falsehoods were increasingly suggested, or stated.”

~Hilaire Belloc: The Free Press: An essay on manipulation of news and opinion, and how to counter it.


The Free Press is available at IHS Press and Amazon

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