Showing posts with label Aquinas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aquinas. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Love Long Range Shooting

someone else's guns


OK, now that I've experienced the awesome enjoyment of shooting successfully out to 1000 yards I've decided that I love it with a passion and want more of it. The appetite, as it were, has found the thing pleasing and wants to enjoy it. This means getting a long range, precision rifle and associated optics.

Is this amor amicitiae ("the love of friendship" or of willing the good of the other for its own sake) or amor concupiscentiae ("the love of fervent desire," and of a good for the beloved)? Both, surely. You apprehend the beatitude of long range shooting and the good, in this case an awesome rifle, to make it happen. And all because, according to Aquinas, you first love yourself.

In recognizing something's good for you, say long range shooting, you see it as good in itself and want the best for it. Its value is your value and so you give yourself to it, in a movement of the heart and mind which is paradoxically the reverse of egotism. Or something like that, such is love. But what about that gun, eh?


J with a gun

Good question. J came by the manse and I asked his advice, "Maybe I should get one of these out of the box precision guns, like a Ruger or a Bergara or something like that?" His answer was, "No, they don't hang with a custom build. What you've got to do is look out for a used one. You can save hundreds of dollars."

Interesting and I think it bears a means test, which is this. Get a reloading press and associated kit, probably a Rock Chucker, and see if I have the commitment to get into precision ammo. Because if you don't, you probably don't have the commitment to invest in a precision, long range rifle. The shared value or commonality isn't there.

Does that make sense?

Gun Rights,

LSP

Sunday, May 26, 2019

What is Truth?



What is truth, asked the unfortunate Pilate. Prompted by LL's engaging Sunday sermon, I returned to the Angelic Doctor to find out.

Aquinas describes truth in three ways, ontological, moral and logical. You can get a helpful snapshot here, but let's reflect briefly on the logical definition, truth is conformity of mind to thing. When you see an object for what it is, you see it correctly.


Yes it's true, Putin is awesome

For example, your mind  tells you that the US President is a Kremlin spy and that Russian strongman, Vladimir Putin, is head of Spectre and Chaos. And all because the NYT, WaPo, Rachel Maddow, CNN and your pet unicorn told you so. 


Truth can be terrifying

Great, only problem being that your ridiculous, childish, risible theory doesn't have any evidence to back it up. It's all in your mind, which is laughably out of synch with reality, and notoriously out of conformity with the thing at hand. It's not true.


Please let this be true

Then, waking up from your emotive but tragically false dreamstate, you see Hillary and realize that the Killer Krone of Benghazi needs to be locked up along with all the other Illuminati, NWO, transnational globalist elite clowns.


Truly pathetic

Congratulations, you've arrived at the truth. Discerning that which is, your mind's in conformity to the thing, the awful thing that is the dismally failed Candidate Clinton.


A Winner and a Loser. Truth

In related news, the BREXIT party's smashed it's uniparty rivals in the European elections, and Marine Le Pen's defeated hated Rothschild puppet, Macron, in France. Salvini's won Italy and Tarcynski Poland, Germany's gone predictably and pathetically green. 


Le Pen truly beats hated Illuminati shill Macron

Is Europe waking up? That remains to be seen.

Veritas,

LSP

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Virtues And Gifts



Our diocesan retreat's over and the conferences were excellent. A classical exposition of the virtues, theological and cardinal, and their perfection under the impulse of the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. 

So for example, the gift of understanding perfects the infused virtue of faith, giving us profound insight into divine truth. And on; thank you Fr. Ward for bringing Aquinas to Texas along with the tried and true application of the matter in hand to the lives of the Saints, living icons of the Spirit's munificence.

It was all good but I was struck by this. The gift of fortitude or courage perfects the moral virtue of the same name, seen by Aristotle as courage in battle for the good end/telos of the city, elevated or "taken into a larger room" in the context of the Faith. Now we face danger or death for the good of the heavenly city as opposed to Athens or, say, Abilene.

Yes indeed and we can see how the gift of fortitude, and it is a gift, impels the martyrs and all heroes of the Faith. Stick with it, don't give up on your journey to the beatific vision. Obvious enough, if a mystery, and we can see why this bravery extends to all the virtues. But consider.


First Crusade. Result.

Fortitude applies to our earthly struggle. It's not easy to stick with the program when Pink Moloch strides like Behemoth across the land. No doubt, but the gift also extends to the heavenly. 

We need courage to face the next life, our moving on to something entirely, radically, utterly new and with it a total detachment from earthly things, all that we've known. That takes bravery and it's given us by the Spirit.

Thank you, Fr. Ward for the insight and many more. If you want to learn more about this and you should, see here and here and go from there. 


Not Fortitude

So don't give up, readers, like some kind of pathetic beta and run in panic for the nearest safe space, onesie or crying towel.

FORTITUDE,

LSP

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Holy Trinity



Listen up, heathen, it's Trinity Sunday and time to reflect on the inner life of God, revealed as three persons in one divine nature. Three persons fully God yet not three Gods but one God.

Tricky, isn't it, and I'm reminded of a conversation I had with an old monk, back in the mists of time. "Tell me, Father (he was a priest religious), how do we understand the Trinity?" I was hoping for wisdom from this elder, you see, and he replied, "Well, it's like a shamrock!"

The problem, of course, is that the Trinity isn't much like a shamrock or three pieces of one awesome pizza; each leaf or slice is fully the thing itself. How?

Perhaps Aquinas helps, following Aristotle through the lens of St. John. God, from all eternity thinks, He generates or begets an idea of Himself, a perfect concept of who He is, which is everything that He is, including existence and self-consciousness. 

This thought is expressly uttered as His Word, identical in being with the Father but distinct in relationship to Him. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, says St. John. Here's Aquinas:

Whenever anyone understands because of his very act of understanding, something comes forth within him, which is the concept of the known thing proceeding from his awareness of it. It is this concept which an utterance signifies; we call it 'the word in the heart' signified by the spoken word. (1a.27.1)

So the Father and the Son, or Word, are one in being but persons by virtue of their relationship one to the other. And the Father looks at the Son and loves Him because He is everything that is lovable. So too does the Son love the Father. Both pour out their being, perfectly, to each other in love.

Such love, being all that the Father and the Son are, must itself be a person, the Holy Spirit. Again, identical in being with the other persons of the Trinity but distinct in terms of relationship; the Spirit proceeds. And He pours Himself back to the Father and the Son in love.

Step back from this for a moment and see that the Father, the Son and the Spirit are a community or communion of persons in love. As Augustine teaches, Lover, Beloved and Loving. God, per St. John and in no other religion, is love.

How very beautiful, LSP, you say with that faint curl of the lip as you sip the next fizzing glass of Clicquot. Not so fast, boulevardier, consider the reverse. As opposed to God is love, think of the reality behind the universe as simply its material, stars, planets, electrons, atoms, particles, gasses, forces and on. 

This, we're told, liberates us from oppressive Christianity. Really? Being in the hand of vast, implacable, natural force is freeing?

Go ahead and think that, but since when did gravity write your family a condolence letter when you fell off the pier fishing for Gar? Since when did an electron apologize for making you feel bad and then try to do something about it?

That way lies despair and the Trinity frees us from this. In the Triune God we  see love at the foundation of all that is, and therein lies fulfillment, meaning and purpose, the telos or end of our soul's desire.

May we grow into the glory,

LSP

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lighten Up!



Readers of this small kebob-stand on the information superhighway, all six of you, are saying, "C'mon, LSP, lighten up! Less Great Russian Art and more God." With the proviso that Great Russian art is both uplifting and educational, let's reflect.

Why is there something rather than nothing? Good question. Because necessity undergirds contingency or, to put it another way, that self-subsistent being, ipsum esse subsistens, the "sheer act of to be itself," causes it.




God articulates this to Moses, speaking out of the unquenchable fire of the burning bush, I AM THAT I AM. He who is is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega of all that is. But His nature is unknowable, existing in the absolute simplicity of pure act from all timeless eternity.




How fortunate, then, that He has revealed Himself as sacrificial love incarnate, in the person of His Son and more than that, has extended his salvific being in the Mystical Body of His Church, which draws all men towards their eternal home. And what awaits there?

Judgement, for sure, but remember, with the repentant thief, this day you will be with me in paradise.

Mind how you go,

LSP

Monday, June 15, 2015

Now We're Getting Serious


It was sunny yesterday afternoon, and Blue Metaphysic took the opportunity to roll about on the ground while reflecting on the evils of Bogomil Catharism. 

Catharism

Then clouds rolled in from the South and it began to rain, and thunder and lightning. Blue Epistemology took it all in his stride and fell asleep. I stood on the front porch and watched the rain.

Liturgist

It was a good moment, unlike Catharism and 1970s liturgical reform, which were bad moments.

God bless,

LSP

Monday, June 1, 2015

Holy Trinity


Yesterday was Trinity Sunday and I celebrated the Feast by grilling burgers. The meat came from a deer that a friend had shot, and right tasty it was too.

I like to think that my exposition of the Trinitarian mystery is faithful to Augustine and Aquinas, but I won't pretend any theological expertise. If you want something brainy on the subject, see here. In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with the Collect, and not the rubbish "contemporary" language one, either.



ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of thy Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: We beseech thee, that thou wouldst keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

God bless,

LSP


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Usury, Aquinas and Baphomet


Usury, taking interest on a loan, used to be considered a sin. Now it's the keystone virtue of our civilization. Here's some Aquinas, from somewhere in the Summa:

Article I.—Is it a sin to take usury for the lending of money?

R. To take usury for the lending of money is in itself unjust, because it is a case of selling what is non-existent; and that is manifestly the setting up of an inequality contrary to justice. In evidence of this we must observe that there are certain things, the use of which is the consumption of the thing; as we consume wine by using it to drink, and we consume wheat by using it for food. Hence in such things the use of the thing ought not to be reckoned apart from the thing itself; but whosoever has the use granted to him, has thereby granted to him the thing; and therefore in such things lending means the transference of ownership. If therefore any vendor wanted to make two separate sales, one of the wine and the other of the use of the wine, he would be selling the same thing twice over, or selling the non-existent: hence clearly he would be committing the sin of injustice. And in like manner he commits injustice, who lends wine or wheat, asking a double recompense to be given him, one a return of an equal commodity, another a price for the use of the commodity, which price of use is called usury. 



Our present economic and financial system is based on usury; every Dollar we grasp in our eager spending hands is issued by the Fed, at interest. The borrower (USGOV) must repay this debt by getting more money, which comes, ultimately, from selling more things.



But there's only so much you can sell in a finite world, and only so much that people want, or need, or are able to buy. Despite the marketeers, infinite usurious growth is unsustainable.



As a last ditch measure, the financial powers are leaning towards negative interest rates and a ban on cash, in a desperate bid to get people to spend more and fuel the debt engine. This will fail and end in a reset, which will not be pretty, to put it mildly.

With that in mind, why do you think local PDs are investing in MRAPS?

Message to market: Prepare for the worst, and be happily surprised if it doesn't come down, Baphomet-Style, on our iniquitous and devilish society. But perhaps it already is? You be the judge.

Your Pal,

LSP

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Low Sunday


Today is Low Sunday and the air is filled with the smell of slow cooking pork, which my neighbors have put on their fire pit, and with the sound of chickens, which have escaped the grill. The peacock is strangely silent.

Rain is falling and I reflect on Thomas, who touched the wounds of Christ. "My Lord and my God," he said. My dog, Blue Anselm, doesn't seem too struck by this and dozes on the kitchen floor. He is a natural theologian.

God bless,

LSP

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pistols at Noon



My philisophical pal, GWB, swung by for a workout on his new Sig and some evening fun. We pooled dove breasts and I cooked up a couple of rabbits that were burning a hole in the freezer. 



Red wine and mushroom stew for the bunnies (they were a bit tough, but the sauce was good) and jalapeno popper-style for the dove. I cleverly managed to avoid breaking one of my few remaining teeth on a bit of shot and all in all, great fun.

Aquinas

After Morning Prayer it was time to go down to the range with dogs and break out some pistols against a couple of silhouettes and steel plates. GWB shot well with his Sig 2022 .9mm, and I had fun with a .38 Special and a .45. Note to self: remember to aim and breathe.

Bonaventure

The dogs had fun too, enjoying themselves chasing around. Blue Deathwish got progressively excited by the pistol fire and would jump up in the air after each shot, as if to catch the bullet. Not-so-smart dog. 

Wittgenstein

And just for fun, I tested out my .17HMR against a small pumpkin and its miniature allies.

Bertrand Russell

The .17HMR is devastating against a small pumpkin. 

In case you wondered.

Keep squeezing the trigger,

LSP

Monday, December 8, 2014

Immaculate Conception


It's the Feast of the Immaculate Conception today, so I loaded Blue Aquinas in the rig and drove to Dallas, for Mass with the SSC.

There was lunch afterwards and I enjoyed that, as well as discussion about Aquinas and Duns Scotus. I'd forgotten this, but the Angelic Doctor is thought to have been against the Immaculate Conception. If that's the case, why did he write this:



"Purity is constituted by a recession from impurity, and therefore it is possible to find some creature purer than all the rest, namely one not contaminated by any taint of sin; such was the purity of the Blessed Virgin, who was immune from original and actual sin, yet under God, inasmuch as there was in her the potentiality of sin." Commentary on the Book of Sentences.



A friend reminded me that Duns Scotus, who was in favor of the Immaculate Conception, also believed in the univocity of being, in finite beings as well as God. So, for Scotus, when we say SEAL Team 6 is good and God is good, we're talking about the same goodness, but to a radically different degree. 

You can read about Duns Scotus here. We get the word "Dunce" from Duns Scotus, curiously.

God bless,

LSP



Friday, November 22, 2013

Guizot and Wickedness

Guizot

Just when you were beginning to think, "This LSP makes me incapable of serious thought!" up comes an excerpt from Guizot's Democracy in France, 1849, thanks to DC (bear in mind Guizot's Calvinist roots): 

"Let any man dive into his own heart and observe himself with attention. If he have the power to look, and the will to see, he will behold, with a sort of terror, the incessant war waged by the good and evil dispositions within him — reason and caprice, duty and passion; in short, to call them all by their comprehensive names, good and evil. We contemplate with anxiety the outward troubles and vicissitudes of human life; but what should we feel if we could behold the inward vicissitudes, the troubles of the human soul — if we could see how many dangers, snares, enemies, combats, victories, and defeats can be crowded into a day — an hour? I do not say this to discourage man, nor to humble or under-value his free will. He is called upon to conquer in the battle of life, and the honour of the conquest belongs to his free will. But victory is impossible, and defeat certain, if he has not a just conception and a profound feeling of his dangers, his weaknesses, and his need of assistance. To believe that the free will of man tends to good, betrays an immeasurable ignorance of his nature. It is the error of pride; an error which tends to destroy both moral and political order; which enfeebles the government of communities no less than the government of the inward man."

I think I'd want to temper the above with Aquinas' observation that the natural will tends towards the good, which has become warped and flawed through sin, as opposed to totally corrupted. Guizot, with his Calvinist upbringing, may have taken the latter view.

Still, the bad errors of Calvinism aside, we deny the fallen inclination of humanity to evil at our peril and, to quote an English friend, the fact that "wickedness organizes for wickedness." Fortunately for us, grace perfects nature.

Just a thought,

LSP