Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Shrove Tuesday

is today.


Comes from the old word, shrive, to remove sins. People used to go to confession on this day to prepare for Lent. Also called Pancake Tuesday. When I lived among French Canadians in Toronto, we always had pancakes for dinner on this day. I'm told that it was to use up the sugar and eggs and oil that would not be eaten much during Lent.




Pancakes for dinner tonight?

Last year for Lent I gave up reading anything political, in order to avoid the occasions of the sin of wrath and the desire to murder, en masse as well as particularly. I don't feel so inclined this year because I am not as angry. Not because things are better, but because they are so much worse that it is a waste of energy to be angry about them. Lasciate ogni speranza.  Anger can be a sign of hope. I have little of that left. I still can contemplate a forest of gallows, but without much anger.

James Burnham, whom I frequently quote, considered that Liberalism was the ideology designed to make palatable, even reasonable and virtuous, the suicide of the West. He was wrong about the particulars, however. He thought that Communism would win out over a self-murdering West. Yet Communism fell apart in the space of a few years. He was right, however, (as was Tocqueville) about the governmental form that would eclipse republican capitalism, and that is what we see in the Obamacrat therapeutic state run by a managerial elite. And voted into office twice. Marxism, in its Gramscian, not Leninist, form continues to eat away at its host, like a parasitic wasp whose eggs are consuming us from the inside, even as the exoskeleton appears to be intact.  We won the Cold War but are losing the Culture War.

Thomas Aquinas held that anger need not always be wrong. Being an Aristotelian, he considered both body and soul as important and so passion, if guided by reason, can be virtuous. In some situations, it even enhanced the virtue of good act.  And sometimes, lack of it was a moral failing.
So my lack of anger may be a failing rather than an accomplishment because it comes largely from lack of hope. So maybe for Lent, I should practice enjoying the decline.

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1 comment:

Advocatus Diaboli said...

"Not because things are better, but because they are so much worse that it is a waste of energy to be angry about them. Lasciate ogni speranza. Anger can be a sign of hope. I have little of that left. I still can contemplate a forest of gallows, but without much anger."

I know exactly how you feel. I used to derive great angry pleasure from imagining myself as a Pontifical Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity and cleaning out all the bullshit in the church. Or from taking over the country and fixing everything. But now I feel so defeated and tired out that Im not sure I would even accept the power to change anything if it were offered to me, its like ive fallen into apathy and nihilism.

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