Saturday, October 04, 2003

A QUESTION... On the way to Columbus, right beside Interstate 71, there is a church, a Protestant church I believe though I haven't been able to find the name of it. There is no cross, but there is a lighthouse. A tall lighthouse that dominates the roofline much as a steeple dominates the roofline of a conventional church. I thought it was just an oddity. Something novel to get the attention of those passing by. But maybe not. This afternoon I happened to drive by a local Methodist church. There is a sign in front advertising an upcoming program. There on the sign is a large lighthouse. So what I want to know is whether this is something new in church architecture and symbolism? Has anyone else seen a lighthouse used in a church setting? CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE POPE'S HEALTH is cast in a somewhat different light by this article in the Guardian. After reporting on the visit with Rowan Williams, at which Williams was warned "not to expect a substantative discussion" comes this statement: It was not clear whether the latest, confidential advice from the Vatican meant the Pope was physically unable to sustain a prolonged conversation, or had undergone an erosion of his intellectual powers. Rumours have been circulating in Rome for months that the 83-year-old Pope alternates between periods of lucidity and confusion. But last Sunday there was a first public indication that he could be losing his grip on events, when he announced the creation of a new batch of cardinals and got wrong the most crucial piece of information. He told the crowd in St Peter's Square that the ceremony was set for September, not October. CarrieTomko@aol.com

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR CAPACITY Lee Penn sent a list of links for articles describing the new threat of nuclear war with Russia. I confess I haven't read them, since I already can find enough material for nightmares without adding more. It does seem that if nature doesn't get us in the next few years, we are going to do ourselves in. Or perhaps God will be merciful and the next pope will consecrate Russia as requested at Fatima. Here are Lee's links for the bravehearts among you: AOL link:�� Putin Beefs Up ICBM Capacity Text URL:� http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2003/10/03/001.html AOL link:�� PUTIN LEVELING ACCUSATIONS AT U.S. OFFICIALS? Chechnya Weekly, September 26, 2003 : .. Jamestown Foundation Text URL:� http://chechnya.jamestown.org/pubs/view/chw_004_034_001.htm AOL link:�� Pravda.RU Yabloko Party Vice Chairman: General Staff preparing for global nuclear war Text URL�� http://newsfromrussia.com/main/2003/10/03/50325.html AOL link:�� NATO: Russia's Military Warns on Pull-back - PRAVDA.Ru Text URL:� http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/354/11009_NATO.html AOL link:�� Amazon.com: Books: War Scare Text URL:� http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0275966437/qid=1065246453/sr=1-13/ref=sr_1_13/102-8926334-7259335?v=glance&s=books CarrieTomko@aol.com

WILL THE YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO BLOW? is the question being asked in some websites devoted to eschatology. This website is dedicated to tourists, particularly tourists to Yellowstone National Park. Here is what it says about the volcano: Yellowstone is a super volcano that blows up every 600,000 years and it is due to blow now, and destroy most of the USA, and take much of the rest of the world with it due to the lowering of the world temperature. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago�so the next is overdue. The next eruption could be 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. This websiteoffers a description of the Yellowstone volcano and lots of links devoted to a possible eruption. It seems that the government, together with the University of Utah are taking the possibility seriously and monitoring the situation via the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. If the volcano will destroy the US when it erupts, as some websites indicate, do we really want to know that an eruption is imminent? I don't think there is any way to stop it. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ARCHBISHOP ROWAN WILLIAMS VISITS JOHN PAUL II Amy Welborn has linked this story of today's visit: VATICAN CITY (AP) - In a meeting clouded by deepening divisions over homosexuality, Pope John Paul II warned the archbishop of Canterbury on Saturday that "new and serious difficulties have arisen" in efforts to unify the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches. The visit was the first to the Vatican by Archbishop Rowan Williams since his installation in February and came after the controversial decision by the Episcopal Church in the United States to elect its first openly gay bishop. Neither the pope nor Williams made direct mention of the issue, but it was clear the pope was referring to it as the two men exchanged speeches following 15 minutes of private talks in the papal library. "As we give thanks for the progress that has already been made we must also recognize that new and serious difficulties have arisen on the path to unity," John Paul said as sat beside the archbishop. It's good to see that the Pope did not gloss over the difficulties which arose from the latest Episcopal departure from the faith. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, October 03, 2003

THE IVERON MOTHER OF GOD is a most interesting icon because of its relationship to Fatima. Readers of this blog have offered a wealth of interesting stories today. This is the most recent one that has arrived in my email, which reads: I just came upon something today that is quite remarkable.� As you all know, Our Lady's final appearance at Fatima fell on Oct. 13.� One of Our Lady's messages was prayer for the conversion of Russia (back to Orthodoxy, and for Orthodoxy and Rome to be reconciled).� Today I noticed on the church calendar that Oct. 13 also has a minor feast in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Theotokos.� In fact, it is the celebration of the Translation of the Iveron Icon to Moscow.� If I'm not mistaken, Iveron is translated Iberian.� So, on the same day the Theotokos appeared in Iberia praying for the people of Rus', the people of Rus' were celebrating the Theotokos of Iberia.� Very significant symbolism!! � Here is a link to some info on the Iveron Icon and a miraculous modern copy. The only thing is that this particular church (ROCOR) must follow a different calendar for this, as they celebrate it on Nov. 24, whereas the OCA and the Russian Catholics celebrate, like I said, on Oct. 13. Could such a coincidence be accidental? Somehow I think not. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE TALES THAT GOOGLE TELLS! Just to see what would come up, I put "Medjugorje" and "Ordo Templi Orientis" into Google Advanced Search. It did produce results--this article by Craig L. Heimbichner titled "Medjugorje and the Light-Bearer." Fact can be stranger than fiction. From the website: In her book The Visions of the Children: The Apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje, author Janice Connell has done all Catholics a great service. Her zeal and devotion to Mary apparent throughout the book, Connell has spent extensive time interviewing the visionaries who have reported apparitions of Our Lady since 1981. One of the most intriguing comments in the book, however, has passed almost unnoticed--a strange fact, since it is one of the few times a visionary has actually defined who is appearing. Vicka's definition slips in as Connell comments on Vicka's privilege of being with Mary daily. Vicka replies tersely, "Yes. She is the bearer of light." Such a phrase may strike Catholic ears as a bit novel, but they may take it in stride as Vicka goes on to explain, "The light is Jesus." But such a phrase will not strike other ears as novel at all: in fact, Bearer of Light, or Light-Bearer, is not a new expression, but rather a very old title. In fact, it is a literal translation of the name Lucifer. In Occult circles, this fact is a truism: Lucifer is the Light-Bearer, and the Light-Bearer is Lucifer. How could it be otherwise? It is simply a translation of his name. For example, the Grand Commander and architect of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Albert Pike, paraphrases Freemason and Magus Eliphas L�vi, writing, "LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light...? Doubt it not!" The doctrine was also proclaimed by Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Occult Theosophical Society, who blamed the Catholic Church for illogically calling Lucifer, the Light-Bearer, a Spirit of Darkness: "...the Church, in her struggle with Manicheeism, invented the devil, and by placing a theological extinguisher on the radiant star-god, Lucifer, the "Son of the Morning," thus created the most gigantic of all her paradoxes--a black and tenebrous light..." Elsewhere she writes that "Lucifer is divine and terrestrial light, the "Holy Ghost" and "Satan," at one and the same time..." She concludes that "Lucifer, or "Light-Bearer," is in us..." A consistent Occultist who worshipped Satan, Blavatsky taught "that the Logos and Satan are one." Likewise Satanist Aleister Crowley, once head of the ruling body of Esoteric Freemasonry known as the Ordo Templi Orientis, also writes that "'Lucifer'...is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade 'Know Thyself!' and taught Initiation. He is "The Devil"...his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light..." I don't know this author. Unity Publishing has come up in searches on Pentecostal/chrismatic topics, but that is all I know about them. Still, calling Lucifer the "Lightbearer" is all over Blavatsky's work and it's in Steiner's, though I can't put my hand on a quote at the moment. If this article is accurate, that's some story! CarrieTomko@aol.com

NCR DISCOVERS THE LABYRINTH and I discover NCR thanks to a reader. Tim Unsworth, writing from Chicago, is a designer of labyrinths, and so he may know what he's talking about. At any rate he has visited many, including the one at Chartres used by a well-endowed lady in a pink tutu. (Why does that bring Miss Piggy to mind?) I haven't been a follower of NCR, but if this is the first article on labyrinths, they're a tad behind the times. The labyrinth is tailor-made for NCR, so what's been keeping them? CarrieTomko@aol.com

GLOBAL WARMING AND GLOBAL GOVERNMENT Returning to Earth Worship A reader sends this website on the topic. YIKES! Is the only word that seems appropriate after reading it. Judging by his credentials, the author knows what he is talking about. Kyrie eleison! CarrieTomko@aol.com

RUDOLF STEINER COLLEGE located in Fair Oaks, a suburb of Sacramento, gives an overview of the extent of activities the Anthroposophists are involved in today. Here is the home page for the Anthroposophical Society in America. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IDENTITY THEFT This list of steps to take if your wallet is stolen is making the web rounds via email. AN ATTORNEY'S ADVICE ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it some day. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company: - The next time you order checks, have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks. - When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it. - Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a P.O. Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a P.O. Box, use your work address. - Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary, but if you print it, anyone can get it. - Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet if it is stolen, and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in steal a name, address, social security number, credit cards, etc. Unfortunately I, and attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know: - We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those were you can find them easily. - File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). but here's what is perhaps the most importnat: - Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SS #. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I know about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their tracks. The numbers are: Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742; Trans Union 1-800-6807289; Social Security Administration fraud line: 1-800-269-0271. We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything. Pass this information along. It could really help someone you care about. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A THOUSAND WORDS PICTURE Remember the flap a couple of days ago over a statue on the Washburn University campus? Fr. Sibley has the picture in his blog. Take a look! CarrieTomko@aol.com

BBC HEADLINES POPE AS �DYING� in an article about the meeting scheduled between Archbishop Rowan Williams and John Paul II. Journalistic hype or stark reality? CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE FIRE FALLING FROM THE SKY described in this article from Space.com, including some that brightened up the sky in San Francisco and added ventilation to a bathroom in Louisiana. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BRITAIN�S PLAN FOR MASONIC DISCLOSURE of Lodge membership by those employed in law enforcement has been abandoned according to this article from The Independent. The article goes on to point out that the charitable activities of the Lodge are �its principle activity.� In response to the suggestion that the new openness of the Lodge might mean that a reporter could view the inner workings, John Hamill responded: �The ceremonial aspect of what we do is still regarded as being private.� CarrieTomko@aol.com

ANDREW GREELEY UNSCRAMBLES THE DA VINCI CODE for NCR. I�ve always liked Anderew Greeley�s books, and I like his opinion on this book as well. For one thing, unlike many other critics, he admits that the book is a page turner, that it contains enough elements of suspense story genre to keep the reader interested, which is why IMHO it spends time on the best-seller list. Another interesting point in the review is that he associates grail questing with the Cathars, though he doesn�t take the next step and associate the Cathars with esoteric Freemasonry. And as Greeley points out, the grail questers who look for the descendents of Mary Magdalene and Christ reject the Catholic symbology of the Mother of God, co-opting it instead to be evidence of their warped theory. This error�deliberate error?�is typical of a certain mindset that Brown belongs to which is enjoying a resurgence today. Just look at the literature describing Black Madonnas, including the literature being recommended by the world renowned Marian Center at Dayton University. Unlike Greeley, I�m not so sure about a boycott being called for by William Donohue. Better, perhaps, to help Catholics become educated to the current of thought so they are better prepared to combat it. Just don�t give it to the kids�at least not without a very careful explanation of its errors. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, October 02, 2003

MORE QUOTES FROM RUDOLF STEINER (THE TEMPLE LEGEND) From Lecture 8 "The Essence and Task of Freemasonry from the Point of View of Spiritual Science" Berlin 9th December 1904 In the present instance I should stress to you that I am speaking to you as a non-mason and only from a theosophical point of view, whereas to do full justice to the subject of what Freemasonry really is, it should be treated by one who is himself a Freemason. p. 87 {A reference is made here to footnote 1 which says "I am speaking to you as a non-mason...." Rudolf Steiner entered later (1906) into a purely formal relationship with the Memphis-Misraim Freemasonry. Lecture 8 was delivered in Berlin in Dec. 1904. - ct} Regarding the interior decoration of the Lodge, and recalling that some time ago I listed Masonic Lodges with blue ceilings and stars in the ceiling: The arrangement of the Lodge--though this is not always the case--is a large square hall with a vaulted ceiling, painted blue and covered with golden stars to represent the heavens. p. 90 ...in Germany, within the St. John Freemasonry, there is so little understanding of the real significance of the higher degrees that the St. John masons there generally look upon the higher degrees as nonsense. The Grand Orient of Germany is obliged, for this reason, merely to let the St. John masons in general pass properly as masons. In this respect there are great differences between the masonry practiced in Germany and that of England or Great Britain.... The German Grand Orient of the Memphis and Misraim Order undertakes the working of the three lowest degrees itself. The Orient Freemason must therefore have passed the first three degrees at the outset. He must furthermore commit himself to rising at least to the eighteenth degree. ...A German mason of the St. John's Order is therefore never admitted to the higher degrees of Orient masonry [without having attained the three lesser degrees]. The Orient masonry consists of a graded instruction in occultism. p. 92-93 --------------------------------------------------- From Lecture 9 "The Essence and Task of Freemasonry From the Point of View of Spiritual Science Berlin, 16th December 1904 Supreme Leaders of the Grand Orients--i.e. those of Germany, Great Britain and America--possess the ninety-sixth degree.... From about the eighty-seventh degree onwards start the real occult degrees into which no one can be initiated who has not made a thorough study of the subject. p. 101 ...an adept has the World Chessboard in front of him in a secret place, and lets the pieces play, and how he, so to speak, controls the Karma of a continent upon one very simple little board. p. 105 ...the theoretical side of the higher degrees of Freemasonry far surpasses what can be divulged in popular theosophy....it is not possible to make all knowledge public. p. 108 Just as Freemasonry has developed out of working masonry, out of the building of cathedrals and temples, so one will in future learn to build with the smallest of building blocks, with entities of condensed electricity. That will call for a new kind of masonry. Then industry will not be able to carry on any more as it does today. It will become so chaotic and will only be able to work purely out of the struggle for existence per se, as long as man does not know....[Gap] Then it would be possible for someone in Berlin to drive into the city in a cab, while in Moscow a disaster which he had caused was taking place. And nobody at all would have any inkling that he had been the cause of it. Wireless telegraphy is the beginning of this. What I have portrayed is in the future. There are only two possibilities available: Either things go on chaotically, as industry and technology have done until now, in which case it will lead to whoever has the possession of these things being able to cause havoc, or else it will be cast in the moral mould of Freemasonry. p. 114 I keep thinking about Steiner's statements like that last one whenever there is a power blackout. And there have been a few of them lately. With no apparent cause, I might add. ---------------------------------------------------- From Lecture 10 "Evolution and Involution As They Are Interpreted by Occult Societies [The Atom As Concealed Electricity] Berlin, 23rd December 1904 Selfless activity is something that belongs to Freemasonry. Freemasonry did originally urge its members to work in the service of humanity, to build into the objective world. p. 118 There is much talk in Freemasonry about "brotherhood" and the need to take care of fellow Masons. On this issue it rivals Christianity, and can be said to share the same goals as the social gospel. Good deeds spring extremely often from selfish motives. If a poor man living among us has no roast meat at Christmas, and I feel the need to give him some in order that I may feel justified in [eating] my own roast meat, that, after all, is egoistic. p. 120 In the seventh post-Atlantean cultural epoch, to be precise, this War of All against All will break out, in the most terrible way. Great and mighty forces will ensue from discoveries that will turn the entire globe into a kind of self-functioning electrical apparatus. The tiny handful will be protected in a way that cannot be discussed. p. 124-125 CarrieTomko@aol.com

ARCHBISHOP OF BIRMINGHAM HAS HAD ENOUGH OF CATHOLIC BIAS in the BBC: It is not just Catholic churchmen, such as Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Birmingham, who have diagnosed a nasty case of anti-Roman Catholicism in the BBC. The Daily Telegraph's Beebwatch campaign, which continues below, was set up to monitor not only the BBC's politics but also its religious views - and those views are not fair to Catholics, or indeed, to organised, traditional Western religion. As the Archbishop pointed out yesterday, the bias goes beyond three upcoming programmes - Kenyon Confronts, in which elderly and infirm priests were hounded by reporters over child abuse in the Church; Popetown, a satirical cartoon about the Pope; and Sex and the Holy City, which speaks for itself - to the Today programme's vendetta against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, again over child abuse, which has continued for a year. The Guardian agrees: The Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, described the BBC's coverage of the church as "totally unacceptable", and said a series of planned programmes were "biased and hostile". "The Catholic community is fed up seeing a public service broadcaster using the licence fee to pay unscrupulous reporters trying to recirculate old news and to broadcast programmes that are so biased and hostile," said Dr Nichols in a speech delivered at an impromptu press conference called today. The archbishop, who has worked for the corporation in the past, said he had decided to speak out on behalf of the Catholic church after receiving reports of "unsolicited and strange" approaches from people saying they were working for the BBC. More of the specific offenses are detailed in this second article, and it makes the BBC sound like the National Enquirer. It also gives some evidence that the conflict is internal at the BBC as well. CarrieTomko@aol.com

GLOBAL WARMING AGAIN They're getting it out and dusting it off at CNN. This time it's killing children. So how could we be so heartless as to argue that it may not be true. Is this a clever argument, or what?! We've just come through one of our cooler summers and it's downright cold for the beginning of October. The prediction is for an unusually severe winter here. The globe is warming. Uh-huh. Sure. Whatever they say. CarrieTomko@aol.com

HERE WE GO... Rome announces the Pope's health is in bad shape and the speculation about his replacement begins again. African touted as Pope's successor" Specifically Cardinal Arinze. Whom I like because he took a stand against United Religions Initiative a while back, though I've heard rumors he may have moderated his position. CarrieTomko@aol.com

PROTEST AGAINST BAN ON ALTAR GIRLS appears to be coming from Germany. Why am I not surprised? Sigh. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

PUT IT AWAY, ALREADY! is probably what some of you are saying about the Rudolf Steiner book. But there are some random quotes that I just can't keep to myself. So I'll post them here over the next few days and then retire it to the shelf. From Lecture 1 "Whitsuntide, Festival of the Liberation of the Human Spirit" Berlin, Whit Monday, 23rd May 1904 Thus we see that there are two ways of life open to men. Some of them cling to a feeling of freedom and--although it is dangerous to develop spirituality--they search for it in freedom nevertheless. The others are the ones who find their satisfaction in the dull round of life and in blind faith, and who suspect danger in the luciferic endeavours of their fellow men. The founders of the Church's outward doctrine have distorted the deeper meaning of luciferic striving. The ancient teachings on the subject are contained in hidden manuscripts in undisclosed places, where they have hardly been seen by anyone. They are available to a few people who are able to see them in the Astral Light, and otherwise only to a few initiates. The path is fraught with danger, but it is the only one which leads to the sublime goal of spiritual freedom. p. 17 --------------------------- From Lecture 2 "The Contrast Between Cain and Abel" Berlin, 10th June 1904 Earlier, man was made in the likeness of God: later, in Adam's likeness. We thus have, to start with, human beings who are all similar in appearance and all created after the image of God. They were propagated by asexual means. p. 20 A new principle entered into mankind, the principle of heredity, the original sin consisting of being dissimilar to the generation which had gone before. p. 24 Moses, the Indian Rishis, Hermes, Christ, the first Christian teachers, all adhered to reincarnation. p. 27-28 ----------------------------- From Lecture 3 "The Mysteries of the Druids and the 'Drottes' " Berlin 30th September 1904 The secret of all initiation is to give birth to the higher human being within oneself. p. 30 Man is both mineral and plant... p. 31 On a spiritual level, the windings of the labyrinth are the same as the convolutions of the brain on the physical level. p. 32 The Druid priests were the builders of humanity. A faint reflection of this is preserved today in the views which the Freemasons hold. p. 34 The journey into the Labyrinth: Third Initiation. p. 35 ------------------------------- From Lecture 4 "The Prometheus Saga" Berlin, 7th October 1904 Through the union of Uranus with Gaia, man was born, man who descended to the earth and at the same time became involved in time. p. 47 -------------------------------- From Lecture 5 "The Mystery Known to Rosicrucians." Berlin 4th November 1904 The Temple {in Rosicrucian legend--ct} is the Temple of the Occult Societies, that is to say, what is being built up by the whole of mankind belonging to the fourth and fifth cultural epochs. And the Holy of Holies is the place where these Occult Societies have their abode. p. 53 ...Christianity has another symbol--no longer that of the crucified Son of God, but the Cross encircled by roses. This will become the symbol of the new Christianity of the sixth Post-Atlantean epoch. Out of the Mystery of the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross will arise the Christianity of the sixth cultural epoch, which will recognise the significance of the Molten Sea and the Golden Triangle. p. 58 ------------------------------------ From Lecture 6 "Manicheism" Berlin, 11th November 1904 Albigenses, Waldenses and Cathars of the Middle Ages are the continuation of this current, to which also belong the Knights Templar, of whom we shall speak separately, and also--by a remarkable chain of circumstances--the Freemasons. Freemasonry really belongs to this stream, though it is connected with others, for instance with Rosicrucianism. p. 61 Mani described himself as the 'Paraclete', the Holy Spirit promised to mankind by Christ. p. 61 The soul was always known as the 'mother' in all esoteric (mystical) teachings; the instructor was the 'father'. Father and mother, Osiris and Isis, those are the two forces present in the soul... p. 65 St. Augustine, on the other hand--in a conversation which made him into an opponent of the Manichean Faust--voiced the opinion: 'I would not accept the teachings of Christ if they were not founded on the authority of the Church. The Manichean Faust said, however: 'You should not accept any teaching on authority; we only wish to accept a doctrine in freedom.' p. 66 It {the Manichean spiritual stream--ct} must express itself in the founding of communities which, above all, will look upon peace, love and passive resistance to evil as their standard of behaviour and will seek to spread this view. For they must create a receptacle, a form, for the life which will continue to exist even without their presence. Now you can understand how it is that Augustine, the leading spirit of the Catholic Church, who developed the form of the Church very precisely in his CITY OF GOD, who worked out the form for contemporary life, was of necessity the most violent opponent of that kind of form which is preparing for the future. Two polar opposites confront one another, Faust and Augustine: Augustine, who based his work on the Church, on the form belonging to his day, and Faust, who strives to prepare in man a sense for the form of the future. That is the contrast which developed in the third and fourth centuries AD. It is still present and finds expression in the struggle of the Catholic Church against the Knights Templars, the Rosicrucians, Albigenses, Cathars and so on. All of them are eliminated from the physical plane, but their inner spirit continues to be active. This contrast manifests again later in modified but still violent form in two currents born out of Western culture, that of Jesuitism (pertaining to Augustine) and that of Freemasonry (Manicheism). Those who lead the battle on the one side are all conscious of what they are doing--they are the Catholics and Jesuits of the higher degrees. Of those, however, who are on the other side, who lead the battle in the spirit of Mani, only very few are conscious; only those at the head of the movement are conscious of it. Thus Jesuitism (belonging to Augustine) and Freemasonry (Manicheanism) confront one another in later centuries. They are the offspring of ancient spiritual currents. That is why you have in both these currents a continuation of the same ceremonies connected with initiation that you find in the old currents. p. 71-72 ------------------------------------------- From Lecture 7 "The Essence and Task of Freemasonry from the Point of View of Spiritual Science" Berlin, 2nd December 1904 The basis for the whole of Freemasonry is to be found in the Temple Legend concerning Hiram-Abiff or Adonhiram about whom I have already spoken in connection with the Rosicrucian Order. p. 71 The whole conception underlying the creation story according to the Temple Legend is based upon the fact that there is a kind of enmity between Jehovah and everything which is derived from the other Elohim and their descendants, the 'Sons of Fire'... p. 74 It {Craft Masonry--ct} consists of three degrees: Apprentice, Fellow Craftsman and Master Mason. After these three degrees come higher degrees which lead the candidate into occult knowledge. p. 77 There are three things which he is obliged to forego. If he is unable to forswear these three things he will never be accepted as a Freemason. He is told: If you retain the slightest curiosity about anything, then you must leave this house immediately. Secondly, he is told: If you should hesitate to acknowledge every one of your failings and mistakes, then you must leave this house immediately. Thirdly: If you are unable to rise in spirit above all things which differentiate one human being from another, then you must leave this house immediately. p. 78 After the thirteenth century they also began to build independently of the authority of the Church. At this time the expression 'Freemason' came into use. Before that they were under the authority of the religious communities and were the recognized architects. ...Freemasons were the builders of the pyramids, of the mystery temples, and of the churches. p. 83 CarrieTomko@aol.com

MOORISH ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA This group predated Vatican II. The article also mentions a "Eucharistic Catholic Church" which celebrated its first liturgy in a bar on Christmas Eve around 1946, and attended by 85 people. The existence of this group was announced in the magazine of the Mattachine Society. Eventually the group evolved into the Gnostic Catholic Church, and later took up other names. The usual splits are par for the course. This sentence is interesting: Both our Church community and I, myself, have undergone a rebirth through the Holy Spirit testifying to Jesus' presence in our midst."" The Holy Spirit has certainly been a busy god, it would seem. The group has also borrowed legitimacy from the Mennonites. They seem to be an equal opportunity heresy. Prior to his death, Mar�Mikhael had reassumed the mantle and the obligations of a Bishop of God's Church,�occupying the position of Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Holy Apostolic-Catholic Church of the East (Chaldean-Syrian), while keeping intact his philosophic commitment to the Radical Reformers, and suffusing the whole with a flavor of mystical Sufism. The church claimed unity in faith with the Church of the East, popularly designated as the Nestorian Church. In 1978, Bishop Itkin's jurisdiction was recognized by Mar Anthony (Bishop W. Martin Andrew) of Britain as being ""the sole jurisdiction actually carrying on the work of Mar Jacobus (Herford) and of the original Evangelical Cathoic Communion in the United States."" Looks like it's going to take the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to figure out what religion they are. They seem to want us to believe they are either Eastern Catholic or Eastern Orthodox at the moment. Considering my position on the Charismatic Movement, I think this is pertinent. It comes from near the bottom of the website: In the process of its growth acquiring charismatic practices and promoting the gifts of the spirit, i.e., healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues, among others. That fact, along with its consideration of itself as standing within the Radical Reformed heritage, rendered the jurisdiction unique in the annals of the Syro-Chaldean tradition. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CHARISMATICS Anyone interested in the Charismatic Movement, its history, and an assessment of its current status, will find information at this Unity Publishing - New Religious Movements website. Look especially near the bottom of the list for the papers titled "What Spirit Is This." Also, the fifth entry down covers the history of the movement. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LOUVAIN was in the news a while ago when Michael Rose quoted Joe Kellenyi's charge that he was sexually harrassed and drummed out of the seminary. Subsequently Crisis magazine defended the American College, and Michael Rose published a rebuttal in New Oxford Review. Well, the players are back in the news again, along with a charge of pederasty lodged against the Vice Rector for Recruitment at Louvain. CruxNews has the story. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A READER WRITES-- I was talking to an old friend from college who is finishing up his doctorate in theology at Duquesne. He recently published a long study refuting those who say that up until the Council of Trullo, all married Eastern priests were continent. I so doing, he presented all the ancient canons legislating continence/celibacy in the Latin Church. Interestingly, the justification all these Latin canons give for celibacy/continence is based on the O.T. Levitical holiness code: because the subdeacons, deacons, presbyters, and bishops touch the holy vessels, they must be ritually pure. What is really funny about this, is that he has solved the problem of too many extraordinary ministers. If the reason for celibacy in the Latin Church, as understood by the Fathers, was because they touched the vessels, then this should apply in the modern day to all EMs. I'd like to see how many volunteer to be EMs if they had to be sexually abstinent to do so!!! Quite a laugh, though serious nonetheless. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE POPE IS DONE TRAVELING according to this article. Ailing Pope John Paul II, easily the most widely travelled pope in history, has told his closest aides he will make no further trips abroad, the daily La Repubblica reported yesterday. "The trip to Slovakia was the last one," the 83-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church was quoted as having said of the trip that ended two weeks ago. There was no immediate Vatican reaction. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ARE THE JESUITS CATHOLIC? Leon Podles implies the question and gives his answer in the Touchstone blog, citing a recent statement by a Georgetown professor on the subject of gay marriage. After reading Podles� comments, I propose to work up a course titled �How to Fire Those Who No Longer Speak Like Catholics� and give it to the administration at Georgetown. I promise the course will be short! The final moments of the course will be devoted to the sober consideration that no one is indispensable, including those who do not do their administrative duty. Moving on to Diogenes blog in Catholic World News Off The Record, I find more Jesuits failing to uphold the Catholic faith that gives them credibility. Take a look at the �intellectual� Boston group doing Church in the livingroom. The blog is headed �Children of the Dawn� and describes the People of the Promise. This is how they describe their liturgy according to the blog: Members play an active role in choosing music and leading group discussion during liturgy. We generally celebrate the liturgy of the Word "in the round" and participants are encouraged to share their reflections on the Scripture readings at the time of the homily. The Eucharist is also generally celebrated "in the round" with members gathered around the table. The majority of our chaplains have been Jesuit priests from the faculty of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge. What�s the focus on �round� about? Equality? Derived from �enlightenment� perhaps? Sort of a do-it-yourself service in which everyone �actively participates� apparently. The Cathars are singing along in Hell with this bunch. Thanks to a reader for both of these entertaining links. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

A BEWITCHING NEW BARBIE FOR EVERY LITTLE GIRL'S CHRISTMAS LIST Just what we need, yet another reason for our daughters to learn about witchcraft. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FIRE WILL FALL FROM THE SKY according to the messages from the approved apparition at Akita. Fire fell from the sky in India yesterday. CarrieTomko@aol.com

GOODBYE LITURGICAL RENEWAL, HELLO ALTAR GIRLS ROME (CNS) -- Rewriting a proposed Vatican document on liturgical norms, Vatican officials have dropped all references to altar girls and are substantially revising other points in the document, a Vatican official said. SIGH. THE AMBIGUITY IN CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS is reflected in this article from USA Today. Personally, I'm a Christian--a Catholic. I'd like nothing better than to live in a country with a Catholic government. Short of the return of Christ, it's not likely to happen. I wonder how sympathetic to separation the majority of Christians will be when we recognize that our tax dollars help to fund a government that promotes the rights of Satanists? Interesting times that we live in. What about if we designated counties according to religion. One county could be Catholic, another Protestant, a third Islamic. Just wishful thinking, I know. It would generate more problems than it would cure. But I have to ask, just how free are we to express our religious faith when we are not permitted to do it in public? When all symbols that express it are confined to churches? When it is not politically correct to mention God in a sentence at work? When wearing a cross can get us into trouble in some public places? Is this freedom of religion? Or is it the practice of the religion of atheism entrenched in the laws and government of a nation? I don't think it is possible to separate a religion, authentically held and practiced, from our everyday life. We can't just be Catholic on Sunday morning at Mass and then instantly become secular the moment we walk through the church doors. We either are Catholic or we are not, and it's a 24/7 proposition. Religions, when all of the possible variety of them are being expressed, inevitably conflict. That should not be so hard to understand if we take Genesis to be accurate. There is a spiritual world that makes war on the other one. That war will be reflected in the lives of those who practice their faith as it is meant to be practiced. The conflicts are inevitable. United Religions Initiative recognizes this and proposes the worship of Gaia to combat it. A Christian recognizes in this the worship of a false God and shuns it if the faith is being truly practiced. But inevitably a conflict will come, when the practice of my religion impedes the practice of your religion. What then? The showdown is coming, folks. It's beginning in the homosexual vs. Christian arenas, but it promises to spread. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IS THE POPE IN HIS FINAL DAYS? An article by Peter Popham for The Star seems to indicate that he is. The 83-year-old pontiff's health has deteriorated sharply in recent weeks. He has been suffering from Parkinson's disease for a decade, and speculation last week that he now also has cancer of the intestines has not been denied. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THERE IS A VIRUS IN BLOGSPEAK COMMENTS So I've taken them down until the problem is fixed. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, September 29, 2003

SUICIDE AS ENTERTAINMENT It's revolting what this rock band proposed to do in order to sell tickets. Fortunately the St. Petersburg City Council had more sense. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE SAINT AUSTIN REVIEW A Catholic magazine pointed out by a reader that I've just been reviewing in their website. The authors and contributors are impressing, including Michael D. O'Brien, Stratford Caldecott, Alice von Hildebrand, James Schall, Paul Likoudis, and others equally well known in the traditionally minded Catholic community. I was about ready to subscribe until coming upon this interview by co-editor Joseph Pearce with C. S. Lewis' friend Owen Barfield. A well-written interview capturing the personality of the man just a short time before he died. With one problem. Somehow the author has failed to discover Barfield's dedication to Anthroposophy. The Case for Anthroposophy - introduction by Owen Barfield Owen Barfield by Heather Thomson Owen Barfield Introducing Rudolf Steiner by Owen Barfield There are more websites associating Barfield with Anthroposophy, but I think those four make the point. Maybe I'll skip the subscription. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BLACKOUT A blackout occurred in Italy over the weekend which is reminiscent of the one we experienced in the northeast not long ago, the the subsequent blackout in London. From the description of the Italian event at CNN.com: Italy's nationwide power blackout hit in the dead of night Sunday, creating chaos, stalling lifts and stranding travelers. Mobile phone links were badly hit, and some newspapers were unable to publish. About 110 trains carrying more than 30,000 passengers were stranded. Other trains were held at the Swiss border for more than three-and-a-half hours before power returned. First reports of the blackout came at about 3:30 a.m. (0130 GMT). Officials told CNN the entire country -- with the exception of the island of Sardinia -- lost power at some point. Eight hours later, officials said electricity had been restored to 90 percent of the country. Oddly enough, in The Temple Legend Steiner describes something which sounds as though it would fit the pattern of these blackouts: A similar force to that by which direless telegraphy works will be at man's disposal in a future age, without even any apparatus; this will make it possible to cause great devastation over long distances, without anyone being able to discover where the disturbance originated. p. 312 Of course the authorities may eventually come up with the cause, though I have not yet seen a cause cited for our blackout. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT -- EVIDENCE OF GOD'S INVOLVEMENT? One of the "gifts" of the Holy Spirit that is enjoyed in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles is the phenomenon of being "slain in the spirit," or falling to the floor as if dead and laying there oblivious to anything happening around you. One of my extended family members who frequents Charismatic meetings has a good friend who experiences this at nearly every meeting. She lays on the floor for long periods of time in an apparently unconscious condition. Any suggestion to my family member that this may not actually be the work of God causes a major disagreement. We are both Roman or Latin Catholics. In charity I no longer discuss it with her. From the PBS Religion & Ethics News Weekly website--a compilation of quotes made by Pentecostal/Charismatics: REVEREND LIICHOW: I have slain many and I have been slain by the best and I must say it did not produce any spiritual development in my life. There are a lot of reasons why people are slain in the spirit. Part of it has to do with learned behavior. There is a mild hypnosis that goes on in a large group of people. Marian T. Horvat presents John Vennari's description of this phenomenon: What�s going on and why it�s wrong Mr. Vennari�s methodology is ingenious and fits the problem comfortably. What he did was to attend several of the large charismatic extravaganzas where Protestant Pentecostalist speakers, now hand-in-hand (literally) with their Catholic counterparts, addressed auditoriums of people who were, sad to say, mainly Catholic. He viewed for himself, and took photos, of grown up people arm waving, dancing, and being �slain in the Spirit.� The written �close-ups� he presents of the events reveals the sheer idiocy and the absolute absurdity of the fad, and permits the reader to see how preposterous a spectacle it presents. What he describes are phenomena you might have heard about, but just couldn�t believe are really going on with the approval and even active participation of Catholic Bishops, priests and religious. That is to say, you will read about goings-on (I can�t think of a better word, certainly not ceremonies!) like: The Toronto Blessing, where �the Spirit� grabs a person who ends up rolling on the ground shrieking with laughter, oinking like a pig, or barking like a dog (pp. 22-31); �Holy Fire� sessions where Protestant preachers pray over Catholics, who drop to the ground slain in the Spirit (pp. 47-53); �Praying in tongues� where priests and preachers lead, as Mr. Vennari describes it, �indistinguishable gibberish sounding like the ghastly hum of a Hindu Ashram� (pp. 59-67). From "Jungian and Catholic?" Part IV, Chapter 10: Just what is this being "slain in the spirit" that Fr. Di Orio is talking about? For an answer we can turn to the study of L�on-Joseph Cardinal Suenens, a strong advocate of the Catholic Charismatic movement, entitled, A Controversial Phenomenon: Resting in the Spirit. The Cardinal describes this behavior, which he thinks would be better called the falling phenomenon, in the following way: a person literally falls backwards. Most people who have this experience are suffering from some sort of problem generally more psychological than physical. (p. 19) Most often they are initiated into this experience by someone who is familiar with it or who is used to praying over people and it occurs in the context of prayer meetings large and small, often with the atmosphere of expectation. Those who fall report "a sense of a special presence of God, a feeling of euphoria and peace" and are conscious, or sometimes only partially conscious, or unconscious, and a few experience various sorts of visions and voices and "in some cases, the subject bursts into tears, cries out or laughs uncontrollably." (p. 21) After the experience, "most people state that they feel spiritually, emotionally and physically refreshed" though some experience fear and confusion, and there is a reported healing of the various problems that they had entering into the experience, as well as a new love of prayer. (p. 23) From a Catholic Charismatic website: 1996 - In conjunction with the Nativity Church Parish Mission, the Prayer Group celebrated its 17th Anniversary on Pentecost Sunday with a special Mass for the whole church celebrated by Fr. Peter Wee. Theme: There is No Higher Calling. This was followed by a healing service where many were touched by the Lord, others experienced healing and some were rested or slain in the Spirit � right in Nativity Church! There are many more Catholic websites which applaud this experience. The Catholic Encyclopedia presents a different picture--the picture of the Montanist Heresy: Montanus was a recent convert when he first began to prophesy in the village of Ardabau in Phrygia. He is said by Jerome to have been previously a priest of Cybele; but this is perhaps a later invention intended to connect his ecstasies with the dervish-like behavior of the priests and devotees of the "great goddess". The same prophetic gift was believed to have descended also upon his two companions, the prophetesses Maximilla and Prisca or Priscilla. Their headquarters were in the village of Pepuza. The anonymous opponent of the sect describes the method of prophecy (Eusebius, V, xvii, 2-3): first the prophet appears distraught with terror (en parekstasei), then follows quiet (adeia kai aphobia, fearlessness); beginning by studied vacancy of thought or passivity of intellect (ekousios amathia), he is seized by an uncontrollable madness (akousios mania psyches). The prophets did not speak as messengers of God: "Thus saith the Lord," but described themselves as possessed by God and spoke in His Person. "I am the Father, the Word, and the Paraclete," said Montanus (Didymus, "De Trin.", III, xli); and again: "I am the Lord God omnipotent, who have descended into to man", and "neither an angel, nor an ambassador, but I, the Lord, the Father, am come" (Epiphanius, "H?r.", xlviii, 11). And Maximilla said: "Hear not me, but hear Christ" (ibid.); and: "I am driven off from among the sheep like a wolf [that is, a false prophet--cf. Matt., vii, 15]; I am not a wolf, but I am speech, and spirit, and power." This possession by a spirit, which spoke while the prophet was incapable of resisting, is described by the spirit of Montanus: "Behold the man is like a lyre, and I dart like the plectrum. The man sleeps, and I am awake" (Epiphanius, "H?r.", xlviii, 4). We hear of no false doctrines at first. The Paraclete ordered a few fasts and abstinences; the latter were strict xerophagioe, but only for two weeks in the year, and even then the Saturdays and Sundays did not count (Tertullian, "De jej.", xv). Not only was virginity strongly recommended (as always by the Church), but second marriages were disapproved. Chastity was declared by Priscilla to be a preparation for ecstasy: "The holy [chaste] minister knows how to minister holiness. For those who purify their hearts [reading purificantes enim corda, by conjecture for purificantia enim concordal] both see visions, and placing their head downwards (!) also hear manifest voices, as saving as they are secret" (Tertullian, "Exhort." X, in one MS.). It was rumored, however, that Priscilla had been married, and had left her husband. Martyrdom was valued so highly that flight from persecution was disapproved, and so was the buying off of punishment. "You are made an outlaw?" said Montanus, "it is good for you. For he who is not outlawed among men is outlawed in the Lord. Be not confounded. It is justice which hales you in public. Why are you confounded, when you are sowing praise? Power comes, when you are stared at by men." And again: "Do not desire to depart this life in beds, in miscarriages, in soft fevers, but in martyrdoms, that He who suffered for you may be glorified" (Tertullian, "De fuga", ix; cf. "De anima", lv). Tertullian says: "Those who receive the Paraclete, know neither to flee persecution nor to bribe" (De fuga, 14), but he is unable to cite any formal prohibition by Montanus. The heretics went to extremes according to the Encyclopedia, as frequently happens with enthusiasms that did not start out that way: A better argument was the declaration that the new prophecy was of a higher order than the old, and therefore unlike it. It came to be thought higher than the Apostles, and even beyond the teaching of Christ. Priscilla went to sleep, she said, at Pepuza, and Christ came to her and slept by her side "in the form of a woman, clad in a bright garment, and put wisdom into me, and revealed to me that this place is holy, and that here Jerusalem above comes down". "Mysteries" (sacraments?) were celebrated there publicly. In Epiphanius's time Pepuza was a desert, and the village was gone. Marcellina, surviving the other two, prophesied continual wars after her death--no other prophet, but the end. It seems on the whole that Montanus had no particular doctrine, and that his prophetesses went further than he did. The extravagances of his sect were after the deaths of all three; but it is difficult to know how far we are to trust our authorities. The anonymous writer admits that he has only an uncertain report for the story that Montanus and Maximilla both hanged themselves, and that Themison was carried into the air by a devil, flung down, and so died. Rudolf Steiner, too, speaks of this experience of being slain in the spirit, though he doesn't call it that. In The Temple Legend: Freemasonry and Related Occult Movements, in the chapter titled "Occultism and Theosophy," Steiner says: Therefore throughout ancient times the following had to be done. One had to set aside those forces which impeded the elasticity of the etheric body. That was achieved by bringing the whole physical body into a lethargic condition. The human being lay down, and the etheric body was drawn out of the physical body. While the physical body lay as if dead, the astral body came to be formed by its autonomous forces. That is the entombment, the [body] concerned being kept in a lethargic state for three to three and a half days. And then he could work on the etheric body. And then, after he had formed his etheric body in conformity with his astral body, he returned into his physical body. He had thus awakened an inner life in himself; he was one of the resurrected and was given a new name. This was a transaction on the astral plane. Everything which I have described took place on the astral plane; the physical body had nothing to do with it. This event repeated itself in all the ancient mysteries. Every initiate knew it. p. 217-218 Steiner speaks also of "enthusiasm," describing it much like Msgr. Ronald Knox describes it in his book Enthusiasm. From The Temple Legend: Therefore, in the case of the Sons of Seth, we find representatives of the religious type of human being with detached wisdom, and in the case of the Sons of Cain, we find those who possess an impulsive nature, who are capable of flaring up and showing enthusiasm for wisdom. These two types are creative within all races of mankind and in all periods of history. Out of the desire life of the Sons of Cain, all arts and the sciences originate; out of the Seth-Abel current, all detached piety and wisdom, lacking enthusiasm has its origin. p. 54 Steiner sees the Sons of Cain as the forerunners of Freemasonry and the Sons of Seth as the forerunners of priests who oppose Freemasonry. He accredits Rosicrucianism with emotionalism in this passage: This is what the secret of the Rosicrucians is. It is brought about when the water of calm wisdom is united with the fire of the astral world, with the fire of passion and desire. A union must be brought about which is 'of bronze', that is to say, is lasting and durable. It must endure into the next epoch, when the secret of the sacred Golden Triangle is added to it; the secret of Atma, Buddhi and Manas. This Triangle, with all which it entails, will form the content of the renewed Christianity of the sixth cultural epoch. That is being prepared by the Rosicrucians and then what is symbolized by the Molten Sea will be united with a knowledge of reincarnation and karma. That is the new occult teaching which will be united again with Christianity. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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