An open letter to all my friends.
A truly wonderful Easter message.
It's been a long time since I've heard 'cheese eating surrender monkeys'. My favorite comeback to that was Mark Steyn's, who quipped that if the French were to be so described, then Americans must be cheese-surrendering eating monkeys.
Back to the meat. The thrust here rather reminds me of the theme of Cloud Atlas - how our lives reverberate through time in ways that we cannot foresee, each of us like a pebble dropped in a pond. The waves move through time, interfering destructively and constructively. Seeming triumph in the moment may result in annihilation in the long run ... and, crucially, vice versa. In a sense such a perspective is almost too obvious to be interesting, but in another sense - how many take this view consciously? There is vast power in realizing this perspective, and living one's life accordingly.
Our actions do echo in the minds of those we leave behind. More important to me is how we see ourselves on this one way ride. I don't see myself as someone willing to satisfy the evil forces you speak of, no matter the cost. To abandon this disposition at the end would be to admit to living a lie. No.
I've spent five decades devoted to reading and learning everything I can. This is the most beautiful essay I've ever read.
I think the ghosts of Rome are still with us and will always be with the West as long as there is a West. (I doubt China, Korea, Japan, Thailand care much, they have their own ghosts)
But dying right, dying trying is all I want to accomplish. I don't expect to win, not against a super State with the resources to hammer me down. (Though why they would bother, I don't know. I don't think they fear me. Sadly) I don't expect to live forever, I just don't want to die on my knees, I don't want to comply to tyrants or tyranny. Though, again sadly, I have been forced to do so now and again to keep food on the table. But unless they 'come at me', my opposition to them is all verbal and ideological, barring the conditions of Augustinian Just War applying.
Anyway, I'm veering into Gadsen Flag territory, which wasn't my intent, so let me end in praise: This was a fine post and I'm glad you wrote it, Mark. Good stuff.
That's very nice Mark. We find it easy to speak of God as Sovereign over human events, but you bring up the much more interesting, to me at least, point that Jesus of Nazareth was Sovereign. With no need for divine power or superhuman anything He brought the events of that day to the most improbable of all results, with nothing but Faith, Hope, Love, Temperance, Prudence, Justice, and Fortitude.(maybe fortitude most of all?) Because I know that I can't understand His mind, I have spent the last 3 Easters trying to look into the minds of the other people there, to maybe catch Him out of the corner of our eyes so to speak. You might find these interesting.(link is to Peter at the end of it are links to Pilate and Judas)
Wonderful, Mark! And yes, there is so much in the gospels, especially in the one by your namesake - the contrast between Jesus and his disciples is especially illuminating: they often don't get it at all, it's almost comical, and this in some ways parallels your sense of humor with regard to some of the materialist drivel (not that I want to compare the disciples to those babbling about emergence, even I would consider that blasphemy lol).
Anyway, happy Easter to you and yours!
On Saturday evening, my formerly very secular, nominally Protestant brother-in-law, awakened to the growing malevolent forces gripping the world entered the Catholic Church. His experience echoes that of JP Sears in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6etpmQUc2M&t=1356s
I went to Easter service with my mom. The pastor spoke of the importance of Reason and Faith, precisely what I have been saying about magic, by way of Eliphas Levi. I can't decide if I should let myself be flayed, or should I buy an AR-15? I totally appreciate that message from Jesus, how not to be conquered, how to overcome. But then I am not Jesus, nor do I believe, in the way Christians do. Though there is a meeting at the church on the 17th, something about masculine ministry. I think I am going to go and say something about how it isn't sheep we need right now.
A very encouraging article. Thank you, Mark.
Pilate seems to have understood what was going on from a human perspective better than almost anyone else. “Behold the man!”
"SPOILERS: We are going to win. But we’re not all going to “make it,” in the material sense of that phrase."
Thank you. Much to nourish contemplation in that phrase. :)
On a tangent but nicely feeding back to few op points, here’s a well-reasoned shortread about historicity of Easter events --> thefederalist.com/2022/04/15/jesus-christs-resurrection-is-probably-the-best-documented-historical-event-ever/
🗨 Every other consequential person of history came into the world to live.[...] But Christ came into the world as God’s son in order to die and pay the price for man’s sin. His sacrifice was the ultimate climax of his life, done for the benefit of all mankind.
🗨 Of the four major world religions built on personalities, only Christianity claims its founder is still alive, having overcome death through resurrection.
🗨 there’s actually far more reliable historical evidence for his life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection than for any other historical figure of ancient times.
🗨 the apostles’ willingness to die for their claims has tremendous evidential value [...]. No one will die for something he invented or believes to be false.
Captivating Mark. I relate to your take and look to Jesus as my example and teacher.
Bless you 🙏❤️
Thank you, Mark, for a beautiful essay capturing the spirit of Christ as only-human. Happy Easter.
He is definitely a cypher in the scriptures. It seems to read of a conflicted nature on his part. Admiration mixed with not liking to be bothered by the whole affair and taking the “easy” way out of more conflict with the pesky Jews.