Compass

A rusty nail placed near a faithful compass,
will sway it from the truth, and wreck the argosy.

Sir Walter Scott

Antique Compass on Map
(image borrowed from the web)

Toward the end of the 1920’s Winston Churchill’s long, illustrious and prolific life in politics seemed to have come crashing down on him much like the global economy of the Great Depression.
For various reasons, such as his support for issues which the majority were not supporting to perhaps his overt sense of confidence as was often perceived as arrogance, Churchill was not reelected to Parliament and was subjected to spending the next 10 years of his life as an ordinary citizen who simply opted for the serendipitous career of a writer—just another politician, past his prime, all but relegated to the annuals of history.

Yet it was during his time of isolation that Churchill continued to sound those cymbals, of which he felt passionate, to any and all who might give him ear— especially his concern for a wounded German nation licking its devastating wounds following its surrender with dishonor at the end of WWI. Woodrow Wilson’s Treaty of Versailles had sealed Germany’s fate as a neutered nation, cast aside and discarded–left to deal with a devastated economy as well as a lost generation of men not to mention the demoralized sense of national identity. A once proud Prussian people were not only globally disgraced but were now left literally starving and alone.

Such grave and severe consequences extracted from and heaped upon the aggressors following the loss of any war usually results in a dark and dangerous vaccum—sterilization and humiliation begets resentment, which left to fester, breeds a seething hate laced with thoughts of revenge and a hunger to dominate those now perceived as the oppressor. . .all of which Churchill was well aware—long before either his fellow MPs or a war weary world were willing to acknowledge.

History affords us a peek at the end of this story of isolation—but not before millions of people had died.
It is estimated that 60 million people were killed during WWII—yet we don’t how accurate that figure is given the brutality and secrecy of the USSR under Stalin’s regime—some historians put that 60 million much higher as it was reported that the USSR lost 8.5 million soldiers and citizens during WWII—yet it is widely believed however that that number is more like 14 million. . .a staggering number lost from what is now known as modern Russia. Such numbers are nearly impossible for the human mind to comprehend.

Yet Churchill had long sounded the alarm, much to the rolling of eyes from politicians and citizens alike. No one wanted to hear his ominous rhetoric preferring life to that of an ostrich who has buried his head in the sand–fingers stuffed in ears as everyone ran about “la-la-laing” taking the mindset of “what we don’t know, or worse– won’t admit, won’t hurt us”. . .

And it is with this look back at Churchill’s plight, of that lone voice crying in the wilderness, that my thoughts turn today. . .to those lone voices sounding the alarm over the growing threat of a militant muslim nation better known as IS or ISIS.

Did you know that ISIS recently beheaded a Croatian man?
He was a typographer out simply working on mapping things when he was kidnapped.
The news coverage was minimal at best as we’ve obviously got too much going on with our own impending election wannabes. . .

I have shared story after story, as well as interview after interview alike, over the past several months regarding the brutality and hatred of a growing menace in the Middle East that has tentacles which are reaching far and wide. Just click on any news feed to see the latest young person deciding to run away to fight in the caliphate.

Here in my little corner of blogland I sound a lone little bell that most folks don’t like to, or preferably don’t want to, hear. . .with the majority thought being it’s a lot to do about nothing.

The systematic killing of Christians and the slow and agonizing death of the human moral compass. . .is, to me, a very big deal.

Here is a link to a recent interview given by the actor John Rhys-Davis on his take of the loss of this proverbial moral compass

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/08/12/lord-of-the-rings-actor-blasts-political-correctness-we-have-lost-our-moral-compass/

And as I was reading this morning a posting by one of my favorite Benedictine monks, not that I know many monks, I was struck by a few things Father Hugh stated so soundly in his morning’s post–of which hit me in the head with the thought of “if not you, who?”

“because what we do here in this fleeting world has direct and potentially irreversible consequences for our lives in the next, and eternal, world. Apart from the fact that basic human decency should bid us have concern for our neighbour wherever and whoever he or she might be, our Christian faith demands that we do. What we do, or fail to do, to our neighbor is done to Christ.”

“Our Christian faith demands that we do”. . .demands, as in commands unequivocally, that we do . . .it is that thought which really struck me this morning as most profound. That it is through my Christian faith, a faith which demands and expects of me a certain duty and moral obligation to my fellow man, that I speak for those who are globally persecuted, for those who are suffering for their belief in the Resurrected Son of God–those who are being attacked, tortured, enslaved, heinously murdered all for their faith. . .

You can read Fr Hugh’s full post which is addressing the whys of our prayers seemingly going unanswered:
https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/why/

Father Hugh’s words, as well as the actions of a seemingly beaten politician some 80 years ago who continued with his warnings against an evil menace as the rest of the world preferred distraction, is encouragement enough to continue to sound the alarm. . .Yet more importantly, it is because of the obligation, duty and demand of faith which is the true catalyst–the very real reason that I or you or any believer should not keep silent in the face of such violent tyranny. I am not an alarmist or naysayer but rather one who hears the thundering hooves of darkness galloping ever closer to my world of contentment–just as our leaders, our news networks, our politicians, our entertainment industry and even those who profess to be believers, prefer to be lulled into a state of neutrality and complacency. . .

I will close with a prayer offered to the Nation by President Franklin D. Roosevelt following the invasion of Normandy by the allied forces. . .an amazing thought that a President would implore a nation to join in prayer on a nationally aired radio broadcast—what a novel thought. . .as he spoke these words, there were already thousands of soldiers who lay dead and dying as they fought for their lives to keep the evil darkness of their day at bay. . .

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

16 comments on “Compass

  1. ColorStorm says:

    Lots of passion here, and rightly so. I will only say it is unlikely any person of sound mind could find fault with one word you said.

    You surely have covered a lot of ground, and any voice is small, but important. So ‘amen’ to your small voice, and take heart, .

    It just seems the devil wears shoes………………….oh how patient God is.

    But have a great weekend J..

  2. Wally Fry says:

    ” agonizing death of the human moral compass”

    Ha..well said Julie. Although I might debate if it agonizes anymore, but is happily racing to it’s own death with joy. Not only are we killing morality, but we are doing it willingly and with immense joy. We revel in it, in fact.

    Winston Churchill is such a a great example of on person making a difference. It can’t have been easy for him, and he could have just given up after his failures. Imagine how things might be different at this very moment if he had just given up.

    • Oh I often think how different the world would have been–and imagine, had Hitler been accepted to art school, as was his initial young dream, how many lives might not have been made to suffer. . .hindsight and foresight are each such a conundrum to be certain—thanks Wally—happy weekend–Julie

  3. Yep–he was a struggling artist who had dreams of attending Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts but he didn’t pass the entrance exam plus he had dropped out of high school and didn’t have the required diploma to go very far should he have been accepted. . .
    Both he and Churchill painted—but Churchill’s painting passion sustained him throughout his long life–as a distraction as well as a soothing balm in which he could lose himself from the maddening world. Some of Churchill’s paintings were recently on display in Atlanta and I greatly enjoyed getting to see them up close and personal—
    Your tid bit of artistic culture for the day Wally 🙂

  4. Lynda says:

    Julie, one sentence from Fr. Hugh’s post in particular really resonates with me: “For really, why should God give heed to our prayers if we so feebly and half-heartedly live as Christians?” We have been given much and we need to do our part for God’s world. I am thankful that God is patient and loving and merciful and we need to be the same. Blessings!

  5. Thanks for a much needed reminder of long-term historical consequences. We need more like Churchill, even though he, like Roosevelt, was a flawed individual who erred in many of the decisions he chose. I enjoyed every word of your post and look forward to sharing more of your historical expertise.

    • Thank you Marie—flawed to be sure—yet I think I prefer Churchill’s flaws to Roosevelt’s 🙂 His choices were steeped in a love for what was–for a time that no longer existed–Roosevelt on the other hand was not the nostalgic or romantic of the two—but thank God that through their flaws and differences they could steer a path free from tyranny and oppression—it is certainly something to think about the choices and paths of the likes of Hitler and Stalin—had one become the artist, the other the Orthodox priest–how vastly different the world may be. . .

  6. Oh my, I’m speechless again! What is there to say in response to this, missy. You are 100% spot on with everything you incorporated here. The “Titanic” is indeed sinking, as it were, and nobody is listening or seems to give a damn! Love, N 🙂 ❤

    • and somewhere I am now hearing Celine Dion —-:)

    • I couldn’t resist with a titanic sinking–of which you are 100% correct, it is sinking fast—we went over to Atlanta tonight, Im so over going to Atlanta, for a nice evening out for our anniversary—
      It was nice—it’s not so much the food you know, as it is the experience–something I greatly appreciate—
      and yes, Celine is singing in my head 🙂

      • You are so funny!!! 🙂 I’m so glad you had a nice time on your anniversary! She and Abba are singing in my head now after my post with the Dancing Queen song. The Titanic is sinking too fast, my friend. It is really very frightening. I told James just today that the ship was hit way back there with two icebergs that cracked the hull. One was Madeleine Murray O’Hare’s success with taking prayer out of our schools and the other was the Roe vs. Wade decision that made abortion legal, and we’ve been slowly but surely sinking ever since. With that, I’m gonna shuffle off to my bed and try to get some sleep before it’s time to scramble for life boats. Nighty, night, sweet Julie. Talk to you again tomorrow. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

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