Without ceasing

Three things – the Church prays unceasingly, it withdraws to pray, and it prays in public, in the open air, before the whole city. The prayer of the Church is unceasing, and it alternates between this public form and this withdrawn, even monastic, form.

The practice of perpetual prayer(Latin: laus perennis) was inaugurated by the archimandrite Alexander (died about 430) the founder of the monastic Acoemetae or “vigil-keepers”. Laus perennis was imported to Western Europe at Agaunum, where it was carried on, day and night, by several choirs, or turmae, who succeeded each other in the recitation of the divine office, so that prayer went on without cessation.

The practice of perpetual prayer, 24-7 prayer movement continues to gain momentum. It focuses on creating “prayer rooms” where there are Christians engaged in prayer day and night.

The 24-7 prayer room is a simple idea – to make time, ‘away’ from the usual distractions of life, to speak with and listen to God. Even Jesus took time away from the demands of the crowds to be with his Father (Matthew 14.23). How much must we need this space and time ‘away’, so that we can be more effectively ‘with’?

And it prays in public.
I have been calling this ‘processing’. But I suppose you could call it Prayer walking

Prayerwalking is the twin to praise marching in taking prayer onto the streets. It can be used by Christians in any land any day of the year. March for Jesus is rooted in the recognition that united, powerful prayer is a necessary foundation for effective evangelism. The key step was to take this prayer to the streets, to the very locations where the answers would be seen.

A remedial history of economics

What is economics about?
Jesus once made the empirical observation that since the days of Noah and Lot, people have been doing, and until the end of the world presumably will be doing, four kinds of things. He gave these examples: “planting and building,” “buying and selling,” “marrying and being given in marriage,” and “eating and drinking” (Luke 17:26-8). In other words, we humans produce, exchange, give, and use our human and nonhuman goods.

A Brief, Remedial History of Economics
Scholastic economics (1250-1776) began when Thomas Aquinas integrated these four elements (production, exchange, distribution and consumption), all drawn from Aristotle and Augustine, in an outline integrated at the individual, domestic and political levels. This scholastic outline was taught by Catholics and Protestants (after the Reformation) for more than five centuries. Classical economics (1776-1871) began when Adam Smith cut these four elements to two, trying to explain “division of labor” by production and exchange alone, eliminating distribution and consumption. Today’s “neoclassical” economics (1871-c.2000) began when three economists independently reinvented Augustine’s theory of utility, reintegrating consumption with production and exchange, but not distribution. I think “neoscholastic” economics will revolutionize the field again by restoring the missing element of distribution.

The three worldviews
When Paul preached in the marketplace of Athens, he prefaced the Gospel with a Biblically orthodox adaptation of Greco-Roman natural law. The evangelist Luke tells us that “some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him” (Acts 17:18). The same dispute continues among (neo)scholastic, classical and neoclassical economists. In (neo)scholastic natural law, economics is a theory of rational providence, describing how we choose both persons as “ends” (expressed by our personal and collective gifts) and the scarce means used (consumed) by or for those persons, which we make real through production and exchange. By dropping both distribution and consumption, Smith expressed the Stoic pantheism that viewed the universe “to be itself a Divinity, an Animal” with God as its immanent soul, while sentimental humans choose neither ends nor means rationally. By restoring consumption but not distribution, neoclassical economics expresses the Epicurean materialism that claims humans somehow evolved as clever animals, adept at calculating means but not ends, since “reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions.”

John D Mueller Three worldviews in economics

The British, never fond of children…

The British, never fond of children, have lost all knowledge or intuition about how to raise them; as a consequence, they now fear them, perhaps the most terrible augury possible for a society. The signs of this fear are unmistakable on the faces of the elderly in public places. ..

The British may have always inclined toward harshness or neglect (or both) in dealing with children; but never before have they combined such attitudes with an undiscriminating material indulgence. My patients would sometimes ask me how it was that their children had turned out so bad when they had done everything for them. When I asked them what they meant by “everything,â€? it invariably meant the latest televisions in their bedrooms or the latest fashionable footwear—to which modern British youth attaches far more importance than Imelda Marcos ever did.

Needless to say, the British state’s response to the situation that it has in part created is simultaneously authoritarian and counterproductive. The government pretends, for example, that the problem of child welfare is one of raw poverty… But after many years of various redistributive measures and billions spent to reduce it, child poverty is, if anything, more widespread.

A system of perverse incentives in a culture of undiscriminating materialism, where the main freedom is freedom from legal, financial, ethical, or social consequences, makes childhood in Britain a torment both for many of those who live it and those who observe it.

Theodore Dalrymple Childhood’s End

The fantasy world of our media class

‘The London Bombers’ is a TV film the BBC made but then dropped.

It makes no sense until you understand the moral contortions of the postmodern liberal establishment. In the past few years, the Foreign Office, the Home Office, the West Midlands Police, the liberal press, the Liberal Democrats, the Metropolitan Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Lord Chief Justice and the Archbishop of Canterbury have all either supported ultra-reactionary doctrines or made libellous accusations against the critics of radical Islam. All have sought to prove their liberal tolerance by supporting the most illiberal and intolerant wing of British Islam, and by blocking out the voices of its Muslim and non-Muslim critics as they do it.

As the sorry history of ‘The London Bombers’ shows, they have left us a country that cannot tell its own stories; a land so debilitated by anxiety and stupefied by relativism that it dare not meet the eyes of the face that stares back at it from the mirror.

Nick Cohen Self-censorship and the BBC

Diversity industry

In June, Christian registrar Lillian Ladele won a case for religious discrimination against her employers, Islington Council in London, after she was ‘discriminated, bullied and harrassed’ for refusing to conduct civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples…
Since the CEHR has a statutory responsibility to oppose all forms of discrimination, one might have expected it to have applauded, rather than criticised, a victory for a victim of religious discrimination. But the reaction of the CEHR and other ‘liberal’ commentators to the Ladele case has shown up the nasty, intolerant underside of the modern diversity and equality establishment, and its double standards concerning the interrelationship of Christianity, law and society. In addition, the reactions demonstrate an increasing inability to understand the concept of conscientious moral objection…. two employees at Islington, who described themselves as ‘members of the gay community’, complained about Ladele. In consequence, Lillian was bullied by her manager and details of her personal situation and a ‘confidential’ management letter about her was revealed to the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Forum. What her complainants ultimately objected to was not what Lillian did or how she acted, but what she thought and what she believed. She could not be allowed to continue her work in peace, she had to be challenged and her views had to be changed because, in the mind of the heresy hunters of the modern diversity industry, she was guilty of ‘thought crime’

Neil Addison

Kasper to Anglicans

The welcome candor of Cardinal Kasper’s remarks at Lambeth can easily be captured in a series of quotations.

* “In our dialogue we have jointly affirmed that the decisions of a local or regional church must not only foster communion in the present context, but must also be in agreement with the church of the past, and in a particular way with the apostolic church as witnessed in the Scriptures, the early councils and the patristic tradition.”

* “It also seems to us [the Catholic Church] that the Anglican commitment to being ‘episcopally led and synodically governed’ has not always functioned in such a way as to maintain the apostolicity of the faith and that synodical government misunderstood as a kind of parliamentary process has at times blocked the sort of episcopal leadership envisaged by Cyprian [St. Cyprian, cited earlier]….”

* “He [Pope John Paul II in settling the question of the ordination of women] concluded, ‘I declare that the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church’s faithful.’ This formulation clearly shows that this is not only a disciplinary position but an expression of our faithfulness to Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church finds herself bound by the will of Jesus Christ and does not feel free to establish a new tradition alien to the tradition of the church of all ages.”

Catholic Culture