Saturday, December 20, 2014

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, December 20

Religion and Geopolitics this week includes:

When we think of the Vikings of old and the Scandanavians of today, the story of Catholic rulers disciplining the warrior spirit may not spring to mind. Here is a short well-told tale of religion, history, and the nations of the North Sea. Only the splendor and the glory of God could capture the hearts of men such as the Vikings and redirect their rather successful lifestyles to more sublime ends. It is the liturgy of the Mass that communicates such splendor as this essay eloquently explains. One characteristic of the glory of God, the majesty of the Mass and the authority of a good man is gravitas. The reason we need gravitas and an understanding of the warrior kings is that we humans are like Hobbits amidst a great spiritual war of principalities and powers. Over the years we have learned there are two great embarrassments to Catholic intellectuals and much of our clergy: the reality of a singular set of human parents (Adam and Eve); and the reality of conscious active angelic beings in the workings of everyday life and history. The weekly Sunday liturgy is "a theophany," says Pope Francis; and the practice of ending the Eucharistic theophany with a prayer to the angels is returning.

Here is an excellent essay on the Church and the meaning of nations and immigration by John Zmirak at 'Chronicles' magazine. George Friedman of Stratfor (a global intelligence firm) spent a week in Russia, and has an excellent summary of some realities we sometimes forget in our sanctions strategy (understanding Russia from the inside.) Friedman is usually single-minded on geographic and balance of power analysis. This is a change for him, and shows he is an intelligent observer as well as a strategic thinker.

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