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Angelico Press just published an article for them I did in connection with my new book from them.

Link here:

I'm pasting it in whole here, partly because I hope Fishies or lurkers either in Ireland or with a particular interest in Ireland may see it.

In addition to being about Ireland and the situation there today, it also reflects the necessary work  I want to contribute to  in Ireland … and I'm interested in anyone else with the aspiration to this same. We need all hands on deck! And prayers …

Of course, I want to promote my book, too …

Ireland and the Embers of Christendom

Today, I greet you, dear Reader, from the rural northwest of Ireland. It is where, by the Grace of God, I now live ― although fifty-two years ago I started out in Los Angeles as an (unbaptised) American child of British parents.

The fact that I am now writing this for Angelico Press, who has just published The Gentle Traditionalist – my book on Catholic Apologetics – amply demonstrates that a great deal happened between my secular American upbringing and my life now in Ireland. Or I might even say: my life amidst the embers of Christendom, still present on this little island, lying at the far shores of Abendland of old . . .

That ‘great deal’ (sometimes words fail utterly!) was my conversion to the Catholic faith which began when I was thirty-four and thoroughly, thoroughly immersed in the New Age movement. Indeed, I had even lived in Findhorn, which many regard as the leading New Age centre on the planet. As the Vatican document Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life tells us:

Quote:The two centres which were the initial power-houses of the New Age, and to a certain extent still are, were the Garden community at Findhorn in North-East Scotland, and the Centre for the development of human potential at Esalen in Big Sur, California, in the United States of America.

Findhorn and the New Age: I would orient my entire life to them for nearly twenty years. And to my mind that fact owes much indeed to my secular environs in America (and later England). For I inhabited a world utterly bereft of any sense of the Catholic Mystery.

And how many Americans (or English) are just like I was: hungry for spiritual mystery and seeing no other option in modern culture but the New Age movement?! And even though – after decades! – I finally discovered the Holy Church, how many of these hungry souls never do?

Alas, we have no statistics for these people, but I imagine they number tens of millions. This is because Anglophone culture, generally speaking, has rendered Catholicism either invisible or so badly stereotyped that many a spiritually sensitive soul sees nowhere else to turn but the New Age – especially as evangelical Protestant Christianity is likely to appear dull and literalist to many who feel famished for the numinous.

Historically, however, there was always one major exception to that depressing situation in the Anglosphere. I speak, of course, of the Emerald Isle. In Ireland, the Catholic Mystery was not invisible, but proclaimed everywhere!

Even very recently what existed here in Ireland would stagger the minds of my fellow Americans today. What I mean by that can be glimpsed from a national survey of the Irish Republic from as late as 1973-1974.

That survey found over ninety percent of Catholics attended Mass weekly and nearly forty-seven percent went to Confession monthly, whereas ninety-seven percent prayed daily. Seventy- five percent of those surveyed put up holy pictures or statues.

Furthermore, around a quarter of the population went to Mass more than once a week and a similar proportion confessed every week or more!

As late as 1986, a referendum for divorce in Ireland was defeated by a thumping two thirds majority. It was finally passed in 1995, although 49.7 percent still voted no. (It was around the same time that magazines like Playboy became easily available here – which they had not been before!)

Cynics try to paint this extraordinarily religious society as largely stemming from social control in a culture where Church and State had been closely linked. According to such derision, Irish Catholics simply did what they were expected to by a rigid, hierarchical system.

What this cynicism misses is how much Irish religiosity exceeded the Church’s expectations. For example, the Church certainly does not stipulate Confession every week. And yet twenty-nine percent of the Irish population confessed weekly or more! The Church imposes no obligation to put up holy images or statues. Yet seventy-five percent of the population said they did.

Today, things are very, very different.  Same-sex ‘marriage’ was voted in earlier this year and abortion was legalized in 2013 (albeit by a government acting against its electoral promises and without a referendum it clearly feared it would lose!)

Just forty years later, globalization has done much to render Ireland ever more like the sterile, secular America and England I grew up in. Today the Irish youth are growing up deprived. And just as I grew up deprived – robbed of the Catholic Mystery – they, too, are turning to the New Age.

That at least is true in the cities such as Dublin, Cork and Galway. But where I am, in the Donegal-Tyrone borderlands, it remains still different. I feel graced to live in a little village where most still go faithfully to Mass, where the Angelus bell still sounds, where the village school is Catholic and where my heart is deeply moved to see Irishmen and women regularly praying by their parents’ graves in our church cemetary.

Here is why I spoke of the embers of Christendom.

It is also why I am determined to do whatever I can to see that those embers are not extinguished. But no it is more than this! For I should say: to do whatever I can to relight the fire of Christendom, brought to this land by St. Patrick 1600 years ago. (St. Patrick, it might be recalled, belonged to Christendom. His name was Patriciusand he was a citizen of the Christian Roman Empire, as it then existed.)

Part of my efforts to preserve and renew Christendom involve two books I have written:  The Gentle Traditionalist  and a second, bigger volume Cor Jesu Sacratissimum forthcoming from Angelico this spring. (Cor Jesu Sacratissimum is also the title of another effort, which is my blog here:

Both books deal in their different ways with the issues invoked above: the loss of the Catholic Mystery in the Anglosphere and the rapid ascent of secular ideology and New Age-ism in its place.

Moreover, both books address the only hope I see – that the Catholic Church rediscover her traditions and reverence in her liturgy. That is to say, that she becomes unashamedly, unapologetically Catholic once again.

Now, recently I was deeply gratified that Peter Kwasniewski, author of Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis very graciously indicated that my first book has succeeded in what I set out to do:

Quote:The Gentle Traditionalist is a book with a ‘strange magic,’ like unto the Ireland it loves and mourns. With unforgettable images and a wry sense of humor, Buck unfolds a tale of whimsical fantasy, melancholy realism, and supernatural joy, ever so gently exposing the intolerance and incoherence of the New Secular Religion that is destroying Ireland today, just as it has destroyed every culture that has surrendered to it.

The remedy to this scourge is not ‘Christianity lite’ or the ‘spirit of Vatican II,’ but the real religion that raised Western civilization to its glory: the traditional Catholic Faith. Buck’s deftly-reasoned post-modern apologetic for full-blooded Catholicism—a Syllabus of Errors in narrative form, a rousing hymn to ‘meaning, grace, beauty, life’—will be salutary for those who are still wandering and for those already arrived in port.

I am not sure I am able to live up to such praise! Nevertheless, Kwasniewski has captured my aspiration in writing, at least: to show that Ireland – along with the rest of the Anglosphere of course – need not settle for the New Age Movement, nor for the ‘New Secular Religion’ (as I call it in my book). For both, I argue, are leading – each in their different ways – to what St. John Paul II termed the ‘Culture of Death’.

Yet the embers of Christendom remain with us. In certain places in rural Ireland, they are still burning brightly. St. Patrick’s fire must be rekindled!

I say this not only for the sake of the Irish – but indeed the entire Anglosphere. For, as I say, the Anglosphere is impoverished, buried beneath five hundred years of Protestant scepticism of the Catholic Mystery, now mutated into even deeper secular scepticism.

But for countless Catholics in America, Australia, England, Canada and elsewhere, Ireland has long shone like a beacon of hope.

Were that Irish lighthouse to be extinguished, the tragedy would travel far, far beyond these shores. The unique luminosity cast by Ireland into the Anglophone darkness would no longer serve to guide and inspire English-speakers everywhere.

And, personally speaking, I have little doubt that is precisely what certain secular, revolutionary elites across the Anglosphere desire. (The same-sex ‘marriage’ campaign, for instance, received massive funding from liberal America.) That, however, is a thorny, complex topic best left aside for the moment.

My main point here is that the entire Anglosphere needs an Ireland that has not succumbed to secular ennuie and anomie. Irish Catholic culture must be sustained.

But that is no easy thing in an Ireland incessantly bombarded by English and American media, as well as an Irish Church so unsure of herself after heartbreaking scandals (a subject I cover in my book).

Nonetheless, the work – spiritual, practical, intellectual – of saving Catholic Ireland must be mounted, passionately and sincerely. I pray, then, that my new book might make a humble contribution to that immense collective task – a task that requires endeavor by every soul, whereever they may be, who cares about the Soul of Ireland.

And so, if you are such a person yourself, good reader, I ask you to stop and say a prayer once you finish reading this. Pray with me a moment, won’t you, that the sacred fire Patricius brought to the Celts long ago might be rekindled across the length and breadth of this singular island.

St. Patrick, pray for Ireland!
[quote='Roger Buck' pid='1298694' dateline='1450002222']
Angelico Press just published an article for them I did in connection with my new book from them.

I had no idea that you wrote and publish your own book. That so cool Roger Buck. Congradulations!
I just noticed Roger Buck, that your book has a banner add right here on Fisheaters. How cool is that!
Now you can buy your book from here, it wold make a great Christmas gift, and give a little Christmas gift to Vox too. Win, Win!  :cheers: Sip, sip.
You hooked me, bought the book, always open to more insight into Ireland.  I really find the statistics from the 70s and 80s astonishing, i had no idea!  I had the impression there was widespread alcohol abuse, binge drinking, the Irish are known for it.  On the other hand, i knew it couldn't have always been so, but always wondered when it really started. 
Leon Uris paints a dreadful image of the Irish, really, he goes on in Trinity endeavoring to show them as a political underdog and some kind of working class hero.  But Uris is a Jew, and he pays the Irish, the Catholics,  a backhanded compliment.  He shows them to be raging drunks, hypocritical Catholics, even back in the 1800s.  I took Uris with a big grain of salt.  But still i pictured the Irish to be regular binge drinkers, hypocritical Catholics, during most of the 20th century. 
Might_4_Right and Landless Laborer …

Belated, but sincere thank you's to you both. I am run off my feet at the moment, can't keep up ...

To address the issue you raise, Landless Laborer, Ireland has been known historically for both its alcohol consumption AND extraordinarily high levels of complete alcohol abstinence.

Roughly speaking right now - haven't got statistics on hand, I would say that in the past, perhaps 75% drank (not necessarily binged) but a huge 25% never drank at all.

With the collapse of Catholicism, though terrible binge drinking is definitely a scourge of modern Ireland.

Also I think that when the Irish went to America, Australia etc - out of the terrible famine - their drinking in the new lands was much worse than it had been at home, There is a terrible tragedy of exile and mass death there. After the famine, a quarter of the population either died or emigrated. Ripped out of their home, alcoholism became a greater problem abroad than it ever was here.

Again warm thanks to you, both! I hope you enjoy my book …

And if anyone has more questions, thoughts about Ireland please say. I would like to keep this thread up …

I do want to reach those love Ireland, even if I am slow  as I could never learn toj type and I move around the i'net much slower than most folk these days.

Thanks Roger,
I appreciate your response.  That's actually the impression i've gleaned over the years from relatives who have been back and forth to the Old World trying to trace roots; that the binge drinking was more of an immigrant issue, but may or may not have bloomed back in Ireland during the 60's.  Speaking of my own relatives, they say the ones who originally immigrated here were exceedingly conscious of mortal sin and went out of their way to avoid it, were devastated when their children courted it.  So, i simply can't see them getting obliterated at the pub, like Leon Uris portrays virtually all Irish Catholics to come out of the famine. 

I think a heck of a lot of people, especially Irish Americans, got their impressions about Ireland from Leon Uris (my dad had me read it when i was 16).  He made them all out to be George Carlin types, heroic to many, but basically it was a hit job. 

Well, i got the book, and so far have read the introduction.  Intriguing! 
Many thanks and best wishes! 
Thank you, Landless Laborer!

I have not read that Uris book (A Terrible Beauty, I think you mean) …

But certainly I see Ireland and the Irish in a very different way than you suggest he does.

Really, I am still bowled over by Ireland and have been here some 4 1/2 years now.

This is not Irish ethnic pride speaking, as my blood is mainly English/Scots. But I have lived in 7 different countries now (US, England, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland - also Wales and Scotland which makes 9, really) and I see astonishing qualities here of heart, humanness, piety unlike anywhere else.

Obviously Ireland is fallen with dark shadows, just like everywhere, but I truly believe Christianity became very deeply anchored in this land in a very special way.

So you'll see my book tries to honour that …

Will also point you (and anyone else who may be interested) to two more posts at my site which relate to the above …

Charity, Community and Caring in Catholic Ireland

English Blood, Irish Heart: A Valentine for Catholic Ireland:

Just want to add - for other's sake -  that my book is not only about Ireland!

It's also about Catholic tradition, the Latin Mass, the global threat of secularism, the New Age movement etc.

Ireland is a definite theme - but I hope the book can appeal to people throughout the West who are concerned about the threat to Tradition.

Will also note Amazon USA is doing another sale as I write this- down from $14.95 to $13.46 - not sure how long this will last.

Shortlink to Amazon here:
No, the book i was referring to by Uris was Trinity.  Uris was a big-time author here in the States back in the 70's, and i don't think i'm far off the mark to say that he defined the way Americans thought about the Jews and the Irish with two works of historical fiction;  Exodus and Trinity.  Someday, just for your own curiosity, you may want to read Trinity, although i think it's liable to infuriate you.

About your book.  I was shocked, really, by its a calibre.  It's up there...i don't know,  top tier books i've ever read, and i've read a lot of books!  You have a gift. 
(12-22-2015, 01:32 PM)Landless Laborer Wrote: [ -> ]About your book.  I was shocked, really, by its a calibre.  It's up there...i don't know,  top tier books i've ever read, and i've read a lot of books!  You have a gift.

Whoa, Landless Laborer, your words are most generous … thank you.

AND I am so sorry I somehow missed them when you posted them! I dot know how this happened, except I'm not doing at all well keeping up with everything happening with my book. Unused to so much ...

But a belated very warm thanks to you and I will look out for Uris's Trinity, even if infuriating ...
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