By Susan Wills:

George Santayana’s famous statement — “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” — would be a great subtitle for a little known essay called “The Fate of Empires” (1976) by the little known British general and historian Sir John Bagot Glubb.

He explains that we generally fail to learn vital lessons from humanity’s past errors because history is taught in disconnected chunks, narrowly focused on this region or that era and almost never as a comprehensive study of the history of humanity. Plus historians, like the rest of humanity, are not above lying to burnish their nation’s history and tarnish the memory of ancient foes. 

Sir John Glubb confined his analysis of superpowers to the 3,000-year history of the Middle East and Europe — from Great Britain to Russia — where his knowledge was broad and deep, conceding that he was not an expert in the history of the Far East or of South America. In comparing the rise and fall of the eleven great empires that flourished between 859 B.C. and 1950 A.D., he uncovered a pattern of conquest, growth, maturity and decline that, remarkably, was common to all.

What surprised him even more: for each superpower, the whole process took place over ten generations or roughly 250 years. He saw the same trajectory being repeated in the United States of America. The most pressing question we now face is this: Can the values and habits that made America a great nation be restored or is its collapse — within the next 25 years — inevitable?

Seven ages can be identified in US history and in the histories of eleven past superpowers (Assyria, Persia, Greece, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, Arab Empire, Mameluke Empire, Ottoman Empire, Spain, Romanov Russia and Great Britain). The Age of — 

(1) Pioneers (“The Age of Outburst”)
(2) Conquest
(3) Commerce
(4) Affluence
(5) Intellect
(6) Decadence
(7) Decline and Death

We sometimes think of pioneers and conquerors as “barbarians,” like the Mongolians who conquered Persia or the Germanic tribes who sacked Rome, and assume that they conquered “effete civilizations.” But that’s not always the case.

For example, the pioneers in what became the US subdued “less advanced” tribal groups, but still fit the arc. Sir John describes pioneers as “normally poor, hardy and enterprising and above all aggressive”; “they abound in courage, energy and initiative, overcome every obstacle and always seem to be in control of the situation.”

For the whole insightful article click here.

{ 0 comments }

Covered a LOT of ground today and people said it was the most powerful Mass – in front of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. The Holy House of Loreto was also an amazing stop.

We have now arrived at our Grand Paradiso Hotel in San Giovanni Rotundo and look who was there to greet us :-)

Enjoy the movie of today’s events, the homily by Teresa Tomeo’s husband, Deacon Dominic Pastore and two of our doctors talking about the heart muscle and blood of the Eucharistic Miracle.

VIDEO OF OUR DAY’S ADVENTURES

HOMILY AT THE EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE OF LANCIANO

OUR TWO DOCTORS COMMENT ON THE HEART MUSCLE AND BLOOD OF THE EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE FROM THE 8TH CENTURY

{ 0 comments }

Technical Problems for First Christians

by Steve Ray on May 26, 2015

"But this was so much easier than - what did you call it - a book?"

Yes, the first Christians had a difficult time with the technical transition – from scrolls to books.

You will certainly appreciate the need for the first “tech guys.” Enjoy!

I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

{ 2 comments }

Jesus was NOT Crucified or Killed: Quran, Sura 4

May 25, 2015

by Fr. George W. Rutler “That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety [...]

Read the full article →

How Can You Describe the Beauty and Sacredness History of Assisi? Only in pictures

May 25, 2015

Today we had a full and fruitful day in Assisi. We began with Mass at St. Clare’s Church above her tomb. They a walking tour of Assisi which is really a walking tour of the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare and the Francisans.  Then to the crescendo – visiting the tomb of St. [...]

Read the full article →

From Turin to Assisi: Message from Gianna Molla, Beautiful Drive thru Italy, Mass and History in Assisi

May 24, 2015

What a great group of Catholic pilgrims and adventurers! Prayers on the bus, Rosaries, conversion stories and our new Footprints of God DVD “Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. Enjoy our pilgrimage with us. I know it seems like all we do is eat, but you have to remember where we are – ITALY. This [...]

Read the full article →

Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

May 24, 2015

 Jesus was a Jew. This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors.  [...]

Read the full article →

Today We Saw the Holy Shroud, the Body of St. John Bosco and Met the Daughter of St. Gianna Molla who gave us a one-hour talk

May 23, 2015

I cannot express in words what we did, saw and experienced today. It was truly and spiritual powerhouse. Seeing the Holy Shroud was breath-taking. It is a Love Letter from God written in his own blood. The church and compound started by St. John Bosco and his body on display with Mass at an ancient [...]

Read the full article →

Steve’s Short Story “The Last Nightmare” Might Scare the Hell Out of You!

May 23, 2015

The Last Nightmare A Short and Terrifying Story by Steve Ray Everything went blank for a moment, but that moment seemed like eternity. He felt a motion, not with wind and breeze, but a motion none the less. He was traveling, moving, floating, transcending-he wasn’t really sure. The sudden blackness gave him time to regain [...]

Read the full article →

First Day in Italy; Mass at the Duomo in Milan; Settled into Turin to See Shroud Tomorrow

May 22, 2015

Arrival in Milan; tour of the city and Mass at the 5th largest church in the world – and amazing Gothic construction. Fr. Scott Courtney’s homily in the fantastic Duomo.

Read the full article →

Mary, Queen of Heaven

May 22, 2015

A while ago a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary including references from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother up to a throne to be Queen of the Kingdom. He said that was the ONLY case of a [...]

Read the full article →

Cartoon on Protestantism and the Bible

May 21, 2015

When I look back on my experience I find this cartoon has a ring of truth. There were many verses of the Bible that I either didn’t realize existed (though that may seem strange) or that we just ignored. We virtually cut them out of the Bible in the sense that we ignored or reasoned [...]

Read the full article →

A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

May 21, 2015

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.” So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since. Was there really a man named Jesus? [...]

Read the full article →

Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

May 20, 2015

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they [...]

Read the full article →

From Israel to Italy Today; Troublesome Muslims there too; Urinating on Mary; Wake up America!

May 20, 2015

On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary.  They hurled verbal insults, shouts, and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing [...]

Read the full article →

Last Day of Pilgrimage: Comments, Fun and Farewells

May 19, 2015

Hope you enjoy all the fun and farewells at the end of the trip. Always sad to say Good-bye!

Read the full article →