What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

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April 2020 Archives

April 10, 2020

RIP John Prine


Disinclined to suffer the cynical reassurance that the virus “only kills the elderly,” which so often manifests itself as “devil take the hindmost” -- even if the hindmost here include, for example, our dwindling numbers of Second World War veterans -- I’ll confine myself to lamenting the loss to the virus of one elderly and immunocompromised man, John Prine; and lamenting also that we have no means to visit “sweet revenge, sweet revenge, without fail,” on Covid-19.

Resqueiscat in pace.

April 12, 2020



If we reflect upon the attributes of God, surely among the most astounding (though one trembles to undertake some hierarchy of the ineffable) must be the Incarnation. That God might don the flesh and dwell with us, truly as man and not some facsimile or intricate illusion, amounts to the kind of paradox that can only come to seem pedestrian precisely because it did happen. Even many who reject it are nevertheless resigned to it. We might almost say the triumph of Christianity lies in the persistent indifference to its central doctrine.

Ho hum, another Christmas. Ho hum, another Good Friday. Ho hum, another Easter.

But when Pilate pronounced those two Latin words — “Ecce homo” — he shook the foundations of the world. Probably he meant it as a sneer, a last mean insult after appalling abuse and mockery. Or possibly his cynicism subsided for a moment, replaced by a weary remnant or fleeting flash of pity. (Do we see something similar when, as recorded by St. Matthew, Pilate tells the priests and Pharisees to detail their own blasted guard for the tomb — cynicism or conscience?)

In any case, this phrase in this context, “behold the man,” contemplated in full, discloses unplumbable depths. Pair it with Christ’s words in answer to the Incredulity of St. Thomas — “behold my hands” — and we encounter again the incarnate reality, the bodily fact, of the Son of Man; stricken, afflicted, accursed; and then risen, radiant, triumphant. We behold our Lord and Savior.

The word appears nearly thirty times in the Apocalypse of St. John. “Behold, I have set before you the open door.” “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.” “Behold, I am making all things new.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me.”


But whatever this is, it is no ho hum Easter, is it? In obedience another prophetic text in Scripture — “seek the welfare of the city” — we are prevented this Easter from beholding one another, from beholding the Body of Christ gathered, except by means of attenuating technology. Mistake me not: we bless the Lord for that technology! Had this plague struck even a decade ago, how much greater and more trying would have been the isolation. Still, we celebrate today under an unnatural attenuation: the isolation is real and aching. The Lord’s Supper remains for most of us in abeyance. We wonder how long before the right hand of fellowship might be extended again without trepidation, how long before the voices of many families, rather than a single family, might join to sing our beloved hymns of praise.

But we may still behold our Lord. And the empty tomb He left behind.