Tuesday, August 29, 2017

On the Beheading of John the Baptist

O God, of those that fought thy fight,
Portion, and prize, and crown of light,
Break every bond of sin and shame
As now we praise thy martyr's name.

He recked not of the world's allure,
But sin and pomp of sin forswore:
Knew all their gall, and passed them by,
And reached the throne prepared on high.

Bravely the course of pain he ran,
And bare his torments as a man:
For love of thee his blood outpoured,
And thus obtained the great reward.

With humble voice and suppliant word
We pray thee therefore, holy Lord,
While we thy martyr's feast-day keep,
Forgive thy loved and erring sheep.

* Glory and praise for aye be done
To God the Father, and the Son,
And Holy Ghost, who reign on high,
One God, to all eternity.
from the 1960 Breviary

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Divina Pastora

Most Divina Pastora (Divine or Holy if you prefer, Shepherdess) paintings have St. Michael defending souls in the background from demons represented by wolves or in the case of this last painting, a sea monster.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Well that was utterly distasteful

What makes quislings act the way they do? Is it fear? Is it genuine approval of the overlord? Is it self interest mixed with hopelessness that moves them to sell out everything and everyone to postpone the day, hopefully forever until the overlord finally comes for them? Perhaps they were just wretches all along and  simply go where the wind takes them and at heart have no real beliefs beyond their appetites. All this came to mind when I read this distasteful article from National Catholic Reporter.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Feast of the Assumption

The Assumption
  • I read a woman's bitter complaint on a news site that that European men weren't defending their women. I thought, 'Where has this lady been her whole life?' Feminism is further along in it's progression  in Europe than it is in the United States and the men have been carped at and told that they are the villains  for decades. Some of the older ones are  shrugging their shoulders and muttering in soto voce to the women, "Are the migrants bothering you? See to them yourselves." Others are just frozen with mild niceness and the only thing they really can do is have another beer and think about something else. You can't create a steer and then try to shame him into acting like a bull.
Rocky and I went on vacation last week and took my mother. It was great as usual. We went to Mass at St. John Neuman in Lancaster, PA and it was a mixed experience. The priest was okay. The church is badly designed with the Blessed Sacrament in the back with everyone'sitting with their  backs to Our Lord. Only a handful of people acknowledged the Lord's presence in the chapel. The parishioners aren't friendly but that was okay. The cantor was very dominant. She made us practice the opening hymn  before Mass, led us in a prayer for vocations  and explained to us what  the Mass readings mean and instructed us on what to think about them. Finally Mass started. They had  eight or so Eucharistic ministers and there was no way to receive Communion from the priest without cutting through several lines.  A lady walked up to me in my seat, thumped me on the back and pointed to a Eucharistic minister. I meekly shook my head and she left me alone. Next time we visit Lancaster we will go back to one of the parishes we've visited in the past.

 I will say one thing. They had very well behaved children. Nobody gave their tots metal toys or  loud video games and I was impressed that they didn't even seem to need their cry room. I was also amazed to see that while there must have been over 100 people present,  there was no parade of marchers going  back and forth to the restroom. Either the people at this parish have bladders of steel or it's just part of their parish culture to get in line for the restrooms before Mass started. It was, all in all, an interesting experience.

  • Somebody tell poor Austen Ivereigh about these terrible, rotten, no good neurotic converts and ask him if they are good enough for him: St. Teresa Benedicta, Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne,  St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita, St. Paul, Sts. Peter, James, John and the other apostles, Marie-Théodor Ratisbonne,  and St. Wenceslaus and the Roman martyrs.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Media scares over the years

Here's a list of things in no particular order that the media tried to terrify us with.

Radon, remember that was supposed to kill us all?

Legionaries disease.

Asbestos, which is always ready to claw it's way out of the wall and attack.


Swine Flu, was also supposed to kill us all.

Bird Flu

Hong Kong Flu, which was horrible but not the second coming of the Black Plague.

Acid Rain

Global cooling--  yes, in the 70s they told us that we were going to freeze to death.

Killer Bees


Chronic fatigue syndrome

Ebola. Unless you came in contact with an Ebola victim's explosive bodily fluids the odds of you getting sick turned out to be incredibly slim.

Herpes, long before AIDS, the media told us that Herpes was going to get us.

Killer clowns--- that was probably a well orchestrated publicity stunt for the Steven King It movie which is coming out this year.

The Russians were going get us and if you didn't speak Russian you were in trouble.

The Chinese were going to get us and if you didn't speak Chinese you were trouble.

The Metric system:If you didn't learn it you weren't going to be able to get a job when you grew up and would end up on the street. I still get  mad about this when I think about it. What a horrid thing to tell little kids.

Homelessness. If your dad lost his job on Monday, you and your family would be on the sidewalk by Wednesday. Apparently drug use, alcoholism, insanity, lack of impulse control or being a criminal drifter had nothing to with it.

AIDS. Any day now it was going to jump out of the original victim population and our friends and families would die like flies.

Toxic shock syndrome. If you were a teen aged girl it was coming for you like a wolf on a lost sheep.

Poison Halloween candy

Cults in every kindergarten ---(although witchcraft is real and it's not uncommon to walk into a nice seeming person's home and find a Ouija board or a book of spells the lurid tales about knives that didn't leave a wound  or cause blood flow and tunnels to dungeons we were told on the news were false and innocent people went to jail.

Lynne reminded me of the Zika virus. It was tragic for the babies who were born with it but we didn't all come down with it and most women who traveled in the Zika zone and who didn't have panic abortions ended up with perfectly normal children.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Random thoughts on a Saturday morning.

St. Dominic, pray for us!
  • José Galat Noumer is 88 years old and apparently he's been excommunicated. How can it be that criticizing the pope gets someone excommunicated? Fr. James Martin is a Catholic in good standing. Cardinal Marx is a Catholic in good standing. Cardinal Vincenzo Paglia is a Catholic in good standing. The founder of the Legionnaires of Christ was officially a Catholic in good standing for most of his life.  Although the truth about his wicked life became too hard to hide by the time he took to his deathbed I don't think he was ever publicly excommunicated. Fr. Hans Kung is a Catholic in good standing.

    You can be an open sinner and be petted and praised at the Vatican with no fear of any remote possibility  of excommunication. You can be a politician and vote for abortion and be a Catholic in good standing. Ted Kennedy got the funeral of a saint and when Joe Biden rings his life's curtain down his bishop will give the family the cathedral for his funeral if they should so desire.  So how is it that out of all the famous sinners in the world  this particular very old man who is obviously closer to the end of his life than the start of it and who founded one of the biggest Catholic TV channels in the world get excommunicated? This doesn't seem like a sad judgment on an obstinate sinner. It seems like malice. It seems like vengeance. It seems like a mafioso warning to the rest of the "neighborhood" to shut up or else.      (Thank you Frank Walker!)

  • Rocky is a Third degree Knight of Columbus. When he saw the new Fourth Degree  ceremonial outfit he was not thrilled. All the Knights that we've heard from think this idea is a stinker. Some men are calling for Carl Anderson to resign. Apparently the decision came without warning and the Knights were told to like it or lump it.

  • Why does Pre Cana take so long? Why can't people get their baby baptized when the child is still a newborn? Although the author sounds like a snob himself with his middle class crack he has a point.
  • I once heard a priest in a lecture say that one of the saddest things he's seen is how lay people have to almost be theologians in order to defend their Faith. I would add that on top of this many of us do it very badly and have set up our own little magisteriums.
  • Truth comes out eventually. It may take decades. It may not be in our lifetimes. It may only be on Judgement Day but truth will out and sometimes in the oddest places. 
  • There was an .... interesting discovery after Mass discover today for the ushers.  Somebody either couldn't find the restroom or didn't want to go to it to change their infant's diaper which resulted in an strong odor in the narthex.
  • Poor Benedict is really fragile these days. 

Friday, August 04, 2017

Adam & Eve from the Visconti Hours

Adam, trying to deflect the blame on Eve

Eve, states that the serpent tricked her.