Sunday, July 31, 2022

Giving credit where it's due

 A few weeks ago, Fr. Z. said that something terrible was about to happen. Most people who commented on it seemed to think he sounded hysterical. I figured it was about the diocese of Chicago and didn't see how that was going to affect everyone and because I've been terribly disappointed in his judgment before,  I dismissed it as Fr. being overly dramatic again. Well, right after that warning, the DC Cardinal struck down the TLM to three places, the bishop of Savannah made his move and now my bishop has taken 21, traditional Masses and reduced them to 8, with only 3, being in an actual consecrated church. Who's next? I guess this is all part of a plan. It looks like Fr. Z. was on to something after all. 

My old parish is one of the 8, that has had a temporary stay but St. Francis DeSales in Benedict, Maryland will not be able to continue. Rocky and I drive from Virginia to Benedict every week because Mass there is so beautiful and the preaching is so sterling and unlike Northern Virginia, the people are not snooty.  We also enjoy the ride in the country. What a sad, cruel blow to the fine people who have worked and sacrificed to make that parish so dear. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

The hirlings care not for the sheep

 Cardinal Gregory has finally released his Traditional Latin Mass decree. The Mass will be reduced to only three places: the Franciscan Monastery, (I've read some statements from people saying the Mass won't be in the main church but only in the Blessed Sacrament chapel) , St. John the Evangelist in  Silver Spring, Maryland and St. Dominic's Mission in Baden, Maryland. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Random thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon

  • LARPing Catholics who pretend to be English lords and post ridiculous photos of themselves and their Disneyfied version of a castle home probably repel untold numbers of people who might have discovered a love for the traditional Mass.

  • Before Rocky and I got married we were miserable when we were apart. Rocky's mother once told me that he  was so grouchy when he wasn't out with me that although she was not happy about our marriage she had to admit that once we were married he was all smiles again. I cannot imagine being forced to wait and take expensive marriage prep classes for a year before we could have been  married.

  • I've always been somewhat lukewarm about FSSP and ICKSP because neither order has a parish or chapel near me and both serve at the whim of the local bishop. It looks like ICKSP will be effectively destroyed in Chicago starting August 1. 

    My Jesus, mercy!

Sunday, July 10, 2022

random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon

  • The Good Samaritan
    When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan it must have been stunning to His listeners. The Samaritans were a despised people.  They were descended from the country folk who were left behind during the Babylonian captivity and because they had intermarried with pagans the Jews considered them to be apostates and worse. The Samaritans for their part, thought that their Jewish cousins had ingested too many Babylonian religious ways and weren't true Israelites anymore. The Jewish temple was in Jerusalem and the oft attacked Samaritan temple was on Mt.  Gerizim. 

    The road to Jericho was very dangerous. Robbery and murder was common and people didn't travel it alone. The priest and the Levite, the tribe from which priests came and who were charged with special temple duties passed the robbery victim by but a disgusting Samaritan   stopped, provided aid and spent a large sum of money to take care of him. Traditionally the Church teaches that the victim is mankind, foolishly going our own way and falling into sin which brutalizes our souls. The priest and Levite are the Old Law. The Good Samaritan is Our Lord and great cost of the rescue is Our Lord's Passion and Death. 

  •  “Our Country won’t go on forever if we stay soft as we are now. There won’t be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!” – Chesty Puller

After WWII, German mystic, Therese Neuman was visited by many American soldiers. There is a story, and I'm not sure if it's true or not-- that one man asked her if America would ever be conquered  by an invading force. She responded for the sake of the kindness of the American people, this would never happen but America's fall would come from inside decay. Frankly, the decay has gotten so bad in certain places that millions of the very people who are cheering for it might be secretly relieved and would turn on a dime if  Puller's prediction were to come to pass. 

 God help us. 

  • Americans have been taught for two hundred years to revere college professors and to see college graduates as superior--the best and  the brightest. That conditioning turned out to be disastrous. Some time around WWII, the universities were conquered. Academic rigor has been falling for decades and even the standards of the last fortress, STEM is falling. Now, every time some whack job with a PHD spouts off the media reports his or her comments with respect. For as long as I can remember, most folks seem to laugh and say that what goes on at the campuses has no bearing on real life but it does, like arsenic in the well water we all drink.

    Why do politicians and activists go to campuses to speak? Why do we simultaneously treat college students like kindergarteners while encouraging  them to enjoy four years of hedonism as long as they don't have any permanent damage? I've known parents who worked two jobs, mortgaged their homes, never went on vacation or bought a new vehicle until the old one couldn't be repaired anymore because they believed that Water Color Fine Arts degree was going to be their kid's golden ticket. Of course they made those sacrifices for love but have we all been sold a bill of doubtful quality goods? It's probably too late to reform higher education especially Catholic higher education which is hollowed out of any Faith and is just as faddish as secular schools but there are tiny spots of hope here and there. A few people are realizing that the student loan/obscene tuition game is rigged.

  • Have you noticed that except for the Vegas man, mass shooters all seem to be disturbing to look at? The eyes are wrong somehow as if they're victims of fetal alcohol syndrome or terrible early childhood trauma. The expression either seems dead or final stage rabid. The bodies seem to be skinny to the point of emaciation. They are weirdly dressed in photos as if they desperately want to be gawked at or they appear to have slept in a dumpster. All of them seem to be displaying a warning in their appearance like poison frogs that they're dangerous and you'd best leave them alone. 

  • Truth is beautiful. Even if it's hard to face. 

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Love, loss, and forgiveness : Uncle Junior's Tale

 About 50 years ago my uncle Junior had a short but at the time, life-threatening illness. While he was recuperating  he learned that the teenager who lived a few houses over, frequently babysat his son while his wife worked her night job.  This was an unpleasant surprise to him. My uncle worked the night shift. His wife, a bank teller, most certainly did not. Junior remained calm but searched his home. He found love letters to his wife that were not from him. After his divorce, he and my grandmother did a fine job raising my cousin. 

Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem called "The Vampire" about a man who falls in love with the wrong woman. It includes the line," So some of him lived but the most of him died," and that describes Uncle Junior after his divorce. I do not  remember him ever smiling when I was young. I never even heard him speak his ex-wife's name until I was in my 30s. Hearing him laugh, joke and show zest for living is normal now but I'd say he didn't start coming back to life until my cousin was in college.

Junior's ex-wife went on to lead a tragic life. Her lover didn't  marry her. I guess he was just fooling around. Since she didn't have custody of her son, she was free to do as she pleased. She left town, traveled, had a career, "had it all" as the feminist's say but nothing ever seemed to satisfy.  She returned to her parents' home in her 50s seeking peace and rest. She became active in her family's church and even taught Bible Study. Now, her body is shutting down and the doctors say her next move  will be to hospice care. When my cousin told my uncle this he did something astounding. Junior went to the hospital to see her. He promised that when the time came he would sit by their son at her funeral and that is just what he did yesterday. I am in awe.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Sunday, July 03, 2022

random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

  •  Every week at the prayers of the Faithful  I hear "For the people of Ukraine facing tyranny..." but so far the liturgical committee has not noticed what's been going on in Nigeria where people are being slaughtered and kidnapped at Mass and priests have been murdered. Considering that this diocese has a large number of Nigerians this is odd and disappointing. 

  • I've said it before and I will say it again. Have you noticed that nobody, not one rabbi, or Protestant preacher  has publicly offered to stand by Catholics as our churches are being attacked? The Mass was changed in part, to appeal to Protestants and there are Catholics who have spent their entire church careers for lack of a better term, working feverishly on Interfaith causes. We certainly are seeing the worthlessness of those efforts.