Monday, February 01, 2016

Lá Féile Naomh Bríde

Today is the feast of St Bridget, patroness of Ireland, and not incidentally of my wife.

From The Life of St Brigit by Cogitosus, excerpted from The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham:

. . .On another occasion the blessed Brigid felt a tenderness for some ducks that she saw swimming on the water and occasionally taking wing.  She bid them fly to her, and a great flock of them flew towards her, without any fear, as if they were humans under obedience to her.  She touched them with her hand and embraced them tenderly.  She then released them and they flew into the sky.  And as they did so she praised God the Creator of all living things, to whom all life is subject, and for the service of whom all life is a gift. . . .

The collect for St Brigid from the Masses proper to England and Wales in the old English Missal:

O God, who on this day dost make us to rejoice in the yearly solemnity of blessed Brigid thy Virgin : graciously grant ; that we who are enlightened by the example of her chastity, may be aided by her merits. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.
The collect in the Pauline Rite:

Lord, you inspired Saint Brigid such whole-hearted dedication to your work that she is known as Mary of the Gael; through her intercession bless our country; may we follow the example of her life and be united with her and the Virgin Mary in your presence.  We make our prayer through Christ our  Lord .  Amen.
The monks of St Benedict's Abbey in Norcia have been brewing their own beer for a while now.  You may have seen a notice here and there that their beer is soon to be available in the U.S.  You can find out about it here.  They're far from being the first brewing abbey.  That talent goes at least as far back as . . . St Brigid.

In his Lives of the British Saints the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould informs us that St Brigid was no mean brew-mistress:

She was famous for the ale she brewed, and on one occasion supplied seventeen churches in Meath with liquor from Maundy Thursday to Low Sunday. She also furnished [St] Mel, her diocesan, with beer continually. Lepers and poor people clamoured for her ale, and on one occasion she bluntly told them that all she could give them was her bath-water. The [medieval] biographer improves this story into a miracle, her tubbing water was converted into excellent beer. Indeed such was her desire to supply the Saints with wholesome home-brewed ale, that the only hymn of hers that has been preserved, runs as follows: 
I should like a great lake of ale
For the King of Kings!
I should like the whole family of heaven
To be drinking it eternally. 
One day Bishop Mel arrived with a large party of clerics, and clamoured for breakfast. "This is well for you to be hungry," replied Brigid, "but we also are hungry and thirsty, and that for the Word of God. Go into the church first and serve us with the spiritual banquet. After that we will attend to your victuals."


Monday, January 25, 2016


One of the truly puzzling questions of modern culture was brought up in the morning paper the other day by Darby Conley in the comics section, one of the two sections of the paper that can still be trusted, the other being the box scores in baseball season.  It was this:  who exactly is it that dresses Dracula?  I  mean, think about it.  He really is remarkably well turned out for someone who can't use a mirror.  And that doesn't even reach the issue of how his shirts remain impeccable despite his living, for want of a better word, in a half millennium old burial chamber with all the attendant half millennium old dirt, mold, and cobwebs.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

For those - if any - who have noted my absence:

The Inn has been rather neglected these past few weeks, hasn't it.  But I have a legitimate excuse this time.  No, honestly!  Mary had knee-replacement surgery on the 4th of January and I have either been at the hospital keeping her company and learning how to help with the physical therapy or, now that she's home, actually helping with the said physical therapy, keeping track of the various medication schedules - mostly not a problem, except the one at 3:00 a.m. - and generally playing valet so that she doesn't get up and try to do things she shouldn't.  There wasn't a lot of time left for non-essentials, which, alas, The Inn is.

And she's doing rather well, thank you for asking.  Better in fact than most others we've known who've had the surgery.  Not ready for any three-beat pas de basque just yet.  But progressing nicely.

If you're thinking of this procedure for yourself, be forewarned.  As good as the end result will be, the first part of the recovery period is murderously painful.  Everyone in Mary's ward had had this operation and everyone hurt.   A lot.



One of the hymns this morning:

God of grace and God of glory,
On thy people pour thy power;
Crown thine ancient Church's story:
Bring her bud to glorious flower.
  Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
  For the living of these days.
  For the living of these days. 
Lo! the hosts of evil round us
Scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us
Free our hearts to faith and praise:
  Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
  For the living of these days.
  For the living of these days. 
Cure thy children's warring madness,
Bend our pride to thy control;
Shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in soul.
  Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
  Lest we miss thy kingdom's goal.
  Lest we miss thy kingdom's goal.
It didn't really have much to do with Septuagesima but those seemed like particularly worthy aspirations for the year of Our Lord 2016.  And it didn't hurt at all that it's sung to the tune Cym Rhondda, one of my very favourite hymn tunes.  You can find a knock-out version of the tune here at the 22.30 mark.  It's sung in Welsh and, FWIW, the Welsh lyrics don't have anything whatsoever to do with the lyrics given above.

If you're annoyed about the misleading headline and really want to read about Septuagesima, try Fr Hunwicke's article here.  As always, well-worth a read.


Friday, January 01, 2016

How to Get a Seal Out of Your Monastery

So now you can't see you never learned anything useful from The Inn.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29 -- St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury: The Hooly Blissful Martyr

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.

--Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Book of the Tales of Caunterbury"

St Thomas of Canterbury is something of a favourite here and The Inn has kept his feast day most years with a longish (for The Inn, anyway) post.  This is a re-run from a dozen years ago with more about how his feast and the pilgrimage grew up than we usually see.  Herewith:

No other pilgrimage in Britain was as popular as that to the shrine of today's saint, St Thomas Becket, also called St Thomas a' Becket or St Thomas of Canterbury. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are told by travellers on such a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Thomas.

John Adair in "The Pilgrim's Way: Shrines and Saints in Britain & Ireland" gives several pages of descriptions of the first Canterbury pilgrims. A sampling:

Within days of the martyrdom of St Thomas pilgrims from the town and countryside near Canterbury began to converge on the cathedral, the first streams which swelled into a mighty river of pilgrims. The wonderful efficacy of the Saint’s entombed body and the few drops of his blood mixed with gallons of water – the famous Water of St Thomas – drew invalids towards them like iron filings attracted to a magnet. Soon a monk called Benedict, who had heard the sounds of Becket’s murder as he hid inside the cathedral, received directions to act as custodian of the relics and to minister to the sick folk whom he described as ‘lying in pain all about the church.’ Later a more credulous monk called William was appointed to act as his colleague. William had also heard the knights enter the cathedral, but when FitzUrse bellowed ‘Strike! Strike!’ he fled away and justified himself later on the grounds that he felt no call to be a martyr. From Benedict’s record of the miracles performed by St Thomas in the first year after his death we are able to identify some of the earliest Canterbury pilgrims by name, and to catch a glimpse of their humanity.
The news of Becket’s murder certainly travelled fast. Two days later, the wife of a Sussex knight prayed to St Thomas and experienced a miraculous cure. On Saturday a Glocester girl found that her head pains had gone after she invoked the martyr, while on the following day the swollen arm of William Belet, knight of Enborne in Berkshire, resume its normal size. 
It is no wonder that pilgrims hearing such stories hastened to the tomb at Canterbury. Robert, a smith of Thanet , blind for two years, received his sight back that first Whitsuntide after the martyrdom: three medallions of stained glass in the rebuilt Trinity Chapel, where the shrine later stood, depict the cure and his subsequent offering of a large bowl of gold pieces in gratitude. Mad Henry of Fordwich, dragged by his friends struggling and shouting to the tomb of St Thomas and left there all night, recovered his senses. Two servants of the elderly and paralysed SirWiliam of Dene supported their master in the saddle, one walking on each side, but thanks to his mraculous cure he returned home on foot leaving his crutches at the tomb. A lady called Saxera of Dover slept by the tomb all night and dreamt that St Thomas appeared to her saying ‘Rise, offer thy candle.’ When she awoke her intestinal complaint had disappeared. Richard, son of Walter, a scholar of Northampton, who had endured diarrhoea and liver trouble for nine years, arrived in a carriage but walked away from Canterbury completely cured. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 
The Saint could be vindictive to those who deceived him or showed disrespect to his relics. He struck blind a man who had been pretending to be blind. Two boys who fell asleep at his shrine leaning their heads upon it returned home unhealed. An impious person frequently found his pyx of Water mysteriously emptied before he had taken many steps from the cathedral. These early wooden boxes or pyxes containing the ‘blood’ of the ‘Lamb of Canterbury’, some with mirrors fitted inside the lids for lady pilgrims, tended to leak anyway. Earthenware broke too easily, so the townsfolk used cast lead or tin phials. These ‘ampullae’, usually hung around the neck, became one of the more popular badges or tokens of the Canterbury pilgrimage, just as the scallop-shell served for St James of Compostela and the palm-leaf for Jerusalem. 

For more on St Thomas, see the always reliable Catholic Encyclopaedia article or this link which itself links to two more retellings of his story. The medieval "Golden Legend" treatment of his story, which can be found in full here, ends this way:

Now after that S. Thomas departed from the pope, the pope would daily look upon the white chasuble that S. Thomas had said mass in, and the same day that he was martyred he saw it turned into red, whereby he knew well that that same day he suffered martyrdom for the right of holy church, and commanded a mass of requiem solemnly to be sung for his soul. And when the quire began to sing requiem, an angel on high above began the office of a martyr: Letabitur justus, and then all the quire followed singing forth the mass of the office of a martyr. And the pope thanked God that it pleased him to show such miracles for his holy martyr, at whose tomb by the merits and prayers of this holy martyr our blessed Lord hath showed many miracles. The blind have recovered their sight, the dumb their speech, the deaf their hearing, the lame their limbs, and the dead their life. If I should here express all the miracles that it hath pleased God to show for this holy saint it should contain a whole volume, therefore at this time, I pass over unto the feast of his translation, where I propose with the grace of God to recite some of them. Then let us pray to this glorious martyr to be our advocate, that by his petition we may come to everlasting bliss. Amen. 

from: "The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints." Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275. Englished by William Caxton, First Edition 1483

Bagpipes On The Canterbury Pilgrimage: A Sidelight 

More from Adair's "The Pilgrim's Way":

“Not far from Southwark Chaucer’s miller began to play upon his bagpipes. In the reign of Henry IV an accused Lollard could tell his questioner, Archbishop Arundel of Canterbury:

I know well that when divers men and women will go after their own wills, and finding out a pilgrimage, they will order to have with them both men and women that can sing wanton songs; and some other pilgrims will have with them bagpipes, so that every town they came through, what with the noise of their singing and the sound of their piping, and with the jangling of their Canterbury Bells, and with the barking out of dogs after them, that they make more noise than if the king came that way, with all his clarions and minstrels. And if these men and women be a month in their pilgrimage, many of them shall be half a year after great janglers, tale-tellers and liars.

“The Archbishop replied:

Pilgrims have with them singers and also pipers, that when one of them which goes barefoot strikes his toe upon a stone and makes it to bleed, it is well done that he and his fellows begin then a song, or else take out of his bosom a bagpipe, to drive away with such mirth the hurt of his fellow. For with such solace the travail and weariness of pilgrims is lightly and merrily brought forth."


Friday, December 25, 2015

One More For the Day That's In It

Ein Kind ist uns geboren by Die Familie Rehm:

Christmas Day

Very quiet day today; hardly a sound from the whole neighbourhood.   Even the ever-voluble dogs next door haven't found much to howl, growl, or bark at.  Mary's been busy cooking the dinner but I haven't done anything that even rises to the level of puttering about.

Went to Midnight Mass last night.  Well, midnightish.  10:00 p.m. in fact, as you already know.  Today's obligations have been limited to breviary, rosary, and eating the dinner.  The nap was optional.

If you've some time on your hands, as it seems you do since you're reduced to reading The Inn, have a listen to some lovely Christmas music from Oesch's die Dritten and friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Mass

Many years ago we had a new priest from Ireland assisting at our parish.  It was a never-ending source  of amazement  to him that Americans would phone the rectory and ask what time Midnight Mass was.  It seems that in Ireland Midnight Mass was always at -- wait for it --  midnight.  Not so here in the lower left-hand corner of the United States.  And, indeed, this very night we will have Midnight Mass in our little chapel in just a few hours at 10:00 p.m.  Our little borrowed chapel . . . so we won't be doing any heavy-duty decorating as the folks shown above are doing.  But some day.  In the meantime, if you're in the neighbourhood you'll be very welcome.

Details here.

For the Really, Really Non-Christmas Inclined

Why Massachusetts in the 17th century may not be the ideal spot to celebrate Christmas, white or otherwise.

Somebody's Local

Not, alas, mine.  But what a lovely shop-front.

The Irish Times has a story about it here but the picture is the interest-catcher, which you can, as always, click on and render so large as to be able to analyze the grain in the wooden frontage.


For the Non-Christmas Inclined

The Christmas Martyrology

At the old morning office of Prime on this day the Martyrology reading would be the solemn announcement of Christ’s birth. This is the description given by Pius Parsch:

In some European monasteries the chanter, vested in alb and violet cope, steps into the middle of the choir, accompanied by ministers with candles and censer. He incenses the Martyrology on the violet-covered lectern, and after announcing the date begins to sing. All stand with heads uncovered, as at the Gospel. At the phrase, ‘in Bethlehem,’ all kneel; and at the words, ‘the birth of our Lord,’ all prostrate for the first adoration of the Son of God become Man. The passage begins with the fixation of the date according to the ancient computation. 

Here Dom Mark Kirby, the prior of Silverstream Priory in County Meath, chants the Martyrology:

The text in English:

In the year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine;
from the flood, two thousand, nine hundred and fifty-seven;
from the birth of Abraham, two thousand and fifteen;
from Moses and the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, one thousand, five hundred and ten;
from the annointing of King David, one thousand and thirty-two;
in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
in the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome;
in the forty-second year of the empire of Octavian Augustus, when the whole earth was at peace;
in the sixth age of the world:
Jesus Christ, eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, havng been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having elapsed since his conception, is born in Bethlehem of Juda, having become man of the Virgin Mary.  Alleluia.  Thanks be to God.
Original found  here. Edited a little; mostly punctuation .
Another one.
The Latin original is reprinted here.

There is a newer aggiornamentoized version available,  so they tell me.  One presumes that "1,599 years from the creation of the world" caused palpitations in the breast of Archbishop Gradgrind and Msgr Bounderby who instigated a revision forthwith.

(One wonders idly what the purpose of a new, improved, lemon-flavoured Martyrology might be.  Since the martyrology is to be read at the office of Prime and the office of Prime has been determined to be surplus to requirements what does one do with one's brand-new copy of the Roman Martyrology?)

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24 December -- O Virgo Virginum

A "bonus" antiphon.  O Virgo Virginum was sung in the Sarum Rite and in some of the continental rites, possibly the Præmonstratensian usage also.  In those usages it didn't really occur on the 24th of December but the 23d and previous antiphons were each moved back a day, beginning with O Sapientia on the 16th.

Fr East didn't post a commentary on O Virgo Virginum but someone else at that site gave a bit of information here.

More on the use of the O Virgo Virginum text in the Ordinariate usage (a.k.a. "Anglican Use") can be found here.  Indeed there is a good deal more about the expanded usage of all the Magnificat texts at that link.


This Just In . . . .

"Christianity's a complex religion on which millions consider themselves experts because, as kids, they went to church twice with Uncle Jimmy."

The above, which popped up in my Twitter feed not an hour ago, made me smile.  Not entirely sure how to link to one of those Twitter things but click on this.  It looks like it ought to work.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sir David Wilcocks and Lessons and Carols

At 3pm on Christmas Eve, millions of radios around the world will be tuned to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge in time to hear the pure voice of a single boy chorister singing one of the hardest solos of the church calendar, the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City”. 
For many, this signals the start of Christmas. Broadcasts of the Christmas Eve service from King’s began in 1928, but arguably it was under the guidance of Sir David Willcocks, who died in September 2015, aged 95, that the service – and the choir – became household names.

Click here and learn more about Sir David and his now classic arrangements of Christmas hymns and carols.  We've been able to sing some of his - no doubt easier - arrangements and they really are a delight.  The article includes three youtube recordings of his carols which you ought to listen to even if you don't read the entire article.  (Although you should; it really does help in appreciating what he's done in arranging the carols.)

23 December -- O Emmanuel

Digging deeper into the sources of today's Magnificat antiphon: click here.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

22 December -- O Rex Gentium

And not only the Rex gentium, but also the lapis angularis, qui facis utraque unum.

A number of texts have been combined to produce a coherent theology: Christ is the Lord of all nations, both Jews and Gentiles, as a corner-stone supports both walls;  he is the agent through whom both were made, and will lead both to a destiny greater than anything in their previous existence.

Read on here.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Lump of Coal Award for Ancestry dot com

What they've done is to abandon users of the genealogy software Family Tree Maker.  Read about it here.

ADDENDUM:  No, it isn't a random rant.  I am, shall we say, personally aggrieved.

21 December -- O Oriens

And today's explication is here.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

About those visions of sugar plums dancing in your head

All this time I thought it was some sort of fruit, scored by Tchaikovsky and illustrated by Disney.  Wrong on all counts.  Mrs Vidal describes what they really are - or were - here.

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20 December -- O Clavis David

. . . and the explication is here.

(And it's also the feast of a saint little-known outside Ireland, St Fachtna or Fachanan.  Wikipedia lists him here but doesn't give much in the way of information, not even the odd  pious legend, of which you are no doubt aware I am  inordinately fond.  Even the good old Catholic Encyclopædia comes up short.)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

19 December -- O Radix Jesse

Fr East's essay on O Radix Iesse can be found here.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18 - O Adonai

Click here for Bill East's elegant explication of today's Magnificat antiphon.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17 - Sapientiatide Begins

The final phase of Advent is upon us: the O antiphons for the Vespers Magnificat have begun today.  A fine explanation of today's antiphon from the archives can be found here.  There's another nice one in Dr Pius Parsch's "Liturgical Year" on page 176. (This is the original English version, not the later novus-ordo-ized edition.)


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nun danket alle Gott

Some "thanksgiving" music played mit knapp 7000 Bläserinnen und Bläsern. And that is a lot of brass.  Massed bands, indeed.

A Bleeding Host?

Perhaps.  The only news story I've seen about it is here.  It's happened before; no reason it couldn't happen again.  Especially  with profanation of the Blessed Sacrament so much in the news, both from Spanish "artists" and German cardinals.

(I thought I got this cite from Rorate Cæli but I'm not finding it there.  So I'm not sure whom to thank.)

The Day That's In It

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

24 January

Today is not only the birthday in 1713 in Clonmel, County Tipperary of the Rev Laurence Sterne, the author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, upon which The Inn is not based, all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, but also the old feast in the traditional Roman calendar of St John of the Cross.   The compilers of the Pauline rite for reasons best known to themselves moved St John up to December.

The soul that in aridity and trial submits to the dictates of reason is more pleasing to God than one that does everything with consolation, yet fails in this submission.  -- "Maxims" from S John of the Cross

A Useful New Blog-name

It's "rawgabbit".  It means "Someone who speaks authoritatively about something they know nothing about."  I give it freely; use it as you wish.  I, ahem, have no use for it of course.

I ran across that handy bit of linguistic treasure here along with a few other old English words whose numbers have been retired.  There is some lovely stuff here.  Although, I do think someone has accidentally switched the illustrations for snollygoster and anon.  (And by the way, what's so antique about anon?  I use anon all the time.  Hmm? Oh.  Yes.  I see your point.)


A Cognomial Theorem

My pursuit of the genealogical wheeze over the internet for the past few years has thrown light on a lot of family stories ("so that's what she meant by . . .") and thrown no light whatsoever elsewhere: i.e., was my great-grandfather deliberately trying to hide from his descendants or is his absence from vital records just a co-incidence?

One of the more  delightful sources has been John Grenham's column in The Irish Times.  This week's on the re-Gaelicization of Irish surnames includes this:

For example, the American pronunciation of the surnames Cahill (“KAY-hil”) and Mahony (Ma-OWN-ey) often has Irish people sniggering up their sleeves. But these pronunciations are much closer to the original Irish-language versions of the names. The fork in culture between Irish-America and Ireland preserved something over there that we over here have anglicised more thoroughly.
Aha!  So our American pronunciations are not automatically a barbaric degradation but perhaps a conservative preservation of tradition.  I have a new weapon in the pronunciation wars.  A chink has been found in the armor of She Who Must (almost always) Be Obeyed.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

First Steps in Security

The news is full of the Paris massacre and what ought to be done now to protect against Islamic terrorism (which the bien pensant decline to call Islamic terrorism for some reason).

And I keep running across the 126th psalm.  Really.  Every day since Monday. In particular:  Nisi Dominus custodieret civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam. "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Archbishop Sheen's Prophecy on Islam and the Modern World

At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power. Moslem writers say, When the locust swarms darken countries, they bear on their wings these Arabic words: We are Gods host, each of us has ninety-nine eggs, and if we had a hundred, we should lay waste the world, with all that is in it. 
The problem is, how shall we prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg? It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity – and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teachings of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.

Written in 1952 and reprinted in the October 2001 Mindszenty Report and republished here, where you can read the rest.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Found While Looking for Something Else

You've read the blurb at the top of the picture?  Good.  Now you know as much about it as I do.  If you listen to it, you'll find it's a beautiful piece of music also. I was actually looking for a melodeon recording of something else entirely so both the tune and the instrument are serendipitous.


Friday, November 06, 2015

Votin' Day

In the event you were not sufficiently depressed by the recent Kangaroo Synod, this handy reminder of what our national elections (which are not imminent, no matter what it seems like from the news reports) are really like may just put the tin lid on it.

From Mark Landsbaum's column in last Saturday's OC Register:

We . . .  will be on the verge of perhaps another massive vote fraud thwarting the will of the people. Just like many that preceded it. 
The scariest words in the English language are “large voter turnout,” because of the disconnect between most voters and the issues. Add to that the fact that almost every election is decided by what charitably can be regarded as the “muddled middle,” those least convicted, least informed and most easily swayed by eleventh-hour emotional pleas. 
If that weren’t discouraging enough, we also have a long-standing tradition of rigging elections. As always, shortly after Election Day 2016, headlines will proclaim the election was stolen.

And particularly relevant to Californians after recent enactments by the Sacramento Home for the Criminally Insane:

 On that point, we may have a preview of 2016. A recent George Mason University study concluded “that 6.4 percent of noncitizens voted in 2008, and 2.2 percent of noncitizens voted in 2010,” enough to provide Democrats the pivotal 60th Senate vote to overcome filibusters, and perhaps Obama’s victory in North Carolina. 
Those are illegal votes, by the way. 
Some fear that California is doing away with even the pretense, automatically registering people, perhaps including illegal immigrants, to vote when they get driver’s licenses.
More here.


Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Indulgentiam, absolutionem, et remissionem peccatorum

It's a little late, but not too late:  a plenary indulgence is still available each day until November 8 applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

Fr Phillips tells you how here.

Water, water . . . .

Well, perhaps not everywhere.  But certainly in places we hadn't known about before.  How about 400 miles beneath our feet?  Enough of it to fill the oceans three times over it says here.

And California can't get at any of it.


"There is very little in the popular culture of teens and tweens that is gentle and slow, gracious and warm."

From Peggy Noonan:

Here is my concern. There are not fewer children living stressed, chaotic lives in America now, there are more. There will be more still, because among the things America no longer manufactures is stability. And the culture around them will not protect them, as the culture protected me. The culture around them will make their lives harder, more frightening, more dangerous. They are going to come up with nothing to believe in, their nerves are essentially shot. And they’re going to be—they are already—very angry.

The above is from  her new book.  But I found it here.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Pope Francis vs The Vatican?

Pope Francis is now effectively at war with the Vatican. If he wins, the Catholic Church could fall apart

Could it?  I suppose.  Assuming it hasn't already.  The quote is the headline to Damian Thompson's article here.  Have a look.  It's an interesting point of view.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Final Battle

From One Peter Five:

At the start of this work entrusted to me by the Servant of God John Paul II, I wrote to Sister Lucia of Fatima through her Bishop as I couldn’t do so directly. Unexplainably however, since I didn’t expect an answer, seeing that I had only asked for prayers, I received a very long letter with her signature – now in the Institute’s archives. In it we find written: the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.
                  -Carlo Cardinal Caffara of Bologna

Friday, October 09, 2015

" . . .an aggressive insolent faction . . ."

Following the infamous synod are you?  Another source of excellent commentary is Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment.  The latest essay is here.  But there's also this and this and this.  Not to be missed.  Clicke, lege.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Our Lady of Victories

All of my calendars give October 7 as the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  And so it is.  But, as Fr Hunwicke explains

That great Pontiff, S Pius V, established the Feast of our Lady of Victories to celebrate the triumph of Christian arms at the battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, a victory won by the countless rosaries which clanked through the hands of the Rosary Confraternities of Western Europe. They begged God for the safety of Christendom against the invading Turk. Gregory XIII pusillanimously renamed the feast as 'of the Rosary', and popped it onto the first Sunday of October (a stone's throw from the Feast of the Protecting Robe of the Mother of God in some Byzantine calendars) where it stayed until the reforms of S Pius X. But, to this day, those who follow the Extraordinary Form are allowed, on the first Sunday of October, an External Solemnity of this feast. And, after all, no homilist could be forbidden to refer to this celebration as our Lady of Victories.

Dom Mark Kirby has a series of meditations on the Holy Rosary and the feast day here and here and a reprint of  Pope Leo XIII's Rosary encyclical Supreme Apostolatus Officio here.

Fr Hunwicke has a series of posts on Our Lady of Victories here, here, and here.  In the first of these you will find the above quotation.


Friday, October 02, 2015

Good-bye to Catholic Ireland

The blog Cor Iesu Sacratissimum has a fine review of Mary Kenny's book "Good-bye to Catholic Ireland" here.   I read the book when it first came out and commend to you both the book and the review, or as the reviewer calls it "the tribute".  Even if you don't get your hands on the book, (although you should)  do read the review.


The Synod Approaches

But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you shall have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save. 
I tell you naught for your comfort
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher. 
Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope? 
from The Ballad of the White Horse
   -G. K. Chesterton 

As the Synod of Doom, as Pat Archbold succinctly puts it, approaches some of the best of traditional Catholic blogdom has set up a war room, "a place where traditionally-minded Catholic bloggers, writers and commentators can write and comment about the Synod as it is happening."  You'll find it here.  It's brand new, and from the first few posts, not to be missed.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting Up-to-Date, which I sometimes am in some respects, although not many

It occured to me this morning that, although I visit 1Peter5 pretty much daily it still didn't feature on the blog list.  Or the news list or the Catholic list for that matter.  And it really ought to as it's an invaluable source for Catholic news and commentary.  So now it is linked over there on the left.

Which brings up the uncomfortable fact that the left-hand column is now so crowded and oddly organized that you'll be hard-pressed to find it.  The Inn really does need to be tidied up.  So fair warning here:  if you arrive at this spot and find The Inn has vanished, there's a pretty good chance it is only trying on a new template for size and will return once things get sorted.  Probably not going to tinker with it today.  But shortly, I hope.  Even I don't know what's over there any more.


Friday, September 25, 2015

25 September -- St Albert the Lawgiver

In the old Discalced Carmelite calendar this is the feast of St Albert the Lawgiver.  (The Ancient Observance kept it on the 16th of September.) The good old Catholic Encyclopædia discusses him here.  It includes this curiousity:

 The Bollandists call attention to this curious anomaly, that not at Vercelli, where he was Patriarch, not among the Canons Regular, to whom he properly belonged, but in the Order of the Carmelites, of which he was not a member, does he receive the honour of a saint. "That holy Order could not and ought not to lose the memory of him by whom it was ranked among the Orders approved by the Roman Church; in saying which", adds the writer, "I in no way wish to impugn the Carmelite claim of descent from Elias." At Vercelli Albert does not even figure as Blessed, and the Canons Regular honour him as a saint, but pay him no public cult.

The Ancient Observance Carmelites have a short life here, with a commentary and some collects.

From the old O.C.D. propers:

Tuæ benedictionis plenitudo super nos, quæsumus, Domine, copiosa descendat :  et jugiter sancti Alberti Confessoris tui atque Pontificis placare suffragiis. Per Dominum.  Amen.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

24 September -- Our Lady of Walsingham

September 24 is the new(-ish) feast day of Our Lady of Walsingham, patroness of England and of the Ordinariates.

Fr Phillips on the apparition of Our Lady.

The website for the two shrines (and the village).

A collect for Our Lady of Walsingham:

O God, Who by the mystery of the Word, therein become Incarnate, didst in Thy mercy consecrate the House of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant that, forsaking the tents of sinners, we may be found worthy to have our home in Thy holy dwelling-place.  Through the same Christ our Lord Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, forever and ever.  Amen.
The Walsingham hymn:

A sermon for the day:

(And you can, as is so often the case with The Inn, click on the picture at the very top of this post and make it, not just larger, but positively brobdingnagian.)


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

23 September -- St Adamnan of Raphoe and Iona

Today is the feast of the 7th century Irish/Scottish saint and 9th Abbot of Iona, St Adamnan.  Grattan Flood in the good old Catholic Encyclopædia gives a brief life here.  It seems he was not only abbot of Iona but a sort of Abbot General of all the Columban houses in Ireland.  As a canonist he is said to be responsible for 
"the Cain Adamnain, or Canon of Adamnan . . . which freed women and children from the evils inseparable from war, forbidding them to be killed or made captive in times of strife."
It doesn't say what he thought about making them Army Rangers.

Marcella in her comprehensive Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniæ gives a little vignette from his life as a poor student here.