Tuesday, October 11, 2016

St Ethelburga

October 11 is also the feast of St Ethelburga in our Ordinariate calendar.  The Matins reading is taken from the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.  The Clerk  of Oxford gives an extended version of the same reading here.

A sample:

When Ethelburga, the devout Mother of this God-fearing community, was herself about to be taken out of this world, one of the sisters whose name was Tortgyth saw a wonderful vision. This nun had lived for many years in the convent, humbly and sincerely striving to serve God, and had helped the Mother to maintain the regular observances by instructing and correcting the younger sisters. In order that her strength might be 'made perfect in weakness' as the Apostle says, she was suddenly attacked by a serious disease.  Under the good providence of our Redeemer, this caused her great distress for nine years, in order that any traces of sin that remained among her virtues through ignorance or neglect might be burned away in the fires of prolonged suffering. Leaving her cell one night at first light of dawn, this sister saw distinctly what appeared to be a human body wrapped in a shroud and shining more brightly than the sun. This was raised up and carried out of the house where the sisters used to sleep. She observed closely to see how this appearance of a shining body was being raised, and saw what appeared to be cords brighter than gold which drew it upwards until it entered the open heavens and she could see it no longer. When she thought about this vision, there remained no doubt in her mind that some member of the Community was shortly to die, and that her soul would be drawn up to heaven by her good deeds as though by golden cords. And so it proved not many days later, when God's beloved Ethelburga, the Mother of the Community, was set free from her bodily prison.  And none who knew her holy life can doubt that when she departed this life the gates of our heavenly home opened at her coming. 

On the Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From the encyclical Lux Veritatis  of Pope Pius XI:

From this it comes that we are all drawn to her in a powerful attraction, that we may confidently entrust to her all things that are ours --  namely  our joys, if we are gladdened; our troubles, if we are in anguish; our hopes, if we are striving to reach at length to better things.  From this it comes that if more difficult times fall upon the Church;  if faith fail because charity has grown cold; if private and public morals take a turn for the worse; if any danger be hanging over the Catholic body and civil society, we all take refuge with her imploring heavenly aid.  From this it comes lastly that in the supreme crisis of death, when no other hope is given, no other help, we lift up to  her  our tearful eyes and  our trembling hands praying  through her for pardon from her Son, and for eternal happiness in heaven.
Taken from the reading for Matins on this day in the En Calcat Abbey edition of the Office of Our Lady.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Simili modo . . .

And something else, related, but not the same:

I actually don’t think we’re at the end of the world (please forgive me, Jesus, if you’re coming tonight) but I honestly believe we’re at the end of an era.  Something is different this year, different than ever before. And it’s not just “God’s special club of weirdos” who sense this distant storm.  Anyone praying—moms, dads, priests, nuns—all have an ear to the rail of the future. But what awaits? What is coming? 
This was by Fr David Nix on the 1Peter5 site.  

And having read both pieces I found both mentioned on Dr Joseph Shaw's page here.

And that article is well-worth the read in its own right for courage in the days to come and an antidote against despair:

The work we can do in the Vineyard of the Lord is, for each of us, of negligible overall effect, in relation to the huge trends which I been noting. I rather think this is even true for Bishops, perhaps even for the Pope. A good Pope with good ideas applied with vigour would, of course, do good, but he won't necessarily change the course of history. I think of Pope Leo XIII, for example, or Pius IX, or St Pius X. These weren't just good Popes, they were men of great intelligence and education, acutely attuned to the problems of their day, who furthermore wielded considerable power with great energy, for a long term of office. One can hardly say that they lived in vain, but nor did they turn the tide. It is given to few human beings to do such a thing.


 To avoid despair, I want to make two distinctions. The first is between our duty as Catholics and worldly success. Our duty as Catholics is to live in accordance with God's (and the Church's) law, and give witness to the Gospel according to our abilities and opportunities. It is not to convert X number of heathens, or be part of an expanding parish, or even to knock on a certain number of doors like the Jehovah's Witnesses. It can be very hard work doing what we are obliged to do, and it is made harder by all kinds of trends and developments, but it is not something which will ever become impossible. The task we have been given to do--to cooperate in our own salvation--is not only not impossible, but we are actually guaranteed the necessary graces, and told that this burden is light, this yoke easy, in the sense that with that grace we will be able to do it without regrets, with joy, knowing that life in God's friendship is preferable to life without God's friendship, regardless of the possible worldly disadvantages of the former over the latter. We aim make a success of our particular projects, but that success, at least by any tangible measure, is not necessary to the success of our lives as Catholics. 
The other distinction is between trends in the world and developments in the Church. It is possible that the governments of the world will adopt the most pernicious principles and remain wedded to them for centuries to come. That is not possible in the Church. Catholics and their allies can be comprehensively defeated in the political arena--and this has indeed often happened--but it is not possible that Christ will allow his bride to be taken from him.

Read on.

Rad Trads: Carrying On

A nice one from Patrick Archbold and The Remnant:

As most of us know, “Rad Trad” is meant as an insult, a way of separating Catholics and, let’s be honest, smearing a group of good Catholics who attempt to practice their faith in a way similar to how Catholics have always practiced it. They label them as judgmental, holier-than-thou, Pelagian, Promethean, haters of mercy and all the proof required is some comment by some guy in some com box somewhere that was over-the-top and rude. So, you are just like that guy. Just ‘cause. 
But I have seen something else, something else entirely. In my relatively short time in the traditionalist camp, I have seen the face of the most truly radical traditionalism, and it is something to behold. 
The rest is here.  Including one paragraph that pierces the heart.  Mine, anyway:

  And they mostly do it alone. That may be the most amazing part of this genuinely radical Catholicism. They know they are alone and that nobody is coming to rescue them. But they still do it. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

An Informal English Session

Several musicians gather round after the Morris dancing to play - melodeons, concertinas, fiddles, banjo and guitar. Great fun!! Filmed on an iPhone so not great video quality but you'll get the idea.

So says the description on the video's youtube page.  And it does,  indeed, look like great fun.  I love that sort of thing.  And so few opportunities hereabout.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

The All-Conquering Infantile

"In the past fifty years the average American teenager has usurped the roles traditionally assigned to the philosopher, sage, and priest.  Today we measure the good life by the standards of the infantile fantasies of the American adolescent.  More, we employ all the resources  of culture (advertising, of course; but politics and education as well) to ensure that no one escapes this mode of evaluation."
I harvested the above this morning from the all-knowing internet but forgot the attribution.  I believe it's from Roger Scruton, but maybe not.  If it's yours, let me know and you shall be credited properly.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21 -- Our Lady of Knock

It was on this day in 1879 that Our Lady, St Joseph, and St John the Apostle appeared in the little village of Knock in County Mayo.  There's a good history of the apparitions here.  Alas, the article is 18 years old and the author's view of contemporary Irish Catholicism is no longer quite so accurate.

Here's what we said about Knock in years past:  2011 and 2015.  I tested a couple of the links therein and, mirabile dictu, they still worked.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Worlds for 2016

"The Worlds" can mean different things to different folks.  If you're a piper it means Glasgow Green in the second week of August,  i.e., The World Pipe Band Championship.  No doubt you already rose early this morning (and here in Pacific Daylight Time that means the actual Middle Of The Night) and watched the live streaming broadcast.  And you know that the Field Marshal Montgomery Memorial Pipe Band took home the gold.  Although The Inn's personal favourite the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band out of Dublin grabbed every drumming prize going.

If for some reason you didn't get up at oh-dark-thirty to see and hear it live you can find all the Grade I goodies for 2016 here in extraordinarily high definition. (Thank you BBC.)  If you were looking for Grades 2, 3, & 4, both A and B, and the Juvenile Comps, well, sorry.  You had to be there because nobody official recorded them.  Might be worth a troll through YouTube, though, once folks have had a chance to arrive home and find out which videos they thought they took actually came out and which ones didn't.  Some of that does get published.


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The New America

As Father Josiah Trenham prepared to read the Gospel, several parishioners discreetly scooped up their babies, retreated up the aisles of St. Andrew Orthodox Church and out into the spring air, so as not to allow the crying of little ones to disturb the divine liturgy. 
The time-honored tradition was shattered when a car passed by the Riverside, Calif., church, slowing down as the front passenger leaned out of his window and bellowed menacingly through a bullhorn, according to witnesses. 
“Allahu Akbar!” the unidentified man repeated several times as the unnerved parents drew their infants close and exchanged worried glances.

 "Churches take new security measures in face of terror threats"
            -the rest of the article is here.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Logres - Quondam et Futurus

It's not quite proof . . . but it is an indication that there may be more to the King Arthur stories than historians would  have you believe.

Geoffrey of Monmouth seems to have been the first to write about King Arthur.  Alas, a good many members of academe even at the time didn't take it seriously.  Geraldus Cambrensis didn't actually refer to our author as  "Lyin' Geoffrey" but  he did opine that it was well-known that placing the New Testament upon the chest of a possessed person would drive the devil out.  However, if you placed a copy of Geoffrey's book on the person's chest a hundred more devils would show up.

In any event, Geoffrey said that King Arthur was born at Tintagel peninsula in Cornwall.  "Tosh", said Geraldus and good many others ever since.  But now it seems that the remains of something akin to a royal palace have been found at Tintagel dating from around the time of, oh, say, King Arthur.

You can read about it here.


Monday, August 01, 2016

Lammas Day

From the Clerk of Oxford:

August 1st is Lammas Day, the earliest Anglo-Saxon festival of the harvest - a day of first-fruit offerings, on which loaves of bread made from the first corn were blessed. The word comes from the Old English hlaf, 'loaf' + mæsse, 'mass'. And if you want to see the word hlafmæssedæg in the wild, as it were, there's an Anglo-Saxon charm for the protection of grain that goes like this:

So this is what you should do to protect your harvested corn from mice and other pests:
[...] lange sticcan feðerecgede 7 writ on ægðerne sticcan[...] ælcere ecge an pater noster oð ende 7 lege þone [...]an þam berene on þa flore 7 þone oðerne on [...] ofer þam oðrum sticcan. þæt þær si rode tacen on 7 nim of ðam gehalgedan hlafe þe man halgie on hlafmæssedæg feower snæda 7 gecryme on þa feower hyrna þæs berenes. þis is þeo bletsung þærto. Vt surices garbas non noceant has preces super garbas dicis et non dicto eos suspendis hierosolimam ciuitate. ubi surices nec habitent nec habent potestam. nec grana colligent. nec triticum congaudent. þis is seo oðer bletsung. Domine deus omnipotens qui fecisti celum et terram. tu benedicis fructum istum in nomine patris et spiritus sancti. amen. 7 Pater noster.
[Take two] long pieces of four-edged wood, and on each piece write a Pater noster, on each side down to the end. Lay one on the floor of the barn, and lay the other across it, so that they form the sign of the cross. And take four pieces of the hallowed bread which is blessed on Lammas day, and crumble them at the four corners of the barn. This is the blessing [you should say] for that: "So that mice do not harm these sheaves, say prayers over the sheaves and do not cease from saying them. City of Jerusalem [?], where mice do not live they cannot have power, and cannot gather the grain, nor rejoice with the harvest." This is the second blessing: Lord God Almighty, who made heaven and earth, bless these fruits in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen. And [then say] a Pater Noster."

Lots more at the link.

The song at the top refers not to the Anglo-Saxon festival, although that's where the name comes from, but to the annual fair in Ballycastle, County Antrim which dates back to the 17th century.  The Ballycastle fair, though, takes place at the end of August and not on the first.

Chambers's Book of Days has some Lammas Day traditions, too.

Such as:
It was once customary in England, in contravention of the proverb, that a cat in mittens catches no mice, to give money to servants on Lammas-day, to buy gloves; hence the term Glove-Silver. It is mentioned among the ancient customs of the abbey of St. Edmund's, in which the clerk of the cellarer had 2d.; the cellarer's squire, 11d.; the granger, 11d.; and the cowherd a penny. Anciently, too, it was customary for every family to give annually to the pope on this day one penny, which was thence called Denarius Sancti Petri, or Peter's Penny.'—Hampson's Medii AEvi Kalendarium.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Of a sort, anyway.  The last of the conventions wrapped up last night.  There used to be an actual respite when the last of the political conventions closed up shop for another four years.  Campaigning didn't start in earnest until after Labor Day. Now it just never ends.

But we were fully involved in politics last night during the last gasp of the Democratic convention.  We watched John Ford's wonderful film of Edwin O'Connor's The Last Hurrah.  When there isn't any tolerable real politics on offer, I recommend quality fictional politics.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Trump, the Russians and the Clintonian Emails of Song and Story

From Chaos Manor:

Mr. Trump asked the Russians to give us the 33,000 (according to Mrs. Clinton) emails that the Secretary of State erased from the private server she kept in the basement.  The media exploded. How dare he invite the Russians to hack us? Treason! Treason! But everyone knows that server has been destroyed.  Mrs. Clinton says so.  Thus it can’t be hacked.  If the Russians have these 33,000 erased emails, they did it long ago – a not unreasonable assumption, of course.  Any intelligence service would have had a go at it.  I’m sure the Brits did. It cannot be treason to invite the Russians to give us a copy of whatever they have already stolen.  The fact that grown people, presumably competent, would think Trump's remarks treason says more about them than him.  Hardly unexpected; more like a confirming instance.

(BTW: the link isn't direct; you'll have to scroll down.  I don't see a way to make a direct link.  Here it is again.)


Fr Jacques Hamel

One more thing about Fr Jacques Hamel's martyrdom by the Mohammedan fanatics that I find very interesting but that I haven't seen anyone comment on. He was martyred on the feast day of his patron, St James.  St James was also martyred by beheading.  In the old Spanish legend St James appeared to fight for the Christian army against the Mohammedans.  Hence, his Spanish nickname, Santiago Matamoros -- St James the Moorslayer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Spent a while this evening looking for a good version of the Magnificat to go with Evensong.  This one was it.


So . . . how serious are things?

Ecclesiastically, I mean.

Have a look at The Wanderer these days.  The Wanderer has had a papal homily/address/essay or what-have-you on the front page for the past century and a half.  (At least, I think so.   I've actually only seen it for a third of that time.) The Wanderer has done its best, being only a weekly, to fulfill W.G. Ward's wish for a new papal bull every morning with his Times at breakfast.  Even the, um, unfortunate Paul VI retained The Wanderer's front page first column on the left.  But these days Mr Ward, were he a subscriber, would have to page to the back of the book.  We don't find Francis's Angelus address until section B.

Even the occasional columnist has been seen to imply that things may not be all ship-shape and Bristol fashion at the Santa Marta hostel.

But this morning's mail brought the July 28, 2016 number of The Wanderer and there on the front page,   where for the last decade or so a large photo of a prominent Catholic Church has been featured,  is a large color photo of St Nicholas du Chardonnet Church in Paris.  Yes, the same St Nicholas du Chardonnet where the late Msgr Ducaud-Bourget presided and the Society of St Pius X has celebrated the sacraments for the past 40 years or so.

Inadvertence?  Or an opening to the traditionalists of the SSPX?   I suspect the former but one can hope.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

26 July -- St Anne

Today is the old feast of St Anne, the mother of Our Lady and grandmother of Our Lord.  The image above, which arrived in my Twitterfeed this morning (thanks @ClerkofOxford) shows St Anne as she was often depicted by our medieval ancestors, teaching Our Lady to read.  This dovetails nicely, so I'm told, with the medieval convention that the Annunciation occurred while Our Lady was reading scripture.

Something from St John Damascene in the old Roman Breviary.

Mrs Vidal points out what a gracious patroness St Anne is for those who need help with the little things.  "There is no need too small or insignificant for St. Anne to concern herself with; she is at home among the pots and pans, in the garden, the grocery store, and especially in the labor and delivery room."

Her collect from the old English Missal:

O God, who on blessed Anne didst vouchsafe to bestow grace, that she might be made worthy to become the mother of her who bore thine only-begotten Son : mercifully  grant : that we, who celebrate her festival may be aided by her intercession with thee.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Pretiosa in conspectu, Domine, mors sanctorum eius

We've all seen the news this morning that malignant Mohammedanism has claimed another victim, this time a priest-martyr in France.  The gist of it's here in case you missed it.

Fr Rutler's needed commentary is here.  Will any of the powers that be heed it?

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Death of the Contemplative Religious Life for Women

Bergoglio strikes again.

His plan will mean the extinction of every convent in the Holy Land, as they have no native constituency.

Some thoughts on Trollope

The Inn is rather fond of Anthony Trollope.  The top two shelves are all by Trollope or about Trollope.  Hence the following.

Trollope is perhaps that most adult of English novelists; he speaks better to us when we have “put away childish things.” In part, that’s because Barchester is obsessed with the persistent, corrosive theme of money: Who’s got it and who hasn’t, whether it’s “old” or “new,” deserved or undeserved, and the precarious existence and temptations of those who do not have enough. “Of all novelists in any country,” the poet W.H. Auden observed, “Trollope best understands the role of money.” 
Trollope is lethal in showing us the resulting contest between decency and pettiness in human nature. Pridefulness, status anxiety, the willingness to think the best or worst of your neighbor, seething jealousies and the vaulted ambition of mediocrities: all these elements of the human condition are brilliantly laid out for us. And while so many good men are suffocated by doubt and paralyzed about taking action, it is often the women characters to whom Trollope gives agency. In both novels it is not the Warden but his daughter, Eleanor Harding, whose strength of character forces events into a different, more satisfactory pattern.
More here.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Is Someone Trying to Tell Me Something?

The crossword puzzle is the third thing in the morning paper order.  While eating breakfast, the first thing in order is, of course,  the comics.  That has to be done first.  It's so easy to lose the thread of the plot in Judge Parker since the latest artist draws all the men to look alike and all the women to look alike.  If you start missing days it takes a while to catch up.   Second are the baseball scores, especially the Angels.  Yes, the Angels.  See, you haven't been keeping up. They've been doing quite well lately, even with  half the team on the disabled list and a roster of unknowns on the field.  (There's a lovely singing group called The Anonymous Four.  I wonder if they'd mind if the Angels became known as The Anonymous Nine?)

And finally there are the crossword puzzles, which brings us to the point of this ramble.  One of the clues this morning was "time period when the meteor hit the earth".  Well, I had no idea and the intersecting clues weren't helping.   So out came the online puzzle dictionary.  The second answer in the list was "Monday". That didn't fit the spaces available but you can see where the sensitive soul might incur a light patina of perspiration.  I mean, four days away from now rather than, oh, I don't know, sometime long past, say the Pleistocene Era.  Gosh.

No sooner finished breakfast than Herself comes into the room and says  "Would you like armageddon?"  Sort of takes one's breath away, even for the non-sensitive soul. I can only respond "You mean now?  Or can it wait until Monday?"  Which confuses her mightily since she was referring to a book  about the dreaded former Secretary of State entitled "Armageddon" that she had just heard reviewed well on the radio.

We did get that sorted out.  But the years-long feeling of impending doom regarding both church and state, although diminished, does remain.

And how was your morning?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit and the Catholic Thing

Joseph Shaw reflects on this week's British referendum:

 For better for or for worse, we will be leaving this particular political structure. What is necessary now is to re-imagine the UK in Europe. And that is something for which UK Catholics have a special vocation.

The Catholic genius is a taking seriously the natural world, not as untainted by the Fall but not as evil either. This understanding makes science possible without making science a tyrant. It makes art possible without making art an idol. It gives us an appreciation of nature, without an embrace of paganism. Wherever Catholics are, there is an acceptance of the good things of life and the interesting things of life, the achievements of humanity and the glories of nature, alongside restraint, an openness to criticism, and balance. 
It is this that lies at the basis of European culture. For all the triumphs of European Protestant art and science—which as a Briton I certainly cannot ignore—the conceptual framework which makes all of this possible is Catholic, and the degree to which Protestantism has taken things towards a Manichean rejection of matter, or anti-intellectualism, and the degree to which reactions against such tendencies has given us Romantic neo-Paganism, European culture has declined, disintegrated, or simply come to a halt.

More here.


Friday, June 24, 2016

A New Priest for the Ordinariate in California

It's now 8:00 p.m., PDT here in the western-most part of the Ordinariate, so I think it is safe to state that Deacon Glen Baaten is now Fr Glen Baaten.

Looking forward to singing for the first Mass on Sunday.  There was even some talk of piping the processional but that seems not to have advanced very far.

Ad multos annos, Pater Reverende!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Monarchy - ad orientem

Mrs Vidal's twitterfeed this afternoon cites to a comprehensive apologia for monarchy from an Eastern Orthodox perspective.  You can find it here.

A sample:
“Monarchy is superior to every other constitution and form of government. For polyarchy, where everyone competes on equal terms, is really anarchy and discord.” —Eusebius of Caesaria (4th Century)
“The three most ancient opinions about God are atheism (or anarchy), polytheism (or polyarchy), and monotheism (or monarchy). The children of Greece played with the first two; let us leave them to their games. For anarchy is disorder: and polyarchy implies factious division, and therefore anarchy and disorder. Both these lead in the same direction – to disorder; and disorder leads to disintegration; for disorder is the prelude to disintegration. What we honour is monarchy”—St. Gregory the Theologian (4th Century) 
In the 14th Century, St. Gregory of Palamas encountered a movement of revolution and democracy that he condemned:
“God has counted the Emperors worthy to rule over His inheritance, over His earthly Church.” 
A more recent saint, John of Kronstadt, put it more tersely:
“Hell is a democracy. Heaven is a kingdom.” 
However one may try to develop a theory of democracy over monarchism, he will not get there by citing the church fathers.


22 June -- S John Cardinal Fisher's Day of Execution

On 22 June 1535 St John Fisher, Cardinal and Bishop of Rochester, was beheaded for refuting Henry VIII's claims to be head of the Church in England. St John's holy death is well-described here, along with that of St Thomas More.

A collect for St John from the old English Missal:

O God, who on thy blessed Bishop John didst bestow grace valiantly to lay down his life for  truth and justice:  grant us by his intercession and example, so to lose our life for Christ in this world, that we may be counted worthy to find it in heaven.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

I've had  little statue of St John Fisher on my desk for many years.  It was hand-carved by, if I recall correctly, a Catholic man in Taiwan.  I'm afraid it's not the loveliest piece of work ever carved.  And it doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to the Holbein drawing.  But it is the only statue I've ever seen of St John.


Monday, June 20, 2016

20 June -- St Alban, ProtoMartyr of England

Fr Phillips's page, Atonement on Line, gives us the story of St Alban's martyrdom as related by the Venerable Bede.  You can find it here.  His feast used to be on the 22d but the newer martyrs Ss Thomas More and John Cardinal Fisher are now on that day, it being the day St John was beheaded.

St Alban's collect from the old English Missal:

O God, who hast hallowed this day by the martyrdom of blessed Alban:  grant,we beseech thee, that as year by year we rejoice to pay him honour, so we  may be defended by his continual help.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Saints for 7 June

The Carmelite Order keeps the feast of Bl Anne of St Bartholomew today.  She was the constant companion and secretary of S Teresa of Avila.  After S Teresa's death, Bl Anne was the foundress of the Discalced Order in both France and Belgium.  The good old Catholic Encyclopædia has the names, places, and dates here.  (I know the headline says "Anne Garcia".  But it's the same person. Really.)

There  used to be a page based  on the old second nocturn giving far more interesting stories but it seems to have vanished.  At any rate, the old  link is broken.   The Carmelite Sisters of Ireland have a bit more on her life here.

Her collect in the old rite:

"Deus, qui beatam Annam Virginem tuam, eximium humilitatis exemplar effecisti : concede nobis, famulis tuis, ut illius vestigia sequentes, promissa humilibus praemia consequi valeamus. Per Dominum Nostrum Iesum Christum. Amen." 

My own translation (which you are welcome to criticize; I make no claim to proficiency):

Oh, God who didst make Blessed Anne, Thy virgin an exceptional exemplar of humility, grant to us Thy servants that following in her footsteps, we may be able to receive the reward promised to the humble. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

It's also the feast in England and in the Benedictine and Cistercian Orders of St Robert of Newminster.  The good old Catholic Encyclopædia gives a vita here.  Wikipedia has something on him also.  It seems  to be taken largely, if not exclusively, from the Catholic Encyclopædia.  If you want to check, it's here.

Actually Useful Information

If you are running Windows 10 and are thoroughly fed up with those useless little icons that pop up when you click the Windows window pane icon in the lower left hand corner, I have good news for you.  I learned the other day that if you right click on that little window pane thing you get a whole list of useful links:  Task Manager, Control Panel, Device Manager, and more.  No stupid little  cartoons telling you that it's Tuesday and 69° in Lakewood.  Just really useful links to tasks you used to be able to perform before Mickey$oft decided to get creative.

You're welcome.

The First Tuesday in June

Well, it's that time again here in the People's Republic of California: it's votin' day.   For those who enjoy pointless exercises the polls are open all day.  Although, now  that I have typed that out, it occurs to me it's not entirely pointless.  One can still vote against yet another bond issue for the local post-pubescent baby-sitting service, a.k.a., the community college.  Otherwise, it's just which Democrat is going to be elected to which office.  (Yes, there are a couple of Republican sacrificial lambs on the ballot.  The phrase snowball-in-hell springs to mind.)

ADDENDUM:  The memsahib and I  did actually wander down to our local polling place and made the requisite marks on the ballot card.  Which the official ballot counting machine proceeded to reject.  The Voting Place Guy tried to process mine six times before apologizing and putting it in the official electoral plastic tub underneath the official ballot counting machine.  Same thing with Mary and with the fellow who voted before us.  And apparently more than a few others.  It seems to be happening all over this area.  Is it incompetence or election fraud?  Couldn't tell you.  In the long run, though, in this area it only matters if you're a Democrat.  Whoever gets the Democrat nomination will get an elected office.  If you're a Republican all you're going to get is the opportunity to put on your  resumé that you were the Republican nominee for senate or congress or whatever . . . and got squashed like a bug.

(The Voting Place Guy probably does have a more impressive title than Voting Place Guy but I don't know what it might be.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

From the Mail

Well, not the mail precisely.  The twitter feed in fact.  But it's sort of like email. What it was, was a quotation from GKC, is what it was:

Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.-- G.K. Chesterton
God bless us.  Pretty perspicacious 21st century opinions from someone who died in 1936.  This may be my new email sig line.


Civil War

No, nothing to do with the War of Northern Aggression.  I mean the one in the conservative media.  A citation to this arrived in this morning's mail.   How are the neocon commentariate going to handle a Trumpean win in November?

It will be interesting to see how some of the conservative "NeverTrump" commentators handle the blowback in the days and months ahead. This soon after the last of his challengers threw in the towel, it looks like Trump is going to be supported by the vast majority of GOP elected officials and a large number of PACs and major party contributors. 
If, as expected, Clinton is the Democratic nominee and the race tightens, the pressure on those elements of the conservative intelligentsia who are pledging not to support Trump will be immense. So immense, in fact, that it's not clear whether their futures would look better if Trump subsequently wins or loses. If he wins, they lose access to the White House (and the Republican Party), and if he loses (and particularly should he lose narrowly), they will be held responsible for every objectionable thing subsequently done by President Hillary Clinton.

Interesting  stuff.  Will the rhetorical decibel level ratchet down a few clicks?  Will this make a difference:

. . . . the guess here is that many of Trump's most vocal critics will persevere in their opposition, though their rhetoric and tactics will undoubtedly be molded somewhat by the opinion polls as Election Day approaches. After all, many of the conservative outlets of news and opinion, funded as they are by wealthy benefactors like Philip Anschutz (The Weekly Standard), are not dependent financially on marketplace factors like advertising or subscription revenue.

Indeed.  Why reduce the bombast when you're not really an organ of conservative thought anyway but a mouthpiece for the oligarchy?


Monday, May 16, 2016

From the Mail

And in the said mail this morning was a catalogue.  (You thought this was going to be some sort of political commentary, didn't you.  Or about divorced and remarried deaconesses receiving communion or something.  Well it isn't.)

Not just any catalogue, either.  A  J.Peterman catalogue. And after all these years.  You'll be delighted to know it's still a great read.  I always enjoyed those things but I thought J.P. went belly-up years ago.   And yet here a new catalogue is in my mailbox.  A short search reveals that according to Wikipedia - which you can read for yourself here -- J.P. did go bust.  Not once but twice.  Yet phoenix-like, here it is back again with a new catalogue.

Not that I'll ever actually buy anything from it.  A hundred bucks or so for a short sleeve shirt?  That'll be the day.  But I do hope J.P. has loads of customers with far more cash than this impecunious musician and pensioned-off scribbler.  The J.Peterman catalogue is more fun than anything else the postman is likely to bring me.

16 May -- St Simon Stock, a.k.a. Simon Anglius

16 May is the traditional feast of St Simon Stock, an early Father General of the Carmelite Order and the one to whom Our Lady gave the Carmelite scapular.  The Inn has had something to say about St Simon most years. Here's the post from 2005.

The old collect for today from the Discalced Carmelite propers:

Plebs tibi, Domine, Virginique Matri dicata, beati Simonis, quem ei Rectorem et Patrem dedisti, solemnitate lætetur : et sicut per eum tantæ protectionis signum obtinuit; ita prædestinationis æternæ munera consequatur. Per Dominum. Amen
O Lord, Thy people dedicated to the Virgin Mother rejoice in the solemnity of Blessed Simon whom Thou didst give to them as guide and father; may they receive the eternally predestined reward the sign of which protection was received through him. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The picture shown above is a bit more accurate than most illustrations of St Simon in that it shows the original striped cloak of the Order.)


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Not Your Usual Encomium

"He is vulgar, abusive, nasty, rude, boorish and outrageous."  The quote is from Paul Johnson and he means it as A Good Thing.  No, honestly.  You can read it for  yourself here.


Friday, May 06, 2016

Politics, Religion, and the Ruling Class

That's the title of the article in Catholic World Report - which you can find  here - which consists of an interview with Dr. Angelo M. Codevilla who gives a very good explanation of where we are now politically and culturally.  Well-worth a read.

(My only reservation would be the shot at The Donald.   Seems a bit unfair considering what else was - and is - on offer.)

A sample:

 In the common sense of humanity, and hence in dictionaries, the word “family” is defined by biology as augmented by marriage (which is a mingling of biologies) and adoption. The very essence of Progressivism’s many forms is to imagine and to treat individuals as if they existed without irrevocable biological connections—as neither son nor daughter, husband or wife, father or mother. Progressivist regimes—ours no different from that of Sweden or the Soviet Union—demand that we regard all human relationships as the result of revocable choices. All, except the relationship between each and every individual and the regime itself. That, we are to consider our parent, our spouse, our progeny.


The Merry Month of May

The happy birds Te Deum sing,
'Tis Mary's month of May;
Her smile turns winter into spring,
And darkness into day;
And there's a fragrance in the air,
The bells their music make,
And O the world is bright and fair,
And all for Mary's sake.

Where'er we seek the holy Child,
At every sacred spot,
We meet the Mother undefiled;
Who shun her seek him not:
At cloistered Nazareth we see.
At haunted Bethlehem,
The throne of Jesus, Mary's knee,
Her smile, his diadem.

The Daughter, Mother, Spouse of God,
None silence her appeal
Who long to tread where Jesus trod,
What Jesus felt to feel.
O, Virgin-born, from thee we learn
To love thy Mother dear;
Her teach us duly to discern.
And rightly to revere.

To love the Mother, people say,
Is to defraud the Son.
For them, alas, there dawns no May,
Until their hearts are won:
Then, when their hearts begin to burn.
Ah, then, to Jesus true,
And loving whom he loves, they learn
To love Saint Mary too.

How many are the thoughts that throng
On faithful souls to-day!
All year we sing our Lady's song,
'Tis still the song of May:
Magnificat! O may we feel
That rapture more and more;
And chiefly, Lord, what time we kneel
Thine altar-throne before.

'Tis then, when at thy feet we pray,
We share our Lady's mirth;
Her joy we know who hail to-day
Thy Eucharistic birth;
That trembling joy to Mary sent,
Ah, Christians know it well,
With whom in his dear sacrament
Their Saviour deigns to dwell.

Yes, Mary's month has come again,
The merry month of May;
And sufferers forget their pain,
And sorrows flee away,
And joys return, the hearts whose moan
Was desolate erewhile
Are blithe and gay - once more they own
The charm of Mary's smile.

Thy Son our Brother is, and we,
Whatever may betide,
A Mother, Mary, have in thee,
A guardian and a guide;
Thy smiles a tale of gladness tell
No words can ever say?
If but, like thee, we love him well,
The year will all be May.

All hail! An angel spake the words
We lovingly repeat;
The song-notes of the singing birds
They are not half so sweet:
This is a music that endures,
It cannot pass away,
For Mary's children it ensures
A never-ending May.

The above is an old Anglo-Catholic hymn which I have pilfered from Watts and Co.'s FB post this morning.  We are, of course, well into Mary's month of May and it's past due time that I crank up The Inn and take it for a spin around the block to make sure the battery is still charged.  I'm told the hymn is best sung to the tune "O Little Town of Bethlehem".  Although some have seen fit to use "The Lincolnshire Poacher" and, mirabile dictu, "British Grenadiers".  I'd stick with "Little Town".

This is probably not a bad post in which to link again to "Come Pray the Rosary".  It's here.  It's the best of the "recite along" options on the web.  I very much doubt that it counts as prayer-with-others for purposes of getting the indulgence but I find it a great help.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Lent is Over

And not a moment too soon, either.  We laid in a supply of sweet rolls for Easter Sunday breakfast and ice cream for after dinner which I enjoyed tremendously.  Possibly to excess, although it didn't seem like it at the time.

And the garden has decided that it really is spring.

The roses in the front are exploding.

And this tiny little plot of geraniums next to the garage are joining in.  I can't find the picture of the azaleas but they are, too.

Easter Octave

The  picture above is of our little chapel directly after our beautiful Holy Saturday liturgy.  The tomb is empty and the tabernacle isn't.  There are all sorts pictures of our Holy Week service here and there on the net.  Which is kind of odd as I didn't see anyone taking them.  But there they are.  You can find some of them on the parish's FB page here.

Hæc dies quam fecit Dominus . . .

. . . exultemus et lætemur in ea!  Happy Easter Monday.

I can't come up with a proper connection to the holiday for this piece.  And so for no particular reason other than that I like the tune and the playing,  here is Anatoly Isaev playing Cuckold Come Out of the Amrey on the Scottish lowland pipes.   In Russia.

And Xpictoc Bockpece!  (Pretty good, eh?  Considering I don't  have a real Slavonic font on this machine.)

Friday, March 25, 2016

"A conjunction considered to be both deliberate and profoundly meaningful"

That would be today's festal conjunction of Annunciation Day and Good Friday.  The Clerk of Oxford's explanation here should not be missed.  Both beautiful and fascinating.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

International Bagpipe Day

In honour of International Bagpipe Day, i.e., today, here are three, um, international bagpipes playing a Swedish tune on some good-sounding pipes with sweet harmonies.  It's called Vännens Långdans, which we are told means "Friends Långdans".

From the text on the You Tube page:

From left to right -
Säckpipa (D/G) (Swedish bagpipes) - Scottish smallpipes (A chanter, D drones) - English Borderpipes (G)

The Swedish pipe player is Vickie Swan but the other two ladies aren't identified.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Chrism Mass . . .

. . . Ordinariate style.  This will be the first one any of the three Ordinariates have celebrated.  And the first one using Divine Worship - The Missal.

Alas, it will also be in Washington, D.C., a couple of thousand miles -more or less - from here.  So your servant will not be in attendance.  But if you're in the neighbourhood come St Patrick's day, NLM provides the details here.


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Dedwydd!

Once again I am risking my reputation (what there is of it) and relying solely upon the accuracy of the internet.  Which is to say, that title up there had better mean "Happy St David's Day" in Welsh or I shall be mightily embarrassed.

St David - the sixth century bishop, not the King of Israel - is the patron saint of Wales and today is his feast.  The Inn has something about his life here.  This is his collect from the English Missal:

Grant to us, almighty God: that the loving intercession of blessed David, thy Confessor and Bishop, may protect us; that while we celebrate his festival we may imitate his steadfastness in the defence of the Catholic faith. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Fr Hunwicke this morning mused:

 Didn't the SSPX church in London begin as a church for Welsh Anglicans? I wonder if they honour their origins by singing Cwm Rhondda at Benediction

Indeed, he was probably thinking of the verse

Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and ever more,
Feed me now and ever more! 

Now we are talking SSPX here.  I doubt English at Benediction is going to fly. But in fact, the words to Tantum Ergo fit Cym Rhondda pretty much perfectly.  Perhaps a touch livelier than Benediction is meant to be.  But what a great tune it is.

Here.  Get out your Missal and look up the words to Tantum Ergo; it'll be in the Benediction section in the back.  You can sing along. All together: one, two:

. . .Procedenti, Procedenti, Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

Wonderful stuff.