Friday, September 24, 2004

Archdiocesan Spokesman Stepping Down

Father Coyne may be a nice guy in person, but I remember him as awfully "talk-to-the-hand" insensitive in various responses regarding protests about Talking About Touching, parish closings, and the abuse victim litigation.

Maybe he would do better in some other job.

If the Numbers In This Battleground Poll Are Accurate and Remain the Same

John Kerry is toast.

You can't win anything with 49% favorable and 47% unfavorable.

The contrast with the President (54% favorable, 44% unfavorable) is striking, though his unfavorables are too high, as well.

Oh Yeah, Children Are Always So Well-Cared For In Gay "Families"

That is, when they are not beaten to bloody lifeless pulps.

A Great Line At Saintly Salmagundi

Father Sibley tells it like it is.

Archbishop Chaput Joins Archbishop Myers On the Communion/Pro-Abortion Pol Issue

At least the US has three outstanding Archbishops: Chaput, Myers, and Burke.

From The Paradise of the Desert Fathers

Abba Pastor said, "Judge not him who is guilty of fornication, if you are chaste, or you will break the law like him. For He who said, 'Do not commitfornication,' said also, 'Do not judge'."

Seems to apply to what some people at NCR and elsewhere are saying about Deal Hudson.

Your Attention, Please!

The September Adoremus Bulletin is on-line now.

This month's theme seems to be the Eucharist and Celiac Disease.

The Red Sox Go Into a Three-Game Series With the Hated Yankees 4.5 Games Behind

But 6 ahead in the Wild Card Race.

I have asked this one before. If they can't beat the Yankees when the chips are down, isn't the Wild Card just a little patch of ground that hath in it no honour but the name?

Cat Stevens, Moslem Donor To the Murderous Hamas Terrorist Group, Deported From US



More, please!!!!

Gee, I Guess We Know Where the Headliner Writer For Yahoo News Stands on the Abortion Issue

"Partisan Voting Guide"

"Anti-Choice Group"

When the professionals who work for Yahoo and CBS descend to this level of partisanship, it is no wonder that amateurs like us bloggers, talk radio, and Fox are turned to as more objective news sources.

Our Lady of Mercy

September is an important month for Marian feasts, with the feast of Our Lady of Sorrow and the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, along with today's feast.

Today is also Our Lady of Walsingham, a sad reminder now of how fervent England once was in the Faith.

Read What CURE Has To Say On the Pending Barbaric Judicial Murder of Terri Schiavo

This statement from CURE is, I think quite apt.

Friday In Michaelmas Embertide

Here is a good question that I have not been able to find an answer to.

Why do the 4 Embertides of the year include Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, but not Thursday?

Why break the Embertide for a day. Yes, I know that traditionally Friday and, to a lesser extent, Wednesday are traditional penitential days. But when you are having a special penitential period, why break it up after one day to continue it 24 hours later? Why not make Embertide extend from Wednesday through Saturday? The Thursdays of Lent are not considered non-penitential.

While I generally prefer to leave things alone, that would be a reform I could get behind. To me, it would make sense.


Accusing a white Christian heterosexual male of hate speech when he expresses disapproval of the perversion of homosexuality is discrimination.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I Wish Archbishop Myers Was Archbishop of Boston

Clear and concise and authoritative reasoning why no Catholic can in good faith vote for a pro-choice (pro-abortion, it means exactly the same thing) candidate if there is a less pro-choice candidate in the race, without committing grave sin.

Thank you, Archbishop Myers.

This was first published on September 17th.

I Didn't Notice This One When It Happened

But on September 19th, the blood of Saint Januarius liquified again, as it does every September 19th. This has been verified by various skeptics.

Red Sox/Yankees Rivalry

Intelligently discussed at Get Fuzzy.

I just fixed the link, as the original link took you to the strip of the day. Now I have the archived strip (it was yesterday's strip).

Saint Pio

This is a link to the Padre Pio Foundation of America.

Here is a prayer he said after Communion every day.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgement, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.
Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but, the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for. Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Kerry: Bush Will Bring Back the Draft

What is next for Kerry?

Last week it was, "Bush will call up lots of reservists after the election."

Next week, will he go back to "Bush will gut Social Security," a tried and true Democrat lie?

Of course. it is right out of the Johnson, Humphrey, McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry playbook.

And I'm sure the Administration has a ringing reply ready which may or may not play well.

True, we do have a military manpower problem. But it is caused not by the lack of a draft, but by the failure, and this is something i do blame on the President and Rumsfeld) to prudently expand the military back to Reagan-era size in wartime through moderate increases in benefits, pay, and innovative advertising.

We don't need a draft. We could use more manpower, and the way to get that is to offer the brave men who serve better living conditions, better educational opportunities, better vocational training, and to make more of an effort to recruit. And put more civilians behind desks, and fewer guys in uniforms.

As I Said Last Week

Today is Ember Wednesday in the Michaelmas Embertide.

Prayer, fasting, abstinence, almsgiving are all appropriate for Ember Days.

Here is an outline of an Ember Day Holy Hour:

1) Sign of the Cross
2) Act of Contrition
3) Confiteor
4) Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity
5) Prayer Before A Crucifix
6) Invocation Of St. Michael the Archangel
7) Nicene Creed
8) Prayer of St. Thomas More
9) Prayer of St. Terese of Avila To Redeem Wasted Time
10) Dies Irae
11) The Jesus Prayer (repeated nine times)
12) Prayer For the Souls In Purgatory
13) Aspiration Prayer For A Happy Death (repeated 3 times)
14) Kyrie
15) Agnus Dei
16) Litany of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows
17) Stabat Mater Dolorosa
18) The Seven Penitential Psalms
19) The Seven Prayers of Saint Gregory
20) The Divine Mercy Chaplet
21) The Novena To the Blessed Virgin Mary
22) The Sign of the Cross

It actually takes about an hour and a half for me to go through these, as I have a lot of petitions (about 55, some of them rather involved) in my novena at the end. But an average person not burdened with so many needs, and with the texts in front of him, ought to be able to get through this program in just over an hour.

I think the overall tone of these prayers creates a healthy and necessary recognition of sin, penitence, death, judgment, and divine mercy. Since Ember Days are penitential days, I think my combination is just about right.

No "We are all resurrection people" here. I think these prayers leave no doubt that we are all sinners and in dire need of the Sacrament of Penance, and divine mercy.

I love the Prayer Against Pride which is said after Psalm 6.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, obedient unto , even on the Cross. And I, the most vile of worms, am but dust and ashes. I am the greatest of sinners who has merited Hell a thousand times....Do not, I beseech Thee, throw me down into the pit of Gehenna with proud Lucifer and his servants..."

That is what I call a prayer! None of the bloated self-satisfied stuff of the 1960s (Here I Am, Lord, doesn't that just make Your day?, We're so holy because we go to Mass that we must be a Priestly People You have raised up On Eagles' Wings).

People who actually believe that nonsense about themselves, and don't recognize that the medievals had it pretty much right on human nature, might well be in serious trouble on Judgment Day.

Not for them the sentiments of the Dies Irae:

"That day will be a day of wrath,"
"What great fear there will be when the Judge is coming,"
"I am a miserable wretch, and what can I plead, whose patronage can I seek, when even the righteous man will be saved only with great difficulty?,"
"Do not send me into perdition on that day,"
"I groan as one already condemned, my cheeks are red with shame for my sins,"
"My prayers are not worthy, but in Thy mercy make it so that I do not burn in the unquenchable flames,"
"Lord Jesus, in pity, give them rest."

It does the soul much good, I think, to be aware of how very sinful we all are, and how much we need God's mercy. And I thank God that there are Ember Days, Fridays, Lent, Passiontide, and Ash Wednesday to remind us of that. it is far better to think about these things now, than to be surprised to be confronted with the fruits of self-complacency on the Day of Wrath.

Tomorrow Is the Feast of St. Pio

And the front page image of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group is, of course, of the saint carrying the Cross, with the bound-up stigmata visible.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Latest Polling Looks Very Good For the GOP

Kerry is fading and needs to really connect with the people out there during the debates to even do as well as Dukakis.

And the fact that the Kerry campaign has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar over the CBS/forged ANG documents "story" is not going to help him.

According to the latest polling, New Jersey has become competitive for the President, and he may even have pulled into a tie there. And with New Jersey, just a little more effort would be needed to bring New York into the fold. Bush is back in the lead in New Hampshire (although the daily tracking from Rasmussen shows him trailing there).

CBS Plotted Anti-Bush Story With Kerry Campaign

Why am I not surprised?

The "objective" lamestream media at work.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Tomorrow Is the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist

And the front page image of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group reflects that with a medieval illuminated page from the beginning of St. Matthew's Sequence from a Book of Hours on the front page.

Beatification for Anna Catherine Emmerich and Emperor Charles of Austria Will Be October 3rd

From Michael Dubriel at Annunciations.

CBS: We Were Wrong About Bush ANG Documents

Rather biased, I'd say. but so are Brokaw, Jennings, and the myrmidons at CNN.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Well, It Is Fall

The arrival of mid-September with crystal-clear blue skies and temps in the 60s means it is perfect apple-picking time.

And one of the best things you can do with freshly picked apples to to make mincemeat to have on hand for the coming holidays.

Last year, I provided a pretty exhaustive treatment of the hows on mince-pie making, and still rather like that blog, so here it is again.

Mincemeat pie is, of course, traditionally associated with Christmas.

But in New England, where the celebration of Christmas was relatively restrained for the first 150 or so years of our history, it was adopted as a Thanksgiving food. Thanksgiving tables in Massachusetts from 1740-1870 often boasted a mince pie. Just goes to show you that you can't keep a good mince pie down (or a bad one, but that is a different matter).

Today, when you go out picking apples in September or early October, one of the things you can do with the bushels that come home is to make mincemeat, and thus you can begin making ready for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You can either freeze the mincemeat in ziploc bags, or bake into pies, and freeze the pies until needed. I prefer the former method. In either case, it is a good thing to beat the holiday rush by getting your mincemeat ready now. If you double-bag the mincemeat, it should keep in the fridge for many months. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, nothing says "home" like a warm mincemeat pie.

This pie was actually outlawed in New England during the earliest period of Massachusetts history, as it is a symbol of Christmas, the celebration of which was also against the law. The pie has been variously known as Neat's Pie, Shrid Pie, Christmas Pie, Mutton Pie, and of course, Mince Pie (which was more or less common by the end of the 18th century). As a staple of English and Irish cuisine, it dates back to medieval times at least.

Little Jack Horner's Christmas Pie, was, of course, mincemeat. The plumb he pulled out with his thumb was in fact the deed to a plundered parcel of Church property, the deed to which, along with many others, was inserted into a huge Christmas Pie to be delivered, by Horner, to Henry VIII. Somehow, the property found its way into the possession of Horner, rather than Henry.

This would be a good time to try to correct a modern misconception. Raisins were known by various regional words in England and Ireland. In parts of England, they are called "figs." In other parts, they are called "plumbs" or "plums." In no case were either what we know as figs or plums ever included in traditional mincemeat, or plum pudding, or fruitcake.

All those recipes you see for plum pudding that call for plums?

Rip them out of your cookbook. Burn the pages, lest others fall into this heresy.

The same with "Figgy Pudding" recipes with figs. All you want are raisins and currants. Got it? Figgy Pudding does not have figs. Plum Pudding does not have plums. They are, in fact, the same thing, and both have raisins.

I am a firm believer that the better the quality of the ingredients you use, the better the finished product will taste. That is why I use sirloin tips rather than suet or stew beef, and fresh orchard cider from Brooksby Farm in peabody, and apples picked that weekend by hand, and by me.

This recipe will make many pies.

If there is a lot of liquid, drain it off and freeze it separately, as it can be served by itself either hot or cold as plum porridge. I suspect that the extra liquid from making mince pie was how that soup got started. Eat the plum porridge in small amounts, as even I would say it is very, very rich.

10 cups chopped apples, preferably freshly picked
4 cups diced sirloin tip meat fried or broiled (I pan fry)
2 cups of beef stock (your own, or canned)
2 cups of fresh sweet apple cider
8 cups of sugar
1 cup of molasses
3 tablespoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground cloves
4 lemons, rind and juice
3 tablespoons of salt
3 pounds of seedless raisins
1 pound of currants
1/2 pound of citron
1/4 pound candied or fresh orange rind
1/4 pound candied or fresh lemon rind
1 cup brandy (don't use "cooking brandy")
1 cup Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum

at pie-making time
orange flower water, to taste
French brandy, to taste
Captain Morgan's, to taste
freshly ground nutmeg
cinnamon-sugar to taste

(No, your teeth will not fall out, at least not right away.)

Chop the apples and beef finely. Pan fry the sirloin tips until medium rare, then dice or shred them into tiny bits. Place the apples and beef into a very large pot with all the remaining measured ingredients.

Simmer slowly for up to three hours, stirring every few minutes.

The aroma is incredible, and will make the house smell like the holidays in no time.

After a few hours, take the mincemeat off the heat, and allow it to cool.

Once the mincemeat has cooled, drain the excess liquid for plum porridge, and freeze it in a separate container (that won't leak in your freezer).

Put the mincemeat into gallon Ziplocs, and freeze.

There should be enough mincemeat for 6-8 9-inch mince pies (or lots of small mincemeat pies).

But the mince pie is so rich, you might want to serve it in tart or individual serving-size pie pans.

When it's time for making the pies, thaw the mincemeat in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Make two short crusts for each pie. Line the pie pan with crust. Add the mincemeat. Pour on some orange flower water, Captain Morgan's, and brandy, dot the pie with some small pats of butter, and a grating of fresh nutmeg to taste.

I use fairly liberal doses of all in my mince pies.

Put on the top layer of crust, and seal the edges, leaving ventilation slits in the top crust.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees (you may want a drip tray under the pie in the oven), and then for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, but watch the crust carefully. Use of one of those shields that protect the edges is recommended.

When the pie is fresh out of the oven, sprinkle the top with a generous portion of cinnamon-sugar.

Once baked, the pies keep in the fridge for a week.

They taste terrific warm or cold. Vanilla ice cream is great on top. Eggnog Ice Cream would not be too much.

You expect to put on some weight during the holidays. Live a little.

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