Saturday, January 14, 2006

I Don't Get It

The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the Supreme Pontiff, the Sovereign Head of Vatican City, the Grand Poo-Bah and Head Honcho of the Catholic Church.

Why can't the man bring his cats with him to the Vatican if he wants to?

Makes no sense to me.

Pats v. Broncos

Tonight is the night that decides whether the Patriots go on to the Conference Championship game against, most likely, the Indianapolis Colts. It will not be easy, as the game is being played in Denver, and the Broncos are 8-0 this season in their new stadium (it was news to me that Mile High Stadium was no more!).


We Have Had Several Mild Days

You can't help but like January days in the 50s, nudging 60, even if it rains, as it is today. I have been able to go about without my parka, tam, scarf, and gloves for a week!

Alas, our rain is supposed to turn to freezing rain tonight, and tomorrow we get a blast of real winter weather, with a high of 28 and sleet. But then, it warms up so that the daytime highs for the early part of next week are all above freezing after Sunday.

Requiescat In Pace

Actress Shelley Winters has died, at the age of 85. Requiescat in pace.

Blogger Seems To Have Had A Bad Friday the 13th

Or I wasn't notified of scheduled maintainence.

Friday, January 13, 2006

For An Insight Into What the Holy Father Means When He Talks About The Misinterpretation of Vatican II With Respect To the Liturgy

Read this 1999 article by his former student, Father Fessio.

And if the new Mass is reformed along the lines that Father Fessio believes the Council actually intended, it would be a very good thing. The Commons of the Mass in Latin. Communion using just the Host in almost all Masses. Eliminating duplication (the Last Gospel? the second Confiteor? Repeating the "Domine non sum dignus" 3 times?). Prayers of the Faithful re-introduced. The Gospel and Readings in the vernacular (done in most indult Masses, but duplicative, as the same Gospel passage and Epistle are first read inaudibly by the priest in Latin, then audibly in English just before the sermon, shortening the sermon). Greater range of liturgical reading (the First Old Testament Reading). More emphasis on preaching via the sermon. Concelebration allowed.

If the old Mass had been reformed along those lines in 1970, would there have been a really serious split over the liturgy? Would people have left in great numbers for the sake of the Last Gospel and Second Confiteor? Just to keep out the usually fairly tame Prayers of the Faithful? I dare say that if the 1970 Missal were reformed along these lines today, a good part of those who have gone over to indult Masses, Byzantine Rite liturgy, and even Pius X Society chapels would be back in parish churches.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

MLK Day: A Hack High Holy Day, Not A Holiday

The author of the excellent Fish Eaters shares my long-held views on Martin Luther King, Jr. and his "holiday". The only thing I disagree with in his post is that I would have supported the Vietnam War, wholeheartedly.

Not a day I care to celebrate, either. And in fact, I've always worked through that day, except when I was in school. And even then, it was a day to keep up with the workload. The only people who take the day off are government employees (hacks) and school children.

Not someone people in the US ought to be celebrating. Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Clarence Thomas, Thurgood Marshall (though I despise his views, the man was of great importance, and was, apparently, a good man and role model), even Frederick Douglass, OK. But this fake? No. And to have a holiday devoted exclusively to him, when no other American, including much more important contributors to American society and much better family men, including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln,
Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge has his own holiday is absurd.

It is just a day to placate one racial group. Making a holiday for this man was a weakness of President Reagan, done to cave in to political pressure over the objections of most conservatives. As I am not a member of the racial group placated, I see no reason to observe the day. By the way, I also don't observe Columbus Day, though I am partly a member of the ethnic group that holiday was created to placate. Bah! Humbug!

Request For Prayers

Please remember in your prayers my friend Jerry, who suffered a major heart attack last week, and is facing open-heart surgery in the very near future. He is still in hospital.

A Change

I have been trying to eat healthier lately. The desire arose after the New Year, on January 2nd, when I had this craving for fruit and nuts. It is not surprising, I guess, after about 6 weeks of gourging on ham, turkey, roast beef, ice cream, plum pudding, pie, cake, eggnog, candy, chocolate, cookies, and other Christmas fare.

Oranges are my favorite fruit, and have become a staple this last fortnight. It is getting so that my preferred lunch is 2 oranges, a banana, and a container of Key Lime yogurt, washed down with Poland Spring Sparkling Water, either Mandarin Orange, Lime, or Raspberry-Lime.

But one thing I know I don't like is Low-Carb food. I tried a low-carb Chocolate Peanut Butter bar for lunch yesterday, and was severely disappointed. The thing had no taste. I could discern neither peanut butter nor chocolate. A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup it certainly wasn't.


The latest boomlet of enthusiasm among my fellow evil traditionalists: books bound in human skin. Father Tucker adds fuel to their fire and tells us of a French Book of Hours bound in human skin.

Morocco leather is fine with me.

Well, I Said It Was A Target-Rich Environment

But Howie Carr just could not resist a few bon mots about Ted Kennedy and his children's book, and his dog, Splash. Dom has the details.

I ain't no Adonis, but the US Department of Transportation hasn't contacted me about having a beeper sound when I back up!

I just realized that a fair part of our audience is overseas, and isn't as antedeluvian as yours truly. So, for the record, back in the late 1960s, Ted Kennedy, was then as now, US Senator from Massachusetts and brother of the late rather mediocre President John F. Kennedy and the truly creepy Robert Kennedy. Then, as now, he was a drunk of astounding proportions and a serial philanderer.

One night he was driving his Oldsmobile home, drunk, from a party on Chappaquiddick Island (just off Martha's Vineyard) with his latest pick-up in the car with him, a young lady named Mary Jo Kopechne. He came to a bridge linking Chappaquiddick to the Vineyard, and his car went into the water. Well, Ted made sure he swam to safety. Not so for poor Mary Jo, who apparently drowned after surviving in an air pocket in the car for quite a while. The thing is that Ted did not go to the authorities until well into the next day to report the accident (giving him a chance to sober up, and Mary Jo a better than 100% chance to drown). And he didn't do anything to rescue Mary Jo.

Ted was, amazingly, tried, and convicted of a lesser offense, and lost his driver's license for a while. The incident has been a blot on his presidential aspirations, and the nation is very grateful for that!

Since then, Kennedy has been seen drunk on numerous occasions, has engaged in various unsavory incidents, including sandwiching an unwilling waitress on a table of a Washington eatery with Connecticut's Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd, frequently running his boats aground at various parts of Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay while drunk, and, famously, dragging his nephews out to a Florida bar on a Good Friday Night, leading to a rape charge against one of the nephews.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm Not A Heretic

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with QuizFarm.com

An Example

Here is an image linked at the Yahoo Group that has never, until now, been posted here.


The Cornell Society For A Good Time notes one of my favorite artists. BTW, a more complete group of his religious-themed art can be found at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, in the Photo Albums. He has his own album.

Also, I have not been posting images to Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group for a while, because I have been getting warnings that we are at 98.something % capacity. But Yahoo informs me that they are doing something over the next few months with group formats that will give us greater capacity. However, the change will unhinge my neat arrangements of album, sub-album, and often sub-sub album. No more sub-albums! I'll find a way to manage. There have been dozens, if not hundreds of images posted here on the blog that are not over at the Yahoo Group (and there are still a great many images at the Yahoo Group that have never been posted at the blog).

And further, while I'm on the topic, I think many members don't get the full use of the hundreds of images I have posted. Many of the thumbnails are a cartoonish image, and I think people have the impression that there is nothing there. In fact, that cartoonish image indicates that the image is a linked image, rather than an image uploaded to the Group. I did that a great deal at the start, as it saved a lot of group space. In fact I would have continued to do so, but Yahoo shut down that capacity. So those cartoonish thumbnails are indeed images. Now not all the links to images elsewhere still work. I have to devote some time to going through all the old links and herding the ones that are no longer at the original address to the broken links album.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Few New Recipes Added At Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group

Welsh Rabbit
Gooseberry Fool
Ipswich Almond Pudding
Stilton Steaks
Pimm's Cup
and Dark and Stormy Punch

Target-Rich Environment

Ted Kennedy has a dog named "Splash"!!!!

How appropriate.

Country Gentleman Magazine Covers

Though I have become pretty urbanized these last few years, this sort of thing still has some appeal for me.

Another Great Blogger Taking A Rest

Rick Lugari of De Civitate Dei and Musum Pontificalis is taking an hiatus from blogging (though he says he may update Musum if there is good material). He is one of my daily reads, and will be missed.

A Visit With the Trappists At Gethsemene

Michael Dubruiel discusses a Christmas visit to Merton's former monastery.

The direct link to the post is not working.

Dumbed-Down, New Age Catholic Education

This is a must-read for those concerned about the downward spiral of Catholic education for the last 40 years.

I am the product of a “dumbed down" generation. During my “Catholic” instruction in the late 1960s, I can’t recall having ever seen a monstrance, prayed a novena, heard Gregorian chant, taken part in a May crowning or prayed a benediction prayer.

Same here, and I was in Catholic grammar school from September, 1969 until June, 1978. Then Catholic prep school from September, 1978 until May, 1982. Then a Catholic college from September, 1982 until May, 1986. And a Catholic law school from August, 1986 until May, 1989. In all that time, I don't think the concepts of monstrances, reliquaries, novenas, Exposition or Benediction, the Forty Hours, the Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart, the Miraculous Medal, the scapulars, Liturgy of the Hours, Octaves, Corpus Christi procession ever came up. Indulgences came up, but only in history classes as something bad and corrupt that had to do with the causes of the Reformation. Hell was mentioned, but it was significantly down-played. The only saints ever mentioned were the Apostles and known Disciples, Saint Francis, and Saint Patrick.

Essentially, like many other newly-serious middle-aged Catholics, everything I know about the Faith that matters, I had to learn on my own.

Via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hearings Begin On Judge Alito

Let us hope that, within 4 weeks, he is known as Justice Alito.

What Is Today?

Depends on which liturgical calendar you are using. If you are using the pre-Vatican II calendar, today is a ferial day of the season after the Epiphany. It is not the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, as that is always January 13, on the Octave of the Epiphany.

If you are using the post-Vatican II calendar, it is the Baptism of the Lord.


Septuagesima Sunday isn't until the 12th of February this year. Last year, it was a couple of weeks earlier.

Some Nice Mild Weather

Boston is enjoying something of a January thaw. But I'm sure we will pay dearly for this before mid-March.

Plough Monday

Well, as the Christmas Oratorio and the Hue and Cry After Christmas indicate, it is now the usual time to end Christmas festivity.

The Monday after Epiphany was known as Plough Monday, a symbolic return to work day. But the return to agricultural work in early January was symbolic. In most villages, there was a plough enshrined in the parish church, a symbolic representation of the agriculatural work of the village. And the plough was illuminated year round by a Plough Light, or Plough Candle. The candle(s) was/were paid for by the members of a Plough Guild. Keep in mind how very important agricultural work was to the community in pre-industrial England. Farming was central to all life, and having a symbol of the work of the community in the parish church was to them as easy a connection as a fishing net in a Gloucester church to us today.

On Plough Monday, the local farmers dressed up in outlandish clothing, brought the parish church plough out, and dragged it from door to door, begging alms (to pay for the Plough Light, plus some entertainment for the Guild members). They played music, and performed short plays in exchange for the contribution. Failure to contribute meant that the village plough would be used to plough up the soil in front of a cottager's door (I assume they made exceptions for the very poor and struggling).

Yep, trick or treat! The Plough Monday ritual is just like Souling, Trick-or-Treat, Guy Fawkes' Day's "A Penny For the Guy," Thanksgiving's "Something For the Feast" in New York, Colonial Boston's Fantastics at Christmas, Wassailing, Carolling, Mumming, John Canoe among Negroes on Southern Plantations, and the Wren Boys ritual in Ireland. It is a New Year's luck visit. Strange how the basic ritual, a disguised door-to-door visit featuring an exchange of good will or performance for contributions, takes different forms and moves around the calendar at the end of the old year/beginning of the new year, isn't it?

Day Four Of A Raging Head/Chest Cold

Usual nastiness associated with winter. Man, I could use some quality time in Florida or the Carolinas!

Christmas Oratorio

By W.H. Auden

Well, so that is that.
Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen
The actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though, to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry
And Newton's mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
"Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake."
They will come, all right, don't worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God's Will will be done,
That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one,
Not even the world of its triumph.

Hue and Cry After Christmas

But is old, old, good old Christmas gone?
Nothing but the hair of his good, gray old head and beard left?
Well, I will have that, seeing I cannot have more of him.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Makeover Of the Papal Apartment

Pope Benedict has a personal library of 20,000 books. No wonder I love this guy!

The biggest mine has gotten is 4,000 or so.

Let Me Just Say This About That

Well, it is probably folly to have the defending Super Bowl Champs going as underdogs into a playoff game with a team with a slightly better regular season record than they.

Nevertheless, it was mighty sweet seeing the Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last night 28-3. Let's all savor this, because we don't know how long this will last, given the fact that, at some point (maybe next weekend) they will face the nearly unstoppable Indianapolis Colts.

It may hurt later, but it feels good now.

Go Pats!!!

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