Saturday, August 02, 2008
The Church dedicates the month of August to the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Lady. Her feast in the traditional calendar falls on August 22nd. And her Assumption, a holy day of obligation, falls always on the 15th. Therefore, August's editions of Our Blessed Lady's Saturday will be devoted to her Immaculate Heart. Today is also the first Saturday of August.
Here is a good precis of the First Saturday devotion, from Memorare.com:
The desire for a First Saturday devotion revealed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three children at Fatima in 1917. On December 10, 1925, the Virgin revealed more details about the devotion to Sister Lucia, the only seer still alive and at that time a cloistered nun. From that time, the devotion has spread throughout the world on the day (Saturday) that the Church has traditionally honored the Blessed Virgin. There is no distinct confraternity/association for this devotion, though many apostolates incorporate it into their devotional program.
To establish devotion (in accordance with God's wishes) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to make reparation for...
1. Attacks upon the reality of Mary's Immaculate Conception
2. Attacks against her the reality of Mary's Perpetual Virginity
3. Attacks upon Mary's Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind
4. Those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, contempt and hatred for Immaculate Mary
5. For those who insult Mary directly in her sacred images.
The devotion involves the following practices on five consecutive first Saturdays with the specific intention of making reparation for the offenses (above) against the Blessed Virgin.
1. Go to Confession (within 8 days before or after the first Saturday)
2. Receive Holy Communion
3. Recite five decades of the Rosary*
4. "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary" (separate from the Rosary itself)*
(*Preferably done in the presence of the Lord in the Tabernacle or at Exposition)
1. The Virgin Mary's assistance at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation for those who practice the devotion.
2. Salvation of souls and peace as a result of promoting of the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
This prayer is from The Raccolta
Heart of Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, Heart most amiable, on which the Adorable Trinity ever looks with complacency, worthy of all the veneration and tenderness of angels and of men; Heart most like the Heart of Jesus, whose most perfect image thou art; heart full of goodness, ever compassionate towards our miseries, - vouchsafe to thaw our icy hearts, that they may be changed entirely to the likeness of the heart of Jesus. Infuse into them the love of thy virtues, inflame them with that blessed fire with which thou dost ever burn. In thee let the Holy Church find safe shelter; protect it, and be its sweet asylum, its tower of strength, impregnable against every inroad of its enemies. Be thou the road leading to Jesus; be thou the channel whereby we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be thou our help in need, our comfort in trouble, our strength in temptation, our refuge in persecution, our aid in all dangers; but especially in the last struggle of our life, at the moment of our death, when all hell will be unchained against us to snatch away our souls, - in that dread moment, that hour so terrible, whereon our eternity depends, and, yes, most tender Virgin, do thou then make us feel how great is the sweetness of thy motherly Heart, and the strength of thy power with the Heart of Jesus, by opening for us a safe refuge in the very fount of mercy itself, whereby we too may one day join with thee in Paradise in praising that same Heart of Jesus for ever and for ever.
August 1st was the date of his death, and is his feast in the ordinary mode of the Latin Rite. In the extraordinary mode, his feast is August 2nd, presumably to avoid conflict with that of Saint Peter Ad Vincula.
His biography from the Catholic Encyclopedia
There is an excellent short biography (20 pages, lavishly illustrated) by Brother Matthew, MICM, of Saint Alphonsus in a 1998 back issue of From the Housetops that I currently have. It can be ordered here.
I cannot personally recommend his The Glories of Mary highly enough. It is not just a book that every Catholic should own, but one that every Catholic should study and take to heart.
A selection of his spiritual writings, and those of other Redemptorists, is available on the website of the Papastronsay Sons Of the Most Holy Redeemer (formerly known as the Transalpine Redemptorists).
I highly recommend his Visits To the Blessed Sacrament, as well.
His method for making the Stations of the Cross is the very best and most timeless ever. I speak as one who grew up with the ever-so-au-courant version with pictures of little kids burned by napalm in Vietnam and other images of the 1960s rather than with genuine Catholic tradition. The best version of Saint Alphonsus' Stations, convenient for carrying with you into church for the devotion, is available from TAN for only $1.50.
Saint Alphonsus, who suffered terrible arthritic pain and a curvature of the spine that left his chin impressed onto his chest for the last years of his life, is the patron of those suffering from arthritis.
He painted this crucifix:
This is one of his most urgent sermons:
Sermon for the Third Sunday After Easter, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
On the value of time.
"A little while, and now you shall not see me” -John, xvi. 16.
There is nothing shorter than time, but there is nothing more valuable. There is nothing shorter than time; because the past is no more, the future is uncertain, and the present is but a moment. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said: 1' A little while, and now you shall not see me”. We may say the same of our life, which, according to St. James, is but a vapour, which is soon scattered for ever. “For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while” -James, iv. 14. But the time of this life is as precious as it is short; for, in every moment, if we spend it well, we can acquire treasures of merits for Heaven; but, if we employ time badly, we may in each moment commit sin, and merit Hell. I mean this day to show you how precious is every moment of the time which God gives us, not to lose it, and much less to commit sin, but to perform good works and to save our souls.
1. “Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee” -Isa., xlix. 8. St. Paul explains this passage, and says, that the acceptable time is the time in which. God has determined to confer his favours upon us. He then adds: “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” -II. Cor., vi. 2. The Apostle exhorts us not to spend unprofitably the present time, which he calls the day of salvation; because, perhaps, after this day of salvation, there shall be no salvation for US. The &time ' says the same Apostle, 'I is short: it remaineth that they that weep be as though they wept not; that they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not” -1. Cor., vii. 29, 30, 31. Since, then, the time which we have to remain on this Earth is short, the Apostle tells those who weep, that they ought not to weep, because their sorrows shall soon pass away; and those who rejoice, not to fix their affections on their enjoyments, because they shall soon have an end. Hence he concludes, that we should use this world, not to enjoy its transitory goods, but to merit eternal life.
2. “Son”, says the Holy Ghost, “observe the time” -Ecel., iv. 23. Son, learn to preserve time, which is the most precious, and the greatest gift that God can bestow upon you. St. Bannerdine of Sienna teaches, that time is of as much value as God; because in every moment of time well spent, the possession of God is merited. He adds, that in every instant of this life a man may obtain the pardon of his sins, the grace of God, and the glory of Paradise.” Modico tempore potest homo lucrari gratiam. et gloriam”. Hence St. Bonaventure says, that no loss is of greater moment than the loss of time” -ser. xxxvil. in Sept.
3. But, in another place, St. Bernardine says, that, though there is nothing more precious than time, there is nothing less valuable in the estimation of men. “Nil pretiosius tempore, nil vilius reputatur” -ser. ii., ad Schol. You will see some persons spending four or five hours in play. If you ask them why they lose so much time, they answer: To amuse ourselves. Others remain half the day standing in the street, or looking out from a window. If you ask them what they are doing, they shall say in reply, that they are passing the time. And why, says the same saint, do you lose this time? Why should you lose even a single hour, which the mercy of God gives you to weep for your sins, and to acquire the divine grace? “Donec hora pertranseat, quam tibi ad agendam poenitentiam, ad acquirendam. gratiam, miseratio conditoris indulserit”.
4. O time despised by men during life, how much shall you be desired at the hour of death, and particularly in the other world! Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in Heaven nor in Hell. In Hell, the damned exclaim with tears: “Oh! that an hour were given to us”. They would pay any price for an hour or for a minute, in which they might repair their eternal ruin. But this hour or minute they never shall have. In Heaven, there is no weeping; but, were the saints capable of sorrow, all their wailing should arise from the thought of having lost in this life the time in which they could have acquired greater glory, and from the conviction that this time shall never more be given to them. A deceased Benedictine nun appeared in glory to a certain person, and said, that she was in Heaven, and in the enjoyment of perfect happiness; but that, if she could desire anything it would be to return to life, and to suffer affliction, in order to merit an increase of glory. And she added, that, to acquire the glory which corresponded to a single Ave Maria, she would be content to suffer till the day of judgment, the long and painful sickness which brought on her death. Hence St. Francis Borgia was careful to employ every moment of his time for God. When others spoke of useless things, he conversed with God by holy affections: and so recollected was he, that, when asked his opinion on the subject of conversation, he knew not what answer to make. Being corrected for this, he said: I am content to be considered stupid rather than lose my time in vanities.
5. Some of you will say:What evil am I doing? Is it not, I ask, an evil to spend your time in plays, in conversations, and useless occupations, which are unprofitable to the soul? Does God give you this time to lose it?” Let not”, says the Holy Ghost,” the part of a good gift overpass thee” -Eccl., xiv. 14. The workmen of whom St. Matthew speaks, did no evil; they only lost time by remaining idle in the streets. But they were rebuked by the father of the family, saying: “Why stand you here all the day idle?” -Matt., xx. 6. On the day of judgment Jesus Christ shall demand an account, not only of every month and day that has been lost, but even of every idle word. Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment” -Matt., xii. 36. He shall likewise demand an account of every moment of the time which you shall lose. According to St. Bernard, all time which is not spent for God, is lost time.” Omne tempus quo de Deo non cogitasti, cogita te perdidisse” -Coll. I., cap. viii. Hence the Holy Ghost says:” Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly; for neither work nor reason shall be in Hell, whither thou art hastening” -Ecel., ix. 10. What you can do to-day, defer not till to-morrow; for, on to-morrow you may be dead, and may be gone into another world, where you shall have no more time to do good, and where you shall only enjoy the reward of your virtues, or suffer the punishment due to your sins.” To-day, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts” -Ps., xeiv. 8. God calls you to confess your sins, to restore ill-gotten goods, to be reconciled with your enemies. Obey his call to-day; for it may happen that, on to-morrow, time may be no more for you, or that God will call you no more. All our salvation depends on corresponding with the divine calls, and at the time that God calls us.
6. But some of you will perhaps say: I am young; after some time I will give myself to God. But, remember that the Gospel tells us, that Jesus Christ cursed the fig tree which he found without fruit, although the season for figs had not yet arrived.“It was not the time for figs” -Mark, xi. 13. By this the Saviour wished to signify, that man at all times, even in youth, should produce fruits of good works; and that otherwise, like the fig tree, he shall be cursed, and shall produce no fruit for the future. “May no man hereafter eat any more fruit of thee for ever” -ibid., v. 14. “Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day; for his wrath shall come on a sudden” -Eccl., v. 8, 9. If you find your soul in the state of sin, delay not your repentance nor your confession; do not put them off even till to-morrow; for, if you do not obey the voice of God calling you to-day to confess your sins, death may this day overtake you in sin, and to-morrow there may be no hope of salvation for you. The Devil regards the whole of our life as very short, and therefore he loses not a moment of time, but tempts us day and night. “The Devil is come down unto you having great wrath, knowing that he bath but a short time” -Apoc., xii. 12. The enemy, then, never loses time in seeking to bring us to Hell: and shall we squander the time which God has given us to save our souls?
7. You say:I will hereafter give myself to God. But “why”, answers St. Bernard, “do you, a miserable sinner, presume on the future, as if the Father placed time in your power?” -serm. xxxviii. de Part., etc. Why do you presume that You will hereafter give yourself to God, as if he had given to you the time and opportunity of returning to him whenever you wish? Job said with trembling, that he knew not whether another moment of his life remained:” For I know not how long I shall continue, and whether after a while my Maker may take me away” -xxxii. 22. And you say: I will not go to confession to-day; I will think of it to-morrow. “Diem tenes”, says St. Augustine, “qui horam non tenes”. How can you promise yourself another day, when you know not whether you shall live for an hour? “If”, says St. Teresa, “you are not prepared to die to-day, tremble, lest you die an unhappy death”.
8. St. Bernardine weeps over the blindness of those negligent Christians, who squander the days of salvation, and never consider that a day once lost shall never return.” Transeunt dies, salutis et nemo recogitat sibi perire diem et nunquam. rediturum” -Serm. ad Scholar. At the hour of death they shall wish for another year, or for another day; but they shall not have it: they shall then be told that time shall be no more. What price would they not then give for another week, for a day, or even for an hour, to prepare the account which they must then render to God? St. Lawrence Justinian says, that for a single hour they would give all their property, all their honours, and all their delights. “Erogaret opes, honores, delicias, pro una horula” -Vit. Solit., cap. x. But this hour shall not be granted to them. The priest who attends them shall say: Depart, depart immediately from this Earth; for you time is no more. Go forth, Christian soul, from this world”.
9. What will it profit the sinner who has led an irregular life, to exclaim at death: Oh! that I had led a life of sanctity I Oh! that I had spent my years in loving God! How great is the anguish of a traveller, who, when the night has fallen, perceives that he has missed the way, and that there is no more time to correct his mistake! Such shall be the anguish at death of those who have lived many years in the world, but have not spent them for God. “The night cometh, when no man can work” -John, ix. 4. Hence the Redeemer says to all: “Walk whilst you have light, that the darkness overtake you not” -John, xii. 35. Walk in the way of salvation, now that you have the light, before you are surprised by the darkness of death, in which you can do nothing. You can then only weep over the time which you have lost.
10. “He hath called against me the time” -Thren., i. 15. At the hour of death, conscience will remind us of all the time which we have had to become saints, and which we have employed in multiplying our debts to God. It will remind us of all the calls and of all the graces which he has given us to make us love him, and which we have abused. At that awful moment, we shall also see that the way to salvation is closed for ever. In the midst of these remorses, and of the torturing darkness of death, the dying sinner shall say: Oh! fool that I have been! O life mispent! O lost years, in which I could have gained treasures of merits, and have become a saint I but, I have neglected both, and now the time of saving my soul is gone for ever. But, of what use shall these railings and lamentations be, when the scene of this world is about to close, the lamp is on the point of being extinguished, and when the dying Christian has arrived at that great moment on which eternity depends?
11. “Be you then also ready; for, at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come” -Luke, xii. 40. The Lord says: “Be prepared”. He does not tell us to prepare ourselves when death approaches, but to be ready for his coming; because when we think least of death, the Son of Man shall come and demand an account of our whole life. In the confusion of death, it will be most difficult to adjust our accounts, so as to appear guiltless before the tribunal of Jesus Christ. Perhaps death may not come upon us for twenty or thirty years; but it may also come very soon, perhaps in a year or in a month. If any one had reason to fear that a trial should take place, on which his life depended, he certainly would not wait for the day of trial, but would as soon as possible employ an advocate to plead his cause. And what do we do? We know for certain that we must one day be judged, and that on the result of that judgment our eternal, not our temporal, life depends. We also know that that day may be very near at hand; and still we lose our time, and, instead of adjusting our accounts, we go on daily multiplying the crimes which will merit for us the sentence of eternal death.
12. If, then, we have hitherto employed our time in offending God, let us henceforth endeavour to bewail our misfortune for the remainder of our life, and say continually with the penitent King Ezechias: “I will recount to thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul” -Isa., xxxviii. 15. The Lord gives us the remaining days of life, that we may compensate the time that has been badly spent.” Whilst we have time, let us work good” -Galat., vi. 10. Let us not provoke the Lord to punish us by an unhappy death; and if, during the years that are past, we have been foolish, and have offended him, let us now attend to the Apostle exhorting us to be wise for the future, and to redeem the time we have lost.” See, therefore, brethren, now you walk circumspectly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil,... understanding 'g what is the will of God” -Epli., v. 15, 16, 17. “The days are evil”. According to St. Anselm, the meaning of' these words is, that the days of this life are evil, because in them we are exposed to a thousand temptations are evil; and dangers of eternal misery; and therefore, to escape perdition, all possible care is necessary. “What”, says St. Augustine, “is meant by redeeming the time, unless, when necessary, to submit to temporal loss in order to gain eternal goods?” -de hom. 50, hom. 1. We should live only to fulfil with all diligence the divine will; and, should it be necessary, it is better to suffer in temporal things, than to neglect our eternal interests. Oh! how well did St. Paul redeem the time which he had lost! St. Jerome says, that though the last of the apostles, he was, on account of his great labours, the first in merits.” Paul, the last in order, but the first in merits, because he laboured more than all”. Let us consider that, in each moment, we may lay up greater treasures of eternal goods. If the possession of all the land round which you could walk, or of all the money which you could count in a day, were promised you, would you lose time? or would you not instantly begin to walk over the ground, or to reckon the money? You now have it in your power to acquire, in each moment, eternal treasures; and will you, notwithstanding, mispend your time? Do not say, that what you can do to-day, you can also do to-morrow; because this day shall then be lost to you, and shall never return. You have this day; but perhaps to-morrow will not be given you.
Friday, August 01, 2008
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and life-giving fountain of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and glowing furnace of love, Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary. O adorable and glorious Savior, consume my heart with that burning fire that ever inflames Thy Heart.
Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love. Let my heart be so united with Thine that our wills may be one, and mine may in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy Will be the rule of both my desires and my actions.
by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Remember, this is not only Friday, August 1st, it is the First Friday of August, for purposes of devotion to the Sacred Heart.
The Feast of Saint Peter Ad Vincula is the Feast of Peter's Chains. Saint Peter, having been arrested, was held in custody, but miraculously was permitted to escape. Two links said to be from the chain that he was confined in are venerated at the church of Saint Peter Ad Vincula at Rome.
The Feast of Saint Peter's Chains was superimposed over the pre-Christian start of the harvest festivals (but with less success than with Christmas, Easter, and All Saints' Day). Though Lammas has lost much of its significance in the last hundred years, it has more cultural resonance than Saint Peter's Chains.
In Western Europe, the harvest is about 3 weeks earlier, on average, than in New England. We think of harvest time as September and October. But even in our own suburban gardens, aren't the first tomatoes ready about now? Raspberries and blackberries are a few days away. Sweet corn is about ready here. Apples will start ripening in a few weeks. Six weeks to fresh sweet cider!
While we are in agriculture mode, a rather rare thing for me, take a look at Mary Alexander's gardening tips.
Just because we are no longer an agricultural society does not mean that we need to lose touch with the traditional seasonal tempo of life.
This was also the beginning of the Autumn fair season. One still hears an Irish folk song called "The Oulde Lammas Faire."
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
At the ould Lammas Fair boys were you ever there
Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
To some Dulse and Yellow Man
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
In Flander's fields afar while resting from the War
We drank Bon Sante to the Flemish lassies O!
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky from eating Yellow Man
As we passed the silver Margy and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
There's a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde
It's lit by love and sunshine where the heather honey's made
With the bees ever humming and the children's joyous call
Resounds across the valley as the shadows fall
Sure I take my fiddle down and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem'ry of the Lammas Fair
For your edification in things edible and Irish, Dulse is a dried seaweed eaten as a vegetable, and Yellowman is a kind of toffee.
Think about it--there are 7 or 8 weeks to the Topsfield Fair and other fairs start before that. King Richard's Medieval Faire starts Labor Day weekend in . Many towns on the North Shore have their August festivals, probably the equivalent of the medieval fair near Lammas. Salem has its Heritage Days in August, a week-long festival of street fair, parade, and fireworks, along with ice cream "Scooper Bowls and Chowderfests. Beverly has Homecoming Week, and Newburyport has Yankee Homecoming this month.
Many towns in medieval and early modern Europe held large fairs on or near Lammas that brought people from far and near to the closest thing Europe then had to a mall. In medieval Europe, those fairs took on a much greater commercial significance than their descendants do today. The fairs were mobile, spending a few days in a given location (like a modern carnival).
The largest Lammas Fair that continues to this day is the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Lammas is the only resting point we have until the Feast of the Assumption in two weeks. It is our chance to assess how the summer is going, whether it will be an early autumn, or whether the heat will persist past Labor Day.
You don't need to be Haydn Pearson (The Countryman essayist in The New York Times 50 years ago) to notice that Autumn is on the way. Some sickly trees will start to change by the end of the month. In fact, I was shocked to see trees near the Prudential Center in Boston starting to turn yellow two weeks ago! Despite signs of the approach of fall, it may still be hot now and then, especially in early August. The "Dog Days," which began July 25th or so, may hold sway until the middle of the month. But the cooler days will start to be noticed more, especially after the fifteenth of August. By mid-month the growing shortness of the days will be evident.
With regard to the "Dog Days," a reader last year very helpfully sent this in for our edification (thank you very much!):
2) These Transitus days give us an extra bonus for feasting days of saints we love. St. Swithin's Feast is July 2, but "St. Swithin's Day" is July 15, his Transitus; and it is on the latter date that the weather depends. In France the weather saint is St. Medard (June 8), and the farmers know that "Quand it pleut a la saint-Medard, it pleut pour quarante jours plus tard."
3) In the USA, July 3 marks the beginning of Dog Days, and if it rains on this day, you'll have plenty of rain for the forty-day period of Dog Days. Plus the usual phenomena of dogs getting irritable and snakes biting more frequently, with especially powerful venom. My grandmother used to keep a dish filled with water in the yard for the dogs during Dog Days.
Autumn-themed decor started showing up in stores a few weeks ago. There were back-to-school displays (stacks of binders) in Walmart in June, a few days after school ended! And this past weekend (at the end of July!), I saw in a TJ Maxx/HomeGoods store a startling array of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving decorative items. What, no Christmas decorations yet?
Unfortunately, I and my fellow ragweed allergy sufferers will start to be miserable in about 10 days, and will stay that way until the first hard frost in October. It has not bothered me as much in Salem or in Boston. Not much ragweed nearby to trouble me. But when I am in the suburbs, or in more rural areas, gosh do my sinuses act up!
May the Lord bless this harvest and provide ample food for all His people. As a practical matter, your local food pantry does not want you to bake a loaf of bread for them. But today, as we celebrate the harvest, it would be great to write a $10.00 check to them, so they can buy bread for ten families for the week.
Bread For Lammas
Since this is the day to celebrate first fruits of the wheat harvest, why not share a few recipes for bread? After all, grains are the staff of life, and are basic to our culture, indeed to all human survival. And the Bible is full of references to bread and its liturgical significance.
Our Lord decided upon bread as the form His Body would take for us.
The liturgical readings at Mass at this time of year focus on grain, wheat, bread, and the harvest.
And I must admit a terrific fondess for breads. Indeed, you might say that my body has never met a carbohydrate it did not take a serious liking to, and invite to stick around for life in a pleasant spot around my middle.
I'll give three recipes for bread today, all of which I am fond of. All are for a 1 pound bread machine, which I use for most of my breads.
Rosemary Currant Focaccia Bread
3/4 cup water, warm
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped*
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tspns Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast
1/2 cup Sun-Maid Raisins or Currants
Measure carefully, adding ingredients to bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Manual cycle. Add raisins or currants at the raisin/nut cycle or 5 minutes before last kneading cycle ends.
Lightly grease a large cookie sheet, Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin into a 12-inch circle for 1 pound loaf on lightly floured surface, Place on cookie sheet. Cover top of bread with plastic wrap and place in a warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until dough has almost doubled. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or your fingertips, make indentations in top of dough.
Heat oven to 400 °F. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into wedges.
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves may be substituted for 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves.
Classic French Bread
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 white from large egg
1 tablespoon water
Add ¾ cup [1¼ cups] water, salt, bread flour, and yeast to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough/manual cycle.
When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Roll dough into a 15x10 inch rectangle. [For 1½ pound recipe, divide dough in half and roll each half into a 10x8 inch rectangle.]
Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as you do for a jelly roll. Pinch the seams and ends to seal. Taper ends by gently rolling back and forth. Place each loaf, seam side down, on a greased baking or cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly brush each loaf with the vegetable oil. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, about 10 to 15 minutes. With a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about ¼ inch deep across the top of each loaf. Lightly beat egg white and 1 tablespoon water; brush some of the egg-white mixture over top of each loaf. This will give it the traditional 'shine' on the Classic French Bread(s). Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Brush again with remaining egg white mixture. Bake 5 tp 10 minutes more or until done--bread should sound hollow when tapped. (For even browning when baking two loaves, switch positions of sheets halfway through baking). Remove the bread(s) from the sheet(s); cool on wire rack.
Cycle: Use the dough/manual cycle.
Sweet Orange Bread
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Water (warm)
1 Large egg
2 tablespoons Orange juice concentrate
3 tablespoons Sugar
4 teaspoons Nonfat Dry milk
2 cups Bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Bread machine yeast
Add ingredients to the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer, adding the Orange Juice Concentrate with the liquid. To measure 1/2 an egg, lightly beat egg before measuring; one-half egg is equivalent to 2 tablespoons. Adjust dough consistency -- (see Adjusting Dough Consistency tip below).
Recommended cycle: Basic/white bread cycle; light or medium/normal crust color setting, or as desired. Remove bread from pan, cool on wire-rack.
Tip: Checking Dough Consistency:
Check dough after 5 minutes mixing; if should form a soft, smooth ball around the blade. If dough is too stiff or dry, add additional liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough is of the right consistency. If dough is too soft of sticky, add additional bread flour, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Mushrooms blooming in Concord in august. Ah, mushrooms, not just blooming through my bedroom carpet anymore.
Important feasts celebrated during August include:
1st St. Peter Ad Vincula (Lammas)
2nd St. Alphonsus Liguori
4th St. Dominic de Guzman
6th The Transfiguration
7th St. Cajetan
8th St. Jean Marie Vianney
9th St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
10th St. Lawrence
12th St. Clare of Assisi
15th Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
16th St. Stephen of Hungary
18th St. Jane Frances de Chantal
19th St. John Eudes
20th St. Bernard
22th The Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Lady(moved to the Friday after Sacred Heart)
24th St. Bartholomew
25th St. Louis of France
27th St. Monica (new date)
28th St. Augustine of Hippo
29th Martyrdom of John the Baptist
30th St. Rose of Lima
Note, August, especially early August, is one of the places where feasts in the traditional Ordo, and those of the new Ordo differ the most. I follow the traditional Ordo for the most part, though I acknowledge the changes made, and note new saints added to the calendar.
The monthly dedication for August is to the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Lady.
August falls entirely within the Time After Pentecost. There are no embertides in August.
Since August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart, and the Feast of the Assumption (a holy day of obligation) falls on August 15th, it would be appropriate to make a novena to the Immaculate Heart beginning August 5th, and ending on the vigil of the Assumption:
Novena To the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary, full of love for God and mankind,
and of compassion for sinners, I consecrate myself entirely to thee.
I entrust to thee the salvation of my soul. May my heart be ever
united with thine, so that I may hate sin, love God, and my
neighbor, and reach eternal life together with those whom I love.
Mediatrix of All Graces and Mother of Mercy, remember
the infinite treasure which thy Divine Son has merited by His
sufferings and which He has confided to thee for us, thy children.
Filled with confidence in thy motherly Heart, which I venerate
and love, I come to thee with my pressing needs.
Through the merits of thy loving Heart, and for the sake of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus, obtain for me the favor I ask:
[Mention your request.]
Dearest Mother, if what I ask for should not be according to
God's Will, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater
benefit to my soul. May I experience the kindness of thy
motherly Heart and the power of thine intercession with Jesus
during life and at the hour of my death.
Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's published prayer intentions for the month of August, 2008:
That the human family may learn to respect God’s plan for the world and become ever more aware that Creation is God’s great gift.
That the answer of the entire people of God to the common calling to holiness and mission may be promoted and fostered by means of careful discernment of charisms and constant commitment to spiritual and cultural formation
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Founder of the Society of Jesus. Since I spent 7 years in a Jesuit school, though it was the very secular and very liberal Boston College, Saint Ignatius deserves a nod. He envisioned the Jesuits as much better than they have been in the last 50 years. And remember, the early Jesuits were the leaders in devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Of course, there is the old joke about two college students thinking about the priesthood, and examining orders they might join. One was reading about the Jesuits, and the Dominicans.
He said to his companion, "What is there to pick from between these two orders? They were both founded by Spaniards in pre-modern times to fight heresy through education and preaching. The Dominicans were founded to fight Albigensianism, and the Jesuits to fight Protestantism."
"So," his companion asked, "What is the difference between them?".
"Well, off the top of my head, all I can come up with is to ask, 'When was the last time you saw an Albigensian walking the streets?'."
Check out Catholic Tradition's page on Saint Ignatius.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Reminds me of Come Rack! Come Rope! by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, that I read three summers ago.
Tip of the silver-laced cocked hat to Father Finigan.
And fading just as fast are the Red Sox, after losing 2/3 to the Yankees at Fenway, and the first two games of a series with the California Angels. The offensive has been anemic, the bullpen has been a disater, and the starters have not impressed, especially Beckett, who is no where near the 20-win form of last year. Even Papelbon has lost some luster. The Yankees and Angels have made trades to make their teams better, and all the Red Sox have managed to do is make a trade of the ever-annoying Manny Ramirez for a ham sandwich of any vintage a necessity.
Objectively, the Red Sox have not done so badly. They have the fourth-best record in baseball. Tampa Bay is better, the Angels are better, and, in the National League, the Chicago Cubs are better. They are still ahead of the Yankees. Schilling is out for the year, and maybe forever. They went without Big Papi for two months. Rotation gap-filler Bartolo Colon is out. Dice-K has been sidelined, but is back. Mike Lowell was out for a while. Ramirez is said (by professional Manny apologist Coco Crisp) to be playing with a sore knee. The whole team spent two weeks coping with the flu a couple of months back. And there was the very stupid and pointless Japan trip at the start of the year, disrupting and curtailing training, and leaving everyone tired and vulnerable to the flu that devastated the team.
But there are still reasons to be severely disappointed. Terry Francona is no field general in the Earl Weaver mode. He is more of a personnel manager, who tries to keep everyone happy. Maybe the team needs someone to scream, yell, go into hysterics, and throw a general nutty at them, like a Billy Martin would do.
Obviously, the management (and by this, I mean Theo) has overestimated the value of the young pitchers, especially Lester and Bucholz. Either could have been traded for players who would have really helped the team much more than they have.
And Beckett and Wakefield, so brilliant last year, have been mediocre at best this year.
Varitek needs to sit down, with his awful batting slump. I don't think he is done, but what he really needs is to spend the winter training with a real Charlie Lau-style hitting guru, the way Dwight Evans did in the late 1970s, and remake himself as a hitter.
In the bullpen, the less we see of Aardsma, Timlin, and especially Delcarmen, the better. Okajima seems to have had some sort of crisis of confidence, and is building himself back.
Manny needs to go, as he is a disruptive influence on the team. No more Manny Drama!
The season isn't lost yet. There are still around 50-60 games left. They are only out of first place in the AL East by 2 games. But the team really needs to turn things around, and fast. The track they are on is not a good one. They need bullpen help, and they need a hot bat or two. And they need the starters to man up, bear down, get the job done, and start hanging some numbers in their Win columns. If they don't, this will be a repeat of 1976.
Terry Francona plays to squeak into the playoffs, if necessary by the Wild Card. He should be playing to dominate, and win every game, and win the AL East by 10 games.