Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday In the Michaelmas Embertide

OK, this time it really is the last Ember Day until the week before Christmas.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy Heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that: every thought of my mind and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy Divine Son, Jesus; keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in Heaven and sing thy glories.

Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy Divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never ending joy at His triumph, obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the Sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Of the Michaelmas Embertide

For real, this time. Again, sorry about last week's false Embertide alarm.


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Dearest JESUS, Whose love poured forth upon mankind is so ungratefully repaid with forgetfulness, coldness, and disdain, behold us prostrate before Thine Altar. We strive to pay Thee special honour and thus make amends for the wrong done on every side to Thy loving Heart.

Nevertheless remembering that even we have not always been free from that guilt and unworthiness, moved too by deep sorrow, first of all we entreat Thy mercy for ourselves. We are ready and longing to make amends, not only for our own wrongdoing, but also for the wickedness of others who, straying from the path of salvation and stubborn in disobedience, refuse to follow thee, their shepherd and guide, or trampling under foot the vows of their Baptism, have shaken off the sweet yoke of Thy law. For all this grievous sin we are eager to atone, and moreover resolute to amend each separate evil; whatever is immodest and shameful whether in life or in attire; the many snares set for the undoing of innocent souls; Holy days dishonoured; loathsome blasphemies against thee and Thy Saints: insults offered to Thy Vicar and Thy priesthood; the very Sacrament of Divine Love slighted or profaned by dreadful sacrilege; lastly, the open affronts of nations which deny her just rights to the Church founded by thee, and reject her

Would that with our own blood we could wash away these offences. Still that the outraged honour of God may be restored, we can and we do invoke that atonement which once upon the Cross Thou didst offer to Thy Father, and which day by day thou dost ever renew upon the Altar. And we join therewith the expiation made by the Virgin Mother, by all the Saints, and by the piety of Thy faithful. From our hearts we promise -----Thy grace aiding us-----to make good, so far as in us lies, for our own past sins and those of others, and for all our indifference to Thy great love, by steadfast faith, innocency of life, perfect observance of the laws of Thy Gospel, most of all the law of charity; and furthermore to hinder with all our might every offence against Thee and to enlist in Thy following all whomsoever we may.

Most gracious Jesus, accept, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of our Blessed Lady, our Patroness in Reparation, the obedience which freely offers this expiation, vouchsafe to bestow upon us the great grace of perseverance, deign to keep us faithful in Thy service even unto death; so that we may all at last reach our home where Thou dost live and reign with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not An Ember Day

Thursday never is. So you can enjoy that Steak Bomb sub in good conscience.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Lady Of Ransom

Today we have two feasts of Our Blessed Lady to celebrate!


Our Lady Of Walsingham

In the wracks of Walsingam
Whom should I chuse
But the Queene of Walsingam
To be guide to my muse?

Then, thou Prince of Walsingam
Graunt me to frame
Bitter plaintes to rewe thy wronge
Bitter wo for thy name.

Bitter was it, oh to see
The sely sheepe
Murdered by the raveninge wolves
While the sheepharde did sleep.

Bitter was it, oh, to viewe
The sacred vyne
Whiles the gardiners plaied all close
Rooted up by the swine.

Such were the worth of Walsingam
While she did stand
Such are the wrackes as now do shewe
Of that (so) holy lande.

Levell, levell with the ground
The Towres doe lye
Which with their golden, glit-t'ring tops
Pearsed oute to the skye.

Where weare gates noe gates are nowe,
The waies unknowen,
Where the presse of freares did passe
While her fame far was blowen.

Oules do scrike where the sweetest himnes
Lately wear songe,
Toades and serpents hold their dennes
Where the palmers did throng.

Weep, weep O Walsingam,
Whose dayes are nightes,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deedes to dispites.

Sinne is where our Ladye sate,
Heaven turned is to helle;
Sathan sitte where our Lord did swaye,
Walsingam, oh, farewell!

From Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars


The Sox Are In the Playoffs

The Red Sox clinched at least an American League Wild Card berth in the playoffs, despite a season that has been disappointing in many respects so far. They have not been as good in most respects as last year's World Series Championship team, with off years from Beckett, Wakefield, Okajima, and Papelbon (compared to last year, anyway), and with Schilling probably gone for good, and Manny justly exiled to the Dodgers.

The bright spots have been the MVP-quality play of Pedroia, a very good year from Youkilis, Lowell and Big Papi chipping in despite injury, and Matsuzaka leading the staff with wins, as well as good ensemble performances from Byrdand Colon, as well as Jason Bay's emergence.

Champagne was flowing last night at Fenway, and let us hope it was not for the last time this fall.

The challenge will be daunting. If they don't overtake Tampa Bay's 3 game lead in the final days of the season, they will face the Angels' juggernaut in the first round of the playoffs, and California, sorry, Anaheim, sorry, Los Angeles, has OWNED the Sox this season. And Tampa Bay has had the Sox' number all season, too. Their best chance would be against the White Sox, who are a team very close to them in talent and record. I think any AL team will tear to shreds their National League counterpart in the World Series.

Enjoy the moment, Red Sox Nation. Let us hope we see the champagne corks popping 3 more times at Fenway before 2008 is out.

Oh yeah, and there was more good news at the same time. With their 5-4 victory over Cleveland last night, the Sox eliminated the Yankees from the post-season picture. That might be sweeter for some in Red Sox Nation than anything else.

So the most damage the Yankees can do is keep the Sox out of first place in the AL East in the three game series at Fenway that will end the regular season.

Gosh this season has just flown by!!!


More Thoughts On Pipes

From J.D. Carriere


Ember Days?

Now I will admit that I am confused.

Last week, I duly checked with the Roman Breviary, as posted on Breviary.net, and it accorded with my memory that the Michaelmas Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following Exaltation of the Cross, or Roodmas. That made them last Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. So, I duly observed them as Ember Days.

Today, I noticed something at Father Z.'s discussing Ember Days, and I see that there is some disagreement, apparently, on when they fall. I am not sure if there was a change in the rubrics of the Ordo at some time, but some, including both Father Z and The Latin Mass Society observe the Ember Days this week, today, the day after tomorrow, and this coming Saturday. Apparently, this school of thought says the Ember Days fall not on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday immediately following Roodmas, but in the following week.

I just looked at Fisheaters, and while he states in the text that the Michaelmas Embertide follows Exaltation of the Cross, he says in a footnote that they follow a full week after that feast.

I am not sure if this is a situation of one side being right, and one wrong, or both being right, depending on what authority one follows. If I misled anyone into observing the Michaelmas Ember Days at the wrong time, I deeply apologize.

So, I guess I observe two sets of Ember Days on consecutive weeks.

OK, now, after reading the comments at Father Z's and following this link, I think I understand. According to the method of calculating the Ember Days that was universal before 1960, the September Ember Days were last week, just like Breviary.net says. But the rubrics were changed in 1960 during the pontificate of Bl. John XXIII. Under the new manner of calculating the Ember Days, they must fall a full week after the Exaltation of the Cross, not in the same week.

I am reading between the lines here, but I suppose Breviary.net uses the older method because they do not accept the legitimacy of Bl. John XXIII, or anything he did. So, since I am not a sedevacantist, and accept the legitimacy of Bl. John XXIII, I should have observed the Michaelmas Ember Days this week, not last week.

Sorry about that, folks. I still have much to learn. Good thing I didn't have any meat this morning, since it is an Ember Day. For me, it's de ja vu, all over again.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tips On Smoking A Pipe

J.D. Carriere offers some pipe wisdom.

I have been smoking a pipe on and off for 20 years (ditto cigars: I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, and don't plan to start). In the last few years, my pipe smoking has taken precedence, so that cigars are a very occasional indulgence (about one every six months), but the pipe is an almost daily companion, especially in the cooler weather.

I am just now getting back to the pipe now, after a summer hiatus. There is something about the cooler weather of fall which makes a very proper association with the pipe.

We here in Boston are blessed by the presence of two of the very best tobacconists for pipe smokers: L.J. Peretti and David P. Ehrlich. I frequent both shops, though I greatly miss Ehrlich's old wonderful Tremont Street location, and dislike their new digs as part of Churchill's Cigar Bar in the Millenium Hotel across from Quincy Market.

There is something about smoking a pipe (or a cigar) that is calmly reflective. It is not the hallmark of a rushed frenetic life. A good bowl of pipe tobacco takes at least 20 minutes to smoke, and a cigar a good 45 minutes to an hour. One's smoking time is a mini-vacation from reality. It is a time out that, like a good, strong cup of coffee, brings peace, thoughtfulness, and fills the body with good feeling.

Both cigars and pipes require accessories, and I don't mean just matches. A cigarette smoker can get along with just a lighter, and maybe a case. But a pipe smoker needs pouches, racks, matches, cleaners, tools, and solution, while a cigar smoker needs a variety of cutters, a humidor, a mini-humidor to carry on one's person, and proper cigar matches.

Like wines, pipe tobaccos and cigars require extensive knowledge of brands, types, and varieties. It is not a habit for the vulgar. The cigar or pipe smoker is a true enthusiast, who relishes the product, and wants to make the most of it. Oh, yes, you can buy a pack of White Owls in much the same way as a cigarette smoker buys a pack of Camels. But White Owls are not real cigars (neither are El Productos or Dutch Masters). Machine-made cigars don't count. Only handmade cigars are real cigars to the cigar aficianado.

And then there is the ritual. With a cigarette, you put end into the flames from a lighter, and there you go. Lighting either a pipe or a cigar takes time, effort, and knowing what one is about.

Don't lecture me about cancer/cardiac risks. I do all of my smoking outside, so that actual exposure to the smoke is minimal. And I never inhale the smoke into my lungs. As to throat or mouth cancer, the once-per-day level at which I smoke has been admitted by even anti-smoking zealots to not be dangerous at all.

And think of the great conservative company one is in in the ranks of cigar/pipe smokers. John Adams and John Quincy Adams, G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh, Ronald Knox, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Jr., Tom Clancy, Jeff MacNelly, Rush Limbaugh, Paul Johnson, and Bill Bennett are just some of the famous conservatives (and note how many great Catholics are among them, too) who indulge in either the pipe or the cigar, or both.


My Mother's Tenth Anniversary

Ten years ago today, my mother died of pneumonia after a hernia operation, at the age of 75. She had been suffering from dementia for some years prior to that. My father had died at the age of 69 about 7 years prior to her death.

O God, Who hast commanded us to honor our father and mother, look in the tenderness of Thy mercy upon the souls of George, my father, and Kathryn, my mother, and forgive them their sins, and grant unto me the joy of seeing them again in the glorious light of everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord.

V. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.
R. And may perpetual light shine upon her.
V. May she rest in peace.
R. Amen.

An Irish boy was leaving,
leaving his own native home,
Crossing the broad Atlantic,
once more he wished to roam;
And as he was leaving his mother,
while standing on the quay,
She threw her arms around his neck
and these were the words she said:

A mother's love's a blessing,
no matter where you roam,
Keep her while she's living,
you'll miss her when she's gone;
Love her as in childhood,
though feeble, old and grey,
For you'll never miss your mother
'til she's buried beneath the clay.

And as the years go onward,
I'll settle down in life,
I'll find a nice young colleen,
and make her my sweet wife;
And as the kids grow older
and climb around my knee,
I'll teach them the very same lesson that
my mother once taught to me.

A mother's love's a blessing,
no matter where you roam,
Keep her while she's living,
you'll miss her when she's gone;
Love her as in childhood,
though feeble, old and grey,
For you'll never miss your mother
'til she's buried beneath the clay.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Naples Safe Again

The blood of Saint Januarius liquified on schedule.


First Day Of Autumn

It is off to a cloudy start here in Boston. But there follows a sampling of the brilliance of the season, focusing on New Hampshire.


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