Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Boston College Victory

My BC Eagles beat Kednt State as expected this afternoon at the Heights. The schedule gets a lot harder from here on in.


Nine Years Later, the War Continues

The war against Islamo-fascist terrorism that began on September 11, 2001 continues on battlefields around the world.

We fight still in Afghanistan and Iraq openly with our armed forces. We fight everywhere else a clandestine war against those who have supported or do support our enemies in any way. We fight in every nation, including, especially, our own. We fight with bombs and missiles, infantry and tanks. We fight with reconnaissance drones and satellites. We fight with surveillance and wiretapping. We fight with infiltration and disinformation. We fight by aiding political forces favorable to us, and trying to nobble those against us. We fight with radio broadcasts, book publishing, and on the internet. We fight with money to good causes. We fight with cutting off funding to the enemy from the malinformed or ill-meaning.

We fight with persuasion. And where that doesn't work, we fight with a knife across the throat in a dark alley or with the cars of those who aid our enemy suddenly exploding. We fight everywhere and at all times. We fight in defense of the West, of Christendom, of the US, of capitalism, and of political liberality.

We do not weaken. We do not cut and run. We do not back down. We stay, and we fight. We have no other choice.

The war is not separable into distinct "wars" each requiring their own justification. It is all of a piece. The "war" in Iraq is as much a campaign in this larger war as the Campaign in Italy was part of World War II. Afghanistan is as much a campaign in this larger war as the Pacific Islands were a campaign of World War II.

There is much still to do. While Islamo-fascist violence in Iraq has diminished, it is not yet quelled. Afghanistan remains a problem. So too, does Iran, and Syria, and Libya. And then there are the power vacuums in Yemen and Pakistan, where government has with one hand helped the cause of order, and with the other aided the enemy quietly. The war won't be over until there are no wealthy benefactors ready to give to the enemy, until there is no government on earth supporting it in any way, until no one dares to bear arms in the Islamo-fascist cause.

Fortunately, we are not on entirely new ground here. Wars like this one have been fought and won before. Britain against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. The US and the West against Soviet Communism. We have the examples before us, and only need to apply their lessons correctly.

It is not a glamorous war. There is little glory to be gained. But if we do not hang on and see the war through to its conclusion, no matter how many decades away that might be, we would not want to bequeath the world that would result to posterity. We are not the world's policeman. Instead, we are the world's garbage collectors. It is an appalling job. But if it isn't done (and no one else will do it) the filth will simply overwhelm us.

This is what happens when no one has taken out the trash for a long time:

We pray for the poor souls murdered by the Islamo-fascist terrorists on September 11, 2001. We pause a moment and weep for those taken from their ordinary lives by air pirates and their supporters. We remember what the murderous bastards did to us on that day. We harden our hearts and gird our loins for the fight that remains.

And we do not fool ourselves into thinking the war is won, and that it is time to withdraw and tend to our domestic problems. We do not blow the trumpet that signals retreat. We may have elected particularly obtuse leaders two years ago, people who utilize national security policy the way fish utilize bicycles. But the American people know that there is a war still to be waged and battles still to be fought.

God bless our armed forces and God bless the USA!!!


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, thou stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of thy dying Son. Look with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneels before thee. I venerate thy sorrows and I place my requests with filial confidence in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart.

Present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition. To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not to thee, Mother of Mercy? Thou hast drunk so deeply of the chalice of thy Son, thou canst compassionate our sorrows.

Holy Mary, thy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of thy divine Son. Intercede for me and obtain for me from Jesus (mention your petition) if it be for His honor and glory and for my good.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

Then, my Redeemer! if at this hour I were damned, as I have deserved, I should be obstinate in hatred against Thee, my God! who hast died for me. O God! what a hell should it be to hate Thee, who hast loved me so tenderly, who art infinite beauty, infinite goodness, and worthy of infinite love! Then if I were now in hell, I should be in such an Unhappy state, that I would not even wish for the pardon which Thou now offerest to me. My Jesus, I thank Thee for the mercy Thou hast shown me; and since I now can obtain pardon, I wish to love Thee. Thou offerest me pardon, and I ask it from Thee, and hope for it through thy merits. I am sorry for all the offences I have committed against Thee, O infinite Goodness! Pardon me, then. I love Thee with my whole soul. Ah, Lord! what evil hast Thou done me, that I should have to hate Thee forever as my enemy? And what friend have I ever had who has done and suffered so much for me as Thou, O my Jesus! hast done and suffered for me? Ah, do not permit me ever more to fall into enmity with Thee, and to lose Thy love. Take me out of life, sooner than permit this sovereign evil to befall me. O Mary! take me under thy protection, and do not permit me ever more to rebel against God and against thee.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Mid-Week Mix

Last week, we sampled Irish anti-recruiting songs. Today we see the other side of the coin, and pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Irishmen (including numerous members of my very Catholic family up until World War I) who took the King's Shilling.

The Dubliners, The Dublin Fusiliers

Makem & Clancy, One For the Morning Glory

The Pogues, Whiskey, You're the Devil

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Reilly's Daughter

Clancy, Dillon, & Clancy, The Maid Of Fife

The old guy in the middle is Bobby Clancy, the 4th Clancy Brother, who we featured last week in a solo clip of The Recruiting Serjeant, from Irish TV in the 1960s. The young guy is Finbarr Clancy, Bobby's son.

Unknown, The Enniskillen Dragoons
I fear the live performance of the Makem Brothers and Brian Sullivqan singing this song is no longer available on Youtube

Royal Ulster Regiment Re-enactors, When This Bloody War Is Over

Tribute To the Soldiers Of the Irish Regiments


The Nativity Of Our Blessed Lady

From The Golden Legend

Happy birthday, dear Mother!
Please pray for us!


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Funniest Hitler Rant Ever

Its about WWII re-enactors eating at McDonald's
Harsh language alert


Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

THE Introit for this Sunday, which now goes under the name of the Sunday of the widow of Naim, because of the Gospel read on it, gives us a sample of the prayers we should address to our Lord in our necessities. Last Sunday we heard our Jesus promising to provide for all our wants, on the condition that we would serve Him faithfully, by seeking His kingdom. When we present our petitions to Him, let us show Him the confidence He so well deserves from us; and we shall be graciously heard.

Holy Church resumes the lesson of St. Paul, where she left it last Sunday. The spiritual life--the life produced in our souls by the holy Spirit, in place of the former life of the flesh--is still the subject of the apostle's teaching. When the flesh has been subdued, we must beware of supposing that the structure of our perfection is completed. Not only must the combat be kept up after the victory, under penalty of losing all we have won, but we must also be on the watch, lest one or other of the heads of the triple concupiscence take advantage of the soul's efforts being elsewhere directed, to raise itself against us, and sting us all the more terribly, because it is left to do just as it pleases. The apostle warns us here of vain-glory, and well he may; for vain-glory is, more than other enemies, always in a menacing attitude, ready to infuse its subtle poison even into acts of humility and penance; hence the Christian, who is desirous to serve God, and not his own gratification, by the virtues he practises, must keep up a specially active vigilance over this passion.

Let us think for a moment of the madness that culprit would be guilty of, who having his sentence of death commuted for a severe flogging, should take pride in the stripes left in his body by the whip! May this madness never be ours! It would seem, however, as though it were far from being impossible, seeing how the apostle, immediately after telling us to mortify our flesh, bids us take heed of vain-glory. In fact, we are not safe on this subject, excepting inasmuch as the outward humiliation, inflicted by us on our body, has this for its principle, that our soul should voluntarily humble herself at the sight of her miseries. The ancient philosophers, too, had their maxims about the restraint of the senses; but those among them who practised those admirably worded maxims found them a stepping-stone for their pride to mount up mountains high in self-conceit. It could not be otherwise; for they were totally devoid of anything like the sentiments which actuated our fathers in the faith, who, when they clad themselves in sackcloth and prostrated on the ground, cried out from the heartfelt conviction of the miseries of human nature:`Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy! for I was conceived in iniquities, and my sin is ever before me!'

To practise bodily mortification, with a view to get the reputation of being saints, is it not doing what St. Paul here calls sowing in the flesh, that in due time--that is, on the day when the intentions of our hearts will be made manifest --we may reap, not life and glory everlasting, but endless disgrace and shame? Among the works of the flesh mentioned in last Sunday's Epistle, we found contentions, dissensions, jealousies, all of which are the ordinary outcome of this vain-glory, against which the apostle is now warning us. The production of such rotten fruits would be an unmistakable sign that the heavenly sap of grace had gone from our souls, and that in its stead there had been brought the fermentation of sin; and that now, having made ourselves slaves as of old, we must tremble because of the penalties threatened by God's law. God is not mocked; and as to the confidence which generous fidelity of love imparts to those who live by the Spirit, it would, in the case we are now supposing, be but a hypocritical counterfeit of the holy liberty of the children of God. They alone are His children, whom the holy Spirit leads in charity; those others are led on by the flesh, and such cannot please God.

If, on the contrary, we would have an equally unmistakable sign which is quite compatible with the obscurities of faith, that we are really in possession of divine union, let us not take occasion from the sight of others' defects and faults to be puffed up with pride, but rather from the consideration of our own miseries, be indulgent to everyone else. If others fall, let us give them a helping and prudent hand. Let us bear one another's burdens along the road of life, and then, having thus fulfilled the law of Christ, we shall know (and oh! the joy there is in such knowing!) that we abide in Him, and He in us. These most thrilling words were made use of by our Lord to express the future intimacy He would have with those who should eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood in holy Communion; and St. John, who has recorded them in his Gospel, takes them and uses them in his Epistles, and (let us mark the deep mystery of the application) applies them to all who, in the Holy Ghost, observe the great commandment of loving their neighbours.

Would to God we could ever have ringing in our ears the saying of the apostle: Whilst we have time, let us work good to all men! For the day will come (and it is not so very far off) when the angel, carrying the mysterious book, and having one foot on the earth and the other on the sea, shall make his mighty voice as that of a lion heard through the universe, and, with his hand lifted up towards heaven, shall swear by Him that liveth for ever and ever, that time shall be no more. Then will man reap with joy what he shall have sown in tears; he failed not, he grew not weary of doing good while in the dreary land of his exile; still less will he ever tire of the everlasting harvest, which is to be in the living light of the eternal day.

As we sing the Gradual, let us remember that the only praise which gives God pleasure is that which goes up to Him from a soul where reigns the harmony of the several virtues. The Christian life, which is regulated by the ten commandments, is the ten-stringed psaltery, on which the Finger of God, the Holy Ghost, plays to the Spouse the music that He loves to hear.

This is the second time during the year that holy Church offers this Gospel to our consideration; we cannot be surprised at this, for the fathers selected by her as its interpreters tell us, on both of these occasions, that the afflicted mother who follows her son to the grave is the Church herself.

The first time we saw her under this symbol, of a mother mourning for her child, was in the penitential season of Lent. She was then, by her fasting and prayer (united as those were with her Jesus' sufferings), preparing the resurrection of such of our brethren as were dead in sin. Their resurrection was realized, and we had them, in all the fullness of their new life, seated side by side with us at the Paschal Table. What exquisite joy, on that feast of feasts, inundated the mother's heart, as she thus shared in the triumphant gladness of her divine Spouse! Jesus was, by His one Resurrection, twice over the conqueror of death--He rose from the grave, and He gave back the child to the mother. The disciples of this risen Lord, who follow Him closely by their observance of the evangelical counsels, they, and the whole multitude that associated themselves with the Church, glorified Jesus for His wonderful works, and sang the praises of God who thus vouchsafed to visit His people. The mother ceased to weep. But since then the Spouse has again left her, to return to His Father; she has resumed her widow's weeds, and her sufferings are continually adding to the already well-nigh insupportable torture of her exile. And whence these sufferings? From the relapses of so many of those ungrateful children of hers, to whom she had given a second birth, and at the cost of such pains and tears! The countless cares she then spent over her sinners, and that new life she gave them in the presence of her dying Jesus--all this made each of the penitents, during the Great Week, as though he were the only son ofthat mother. What an intense grief, says St. John Chrysostom, that so loving a mother should see them relapsing, after the communion of such mysteries, into sin which kills them!`Spare me,' as she may well say, in the words which the holy doctor puts into the apostle's mouth.`Spare me! No other child, once born into this world, ever made his mother suffer the pangs of child-birth over again!' To repair the relapse of a sinner costs her no less travail than to give birth to such as have never believed.

And if we compare these times of ours with the period when sainted pastors made her words respected all over the world, is there a single Christian still faithful to the Church, who does not feel impelled by such contrast to be more and more devoted to a mother so abandoned as she now is? Let us listen to the eloquent words of St. Laurence Justinian on this subject.`Then,' says he,`all resplendent with the mystic jewels wherewith the Bridegroom had beautified her on the wedding-day, she thrilled with joy at the increase of her children, both in merit and in number; she urged them to ascend to ever greater heights; she offered them to God; she raised them in her arms up towards heaven. Obeyed by them, she was, in all truth, the mother of fair love and of fear ; she was beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array, She stretched out her branches as the turpentine-tree, and beneath their shadow she sheltered those whom she had begotten against the heat, and the tempest, and the rain. So long, then, as she could she laboured, feeding at her breasts all those she was able to assemble. But her zeal, great as it was, has redoubled from the time she perceived that many, yea very many, had lost their first fervour. Now for many years she is mourning at the sight of how, each day, her Creator is offended, how great are the losses she sustains, and how many of her children suffer death. She that was once robed in scarlet has put on mourning garments; her fragrance is no longer perceived by the world; instead of a golden girdle, she has but a cord, and instead of the rich ornament of her breast, she is vested in haircloth, Her lamentations and tears are ceaseless. Ceaseless is her prayer, striving if, by some way, she may make the present as beautiful as times past; and yet, as though it were impossible for her to call back that lovely past, she seems wearied with such supplication. The word of the prophet has come true:``They are all gone aside, they are become unprofitable together; there is none that doth good, no, not one!'' . . .The manifold sins committed by the Church's children against the divine precepts show that they who so sin are rotten members, members alien to the body of Christ. Nevertheless the Church forgets not that she gave them birth in the laver of salvation; she forgets not the promises they then made to renounce the devil, and the pomps of the world, and all sin. Therefore does she weep over their fall, being their true mother, and never losing the hope of winning their resurrection by her tears. Oh what a flood of tears is thus every day shed before God! What fervent prayers does this spotless virgin send, by the ministry of the holy angels, up to Christ, who is the salvation of1 sinners! In the secret of hearts, in lonely retreats, as well as in her public temples, she cries out to the divine mercy, that they, who are now buried in the filth of vice, may be restored to life. Who shall tell the joy of her heart, when she receives back living, the children she mourned over as dead? If the conversion of sinners is such joy to heaven, what must it be to such a mother? According to the multitude of the sorrows of her heart, so will be the consolations, giving joy to her soul.'

It is the duty of us Christians, who by God's mercy have been preserved from the general decay, to share in the anguish of our mother, the Church; we should humbly but fervently co-operate with her in all her zealous endeavours to reclaim our fallen brethren. We surely can never be satisfied with not being of the number of those senseless sons who are a sorrow to their mother, and despise the labour of her that bore them. Had we not the holy Spirit to tell us how he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up to himself a treasure, the thought of what our birth cost her would force us to do everything that lies in our power to comfort her. She is the dear bride of the Incarnate Word; and our souls, too, aspire to union with Him. Let us prove that such union is really ours by doing as the Church does; that is, by showing in our acts the one thought, the one love which the divine Spouse always imparts to souls that enjoy holy intimacy with Him, because there is nothing He Himself has so much at heart; the thought of bringing the whole world to give glory to His eternal Father, and the love of procuring salvation for sinners.

Let us unite with the Church, our mother, in singing now in the Offertory the realization, in part at least, of her expectations; let not our lips ever be shut up in senseless silence when we have our God bestowing favours on us.


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