Saturday, May 24, 2003
Mrs. F. had her surgery last night. The nurses told me (and getting any information with the new privacy law is not easy) that the surgery went well. It was the old-fashioned kind of gall bladder removal, not laproscopic surgery. So she will be in the hospital for about 5 days. I'll obviously be spending a lot of time there until she is released.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers. Please keep them coming for a speedy and complete recovery without any post-operative complications.
Mary: Our Mother
"Find our for yourself by personal experience the meaning of Mary's maternal love. It is not enough just to know that she is our Mother, and to think and talk about her as such. She is your Mother and you are her child. She loves you as if you were her only child in this world. Treat her accordingly. Tell her about everything that happens to you; honor her and love her. No one will do it for you or as well as you."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Many affectionate thoughts and prayers, by saying "Mary, my mother" each time we pause in our work.
Friday, May 23, 2003
Mary: Queen Of The Apostles
"If we take our Lady's hand, she will make us realize more fully that all men are our brothers - because we are all sons of that God whose daughter, spouse, and mother she is. Our neighbors' problems must be our problems. Christian fraternity should be something very deep in the soul, so that we are indifferent to no one. Mary, who brought up Jesus and accompanied him through his life and is now beside him in heaven, will help us to recognize Jesus as he crosses our path and makes himself present to us in the needs of others."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A kind word, a friendly conversation, a helping hand to persons with whom we live and work.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
According to a survey released today, Boston drivers were the second most aggressive in the country (Chicago placed first; we'll have to try harder). There were also the third rudest. There is some small room for improvement in both categories. I think we would placed higher in the speeding category, too, except for the fact that our gridlocked traffic does not give us many opportunities to speed.
With work today and tomorrow, and the issue of whether Mrs. F. has her surgery today or tomorrow or Monday or a month from now still very much undecided, blogging will be a little haphazard. I'll be around town, but may not be as available for blogging as I might like. I know that I'll be up at the hospital most of this afternoon. Memorial Day Weekend is usually light on news anyway.
Good for Bishop Reilly. It is nice to see a Catholic prelate not lending his presence when a "Catholic" college decides to honor a pro-abortion figure. It is interesting to note the Avery Cardinal Dulles is scheduled to also receive an honorary degree at Holy Cross this year. Chalk this small victory up to the persistence of the Holy Cross chapter of the Cardinal Newman Society, a great organization that takes up Cardinal Newman's goal of making Catholic the Catholic college and university.
The bomb exploded in an empty classroom. There was a day-care center for the children of faculty in full operation in the buidling. There were also some professors present and students taking finals.
I'm guessing that this was an instance of domestic terrorism, possibly our dear friends in the "peace movement" feeling their oats. Young men of Middle Eastern extraction carrying one or more parcels unto Yale Law's campus might be spotted. People who look like typical college students would not be. The bomber or bombers may well be Yale students, perhaps even Yale Law students.
This bomb was not targeted at any individual, but at the law school itself. Professor David Gelernter was injured at Yale in a Unabomber attack back in 1993.
Mary: Ever Virgin
"The purity, humility, and generosity of Mary are in sharp contrast to our wretchedness and selfishness. To the extent that we realize this, we should feel moved to imitate her. We too are creatures of God, and if we strive to imitate her fidelity, God will surely do great things in us. Our small worth is no obstacle, because God chooses what is of little value so that the power of his love may be more manifest."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
The Prayer, "Blessed be your purity"
Blessed be your purity,
May it be blessed forever,
For no less that God takes delight,
In such exalted beauty.
To you, heavenly Princess,
Holy Virgin Mary,
I offer on this day,
My whole heart, life and soul.
Look upon me with compassion;
Do not leave me, my Mother.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Please keep Mrs. F. in your prayers. She is in hospital tonight. The doctors are 90% certain that her gallbladder will require surgery. Right now, it is too inflamed to perform laproscopic surgery. They are going to try to calm it down with antibiotics. If that works, she gets laproscopic surgery in a month. If it doesn't work, her gallbladder comes out the old-fashioned way sooner rather than later. That, of course, would mean a longer recuperation.
So, she took over the EPA to do a lacklustre job in an insignificant cabinet position for a little over two years, and turned over the governorship of New Jersey to the Democrats by absenting helrself from the post. The Democrat control of the governorship resulted in the loss of a US Senate seat when the corrupt Democrat AG (appointed by the corrupt Democrat who eventually succeeded Whitman as governor) succesfully argued before the corrupt Democrat NJ Supreme Court that the Democrats could appoint, despite the clear language of NJ election law, Frank Lautenberg as their candidate a few weeks before the election, after their incumbent senator resigned from the race due to corruption charges and sagging polls.
She also refused to stand for the seat herself. And while she was in the governorship, she was a pain in the ass to the national party with her Weld and Giuliani-like pro-abortion and pro-gay rights positions.
Thanks a lot, Christie. We owe you such a tremendous debt. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
With friends like you we don't need Democrats.
Blogger is still having problems. And since they don't seem to have a mechanism to respond in a timely way to complaints from blog owners, response time is very lengthy.
When I want to see what I have up, I'm getting: "The page cannot be displayed." I can solve this problem, which seems to be afflicting most of the Blogger sites, by hitting "refresh."
But it is still very, very slow loading, as are all the Blogger sites I have visited this week (we are talking 2-7 minutes for sites to load on a 56K dial-up connection).
As Mark Shea once said, "Blogger: yesterday's technology, tomorrow." I'd add, the customer service skills of the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the technical competence of the Post Office.
The Boston Herald reports that 11 men will be ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Boston this year. At the same time, 27 active priests will reach the normal retirement age of 70. In the next four years, Boston can expect to ordain 33 nw priests. More than 100 will reach retirement age in those four years.
Of course, this is something that people have seen coming for a long time. Other parts of the country are in worse shape. While we may have to close some of our 362 parishes in metropolitan Boston, we are not close to having to resort to "Word and Communion" services, rather than Mass. Priests may end up riding circuit between parishes, and working actively well into their 70s. But it is not as if they have to ride a donkey for hundreds of miles between villages to say Mass. They just use their car to say a 4:00 pm Saturday, a 7:30 and 11:00 am Sunday in parishes a few miles apart.
This is a materialistic and hedonistic culture. That world is too much with us, and too much within the priesthood, too, as the pervert priest cases make pretty clear. the Church in the US has not stood up to testify against the culture, but has invited it in, in a vain hope of making use of it. The sacrifice of the priesthood is alien to our culture. Catholic parents, schools, CCD programs, and parishes have done a lousy job in encouraging vocations to the priesthood for more than 40 years. A whole generation has been driven away from the Church by lame "I'm OK, you're OK" catechesis and preaching and absurd liturgical practices. We are reaping now the results of the barren seed of the post-Vatican II reforms. Poor, defective seed sown on stony ground. What else do you expect?
Today in FrontPage Magazine, Michael Tremoglie writes about the exploits of the 555th Parachute Infantry Regiment, a segregated black paratroop unit of World War II that counteracted the threat of Japanese balloons filled with incendiary devices and let go in a jet stream that would carry them over the US. In fact, a few of the balloons did start fires in the US, and some American civilians were killed by them. The 555th ended that threat. They also pioneered techniques that modern firefighting smokejumpers use.
I pride myself on knowing a fair amount about World War II (though I am mostly an ETO-type). I had never heard of this before.
PETA's latest absurd travesty of an advertising campaign has made it to the Boston area. It appears that PETA, with some song and dance, obtained from the Holocaust Museum photos of Jews being led to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, etc., by the Nazis and have created a travelling exhibit juxtaposing these photos with photos of animals on their way to the slughterhouse. The exhibit is on display at the Holocaust Memorial behind City Hall Plaza in Boston.
Jewish groups are justly outraged. But PETA likes outrage. They think it makes people think. If fact, it makes people hate them.
This particular exhibit is degrading for those who suffered through the Holocaust. It directly equates their suffering, and the death of millions of people with the use of animals for food. In other words, it posits a moral equivalance between the illegal, immoral, insane, and unnatural murders of millions on the basis of their ethnicity and religion with the natural, legal, moral, wholesome,and rational use of animals for food and for other purposes that advance the human condition. It degrades those who suffered in the Holocaust to the level of animals. And only in PETA's leadership's fantasy world are the two the same.
Of course, in their fevered imaginations, there is some sort of moral equivalance between the Nazis committing mass murder on Jews and others and people eating animals. But only in the fever swamps of PETA's disordered leadership. PETA leaders are insane, objectively disordered individuals whose individual psychological pathologies feed upon each other and metastasize in group settings. They are enthusiasts, the latest in a seemingly never-ending series of zealots who want to force mankind down some eccentric path in order to bring about an impromptu millenium through the implementation of their specific nostrums.
If only all Jews were dead (National Socialism). If only all kulaks were dead and the proletariat free ("scientific socialism," or Soviet Marxism). If only all educated people were dead (Khmer Rouge socialism). If only aristocrats were brought to their knees (the Jacobins). If only the environment were kept pristine and free of evil human corporate use (EarthFirst!). If only we could elevate women and degrade men (the Feminazis). If only men and boys were free to sexually love each other (NAMBLA). If only women "controlled their own bodies" (the abortionists' dream). If only the Jews could be driven into the sea and Islam re-established in Palestine and in its pure form throughout a world without American influence (the Palestinian/ Islamofascist dream). If only Britain could be driven out of Ireland and the lackeys in Dublin replaced with a Marxist polity (Sinn Fein/IRA). If only people recognized their universal brotherhood with the animals and stopped eating them (PETA). These often bloody hiccups in history have a common cause. They are the result of utopian schemes that some fool has convinced a lot of people ought to be put into practice. When a call to political action starts with the exhortation, "If only..." or "Imagine..." stay away from it. It is poison.
I for one am rather fond of animals. I think they ought to be slaughtered for food in as humane a manner as possible. I think they ought to be experimented on in a humane manner, and only when the experimentation is designed to lead to an improvement in the human condition. I think family pets ought to be treated well, and not be kept outside. Ask Gaspar the Wonder Cat if he likes being a member of the Fitzpatrick family, if he thinks he is treated as some sort of beast of burden or as almost an adopted child, and I am confident that he, or any of his feline or canine predecessors as members of my family, will give a glowing report.
But it is natural for man to eat the flesh of some animals. Our bodies are designed for it. It has been the custom for time-out-of-mind (literally). It is wholesome and necessary and perfectly legal and moral. And some animals are quite delicious.
Now I suggest two ways to react to this "exhibit." First, I would not be at all displeased to hear that one of Boston's famed graffiti "artists" took a can or two of black spray paint to the misappropriated photos from the Holocaust Museum. Since the photos were obtained by PETA under false pretenses, such a fate would seem only just.
Secondly, we can send PETA an even more direct message by stopping off at the butcher's or the grocery store tonight, and buying some nice, juicy steaks to cook on the grill tonight. Let their "educational exhibit" be greeted by a spike in demand for red meat (or white meat). Almost as satisfying, buy something made of leather.
And this weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. Show PETA what we think of it by marking the weekend with an orgy of hotdogs, bacon double-cheeseburgers, steaks, Italian sausage, shish-kebabs. Let those meat sales soar! Let nary a tofu product darken our revelry this weekend. Listen to those steaks sizzle on the grill. Every mouth-watering bite is made all the more wonderful by the realization that it is one in the eye for PETA.
Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!! I love animals. They are delicious
"Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to make us contemplatives, to teach us to recognize the constant calls from God at the door of our heart. Let us ask her now: Our Mother, you brought to earth Jesus, who reveals the love of our Father God. Help us to recognize him in the midst of the cares of each day. Stir up our mind and will so that we may listen to the voice of God, to the calls of grace."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A visit to Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
But the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-7 in the second game of their series at Fenway.
CBS Radio News just reported that Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge was pulled out of a congressional committee meeting on Capitol Hill for an unscheduled meeting at the White House. There are reports of a significantly increased amount of chatter among al Qaeda-associated websites and in intercepted telephonic communications. Al Qaeda is plainly in the middle of a spring offensive, striking recently in Chechnya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Morocco, and probably elsewhere. It is clear that they would like to strike at a domestic US target. An increase in the terror alert level would seem to be reasonable.
A bomb went off in the restroom of a cafe in Ankara, Turkey. It appears that the bomb went off prematurely while it was being planted or prepared by a woman. She was the only one killed. The cafe is frequented by students learning English and preparing for university. Another bomb at a McDonald's in Instanbul exploded last month, but no one was hurt.
Is Turkey now a target for al Qaeda?
The Times of London reports on a resurgance of Tridentine-Rite practice among Catholics in and around London.
“I was amazed when the families started coming to the old-rite Mass,” says St Bede’s parish priest, Father Christopher Basden. “It went against all our 1970s assumptions that what modern Catholics wanted was a liturgy that was relaxed, contemporary, a bit jazzy.”
The hostile priest quoted in the article may have a point, or part of one. The Old Rite will not be for everyone. Those pressed for time, those who genuinely like modernity in the Mass, and those who just do not appreciate the aesthetics of the Old Rite will still need the Novus Ordo, hopefully in a refined form, shorn of the worst abuses. The two rites are both legitimate and valid modes of Catholic worship. They can co-exist in the same parish's weekend schedule. Let us pray for a fruitful coexistence.
Thanks to Chris at Gregorian Rant for the link.
Freeh wrote for the Wall Street Journal, and it was republished by FrontPage Magazine. Freeh says that Iran is harboring al Qaeda members, and that the network may actually be functioning out of Iran. Iran's relationship with Hezbollah has long been known. Now a host relationship with al Qaeda is developing. Freeh, by the way, has some tough stuff to say about Bill Clinton's administration.
We may not need to invade Iran to clean out the swamp of Islamo-fascist terrorists that state supports. The Iranian people have been daily demonstrating against the rule of the mullahs. The situaiton is quite volatile. It is time to begin applying whatever covert, financial, diplomatic, legal, and military pressure it will take to bring on an Iranian counterrevolution.
The priest in charge of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music thinks the Vatican ought to have a department devoted to the preservation of Gregorian chant and other sacred music. This would take some of the responsibilty out of the hands of bishops' conferences (like the USCCB).
Anything that strips power from the USCCB has my blessing.
This is the first update in 50 years.
Mary: Our Hope
"Our Lady, a full participant in the work of our salvation, follows in the footsteps of her Son: the poverty of Bethlehem, the everyday work of a hidden life in Nazareth, the manifestation of his divinity in Cana of Galilee, the tortures of his passion, the diving sacrifice on the cross, the eternal blessedness of paradise.
All of this affects us directly, because this supernatural itinerary is the way we are to follow. Mary shows us that we can walk this path with confidence. She has preceded us on the way of imitating Christ; her glorification is the firm hope of our own salvation. For these reasons we call her 'our hope, cause of our joy.'"
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A smile when we do not feel like smiling
Monday, May 19, 2003
I clicked on the Mark Shea's site, walked across the hall into the bathroom, shaved, and found that Mark's site had still not finished loading. Ad Orientem and In Between Naps are also slow (but not as bad). Recta Ratio is loading just a little more slowly than usual for me. Is it loading markedly more slowly for other readers, I wonder.
Thanks to neighbor Domenico Bettinelli for the link.
It is distressing to see so, so many Irish priests involved in this behavior.
Anybody want to debate which of the two is the worst bishop still in control of a diocese, McCormack or Grahmann?
The Archdiocese, as reported in the Globe article, essentially made no move toward a settlement during a 90-day moratorium on discovery and pre-trial motions. That is consistent with a strategy of stalling common to defendants whose interests are essentially being represented by their liability carriers. Start moving these cases towards trial, and the Archdiocese may become more amendable to a settlement. A little time pressure, the immediate prospect of a jury giving the first individual plaintiff (of well over 100) $30-40 million, tends to concentrate the mind wonderfully.
Mary: Her Faith
"If our faith is weak, we should turn to Mary, St. John tells us that it was because of the miracle that Christ performed, at his mother's request, at the marriage feast at Cana, that 'his disciples learned to believe in him,' Our Mother is always interceding with her Son, so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us in such a way that we can cry out, 'You are the Son of God."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
The "Memorae" for the person in our family who needs the help of our Lady.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Today especially has been quiet at Saint Blog's. Lovely weather, with temps in the 60s and bright sunshine (at least here in New England) have tempted most away from their keyboards. Also the fact that there is essentially nothing happening is a contributing factor. Ah, summer weekends!
He celebrated by canonizing 4 new saints, two Poles and two Italians. Blessed Jozef Pelczar, and Blessed Urzula Ledochowska, as well as Blessed Maria de Mattias and Blessed Virginia Centurione Bracelli have all joined the calendar of saints.
The Church is blessed to have as her head on earth someone who is himself so solidly orthodox, and blessed with imagination. Americans once took patriotism as a given among its presidents. That was until Bill Clinton. Catholics may have taken orthodoxy for granted among our popes.
Petition the Holy Spirit to envigorate John Paul II in his leadership of the Church, and to prepare a strong, orthodox, forceful, and imaginative succesor to succeed him when that becomes necessary (and may that not be for many years yet).
Bomber kills 7 civilized folk on a Jerusalem bus. About 20 injured.
And they claim they should be trusted with a governance of a nation. Just what the world needs, another Afghanistan, Iran, or Yemen.
Mary: The Suffering Mother
'So fully, in union with her suffering and dying Son, did she suffer and nearly die; so fully, for the sake of the salvation of all souls, did she abdicate the rights of a mother over her Son, and immolate him, insofar as it was in her power, to satisfy the justice of God, that it can rightly be said that she redeemed mankind together with Christ.' That gives us a deeper understanding of that moment in the Passion of our Lord on which we shall never tire of meditating: Stabat autum iuxta crucem Jesu mater eius, 'There, standing by the cross of Jesus, was his mother."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Five small hidden sacrifices in honor of the five major wounds of our Lord