Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ember Saturday In Whitsuntide

And the feast of St. Boniface.

President Reagan's Health Said To Be Declining Rapidly

According to family sources, President Reagan's health has taken a marked turn for the worse in the last few days. His death is not said to be imminent, but it is said to be a matter of weeks or months now.

As much as I love President Reagan, and sympathize with the cause of helping Alzheimer's patients (my mother died of post-surgical complications that probably would not have happened had she not been suffering from dementia) I cannot help but decry the poor understanding of his personal belief system that his own wife is demonstrating through her crusade for destroying human life for Alzheimer research. President Bush is right, and has a better grasp of the implications of such research than does the former first lady.

Nevertheless, my prayers, and I'm sure yours, too, are with the Reagans at this difficult time. My God grant Mr. Reagan, our greatest president since World War II, a happy death, and his family consolation.

Sixty Years Ago: June 6, 1944

The 60th anniversary of D-Day recalls the sacrifice of thousands of young men in the fighting in Normandy, not just on Omaha and Utah Beaches (and Sword, Gold and Juno for the British and Canadians) but in the hedgrerow country of Normandy in the two months after D-Day.

In every sense of the word, the effort that went into preparing for the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe was awe-inspiring. Artificial harbors (Mulberries), DD Tanks, bombing on a scale unknown before or since, a concentration of sea-going vessels that makes the 1000 ships of Homer seem like a drop in the bucket, elite troops training for months in the US and England for the assault, the largest airborne drop to that date (exceeded later only by the Market-Garden drop in September of '44), pathfinders, resistance and "special forces" operations to disrupt communications, the Fortitude Operation to deceive the enemy as to the composition of the landing force and the true objective of the invasion, even the make-shift Cullen hedgerow cutters welded onto the front of some tanks when they found the going in the bocage too difficult and confined, all speak to a society (or two societies: the US and the UK & Empire) utterly committed to use every resource to win. It is something we have not seen in warfare since.

And the sacrifice of young men of both major Allied armies was incredible. The fighting on Omaha was bloody and very difficult. The fight the First Army later had in the hedgerows was even worse, depleting attacking units at an alarming rate. And the fight the British had in July and August trying to break out of the beach area was the bloodiest of all. In Operations Goodwood and Epsom, it was normal to see tank losses in excess of 60 per day to enemy fire (and crew and supporting infantry losses in proportion).

In Normandy, the Allies took on the best that Nazi Germany could field, and overcame it, but at a terrible price.

Now that 60 years have passed, we are beginning to understand that sacrifice in more realistic terms. The days of glorification and antiseptic death on the screen are over. In films like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, we have been able to get a better idea of what combat in World War II was really like. Bringing the horror and intensity of modern conflict to us was, I think, a good thing. It was either Patton or MacArthur who said that it is a good thing that war is so terrible, or else we would grow to love it too much.

And we are honoring the sacrifice of those young men of 60 years ago in a more comprehensive fashion. The National D-Day Museum opened a few years ago in Louisiana, and is well worth a visit. World War II re-enactment has really begun to really take off in the last few years. Watch the very impressive video clip at the top of the page featuring just elements of the recreated 2nd Armored Division. There are photos on line of the D-Day 60th anniversary re-enactment already, courtesy fo the recreated 2nd Panzer Divison. The 2nd Panzer site has an assortment of video (or mpeg) clips.

There are even folks who will buy World War II tanks and other vehicles and restore them to running order (and according to a magazine article I was reading last week, these vehicles are not as expensive to acquire as you might think ($62,000 for a tank), though restoring and maintaining them require a small fortune). Every major vehicle of the Allied armies of World War II, up to and including the Sherman tank, is now operational in the hands of these collectors (and they are often used in re-enactments, as well). You could field almost a company of Shermans from the resources of the various collectors and small military museums.

There are other anniversaries that we should mark during the year. The liberation of Paris on August 25, Market-Garden the glorious failure in September, the fighting in the Hurtgen Forest and in Alsace in November and December, and the Battle of the Bulge on December 16 and following (it lasted over a month)and the fighting around the Rhine in February and March of '45 all deserve to be marked, especially as this is the last important anniversary at which we can expect veterans of the fighting to take part in large numbers. But D-Day, that stupendous national effort, is sure to be the best remembered.

And rightly so. For the modern mind, Gettysburg is the Civil War battle that has been singled out for the most comprehensive study and commemoration. And for World War II, D-Day is the battle most filmed, most studied, most talked about, so that the events of that day come, in a way, to stand for the entire war effort. This is antural and fitting. If we of the modern brief attention span can honor one group only, let it be the men who stormed ashore amid shot and shell on Omaha Beach. Not that the sacrifices of others was insignificant and should not be remembered (my father served in the conquest of Germany, arriving in the theater in March of '45, and being wounded towards the middle of April in Saxony-the town of Weissenfels, to be specific). But so much of the national effort and attention went into that one day, it is a fitting subject for commemoration.

So thank you to those who served on that day and in Normandy in general. Without your effort, the modern world would have been a significantly less pleasant place. Our country owes you much.We owe you much.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Good Posts On Samuel Eliot Morison and The Battle of Midway

Over at Irish Elk.

Ember Friday In Whitsuntide

A day of penance, more so than a typical Friday.

Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad

St. Petroc

Not St Pet Rock!!

Cool Brideshead Revisited Quotes

Not all the cool quotes, but some.

Thanks to Mark Sullivan over at Irish Elk for the link.

Alicia the Midwife Found a Way To Cheer Me Up With Good News

So what if the President is sitting around like a lump while opposition to the vitally necessary war effort grows, while gay "marriage" is becoming an established and probably irreversible reality, while gas prices soar to the point that you need a second mortgage to take the family out for a Sunday drive, while the polls slip, and while the prospect of President John Kerry grows? So what if more than half the US bishops are more loyal to the interests and agenda of the Democrat Party than to Rome? If the Latin Mass is about to be stomped out by Boston's chancery rats? If Marty Haugen is proclaimed King of the Universe?

Chocolate is good for your circulatory system!

Thanks, Alicia!

Happy Second Blog-O-Versary To Me

Its been fun. Blogging is a wonderful therapy. Lately there has not been much happening that really catches my fancy. The Scandal is winding down, without the proper solution, I think. So what more is there to say about that? And I dislike repeating myself.

Looking back over my archives, I see that in 2002 and 2003 I was doing a lot more political stuff, and more historical stuff. Events in my personal life have forced me to look more at the spiritual side. I think this is reflected in my blogging.

There has been absolutely no change in my political views. But I have found myself expressing them less frequently. In the current quiet period in the campaign, what more is there to say than that John Kerry and the Democrat Party have my absolute undying emnity? And that George Bush and the Republican Party, more specifically the conservative movement, have my undying loyalty only after loyalty to the Church? As the campaign heats up, that may change.

I may not be quite as focused on politics this year as I was during the 2002 election (check the archives to see how focused I was then). But I do expect to talk a lot more about the subject, if for no other reason than appointments the Supreme Court.

And that last sentence does indicate something of a morale problem, that I think is pretty widespread. The tax cuts are in place, and need to be preserved (and broadened). President Bush has made some good appointments to the federal courts (the few that the Democrats have allowed through). The President has been good on the life issue, better even than Ronald Reagan. The war must continue and be prosecuted with greater vigor (on to Damascus and Tehran!). But President Bush needs to outline a positive agenda for the next four years broader than "stay the course." I have not heard it.

I recall, in 1988, calling his father "The Squire of Walker's Point" doing nothing while Mike Dukakis piled up a huge lead in the polls over him in the Spring and Summer. Then after Labor Day, George Bush the Elder, a man I respect and admire even though I did not always agree with him, put the campaign in gear and overtook the walking catastrophe from Massachusetts. It is possible that our current President is trying to do the same thing. I think that is dangerous, given the Clinton-like appeal of Kerry to women (afer all, he was doing Morgan Fairchild a decade ago, so there must be some appeal) and the amount of money Kerry can draw on (new campaign finance laws be damned, if a campaign needs the money and its principle has it at his fingertips, they will find a way to use it). So waiting for the summer to end to kick the campaign into gear may not be a good idea. Look what happened to GHWB in 1992 when he tried the same thing with Clinton.

The President proved himself a great commander-in-chief. Now he needs to articulate to the electorate that the strategy is working, that it goes on from here, and that we will prevail. He has been woefully short on articulating anything lately.

And I must admit that the loss on gay marriage and the lack of, lets put it bluntly, balls on the part of Governor Romney and his opposition to that act of judicial tyranny and social catastrophe has left me somewhat further demoralized.

I haven't even clicked on NRO's The Corner in months. I used to check in there 10-20 times a day.

Like many before me, this demoralization has refocused me towards private pursuits, like the Yahoo Group.

Opening the Yahoo Group side of Recta Ratio has really broadened the experience. It gives me a chance to explore the world of sacred art, and pick and choose images as well as prayers for display there. For the forseeable future, more of my attention will be on the Yahoo Group, though the blog will certainly stay in business, God willing.

So thanks to those few of you who read and link to me. And I'll try to make the next two years as interesting.

Deus Volt!

The King of Fisks Strikes Again

Good work, Dale.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Is Everyone Able To See and Use My Links?

I just found out that some computers will not display my extensive right-hand column of links (which I use to navigate the places I want to see on the Net every morning, as you can, too, if you can see them). Let me know if your computer does not display my links.

Been Doing Cool Stuff At Recta Ratio the Yahoo Group

Been spending a lot of time over at the Yahoo Group side of Recta Ratio recently. Check it out here. It is free to join, and if anyone spams you, they will be instantly exiled forever with no appeal (I did that with my Redcoats 1 Yahoo Group which crossed the magic 50 members level before a spammer tried his luck with me).

We are now up to a total over 260 images. Eighty images are in the Blessed Mother's Photo Album alone. That album makes a nice slideshow, though a couple of the images are too large for the slideshow format, and need to be clicked on individually from the album to be enjoyed.

A word on how these images are appearing. Although they are in the Photo Albums, they are not showing up as clickable images (though they are individually clickable; you just have to read the title to know what it is you are clicking to see). That is because they are essentially links. That means they are taking up almost no memory in the Group, and that I can keep on adding more and more without running up against capacity problems (I think).

There are two new albums on The Stations of the Cross and the Mysteries of the Rosary from a site that I cannot recommend except for its art work (its main page is proclaiming the election of a "Pius XIII" as "Pope"; but the artwork is nice).

The Stations and Mysteries appear to have been done by the same artist, and while they are not great art, they are decently executed and it is nice to have sets for these albums. Of course, given the bent of the site, I had to borrow images of the Luminous Mysteries from other albums (because that site certainly will not recognize them as legitimate additions to the Rosary).

An area that I have a bee in my bonnet about is illuminated manuscripts. I am tempted to try my own illuminated prayer book/Book of Hours. You can expect that Photo Album to be a major area of growth soon. I would like to start a Fra Angelico Album, but am having trouble finding his work in jpg or gif format. The html formats I have seen are not accepted by Yahoo.

And I still will drag over some "Best of Recta Ratio" blogs, maybe this weekend after the second anniversary (which is tomorrow).

I have limited time on the computer right now, and most of it is going to the Yahoo Groups. But when I see something that cries out for my comment, I'll be sure to blog. So keep reading. And it wouldn't hurt to check in at the Yahoo Group frequently, as it grows almost every day.

22 Ugandan Martyrs

St. Kevin

St. Clotilde

The woman most responsible for the conversion of Clovis.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Wednesday in Whitsuntide Ember Week

Today (as well as this Friday and Saturday) is a penitential day of Ember Week. Good day for the Seven Penitential Psalms, the Dies Irae, the Sorrowful Mysteries, going to confession, and skipping a meal or two or not eating meat (or smoking, or drinking).

St. Pope Eugene I

St. Erasmus

Also known as St. Elmo, of St Elmo's Fire.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Anna Catherine Emmerich To Be Beatified

On October 3rd, she will become Blessed Anna Catherine Emmerich. For those who don't recall the name, few in this audience I am sure, she is the German mystic whose work The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ was a major source for Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

I think the Vatican just spoke on the movie, or at least on its source.

Thanks to Father Sistare at Not So Quiet Catholic Corner for the link.

Fourteen US Bishops Who Get It

Link From Catholic Light.

Blessed John Scalabrini

The Glorious First of June

Not glorious weatherwise. After a lovely weekend, it is rainy and cool in Boston today. Boston is sure a tough place on umbrellas. I've wrecked 3 since the fall. The wind tunnels created by the buildings and the Charles River Valley are incredible, turning umbrellas inside-out in the slightest breeze.

No the Glorous First of June refers to a 1794 naval battle between an English fleet commanded by Admiral "Black Dick" Howe, who had commanded the fleet in the American War while his brother, Sir William Howe, commanded the army, over a French fleet.

It is always a good thing to celebrate thumping the French.

Confusion to the Crapauds!! May Black Dick's successors thump them, again and again!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Last Marian Reflection for the Month of May (for May 31)

The Visitation

Mary: Sings Of The Love Of God

"God is interested in even the smallest events in the lives of his creatures - in your affairs and mine - and he calls each of us by name. This certainty that the faith gives enables us to look at everything in a new light. And everything, while remaining exactly the same, becomes different, because it is an expression of God's love. Our life is turned into a continuous prayer, we find ourselves with good humor and a peace that never ends, and everything we do is an act of thanksgiving running through all our day. 'My soul magnifies the Lord,' Mary sang, ' and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.'"

Let us offer to our Mother today:

The Holy Rosary said with concentration and affection.

For Monday May 31: Litany of the Blessed Virgin

The new configuration of Blogger (people with blogs will know what I am talking about, those without will not have noticed the changes) does not allow me to post a blog entry and date it for publication tomorrow, the way I used to with the old configuration. So Monday's prayer and Marian reflection have to be posted today.

I have saved what I consider one of the best Marian prayers for last. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin has become a part of my daily Adoration ritual over the last six weeks.

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities; but deliver us from all dangers, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Holy Mother of God, pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Mother of divine grace, pray for us.

Mother most pure, pray for us.

Mother most chaste, pray for us.

Mother inviolate, pray for us.

Mother undefiled, pray for us.

Mother most amiable, pray for us.

Mother most admirable, pray for us.

Mother of good counsel, pray for us.

Mother of our Creator, pray for us.

Mother of our Savior, pray for us.

Virgin most prudent, pray for us.

Virgin most venerable, pray for us.

Virgin most renouned, pray for us.

Virgin most powerful, pray for us.

Virgin most merciful, pray for us.

Virgin most faithful, pray for us.

Mirror of justice, pray for us.

Seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Cause of our joy, pray for us.

Spiritual vessel, pray for us.

Vessel of honor, pray for us.

Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.

Mystical rose, pray for us.

Tower of David, pray for us.

Tower of ivory, pray for us.

House of gold, pray for us.

Ark of the covenant, pray for us.

Gate of heaven, pray for us.

Morning star, pray for us.

Health of the sick, pray for us.

Refuge of sinners, pray for us.

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.

Help of Christians, pray for us.

Queen of Angels, pray for us.

Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.

Queen of Prophets, pray for us.

Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.

Queen of Confessors, pray for us.

Queen of Virgins, pray for us.

Queen of all Saints, pray for us.

Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.

Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.

Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.

Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us O Lord

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us O Lord.

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities; but deliver us from all dangers, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

The Greatest Tribute To Our Nation's Fallen Heroes Ever

Are the words of Abraham Lincoln at the then new National Cemetery at Gettysburg, delivered in a few minutes from the back of an envelope.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and d--d who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored d--d we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these d--d shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Happy Memorial Day! And to those who served and those who have lost loved ones in the service of the country, thank you.

O Sancte Spiritus

O Holy Ghost, who on the solemn day of Pentecost didst suddenly descend upon the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room in parted tongues as it were of fire and didst so enlighten their minds, inflame their hearts, and strengthen their wills, that henceforth they went through the entire world and courageously and confidently proclaimed everywhere the teaching of Christ and sealed it with the shedding of their , renew, we beseech Thee, the wondrous outpouring of Thy grace in our hearts also.

How grievously our minds are afflicted with ignorance concerning the nature and dignity of those divine truths which form the object of faith, without which no man may hope for salvation. How far men go astray from a just estimation of earthly goods, which too often are put before the soul itself. How often our hearts do not beat with love of the Creator as they ought, but rather with an ignoble for creatures. How often are we led by a false respect for human judgment, when we ought to profess openly the precepts of Jesus Christ and to reduce them to action with a sincere heart and with, if need be, of our worldly substance. What weakness we manifest in embracing and carrying with a serene and willing heart the crosses of this life, which alone can make the Christian a worthy follower of his divine Master.

O Holy Ghost, enlighten our minds, cleanse our hearts, and give new strength to our wills; to such a degree, at least, that we may clearly recognize the value of our soul, and in a like manner, despise the perishable goods of this world; that we may love God above all things, and, for the love of Him, our neighbor as ourselves; that we may not only be free from fear in professing our faith publicly, but rather may glory in it; finally, that we may accept not only prosperity but also adversity as from the hand of the Lord, with all confidence that He will turn all things into good for those who lovingly tend towards Him. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we, by constantly answering the sweet impulses of Thy grace and doing that which is good with a persevering heart, may deserve one day to receive the rich reward of glory everlasting.

O Sancte Spiritus, qui sollemni Pentecostes die repente per dispertitas linguas tamquam ignis in Apostolos descendens, intra cenaculum congregatos, ita eorum mentes illuminasti, eorum animos incendisti, eorumque voluntates roborasti, ut inde per universum mundum proficiscerentur et ubicumque animose fidenterque Iesu Christi doctrinam annuntiarent, eamque suo profuso cruore obsignarent, renova, quaesumus, in animas quoque nostras prodigiales gratiae tuae effusiones.

Quanta mentes nostrae ignorantia laborant circa naturam gravitatemque divinarum veritatum, quae obiectum fidei efficiunt, sine qua salutem nemini sperare licet. Quot aberrationes a iusta terrenorum bonorum aestimatione, quae saepius animae ipsimet anteponuntur. Quam saepe corda nostra non, ut debent, Creatoris amore palpitant, sed ignobiliter creaturarum cupidine. Quam saepe falso humani iudicii respectu impellimur, cum debemus Iesu Christi praecepta palam profiteri, eaque sincere et cum rerum etiam iactura in vitae usum deducere. Quanta infirmitas in amplectenda ferendaque sereno libentique animo huius vitae cruce, quae christianum solummodo potest divini Magistri sui discipulum dignum efficere.

O Sancte Spiritus, mentes nostras illumina, corda nostra purifica, voluntatesque nostra redintegra; ita quidem ut infinitum animae nostrae pretium plane cognoscamus, itemque peritura huius mundi bona pro nihilo habeamus; ut Deum supra res omnes adamemus, eiusque amore proximos, quemadmodum nosmetipsos, diligamus; ut fidem nostram non modo palam demonstrare ne timeamus, sed de eadem potius gloriemur; ut denique non tantum res prosperas sed res etiam adversas quasi de manu Domini accipiamus, confisi prorsus omnia Eum in eorum bonum esse conversurum, qui erga Eum amore ferantur. Fac, quaesumus, ut nos, suavibus gratiae tuae impulsionibus constanter respondentes ac perseveranti animo operantes bonum, amplissimam sempiternae gloriae messem aliquando accipere mereamur.

Concede, Quasumus, Omnipotens Deus

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we may so please Thy Holy Spirit by our earnest entreaties, that we may by His grace both be freed from all temptations and merit to receive the forgiveness of our sins. Through Christ our Lord.

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, Sanctum nos Spiritum votis promereri sedulis, quatenus eius gratia et ab omnibus liberemur tentationibus, et peccatorum nostrorum indulgentiam percipere mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray:
O God, Who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that, by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.

V. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur;
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.


Daily Marian Reflection for the Month of May

From yeoldewoburn.com:

Mary: The Channel Of Grace

"Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything that we ask for, and, like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers. Like any mother, also, she knows and understands our weaknesses. She encourages us and makes excuses for us. She makes the way easy for us, and even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

A visit or a conversation with a friend or relative whom we want to encourage to go to Confession.

O Maria Since Labe Concepta

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee; O refuge of sinners, Mother of the dying; forsake us not at the hour of our ; obtain for us the grace of perfect sorrow, sincere contrition, the pardon and remission of our sins, a worthy receiving of the holy Viaticum, and the comfort of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, in order that we may appear with greater security before the throne of the just but merciful Judge, our God and Redeemer.

O Maria sine labe concepta, ora pro nobis, qui confugimus ad te; O Refugium peccatorum, Mater agonizantium, noli nos derelinquere in hora exitus nostri, sed impetra nobis dolorem perfectum, sinceram contritionem, remissionem peccatorum nostrorum, sanctissimi Viatici dignam receptionem, Extremae Unctionis Sacramenti corroborationem, ut magis securi praesentari valeamus ante thronum iusti sed et misericordis Iudicis, Dei et Redemptoris nostri.

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