Saturday, January 15, 2005

St. Paul the Hermit

Today the Church honors Saint Paul, the first Catholic hermit.

St. Paul the Hermit with St. Anthony the Abbot.
As someone with a deep love for solitude and silence, hermits have a special place in my heart, though I don't know if I could take up that lifestyle/ministry myself.

German Dictator Planned To Kidnap Pope Pius XII

This was when the Germans were about to pull out of Rome in 1944.

Hitler had the plan worked out the year before, because the Holy Father had been such a thorn in his side with regard to security in Italy, and because Catholicism represented an alternative to National Socialism, a competing allegiance totalitarianism could not tolerate.

The kidnapping was not carried out by the SS general it was entrusted to, though the reason remains unclear (though I would guess fear of very y uprisingS in northern Italy, and perhaps in Czechoslovakia and in Austria and parts of France was a consideration).

Friday, January 14, 2005

Wider Plenary Indulgences For Eucharistic Adoration During This Year of the Eucharist

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam has the details.

This is a significant broadening of the indulgence that is already available for Eucharistic Adoration. But, as always, you have to be in a state of grace, and make Confession and Communion that day, as well as pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Vote To Stop the Inanity

Become a member of the Society For a Moratorium On the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas.

I noticed that the list has grown, as more people become fed up with insipid, at times quasi-heretical tripe posing as Catholic liturgical music.

Excellent Take on the San Francisco Archdiocesan "Prayer"

From none other than Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings.

These Two Stories Look Like Action/Reaction To My Untutored Eye

The Russian Orthodox hierarchy set impossible demands for a Papal visit to Russia (make the Eastern-Rite Catholics stop).

And the Holy Father tells the Eastern Rite Catholics to keep on keeping on, and work with the Orthodox.

Ultimately, I think the Eastern schism will be resolved by the withering away of the Orthodox schismatics as an organization. And the Eastern-Rite Catholics will be the primary agents and beneficiaries of that process.

It is just like dealing with the protestant heretics and schismatics. Play nice face to face. But always offer a strong orthodox and unmoving alternative that will win back all in time. We see that with the Anglican Communion. While we do all sorts of ecumenical things with them, we show no fear in taking in whole congregations, ministers, and even whole dioceses, when they are fed up with the Unitarian-style liberalism that pervades that Communion. Eventually, all the non-pagans will be re-united with the One Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church.

The Weather May Be Pretty Bad

But on the bright side, we have gained 21 minutes of daylight (mostly in the afternoon) since St. Thomas' traditional feast day (around the Winter Solstice).

A Warm, But Wet Start To the Day, But A Nasty Finish

Temps were around 60 degrees this morning, with mist and drizzle. But they are going to fall about 30 degrees this afternoon. Plus we will be treated to wind gusts of 40-50 mph, and wind-driven rain that may end as snow.

The joys of winter in New England.

St. Hilary of Poitiers

St. Hilary's Day was an important one in English culture, as it gave its mane to the university and court terms that began in mid-January. Hilary Term is the winter term at Oxford and Cambridge.

St. Hilary's traditional feast day is January 14th, though in the pointless and hugely counter-productive post-Vatican II mucking around with saints' days, it was moved by one day back. Eyes rolling emoticon would be in use here if Blogger offered it.

The Latest Bit of Nastiness Hurled At Ven. Pope Pius XII

Is fully refuted by the facts as examined by Zenit.

What's next? Accusations that His Holiness roasted heretics and dined off the remains?
The hatred of liberals of all faiths for the greatest pope of the first half of the 20th entury remains unchecked. It is true orthodox Catholicism that they hate. The late Holy Father is just the symbolic whipping boy.
Link and a good discussion found over at Against the Grain/The Ratzinger Fan Club.

Ooops. The link above takes you to a very good discussion of Fathe Schall's views on Just War (which I meant to link to anyway). This link takes you to the discussion on the baseless charges leveled at Ven. Pope Pius XII.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A Great Post

On the Divine Mercy Chaplet over at Inn At the End of the World.

In fact, I try to make it part of my Eucharistic Holy Hour every weekday.

The "Harry the Nazi" Story

Really stupid thing for His Highness to wear.

If he had worn the costume without the Nazi armband, it would have been fine, I think (but it would have been more difficult to identify the uniform, though officers of the all-Wehrmacht Afrika Korps did not, in fact, wear Nazi armbands).

Still, all in all, he is a 20 year-old lad, who grew up in a time when the Holocaust is beginning to fade from memory, and the acute hypersensitivity that it engendered is also fading. Terribly awful thing: 6 million Jews, and 8 million others murdered as a matter of state policy. But the perpetrators are almost all in the grave now, and there is little chance of a neo-Nazi future for any place in Europe.

So the press will beat the Prince and the Royal Family about the head and shoulders for a few weeks, and he'll get a lesson on what his father has had to endure from the media for so long. A lesson is learned, and we move on.

We've Been Cheated Out Of Nice Weather

Every forecast for today said that we would have some sun, and temperatures would be near 60 degrees. Well, it has not made it over 40, and we've had low clouds and fog all day. People who are already jonesing for spring really don't need to be teased this way!

Slightly New Look

I now have three of my favorite images (the traditional Immaculate Heart, Saint Dominic by Fra Angelico, and the Holy Father) on the top of the page, instead of in the right sidebar. In their previous placement, they were forcing the links column down past the point where the text was on most browsers (in part because of large photos in the blog text as well).

I would have liked 5 images across the top, to include the Last Judgment from Notre Dame de Paris' west portal, and St. Michael overcoming Satan, or maybe Ven. Pope Pius XII, but the images are too large to even get 4 across the top.

At least now everyone can see the links right up even with the top of the blog text (until I post the next big photo in the text).

US Catholic Bishops:

Clueless cheerleaders for the tax-and-spend welfare state.

So out of touch with the needs of the laity, and society in general.

All those active Catholics did not vote for President Bush solely on the abortion issue. They also voted for him because he is more likely than any Democrat to allow them to keep more of their own money.

Link courtesy of very famous best-selling author Amy Welborn's Open Book.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Just When You Thought You Had Heard the Worst

I don't have all the details on this story yet, and can't find a link yet, but in some juvenile court today, a 12 year-old will be arraigned for the rape and murder of a 3 year-old. That part of the story I know I heard right (on WBZ Radio this morning) . I'm just not sure on the gender and venue details, or when this happened. But the basic gravamen I know I heard correctly, though I was sickened at what I heard.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

"(There Is) a Veritable Epidemic of Homosexuality, a Fount of Psychological Problems and Painful Frustrations"

The Archbishop is right. In the popular culture, queer is hip. The major media have their new cause de jour, and it is gay marriage, which will be forced on an unwilling electorate either by legislation or by judicial fiat.

The rearguard action has begun, but it has conceded defeat by admitting it would back civil unions. And society spirals downward into the cistern a little more.

BC High Jesuit Pleads Guilty

Father James Talbot, SJ pled guilty to rape and indecent assault on two teenage BC High male students.

In the plea deal, he will get 7 years.

So the Great Archdiocese of Boston Enema continues.

Will the Jesuits move to have him defrocked? Probably not. We are talking about the Jesuits here.

This Is Where Merton's Interest In Eastern Religion Has Led Us

The Trappists in Spencer have installed a priest (of course he is 70 years of age, no one much younger would do something like this) as Zen instructor.

The big things that separate me from the Trappists are:

A) Centering Prayer, which is essentially a Buddhist technique. Catholic monastics ought to be uniquely Catholic in all ways. Instead, they utilize a mantra like, "Mercy," or "Jesus" to try to obtain blankness, in which they claim to be very close to God. I think you do better sticking with traditional prayers and devotions, working Rosary and Stations and the Angelus and the Divine Mercy Chaplet into each day, in addition to work and the Opus Dei. Spencer, where Father Thomas Keating used to be the Abbott, and Father Basil Pennington lived for many years, is the hotbed of Centering Prayer. Now we can see where this is leading. Nowhere.

B) Vegetarianism. St. Benedict's Rule, which is a great one, but not the be-all and end all of Catholic monasticism, only requires that religious abstain from the meat of 4-legged animals. The Trappists, and many other religious communities as well, have gone Vegan. Perhaps the time has come for a new monastic order that just abstains from meat on Fridays, Ember Days, and during Lent, but otherwise uses it, sparingly, year-round.

C) Loss of Agricultural Work. Yes, they do other things, like make fruitcakes and preserves, but they have given up working the land themselves, and I think that is an indispensible ingredient in Catholic monasticism, which keeps the community humble and grounded (and busy). Soon, if they haven't already, they will sell off the land around the monasteries to support the communes of aging (aged) hippies which they have become. That will be the ultimate eating of the seed corn that might have nourished a new generation of monastics that might have come and, sorting through the ruins left by their elders, revitalized Catholic monasticism.

D) The New Liturgy of the Hours. Prime has been wiped out and Terce, Sext and None downgraded to "minor hours". Lauds is often combined with Matins, and Matins itself is no longer at midnight, but is now mostly at dawn. Of course, almost all the prayer is now in English.

Unlike most lay Catholics, I have given the monastic life a lot of thought, in part because last year I was helping a friend decide whether he wanted to enter the cloister or not (he decided not to). And since I studied monasticism a bit in college, as medieval studies was a minor of mine, I know a bit about the subject, and respect Catholic monasticism.

But since Merton's time, and Merton is the indispensible figure in this, his writings being something of a catalyst for trends that might not have fully developed without them, Catholic monasticism has gone off the rails, and practically committed suicide. Look through any photograph of Catholic monks in the last few years, and you will see, predominately, old men. Like the orders of nuns who went left, and therefore committed institutional suicide, the monks are aging and shrinking inexorably in number.

Again the lesson is driven home: if you stray from traditonal Catholic practice and devotion, you wither on the vine. If so stay vigorously orthodox and traditional, you flourish.

Rehabilitate Merton? Maybe some of his early writings. But it is time to abandon the Eastward drift of Catholic monasticism, before there is nothing left to rebuild, but ashes.

This Looks Like a Good Appointment

Judge Michael Chertoff to be the new Director of Homeland Security.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Lest You Misapprehend That We Are To Be An All-News Blog Now

Since we are today entering the worst part of the winter, January 10th to roughly February 20th, here is some poetry appropriate to the time by one of my favorite poets.

Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Now With the Christmas Holidays Over

The news is starting to pick up and get interesting again. There has been a long drought of interesting news stories, essentially sinc ethe election.

The De-Christianization of Europe Continues

Today's cases in point:


and the Netherlands.

Professional Jackass Michael Newdow At It Again

Now he wants to prevent President Bush from being sworn in on the Bible, and enjoin all forms of prayer from the Inauguration.

He'll lose this one a lot faster than he lost the Pledge case, and it won't have to go to the US Supreme Court.

An Unexpected Victory

The Supreme Court does not overturn Florida's ban on homosexuals adopting children.

Just when you think that society is inexorably headed right down the moral tubes, and that the courts are the principal agents of that, something good happens.

Now if only more sates will follow Florida's wise lead.

Next Sunday

Patriots v. Colts.

The Pats had a by-week this past weekend, and now know that they will face the Colts.

CBS Fires Four For Anti-Bush Memos

Five if you include Dan Rather being sent off into the sunset rather earlier than planned.

Can anyone imagine a major network coming up with bogus documents in an effort to derail a liberal Democrat's campaign or career?

No. I can't either.

Bill Clinton? Where were the lies? He was "persecuted" with the truth. He got what he deserved, actually less than he deserved. He deserved removal from office for perjury and obstruction of justice.

So, after disposing of that liberal canard, we are left with the overwhelming liberal bias of the lamestream media, the overwhelming liberal orientation of those who attend journalism or law school, and three archaic networks (5 if you include CNN and PBS) that consistently slant the news in favor of liberal causes, and liberal candidates, and against conservative causes and candidates.

The solution? The internet and talk radio.

More on Mel Gibson, TPOTC, and His Charities

Hollywood's liberal establishment may hugely dislike him, but the portrait painted of him here, which is supported by just about everything else I have read of the man, is highly favorable.

Found this via best-selling author Amy Welborn over at Open Book.

You will note the expectations that The Passion of the Christ will be shut out of the Oscars. And what movies were better? Michael Moore's big stinking pile of lying pooh?

Update: The movie did well, but not spectacularly well, at last night's People's Choice Awards.

And Mel Gibson showed the movie some time ago at the convent where Sister Lucia of Fatima resides, and met with her.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Baptism of the Lord

Now those holdouts keeping the Christmas decorations up until Candlemas will feel mighty lonely, since the parish churches will be taking them down before next Saturday/Sunday, when we will be back in Ordinay Time under the modern calendar (though Christmas gets a little more time when using the traditional calendar).

I gave up on the Raphael painting previously posted, as it was so large it forced the list of links down to the bottom of hte page on most browsers.

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