Saturday, April 09, 2005

Time For the First Red Sox Update

They lost to the Blue Jays, making them 2-3 on the season. They are a game behind New York, which is 3-2. David Wells has been a major disappointment. Who knows if Curt Schilling is up to it this year. The manager had some sort of cardiac episode. All in all, not an auspicious start.

Friday, April 08, 2005

After the Funeral of a Loved One

After the funeral of a loved one there is a quiet time.

The shock of the death has passed. One is beginning to come to terms with the reality of life without that loved one. Oh there will be more tears, sure. But the bitterest grief has been laid to rest with the body.

Soon after the funeral, those left behind are back in the Aristotilean world where Newton's physics suffice to describe our experiences, bills must be paid, and the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.

The funeral and the days leading up to it have been intense experiences of prayer and tears.

Now those left behind must pick up the pieces as best they can, and get on with things.

When my mother died, I went apple picking that afternoon. It is best to take your mind off the grief and do something nice for yourself. But reality is reality. I was back in work the next day after both of my parents' funerals.

And that is a course of action I recommend. Shut the TV off. Pray quietly now, not so much for the assured repose of the soul of our great Pope John Paul II, as for a good successor.

It is time to turn from the grief and sorrow of death and parting, and enjoy the Resurrection, the Spring, the new life in Christ. There are birds singing, flowers preparing to bloom (they may be in bloom already in warmer parts of the country than Boston) and familial duties and other obligations to see to. As for me, illustrating my prayer book will occupy my time this afternoon, plus some time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

As if to prove my thoughts above, my lunchtime walk across town showed me the Swan Pond with much water in it, probably from the rain last night. The ducks and geese are reveling in the water. I also saw my first bunch of blooming flowers, mini-daffodils, at the Public Garden. The rest of the flowers still seem to be a few days away from blossoming.

New Adoremus

The April, 2005 Adoremus Bulletin is available on line now.

There Are Three Vices I Find Endearing In Any Man

A fondness for good cigars. An occasional indulgence in a good whisky or brandy. And a sweet tooth.

Our late Holy Father had a sweet tooth, according to George Weigel.

Liberal Massachusetts Priest Presumes To Tell The Church What To Do

And Dom Bettinelli administers a much-needed and long overdue smackdown.

Maybe all Father Cuenin's weekly messages (and homilies, but that would mean someone with a lot of patience would have to sit through them) ought to be given this attention. Either he will be reigned in, or learn to shut his mouth and do his job properly.

Saint John Paul the Great

"Chants of 'Santo! Santo!' — urging John Paul to be elevated to sainthood immediately — echoed in the square."

I think elevation by acclamation would be appropriate here, and for Blessed Mother Theresa, too. If not them, then who? If not now, when?

Ratifying these two decisions should be the next Pope's first item on the agenda.

Someone Made This Point A Few Days Ago But It Just Sank Into My Thick Skull

We are all sedevacantists now.

The seat of Peter is truly empty.

For now.

God bless Holy Mother the Church, guide the Cardinal Electors when they meet to select a successor, and welcome John Paul II into the glorious company of saints.

Cardinal Ratzinger's Excellent Homily From the Holy Father's Funeral

Courtesy of Penitens.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Requiescat In Pace

Prince Rainier of Monaco has died at the age of 81, after a reign of 56 years. Requiescat in pace.

Conclave To Begin April 18th

This gives the bishops in Rome for the funeral time to go back to their dioceses and the cardinals time to prepare for a second trip for the conclave.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Former Massachusetts Priest Charged With Rape

Robert Burns, formerly a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, was charged with raping 5 boys under the age of 10 beginning in the 1980s.

Rambling Around Boston Today

Even as blindered an observer as I am noticed several things walking about town yesterday and this morning.

First of all, most flags, including those at the State House, City Hall, and the Common, and some of the hotels and businesses, are at half-mast in honor of the Holy Father. Bet the ACLU doesn't like that. Too bad.

The marker on the Common near Charles Street commemorating the Mass said on the Common by the Holy Father in 1979 has some flowers spontaneously added to it, but as of yesterday at noon, not too many.

There is black bunting at Saint Anthony Shrine on Arch Street, but none (as of yesterday) at Saint Francis Chapel at the Pru. I'll check later.

The weather is finally beginning to grown mild and spring-like. I would say that winter's back is finally broken. It has been a long, cold, snowy winter. After two days of more or less heavy rain and showers, and a snowy and wet winter generally, our water tables are high, and the ground is fairly sodden. Yesterday, temperatures were around 50F, and today they may (if the East wind doesn't knock them down) get to near 60F.

The famous Swan Pond at the Boston Public Garden is empty, the ice finally having melted. Last year, the City spent a few days dredging the bottom to remove the previous year's dead leaves and assorted other litter (both organic and non-organic) before filling it. They may be doing the same thing this year. In two weeks, for Patriots' Day weekend, the swan boats, and maybe even the swans themselves, return to the Garden. Right now, the ducks and geese have it to themselves, and are baffled at the lack of water.

Tulips, daffodils, and lilies are up through the ground and sprouting about 6 inches high. I have not seen any blooming yet. I saw some yellow forsythia at a florist on Boylston Street, but suspect that it was hothouse-forced, not natural. I haven't seen any yellow forsythia in anyone's gardens yet.

Patriots' Day is two weeks from yesterday. That means the Marathon will shut down government offices including the public libraries, and make trying to get to and fro on Boylston Street impossible. The Paul Revere Mall in the North End and the area around the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House in North Square should be getting a spring spruce-up for the tourists.

Easter seemed like just a brief respite this year. Over at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, I've had a lenten purple color scheme since Septuagesima Sunday. Then for Easter, I switched over to spring yellows, pinks, and greens, only to have to go into mourning black and grey for the Holy Father a few days later.

The judicial murder of Terri Schiavo, coupled with the death of the Holy Father have certainly tempered our Easter joy this year. Way too much death last week.

But we lay our Holy Father to rest Friday. I think there will be a new Pope within 3 weeks. I really don't think the College of Cardinals will be long in picking a successor. Winter is finally over and Spring is poised to break out. New life is palpably ready to emerge. There is hope. And that is the message of the Gospels, too.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Two of the Three Great Architects of Freedom Gone Within A Year

No world leaders in the last half century have done as much to advance the cause of human freedom and bring about the collapse of viciously bloody and expansionist Soviet communism than our late Holy Father Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and British Prime Minister (now Baroness) Margaret Thatcher.

We have lost two of the old buoys that marked the channels of our lives in the last year.

On Papal Elections

Timeless wisdom from Saint Alphonsus Liguori.

I took particular note of this passage, which applies to so many American bishops and cardinals:

I wish, furthermore, that he would let it be known to all and sundry bishops who are careless in their duties, who transgress in the matter of residence or in the luxury of their retinue or in excessive expenditure on furnishings, life-style, and similar matters, will be suspended or replaced by the appointment of vicars apostolic in order to remedy the situation. It is important to make an example from time to time. Examples of this sort will make other bishops take notice and moderate their extravagance accordingly.

Prince Charles' Wedding Is Pushed Back One Day

It was scheduled for Friday, the same day as the Holy Father's funeral. Now it will be Saturday.

If You Wish To Pray the Traditional Office of the Dead For the Holy Father

I posted it on Saturday in English only. English and Latin are available at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, under Files, Catholic Prayers, Offices. Translation from Glenn Gunhouse at his excellent Hypertext Book of Hours. It is based on a Use of Rome Psalter of 1599.

In the traditional Office (pre-Vatican II) there are only 3 hours, but Matins has an Invitory that is prayed with each of its 3 nocturns. The nocturns are said on different days. After Vatican II, additional hours were added, and the composition was altered. The Catholic Encyclopedia (the online version of which is pre-Vatican II) has an excellent description of the composition and origin of the Office of the Dead as seen here.


Invitatory For Matins

First Nocturn of Matins

Second Nocturn of Matins

Third Nocturn of Matins


I'm repeating the links to the parts of the Office here so that people just logging in and not scrolling down can easily see and make use of this resource, and because, in my rush to post Saturday I failed to explain anything about the devotion, which is no longer familiar to Catholic laymen, and probably not familiar to many clergy or religious, either.

Let Us Hope Cardinal Pell Is Correct

He is reassuring, but one is reminded that the fact that John Paul II appointed almost all the Cardinals who will vote for his successor is not dispositive. Recall that Pius XII had appointed 95% of the cardinals who voted for his successor, and we ended up with John XXIII, surely not what Pius XII would have had in mind.

My top candidates are Ratzinger, Arinze, and Shoennborn. Ratzinger as obvious first choice, Arinze as a good fall-back, and Schoennborn as the hope of the future.

Come to think of it, wouldn't Cardinal Pell himself make an excellent Pope?

John Paul II Template Images

I had a great image of our late Holy Father holding a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament for Benediction as the central template image (the ones that appear at the top of the page). It is the same image that is now on the home page of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group. But that image is only at the Yahoo Group now because I had to load it onto a diskette, creating my own version of the image. Apparently, that image is so popular that the various people around the web linking to it at its original site knocked the original site off because of bandwith limitations. And Blogger won't let me use the address of the image at the Yahoo Group in my template.

So now I have found another image of John Paul with a monstrance. This one appears to be of later date (2000) as the toll of illness and age appears in the Holy Father's face. Still, I like these images of him with a monstrance as they emphasize not just his leadership, but his priesthood, and are highly appropriate for this Year of the Eucharist that he decreed.

Penitens Is Right Up To Date On Plans For the Holy Father's Funeral

So no need for me to repeat any of it. Go. Look. Read.

The Annunciation

Normally March 25th, of course, but this year March 25th was Good Friday, which moves the Annunciation to the Monday after Divine Mercy (Low) Sunday.

One of Blessed Fra Angelico's numerous versions of the Annunciation

One is reminded of our Holy Father's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his consecration of his life and work to her, summed up in his phrase, "Totus Tuus." How fitting that he lies in state on this feast, and that he died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast he put on the calendar.

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