Saturday, May 12, 2007

Keep the Prices In Your Prayers

Heather, who is expecting, was rushed to the hospital yesterday with what appear to be blood clots that have to be dealt with. This has been a rough year for these good people already, so please keep them in your prayers.


How American Are You?

Some fun with the summer patriotic holidays coming up

You Are 82% American

You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!
How American Are You?

Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

O my soul, see what a sure hope of salvation and eternal life our Lord has given thee, by having in his mercy inspired thee with confidence in the patronage of his mother; and this, notwithstanding that so many times by thy sins thou hast merited his displeasure and hell.

Thank thy God, and thank thy protectress Mary, who has condescended to take thee under her mantle; for of this thou mayest be well convinced, after the many graces that thou hast received by her means. O yes, I do thank thee, my most loving Mother, for all thou hast done for me who am deserving of hell. And from how many dangers hast thou not delivered me, O Queen! How many inspirations and mercies hast thou not obtained for me from God! What service, what honor, have I ever rendered thee, that thou shouldst do so much for me? I know that it is thy sole goodness that has impelled thee.

O, too little would it be in comparison with all that I owe thee, did I shed my blood and give my life for thee; for thou hast delivered me from eternal death; thou hast enabled me, as I hope, to recover divine grace; to thee, in fine, I owe all I have.

My most amiable Lady, I, poor wretch that I am, can make thee no return but that of always loving and praising thee. Disdain not to accept the tender affection of a poor sinner, who is inflamed with love for thy goodness. If my heart is unworthy to love thee, because it is impure and filled with earthly affecgions, it is thou who must change it. Change it, then. Bind me to my God, and bind me so that I may never more have it in my power to separate myself from his love. Thou askest of me that I should love thy Godk, and I ask of thee that thou shouldst obtain this love for me, to love him always; this is all that I desire.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Thoughts On the Cristo Moribundo

Over at Ecce Ego, Quia Vocasti Me.

And the image I can't help but reproduce on this Friday before Rogationtide.


90th Anniversary Of Fatima This Sunday

My blogging partner Ginny the Inspired Traditionalist has been doing a series at her site on Fatima prayers for the 90th anniversary of Our Blessed Lady's appearance there.


Will Pope Pius XII Become An Official "Venerable"?


But even if he isn't so designated, this is at least a good opportunity to post a Pius XII pic.


An Interesting Idea

Michael Lawrence over at The New Liturgical Movement suggests, as a remedy for the frustration we all feel about delays in the issuance of the motu proprio on the Latin Mass, that those interested offer up some sacrifice, perhaps meatless Wednesdays, for renewal in Catholic liturgy (both modes).


Shut It Off

Fellow Catholic Restorationist Jeff Culbreath has been discussing ending dependence on TV.

In January of 2008, I will be able to say that I have been cut off from television network programming for a decade. I haven't seen a single episode of Survivor, House, or American Idol or anything else that has been popular for quite a while now. If I didn't read the Boston Metro every morning (mostly for the Su Doku and Crossword puzzles, which now take me less than 20 minutes), I'd have no idea who Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, or Flavor Fav, etc. even are.

Now, I was really never one for pop culture anyway. Even before I decided that network programming and me were not a good fit, I was a selective viewer at best. I watched Star Trek, The Simpsons, Alf, Jeopardy, and the news. I did see some Law and Order, and I liked reruns of old comedies like The Odd Couple, and dramas like Combat or The Waltons. But shows like Friends, Beverly Hills 90210, Seinfeld, the various A-Team and Miami Vice spin-offs were never once on the screen in my home. Thus I was closed off to "must-see TV." long before I consciously made any break with the networks.

Now, I will not claim that I have gone this decade entirely without passive visual stimulation emanating from the TV. The TV still goes on once or twice a week, but with programming on VHS or DVD that I choose to watch.

Nor am I some paragon of TV-less virtue. I still can sing the opening song to The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show from memory. "Overtures, curtain lights...". I spent a lot of time in front of the TV as a kid. When my mother was declining with dementia in the mid-late 1990s, I used the TV as a baby-sitter. It was on all day, from The Today Show, through BCTV's Daily Mass, on through hours of Columbo, Banacek, MacMillan and Wife, and McCloud, Law and Order, Spencer For Hire, and The Equalizer, hours on end of news, plus Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune, and finally, as she petered out for the day, Leno. I wasn't paying attention to it all day, but it was on. I might have been in another room listening to the radio, but I could still hear it. In fact, it was those 3 years of being shackled as care giver with the TV on all the time that decided my views towards the networks. As soon as her condition had deteriorated enough that I could no longer care for her at home, my happy exile from TV Land began.

Disconnecting from network programming has helped me to keep Hollywood values at a distance. Hollywood's easy acceptance for homosexuality and the gay life style, abortion as "choice," feminism, environmentalism (remember the Toxic Avenger?), and soft liberalism generally was so greatly at odds with the values I have held since childhood, that a break was inevitable. Either I would give in somewhat and become more accepting of Hollywood's liberal values, or TV and I would part company. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't bend.

What am I doing with my TV-less time? Reading. Working. Praying. Learning. Living.

The texts of at least a thousand books have passed through my hands and before my eyes since then. I have re-applied myself to the Latin tongue, as I was becoming acquainted with the traditional Mass. I have learned numerous prayers by heart, so that my morning prayer routine is now an hour in which I no longer need to open the prayerbook. I have put together my own prayerbooks. I have developed my appreciation for baroque music, and Irish and Celtic music.

And when I want to watch an episode of Blackadder or two, or an hour of Jeeves and Wooster, I plug them in. I am no longer held captive by the programmers' choices. I am no longer subject to inane commercials. I get my news from sources I trust on the internet and talk radio. I no longer have to view material that reflects Hollywood's liberal and anti-Christian, and especially anti-Catholic, and most especially anti-traditional Catholic biases.

I have freed myself. You also can have this freedom to live. All you have to do, is shut it off.

Shut. It. Off.


I Love the Headline

Now if only bishops in the West start following through, and apply it to those hiding under fig leaf of not supporting abortion, but the "right to choose.".


This is How Cool Liturgia Latina Is

From the Roman Martyrology for May 11th:

Natalis beatorum Philippi et Jacobi Apostolorum. Ex his Philippus, cum omnem fere Scythiam ad Christi fidem convertisset, tandem apud Hierapolim, Asiae civitatem, cruci affixus et lapidibus obrutus, glorioso fine quievit; Jacobus vero, qui et frater Domini legitur et primus Hierosolymorum Episcopus, e pinna Templi praecipitatus, confractis inde cruribus, ac fullonis fuste in cerebro percussus, interiit, ibique, non longe a Templo sepultus est.

Romae, via Salaria, item natalis beati Anthimi Presbyteri, qui, post virtutum et praedicationis insignia, in persecutione Diocletiani, in Tiberim praecipitatus, et ab Angelo exinde ereptus, oratorio proprio restitutus est; deinde, capite punitus, victor migravit ad caelos.

Ibidem sancti Evellii Martyris, qui, cum esset de familia Neronis, ad passionem sancti Torpetis in Christnm credidit, pro quo et decollatus est.

Item Romae sanctorum Martyrum Maximi, Bassi et Fabii; qui sub Diocletiano, via Salaria, caesi sunt.

Auximi, in Piceno, sanctorum Martyrnm Sisinii Diaconi, Diocletii et Florentii, discipulorum sancti Anthimi Presbyteri; qui, sub Diocletiano, lapidibus obruti, martyrium compleverunt.

Camerini sanctorum Martyrum Anastasii et Sociorum; qui, in persecutione Decii, sub Antiocho Praeside, caesi sunt.

Varennis, in Gallia, sancti Gangulphi Martyris.

Viennae, in Gallia, sancti Mamerti Episcopi, qui, ob imminentem cladem, solemnes ante Ascensionem Domini triduanas in ea urbe Litanias instituit; quem ritum postea universalis Ecclesia recipiens comprobavit.

Apud Silviniacum, in Gallia, depositio sancti Majoli, Abbatis Cluniacensis, cujus vita sanctis meritis fuit praeclara.

Neapoli, in Campania, sancti Francisci de Hieronymo, in Tarentinae dioecesis oppido Cryptalearum orti, Sacerdotis e Societate Jesu et Confessoris, eximiae in salute animarum procuranda caritatis et patientiae viri; quem Gregorius Papa Decimus sextus in Sanctorum canonem retulit.

Apud Septempedanos, in Piceno, sancti Illuminati Confessoris.

Carali, in Sardinia, sancti Ignatii a Laconi, Confessoris, ex Ordine Minorum Capuccinorum, humilitate, caritate et miraculis praeclari, quem Pius Papa Duodecimus Sanctorum honoribus decoravit.

Et alibi aliorum plurimorum sanctorum Martyrum et Confessorum, atque sanctarum Virginum. R. Deo gratias.


Allow Me To Advert Your Attention

To Liturgia Latina, with its texts of The Roman Martyrology, the Raccolta, the Domincan and Carmelite Rites, and more.

Worth the time, and a worth permanent place in my links column.


Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

Behold at thy feet, O Mary my hope, a poor sinner, who has so many times been by his own fault the slave of hell. I know that by neglecting to have recourse to thee, my refuge, I allowed myself to be overcome by the devil. Had I always had recourse to thee, had I always invoked thee, I certainly should not have fallen.

I trust, O Lady most worthy of all our love, that through thee I have already escaped from the hands of the devil, and that God has pardoned me. But I tremble lest at some future period I may again fall into the same bonds. I know that my enemies have not lost the hope of again overcoming me, and already they prepare new assaults and temptations for me.

O, my Queen and refuge, do thou assist me. Place me under thy mantle; permit me not again to become their slave. I know that thou wilt help me and give me the victory, provided I invoke thee; but I dread lest in my temptations I may forget thee, and neglect to do so.

The favor, then, that I seek of thee, and which thou must grant me, O most holy Virgin, is that I may never forget thee, and especially in time of temptation; grant that I may then repeatedly invoke thee, saying, "O Mary, help me; O Mary, help me."

And when my last struggle with hell comes, at the moment of death, then, my Queen, help me more than ever, and thou thyself remind me to call on thee more frequently either with my lips or in my heart; that, being thus filled with confidence, I may expire with thy sweet name and that of thy Son Jesus on my lips; that so I may be able to bless thee and praise thee, and not depart from thy feet in Paradise for all eternity.


Motu Proprio Grinches

Check out Crescat's filk of the Grinch.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Honey, I Went To the Boston Pops Concert...

And a fight broke out.

Before you think that really weird, read the diaries of Boswell, where he talks about fights breaking out pretty frequently at plays and concerts in 18th century London.

Blair Makes It Official

He is stepping down June 27 as head of the Labour Party.

Let's hope the Tories finally have their act together for the next general election. Without Blair, I doubt it will be credible for Labour to run under moderate colours. They will have to run on what they really believe.

And even so many years now since Iron Maggie was pushed out the door, I remain confident that what the British electorate wants is a strong and prosperous Britain, a Britain not unfriendly to Europe, but not subsumed into a Franco-German dominance, a Britain where the Queen is sovereign, where the Pound is the currency, and where the laws are made by Members of Parliament in London, not by bureaucrats in Brussels, or Paris, or Berlin, a Britain that is a constant ally to the US, but a source of good advice as well as material help, a Britain that is not a flophouse for every Third World layabout, a Britain that will not mollycoddle the violent at home or abroad, a Britain that is not a nation of social workers and deserving cases of charity, but a productive, free-enterprise, pulling-itself-up-by-its-own-bootstraps economic powerhouse.

Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

O Mother of God, Queen of angels and hope of men, give ear to one who calls upon thee and has recourse to thy protection. Behold me this day prostrate at thy feet; I, a miserable slave of hell, devote myself entirely to thee. I desire to be forever thy servant. I offer myself to serve and honor thee to the utmost of my power during the whole of my life.

I know that the service of one so vile and miserable can be no honor to thee, since I have so grievously offended Jesus, thy Son and my Redeemer. But if thou wilt accept one so unworthy for thy servant, and by thy intercession change me, and thus making me worthy, this very mercy will give thee that honor which so miserable a wretch as I can never give thee.

Receive me, then, and reject me not, O my Mother. The Eternal Word came from heaven on earth to seek for lost sheep, and to save them he became thy Son. And when one of them goes to thee to find Jesus, wilt thou despise it?

The price of my salvation is already paid; my Savior has already shed his blood, which suffices to save an infinity of worlds. This blood has only to be applied even to such a one as I am. And that is thy office, O Blessed Virgin; to thee does it belong, as I am told by St. Bernard, to dispense the merits of this blood to whom thou pleasest. To thee does it belong, says St. Bonaventure, to save whomsoever thou willest, "whomsoever thou willest will be saved" ("Quem vis, ipse salvus erit").

Oh, then, help me, my Queen; my Queen, save me. To thee do I this day consecrate my whole soul; do thou save it. O salvation of those who invoke thee, I conclude in the words of the same saint, "O salvation of those who call upon thee, do thou save me" ("O Salus te invocantium!").


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

O most pure Virgin Mary, I venerate thy most holy heart, which was the delight and resting-place of God, thy heart overflowing with humility, purity, and divine love.

I, an unhappy sinner, approach thee with a heart all loathsome and wounded. O compassionate Mother, disdain me not on this account; let such a sight rather move thee to greater tenderness, and excite thee to help me. Do not stay to seek virtues or merit in me before assisting me. I am lost, and the only thing I merit is hell. See only my confidence in thee and the purpose I have to amend. Consider all that Jesus has done and suffered for me, and then abandon me if thou canst.

I offer thee all the pains of his life; the cold that he endured in the stable; his journey into Egypt; the blood which he shed; the poverty, sweats, sorrows, and death that he endured for me; and this in thy presence. For the love of Jesus, take charge of my salvation.

O, my Mother, I will not and cannot fear that thou wilt reject me, now that I have recourse to thee and ask thy help. Did I fear this, I should be offering an outrage to thy mercy, which goes in quest of the wretched, in order to help them.

O Lady, deny not thy compassion to one to whom Jesus has not denied his blood. But the merits of this blood will not be applied to me unless thou recommendest me to God. Through thee do I hope for salvation. I ask not for riches, honors, or earthly goods. I seek only the grace of God, love towards thy Son, the accomplishment of his will, and his heavenly kingdom, that I may love him eternally.

Is it possible that thou wilt not hear me? No; for already thou has granted my prayer, as I hope; already thou prayest for me; already thou obtainest me the graces that I ask; already thou takest me under thy protection. My Mother, abandon me not. Never, never cease to pray for me, until thou seest me safe in heaven at thy feet, blessing and thanking thee forever.

Note: the above image of the Immaculate Heart is my own sentimental favorite, as it used to rest on a table, in a large brass frame with a small lightbulb, in my parents' house when I was growing up (it had been my grandmother's before). If only this generation had been able to retain all the sacred images of their great-grandparents' generation.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Plot To Kill US Servicemen At Fort Dix, NJ

The War on Moslem Terrorism, of which the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are but elements, continues, this time on the domestic front.

This is what gratitude we get for saving from genocide Moslems in the former Yugoslavia.

The Ann Coulter solution looks better and better.


Check out TraditionalCatholic.org.uk


The Yankees Have Bought Roger Clemens

Not for the first time. The "Say It Ain't So"s of his first venture in mercenary baseball a la Steinbrenner were a dozen years ago, after his 13 best personal seasons with the Red Sox. The emotion of that betrayal is drained from New England.

Now we know what he is. But we do note that his price has gone up to an astonishing almost $1 million per start.

With Clemens at 45 now, I wonder if Steinbrenner is buying a pig in a poke. I hope so.

The Red Sox still, I think, have the better starting rotation. Schilling, Wakefield, Matsuzaka, Beckett, and as fifth starter, either Tavarez or Lester. If all are healthy and performing, I think it is better than the Yankees' Clemens, Mussina, Pettite, and two other soulless myrmidons whose names escape me now.

When the Yankees heal up, they probably will make a serious run. If the Red Sox stay healthy (unlike last year) the Olde Towne Team ought to prevail. But the baseball season is a very long one, and many things can happen.

As Perfect Sacrifices Go, Sounds Like This One Pretty Much Sucked

Crescat suffered through a 5pm Sunday Mass.

Been there. Done that. Fled out the door right after receiving.


The League Of Catholic Restorationists Grows

In the last few days, we have added (just the names you are bound to know) Jeff Culbreath, Dale Price, and Mark Scott Abeln. That is three of my very favorite blogs added in a short time.

Why am I not listed there? I tried, but WebRing says there is something faulty in my navigation code in my template, and I have to fix it before I can join. Now I have to figure out what html error is causing WebRing to belch my blog out. It might be that Blogger keeps cutting off the bottom of my template, so that I have to keep going back in and re-adding the last third of my 170 Kb of template.


V-E Day

May 8th, 1945. National Socialist Germany surrenders, days after the suicide of Adolph Hitler.

US Servicemen and Londoners celebrate the end of the war in Europe.

Solving A Mystery

If you look through my links, at the start of the section on Re-enacting the American Revolution, there has been, for over 2 years now, a portrait by Thomas Gainsborough that has been known to everyone, Gainsborough scholars and students of the 18th century British Army alike, as "Unidentified Officer Of the 4th Regiment of Foot, 1776-1780."

For years, scholars have thought the fellow could be our own John Barker (whose diary entries before April 19th 1775 we examined here 2 or 3 years ago), or William Glanville Evelyn, or Nesbitt Balfour.

The painting had been housed at the Tate, and in recent years has travelled far and wide as part of a Gainsborough exhibit, including to Australia. it may now have a permanent home there. Due to the work of Martin Myrone, a curator in the Exhibitions and Displays Department at Tate Britain, this fellow has been identified. Historian John Houlding has pieced together more of his commission history from his database (derived from extensive research in the Public Records Office). And Professor Gregory Urwin, historian and 23rd Regiment of Foot re-enactor, has done the work of synthesizing the efforts of Myrone and Houlding, and presenting the definative explanation on who this is.

Without further ado, I turn you over to Greg Urwin, as he introduces this very interesting person to the world of military historians and re-enactors:

Redcoat Images, No. 83 (Revisited)
Ensign Richard St George Mansergh St George, 4th Regiment of Foot, 1776

Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne , Australia

Redcoat Images covered this famous portrait early in the series’ existence on November 8, 2004 (Redcoat Images, No. 83). Thanks to the sharp eye and keen research skills of Tom Fitzpatrick, however, we now know the sitter’s name and can share some details about his interesting and ultimately tragic history.

Martin Myrone, a curator in the Exhibitions and Displays Department at Tate Britain , has identified this officer as Richard St. George Mansergh St. George, a member of the Anglo-Irish landed gentry.

This worthy was born circa 1756 with a considerably shorter name – Richard St. George Mansergh. His family hailed from Headford, County Galway , Ireland . He received an education worthy of a scion of the Anglo-Irish ruling elite, which included studying at the Temple Bar. In 1771, while a student at Trinity College , Cambridge , he inherited property from his uncle, Richard Mansergh St. George, and added the additional “St. George” to his name.

Part of St. George’s preparation for a leadership role in the Protestant ascendancy included military service. On December 24, 1775, he purchased a cornet’s commission in the 8th Regiment of Light Dragoons, filling a vacancy created by a retirement. He retired himself on March 29, 1776. With war raging in the Thirteen Colonies, however, St. George could not stay out of uniform for long. He returned to service as a volunteer with the 4th Regiment of Foot and purchased an ensigncy on April 15, 1776, after another retirement created a vacancy in that regiment.

Before Ensign St. George sailed for America , he posed for this memorable full-length portrait by Thomas Gainsborough. This work reveals much about St. George’s personality. He presents himself as both a warrior and a man of feeling. The setting is the English coast, and the ship waiting to carry the young ensign to America , war, and possibly a violent death sits waiting offshore. St. George strikes a thoughtful pose leaning against a rock, while his faithful dog sits at his feet, waiting to bid his master farewell.

St. George served with the 4th Foot for less than a year. On December 23, 1776, he purchased a lieutenant’s commission in the 52nd Foot, advancing in rank thanks to another retirement. He was assigned to the regiment’s light infantry company, which was detached for service in the 2nd Battalion of Light Infantry in General Sir William Howe’s army. St. George served with the “light bobs” during the Philadelphia Campaign. Lieutenant Martin Hunter, one of St. George’s brother officers, considered him “quite military mad.” St, George was accompanied by an Irish servant who “copied his master in everything. . . . He wore one of his master's old regimental jackets, a set of American accoutrements, a long rifle and sword, with a brace of horse pistols.” Whenever any fighting broke out, St. George behaved with utter recklessness. As Martin recounted: “On a shot being fired at any of the advanced posts, master and man set off immediately. . . . I often thought that St George wished to be wounded, as he frequently said, ‘Tis very extraordinary that I don't get a clink, for I am certain I go as much in the way of it as anybody.’” It almost seemed as if St. George harbored some romantic impulse to gain a red badge of courage. If that was indeed his wish, it was gratified in a most horrible fashion.

When the Battle of Germantown opened on October 4, 1777, St. George took a bullet in the head from one of the first volleys fired by Brigadier General Anthony Wayne’s Pennsylvania Continentals. A Private Peacock from St. George’s Company carried the stricken lieutenant from the field on his back. This act of faithfulness and courage is featured in Xavier Della Gatta’s famous painting of the battle, which St. George may have commissioned.

To save St. George’s life, a British surgeon performed an operation known as trepanning and removed a large piece of bone from the side of his skull. The wound never healed properly. A silver plate was covered the hole, and St. George habitually hid it by wearing a black silk cap. Despite this painful and disfiguring wound, St. George attempted to remain in the army. He purchased a captaincy in the 44th Regiment of Foot on January 1, 1778. He exchanged that commission for the same rank in the 100th Regiment of Foot on May 4, 1785, only to finally retire from the regulars on May 18.

By that time, he hardly resembled the healthy youth who had sailed from England in 1776. In a letter written in April 1783, Anna Seward recorded her observations of St. George: “He now lives with a considerable part of his head shot away, and though feeble, emaciated, and in almost constant pain, his imagination and his virtues have lost nothing of their vigour.” Cold and damp weather intensified St. George’s discomfort, and he often took extended tours to the warmer parts of Europe. Consequently, his estates suffered from neglect until he finally returned to Ireland in the mid-1780s. His friends described him as a sort of 18th-century Don Quixote – an obsessive reader of Romances with a drive to live the life of a chivalric hero.

St. George married around 1788 to Anne Stepney of Durrow, Queen’s Country (today County Laois ). Despite St. George’s wound, he fathered two sons within three years of his wedding – Richard James (1789-1857) and Stepney St. George (1791-1847). Marriage and fatherhood seemed to transform St. George for the better. He became an active magistrate and took something of an interest in the plight of the tenants on his Galway estate. He also revived his military career by assuming the colonelcy of a local regiment of militia light horse.

Unfortunately, St. George’s happy little world collapsed when his wife died around 1795. Within the next two years, he commissioned Hugh Douglas Hamilton to paint his portrait. Hamilton depicted St. George as a man devastated by grief. Dressed in his light horse uniform, St. George leans disconsolately against his wife’s sarcophagus, which bears the inscription “Non Immemor.” It is a portrait of melancholy and loneliness, and it perfectly mirrors the despair that clouded his life. In many ways, the portrait was prophetic. When rebellion swept over Ireland in 1798, a band of rebels hacked St. George to death with a rusty scythe.

It is sad to think that the handsome and idealistic young soldier captured by Gainsborough in 1776 should lead such a tragic life and meet with such a horrible end. This is a story that could inspire a notable book. It would take the skills of a fine novelist to do it justice.

Many thanks to John Houlding for providing St. George’s commission history and to Tom Fitzpatrick for revealing his identity.

GTF: Myrone did the work. I just stumbled upon it while browsing through some art history.

Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From the Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

O my most sweet Mother, how shall I die, poor sinner that I am? Even now the thought of that important moment when I must expire, and appear before the judgment seat of God, and the remembrance that I have myself so often written my condemnation by consenting to sin, makes me tremble. I am confounded, and fear much for my eternal salvation.

O Mary, in the blood of Jesus, and in thy intercession, is all my hope. Thou art the Queen of Heaven, the mistress of the universe; in short, thou art the Mother of God. Thou art great, but thy greatness does not prevent, nay even it inclines thee to greater compassion towards us in our miseries.

Worldly friends, when raised to dignity, disdain to notice their former friends who may have fallen into distress. Thy noble and loving heart does not act thus, for the greater the miseries it beholds, the greater are its efforts to relieve. Thou, when called upon, dost immediately assist; nay more, thou dost anticipate our prayers by thy favors; thou consolest us in our afflictions; thou dissipatest the storms by which we are tossed about; thou overcomest all enemies; thou, in fine, never losest an occasion to promote our welfare.

May that divine hand which has united in thee such majesty and such tenderness, such greatness and so much love, be forever blessed! I thank my Lord for it, and congratulate myself in having so great an advantage; for truly in thy felicity do I place my own, and I consider thy lot as mine.

O comfortress of the afflicted, console a poor creature who recommends himself to thee. The remorse of a conscience overburdened with sin fills me with affliction. I am in doubt as to whether I have sufficiently grieved for them. I see that all my actions are sullied and defective; hell awaits my death in order to accuse me; the outraged justice of God demands satisfaction.

My Mother, what will become of me? If thou dost not help me, I am lost. What sayest thou, wilt thou assist me?

O compassionate Virgin, console me; obtain for me true sorrow for my sins; obtain for me strength to amend, and to be faithful to God during the rest of my life. And finally, when I am in the last agonies of death, O Mary, my hope, abandon me not; then, more than ever, help and encourage me, that I may not despair at the sight of my sins, which the evil one will then place before me.

My Lady, forgive my temerity; come thyself to comfort me with thy presence in that last struggle. This favor thou hast granted to many, grant it also to me. If my boldness is great, thy goodness is greater; for it goes in search of the most miserable to console them. On this I rely.

For thine eternal glory, let it be said that thou hast snatched a wretched creature from hell, to which he was already condemned, and that thou hast led him to thy kingdom. O yes, sweet Mother, I hope to have the consolation of remaining always at thy feet, in heaven, thanking and blessing and loving thee eternally. O Mary, I shall expect thee at my last hour; deprive me not of this consolation. Fiat, fiat. Amen, amen.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Just Because

Basilica Of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (The Mission Church) Boston


Deo Gratias

Sarkozy wins big in France. Not that he is that great, though he is promising warmer relations with the US, and seems more of conservative in the American model, tough on violent criminals, more capitalist, and more anti-immigration. It is just that Royal would have been an awful thing for France, the US, Europe, and Christendom in general.

The Forty Martyrs Of England And Wales

Mark Sullivan has a very helpful post on the topic.

Their feast was Friday, and I missed it.


Some Souls Are Gained, Some Are Lost

Right Reason, the conservative philosophical magazine I feel some affinity and sympathy for, since they wanted the title Recta Ratio, but I had it already, talks about Dr. Beckwith's recent conversion to the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, as the Caveman said, the formerly married, formerly heterosexual, and formerly Catholic ex-governor of New Jersey James McGreevey has taken the road of convenience and become an Episcopalian, and, since he is now an openly gay man, will be, what else, but an Episcopalian minister (I reserve the title "priest" for Roman Catholic priests, and priests of rites in communion with Rome, the only true priests, as all the rest are just Barnum and Bailey, as Ronald Knox came to understand). They'll probably make him a "bishop" someday.

And the rather odd Bill Cork is now a Seventh Day Adventist again. So much for long-winded, overly-sentimental rambling essays that never seem to end here at St. Blog's. Amazingly, since he could no longer work for the Catholic church, he landed a new job a few days after his "conversion." I echo what I read elsewhere: "But for Wales?"


Father McLucas Resigns From Latin Mass Magazine

I did not notice this before.

He will certainly be missed. I hope he will continue to speak out.

Hmmm. Cardinal Egan will be replaced shortly, one hopes. If I were the Holy Father, I would accept his resignation at age 75 with utmost alacrity, and appoint Archbishop Burke the new Cardinal/Archbishop of New York.

Then I am certain this injustice to Father McLucas will be rectified.


Everything You Need To Know

About the Holy Father's imminent trip to Brazil.

Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

O Mother of holy love, our life, our refuge, and our hope, thou well knowest that thy son Jesus Christ, not content with being Himself our perpetual advocate with the eternal Father, has willed that thou also shouldst interest thyself with Him, in order to obtain the divine mercies for us. He has decreed that thy prayers should aid our salvation, and has made them so efficacious that they obtain all that they ask. To thee therefore, who art the hope of the miserable, do I, a wretched sinner, turn my eyes.

I trust, O Lady, that in the first place through the merits of Jesus Christ, and then through thine intercession, I shall be saved. Of this I am certain; and my confidence in thee is such, that if my eternal salvation were in my own hands, I should place it in thine, for I rely more on thy mercy and protection than on all my own works.

My mother and my hope, abandon me not, though I deserve that thou shouldst do so. See my miseries, and, being moved thereby with compassion, help and save me. I own that I have too often closed my heart, by my sins, against the lights and helps that thou hast procured for me from the Lord. But thy compassion for the miserable, and thy power with God, far surpass the number and malice of my sins.

It is well known to all, both in heaven and on earth, that whosoever is protected by thee is certainly saved. All may forget me, provided only that thou dost remember me, O Mother of an omnipotent God. Tell him that I am thy servant; say only that thou defendest me, and I shall be saved. O Mary, I trust in thee; in this hope I live; in it I desire and hope to die, repeating always, "Jesus is my only hope, and after Jesus the most Blessed Virgin Mary" ("Unica spes mea Jesus et post Jesum Virgo Maria").


Sunday, May 06, 2007

God Preserve Us

From a Royal victory in France. France is an errant enough power under conservative control. It would be unspeakable under a feminist socialist.

Daily Prayer During Our Blessed Lady's Month

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

O compassionate Mother, most sacred Virgin, behold at thy feet the traitor, who, by paying with ingratitude the graces received from God through thy means, has betrayed both thee and him. But I must tell thee, O most blessed Lady, that my misery, far from taking away my confidence, increases it; for I see that thy compassion is great in proportion to the greatness of my misery. Show thyself, O Mary, full of liberality towards me: for thus thou art towards all who invoke thy aid.

All that I ask is that thou shouldst cast thine eyes of compassion on me, and pity me. If thy heart is thus far moved, it cannot do otherwise than protect me: and if thou protectest me, what can I fear? No, I fear nothing; I do not fear my sins, for thou canst provide a remedy; I do not fear devils, for thou art more powerful than the whole of hell; I do not even fear thy Son, though justly irritated against me, for at a word of thine he will be appeased.

I only fear lest, in my temptations, and by my own fault, I may cease to recommend myself to thee, and thus be lost. But I now promise thee that I will always have recourse to thee; O, help me to fulfill my promise. Lose not the opportunity which now presents itself of gratifying thy ardent desire to succor such poor wretches as myself. In thee, O Mother of God, I have unbounded confidence.

From thee I hope for grace to bewail my sins as I ought, and from thee I hope for strength never again to fall into them. If I am sick, thou, O heavenly physician, canst heal me. If my sins have weakened me, thy help will strengthen me. O Mary, I hope all from thee; for thou art all-powerful with God.


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