Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

From The Raccolta:

My Queen! My Mother! I give thee all myself, and, to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my entire self. Wherefore, O loving Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, defend me, as thy property and possession.


Saint Ignatius Of Loyola

Founder of the Society of Jesus. Since I spent 7 years in a Jesuit school, though it was the very secular and very liberal Boston College, Saint Ignatius deserves a nod. He envisioned the Jesuits as much better than they have been in the last 50 years. And remember, the early Jesuits were the leaders in devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Of course, there is the old joke about two college students thinking about the priesthood, and examining orders they might join. One was reading about the Jesuits and the Dominicans.

He said to his companion, "What is there to pick from between these two orders? They were both founded by Spaniards in pre-modern times to fight heresy through education and preaching. The Dominicans were founded to fight Albigensianism, and the Jesuits to fight Protestantism."

"So," his companion asked, "What is the difference between them?".

"Well, off the top of my head, all I can come up with is to ask, 'When was the last time you saw an Albigensian walking the streets?'."

Check out Catholic Tradition's page on Saint Ignatius.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, please pray for us!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

O my God,
in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(here kiss your Brown Scapular *)
I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
from all the altars throughout the world,
joining with it the offering of my every thought,
word and action of this day.

O my Jesus,
I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit that I can
and I offer them, together with myself,
to Mary Immaculate...
that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart (or to the interests of the Holy Souls in Purgatory).

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Save us!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saint Martha Of Bethany

Martha was the sister of Mary of Bethany, and of Lazarus. She was the one who fussed over cooking for Jesus and His Apostles, while her sister Mary sat and listened to the Lord's discourse. She complained that Mary was doing "nothing" while she was doing all the work. But Our Lord explained that Mary had chosen "the better part," and that Martha ought to be less concerned with the minutiae of entertaining than with listening to His message.

A listing of her patronage shows her connection to housekeeping and entertaining:
butlers, cooks, dieticans, domestic servants, homemakers, hotel-keepers, housemaids, housewives, innkeepers, laundry workers, maids, manservants, servants, servers, single laywomen, travellers.

She may have been a part of a mission to southern Gaul, where she may have died around 80 A.D.

Saint Martha Of Bethany, plese pray for us!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mid-Week Mix

Just be thankful. I had considered doing a Christmas-In-July version of Mid-Week Mix on this last Wednesday of July. But I thought better of it. What a narrow escape you had!

1grid78, Carolan's Welcome

Peter Bellamy, The Fox Jumps Over The Parson's Gate

Luke Kelly & The Dubliners, The Wild Rover

Pugwashsecond, Gentlemen Of England

The Chieftains, O'Sullivan's March, The Rakes Of Mallow, and The Cuckold Comes Out Of The Amery

The Corries, The Rose Of Allandale

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (Liam Clancy solo) The Juice Of the Barley

The Dublin City Rambers, Molly Malone


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Write Like Charles Dickens

In my dreams.

But this blog device thinks I do, anyway.

I write like
Charles Dickens

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Saints Anne and Joachim

This has apparently always been Saint Anne's Day, but Saint Joachim's has bounced all over the calendar over the centuries. His feast has been celebrated September 16, December 9, March 20, and on the Sunday after the Assumption. Finally, it has been joined to that of his spouse. This is another of those reforms of the calendar that actually makes sense (not all of them do).

This is a brief biographical sketch of the parents of Our Blessed Lady, but since the New Testament does not mention them, there is not much that has come down to us, except from dubious sources like the "Gospel of James."

Saint John Damascene had this to say about the blessed couple:

Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.

Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says: "By their fruits you will know them." The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity: she who remained a virgin before, during, and after giving birth. She along for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.

Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple! While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

If Today Were Not A Sunday, Part 2

It is unusual to observe the feasts of two major unrelated saints on the same day, but if today were not a Sunday, it would also be the feast of one of the most popular saints, Saint Christopher, the Christ-bearer, who is the patron of travellers.

Those in charge of the reform of the calendar thought they were doing us a favor when they decided that Saint Christopher was legendary, and removed him from the Ordo. But Catholics in the pews, the real John and Mary Catholics, have rejected this "reform" and remain attached to Saint Christopher. His medals are still for sale in just about every Catholic gift shop. And he remains very popular.

Saint Christopher, pray for us!


If Today Were Not A Sunday

It would be observed liturgically as the feast of Saint James the Greater, Apostle and Martyr.

July 25th is such an important day, and Saint James has become such an important symbol for the faith. In legend, St. James became the first apostle of Spain. In theory, his remains lie buried at Santiago de Compostela (St. James of Compostela, "Iago" in Spanish meaning "James"). Santiago became the patron of Spain, and Compostela became the thrid most important pilgrimage place in Christendom, after Jerusalem and Rome.

It was during the Reconquista, when Spain was painfully, bit-by-bit, inch-by-inch recaptured from the Moslems over a period of centuries, that St. James allegedly appeared leading the Catholic armies of Spain against the Moslems. That is how he got the title Santiago Matamoros, Saint James the Moor-Killer.

July marks the anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War, when the forces of Catholic Spain rallied again to end pagan depridation on the Catholic cultural heritage that is the strength of Spain. Members of my own Irish family played some small part fighting as soldiers in the cause of the Church in Spain in the 1930s.

Spanish nationalist coat of arms, including the Sacred Heart at the center
And today, all is not well again in Spain. It is not the enslaving Moors and the vile doctrines of armed Mohammedanism that are the greatest threat (though Spain, like the rest of Europe has too many Moslems living there and their birthrate is alarmingly high, threatening to overwhelm the native Catholic population and submerge Catholic Christendom into an Islamic state, if measures are not taken to stop the flow into Spain, and reverse it). It is not the murderous Communists. Franco gave Spanish communism its richly-deserved death sentence in his 30 years in power. It is the secularizing socialists, stripping Spain of all that is good and pure and pushing filth like gay "marriage," divorce, and abortion onto the Spanish people with the avidity of a drug pusher. And the Spanish people, degenerating from the solid examples of their fathers, are not blameless, since they elected this vile government that now misrules Spain.

Spanish communists shooting at the Sacred Heart statue, which they later blew up, courtesy of Rorate Caeli

Catholic Spain needs a rallying point now. Carlist requites once went into battle against the communists and their thoroughly reprehensible international allies with the Sacred Heart, the Corazon Sagreda, pinned to their chests or in their berets. Why shouldn't the Sacred Heart again serve as a symbol for a revival of Catholic Spain?

And if the cause of Catholic revival is to take on specific meaning for Spaniards and others, why not a rallying cry: "For the Sacred Heart and Saint James!" "Por Corazon Sagreda et Santiago!"

But today, while Spain is a battlefield in the war with islamofacism, the conflict Christendom and Islamofacism is global. All of Christendom finds itself fighting against Islamofascism at almost every point of the Globe where Islam and Christendom come into contact. The Sacred Heart is the traditional symbol of Catholic counter-revolution. But the Sacred Heart allied to the patronage of Saint James, who aided Spain in its battle against the Islamofacists of his day would be a very compelling and totally politically incorrect symbol of Christendom militant and unwilling to cave into the Mohammedans today.

In Afghanistan, we are still fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In Iraq, we are fighting al Qaeda In Iraq.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In Lebanon, Israel is fighting Hezbollah, and in Gaza, Hamas, both made up of militant Moslems, who, if they didn't have Israel to kick around, would be fighting us in Iraq. Even the supposedly "moderate" al Fatah Palestinian faction is part of the problem, allied as it is with Islamic Jihad and the Al Acqsa Martyrs Brigade. Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

Iran threatens to develop, and maybe use, nuclear weapons. Iran and Syria are supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda in Iraq.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In the Philippines, the Moro Liberation Front, essentially al Qaeda in the Philippines, is fighting the government, which is getting support from the US.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In Pakistan, and Indonesia, and Malaysia, we see Moslem groups, either part of or inspired by al Qaeda, attacking western, and specifically Christian, targets. In Pakistan, they bomb Christian hospitals and schools. In Indonesia, they blow up western tourist resorts.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In every Western nation, growing Moslem minorities threaten the peace, and often serve as recruiting grounds for Moslem terrorists. Look at the rail bombing in Spain which drove the solid previous Spanish government from power, and brought in this "surrender-to-the-terrorists-and-subvert-traditional-Spain" socialist government. In the UK, past July's rail and bus bombs were the work of Moslem terrorists. Numerous plots, all involving Moslems, have been thwarted here in the US since September 11th. Even France, so accomodationist to every enemy, was targeted by Moslem extremists, which caused weeks of destructive rioting by Moslem youths in the suburbs of Paris a few falls ago.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

SantIago Matamoros, pray for us!


The Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

THE lamentation over Jerusalem’s woes, the sub­ject of to-day’s Gospel, has given its name to this ninth Sunday after Pentecost, at least among the Latins. We have already observed that it is easy to find, even in the liturgy as it now stands, traces of how the early Church was all attention to the approaching fulfilment of the prophecies against Jerusalem—that ungrateful city upon which our Jesus heaped His earliest favours. The last limit put by mercy upon justice has, at length, been passed. Our Lord, speaking of the ruin of Sion and its temple, had foretold that the generation that was listening to His words should not pass until what He had announced should be fulfilled.1 The almost forty years accorded to Juda, that he might avert the divine wrath, have had no other effect than to harden the people of deicides in their determination not to accept Christ as the Messiah. As a torrent, which, having been long pent back, rushes along all the fiercer when the embankment breaks, vengeance at length burst on the ancient Israel; it was in the year 70 that was executed the sentence he himself had passed when, delivering up his King and God to the Gentiles,2he had cried out: ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children!’3Even as early as the year 67, Rome, irritated by the senseless insolence of the Jews, had deputed Flavius Vespasian to avenge the insult. The fact of this new general being scarcely known was, in reality, the strongest reason for Nero’s approving of his nomination; but to the hitherto obscure family of this soldier God reserved the empire, as a reward for the service done to divine justice by this Flavius and his son Titus. Later on, Titus will see and acknowledge4that it is not Rome but God Himself who conducts the war and commands the legions. Moses, ages before, had seen the nation, whose tongue Israel could not understand, rushing like an eagle upon the chosen people, and punishing them for their sins.5But no sooner has the Roman eagle reached the land where he is to work the vengeance, than he finds himself visibly checked by a superior power; and his spirit of rapine is held back, or urged on, precisely as the prophets of the Lord of hosts had foretold. The piercing eye of that eagle, as eager to obey as it was to fight, almost seemed to be scrutinizing the Scriptures. It was actually here that he found the order of the day for the terrible years of the campaign.6

As an illustration of this, we may mention what happened inthe year 66. The army of Syria, under the leadership of Cestius Gallus, had encamped under the walls of Jerusalem. Our Lord intended this to be nothing more, in His plan, than a warning to His faithful ones, which He had promised them when foretelling the events that were to happen. He had said: ‘When ye shall hear of wars, and seditions, and rumours of wars, be not terrified; these things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet presently.7 But when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army, then know that the desolation thereof is at hand.’8 The Jews had been for years angering Rome by their revolts, but she bore with it all, if not patiently, contemptuously; but when, in one of these seditions, Roman blood had been spilt, then she was provoked and sent her legions. Her army, however, had first of all to furnish Jesus’ disciples with a sign;9 He had promised them that this sign should consist in her ‘compassing Jeru­salem,’ then withdrawing for a time; this would give the Christians an opportunity of quitting the accursed city. The Roman proconsul had his troops stationed so near to Jerusalem that it seemed as though he had but to give the word of command and the war would be over; instead of that, he gave the strange order to retreat, and throw up the victory which he might have if he wished.10Cestius Gallus seemed to men to have lost his senses; but no, he was following, without being aware of it, the commands of heaven. Jesus had promised an escape to His loved ones; He fulfilled His promise by this unwitting instrument.

Vespasian himself had scarcely started for Judea when he met with one of those divine adjournments which all the Roman tactics were several times powerless to resist; the hour marked for them to act had not come, so they must wait, however reluctantly. The preordained counsel of the Most High decreed that before all these things11which men were to bring about, before the already broken sceptre of the ancient alliance12should have dis­appeared in the flames enkindled by the Jews themselves13—the establishment of the new Testa­ment was to be solidly set up among the Gentiles, and be solemnly confirmed by the blood of the apostles, its witnesses.14It was on June 29 in the year 67 that Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom in the city of Rome. Rome was thus made the mother-Church; and the reign of the Messiah, whom Israel rejected, was promulgated to the whole world, with an evidence which only the voluntarily blind could resist. Though Vespasian had opened the campaign against Judea in the spring of that year 67, yet he had to wait for the glorious con­fession of these two princes of the apostles; that triumph secured, the impatient legions might rush to victory as soon as they pleased. For forty-seven long days they had been kept, by some power, staring at the citadel of Jotapata, which it was so easy for them to take, and which would make them masters of Galilee; but June 29 had now had its apostolic triumph in Rome, and Ves­pasian was at liberty to do what he had so long wished to do; on that very June 29 he did it—he took Jotapata.

Forty thousand dead, strewn on the steeps of the hill, and heaped up as high as the walls, showed the Romans what desperate resistance they were to expect from Jewish fanaticism. Of all the male defenders or inhabitants of Jotapata, only two survived; one of these was Josephus, a chief leader in the Jewish forces, and historian of these cruel wars. The women and children were spared.15But, some short time later on, another fortress, Gamala, was attacked; it overhung a chasm. When one-half of the besieged had been slain, and it was evident that further resistance was impossible, the survivors, assembling together the women and children, threw them and themselves down the rock; and five thousand was their number. When the legions stood looking around, at the close of that day’s work, they could see but a desert and death.16

In every part of the unhappy Galilee blood was flowing in torrents, and the flames of burning villages lighted up the horizon. It was hard to recognize this as the land where Jesus had spent the years of His childhood, or as the scene of His first miracles, and of those teachings of His which were ever borrowing some exquisite parable or other from the sight of the pretty hills and fertile vales of that then favoured country. The arm of God was now pressing with all its weight on this land of Zabulon and Nephthali, on which first so brightly shone the light of salvation,17 as we sang on Christmas night. So again this time it was the first to be visited by God. But these were unhappy times; and the visit was no longer that of the divine Orient, opening out to the world the paths of peace.18He was hid behind the tempest,19and darted the fiery arrows of destruction on the ungrateful country that had refused to welcome Him in the weakness of human flesh, which nothing but His mercy had led Him to assume. ‘They cried out, on the day of my vengeance,’ says this rejected King of Israel, ‘but there was none to save them; they cried to me their Lord, but I heard them not: and I will break them as small as dust, and scatter them before the wind; I will bring them to nought, like the dirt in the streets.’20

Terrible lesson which the Church learned and has never forgotten, that no blessing, no past holiness, is of itself a guarantee that the place thus favoured will not afterwards draw down on itself desecration and destruction! She saw, and trembled as she saw, these events of the first age of her history. She beheld violence and every sort of crime profaning the paths that had been trodden by the feet of her adorable Master, and the hills where He had passed whole nights in prayer and praise to His eternal Father. She one day wit­nessed even the pure waters of the Lake of Genesareth fearfully polluted; those waters that had so oft reflected the features of her divine Spouse, as when He walked on their glassy surface, or sat in Peter’s bark superintending those mystery-meaning fishings of His apostles. The event we here allude to was that of six thousand Jewish insurgents—hemmed in between God’s wrath and their Roman pursuers—reddening with their blood this Sea of Tiberias, where once Jesus had spoken to the storm and quelled it.21Their livid carcasses were thrown back by the waves on the shore, where our Lord had uttered woe to the cities that had witnessed His miracles, and yet were not con­verted.22

And souls, too, on whom God heaps His choicest favours, inviting them thereby to a closer union with Himself, have a lesson to learn from all this. Woe to them if, through indifference or sloth, they neglect to correspond with their graces! Woe to them if they imitate the cities on the Lake of Galilee, by greedily accepting the honour done them but never producing the fruits of holiness which should follow such signal and frequent gifts of heaven. The prophet Amos couples these forgetful, careless souls with the cities which our Lord had treated with such partiality, and which yet remained apathetic and worldly; and he tells us what this slighted benefactor will say to both: ‘You only have I known of all the families of the earth! therefore will I visit upon you all your iniquities! Shall two walk together, except they be agreed?’23As to Israel, the highly-favoured above all people, he would not agree with the Jesus who so loved him, and was visited withchastisements exactly corresponding to his crimes. In the spring of the year 68, an officer under Vespasian scoured the left banks of the Jordan, driving the terrified Israelites before him.24They fled in thousands towards Jericho, where they hoped to find refuge; but the river had so flooded the country round the city, that entrance was impossible; the wretched fugitives were overtaken and slain by the Roman troops. The Ark of the Covenant had once opened there a miraculous passage to the tribes of Israel; but even had it been there now, how was it to protect such unworthy descendants of the patriarchs—descendants, that is, who broke the Covenant made by God with the sons of Jacob? A frightful massacre, a merciless mowing down of human beings, followed; and, at what a place! the very place where, forty years before, St. John the Baptist had seen the axe laid to the root of the tree, and foretold the wrath to come upon this brood of vipers, who called themselves children of Abraham, and would not do penance.25A countless multitude drowned themselves in the Jordan; they found death in the very stream to which our Saviour had imparted sanctification by being Himself baptized in it, and imparting to it the power to give light to the world. But Israel had chosen the kingdom of the prince of this world in preference to that of the divine Giver of life.26The number of those who perished in that holy stream was so great that the heap of their dead bodies made it impossible for vessels to sail in the river; and this fearful obstacle continued until such time as the current had swept the corpses down to the Dead Sea, and scattered far into that dismal lake of malediction that hideous jetsam of the Synagogue. Had not our Lord said, that Sodom’s guilt was less than theirs?27

Rome and her legions were masters, in the north, of Galilee and Samaria; in the east and west, of the banks of the Jordan and of the Mediterranean coast; and the conquest of Idumæa completed the circle of iron and fire that was to shut Jerusalem in. Roman garrisons held Emmaus, Jericho, and all the fortified positions round the Jewish capital. Having, as God’s instrument, chastised so many other un­grateful cities, Vespasian was preparing to lay siege to the most guilty of all, when Nero’s fall, and the events which followed it, drew the attention, both of himself and of the whole world, from Judea.

The last years of the tyrant had witnessed frequent ‘earthquakes in divers places,’28 and ‘plagues,’29and ‘signs in the heavens’;30 but when he died there came ‘risings of nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’31 The entire west was in arms; and the east herself was attracted to­wards Rome by the immense political commotion of the year 69. From the heights of Atlas to the Euxine Sea, and from the Humber to the Nile, provinces and peoples were striving for the mastery. Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, proclaimed em­perors by their respective armies, sent their rival legions from Britain and the Rhine, from Illyria and the Danube; they met at Bedriac for mutual slaughter. In one thing alone they that survived were unanimous: friends or foes, all must lay Italy waste. Rome was taken by the Romans; whilst on the undefended frontiers appeared Suevians, Sarmatians, and Dacians. The Capitol and Jupiter’s temple in flames excited the Gauls to declare their independence, and Velleda to stir up Germany to revolt. The old world was gradually disappearing beneath the universal anarchy and war.

Circumstances, then, suddenly seemed favourable to Jerusalem; they gave her a fresh invitation to atone for her crimes; but, as we shall see when commenting on this Sunday’s Gospel, she made no other use of them than to multiply her sins, and treat herself with greater cruelty than the Romans would have done.

In the Mass of this Sunday, which is their ninth of St. Matthew, the Greeks read the episode of Jesus’ walking upon the waters.


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