Monday, December 30, 2019

Not, I Think, What the Founders Intended . . .

. . . but here we are now.

For most  modern European philosophers, especially German philosophers, the phrase "The State" has always meant the absolute supreme authority above all society.
The word "Federation", coming from the Latin word for "treaty",  generally means a free and rather loose agreement   between these supreme states.  But when the future Historian (poor brute) turns to the great topic of America, he will find just the opposite.  He will find the word "Federal" meaning the supreme authority that centralizes and overrules everything.  He will find the word "State" used for the subordinate thing; the sub-unit like the county or the city.

from GK Chesterton's A Hint About History from the New York American, March 12 1932 via the November/December 2019 number of Gilbert!.

Friday, December 27, 2019

St John the Evangelist -- 27 December

Not another reprint?  Yes, another one.  I like this one.  It's got the text for the blessing of wine in it, which may come in handy, given the season.

For today is the feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist.  Yes, the source is the Gospels, but the good old Catholic Encyclopædia will tell you something of St John in more condensed form here.

The Inn has copied this paragraph about St John's wine from the late Msgr Richard Schuler before.  And we do it again now:

St John the Evangelist was honored on December 27. His feast was a general holiday, being kept as the third day of Christmas. Special wine, called St John's Love, was blessed on St John's Day, the formula for the blessing being found in the Rituale Romanum. It was thought that St John had survived the drinking of poisoned wine. Those going on a long journey fortified themselves from harm by drinking St John's wine, and at weddings it was regularly drunk. Often those about to depart this life were given a sip to strengthen them for their departure from this world. In St John's Gospel, Christ is called the Light of the World, and so when lighting the Christmas tree, a child with the name of John is often given the privilege of lighting the tree.

That's from an old number - about 10 years ago - of The Wanderer.  The original link no longer links to the original story and I'm not finding it in the archive (which you'd probably have to subscribe to anyway).  But if you want to have a go  yourself you can start here.

Here's "The Blessing of Wine on the Feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist" from the old Roman Ritual:

After the principal Mass on the feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist, after the last gospel, the priest, retaining all vestments except the maniple, blesses wine brought by the people.  This is done in  memory and honor of St John, who without detriment drank the poisoned wine proffered by  his enemies:

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made both heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R.  And with thy spirit.

     Let us pray.

Bless + and consecrate, + O Lord God, this chalice of wine (or any other beverage - et cujuslibet potus)through the merits of St John, Apostle and Evangelist.  Bestow benediction and protection upon all who drink of this cup.  For as the blessed John partook of the poisoned potion without any hurt, so may all who on this day drink of the blessed wine to the honor of St John, by him be freed from poisoning and similar harmful things.  And as they offer themselves soul and body to thee, O Lord God, give them absolution and pardon.  Through Christ our Lord.  R. Amen.

Bless, + O Lord, this draught that it be a helpful medicine to all who drink it; and grant by thy grace that all who taste thereof  may enjoy bodily and spiritual health in calling upon they holy name.  Through Christ our Lord,  R.  Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Ghost come upon this wine and remain constantly.  R.  Amen.
There are actually two blessings for St John's wine in the Ritual.  The second one is perhaps twice as long so we'll leave that one for next year, along with the Latin text which I'm running out of time to proof at the moment. (And, yes, of course I proof these things.  I even edit them.  Hard to believe I know, but what you see here is, indeed, the improved version.)

This year someone has posted to the web Dom Gueranger's article on St John from his monumental The Liturgical Year.  If you've got the time - it's quite a lengthy piece -- you can find it here.   It's worth a look.  There are liturgical texts from the Roman, Byzantine, Ambrosian, and Gallican rites.  Beautiful stuff.

The Third Day of Christmas

Stolen shamelessly from Charles Coulombe's FB page:

Well, my friends, the Yuletide amateurs are now tossing their trees; it is up to us professionals to keep the Twelve Days going - and not give up entirely until Candlemas - of course, then we'll be entering Carneval...!

And, should you have any doubts, The Inn will most heartily drink to that.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 26, 2019

St Stephan's Day

You've seen this before but it's worth a reprint in honour of the day that's in it.

There are old traditions that even the most traditionalist clergy are highly unlikely to ever want reinstated. Today, St Stephen's Day, used to have one called "stephening" in the parish of Drayton Beauchamp, Bucks. It is probably at the top of that "unwanted" list. From the 1869 edition of Chambers' "Book of Days, A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography, & History, Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character":

In the parish of Drayton Beauchamp, Bucks, there existed long an ancient custom, called Stephening, from the day on which it took place. On St. Stephen's Day, all the inhabitants used to pay a visit to the rectory, and practically assert their right to partake of as much bread and cheese and ale as they chose at the rector's expense. On one of these occasions, according to local tradition, the then rector, being a penurious old bachelor, determined to put a stop, if possible, to this rather expensive and unceremonious visit from his parishioners. Accordingly, when St. Stephen's Day arrived, he ordered his housekeeper not to open the window-shutters, or unlock the doors of the house, and to remain perfectly silent and motionless whenever any person was heard approaching. At the usual time the parishioners began to cluster about the house. They knocked first at one door, then at the other, then tried to open them, and on finding them fastened, they called aloud for admittance. No voice replied. No movement was heard within. 'Surely the rector and his house-keeper must both be dead!' exclaimed several voices at once, and a general awe pervaded the whole group. Eyes were then applied to the key-holes, and to every crevice in the window-shutters, when the rector was seen beckoning his old terrified housekeeper to sit still and silent. A simultaneous shout convinced him that his design was under-stood. Still he consoled himself with the hope that his larder and his cellar were secure, as the house could not be entered. But his hope was speedily dissipated. Ladders were reared against the roof, tiles were hastily thrown off, half-a-dozen sturdy young men entered, rushed down the stairs, and threw open both the outer-doors. In a trice, a hundred or more unwelcome visitors rushed into the house, and began unceremoniously to help themselves to such fare as the larder and cellar afforded; for no special stores having been provided for the occasion, there was not half enough bread and cheese for such a multitude. To the rector and his housekeeper, that festival was converted into the most rigid fast-day they had ever observed. 
After this signal triumph, the parishioners of Drayton regularly exercised their 'privilege of Stephening' till the incumbency of the Rev. Basil Wood, who was presented to the living in 1808. Finding that the custom gave rise to much rioting and drunkenness, he discontinued it, and distributed instead an annual sum of money in proportion to the number of claimants. But as the population of the parish greatly increased, and as he did not consider himself bound to continue the practice, he was induced, about the year 1827, to withhold his annual payments; and so the custom became finally abolished. For some years, however, after its discontinuance, the people used to go to the rectory for the accustomed bounty, but were always refused. 
In the year 1834, the commissioners appointed to inquire concerning charities, made an investigation into this custom, and several of the inhabitants of Drayton gave evidence on the occasion, but nothing was elicited to shew its origin or duration, nor was any legal proof advanced showing that the rector was bound to comply with such a demand. Many of the present inhabitants of the parish remember the custom, and some of them have heard their parents say, that it had been observed:
'As long as the sun had shone,
And the waters had run.'
Chambers has even more oddments about St Stephan's Day here.

So . . . I hear you ask . . . what's all that stuff about burying the wren in the song?

Well, in a reprint from a different year, The Inn had this:

The 26th December is known as St Stephen's Day in Ireland. In Northern Ireland it's also known as Boxing Day. In most homes it is a sociable day, when visitors may call in to share some seasonal foods or liquid (usually alcoholic) refreshments. . . . . St Stephens is also the day when a purely Irish phenomenon can be witnessed: the tradition of Hunting the Wren. This is when the Wren Boys take to the streets in colourful costumes and masks, and noisily parade a dead wren on a decorated pole. It's a strange tradition and its origins are often debated. Some say it originated in Pagan times. Others from the Viking invasion. Most opt for a simplified religious reference: the betrayal by a wren of St Stephen who was hiding from the Romans who subsequently killed him for his Christian beliefs. Wren on tree branch This, then, gave the reason for hunting down the wren, and in olden days a bird was, indeed, captured and killed. The Wren Boys would then carry the dead bird on a pole from house to house and beg for money to bury the 'evil bird'. . . .
And that came from here.  And there's more at that link.


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Christmas Martyrology

This is reprinted from a few years ago.  Mostly.  It's been tidied up a bit, a couple of dead links removed and one or two new items added.

At the old morning office of Prime on this day the Martyrology reading would be the solemn announcement of Christ’s birth. This is the description given by Pius Parsch:

In some European monasteries the chanter, vested in alb and violet cope, steps into the middle of the choir, accompanied by ministers with candles and censer. He incenses the Martyrology on the violet-covered lectern, and after announcing the date begins to sing. All stand with heads uncovered, as at the Gospel. At the phrase, ‘in Bethlehem,’ all kneel; and at the words, ‘the birth of our Lord,’ all prostrate for the first adoration of the Son of God become Man. The passage begins with the fixation of the date according to the ancient computation. 

Here Dom Mark Kirby, the [former] prior of Silverstream Priory in County Meath, chants the Martyrology:

[And here's another, more recent one, this time in English and somewhat embellished.  And, odd though it may seem, a bit harder to understand.  Still very lovely.]

The text in English:

In the year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine;
from the flood, two thousand, nine hundred and fifty-seven;
from the birth of Abraham, two thousand and fifteen;
from Moses and the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, one thousand, five hundred and ten;
from the annointing of King David, one thousand and thirty-two;
in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
in the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome;
in the forty-second year of the empire of Octavian Augustus, when the whole earth was at peace;
in the sixth age of the world:
Jesus Christ, eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, havng been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having elapsed since his conception, is born in Bethlehem of Juda, having become man of the Virgin Mary.  Alleluia.  Thanks be to God.
Original found  here. Edited a little; mostly punctuation.
The Latin original is reprinted here.

Fr Z has post this morning dedicated to the Christmas martyrology here.  He not only gives an audio version of the original Latin but adds a link to a pdf of the Gregorian dots should you want to try your hand at singing it.  Or your, um, vocal chords.

There also is a newer aggiornamentoized version available,  so they tell me.  One presumes that "1,599 years from the creation of the world" caused palpitations in the breast of Archbishop Gradgrind and Msgr Bounderby who instigated a revision forthwith.

(One wonders idly what the purpose of a new, improved, lemon-flavoured Martyrology might be.  Since the martyrology is to be read at the office of Prime and the office of Prime has been determined to be surplus to requirements what does one do with one's brand-new copy of the Roman Martyrology?

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Der Herr is geboren!


Just back from Christmas Eve Mass.  Our schola did pretty well but we were very low on personnel.  All the women had other engagements and we men were down to only three.  So no polyphony but we did pretty well with the Gregorian propers and the congregation filled the chapel with the Healy Willan Mass.  So all-in-all, a beautiful Christmas Eve Mass.

A very merry and holy Christmas to all who stop by The Inn this season.  (And even to those who don't; they just won't know they've been wished it.)


Christmas and Washington Irving

Somebody posted this on FB this morning.  The title is "How Washington Irving Shaped Christmas in America" and that, indeed, is what it's all about.   Worth a read.

And it reminded me that Washington Irving on Christmas is himself worth a read.  Tom Fitzpatrick serialized it several years ago on his Recta Ratio blog, which is where I first encountered it.  I can't figure out how to post a link to his individual posts but you can find them but running a search for Washington Irving in the little box at the upper left-hand corner of this and most other blogspot hosted sites.

Or you could try the Gutenberg site for some Washington Irving Christmas.  Try here.


Is a Puzzlement -- every year

I understand about the department stores.  Christmas gifts come but once a year.  But why are the grocery stores so crowded just before Christmas?

Yes, I know people are buying the turkey and the fixin's for the 25th of December.  Buy where do all these extra people get their food on, say,  the 12 of April?  Or the 29th of September?  Do they fast the other 51 weeks of the year?  Or do they grow all their own food and raise their own cattle and pigs but have difficulty raising turkeys?

Is a puzzlement.


Emphasizing Sacrality

This restoration of a sense of the Holiness and otherness of the One Oblation of the Lord Once Offered is going to be the greatest task, the most laborious up-hill struggle, for all those Western clergy who desire to re-enter the historic, ecumenical liturgical consensus of the Latin West and the Byzantine Churches and the Semitic Christian East. Its destruction in the West more than a generation ago was one of the greatest successes of the Evil One. Its recovery is the calling of faithful clergy in this third millennium.

from Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment.  More at the link.

The Infallible Word from Corporate

A Charlie Brown Christmas, one of the most iconic children’s Christmas specials around, was originally rejected by CBS on the grounds that they didn’t like amateur child voice actors voicing the characters, the anti-consumerism message, and the musical score.

From the "How to Geek" site which arrived in my inbox this morning.


Friday, December 06, 2019

Why Sexual Morality May Be More Important Than You Thought

Well, actually I did think it was rather important.  Getting it wrong could result in an eternity in hell.  But it seems there are other social and cultural reasons of resounding importance.

Begin here.



Pilfered shamelessly from the Chesterton Society's FB page.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

1st Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead; we may rise to the life immortal; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

 Thus a collect for the 1st Sunday of Advent.  In the Ordinariate it's also the feast of St Edmund Campion who was martyred on this first day of December in 1581.  He doesn't get a look-in this year  since in falls on an Advent Sunday.   You can read more about him here.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

St Andrew's Day

"The 30th of November is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle, the patron of Scotland  -- and Russia, Prussia, somewhere in Greece, Amalfi in Italy and a lot of other places and things,  too."

Which is how The Inn has begun its St Andrew's Day post more than once before.  For more on St Andrew and his feast click here or here.

You'll also find out about the St Andrew's Novena, which isn't actually a novena because it lasts 25 days and isn't actually to St Andrew.  But it does begin on his feast day.

For the less liturgically (or paraliturgically) minded, how about a short St Andrew's Day parade?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Maria Stuarda

Gorgeous stuff.  The Met just posted this a short while ago.  It's the finale to Act 1 of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda if you were wondering.  A shame Joyce di Donato doesn't try for the high D at the end but it's still one of the best.   IMHO only, of course.

Sunday, the Last before Advent

The Benedictus antiphon at lauds did sort of grab my attention this morning.

Cum videritis abominationem desolationis, quæ dicta est a Daniele propheta, stantem in loco sancto : qui legit intellegat.

Holy Mother Teresa de Jesus didn't believe in co-incidences.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Armistice Day/Veterans Day 2019

Someone sent me this today.  I thought it worth a share considering the day that's in it.

May GOD continue to bless all who serve... 
Vietnam Memorial Wall Facts 
A little history most people will never know. 
Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall. 
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. 
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are  in alphabetical order.                            
It is hard to believe it is 57 years since the first casualty. 
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965. 
There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall. 
39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger. 
8,283 were just 19 years old. 
The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old. 
12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. 
5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. 
One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old. 
997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam. 
1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam. 
31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. 
Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons. 
54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school. 
8 Women are on the Wall, Nursing the wounded. 
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall. 
Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons. 
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall. 
The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058)had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966.  Only 3 returned home. 
The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. 
The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. 
The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred. 
For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. 

Saturday, November 09, 2019

This Seemed . . . Relevant

Part of this morning's scripture reading, from chapter  5 of Isaias.

This friend, that I love well, had a vineyard in a corner of his ground, all fruitfulness. 2 He fenced it in, and cleared it of stones, and planted a choice vine there; built a tower, too, in the middle, and set up a wine-press in it. Then he waited for grapes to grow on it, and it bore wild grapes instead. 3 And now, citizens of Jerusalem, and all you men of Juda, I call upon you to give award between my vineyard and me. 4 What more could I have done for it? What say you of the wild grapes it bore, instead of the grapes I looked for? 5 Let me tell you, then, what I mean to do to this vineyard of mine. I mean to rob it of its hedge, so that all can plunder it, to break down its wall, so that it will be trodden under foot. 6 I mean to make waste-land of it; no more pruning and digging; only briars and thorns will grow there, and I will forbid the clouds to water it. 7 Alas, it is the house of Israel that the Lord called his vineyard; the men of Juda are the plot he loved so. He looked to find right reason there, and all was treason; to find plain dealing, and he heard only the plaint of the oppressed.

 From Msgr Knox's translation.

Friday, November 08, 2019

St Hubert

He is the patron saint of hunters.  His feast day was actually earlier this week but I just came across this piece today.  If you didn't know you had a saintly patron, well, now you do.

Tolle, lege.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Bl Terence Albert O'Brien, O.P.

Frist noticed on my twitter feed . . . but I forgot from whom.  Sorry.

October 30th is the feast of Blessed Terence Albert O'Brien: Irish nobleman, Dominican friar, priest, Prior of Limerick, Provincial of Ireland, Bishop of Emly, supporter of the Confederation of Kilkenny, and martyr—executed by the Protestant Roundheads on this day in 1651.

More here.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Hotter Than the Hinges of Hell

Well, of course, I don't actually know whether hell has hinges or whether the weather hereabouts is hotter than the said hinges.  But 99° fahrenheit is exceedingly warm.  And if my grandfather were here he would definitely say it was hotter than the hinges of hell.

Not being English I didn't go out in the midday sun in the event you were wondering.  Sloshed some water on the garden this morning and otherwise stayed indoors and thanked God and all His blessed saints for air-conditioning.

It's supposed to be the same again tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.   And so on until Monday.

And, yes, this whole tedious weather report is all just an excuse to post that Noel Coward clip.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Found While Looking for Something Else

The "How-to-Geek" folks came up with this one.   No citation, other than the main page, as it only appears in their newsletter and in today's front page of their website.

Link rot, finding that a URL leads nowhere, is frustrating enough when you’re casually browsing, but it’s proving to be a serious problem in legal affairs. A Harvard study found that approximately 50 percent of the URLs cited in U.S. Supreme Court cases are already invalid.

In the unlikely event you're reading this on 20 OCT 2019 you'll find the quote on their front page.  By tomorrow . . . probably not.  Another broken link.  And this isn't even a supreme court case.

Sunday the 18th after Trinity and the 19th after Pentecost

This was our processional this morning.  Very familiar tune but it took almost the whole first stanza before it registered:  it's the old Czarist national anthem.   Different words, of course, and not in English for a start.  But what a delight for an unreconstructed monarchist.  Da Zdra'stvuyet Tsar!

Someone also recorded a bit of our choir singing the Kyrie and Gloria.   Somewhere in that polyphonic mix is my dulcet baritone masquerading as a bass.  Not quite sure how to imbed Soundcloud files so let us hope that whatever I'm about to post below is correct.

By George, I think I've got it.

And finally the Sunday collect, one that goes right to the heart of the matter

LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee the only God; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman

He was canonized last Saturday, you know.  He's the patron of our parish and Facebook is so full of stories and pictures of related ceremonies that it hadn't occurred to me that The Inn failed to mention it.

So herewith the remedy for that omission.   Since it isn't all that widely known that St John Henry was no fan of people tinkering with the sacred liturgy, it might be worthwhile to remedy that too with this excerpt from one of his "Parochial and Plain Sermons" from his Anglican days:

In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether. This is why the Church itself is attacked, because it is the living form, the visible body of religion; and shrewd men know that when it goes, religion will go too. This is why they rail at so many usages as superstitious; or propose alterations and changes, a measure especially calculated to shake the faith of the multitude. Recollect, then, that things indifferent in themselves become important to us when we are used to them. The services and ordinances of the Church are the outward form in which religion has been for ages represented to the world, and has ever been known to us. Places consecrated to God's honour, clergy carefully set apart for His service, the Lord's-day piously observed, the public forms of prayer, the decencies of worship, these things, viewed as a whole, are sacred relatively to us, even if they were not, as they are, divinely sanctioned. Rites which the Church has appointed, and with reason,—for the Church's authority is from Christ,—being long used, cannot be disused without harm to our souls. Confirmation, for instance, may be argued against, and undervalued; but surely no one who in the common run of men wilfully resists the Ordinance, but will thereby be visibly a worse Christian than he otherwise would have been. He will find (or rather others will find for him, for he will scarcely know it himself), that he has declined in faith, humility, devotional feeling, reverence, and sobriety. And so in the case of all other forms, even the least binding in themselves, it continually happens that a speculative improvement is a practical folly, and the wise are taken in their own craftiness. 
Therefore, when profane persons scoff at our forms, let us argue with ourselves thus—and it is an argument which all men, learned or unlearned, can enter into: "These forms, even were they of mere human origin (which learned men say is not the case, but even if they were), are at least of as spiritual and edifying a character as the rites of Judaism. Yet Christ and His Apostles did not even suffer these latter to be irreverently treated or suddenly discarded. Much less may we suffer it in the case of our own; lest, stripping off from us the badges of our profession, we forget there is a faith for us to maintain, and a world of sinners to be eschewed."

For more on Saint John Henry, this looks promising.  (I phrase it that way for a reason, as I haven't seen the video yet or taken the course.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

15 October: In festo S Teresiæ Virginis, Matris Nostræ

Dear herald of our King!
Thou didst Thy home in childhood leave,
Intending to barbaric lands
Christ or thy blood to give. 
But thee a sweeter death awaits;
A nobler fate is thine;
Wounded by point of heavenly dart,
To die of love divine. 
Virgin of perfect charity!
Our souls wit love inspire;
And save the nations of thy charge
From everlasting fire. 
Praise to the Father, with the Son,
And Holy Spirit be;
Three in One
Through all eternity.

--1st Vespers hymn for the feast of S Teresa of Avila
   in the Stanbrook Abbey translation.

Sancta Mater Teresia, respice de cælo, et vide,
et visita vineam istam et perfice eam, quam     
plantavit dextera tua!
-Ad. Bened.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Discovering Columbus

I guess today is still Columbus Day, isn't it?   Our Masters who decree these things haven't changed it to National Aztec Day or something have they?

It used to be October the twelfth.  And now it's, well, today: a Monday determined by some federally enacted formula.

But to the point.   If you've a mind to read something on Christopher Columbus other than the approved rash judgement, calumny, and detraction try this by the redoubtable Solange Hertz.

About as politically incorrect as you're going to find, God bless her.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

All About the Angels in 5 Minutes

Well, maybe not all.

A lot, anyway.

Courtesy of the FSSP here.

(Because it's the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.  That's why.)


The Battle Eve of the Brigade

The mess-tent is full, and the glasses are set,
And the gallant Count Thomond is president yet;
The vet'ran stands, like an uplifted lance,
Crying - 'Comrades, a health to the monarch of France!'
With bumpers and cheers they have done as he bade,
For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade. 
'A health to King James,' and they bent as they quaffed,
'Here's to George the Elector,' and fiercely they laughed,
'Good luck to the girls we wooed long ago,
Where Shannon and Barrow and Blackwater flow; '
'God prosper Old Ireland,'-you'd think them afraid,
So pale grew the chiefs of the Irish Brigade. 
'But, surely, that light cannot come from our lamp,
And that noise - are they all getting drunk in the camp? '
'Hurrah! boys, the morning of battle is come,
And the générale's beating on many a drum.'
So they rush from the revel to join the parade:
For the van is the right of the Irish Brigade. 
They fought as they revelled, fast, fiery, and true,
And, though victors, they left on the field not a few;
And they who survived fought and drank as of yore,
But the land of their heart's hope they never saw more;
For in far foreign fields, from Dunkirk to Belgrade,
Lie the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade.
Thomas Osborne Davis

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

And may the High King of Glory grant him the mange. . .

That's the tail end of a lovely little poem  (by whom? Is it Flann O'Brien?  I've forgotten.  But it sounds like him).  And, yes, you're right: it is supposed to be a curse.

And why is a curse possibly by Flann O'Brien buying a ticket on my train of thought this morning?  It's because of this.  It seems therein that a retail establishment by the name of "Forever 21" has bought the economic farm and is poised to file for bankruptcy.   They have a shop not too far from here and I have always been a little amazed by that title.  It must appeal to some people,  although apparently not nearly enough of them.  But it has always seemed to me to be some sort of bizarre curse.   It sounds like the sort of retail shop that Rod Serling would've created.

One does wish all the best for the employees.  I've been in their position.  It's not pleasant.  But "Forever 21"?  Never understood that.  Perhaps if they'd just called it Matuschek & Co.?

Monday, September 02, 2019

Labor Day - 1 September 2019

“I was on holiday, and was engaged in that rich and intricate mass of pleasures, duties, and discoveries which for keeping off of the profane, we disguise by the exotic name of Nothing.”
-- GK Chesterton,  “Some Policemen and a Moral,” Tremendous Trifles 

Find out more about G.K. Chesterton at here.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Assumption Day

This day is the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, body and soul, into heaven.  And it's a Holy Day of Obligation, which we made by the skin of our teeth.  I played for a graduation this afternoon and there was a mountain of traffic coming back.  Just barely got back in time to change, pick up the Memsahib, and dash off to evening Mass.  Evening N.O. Mass, alas, but Mass nonethless.  And not the worst one available either.  Excellent sermon, too.

Something from St John Damascene, from the 2d nocturn of the day that's in it:

This day the holy and animated ark of the living God, she who conceived in her womb her Creator,, rests in the temple of the Lord, which was not made with hands.  And her ancestor David leaps, and with him the Angels lead the dance, the Archangels celebrate, the Virtues ascribe glory, the Principalities exult, the Powers rejoice together, the Dominations are joyful, the Thrones keep holiday, the Cherubim utter praise, the Seraphim proclaim her glory.  This day the Eden of the new Adam receives the living Paradise, wherein the condemnation was made void, wherein the tree of life was planted, wherein our nakedness was covered.

A collect from the Divine Worship Missal:

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst assume the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of thy Son, body and soul to the glory of heaven:  grant us, we beseech thee; that being ever intent on things above, we may be worthy to be partakers of her glory hereafter; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord who liveth  and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Well that's finally done

I think I have finally finished tidying up the left-hand column of The Inn.  Which tidying up was made necessary by the problem related here.   So now the last of the cyberdust of Photobucket has been clapped from The Inn's cybersandals and we have moved on to the next town,  um, I mean photo hosting site.   In this case Imgur, which shows no sign (so far; fingers crossed) of stamping its logo all over the hosted images.

In some cases the Photobucket version was the only one I had so a different image is now in place.  But mostly things should look about the same as they did before Photobucket became so unpleasant.

Next up:  clearing out the dead links.


Followed, naturally, by The Bad News

Apparently the internet, i.e., The Inn and its cyberspatial confreres, is killing your memory.

We’ve all heard the old warning: staring at a screen all day will rot your brain. Though it’s not quite so dramatic, there may be some truth in the message after all — new research reveals that frequent internet use can change how our brains work. 
That’s the main takeaway from new research by American, Australian, and European scientists who found that heavy internet users performed worse at memory tasks and are generally more readily distracted — a chilling sign that internet-native generations may be harmed by technology so ubiquitous that opting out is nearly unimaginable.

More here, with links to even more.

Of course, eating more chocolate may help.   Or drinking more tea.   I think I'll go put the kettle on.  (But having just been on the internet, when I get to the kitchen will I remember what I went in there for?)

First the Good News

"There is no longer any doubt" , it says here, that coffee, tea, and chocolate are good for you.

So says a website just called "Inc", which cognomen doesn't actually inspire all that much confidence.  But I like what they have to say:

Neuroscience continues to uncover new ways that coffee and (to a lesser extent) tea and chocolate, tend to make brains healthier and more resilient. 2019 has already seen some amazing research breakthroughs that are definitely worth sharing. 
First, a joint study from the National Institute on Aging and Johns Hopkins University, and published last January in Neurochemical Research magazine,discovered that a methylxanthines--a class of chemical found in coffee, tea and dark chocolate (cacao)

"has clear effects on neuronal network activity, promotes sustained cognitive performance and can protect neurons against dysfunction and death in animal models of stroke, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease."

Big Tech's Liability

Should Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or other purveyors of internet content be liable for damages if they fail to ensure that what they disseminate is not inaccurate, libelous, or otherwise dangerous and pernicious?

Mostly, yes, says Mr Presser here.

But I wonder.   Having the current powers-that-be determine what is "dangerous and pernicious" seems equally problematical.   It seems to me we'd need a new culture for that to work well.

And yet, what other solution is there?

(As a start I would recommend devotion to the journalist and martyr Bl Titus Brandsma, O.Carm. who defied an even more ruthless twister of information than Google and Facebook:  the Gestapo.)

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

10 August ---- again

The mail just came.  For the record, here on the 10th of August at 3 p.m. we have just received our first Christmas catalogue.

I was going to make merciless fun of it, what with it being unconscionably early and all.  But actually, there are some really nice things in there. . . along with the requisite kitsch, to be sure.  So I can't quite bring myself to unload on an outfit that uses Beuron-style art for their Christmas cards.

Still.  For the record:  it's too early for this.


10 August

My mom and dad tied the knot on this day in 1945.  They were both stationed at Pearl  Harbor at that time.   On the right, I believe, is Col Caulfield my mother's commanding officer at the time who gave her away on the day.

Oh, God who didst command thy people saying:  Honour thy father and thy mother in thy loving kindness have mercy on the souls of my father and my mother and forgive them all their sins: and I humbly pray that Thou wouldst grant unto me to behold their faces in the glory of eternal felicity.  Through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne

Probably the most visited post ever on The Inn has been this one on the martyred Carmelite nuns of Compiegne.

Today is their feast day in the Carmelite calendar.

Probably the most complete history of these saints is William Bush's To Quell the Terror.  ICS published a comprehensive booklet by the late Terrye Newkirk on the martyrs called The Mantle of Elijah.  It was also on line in several places. Alas, ICS no longer carries it and all the sites that used to have it seem to have taken it down.  It's well-worth a read and if you are so inclined Abebooks has a few copies for not too many dollars.

In the meantime, there is the link above to The Inn's old post, a short history here, and Fr Z's cautionary post here.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

On Tidying up the Graffiti Photobucket Left on The Inn

Fortunately, Photobucket is not the only photo hosting site in town.  Since Photobucket decided to smear The Inn with its slimy logo -- and many another blog besides -- this is a good thing to know.  Of course, I could always pay the ransom* but that rather sticks in the craw.  I've been testing both Imgur and Flickr and they seem to work well.   It'll take a while before I can replace all the illustrations on the left-hand column but it's preferable to paying off the vultures who now run (own?) Photobucket.

*Some of the brethren on Blogspot are calling it "blackmail".   I think that's a mistake.  Blackmail is a different thing altogether.  I'm sticking with "ransom".

Sunday, July 14, 2019

14 July -- Bastille Day

The Inn's annual reprint of  the late Jerry Pournelle's summary of the, um, great day:

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn't want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court). 
On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and another. The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse. The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father's insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.

I'd give a citation for it but I don't know how to cite to the correct page in the blog format Jerry used.  The blog itself is still up and you can find it here.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

1 July

Because it's Canada Day and my grandmother's people were Canadian.  Although in her day it was still Dominion Day.  The first of my family to come to North America was my great, great, great grandfather who came as a soldier with the 74th Regiment of Foot to garrison Atlantic Canada.  It seems the still-British part of North America had had a recent spot of bother with their neighbours to the south circa 1812 and some reinforcements seemed advisable.   He apparently liked what he found in Canada so after a decade or so when he left the army he stayed.   I'm told I have a good many Canadian cousins, although I've never met them.  So a happy Canada Day.

Here in California, defined to me recently as "a small island just off the coast of earth", we have the feast of St Junipero Serra the founder of most of the beautiful old California missions. The good old Catholic Encyclopædia will tell you more about him here.

In the traditional Roman liturgy Fr Serra is superseded by the feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus.  For more on the feast and the Precious Blood of Jesus and the Visitation of Our Lady try Fr Hunwicke here.  For a fascinating read on the Precious Blood and the Holy Grail do go to Charles Coulombe's excellent piece here.  Or this one here.

Friday, June 28, 2019

This is new . . . and annoying

I see that Photobucket, after opening the floodgates to cheesy ads and making itself otherwise extremely difficult to use has now put an ugly little stamp on all The Inn's pictures.

Time to look for a new picture host. 

Long over-due, in fact.

Chesterton on Slang . . . and Psychology . . . sort of

From G.K.'s Weekly, May 9, 1931 via the May/June 2019 edition of Gilbert! (which appears to have gotten its exclamation point back)

That is the sort of slang that is really weakening language and literature in America.  It is the weary tossing about at tenth hand of certain words supposed to belong to a science of psychology; a psychology which I suspect that the psychologists do not understand and I know that the journalists do not understand.  There was an even worse example in the case of the quarrel that arose round the alleged attack on American culture by Mr J.B. Priestley  An American lady, writing a spirited reply to Mr Priestley, poured scorn upon what she call the “sadistic” cowardice of Americans in submitting to such criticism.  What she imagined the word “sadistic” to mean the devil only knows; the devil being the only person who ought to be interested in it.  All over American magazines, even the most intelligent and interesting articles, there is sprinkled this silly slang of popular science; a welter of long words that are either utterly unmeaning, or unmeaning where they are used, or mean something entirely different.  In so far as they had any relation to psychology, or in so far as psychology had any relation to reason, the only possible effect they could have would be to provide the future with a widespread psychological study of softening of the brain.