Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Beginning of the Reformation's End?

That's the title of this article in this morning's WSJ. Very interesting article; right on all points in my occasionally humble opinion.

Except for the title. That seems mistaken any way you look at it. There are all sort of non-Catholic Christians no where near the road to Rome. In another sense, it seems to me Reformation theology itself has been over for ages.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some Piping for the Weekend

Seán McKeown on uillean pipes and Liam O'Connor on fiddle. Tune names? I have no idea. Lovely stuff, though.

It's Lent now, so put down that doughnut. . . .

. . .and pass it over here. We don't want it to go to waste do we? Canon Law having determined that I am now officially a geezer, I can legally finish that up for you.

Even on Ash Wednesday.

Which was yesterday.

We went to the 6:00 a.m. Mass yesterday and received our ashes. Usually my feeling is that if God had wanted me to go to a 6:00 a.m. Mass He wouldn't have put dawn at 6:30. But you have to know your demographics. This is a highly Mexican area. Now northern European types who only go to church once a year do that on Christmas. Mexicans, however, choose Ash Wednesday. The 6:00 a.m. choice, therefore, avoids an unbelievable crush.

In honour of the day, here is something posted on The Inn a few years ago: the blessing of the ashes from the old Carmelite Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Almighty everlasting God, Who hast mercy on all and hatest nothing that Thou hast made, Who overlookest the sins of such as do penance and helpest such as are burdened with troubles; deign to + bless and to + hallow these ashes, which, as a sign of humility and holy religion, Thou hast ordained, after the example of the men of Niniveh, that we should bear upon our foreheads unto cleansing of our sins; and grant that by the invocation of Thy name, all they who shall bear them upon their heads as an appeal to Thy mercy may deserve to receive of Thee the pardon of their sins, and today, so begin this holy fast that on the day of resurrection they may be worthy to drawn nigh with purified hearts to the holy feast of Easter, and to receive never-ending glory in the life to come: through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Almighty, everlasting God, show mercy to those who repent, forgiveness to those who implore it. Deign to send Thy holy angel down from heaven to + bless and hallow + these ashes, so that they may be a wholesome remedy for all who in humility invoke Thy holy name and with guilty consciences accuse themselves, lamenting their crimes before Thy divine clemency, or humbly and earnestly beseeching Thy gracious loving kindness. Grant to us who call upon Thy holy name that all who are sprinkled with them, for the remission of their sins, may be safe and sound in body and soul: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And during the distribution, these antiphons were sung:

Exaudi nos, Domine, quoniam benigna est misericordia tua: secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice in nos, Domine. ~ Salvum me fac, Deus: quoniam intraverunt aquæ usque ad animam meam.. Gloria Patri.

Listen to us, Lord, of Thy gracious mercy, look down upon us in the abundance of Thy pity, Lord. ~ O God, save me; see how the waters close about me, threatening my very life.

Inter vestibulum et altare plorabunt sacerdotes ministri Domini, et dicent: Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo: et ne claudas ora canentium te, Domine.

Let the priests that wait upon the Lord make their lament between porch and altar, crying, Spare Thy people, Lord, spare them: do not silence, Lord, the lips that sing Thy praise.

Immutemur habitu, in cinere et cilicio: jejunemus et ploremus ante Dominum: quia multum misericors est dimittere peccata nostra Deus noster.

Changed be our vesture, ashes and sackcloth be all our wear: fasting and weeping let us come into the Lord’s presence, our God, so full of mercy and pardon for our sins.

And finally, after the imposition of ashes one more collect:

Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting the defences of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness may be helped and strengthened by self-denial: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Political Correctness and the Hazards Thereof

Suppose that on Nov. 4, 2009—the day before he would open fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, killing 13 and wounding 30—Major Nidal Malik Hasan had been arrested by military police and charged with intent to commit acts of terrorism.

Would he be a celebrity today and the darling of the TV talking heads? Probably, says a persuasive article in this morning's WSJ.

Our traditional liberties vs. public safety and where to draw the line.

Lent Begins Tomorrow

Still deciding what to do for Lent? How about checking your tire pressure? Just one of several helpful suggestions from The Hapless Bench: California Caucus.

The light [size of carbon footprint unspecified] at the end of the tunnel: the happy event can't come soon enough.

On Plans Ganging Aft Agley

"And we will be at the Queen Mary Scottish Games all weekend. I'll post a couple of pictures from the camera phone if I can remember how."

So he said last Friday just one post below.

But in the event:

(1) I couldn't remember how to do it. Nor could I locate the directions on line. (They are there. That's where I got them in the first place. On-line research is apparently not my strong suit.)

(2) The pictures I did take aren't worth posting anyway.

(3) "All weekend" turned out to be Saturday only. We got a late start on Sunday and there was no parking available.


At all.

So we went home. We had lunch and I had a nap. God's punishment for skipping the traditional Mass and attending an earlier Novus Ordo? Surely not. Tsk. I'm ashamed of you for even thinking such a thing. Attending the All Singing, All Talking, All Dancing Novus Ordo is punishment enough.

Mighta been a hint, though.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday the 13th. . . .

. . .comes on a Saturday this month.

And we will be at the Queen Mary Scottish Games all weekend. I'll post a couple of pictures from the camera phone if I can remember how.

If you're interested, here are the particulars.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Some Piping for the Weekend

Two pipers - one bagpipe. Chris Armstrong plays the left hand and Gordon Walker plays the right hand on a couple of tunes. Don't know the first one but the second is Glasgow Police Pipers unless the memory is playing tricks again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Outlawed Great Chieftain o' the Puddin'-Race

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Two decades ago our masters in Washington, always mindful of the health of their subjects, banned the dreaded haggis from our tables. And then this January just before Robert Burns' birthday, The Guardian reported that they might be having second thoughts. It says so right here.

But today in rummaging around the web today, I ran across this. So it seems it isn't so. We will remain protected from the horrors of sheep tripe.

I'm so relieved.

Roman Chant: Another View

I've been listening to quite a bit of Marcel Peres' Ensemble Organum lately. His reconstruction of Old Roman Chant is deeply moving. (Could it be that bass drone effect that fascinates the piper? Maybe. But so much more.) Here's a sample, pretty much at random; it was the first of the results of my latest search. It's the Orbis Factor Kryie.

There doesn't seem to be much on line on Marcel Peres, not in English anyway. Here are a couple of pages for an overview. From Wikipedia. From Chant Village.

And thanks to the New Liturgical Movement for first putting up a sample of the Ensemble Organum a few weeks ago. I had heard of them for years but not actually heard them.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Found While Looking for Something Else

This morning's find is here because it fit in so well with yesterday's meditation topic. So probably not an astonishing co-incidence for you. But it caught my attention rather forcefully. So, herewith from the Reverend George Herbert:


I cannot skill of these thy ways.
Lord, thou didst make me, yet thou woundest me;
Lord, thou dost wound me, yet thou dost relieve me:
Lord, thou relievest, yet I die by thee:
Lord, thou dost kill me, yet thou dost reprieve me.
But when I mark my life and praise,
Thy justice me most fitly pays:
For, I do praise thee, yet I praise thee not:
My prayers mean thee, yet my prayers stray:
I would do well, yet sin the hand that got:
My soul doth love thee, yet it loves delay.
I cannot skill of these my ways.

The Inn's Picture-Hosting Folks are Down . . . Again

On the bright side, The Inn will now load in a trice. (Even on your dial-up system, Gary!).

Still, it makes The Inn look a little forlorn this Monday morning.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Going Abroad?

Watch your step.

And don't annoy the CIA.

"Msgr. Charles Benoit died saving the Host in the Haiti quake"

I have seen this mentioned no where else.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Some Piping for the Weekend

The pipes and drums of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards playing from barracks to Windsor Castle (and back) for the changing of the guard ceremony. Lots of Irish tunes on the pipes. Unfortunately since they are on the move there are a lot of interruptions as the camera changes location. Bit of fun nonetheless.

Scientific Studies Have Proven. . . .

Or have they?

Interesting piece in the WSJ this morning. It seems it's not only the Global Warming witch doctors that have been doctoring the results and black balling the heretics. All sort of folks in the warm and cuddly scientific community have been up to all sorts of no good.

There are several depressing examples from the prestigious. . .

Twelve years after publishing an article purporting to prove a link between childhood vaccines and autism, the prominent British medical journal Lancet finally retracted the paper in its entirety. But only after Britain's General Medical Council found that the author of that article had been "irresponsible and dishonest" in his research, bringing medical science "into disrepute."

. . .all the way down to the slightly ludicrous:

Just this week I was chatting with a friend who, over the years, has helped her kids slog through the obligatory science-fair projects.

"The experiments never turned out the way they were supposed to, and so we were always having to fudge the results so that the projects wouldn't be screwy. I always felt guilty about that dishonesty," she said, "but now I feel like we were doing real science."

You can indeed prove anything you like if you make up your data.

You can find the article here.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Christmas: It's Officially Over

Because it's Candlemas Day today, i.e., the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord or the Feast of the Purification of Our Lady depending on your calendar.

And Candlemas Day is the very last day of the Christmas season. Vide Robert Herrick:

End now the White Loafe and the Pye,
And let all sports with Christmas dye. . .

And you'd better get all those Christmas decorations stored away and the Christmas greenery burnt as that industrious family is doing in the illustration. Very bad mojo to have them hanging about after Candlemas Day. Vide Mr Herrick again:

Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and mistletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all
Wherewith ye deck's the Christmas hall;
That so the superstitious find
Not one least branch there left behind:
For look! How many leaves there be
Neglected there, Maids, trust to me,
So many goblins you shall see.

But keep a bit of the Yule log:

Kindle the Christmas brand, and then
Till sunne-set let it burne;
Which quencht, then lay it up agen,
Till Christmas next returne.
Part must be kept wherewith to teend
The Christmas Log next yeare;
And where ‘tis safely kept, the Fiend
Can do no mischiefe there.

We, however, won't see any goblins because we put away the Christmas garniture last week. Why so early, I hear you ask. Candlemas, indeed, only arrives today. But last Sunday was Septuagesima Sunday. At first Vespers on Saturday evening we bid farewell to the Alleluia, which will be heard no more until the Easter Vigil. In the traditional Roman Rite, that is. In the Pauline Rite, alas, one never knows what one is liable to hear. And, of course, the poor old Pauline Rite, stripped of so much of its finery, doesn't even have Septuagesimatide. They just saunter along happily alleluiaing and ordinary timing when all of a sudden POW! Drop that ham sandwich: it's Lent. Move those bangs and make room for some ashes.

The traditional Roman Rite likes to ease into these things. Those purple vestments give you some warning and you can do a little preparation.

If you were relying on The Inn for that warning, though, well, ahem. You got two days fewer warning than you were entitled to. There weren't any postings here on Septuagesima Sunday at all. Or on the Saturday before. In fact, we've missed a lot of important events.

Yesterday, for instance, was not only my grandmother's birthday - were she alive, she'd be 131 years of age - it was also the feast of St Bridget of Kildare, one of the patrons of Ireland. And before that Septuagesima Sunday. And the day before that the anniversary of the judicial murder of King Charles I. And on January 19, the birthday of General Robert E Lee, C.S.A. In fact, January is full of birthdays of notable southern gentry: 21 January - General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, 28 January - General George Pickett, and 6 January General James Longstreet. We have been very remiss indeed. We'd promise to do better but we don't trust us enough for that.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

This morning's paper mentioned in passing that today is James Joyce's birthday. Well happy birthday, a Sheumais, wherever you are. There was a five minute piece on the radio about him, too. The bit I remember was a quote from a friend of his who recalled that he, Joyce, loved to drink and loved to dance: "Ah, the drink went straight to his feet."

I never read Ulysses and I'm never likely to, either. ("Why call it Ulysses?" he was once asked. He loved, so he said, the thought of legions of Dublin schoolboys asking in bookstores for "James Joyce's Useless".) And Finnegan's Wake? Not a chance.

But I did have a go at Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Not by choice, mind you. It was assigned to be sure. And I am grateful to it for two things. The first is one of the great hell-fire and brimstone sermons in print. Short, but a powerful piece of work and worthy of the Jesuits of the turn of the last century. The second is a permanent love for the Little Office of Our Lady. It's not dwelt on in the book but the mention of it in the "Portrait" fascinated me. I got a copy immediately. (They were still available in those days, but disappearing fast.) I have a small collection now of various versions. (My friend Carlo has one in Greek, which I would envy him if I had the Greek, but I don't, so I don't.) And I still love the Little Office.

And if that last isn't an unintended consequence, I don't know what is.