Monday, August 26, 2013

26 August

You're not supposed to add commemorations in the Pauline Rite.  Chalk one up for the traditional Roman Rite which doesn't mind commemorations and before the 1955 reforms allowed a veritable boatload of them.  Commemorations come in handy on a day like the 26th of August which in the Carmelite Rite is the feast of the Transverberation of the Heart of St Teresa shown in Bernini's well-known sculpture above.    But it's also the feast of Bl Dominic Barbieri, the Italian Passionist priest who received Bl John Henry Newman into the Church.  That's worth a commemoration for a parishioner of Bl John Henry Newman Catholic Church.

At least for a while north of the Tweed, the Pauline Rite appointed today as the feast of St Ninian, the Apostle of Scotland.  All the liturgical calendars I can find now put him back on his old feast day of 16 September.

A collect for St Teresa:

Deus, qui illibata præcordia beatæ Virginis Teresiæ sponsæ tuæ ac matris nostræ ignito jaculo transfixisti, et caritatis victimam consecrasti : ipsa interveniente, concede; ut corda nostra ardore Sancti Spiritus ferveant, et te in omnibus super omnia diligant : Qui vivis. . . in unitate ejusdem.  Amen. 
O God!  who hast pierced, with a fiery dart, the pure heart of the blessed Virgin, Teresa, thy spouse (and our mother), and hast consecrated her the victim of love; grant, through her intercession, that our hearts may glow with the fervor of the Holy Ghost, and that they may love Thee in all things and above all things, who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the same Holy Ghost.  Amen.
A collect for Bl Dominic:

Father, You chose Dominic as a minister of Your love so that his teaching and example helped many to find pardon and peace in the unity of Your Church.  Grant that we may follow the same way of love and so gain an eternal reward. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And so long as we are commemorating, if you save St Ninian for September 16, you'll have room for a third collect.  I suggest St Bregowine, a Saxon nobleman, perhaps, and definitely the 12th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

When the swallows come back to Capistrano. . .

. . .they have the good sense to do it in March.  And they fly.   They don't attempt to drive down as we just did on a Saturday in August where they will find 4,689,312 other automobiles and no place at all to park.  So we didn't loiter about the old mission or visit the Serra Chapel or the new basilica or have lunch at the wonderful El Adobe.

We came home and had lunch at the Fish Company in Los Al.  Our annual celebration of St Bartholomew's Day didn't work out as planned but I can recommend the swordfish at the Fish Company.


St Bartholomew's Day

The Apostle -- from Pope Benedict XVI

The Famous Massacre

Servant of God Anita Cantieri, OCDS

St John of the Cross declared a Doctor of the Church

St Bartholomew's Fair

St Audoen's Day  (and his church in Dublin is of great interest, too.  There are some pictures here  but you need to scroll down; the pic at the top is Christchurch Cathedral.  A history of St Audoen Church is found here.  The Catholic St Audoen next door was the indult Mass venue for several years before St Kevin Church in Harrington Street became a full parish for the traditional Roman Rite.)

Jean Arthur TV Movie Alert Service

One of her best on TCM this evening (7pm PDT):  The More the Merrier.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The World's

[Yes, you did remember correctly. That video of the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band's 2013 performance at the World's was here. I took it down. The thing was coded to start playing when this page opened up. Much as I love SLOT's performance, it was starting to be rather annoying hearing a drum roll every time I navigated to The Inn, particularly when I was listening to something else at the time. I don't know how to amend that code so that it only starts when you manually activate it, so I took it down. If you do want to listen to that clip, you can find it here.]

If I'd remembered to post something here last Friday, you could have gotten out of bed at Oh-Dark-Thirty on Saturday morning and again on Sunday morning, made a pot of tea and some breakfast and spent the wee hours of the morning live-streaming the World Pipe Band Championship live from Glasgow.  (Of course, the further east of California you get, the less wee the hours become, indeed, verging on the civilised.)

But I didn't remember.

So what you can do is, click this link and listen to the various competitors individually at your leisure. And the various competitors in question are some of the best pipe bands on the planet.  The one you're listening to now [or would have been, had I not taken it down] is the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band from Dublin, Ireland.  They should've won but the judges decided on 5th for reasons known best to themselves and gave the big prize to the Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

(I love writing things like this that give the impression I can tell the difference in quality among the top six or seven Grade One bands in the world.   And, of course, I can. . .as far as you know.)


Liturgical Decorum

To believe, and not to revere, to worship familiarly, and at one's ease, is an anomaly and a prodigy unknown even to false religions, to say nothing of the true one. . . . Worship, forms of worship -- such as bowing the knee, taking off the shoes, keeping silence, a prescribed dress, and the like -- are considered as necessary for a due approach to God.
--Bl John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons


Monday, August 12, 2013

Substitute "American Republican" for "English Tory"

"No reform, no innovation ... stinks so foully in the nostrils of an English Tory politician as to be absolutely irreconcilable to him. When taken in the refreshing waters of office any such pill can be swallowed." 
  The Bertrams  -Anthony Trollope (1859)


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

6 August - Lord Rossmore's Banshee

6 August is the feast of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mount Tabor.

It's also the 212th anniversary of the death in 1801 of Robert Cuninghame, 1st Baron Rossmore, soldier and Irish politician.  He fought at Culloden, but alas, on the wrong side.  Well, morally the wrong side.  For purposes of personal advancement, very much on the correct side.  He died quite a wealthy man, a peer,  and commander-in-chief of the  military forces in Ireland.

And I'm telling you this, because. . .?

His death involved one of the great banshee stories in Irish lore.  The following is from Personal Sketches of his Own Time by Sir Jonah Barrington, Member of the Irish Parliament, Judge of the High Court of Admiralty of Ireland. In two volumes.  1871.

Herewith, the death of Lord Rossmore:

This intimacy at Mount Kennedy gave rise to an occurrence the most extraordinary and inexplicable of my whole existence -- an occurrence which for many years occupied my thoughts and wrought on my imagination. Lord Rossmore was advanced in years, but I never hard of his having had a single day's indisposition. He bore, in his green old age, the appearance of robust health. During the viceroyalty of Earl Hardwick, Lady Barrington, at a drawing-room at Dublin Castle, met Lord Rossmore. He had been making up one of his weekly parties for Mount Kennedy, to commence the next day, and had sent down orders for every preparation to be made. The Lord-Lieutenant was to be of the company.
"My little farmer," said he to Lady Barrington, addressing her by a pet name, "when you go home, tell Sir Jonah that no business is to prevent him from bringing you down to dine with me to-morrow. I will have no ifs in the matter -- so tell him that come he must!" She promised positively, and on her return informed me of her engagement, to which I at once agreed. We retired to our chamber about twelve; and towards two in the morning I was awakened by a sound of a very extraordinary nature. I listened. It occurred first at short intervals; it resembled neither a voice nor an instrument; it was softer than any voice and wilder than any music, and seemed to float in the air. I don't know wherefore, but my heart beat forcibly. The sound became still more plaintive, till it almost died away in the air; when a sudden change, as if excited by a pang, altered its tone. It seemed descending. I felt every nerve tremble. It was not a natural sound, nor could I make out the point from which it came.

At length I awakened Lady Barrington, who heard it as well as myself. She suggested that it might be an Eolian harp, but to that instrument it bore no similitude. It was altogether a different character of sound. My wife at first appeared less affected than I; but subsequently she was more so. 
We now went to a large window in our bed-room, which looked directly upon a small garden underneath. The sound seemed then obviously to ascend from a grass-plot immediately below our window. It continued. Lady Barrington requested that I would call up her maid, which I did, and she was evidently more affected than either of us. The sounds lasted for more than half-an-hour. At last a deep, heavy, throbbing sigh seemed to issue from the spot, and was shortly succeeded by a sharp but low cry, and by the distinct exclamation, thrice repeated, of "Rossmore--Rossmore--Rossmore!" I will not attempt to describe my own feelings; indeed I cannot. The maid fled in terror from the window,and it was with difficulty I prevailed on Lady Barrington to return to bed. In about a minute after the sound died gradually away, until all was silent. 
Lady Barrington, who is not so superstitious as I, attributed this circumstance to a hundred different causes, and made me promise that I would not mention it next day at Mount Kennedy, since we should be thereby rendered laughing-stocks. At length, wearied with speculations, we fell into a sound slumber. 
About seven the next morning a strong rap at my chamber-door awakened me. The recollection of the past night's adventure rushed instantly upon my mind, and rendered me very unfit to be taken suddenly on any subject. It was light. I went to the door, when my faithful servant, Lawler, exclaimed, on the other side, "O Lord, sir!" "What is the matter?" said I hurriedly. "Oh, sir!" ejaculated he, "Lord Rossmore's footman was running past the door in great haste, and told me in passing that my Lord, after coming from the Castle, had gone to bed in perfect health, but that about half after two this morning his own man, hearing a noise in his master's bed (he slept in the same room), went to him, and found him in the agonies of death; and before he could alarm the other servants, all was over!"
I conjecture nothing. I only relate the incident as unequivocally matter of fact. Lord Rossmore was absolutely dying at the moment I heard his name pronounced. Let sceptics draw their own conclusions; perhaps natural causes may be assigned; but I am totally unequal to the task. 
Atheism may ridicule me; orthodoxy may despise me; bigotry may lecture me; fanaticism might burn me; yet in my very faith I would seek consolation. It is, in my mind, better to believe too much than too little; and that is the only theological crime of which I can be fairly accused.

This link should open to the correct page of the on-line volume.

If you're in the mood for a leisurely 19th century reminiscence, this link should take you to the main page where you can select among several formats.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Gummint Saves Country From Bambi. . .

. . .or maybe just saves Bambi from herself.  It's hard to tell.

Two weeks ago, Ray Schulze was working in a barn at the Society of St. Francis no-kill animal shelter in Kenosha, Wis., when officials swarmed the shelter with a search warrant.“[There were] nine [Department of Natural Resources] agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Mr. Schulze told WISN 12. “It was like a SWAT team.”The agents were there to retrieve a baby deer named Giggles that was dropped off by a family worried she had been abandoned by her mother, the station reported. Wisconsin law forbids the possession of wildlife.“I said the deer is scheduled to go to the wildlife reserve the next day,” Mr. Schulze told the station. “I was thinking in my mind they were going to take the deer and take it to a wildlife shelter, and here they come carrying the baby deer over their shoulder. She was in a body bag. I said, ‘Why did you do that?’ He said, ‘That’s our policy,’ and I said, ‘That’s one hell of a policy.’”Department of Natural Resources Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer told WISN 12 that the law requires DNR agents to euthanize wild animals because of their potential danger.

Found While Looking for Something Else

At the moment I am in the middle of "Catholics in England: 1559 - 1829" by M.D.R. Leys. A fascinating read, well-worth your time.  (If you can find a copy: printed in 1961, out of print by 1962 so far as I can tell.)

Beginning on page 81, Professor Leys tells of Fr Henry Morse, S.J. and Fr Robinson, S.J., who were imprisoned in York in 1626 for their priesthood. Fr Morse was eventually executed but Fr Robinson remained in prison until he died in 1641. But while he was there, he ministered to the other Catholic prisoners and converted some others to the Catholic faith. And that is where he encountered John Bartendale.

As an old man, he used to tell a story of one of the Catholic felons. John Bartendale was a strolling piper who had been convicted and sentenced to be hanged -- the usual penalty for any serious crime. In March 1634 the sentence was carried out, and after he had hung for three-quarters of an hour he was cut down and hastily buried, not in a churchyard, but by the roadside. A passerby saw the newly dug ground heaving, and dug up the convict, whose throat muscles, strengthened by years of piping, had resisted the pressure of the rope. Bartendale went free, for it was decided that as he had been executed and buried he was legally dead.

I've enjoyed almost everything about playing pipes. I've met wonderful people, I've gone places and done things that I never would have been able to do otherwise. But strong throat muscles while being hanged is one advantage that had never occurred to me. I trust I shall not have to put it to the test.

If you can find the Sheed and Ward edition -  the only edition? -- you will find the story on page 82.


Old Pipes

Edinburgh University is to display a major collection of historic bagpipes and chanters during an exhibition throughout August.
The collection was recently purchased from a private collector in France.
The 26 pieces from Scotland, England and Ireland will form part of a display that charts 250 years of bagpipe history.
The oldest exhibit is a fragment of lowland pipes, dating from the mid-18th century.

Vanishing Reality

For the first time in my 72 years, I have no idea what's going on. . . . 
. . .Now I am disquieted. It's not that I see things changing for better or worse, for richer or poorer, or even not changing at all. It's something else: The most important thing in our culture-sphere isn't change but the fact that reality itself is dwindling, fading like sunstruck wallpaper, turning into a silence of the dinner-party sort that leads to a default discussion of movies. . . . 
. . .We have individualism but we have no privacy. We are all outsiders with no inside to be outside of. 
Or: We've lost our sense of possibility. Incomes decline, pensions vanish, love dwindles into hooking up, we're not having enough babies to replace ourselves.
No arc, no through-line, no destiny. As the British tommies sang in the trenches of World War I, to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne," "We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here."
"No arc, no through-line, no destiny." Indeed. And more importantly, no commonality of belief. It seems to me that throughout the culture of the west, even with differences in religion and political and legal philosophy there has always been some stage, some common ground, that all parties could stand on to discuss. There was always something, usually much, that was understood and agreed upon without much discussion from which both sides could argue.

There seems to be nothing any more. Hence, "the default discussion of movies". Without a common belief of some kind, even a wrong one, there is no conversation, no communication, no civilization.