Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pope Pius XII

. . . a 200+% increase in American converts; a nearly 250% increase in seminaries built; a 200+% increase in seminarians; and a 50% increase in priests. All of this happened over Pius XII's glorious 19-year-reign.

A few statistics from the 1959 Catholic Directory (then the Kenedy Directory).


Monday, October 28, 2013

The World Series

Yeah, I've been watching it. Even though there is no team in it closer than 2,000 miles. Some great games. . . but. . . if it weren't for the uniforms you'd swear it wasn't the Cardinals vs the Red Sox but the Hatfields vs the McCoys. Haven't seen so many chin whiskers since I last paged through my Illustrated History of the Civil War.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Church Has Been Right on Birth Control All Along

You can find the article pointing out the (rather obvious) truth of the headline here

It's in The Wanderer.

The Remant.

The Business Insider.

(No foolin'.  Really.)


October 19 -- St Frideswide, etc.

St Frideswide: Oxford's patron saint
Once upon a time in the fair city of Oxford, there lived Princess Frideswide who was as good as she was beautiful. The King, her father, ruled the people of his realm with clemency and justice, and she learnt the ways of the Church. The motherless child was tenderly looked after by gentle nuns who taught her to read and write and to play sweet music upon the harp and lyre. As she grew up, princes from neighbouring kingdoms sought her hand in marriage.

 More of the late medieval story of Oxford's patroness here.

The Catholic Encyclopædia relates the history a bit more soberly here.

And for what it's worth, it's also the 268th anniversary of the death of  Jonathan Swift.  No one is  likely to recommend Dean Swift for the honors of the altar any time soon, but he of the sæve indignatio might still be a sort of secular patron.    There's quite enough in the daily papers to lacerate the heart.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Sad Anniversary -- The Queen-Martyr

Today is the 220th anniversary of the judicial murder of Queen Marie-Antoinette.  You can read something of her last hours here, including her last letter written to her sister only hours before her execution.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Carmelite Museum at Alba de Tormes

Alba de Tormes is St Teresa of Jesus (of Avila)'s place of burial.  This little tour of the Carmelite museum contains much that pertains to her life.  If I knew  more Spanish I'd know how much.  But even so, it's an interesting tour. . . .artistico, historico, y espiritual, like the man says.

(Because it's her feast day today;  that's why.)


Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Actually an Advert for a Pen

 . . .and a $32,000+ pen at that. But it's posted here because it's a lovely, clear recording of Pavarotti singing La Donna è Mobile. Beautiful stuff. Did you know that last Wednesday or Thursday (no one seems to be sure) was the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth? I didn't either. Hence the late Luciano Pavarotti and the late Giuseppe Verdi advertising $32,000 pens for the very-much-with-us Montegrappa company.

Not complaining, mind you; beats the sox off using rap.  And they do seem to be gorgeous pens, even if they are just a tad out of this week's budget.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fresh Spring Water from the Source of the Styx?

Actually, it was quite refreshing.  It was offered me yesterday when playing for a funeral.  And I am, of course, only assuming its provenance from the circumstances.

Was the funeral director's name Charon? 

Alas, I forgot to ask.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Some Piping for the Weekend

These tunes have appeared here before.   Allan Macdonald played Cumha Dhonnchaidh Mhicrath with the St Laurence O'Toole  Pipe Band and then went into the March of the King of Laois in a video I posted a while back.  Instead of a pipe band, this video has him playing the same tunes with fiddlers and other traditional musicians.


Friday, October 04, 2013

Anglican Ordinariate - A Short Intro to one Parish


Thursday, October 03, 2013

Morality and Sentiment

Anthony Esolen's beautifully written essay shouldn't be missed by anyone who realizes we're witnessing the last of western civilization gurgling down the drain.

You'll find it here.

(H/T to the Creative Minority Report)


On Shutting Down the Gummint

Shutting down the government explained in simple sentences by Thomas Sowell:
There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

. . . .

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a "clean" bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word "clean" like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?
If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

 Read it all here.

(H/T to my friend Gary for the cite.)


St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

It's her feast day today in the traditional Roman Rite.  (The Pauline Rite and the O.C.D.s celebrated it last Monday.)

If you have some time, and it will take you some time to have a good look 'round,  explore this website.  It has about as much information on St Therese as you're likely to find anywhere on the web.  Lots of good stuff.

A collect for her feast:

Domine, qui dixisti:  Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuili, non intrabitis in regnum cælorum: da nobis, quæsumus; ita sanctæ Teresiæ Virginis in humilitate et simplicitate cordis vestigia sectari, ut præmia consequamur æterna;  Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæulorum.  Amen.

O Lord, Who hast said: Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven: grant us, we beseech Thee; so to follow the footsteps of Saint Teresa the Virgin in humility and simplicity of heart, that we may attain unto eternal rewards: Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

". . . a simple low Mass in very austere settings."

Anyone visiting The Inn probably already haunts The New Liturgical Movement so we seldom link there as it would be a bit redundant.  But just in case you missed this, click here and read a beautiful post by a young Jesuit on his discovery of the traditional Roman Rite.


And It Seems to be Working

"The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their common sense.".
 - G.K. Chesterton, in the Illustrated London News, 7 September 1929.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Unless the times should alter

  Humming and even singing The Vicar of Bray more often these days.  I wonder why?

Every day in every way. . . .

. . .things are getting worse and worse.  Most things, anyway.   Piping technique seems to be getting better.  Not mine, of course; that's gone to hell in a handbasket.  Yes, practice would help.  But piping technique in the world at large.  You saw the World's videos cited below; I rest my case.

But, otherwise, things, i.e., church and state, seem to be in a race for the abyss.

And I seem to be falling apart my own self.  Sciatica, would you believe.  Or something very like it.  Stabbing pain in the hip when I walk and coursing down the left leg.  Oh, yes, and some annoyance in the back.   The doc says the x-rays show no stenosis and that it's all soft tissue and will improve.  The physio says it sure seems like stenosis to her.   Wonderful.   In any event, we are proceeding with the therapy and perhaps there is improvement or perhaps I'm imagining it.  Probably the latter the way things are going but I'm thankful for the imagination.

But what sciatica also means is no dancing.  No strathspeys, no reels, no jigs, no hornpipes.  Especially no three-beat pas de basque.  If things have not improved by Asilomar time, I will not be fit to live with.

And not  nearly enough highland pipe practice (see above) for which some standing and walking are required.

Do you want to hear about the diverticulitis that has flared up again?  No?  Well, all right but it did require a visit to the emergency care thing.  (No, that's not right.  What's the right name of those things that are not the emergency room but will look after you when you get the miseries after hours?  Ah. "Urgent" care.  [I asked Mary.])