Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit and the Catholic Thing

Joseph Shaw reflects on this week's British referendum:

 For better for or for worse, we will be leaving this particular political structure. What is necessary now is to re-imagine the UK in Europe. And that is something for which UK Catholics have a special vocation.

The Catholic genius is a taking seriously the natural world, not as untainted by the Fall but not as evil either. This understanding makes science possible without making science a tyrant. It makes art possible without making art an idol. It gives us an appreciation of nature, without an embrace of paganism. Wherever Catholics are, there is an acceptance of the good things of life and the interesting things of life, the achievements of humanity and the glories of nature, alongside restraint, an openness to criticism, and balance. 
It is this that lies at the basis of European culture. For all the triumphs of European Protestant art and science—which as a Briton I certainly cannot ignore—the conceptual framework which makes all of this possible is Catholic, and the degree to which Protestantism has taken things towards a Manichean rejection of matter, or anti-intellectualism, and the degree to which reactions against such tendencies has given us Romantic neo-Paganism, European culture has declined, disintegrated, or simply come to a halt.

More here.


Friday, June 24, 2016

A New Priest for the Ordinariate in California

It's now 8:00 p.m., PDT here in the western-most part of the Ordinariate, so I think it is safe to state that Deacon Glen Baaten is now Fr Glen Baaten.

Looking forward to singing for the first Mass on Sunday.  There was even some talk of piping the processional but that seems not to have advanced very far.

Ad multos annos, Pater Reverende!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Monarchy - ad orientem

Mrs Vidal's twitterfeed this afternoon cites to a comprehensive apologia for monarchy from an Eastern Orthodox perspective.  You can find it here.

A sample:
“Monarchy is superior to every other constitution and form of government. For polyarchy, where everyone competes on equal terms, is really anarchy and discord.” —Eusebius of Caesaria (4th Century)
“The three most ancient opinions about God are atheism (or anarchy), polytheism (or polyarchy), and monotheism (or monarchy). The children of Greece played with the first two; let us leave them to their games. For anarchy is disorder: and polyarchy implies factious division, and therefore anarchy and disorder. Both these lead in the same direction – to disorder; and disorder leads to disintegration; for disorder is the prelude to disintegration. What we honour is monarchy”—St. Gregory the Theologian (4th Century) 
In the 14th Century, St. Gregory of Palamas encountered a movement of revolution and democracy that he condemned:
“God has counted the Emperors worthy to rule over His inheritance, over His earthly Church.” 
A more recent saint, John of Kronstadt, put it more tersely:
“Hell is a democracy. Heaven is a kingdom.” 
However one may try to develop a theory of democracy over monarchism, he will not get there by citing the church fathers.


22 June -- S John Cardinal Fisher's Day of Execution

On 22 June 1535 St John Fisher, Cardinal and Bishop of Rochester, was beheaded for refuting Henry VIII's claims to be head of the Church in England. St John's holy death is well-described here, along with that of St Thomas More.

A collect for St John from the old English Missal:

O God, who on thy blessed Bishop John didst bestow grace valiantly to lay down his life for  truth and justice:  grant us by his intercession and example, so to lose our life for Christ in this world, that we may be counted worthy to find it in heaven.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

I've had  little statue of St John Fisher on my desk for many years.  It was hand-carved by, if I recall correctly, a Catholic man in Taiwan.  I'm afraid it's not the loveliest piece of work ever carved.  And it doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to the Holbein drawing.  But it is the only statue I've ever seen of St John.


Monday, June 20, 2016

20 June -- St Alban, ProtoMartyr of England

Fr Phillips's page, Atonement on Line, gives us the story of St Alban's martyrdom as related by the Venerable Bede.  You can find it here.  His feast used to be on the 22d but the newer martyrs Ss Thomas More and John Cardinal Fisher are now on that day, it being the day St John was beheaded.

St Alban's collect from the old English Missal:

O God, who hast hallowed this day by the martyrdom of blessed Alban:  grant,we beseech thee, that as year by year we rejoice to pay him honour, so we  may be defended by his continual help.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Saints for 7 June

The Carmelite Order keeps the feast of Bl Anne of St Bartholomew today.  She was the constant companion and secretary of S Teresa of Avila.  After S Teresa's death, Bl Anne was the foundress of the Discalced Order in both France and Belgium.  The good old Catholic Encyclopædia has the names, places, and dates here.  (I know the headline says "Anne Garcia".  But it's the same person. Really.)

There  used to be a page based  on the old second nocturn giving far more interesting stories but it seems to have vanished.  At any rate, the old  link is broken.   The Carmelite Sisters of Ireland have a bit more on her life here.

Her collect in the old rite:

"Deus, qui beatam Annam Virginem tuam, eximium humilitatis exemplar effecisti : concede nobis, famulis tuis, ut illius vestigia sequentes, promissa humilibus praemia consequi valeamus. Per Dominum Nostrum Iesum Christum. Amen." 

My own translation (which you are welcome to criticize; I make no claim to proficiency):

Oh, God who didst make Blessed Anne, Thy virgin an exceptional exemplar of humility, grant to us Thy servants that following in her footsteps, we may be able to receive the reward promised to the humble. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

It's also the feast in England and in the Benedictine and Cistercian Orders of St Robert of Newminster.  The good old Catholic Encyclopædia gives a vita here.  Wikipedia has something on him also.  It seems  to be taken largely, if not exclusively, from the Catholic Encyclopædia.  If you want to check, it's here.

Actually Useful Information

If you are running Windows 10 and are thoroughly fed up with those useless little icons that pop up when you click the Windows window pane icon in the lower left hand corner, I have good news for you.  I learned the other day that if you right click on that little window pane thing you get a whole list of useful links:  Task Manager, Control Panel, Device Manager, and more.  No stupid little  cartoons telling you that it's Tuesday and 69° in Lakewood.  Just really useful links to tasks you used to be able to perform before Mickey$oft decided to get creative.

You're welcome.

The First Tuesday in June

Well, it's that time again here in the People's Republic of California: it's votin' day.   For those who enjoy pointless exercises the polls are open all day.  Although, now  that I have typed that out, it occurs to me it's not entirely pointless.  One can still vote against yet another bond issue for the local post-pubescent baby-sitting service, a.k.a., the community college.  Otherwise, it's just which Democrat is going to be elected to which office.  (Yes, there are a couple of Republican sacrificial lambs on the ballot.  The phrase snowball-in-hell springs to mind.)

ADDENDUM:  The memsahib and I  did actually wander down to our local polling place and made the requisite marks on the ballot card.  Which the official ballot counting machine proceeded to reject.  The Voting Place Guy tried to process mine six times before apologizing and putting it in the official electoral plastic tub underneath the official ballot counting machine.  Same thing with Mary and with the fellow who voted before us.  And apparently more than a few others.  It seems to be happening all over this area.  Is it incompetence or election fraud?  Couldn't tell you.  In the long run, though, in this area it only matters if you're a Democrat.  Whoever gets the Democrat nomination will get an elected office.  If you're a Republican all you're going to get is the opportunity to put on your  resumé that you were the Republican nominee for senate or congress or whatever . . . and got squashed like a bug.

(The Voting Place Guy probably does have a more impressive title than Voting Place Guy but I don't know what it might be.)