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.


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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.



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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.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

I Bind Unto Myself Today the Strong Name of the Trinity


A wonderful hymn for Trinity Sunday, which we did indeed sing this morning.

And as is also our custom on Trinity Sunday, the creed chanted was the Athanasian Creed - Quicumque Vult.

What The Inn had to say about Trinity Sunday a dozen years ago:

Trinity Sunday is one of the major feasts of the Church but not one that ever made it big where it counts: $$$ No Trinity Sunday white sales, no Trinity Sunday carols being played in the malls with only 10 more shopping days left 'til Trinity Sunday. Not even a deracinated saint or an anthropomorphic rodent to deliver presents the night before.
 Up until the final reform of the Tridentine breviary in the early '60s (i.e., a few years before its complete replacement by the Pauline liturgy of the hours) Trinity Sunday was distinguished as the last day in the year in which the Athanasian Creed - Quicumque Vult - was recited liturgically. But no more. On an ecumenical scale of 1 - 10 (10 being best) it would only rate a 1. (And it only got the 1 because some Lutherans and Anglicans are rather fond of it.)  So The Inn may be the old Creed's only commemoration this year.  (But that was 2007.  It's been part of Bl John's Trinity Sunday for a while now.)

 And as is The Inn's custom, here is the text of the Athanasian Creed, one of the Church's four major creeds, for your edification:

WHOSOEVER will be saved : before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith.
Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled : without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the Catholick Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
Neither confounding the Persons : nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son : and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one : the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son : and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate : and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible : and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal : and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals : but one eternal.
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated : but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty : and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties : but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God : and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods : but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord : and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords : but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be both God and Lord;
So are we forbidden by the Catholick Religion : to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none : neither created, nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone : not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son : neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons : one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other : none is greater, or less than another;
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together : and co-equal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid : the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved : must think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation : that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess : that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds : and Man of the substance of his Mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man : of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead : and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood;
Who, although he be God and Man : yet he is not two, but one Christ;
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh : but by taking of the Manhood into God;
One altogether; not by confusion of Substance : but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man : so God and Man is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation : descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty : from whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies : and shall give account for their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting : and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the Catholick Faith : which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.


Friday, June 14, 2019

While I Was Away

Only two or three posts since March.  I didn't go back and count but that seems about right.  This may be the most neglectful I've ever been of the poor old Inn.  But we've been having health problems for a while now.  And by we I don't actually mean me.  I'm fairly healthy; just old.

But Mary has really been put through the medical and surgical ringer.  There have been several things in the past few years but in the first 4 months of this year she has had two major operations one for hip replacement and just lately a major back operation.  She's still restricted in what she can do: no twisting, bending, or lifting anything of any consequence.  (And yes, she's been informed that she can "shout, but not twist".  It was amusing the first 7 or 8 times but she's heard it enough now.)  Thanks be to God, though, the pain, the agony she was in is at last gone.   Recuperating is going to take a few more months.

So even though I'm in pretty good shape for an old guy who doesn't take particularly good care of himself, there isn't time for everything.  I've been spending days in the hospital, maintaining the home front and finding out how much she really does around here.  In general, trying to keep up with things that are -- shocking, I know -- more important than The Inn.  There is even a mountain of emails awaiting perusal but I've made most band practices and most choir rehearsals.  Yes, my time allocation priorities are not everyone's.

I hesitate to promise to be a more regular correspondent because there is also the issue of bone laziness to contend with.  But it is my intent.   Really.   It is.



Chernobyl, the Book of Apocalypse, and more

A fascinating bit of apocalyptic confluences is recorded in this piece in Fr Z's blog.  Well-worth a ponder.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Twenty-Ninth of May . . . .


. . . .which is Royal Oak Day or Oak Apple Day,  and on which day the Cromwellian disaster was finally swept away and King Charles II acceded to the throne.  Or close enough.   Says Chambers' Book of Days:

[The parents of King Charles II] Charles I and Henrietta Maria (daughter of Henry IV of France), who had been married in 1626, had a child named Charles James born to them in March 1629, but who did not live above a day. Their second infant, who was destined to live and to reign, saw the light on the 29th of May 1630, his birth being distinguished by the appearance, it was said, of a star at midday. 
"It was on his thirtieth birthday, the 29th of May 1660, that the distresses and vicissitudes of his early life were closed by his triumphal entry as king into London. His restoration might properly be dated from the 8th of May, when he was proclaimed as sovereign of the three kingdoms in London: but the day of his entry into the metropolis, being also his birthday, was adopted as the date of that happy event. Never had England known a day of greater happiness. Defend the Commonwealth who may—make a hero of Protector Oliver with highest eloquence and deftest literary art—the intoxicated delight of the people in getting quit of them, and all connected with them, is their sufficient condemnation. The truth is, it had all along been a government of great difficulty, and a government of difficulty must needs be tyrannical. The old monarchy, ill-conducted as it had been under Charles I, shone white by comparison. It was happiness overmuch for the nation to get back under it, with or without guarantees for its better behaviour in future. An army lately in rebellion joyfully marshalled the king along from Dover to London.
Why Oak Apple Day?   It's in honor of the oak tree in which the king took refuge from the marauding parliamentary forces.  The full, rather romantic story can be found at the link above.

If you've a mind to sing along to the tune at the top the lyrics can be found here.

A sample:


Why should we speak of Caesar’s acts,
or Shimei’s treacheries,
Or of the grand notorious facts
of Cromwell’s tyrannies?
But what we all might gladly sing,
and bravely chant and say,
That Charles the second did come in
the twenty ninth of May. 
Since that his royal person went
from us beyond the seas,
Much blood and treasure have been spent
but never obtained peace:
Until the Lord with-held his hand
as we might cheerful say,
And did a healing balsam send
the twenty, etc. 

. . . 
Now let all people celebrate
this day which is so pure,
And to be kept by church and state
for ever to endure.
That generations all might see
the honour of the day,
Which everlasting it shall be
the twenty, etc. 
So God preserve our gracious king
the Duke of York also,
Defend them from the dragon’s sting
and every Christian foe.
Then let true loyal subjects sing
and bravely chant and say,
The like in England ne’er came in
the twenty ninth of May.
And if the tune, jig though it be labelled, seems familiar, you might have sung it to a slightly different tempo as "All Things Bright and Beautiful".


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Friday, April 12, 2019

On Checking the Radio Schedule

I'm sure the world is dying to know:  but, no, I missed Tosca last Saturday.   One thing and another had to be done late Saturday morning and early Saturday afternoon.

So.  What's on tomorrow?

More bloody Wagner.

The good news is I have a funeral to do tomorrow and I'd miss the Met broadcast anyway, whatever it was.  But next week is La Clemenza di Tito.    So God is merciful.  (Even more than Titus.)  If you're in the L.A. area  KUSC, 91.5 is the appropriate station.


[Apparently for reasons known only to himself and God,  Puccini loved Wagner's music, thought it was the best thing ever.  Fortunately, he continued to write like himself and not like, well, anyone else.  Especially Wagner.]




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Thursday, April 04, 2019

Carmelite Hermits Need Your Help!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Well, this has been a disappointing week

We've waited the requisite 10 days and the epidural has not “kicked in” and Mary's back pain remains. She has some tablets for the pain and they work.  Up to a point.   They take the edge off.  But she's still in pain most of the time.  The next visit with the doctor is this week and we'll discuss the next step.

Someone stole a couple of Mary's checks, washed out the payees, inserted a couple of aliases, and changed the amounts: one from $30 to $348 and one from $40 to $409.  An alert bank teller caught the $409 one before it could be cashed.  But the thief was successful with the $348 one.  It doesn't put us in the poor house but it is a bit of a nuisance.  We've had to spend a couple of hours at the bank closing the old account and opening a new one.  And then trying to deal – only occasionally successfully – with the outstanding checks and changing the direct deposits.  And there went a significant chunk of that week.  Not to mention missing band practice.

And then this morning one opens the internet to find that Hilary (the good one, not the evil one with double Ls, late of American politics) is bowing out of analyzing church and, sometimes, state.  I don't know how I'm going to find out what it is I think about things now.  Oh, all right.  I'm not quite that hopeless.  But she does have a wonderful way of making sense of things, of putting the pieces of the puzzle together.   Disappointing, as I said, but I do see her point.  Nine or ten years ago The Inn quoted an article in The Wanderer which, while not precisely on point, is I think relevant.  It's here.  It's pretty much the attitude and practice I try to follow.  I can hardly blame someone for doing something similar.  Though I shall miss her commentary.

And finally,  I sat down this morning in the big, black chair with a mug of coffee and twiddled the appropriate knobs on the Grundig for the Saturday Met broadcast.   But what did I hear? 

Hoyo to ho.

Bloody Wagner. 

I misread the schedule.  Tosca isn't until next week.

A very disappointing week indeed.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On Learning Something New Every Day

If you go here you'll find a comprehensive essay by Fr Z on just exactly when you're allowed to begin the Easter Vigil.   And end it, too.  Not only may you not start too early, i.e., pre-sunset, but you mustn't "go straight on 'til morning" either.  The details are at the link.

And why do I cite you to all this?  Because, as you ought to know by now, I find liturgical minutiae infinitely fascinating.  It's probably a character flaw but there you are.




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Monday, March 25, 2019

Lady Day in Spring



Today 25 March is the feast of the Annunciation to Our Lady that she was to be the Mother of God -- if she would agree.  She did.  Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. . . .

Something on the day from Fr Phillip's page.

And from Mrs Vidal




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Bishop Schneider: Spot On

If you haven't read Bishop Athanasius Schneider's essay "On the Question of a Heretical Pope", which you can find here, you really ought to.  As a practical matter, it says all there is to say about the matter.

Steve Skojec's commentary on it is worth a look, too.  It's here.


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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Still the weary folk are pining for the hour that brings release.

It occurs to me that the lyrics of the recessional hymn today bear repeating.  They got my attention anyway.

Judge eternal, throned in splendor,
Lord of lords and King of kings,
With thy living fire of judgement
Purge this land of bitter things:
Solace all its wide dominion
With the healing of thy wings. 
Still the weary folk are pining
For the hour that brings release,
And the city’s crowded clangor
Cries aloud for sin to cease:
And the homesteads and the woodlands
Plead in silence for their peace. 
Crown, O God, thine own endeavor;
Cleave our darkness with thy sword;
Feed the faint and hungry heathen
With the richness of thy word;
Cleanse the body of this nation
Through the glory of the lord.  Amen.

The words were by Henry Scott Holland, an Anglo-Catholic priest around the turn of the last century and a great friend of GK Chesterton.  (The music isn't so bad either: Johann Christoph Bach.)


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Scots Festival on the QM





The Scottish festival on the Queen Mary was a couple of weeks ago but I only just found this video from the Grunion Gazette. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

It's almost Springtime . . .

. . .and so time for The Inn's annual whinge about 21st century Hollywood:


As (almost) always, clicking on things in Blogspot makes them enormous, and therefore legible.


Sunday, February 03, 2019

4th Sunday after Epiphany

A hymn and the collect from this morning's Mass.

Let thy blood in mercy poured,
Let thy gracious Body broken,
Be to me, oh gracious Lord,
Of thy boundless love the token.
Thou didst give thyself for me,
Now I give myself to thee.

Oh God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright;  Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Candlemas Day

All you  need to know about the liturgical history of  Candlemas Day you can find here.

The Inn had more to say about Candlemas Day here -- including the admonition that today is the very last day to take down your Christmas decorations.   If you neglect to do that, well . . . .

Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all
Wherewith ye dress'd the Christmas hall;
That so the superstitious find
No 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.

So saith Robert Herrick.  And seeing goblins is not recommended.

Vulgo dicta, it's also Groundhog Day, in which rodents native to the American northeast predict the weather for the next few weeks according to the formula:

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter's gane at Yule. 


Were you so inclined, you could have a kilt made in groundhog tartan, which you can have a look at here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

29 January -- St Blathnaid of Kildare

St Blathnaid,  or Blath, was the cook in St Brigid's monastery.  She is one of Ireland's hidden and little-known saints although her name is still occasionally in use.

There is a page dedicated to her here.



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Friday, January 25, 2019

You know how you can read a bit of scripture a thousand times . . .

. . . and it's, well,  nice?  And then the thousand and first time it explodes and "nice" doesn't even come close?  Eternity makes its presence felt.

Well, today it's the first bit of the 37th psalm (or 36th, depending on how you count):


FRET not thyself because of the ungodly; * neither be thou envious against the evil doers.
2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, * and be withered even as the green herb.
3  Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good; * dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4  Delight thou in the Lord, * and he shall give thee thy heart's desire.
5  Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him, * and he shall bring it to pass.
6  He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light, * and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
7  Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him: * but grieve not thyself at him whose way doth prosper, against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
8  Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure: * fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
9  Wicked doers shall be rooted out; * and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
10  Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone: * thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
11  But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth, * and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
12  The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just, * and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13  The Lord shall laugh him to scorn; * for he hath seen that his day is coming.
14  The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, * to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be upright in their ways.
15  Their sword shall go through their own heart, * and their bow shall be broken.
16  A small thing that the righteous hath, * is better than great riches of the ungodly.
17  For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken, * and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

An Historical Note on a Public Board

This was taken down the same day after outraged protests from people who apparently hate facts.


140 years ago this week on the 22–23 January 1879 in Natal, South Africa, a small British garrison named Rorke’s Drift was attacked by 4,000 Zulu warriors. The garrison was successfully defended by just over 150 British and colonial troops. Following the battle, 11 men were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Women's "Ordination" -- what follows

Sometimes the slippery-slope argument is just bafflegab to distract the opposition.  Sometimes the logic of it is inescapable, videlicet Dr Kirk's essay here.



Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Not Me . . . alas


Because I could've put that $9 million to very good use.  Instead, it's somebody named Trevor whom Mr Moreno is hoping will be a knock-out right-handed starter.  I do have a nephew named Trevor.  But it isn't he either.  So no $9,000,000.00 anywhere in the family.  (It looks like an even bigger pile of cash when I put in all the zeros, doesn't it.)

Does Trader Joe's Know Me, or What



Of all the cardboard boxes in Trader Joe's the other day, the clerk chose to put my groceries in this one.  Not actually a bishop, to be sure, but that doesn't stop me from pontificating rather regularly concerning both church and state.

(French wine seems to have come in it originally.  I wonder if it was from Avignon?  Delighted to see they kept the triple-crown tiara . . . especially since Somebody Else didn't.)


Here Comes in a Guid New Year


"Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers, 
And dinna think that we are beggars; 

For we are bairns come out to play, 
Get up and gie’s our hogmanay"
For we are bairns come out to play, 
Get up and gie’s our hogmanay"

~ Traditional

The above is lifted from this excellent site, which promises a new Scottish country dance for almost any occasion or, indeed, day of the year.   January 1st is here, wherein you can learn about first-footing and more.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Here at the Ancestral Manse


Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Little Seasonal Piping



Lovely pieces.  It's worth mentioning that, it still being Advent for a little while longer, Veni, Veni Emmanuel goes even better on the smallpipe than Good Christian Men.

Alas, no smallpipers seem to have made a video of that.


Friday, December 07, 2018

Changing of the Guard



Donal Dubh, my pal from next door, hasn't been in his usual chair for, oh, six months or so.   I see him wandering around the neighbourhood so he hasn't had a run-in with a car or one of California's protected coyotes.  But he no longer haunts the comfy chair.

The front porch, however, has not been left unguarded.


His marmalade cousin has taken up the task and spends most mornings and some afternoons and occasionally evenings taking his or her leisure on what is now officially the cat chair.


As almost always, clicking on the picture will expand it to gigantic proportions.  At least viewing it with Vivaldi or Opera it will.  Then you will be able to see for yourself that Donal is a real cat and not an inkblot on the cushion.

Friday, November 30, 2018

St Andrew Christmas Novena

It begins today.

It's not to St Andrew and it's not really a novena since it lasts for 25 or 26 days, depending upon whether you continue it on the 25 of December.

It goes like this:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
Say it 15 times a day until Christmas.  But not all at once, so they tell me.  Unless, say, um, you forgot and had to get them all in at 11:50 p.m. some day.  Not that I would forget.  Just a f'rinstance,
you understand.  Best practice is 5 in the morning, 5 in the afternoon, and 5 at night as Michael Matt recommends here.

So why St Andrew?  Because it begins today and today is his feast day.

A history of the vigil of his feast.

St Andrew in the east.