Sunday, January 09, 2022

When Meditation Wanders off Topic . . . .

". . . . thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising, thou understandest my thoughts long before.

 "Thou art about my path, and about my bed : and spiest out all my ways."

That's from the 139th psalm.  The psalmist is, of course, referring to the Lord.   But it suddenly dawned on my uncontrollable imagination  (St Teresa says that the imagination is harder to control than a team of six wild horses) that these days it no doubt also applies to Google.  And probably Amazon.  And heaven knows who else on the Whirled Wide Web.

And . . .{{{{sigh}}}} . . .there went another mental prayer period down for the count.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Still Good Advice . . . .

. . . . but getting harder to follow every 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.

Psalm 37 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A Christmas Message from Archbishop Viganò

There is probably a way to embed this but neither Blogspot nor Rumble are making it obvious. So for those who would like to see the Archbishop's message, you'll have to click here.

On the Latest Diktat from the Pope of Mercy

 Fr Hunwicke gets right to the point here.

Sound analysis from Fr Z here and here.

Insight from Dr Kwasniewski at OnePeterFive.  And don't miss the articles linked at the end of Dr Kwasniewski's article.

Could we forget The Remnant?  We could not.  

And the Ordinariate?  What about us?  After all we have a reverent liturgy also.  My guess is  (and it is, of course, only a guess; I'm on nobody's inside track)  we're probably too small and too geographically isolated for the powers that be to worry about.  Yet.  Don't forget Cardinal Bergoglio's words to Greg Venables, the Anglican bishop of Argentina, that "the Church Universal needs Anglicans" and the Ordinariate is "unnecessary".  Vide here.  Complacency should not be the default setting.

V.    Endue thy ministers with righteousness.
R.    And make thy chosen people joyful.


Friday, December 17, 2021


 The UPS truck was parked in front of our house -- RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE -- for a good 5 or 10 minutes this afternoon.   

And then the delivery man went across the street.


Not the only reason the great spiritual writers recommend detachment.  But it'll do for a start.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

15 December -- Ember Wednesday in Advent

 For reasons known only to God and whoever put our calendar together, the Ordinariates celebrated the Ember days in Advent two weeks ago.

The tradition of the Roman Rite, however,  is to celebrate the same in the third week in Advent, i.e., beginning tomorrow, which is Ember Wednesday in Advent.

Fr Zuhlsdorf has provided as good a summary/meditation/exposition of the day as you're likely to find anywhere here

Do go and have a read.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

The Third Sunday of Advent, a.k.a., Gaudete Sunday

 Something from the wonderful Bl Ildephonse Cardinal Schuster, O.S.B. -- re-posted from sixteen years ago:

Another of the Blessed Cardinal Schuster's historical briefs on the liturgical day. He goes into great detail on this, the third Sunday of Advent, and never explicitly calls it "Gaudete Sunday".

The Third Sunday of Advent
Station at St Peter's

Seeing that in Rome on the fourth Sunday of Advent there was no station – because of the great ordinations of priests and deacons mense decembri which took place on the preceding night – this third station preparatory to Christmas was celebrated at St Peter's, with unwonted splendour of rites and processions, as if it were the mind of the church to introduce us at this moment to the holy joys which belong to the season of our Lord's birth.

This, in fact, is the week of the great scrutinies and of the solemn fasts preceding the ordinations; hence the faithful also on this day assemble at the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, in order to obtain for themselves his heavenly protection, and to share with the Pastor Ecclesiæ the joy which fills the hearts of the flock at the glad news of the approaching parousia: Prope est jam Dominus. . . .

Formerly the Pope used to repair to the Vatican Basilica at sunset on the Saturday, and, being present at Vespers, intoned the first and last antiphons which were indicated to him by one of the canons. The Ordines Romani tell us that in reward for this service the Pontiff was accustomed to place a gold coin in the mouth of the worthy ecclesiastic.

It was the duty of the Vatican Chapter to provide the Pope and the cardinals with supper and sleeping accommodation for the first part of the night; this latter, however, was not required for long, since the Office of the Vigil began shortly after midnight. The Pope, preceded by acolytes with candles and torches, went first to incense the altars of St Leo I, St Gregory the Great, St Sebastian, St Tiburtius, the Apostles SS Simon and Jude, the Holy Face, the Blessed Virgin and lastly that of St Pastor. This being done, he went down into the crypt of the Confession of St Peter, and after he had offered incense at the tomb of the Apostle the first Offices of the Vigil began. Three psalms and three scriptural lessons were chanted by the clergy, then the primicerius intoned the Te Deum, the Pope recited the collect, and so ended the first part of the night psalmody ad corpus.

The procession then returned to the basilica above in the same order in which it had come down, and after the altar under which the body of St Peter rested had been incensed, began the Office of Matins, properly so called. This pro­ceeded without there being anything special to be noted. The Vatican canons chanted the lessons of the first nocturn; in the second, the first two lections — extracts from the letter of St Leo I to the Patriarch Flavian — fell to the bishops; the third lection and the first of the third nocturn to two of the cardinals; the last but one to the senior canon of the Vatican Chapter; and the last one of all to the Pope. The Office of Dawn followed, in which the Pontiff intoned the antiphon preceding the Canticle of Zachary, and last of all recited the final collect.

The stational Mass for this day, as it immediately precedes the Christmas season, had originally a strikingly festive character. We know that novenas and triduums in preparation for the greater feasts are of later origin, and in the golden age of the Liturgy these weeks before Easter and Christmas, with their vigiliary Masses and stational synaxes at the most famous basilicas of the Eternal City, were intended to prepare the souls of the faithful and to obtain for them from heaven the grace to profit by the various solemnities of the liturgical cycle.

At the Mass the Pope intoned the Angelic Hymn, which was then taken up by all the clergy. After the Collect, the singers, led by the cardinal deacons, the apostolic sub-deacons and the notaries, recited the Acclamations or Laudes, in honour of the Pontiff, the clergy and the Roman people, a custom still observed at the coronation ceremony of the Sovereign Pontiffs. At the termination of the holy sacrifice the deacons replaced the tiara on the head of the Pope, and, having mounted their horses, the whole cavalcade proceeded with all due solemnity to the Lateran, where the banquet took place.

To-day's ceremonial has preserved very little indeed of all this brilliant ritual setting; joy is, indeed, by no means the dominant note of modern society. At the Mass, it is true, the sacred ministers are clothed in rose-coloured vestments in place of the customary ones of violet, and the organ once again fills the aisles with its strains. The divine Office itself has not undergone any change; it preserves intact its primitive spirit of festivity and eagerness aroused by the nearness of the coming of the Saviour.

The Introit is derived from St Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (iv, 4), and is well adapted to the occasion. The Lord is now very close at hand, and at this announcement the heart overflows with joy. Yet this joy is in complete contrast to that to which the world gives itself up, for it is the fruit of that inward peace which the Holy Ghost communicates to the soul when it remains faithful to God's holy will. Such fidelity — the careful fulfilling, that is, of the duties belonging to one's state, is here called by St Paul modestia; the exact measure and form, as it were, of all the virtues. Interior peace might well find an obstacle in the sorrows and anxieties of the outward life; but St Paul would have us banish from our hearts all excessive solicitude, having recourse in humble confidence to God in prayer, and laying all our needs trustingly before him whom he calls the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation. Psalm Ixxxiv, which forms the concluding portion of the Introit, is in a special manner the canticle of the Redemption.

So that's what modestia means: "the careful fulfilling,. . . ,of the duties belonging to one's state". It always seemed somewhat oxymoronic for St Paul to advise us to let our "modesty" be known to all men. "Modesty" then, isn't quite proper for a 21st century translation. I wonder: was it proper for 16th century English? Used "modesty" to be more like Schuster's definition of "modestia"?

A Little Advent Music

 Finally got around to updating The Inn's left-hand column for Advent.  So why not a bit of Advent music to go with it?

And a little something Advent-ish to read while you listen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

St Andrew's Day

 A little piping for St Andrew's Day as he's the  patron saint of Scotland.   The clip above was taken in the city of Perth on this day in 2016..

More here from The Inn a few  years ago.

And don't forget that today begins the St Andrew's Novena, which isn't actually to St Andrew, although it begins on his feast day, and isn't actually a novena as it lasts 25 days, not 9.  But it's traditional to call it that, so I will too.

Mrs Vidal gives the text and a little history - as much as I've been able to find anyway -- here.  The tradition is to pray it 15 times a day until Christmas.  In case you don't want to click on over there (why wouldn't you?) here is the text:

Hail!  And blessed be the hour and the moment when Jesus Christ was born of the most pure Virgin Mary at midnight in Bethlehem in piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my petition through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary His Mother. Amen.


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Friday the 13th - a Saturday feast transferred to Sunday the 14th

 O.K., O.K., I know.  It's not a feast.  It's not even a very good superstition.

But Sunday did seem like a carry-over from yesterday.

RLS again so missed our own Mass.  And even the 1:00 p.m. traditional Mass at St Theresa's.

Had to go to the one remaining evening Mass locally.  Piano.   Girl altar boys.  Young cantoress ("cantatrice?") with lovely voice and no taste in music.  There was more but you get the idea.  And the pièce de résistance: about offertory time a family arrived and ensconced themselves in front of me with a little tyke rejoicing in a chronic cough that would not stop.  Too young to use a handkerchief.  Too young to even clap a hand over her mouth.  The heart sank.  If I come within 10 feet of a little kid with some sort of misery, I get it.  Even if it's non-communicable, I get it.

So:  do I become one of those ghastly people who are rude to families with small children and ostentatiously move?  Or just stay there and get covid 1984, tuberculosis, measles, leprosy or whatever it is that that kid has?  I chose to mostly stay but as surreptitiously as possible I scooted down the pew away from the little germ factory.  A few inches at a time.  At intervals.  I was rather proud of myself.

Leaving Mass a woman asked me if I'd had my booster shot.  Oh, Lord.  Is this the resident medical busy-body?  No.  She smiled and said she was behind me and was also trying to avoid my coughing nemesis.  So perhaps the scooting was not as surreptitious as I had supposed.

Silver lining:  a fine sermon whose theme was Memento mori and being prepared therefor.   Couldn't argue with that.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Friday the 13th Comes on a Saturday This Month

 And  so far today, after 3 ½ hours sleep (cf: this page) at 8:03 this morning the tree-trimmers that She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed hired started up their gas-powered tree trimmers and went to work right outside the bedroom.  I'm led to understand that the motors are not engines retrieved from retired jet aircraft but you couldn't prove it by me.  And our early-rising helpers have this amusing little trick whereby they run the motors for a good 10 minutes and then shut them off just long enough for you to fall back to sleep.  Then start up again.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Sleep being no longer on the menu, arose and found that we were short on fixin's for the breakfast.  Went to the market; they had everything but what I wanted.  Fully-stocked market to be sure - news reports to the contrary notwithstanding - except, of course, for what I had come for.  Bought cinnamon rolls instead.   Wonderful comfort food, although our GP would not have been pleased.

Shall I explain how I stopped for gas on the way, dropped my glasses and didn't notice until I had already run over them?  No, better not.  Details not that interesting and tend to make me look an even bigger numpty than usual, even allowing for my sleep-deprived condition.

And it's only lunchtime.  Can't wait to see what fresh unpleasantness is in the offing.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Good Advice from Evening Prayer this evening

 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.

Psalm 37 

From My Twitter-feed This Very Evening

 "Really cool how our society has been entirely structured for the increased profit of a few very large corporations rather than optimized human health and well being 

"When you realize this is what actually matters to the people making the rules everything makes sense."

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

12 October -- St Wilfred

 It is indeed St Wilfred's Day today.  At least in the Ordinariate calendar it is.

I mention it because he was apparently a great object of Fr Frederick William Faber's devotion and I am rather fond of Fr Faber.  In his first days as a Roman Catholic he started a religious brotherhood dedicated to St Wilfred, known by the few who knew of them, as the Wilfredites.  It was rather successful for a while but eventually he and some of the Wilfredite brothers joined Fr Newman's Oratorians.

If you want to know more about St Wilfred you can find more than you probably wanted to know in a Wikipedia article here.   There's a largish piece in the good old Catholic Encyclopædia, too.  (It's by Fr Bowden, who knew Fr Faber.  It's here.)  But the Wikipedia one is gigantic.   (Although . . . one  never knows who's been tinkering with Wikipedia articles.  Caveat lector.)

Sunday, October 10, 2021

From My Twitter-feed Yesterday

 “Why do the protected need to be protected from the unprotected, by forcing the unprotected to use the protection that didn’t protect the protected in the first place?”

Of course, how probative that is depends to a degree on whose collection of statistics you're reading from.  But an interesting question nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Un Ballo in Maschera

 Well, perhaps not un ballo.  But depending upon location we do seem to be in maschera a lot.  

And that leads me to today's whinge.  Aside from the breathing issue, there is the communication issue.   When wearing the face doily, one not only has to repeat everything but also to ask everyone else to repeat what they said..  

Which I don't always do.  More and more I just nod and agree.  And now I've been wondering what all I've been agreeing to.   If it were just "Nice day, isn't it", all well and good.  But what if the question that came across as "Mftpbt cranis brifl?"  was actually "Would you be interested in robbing a bank with me?".  I can see that ending badly.  Nod-and-agree might not have been the optimal response.

Personally, I blame Dr Fauci.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Collect for the Day that's in it

 KEEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy Church with Thy perpetual mercy: and, because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall; keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; 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.

Nine-Eleven, 20 Years On

"Just as they did at Buckingham Palace twenty years ago to show solidarity with the US, the Band of the Welsh Guards this morning played the US National Anthem at changing of the guard."

Thus sayeth the explanation at Youtube.  If I recall correctly, I think the band on 9/11/2001 was that of the Coldstream Guards.  But whatever band,  it was a beautiful tribute as is this one.

Monday, September 06, 2021

The Standard on the Braes o' Mar

 On this day, the 6th of September in 1715 John Erskine, Scotland's 6th Earl of Mar, unfurled the standard of the old Pretender at Braemar.  Thus began the first of the Jacobite risings supporting King James III and VIII as the legitimate king.

There is much about Jacobitism on the web, not all of it, shall we say, worthwhile.  You could make a very good start here though.


Saturday, September 04, 2021

Dropping in for a Quick Word

 I resolved this morning to try and be a bit more regular in minding The Inn.  I even made some preparatory notes at breakfast.  And now as I sit here at the keyboard the notes go one-by-one into the waste paper basket.   Every one seems trite, not very original and every topic treated better elsewhere.  It seems I'm not cut out to be a topical commentator.

So far as Traditiones Custodes, that half-baked little exercise in bullying, goes, I suggest a visit to Fr Z's site  (say here or here or here) for useful treatment.  And he's a lot  nicer about the whole thing than I would be.  And don't overlook Rorate Cæli and 1Peter5 either.

And since we're being topical, can Afghanistan be avoided?  Not entirely, I suppose.  But instead of a diatribe of which there are plenty everywhere you look, I leave  you with a votive collect adapted from the Ordinariate Daily Office book:

Almighty and everlasting God, regard, we beseech Thee, the prayers of our persecuted brethren and afflicted Christians throughout the world, and especially in these times in Afghanistan:  Comfort those who suffer violence and intimidation and deliver them from their oppressors, console those who mourn the dead, convert those who have taken up arms against the faithful, and protect the peace-makers; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

So . . . is there going to be some regular posting going on here?  Possibly.  That's the plan.  But you've heard it before, haven't you.  But if I come across something that I find interesting, or funny, or relevant, or helpful . . . then,  possibly.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

14 July

It's Bastille Day.  A day to conjur with for the French.  Herewith The Inn's annual reprint of the late and much-missed Jerry Pournelle's annual piece on the . . . ahem . . . '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.

Alas, I have long since lost the link to the proper page of Dr Pournelle's site.  And they've re-arranged it anyway.  I suspect a search of some kind could find it eventually.  Start here and see what turns up.  Even if you don't find the original his site is worth the trip.

Friday, July 09, 2021

Psalm 102. From Mattins this Morning

 13  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Sion; * for it is time that thou have mercy upon her, yea, the time is come.

14  And why? thy servants think upon her stones, * and it pitieth them to see her in the dust.

Pierced this heart this morning.  Too much Vatican news, perhaps.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Found in "Touchstone" the other day

Defy the commandments of the natural law, and the race will perish in a few generations; co-operate with them, and the race will flourish for ages to come. That is the fact; whether we like it or not, the universe is made that way. This commandment is interesting because it specifically puts forward the moral law as the basis of the moral code: because God has made the world like this and will not alter it, therefore you must not worship your own fantasies, but pay allegiance to the truth.

—Dorothy L, Sayers
The Mind of the Maker (1941)

Or more briefly:

 Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret 

Horace, Epist. I,10,24

Thursday, June 10, 2021

June 10 -- White Rose Day


A day to commemorate.  All you need to know about White Rose Day can be found here.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Regina Cæli . . .

 . . . one last time before Trinitytide overwhelms us:

Starting with Compline tonight we're back to the Salve Regina.

The 29th of May . . . again.

. . . But in 1874 this time.   For on this day in 1874 Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born.

If you don't know G.K. there is much on the web to inform you. You might start with the American Society of GK Chesterton which celebrates his birthday on FB here.   And don't miss their webpage here.

The 29th 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".

And if this entire post seems familiar, you may indeed have seen it before as it is a re-post from years past.  Waste not, want not.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Aurora Cælum purpurat

 Aurora cælum, the old morning hymn for Lauds.  I've seen it . . .what? . .. a few hundred times?   It impressed me anew this morning.  Here it is in the Stanbrook Abbey translation.

The dawn was purpling o'er the sky;

With alleluias rang the air;

Earth held a glorious jubilee;

Hell gnash'd its teeth in fierce despair;

When our most valiant, mighty King

From death's abyss, in dread array,

Led the long-prison'd Fathers forth,

Into the beam of life and day.

When He, whom stone and seal and guard

Had safely to the tomb consign'd,

Triumphant rose and buried death

Deep in the grave He left behind.

"Calm all your grief, and still your tears,"

Hark! the descending Angel cries,

"For Christ is risen from the dead,

And death is slain, no more to rise."

O Jesu! from the death of sin,

Keep us, we pray: so shalt Thou be

The everlasting Paschal joy

Of all the souls new-born in Thee.

To God the Father, with the Son

Who from the grave immortal rose,

And Thee, O paraclete be praise,

While age on endless ages flows.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Find the Right Helmet, and You Win the Darth Vader Look-Alike Contest

 This one right here.  

This could almost make me pro mask.  Almost.  Not quite but almost.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Easter Sunday


Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more;* death hath no more dominion over him.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once;* but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,* but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


cf: Romans vi:9-11

Monday, February 01, 2021

Lá Féile Naomh Bríde

Today is the feast of St Brigid of Kildare,  my grandmother's birthday, and my wife's 2d onomastico.  So herewith something on St Brigid from a few years ago:

From The Life of St Brigit by Cogitosus, excerpted from The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham:

. . .On another occasion the blessed Brigid felt a tenderness for some ducks that she saw swimming on the water and occasionally taking wing.  She bid them fly to her, and a great flock of them flew towards her, without any fear, as if they were humans under obedience to her.  She touched them with her hand and embraced them tenderly.  She then released them and they flew into the sky.  And as they did so she praised God the Creator of all living things, to whom all life is subject, and for the service of whom all life is a gift. . . .

The collect for St Brigid from the Masses proper to England and Wales in the old English Missal:

O God, who on this day dost make us to rejoice in the yearly solemnity of blessed Brigid thy Virgin : graciously grant ; that we who are enlightened by the example of her chastity, may be aided by her merits. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.
The collect in the Pauline Rite:

Lord, you inspired Saint Brigid such whole-hearted dedication to your work that she is known as Mary of the Gael; through her intercession bless our country; may we follow the example of her life and be united with her and the Virgin Mary in your presence.  We make our prayer through Christ our  Lord .  Amen.
The monks of St Benedict's Abbey in Norcia have been brewing their own beer for a while now.  You may have seen a notice here and there that their beer is soon to be available in the U.S.  You can find out about it here.  They're far from being the first brewing abbey.  That talent goes at least as far back as . . . St Brigid.

In his Lives of the British Saints the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould informs us that St Brigid was no mean brew-mistress:

She was famous for the ale she brewed, and on one occasion supplied seventeen churches in Meath with liquor from Maundy Thursday to Low Sunday. She also furnished [St] Mel, her diocesan, with beer continually. Lepers and poor people clamoured for her ale, and on one occasion she bluntly told them that all she could give them was her bath-water. The [medieval] biographer improves this story into a miracle, her tubbing water was converted into excellent beer. Indeed such was her desire to supply the Saints with wholesome home-brewed ale, that the only hymn of hers that has been preserved, runs as follows: 
I should like a great lake of ale
For the King of Kings!
I should like the whole family of heaven
To be drinking it eternally. 
One day Bishop Mel arrived with a large party of clerics, and clamoured for breakfast. "This is well for you to be hungry," replied Brigid, "but we also are hungry and thirsty, and that for the Word of God. Go into the church first and serve us with the spiritual banquet. After that we will attend to your victuals."



Friday, January 29, 2021

29 January -- St Gildas the Wise

St Gildas, whose feast day is today, is one of those wonderful old British saints.  He was born in what is now Scotland in the ancient Brythonic speaking area.  He has connections not only to Scotland but England, Wales, Ireland and finally to Brittany on the continent.

There is quite a good life of St Gildas here in Wikipedia.  In fact two lives, as there are two medieval lives extant relating quite different events.  Apparently the one portraying his friendship with King Arthur relies rather more on imagination than history, which I find rather disappointing.  I would've liked a saint who was a stout liegeman to King Arthur.

Alas, I haven't been able to find a collect for St Gildas.  I suppose something in your daily Missal's Common for a Confessor not a Bishop will have to do,  (ADDENDUM:  Oh, and there's a Common for a Holy Abbot, which I forgot about.)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

S Peter Thomas, O .Carm., Archbishop and Martyr

This day in the old calendar of the Carmelite Order is the feast of S Peter Thomas.    He's been mentioned in The Inn before and the following is indeed reproduced from a 17 year old post.  But he's even more relevant this year as he is traditionally invoked against pestilence, as his traditional collect reminds us.  (If you're looking for him on the N.O. calendar, he was moved to last week on the 8th.  100 years ago his feast was in February so it seems he travels a lot liturgically as he did geographically when he was alive.)

In any event, herewith S Peter Thomas, O.Carm. from 2003:

The second great bishop of Carmel was St. Peter Thomas, born in 1305, at Perigord. Unlike St. Andrew Corsini, he was of humble parentage and very poor, but with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He made every sacrifice, even depriving himself of necessaries, to obtain his education, and soon was able to instruct himself and teach others, so that the Carmelite Fathers engaged him for their classes, and the young students were the first to avail of his extraordinary genius. Soon he begged for admission, and the Professor became a monk at twenty.

He was sent to the University of Paris and was there at the same time as Andrew Corsini, though history does not record the meeting of the young French and Italian Carmelites. The nations were apt to hold together amid the multitudes there. Peter Thomas was among the first teachers of Bologna. His sanctity was soon recognized as being equal to his learning, and he was given the highest Offices in the Order. His life may be summarized in three words: Mary, Union of the Greeks, and Jerusalem.

“Mary,” for his devotion to Our Lady, his treatises on her Immaculate Conception, his visions, his inexpressible love for her; “Union of the Greeks,” for it was his special mission and for that he was sent to Constantinople by the Sovereign Pontiff; and “Jerusalem,” for the Holy City was his Patriarchal See.

Clement VI had for him a marked affection, and called him to Avignon to be Doctor of Theology for the Papal Court. It was while there, on the eve of Pentecost, 1351, that he had a vision of Our Lady which hung as a bow of promise over the awful years so soon to follow. Even then the sinister shadow was cast upon the Mountain, and the great heart of Peter Thomas was rent with anguish. Prostrate, he prayed and pleaded with Mary his Queen and his Mother, to protect her Order, and she appeared to him in glory saying: “Peter, fear not, the Order of Carmel will endure unto the end of the world; Elias has obtained this from my Son.” We read that promise with joy and devotion, but then, in view of what followed, it was a vision of hope almost necessary to uphold the “Brothers of Our Lady” from despair, as pestilence, heresy, and, worst of all, schism, were to walk abroad and threaten the existence of Carmel on every side. . . . . .

. . . . .He was appointed Bishop of Patti and Archbishop of Candia. Charged by Innocent VI with no less than fourteen important embassies, he was sent to the Court of Louis, King of Pouille, to the Emperor Charles IV, and to John VI, Emperor of Constantinople. This City he reconciled to the See of Rome. In 1356, he was sent as Legate to the East and Examiner on questions of faith. In 1360 he anointed Peter I of Lusignan, King of Cyprus and Jerusalem, and the following year the pestilence attacked the Isle of Cyprus. The population were in consternation at the horrors they witnessed; death everywhere and in a horrible form. Peter multiplied himself, and his devotion during the pest has become a tradition in the Order. He was everywhere and everything; consoler, physician, father to the sick, to the dying, and to those who wept and could not die, for death was easier than life amid such scenes. His history would require a large volume, and through all his embassies, missions and legations, we see the humble servant of Our Lady, the Saint, moving obdurate hearts, inspiring heroic deeds, advancing the interests of the Holy See, and shrinking from the honors that were thrust upon him.

In the midst of the splendor of the times and with his rank as Bishop and Legate, he lived simply like his Brethren; went on foot when possible, lived in his own Monasteries whenever he could, though his presence was claimed as an honor by Kings and Princes.

In 1365, he was made Legate and sent to preach the Crusade against the Turks. He blessed the fleets of the Crusaders amid repeated cries of “Live, Peter of Jerusalem!” “Live, the King of Cyprus against the Saracens!” Thanks to his prudence and prayers, the army of the infidels was routed, and the city of Alexandria taken October 4, 1365. As was his wont, after the battle he went at once to the Carmelite Monastery of Famagusta, to remain for the celebration of Christmas. He had been wounded during the siege, by a Turkish arrow, and this was the cause of his lingering death.

He looked forward with joy to the feast so dear to him, and, just as she did later to St. Andrew Corsini, so did Our Lady appear to Peter Thomas to prepare him and warn him of his coming end, on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. As the hour approached, he commanded his brothers to lay him on the ground with a sack and a cord about his neck, that he might beg pardon of all the Religious gathered about him. He then tried to say the Canonical Hours which he had never missed since his entrance into Religion, but his strength failed. His Confessor finished them with him, and a little after, he died, on January 6, 1366, as Our Lady had predicted. He was buried where he died, in the Church of the Carmelites at Famagusta. He is especially invoked against pestilence and epidemics. In the allocution pronounced by Benedict XIV in 1744, at the Chapter General of the Carmelites, the illustrious Pontiff affirmed that his native city of Bologna was under great obligation to Blessed Peter Thomas, the ornament of Carmel, - “Carmelitanum alumnum et ornamentum,” – because it was owing to his care that peace was established between Pope Urban V, and the Viscount Barnabas, and also because he was the first to have theology taught in the Academy of Bologna, already so famous for its learning.

-from Carmel, Its History, Spirit, and Saints, compiled from approved sources by The Discalced Carmelites of Boston and Santa Clara.(1927)

For your devotion, his traditional collect:

Sancti Petri Thomæ Martyris tui atque Pontificis, quæsumus Domine, meritis et intercessione placatus : veniam delictorum nobis tribue; et ab omni pestilentiæ morbo nos liberos esse concede.  per Dominum nostrum.  Amen. 
Be Thou appeased, we beseech Thee, Lord, by the merits and intercession of Thy blessed martyr-bishop Saint Peter Thomas; grant us the pardon of our sins, and preserve us from the evils of pestilence: through Our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Ethnicity with a Twist

Twitter can still delight.   In a response to a response to something or other on The Big T that I've forgotten,  a woman claimed to be "of Irish dissent".  O.K., it was probably spellcheck helping out;  "descendants" did occur later in the post.  But never mind.  From now on I am going to be of Irish -- and Scottish -- dissent.  I mostly dissent from whatever's happening anyway.  This makes it sort of genetic.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas: The Day That Was In It


 It was, as Nero Wolfe would have put it, satisfactory*.

Midnight Mass --  at 7 p.m. rather than midnight.  But that has been rather common in southern California for a few years, with or without the Wuhan Devil  And as it was outdoors  (thank you, Governor Nuisance)  so the weather, albeit chilly, was probably more comfortable than whatever the temperature was at midnight.  After the five or six month sacramental hiatus at the beginning of the year, the liturgical surroundings almost don't matter.  The hunger for the sacraments makes outdoors on a business office patio beautiful.

Today our cousin came by for Christmas dinner and good talk.   No turkey this year but the roast beef of old England, which, I'm told, is an even more ancient custom for Christmas dinner than the turkey or even the goose.  And there was pie and ice cream.  And Christmas cookies (thank you, Ann).  And canoli.   And something else which I didn't quite catch the name of but I think is Greek.

(*For those not familiar with the corpus, "satisfactory" is Mr Wolfe's highest praise.)

(And, no, I don't know how or why the line spacing in the first two paragraphs changed. Mysterious are the ways of Blogspot its wonders to perform.)

Stuff I Didn't Know

Found in my email in-box this morning:

 Myrrh is resin, extracted from small, thorny trees in the Commiphora genus, that was historically used as a perfume, incense, and medicine.

I'd give you a direct link to click on but it was an email.  You might find it here if you search more diligently than I did.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Christmas Music

 KUSC has a streaming Christmas music channel that is well-worth your time.  Lots of Handel and Bach, a bit of Samuel Webb and not a Jingle Bell Rock rendition to be found.

You can access it here.

Don't know if they play any of Perlseer Dirndl.  If not, here's a touch of their seasonal music:

Saturn & Jupiter at Arms Length

Um, no, not the Roman gods.  The planets of the same names.  And not really arms length.  But they'll look really, really close if you cast your gaze in their direction this evening about an hour after sunset.  Closer than they've looked in about 800 years, so they tell me.  Pope Honorius III could've seen this very thing if he'd strolled out to the Vatican gardens before Compline and had a look at the night sky.

The NASA video below will help you find it yourself if you've a mind to find a seat in the garden before Compline.

(No, I don't know if the Vatican actually had a garden in 1220 a.d.  It certainly should have had one.  Would've done everyone a world of good after a hard day planning crusades.)

ADDENDUM: 21 December 2020 at 6:04 p.m. PST  Contrary to expectation I remembered to have a look and just did.   Only have a pair of binoculars so no Saturn rings or Jupiter moons.  But quite a good view of the planets themselves.  Fortunately they were not too low on the horizon.  Things are built-up hereabouts but not, D.g., that built-up.