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.

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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.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Something More Than Usually Relevant from Evensong This Evening

 "This, first of all, I ask; that petition, prayer, entreaty and thanksgiving should be offered for all mankind, especially for kings and others in high station, so that we can live a calm and tranquil life, as dutifully and decently as we may."  1Timothy 2:1-2


Sunday, December 06, 2020

St Nicholas, Bishop & Confessor

Not only is it the second Sunday of Advent, but it's the feast of St Nicholas, hence the best St Nicholas carol ever composed posted above.  ("Jolly Old St Nick", pfui.)

O, who loves Nicholas the saintly.

O, who serves Nicholas the saintly.

Him will Nicholas receive

And give help in time of need

Holy Father Nicholas!

O, who dwells in God's holy mansions

Is our help on the land and oceans

He will guard us from all ills

Keep us pure and free from sins

Holy Father Nicholas!

Holy saint, hearken to our prayer

Let not life drive us to despair

All our efforts shall not wane

Singing praises to thy name

Holy Father Nicholas!

The traditional collect for his feast day goes right to the point.  No beating around the bush with St Nicholas.  Herewith the old Stanbrook Abbey translation:

O God, who didst glorify the blessed Bishop Nicholas with numberless miracles ; grant we beseech Thee that by his merits and prayers we may be saved from the fires of hell.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

The Anglican Ordinariate translation gets the point across with "the fires of everlasting torment".  Alas, the poor old Bugninian rite can't bring itself to mention the place.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Found in My E-mail Inbox This Morning

. . . along with lebenty-leben appeals for me to save The Republic by sending my correspondent money.  Even if I were going to send off a boatload of money, how do I know he's who he says he is and not a confidence trickster, a miscreant, a ne'er-do-well, a scofflaw?  There's that to consider.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.   A little factoid of no discernible significance but which I nevertheless found interesting:

16th century Spanish explorers referred to the large reptiles they found in the Americas as “el lagarto de Indias,” or “the lizard of the Indies.” Thanks to their phrase and a few phonetic shifts as it made the jump to English, we now refer to those same large reptiles as alligators.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

This Morning's Lection from Mattins

In the Ordinariate Divine Office Maccabees is appointed to be read this time of the year.  This morning's reading seemed .  .  .  appropriate.  This portion is from the first book, the second chapter in Msgr  Knox's translation:

Meanwhile, the life of Mattathias was drawing to an end. And this charge he gave to his sons: Here be days when tyrant and blasphemer have their will, when all is calamity and bitter retribution. The more reason, my sons, why you should be jealous lovers of the law, ready to give your lives for that covenant your fathers knew. Your fathers, what deeds they did in their time! Great glory would you win, and a deathless name, let these be your models. 

Here be days, indeed.


S Thomas More Proposes A Plea from the Holy Souls

 To  all good Christian people:  In most piteous wise continually calleth and crieth upon your devout charity and most tender pity for help and comfort, and relief your late acquaintance, kindred, spouses, companions, play-fellows and friends and now your humble and unacquainted and half-forgotten suppliants, poor prisoners of God, silly souls in Purgatory here abiding and enduring the grievous pains and hot cleansing fire that corrodes and burneth off the rusty and filthy spots of sins, till the mercy of Almighty God, the rather by your good and charitable means, vouchsafe to deliver us hence.

-Supplication of Souls, S Thomas More (via "The Heart of Thomas More", selections compiled by E.E. Reynolds)

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Found While Looking for Something Else . . . .

 From E.I. Watkin's The Church in Council, pg 142, [the chapter on  the Council of Constance (3 November 1414 - 22 April 1418)]:

It is extremely difficult in fact to decide how far we can believe the constant and well nigh universal complaints that the papal curia had been degraded into a money-making machine and in consequence had become a fountain head of ecclesiastical corruption.  Not only was gross exaggeration conventional mediæval rhetoric.  We must also bear in mind the widespread pulpit denunciations of the extortion and wickedness of the pope and the Roman curia.  Whereas Catholics today [i.e., 1959-1960] are taught to revere and love the Holy Father as a man -- 'our Pope, the great and good' -- in the later Middle Ages they heard very different teaching.  In short, to point a truth by exaggerated statement, we may say that, as regards popular Catholic estimation of the Pope, as distinct from his office, the pendulum has swung from 'the Pope can do no right' to 'the Pope can do no wrong.'

Aaaaand . . . back again.



Friday, October 02, 2020

2 October -- Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

Bad night last night and got up  way too late this morning.  You wouldn't think someone here in semi-lockdowned southern California, all of whose normal activities have been cancelled, would have so much to do that he would run out of time on their feast day to put something up on his blog about the Holy Guardian Angels to whom he actually has a great devotionn now would you.  

But I did.

Here it is almost 9 p.m. and already the arms of Morpheus are calling.  In lieu of something new, here's a piece The Inn put up a very long time ago from the Blessed Cardinal Schuster.

Sancti Angeli Custodes nostri, defendite nos in prælio, ut non pereamus in tremendo judicio!


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Weather Suggestion

As is the norm for southern California in September -- and October and even, more often than not, for November -- it is hotter than the hinges of hell today.  The weather guessing thingummy on my phone tells me that it's going to be 104° today and that it is already 109° at 1:41 p.m. PDT.

So what did I receive this morning but a lovely catalogue full of advertisements for great heavy jackets, plush lined trousers, large woolly sweaters worn by rosy-cheeked models drinking  hot, steaming beverages.  I can't bear to look at that stuff on a day like this.  I got over-heated just typing that.

Suggestion for online, direct mail clothing people:  save yourself some money on catalogues and postage  and cut our zip codes out of your mailings.  You'll have much better luck in, say, December.  We don't get an "autumn" here.   We get a turbo-charged summer followed round about December by what passes for winter.  We can't think about thick, woolly sweaters now, never mind wear them.

You're welcome.


The Big Debate

Didn't watch it.  Saw the news reports this morning.

Breitbart:  Trump won by a landslide.

PMSNBC:  Trump lost by a landslide.

Somebody on my Twitter feed:  "Trump came in first;  Biden came in third."

Somebody else on my Twitter feed wanted to know: "Who was that old guy who kept interrupting the Trump/Wallace debate?"


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In festo Ss Michaelis, Gabrielis, et Raphaelis, Archangelorum -- a.k.a. "Michaelmas"


In the traditional Roman Rite this is the feast of St Michael the Archangel only as all three archangels used to have their own separate feast days.  Hence, today was just "Michaelmas".  In the Book of Common Prayer it's St Michael and All Angels. The Novus Ordo compromised - more than St Michael but less than All: it celebrates the Feast of St Michael, St Gabriel, and St Raphael.    The Ordinariates went along with the N.O. and just name the three archangels.

Chambers Book of Days points out that

In England, it is one of the four quarterly terms, or quarter-days, on which rents are paid, and in that and other divisions of the United Kingdom, as well as perhaps in other countries, it is the day on which burgal magistracies and councils are re-elected. The only other remarkable thing connected with the day is a widely prevalent custom of marking it with a goose at dinner.

In fact, it seems that having a goose for dinner was a harbinger of good fortune for the coming year.  Chambers explains:

 This is also an ancient practice, and still generally kept up, as the appearance of the stage-coaches on their way to large towns at this season of the year amply testifies. In Blount's Tenures, it is noted in the tenth year of Edward IV, that John de la Hay was bound to pay to William Barnaby, Lord of Lastres, in the county of Hereford, for a parcel of the demesne lands, one goose fit for the lord's dinner, on the feast of St. Michael the archangel. Queen Elizabeth is said to have been eating her Michaelmas goose when she received the joyful tidings of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The custom appears to have originated in a practice among the rural tenantry of bringing a good stubble goose at Michaelmas to the landlord, when paying their rent, with a view to making him lenient. In the poems of George Gascoigne, 1575, is the following passage:

And when the tenants come to pay their quarter's rent,

   They bring some fowl at Midsummer, a dish of fish in Lent,

At Christmas a capon, at Michaelmas a goose,

    And somewhat else at New-year's tide, for fear their lease fly loose.'

We may suppose that the selection of a goose for a present to the landlord at Michaelmas would be ruled by the bird being then at its perfection, in consequence of the benefit derived from stubble-feeding. It is easy to see how a general custom of having a goose for dinner on Michaelmas Day might arise from the multitude of these presents, as land-lords would of course, in most cases, have a few to spare for their friends. It seems at length to have become a superstition, that eating of goose at Michaelmas insured easy circumstances for the ensuing year. In the British Apollo, 1709, the following piece of dialogue occurs:

'Q: Yet my wife would persuade me (as I am a sinner)

To have a fat goose on St. Michael for dinner:

And then all the year round, I pray you would mind it,

I shall not want money—oh, grant I may find it!

Now several there are that believe this is true,

Yet the reason of this is desired from you.

A: We think you're so far from the having of more,

That the price of the goose you have less than before:

The custom came up from the tenants presenting

Their landlords with geese, to incline their relenting . . . 

You can find the whole article here  


Thursday, September 17, 2020

17 September -- St Albert the Lawgiver

In  the brand new (as of last July) calendar of the Discalced Carmelite Order, today is the feast of St Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem who wrote the original Rule of the Carmelite Order.  He  was stabbed to death on September 14, 1214 during a liturgical procession in Acre by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit whom he had dismissed for his licentious life. The old Catholic Encyclopædia tells his life here.

 The good old Catholic Encyclopædia ends with this "curious anomaly":

The Bollandists call attention to this curious anomaly, that not at Vercelli, where he was Patriarch, not among the Canons Regular, to whom he properly belonged, but in the Order of the Carmelites, of which he was not a member, does he receive the honour of a saint. "That holy Order could not and ought not to lose the memory of him by whom it was ranked among the Orders approved by the Roman Church; in saying which", adds the writer, "I in no way wish to impugn the Carmelite claim of descent from Elias." At Vercelli Albert does not even figure as Blessed, and the Canons Regular honour him as a saint, but pay him no public cult.

The old collect, translation taken from "Saints of Carmel, Proper Offices of the Saints Granted to the Barefooted Carmelites", (1896):

O Lord! let the fullness of  Thy blessing come down upon us in abundant showers; and mayest Thou be ever appeased by the prayers of St Albert, Thy confessor and Pontiff.  Through our Lord.  Amen.

The modern one has some beautiful thoughts but, as so often in hoc sæculo, strains to present them in the most pedestrian fashion possible:

Lord God, through St Albert of Jerusalem You have given us a Rule of Life according to Your Gospel, to help us attain perfect love.  Through his prayers may we always live in allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve faithfully until death Him Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Come, darkness, spread o'er heaven thy pall,
And hide, O sun, thy face;
While we that bitter death recall,
With all its dire disgrace.

And thou with tearful cheek was there;
But with a heart of steel,
Mary, thou didst his moanings hear,
And all his torments feel.

He hung before thee crucified;
His flesh with scourges rent;
His bloody gashes gaping wide;
His strength and spirit spent.

Thou his dishonour'd countenance
And racking thirst didst see;
By turns the gall, the sponge, the lance
Were agony to thee.

Yet still erect in majesty,
Thou didst the sight sustain;
Oh, more than Martyr! not to die
Amid such cruel pain.

Praise to the blessed Three in One;
And be that courage mine,
Which, sorrowing o'er her only Son,
Did in the Virgin shine.

--This evening's Vespers hymn from the old Stanbrook Abbey edition of The Roman Breviary, in, I think, Fr Caswall's translation.



Monday, September 07, 2020

Sunday Mass has been available for a few weeks now.   And I attended again yesterday.  Hardly worth mentioning.  Except that it was 107° --  that's 41 point something for those of you fluent in celsius.  Which also wouldn't be worth a blogpost as our chapel is air-conditioned.  Except that we can't use the chapel.  The Virus, donncha know.  We were outdoors on the patio.  The unshaded patio.  Well, unshaded for most of us.  Happily someone provided one of those folding tent thingummies for Father.

None of us in the greatly diminished congregation got heat stroke.  But the video equipment that provides the live stream for the house-bound surely did.  It died the death shortly after the sermon.

And the point of all this is?

Well, to let you know how life is progressing for your servant here on the lower-left corner of the Republic.

Oh, all right.  Of course, it's another excuse to post Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun".   (I suppose if Mr Coward is right, attending Church out of doors in 107° heat made us all honorary English for that hour and a half or so.)

Monday, August 24, 2020

It's Bartlemas Day

Did you dash around St Bartholomew's chapel today and get your currant bun?  No, you probably didn't.  Some of the younger folk could have, though.

 The tradition is that after a service in the chapel in honour of Bartholomew, children run around the church (one lap) and are given a currant bun for their efforts, while the adults are given a biscuit stamped with the seal of the hospital.

Read about this and some other St Bartholomew's Day traditions here at the wonderful Clerk of Oxford blog

One of the great medieval fairs was London's St Bartholomew's Fair.  It lasted until 1855.  Ben Jonson even wrote a play about it.

And, as The Inn has mentioned once or twice before, the 24th of August is also a day of significance for the Carmelite Order:

 On this day St Teresa of Avila founded the first of the Discalced Carmelite convents. Today is the feast of St Bartholomew the Apostle; St Teresa's constant companion and secretary during her work as foundress of the Carmelite reform was Sister Ann of St Bartholomew. On this day the Servant of God Anita Cantieri, O.C.D.S. died in 1942; she's one of the few Carmelite seculars proposed for canonization. On this day a brother was born to St Therese of the Child Jesus who died after a very short life. On this day St John of the Cross was proclaimed a doctor of the Church. On this day Pope John Paul II announced that would soon declare St Therese of the Child Jesus a doctor of the Church.

There are a few other events that make this day memorable, too. But I'm doing this from memory. The memory never was all that good and it's been a long day.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

11th Sunday after Pentecost

 Which Sunday features my favourite collect of the Pentecost season.  Maybe my favourite of  all of them:

O almighty and everlasting God, Who in the abundance of Thy loving-kindness art wont to go beyond both the merits and prayers of Thy suppliant people, pour down upon us Thy mercy: that Thou mayest forgive us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and grant us what our prayer does not dare to ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Amen.

 The Prayer Book and the Ordinariate liturgies provide a rather more ornate version for the 12th Sunday after Trinity.  (I'm guessing that the 12th after Trinity is where it occurred in the Sarum Rite.)  The 12th Sunday after Trinity is the 30th of August this year.

Almighty and everlasting God who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our lord.  Amen.


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