Sunday, August 30, 2009

Three Cheers for Mrs Beamish

(Tip of the balmoral to Elizabeth Murphy via CTNGreg)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some Piping for the Weekend. . . .

Gary West (the host of Pipeline) playing Scottish smallpipes in D. The first tune is apparently called "The Three-wheeled Rabbit". (I don't know what that means either.) He finishes in the last couple of minutes with a knock-out version of "The Mason's Apron".

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ecclesiastical Latin: Filo Pendens

Sine Reginaldo, nihil.

It looks like if anything happens to Fr Reggie it will be vernacular all 'round.

The details.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25 August - Bl Mary of Jesus Crucified, O.C.D.

Sr Mariam of Jesus Crucified was Melkite Palestinian who overcame poverty and attempted murder (when she refused to become a Mohammedan) to become a Carmelite nun and the foundress of the Bethlehem and Nazareth Carmels.

There is a short biography from the Melkite point of view here.

A Carmelite vita is posted here.

Those Rumbustious Town Hall Meetings

A touch of good sense from a recent Pat Buchanan column:

To hear the Obamaites, those raucous crowds pouring into town hall meetings are “mobs” of “thugs” whose rage has been “manufactured” by K Street lobbyists and right-wing Republican operatives. . . .

Most K Street lobbyists could not organize a two-car funeral. They don’t storm meetings. They buy friends with $1,000 checks. And if GOP operatives are turning out these crowds, why could they not turn them out for John McCain, unless Sister Sarah showed up?

Beer Wars

Catholic Version

From the August 20, 2009 number of The Wanderer:

Archbishop Laments Decline In Pubs: Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said there are social ramifications to the ongoing, and massive, closings of hte "traditional English pub" where nearly everyone used to head after work.

The London Telegraph's John Hinton reported August 7: "Local pubs facing closure have found an improbably ally in Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who has said he regards them as a microcosm of society at its best.. . . .

"'There are pubs where people have their corner and they're a bit eccentric, but they're welcomed. If they don't turn up, someone will go and see what's happened'," the archbishop told Hinton.

"The archbishop added that it was no coincidence that the pub has declined as an institution at a time when individualism and greed have risen. He feared that this was undermining communities and eroding the 'common good'.

"A spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association said: 'It's great that the archbishop enjoys spending time in pubs and recognizes the role that pubs ply in local community life. Like local shops, post offices, and, of course, churches, pubs provide the vital ties that bind communities together, bringing together people from all walks of life.' . . . .

Islamic Version

From The Wall Street Journal:

An Islamic court in Malaysia suspended indefinitely the caning of a Muslim woman for drinking beer and put the sentence under review, government officials said Tuesday, potentially marking the beginning of the end of a saga that has transfixed this mostly Muslim nation. . . .

The sentence handed down on Ms. Kartika last week for drinking beer at a hotel bar in 2007 stunned the country. Muslim Malays, who make up about 60% of Malaysia's 27 million people, are subject to Shariah, or Islamic laws, which make it illegal to drink alcohol. Non-Muslims are free to drink as they please. But sentencing a woman to caning, for the first time here, shocked even many liberal Muslims, even though caning under Shariah law is reputedly much milder than corporal punishments administered under Malaysia's civil criminal code. Typically, Muslims caught drinking alcohol are fined or given brief prison terms. . . . .

Capitalist Version

From The Wall Street Journal (again):

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to raise beer prices in the majority of the U.S. this fall, despite declining sales volume for some of its largest brands, the president of the brewer's U.S. division said Tuesday.

"We do plan on taking prices up in the fall on the majority of our volume in the majority of the U.S.," Dave Peacock said in an interview. "The environment is very favorable, we think."

In talks with retailers, "we have seen general acceptance and agreement with our plan," Mr. Peacock said. . . . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

24 August

Today is a significant day in the Carmelite calendar even if it doesn't look like it from a quick look at the Carmelite propers for the year. 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.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Some Piping for the Weekend. . . .

Some pipers and a couple of drummers from the Irish Defence Forces get together to play a few tunes. This is one of the very few YouTube videos out there showing the pipers of the Irish Defence Forces. It appears to be recorded at a sort of ceili put on by the KFOR troops. It's good to see the saffron kilt again.

(And thanks to my friend Dave for citing this one on Dunsire.)

Well, whaddya know. . . .

. . . . it turns out I'm more technically adept - or possibly lucky - than I had suspected. I've got the little notebook up and running. It can't do everything the old steam-powered, front cranked, desktop PC could do, and I've no bookmarks here, but blogging seems to be a possibility again.

I'll have to get used to this miniature keyboard; it seems to be about half the width of the ordinary keyboard. I suppose if I can squish my fingers together to play the D chanter I can do the same for this keyboard.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oh Bother

Well the PC has finally shuffled off its mortal coil and joined the choirs invisible. We are going to have to dig way down deep in the sporran to replace it. This is being posted from our only partly comprehensible high tech cell phone. As we have mentioned thumb typing is not my favourite thing in the wole wide cyber world so blogging will be light until the budget can be sorted out.

Unless. . . . I can bring herself's notebook PC back to life.

Hmmmm. . . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cardinal Newman and Tradition, Liturgical and Otherwise

. . . . Even so, no one can really respect religion, and insult its forms. Granting that the forms are not immediately from God, still long use has made them divine to us; for the spirit of religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of men, to unsettle and dislodge the religious principle itself. In most minds usage has so identified them with the notion of religion, that the one cannot be extirpated without the other. Their faith will not bear transplanting. Till we have given some attention to the peculiarities of human nature, whether from watching our own hearts, or from experience of life, we can scarcely form a correct estimate how intimately great and little matters are connected together in all cases; how the circumstances and accidents (as they might seem) of our habits are almost conditions of those habits themselves. How common it is for men to have seasons of seriousness, how exact is their devotion during them, how suddenly they come to an end, how completely all traces of them vanish, yet how comparatively trifling is the cause of the relapse, a change of place or occupation, or a day's interruption of regularity in their religious course. Consider the sudden changes in opinion and profession, religious or secular, which occur in life, the proverbial fickleness of the multitude, the influence of watchwords and badges upon the fortunes of political parties, the surprising falls which sometimes overtake well-meaning and really respectable men, the inconsistencies of even the holiest and most perfect, and you will have some insight into the danger of practising on the externals of faith and devotion. Precious doctrines are strung, like jewels, upon slender threads.

Our Saviour and His Apostles sanction these remarks, in their treatment of those Jewish ceremonies, which have led me to make them. St. Paul calls them weak and unprofitable, weak and beggarly elements [Heb. vii. 18; Gal. iv. 9.]. So they were in themselves, but to those who were used to them, they were an edifying and living service. Else, why did the Apostles observe them? Why did they recommend them to the Jews whom they converted? Were they merely consulting for the prejudices of a reprobate nation? The Jewish rites were to disappear; yet no one was bid forcibly to separate himself from what he had long used, lest he lost his sense of religion also. Much more will this hold good with forms such as ours, which so far from being abrogated by the Apostles, were introduced by them or their immediate successors; and which, besides the influence they exert over us from long usage, are, many of them, witnesses and types of precious gospel truths; nay, much more, possess a sacramental nature, and are adapted and reasonably accounted to convey a gift, even where they are not formally sacraments by Christ's institution. Who, for instance, could be hard-hearted and perverse enough to ridicule the notion that a father's blessing may profit his children, even though Christ and His Apostles have not in so many words declared it?

Much might be said on this subject, which is a very important one. In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether. This is why the Church itself is attacked, because it is the living form, the visible body of religion; and shrewd men know that when it goes, religion will go too. This is why they rail at so many usages as superstitious; or propose alterations and changes, a measure especially calculated to shake the faith of the multitude. Recollect, then, that things indifferent in themselves become important to us when we are used to them. The services and ordinances of the Church are the outward form in which religion has been for ages represented to the world, and has ever been known to us. Places consecrated to God's honour, clergy carefully set apart for His service, the Lord's-day piously observed, the public forms of prayer, the decencies of worship, these things, viewed as a whole, are sacred relatively to us, even if they were not, as they are, divinely sanctioned. Rites which the Church has appointed, and with reason,—for the Church's authority is from Christ,—being long used, cannot be disused without harm to our souls. Confirmation, for instance, may be argued against, and undervalued; but surely no one who in the common run of men wilfully resists the Ordinance, but will thereby be visibly a worse Christian than he otherwise would have been. He will find (or rather others will find for him, for he will scarcely know it himself), that he has declined in faith, humility, devotional feeling, reverence, and sobriety. And so in the case of all other forms, even the least binding in themselves, it continually happens that a speculative improvement is a practical folly, and the wise are taken in their own craftiness.

Therefore, when profane persons scoff at our forms, let us argue with ourselves thus—and it is an argument which all men, learned or unlearned, can enter into: "These forms, even were they of mere human origin (which learned men say is not the case, but even if they were), are at least of as spiritual and edifying a character as the rites of Judaism. Yet Christ and His Apostles did not even suffer these latter to be irreverently treated or suddenly discarded. Much less may we suffer it in the case of our own; lest, stripping off from us the badges of our profession, we forget there is a faith for us to maintain, and a world of sinners to be eschewed."

An excerpt from Parochial and Plain Sermons, Volume II, Sermon VII: "Ceremonies of the Church".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Interview Not To Be Missed

. . . .with Msgr Domenico Bartolucci, Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel under five Popes.

Was the reform not done by people who were conscious of what they were doing and well educated in the teachings of the Roman Church?

I beg your pardon, but the reform was done by arid people, arid, arid, I repeat it. And I knew them. As for the doctrine, Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli himself, once said, I remember it well: “How come that we make liturgists who know nothing about theology?”

Rorate Cæli has it here.

Obama Administration to Veterans: Hurry Up and Die

The Veteran's Administration has published a helpful little booklet for wounded, sick, or aging veterans advising them to give serious consideration to helping out the government's fiscal situation by doing themselves in.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

"Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."

You can read rest of the details is this morning's WSJ here.

One can hardly wait until Ali Obama and the 40 Thieves have all of American medicine in their grasp.

By the way, does the special health plan that Congresshumans have just for themselves include this helpful planning booklet? It would be a shame if they were deprived of this invaluable aid in determining when their lives became worthless.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Found While Looking for Something Else

The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead struggled through the penal days in England and is still a place of pilgrimage. Priests smuggled in from France landed near there and were hidden at the priest's house deep in the woods. It's a wonderful story. You can find it here.

And once again, after a short hiatus with - how shall we phrase this? - let's say an "unfriendly" rector - the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite is now celebrated there as in the days of the hunted priests.

Flauting Their Talents

1, 189 flutes playing together.

A Guinness book event. It's actually quite a lovely sound. Much nicer than I thought it would be. I was thinking shrill. Not so. Not at all. An E-friend of mine was playing with them and I didn't have to prevaricate when saying how I liked it.

India Riots: Major Indian Movie Star Treated Like Ordinary American Citizen

i.e., rudely. If he doesn't want to be treated like a criminal he needs to stick to India and give the land of the free (sic) a wider berth.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Worlds 2009

"The Worlds" is the World Pipe Band Championship Competition held in Glasgow yesterday. For the first time the BBC webcast it on a live stream. If you, too, are in California and couldn't quite make it out of bed at 1:00 a.m. to catch it live, you can find the on-demand videos here on the Beeb's website. Good listening, and this year, viewing, too.

(Spoiler: SFU swept all before it in G-I.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lady Day in August

Another consideration which has led devout minds to believe in the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven after her death, without waiting for the general resurrection at the last day, is furnished by the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception.

By her Immaculate Conception is meant, that not only did she never commit any sin whatever, even venial, in thought, word, or deed, but further than this, that the guilt of Adam, or what is called original sin, never was her guilt, as it is the guilt attaching to all other descendants of Adam.

By her Assumption is meant that not only her soul, but her body also, was taken up to heaven upon her death, so that there was no long period of her sleeping in the grave, as is the case with others, even great Saints, who wait for the last day for the resurrection of their bodies.

One reason for believing in our Lady's Assumption is that her Divine Son loved her too much to let her body remain in the grave. A second reason -- that now before us -- is this, that she was not only dear to the Lord as a mother is dear to a son, but also that she was so transcendently holy, so full, so overflowing with grace. Adam and Eve were created upright and sinless, and had a large measure of God's grace bestowed upon them; and, in consequence, their bodies would never have crumbled into dust, had they not sinned; upon which it was said to them, "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return." If Eve, the beautiful daughter of God, never would have become dust and ashes unless she had sinned, shall we not say that Mary, having never sinned, retained the gift which Eve by sinning lost? What had Mary done to forfeit the privilege given to our first parents in the beginning? Was her comeliness to be turned into corruption, and her fine gold to become dim, without reason assigned? Impossible. Therefore we believe that, though she died for a short hour, as did our Lord Himself, yet, like Him, and by His Almighty power, she was raised again from the grave.

-Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, Prayers and Devotions, "On the Assumption"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Friday the 13th. . .

. . .comes on a Thursday this month.

But I've been anticipating it all week. The PC seems to be on its last legs. The video card gets dodgier by the day. The current one is built into the mother board so I can't swap it out and for unexplained reasons of its own it won't accept a new one. I've tried. And a couple of techs have tried too. And now other odds and ends have decided to stop working intermittently; the general opinion seems to be that the mother board itself may be stuttering to a halt. We may be looking at a new pc.

Today - on the 13th itself - it seems to be trying the old lull-him-into-a-false-sense-of-security wheeze. Everything is swimming along marvelously at the moment. It's even letting me post this to The Inn.

I suppose so long as I have internet access I really ought to be researching PCs that might be in the budget instead of blogging.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Some Piping for the Weekend. . . .

This is Lord Edward's Own Pipe Band out of Narraghmore in County Kildare, Ireland. There's a taste of "Dawning of the Day" at the beginning of the video and then about a minute's worth of marching past to the tap until you get to a nice little set of 6/8s. I don't recall the name of the first tune. If I ever did know it; familiar melody, though, The second is "Leaving Port Askaig".

They're playing in Perranporth in Cornwall at a Celtic festival. It looks to be a beautiful day in a beautiful town.

[ADDENDUM: Molly reminds me that first of the two 6/8s is Donald Shaw Ramsay's lovely "Mrs Lily Christie". And so it is.]

St Albert of Trapani

The seventh of August is the feast of St Albert of Trapani in the Carmelite calendar. He isn't very well known but if you happen to have an old Roman Ritual to hand you'll find it contains a blessing for St Albert's water. He's that St Albert. He's also sometimes known as St Albert of Sicily. What follows is most of the old second nocturn of the Carmelite breviary which tells his life in the grand old medieval style, full of miracles and wonders. I left out a few miracles but you'll get the idea.

Albert, the Carmelite, was born of noble parents: of Benedict Adaltibo; and Joanna of Mount Trapani, in Sicily. A holy impulse led to his birth. His parents had been married 26 years , and were still without children. They therefore made a vow to the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, binding themselves, in case she would obtain for them a son, to consecrate him to her in the Carmelite monastery which stood near to Mount Trapani. Their prayer was heard, and in their sleep they saw a torch which came forth from the mother's womb. On account of this vision the latter foretold to her husband that the boy would be great before God, and this hath been proved by the event. For while, as a boy, he was being trained in the liberal sciences, the blessing of God fell upon him, and he entered the monastery of Trapani at the age of eight years. Rejoicing in the rudeness of the life, as well as in the strict discipline of the Rule, his progress was such that he soon showed himself an example of virtue to the rest.

Albert wore haircloth next to the skin, and clothed himself with coarse cloth and in wretched garments. . . . He was most exact in the practice of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Filled with divine wisdom and possessed of the constant enjoyment of heavenly delights, he was likewise illustrious by the gift of miracles. Zeal for the salvation of souls was strong within him, and his preaching converted great numbers of Jews, and other unbelievers to the faith of Christ . He was sent to Messina to preach, and he was there raised to the Order of the Priesthood, although his great humility led him to refuse this dignity. Thence forward grace was so surpassing in him that he became the admiration of all. As Robert, King of Naples, had laid siege to the city, and famine wasted it, he poured forth his prayers to God, urged thereto by the entreaties of the citizens. Suddenly, and contrary to all expectations three, three-oared galleys, laden with supplies landed at the city through the midst of the enemy. Thus did he save the town from the danger which threatened it.

He set out for Girgenti. . . . Upon his return to Messina , he withdrew into a hut to pray. There he was seized with a violent illness; and calling together the Brethren, he foretold that he and his sister, who was then at a distance of two hundred and sixty miles, would die upon the same day. It came to pass as he had said. In the evening, feeling that his death was at hand, he fell upon his knees on the ground; and lifting his eyes to God, he repeated the Psalm "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped." At the words, "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my Spirit," he breathed forth his soul, which was seen, by the Brethren who stood round him, to go out from his mouth in the form of a snow-white dove, and to take flight to Heaven. Albert was glorified by numberless miracles, wherefore the people desired that the Mass of a holy Confessor should be celebrated. The clergy, on the other hand, wished to celebrate the Mass for the dead. Accordingly, the Bishop ordered that they should await a divine answer from the Lord. While they were praying, two angels were seen to be present, clad in white robes, who made them understand that they were to celebrate the Mass of a holy Confessor: "The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom." This Mass therefore having been solemnly celebrated, the sacred body was buried with honor.

The translation is from the 1896 volume "Proper Offices of the Saints Granted to the Barefoot Carmelites". Whoever the unknown translator was he was fonder of commas even than I.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

At a loose end. . .

Our Thursday RSCDS class - like my Monday class - has taken the rest of the summer off. So I am puttering around at home instead of dancing. This is posted because that's where my mind is at present.

Benedict the Catholic

I finished the latest number of The American Conservative last night including "Is the Pope Capitalist?", Stuart Reid's sound article on Caritas in Veritate. And then spent a fair bit of time this morning looking for it on TAC's website so that I could cite it to you. No luck. They didn't appear to have posted it.

But what should I find this evening when checking in at Cælum et Terra but a link to that very article. You can find it here. And while you're at it, read the relevant C&T article. You can find that one here.

(And is the Pope a capitalist? Nope. He's a Catholic.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Silver Lining Department

A canny observation found in a two year-old edition of the St Joseph Foundation's newsletter Christifidelis:

One beneficial and I presume unintended effect of the almost exclusive use of the Pauline Missal was that it served to protect the Traditional Mass from unauthorized or ill-considered innovations. Had the 1962 Missal remained in general use during the turbulent post-conciliar period, it is reasonable to expect that abusive and disedifying liturgical practices, including those mentioned above, would have appeared anyway. As it turned out, however, the effective suppression of the Traditional Mass until 1984 and its marginalization thereafter had the effect of limiting its celebration only by those most devoted to it. This might have insured the survival of venerable liturgical practices that had benefited souls for centuries, not to mention many musical treasures. As the old saying goes, it's an ill wind that blows no good.

Christifidelis, vol 25, No. 6. November 9, 2007, pg 6

What's In Your Wallet?

"Nothing is baser, nothing is more cruel than the interest that comes from lending. For such a lender trades on other persons's calamities, draws profit from the distress of others, and demands wages for kindness, as though he were afraid to seem merciful. Under the mask of kindness he digs deeper their grave of poverty; when he stretches forth his hand to help, he pushes them down. . ."
--St. John Chrysostom on lending at interest

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Agenda: Hidden and Otherwise

In the "From the Mail" column in the latest Wanderer:

Earlier this month, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg casually told a reporter for the New York Times' Sunday Magazine that she viewed the Supreme Court's Roe v.Wade abortion decision in a humanitarian light, a "concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don't want too many of."

Can we expect to see Justice Ginsburg on the SPLC's list of dangerous racists any time soon?

[Sorry I can't make the link to The Wanderer any more specific; the paper's issues are behind a subscription wall in pdf format and I don't see a way to do it.]

Heard on the Radio This Morning

Heard through the magic of internet radio, on Lyric FM (RTE 3) this request:

"George in Cork would like something in D to co-ordinate with the car alarm that has been sounding for the last 10 minutes."