Thursday, January 31, 2013


 photo Septuagesimatide.jpg

Last Sunday was Septuagesima Sunday so Lent is practically on our doorstep.  No more Alleluia or Gloria in Excelsis for a couple of months.

Here's what we said about Septuagesimatide and the farewell to Alleluia a few years ago.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Did you see the press coverage of the March for Life this year?!?

Neither did I.

Of course, the WSJ does have a nice article on the front page this morning all about teaching dogs to swim.  So there probably wasn't room.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

California Needs More Children

Interesting article here in this morning's OC Register.

It seems there are more old folks and not enough babies to pay for our social security. The article talks about immigration, falling support for schools, and the economy.

But never once does it mention what seems to me to be the obvious bottom line.  Outlaw abortion and contraceptives.   Or at least, far from making all and sundry pay for contraceptives, there should be a size-able tax on them.  It could go into the FICA fund.  Assuming there were a FICA fund.  Which there isn't.  But that's a whinge for another day.

Two in One Weekend

Stan Musial and Earl Weaver:  two baseball names to conjure with and both gone in one weekend.

Earl Weaver was usually arguing on the wrong side so far as I was concerned.  But he was a vital part of baseball and highly entertaining when they got him in the booth for an interview.

Stan Musial was one of those names from my youth that defined the word hero.  I'm not a follower of statistics, as my friend Gary can tell you.  The boyhood impression has stayed with me that he was one of the unconquerables, like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.  It was a nansecond of a surprise to see in the paper this morning that his lifetime average was "only" 331.   Not 1,000?  Or even 931?   Oh, yeah.  That's right.  He was only human, wasn't he.

From his home-town paper.

Not your average sportwriter.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Fried Egg Theory of Cathedral Windows

Christopher Howse in The Telegraph:

In his tremendously entertaining new book, How England Made the English: From Hedgerows to Heathrow, Harry Mount mentions the effect of climate on the fenestration of churches. Big windows in hot countries would fry the people at Mass, he says, so they made them small.

Our own Diocese of Orange is about to discover the truth of the  matter one way or the other.  The "Crystal Cathedral", doncha know.

It may not matter, though.  Even if the parishioners are fried, so many people out here seem to enjoy being fried.  I don't happen to be one of them, but I'm probably in the minority.   Again.


Communion Rails

Someone cited this a couple of days ago and I've forgotten who it was.   (If it was you, thank you.)  It's a nice appreciation of the communion rail from a permanent deacon who has not been accused of traditionalist recidivism lately:

Frankly, we should not only be humbled, but intimidated enough to ask ourselves if we are really spiritually ready to partake of the sacrament. Kneeling means you can't just go up and receive without knowing how it's properly done. It demands not only a sense of focus and purpose, but also something else, something that has eluded our worship for two generations.

It demands a sense of the sacred. It challenges us to kneel before wonder, and bow before grace. It insists that we not only fully understand what is happening, but that we fully appreciate the breathtaking generosity behind it. It asks us to be mindful of what "Eucharist" really means: thanksgiving.

The rest is here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thoughts at a Very Secular Funeral

You know what is extraordinary?  Well, yes, that  too.  But what I had in mind was the people with no thought of God one way or the other but who have a very definite and detailed - complete with furniture - belief in heaven.  It wouldn't be quite correct to call them agnostic.  That would imply that they'd given the matter some thought.  But heaven is definitely there and everyone they know and like is definitely there also.

But God. . . .not so much.



TCM had a Charlie Chaplin movie on a bit ago.  I didn't watch it.  Confession:  I find Charlie Chaplin extraordinarily boring.  Always have.  He does some interesting, um, acrobatics I suppose you'd call them.  But they aren't funny.

Stan and Ollie were streets ahead of Chaplin.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 January - St Sæthryth, O.S.B.

Another of the old Anglo-Saxon saints is commemorated today, St Sæthryth, 2d Abbess  of Faremoutier-en-Brie.

This site gives the following information:

Princess Saethrith was the daughter of  King Anna of East Anglia by his first wife of unknown name. Like her younger half-sisters, Sexburga, Etheldreda, Withburga and Ethelburga, she became a nun. This was after being educated with the latter by St. Fara at the nunnery in Faremoutier-en-Brie in France. She later succeeded her teacher as the second abbess there. She died on 10th January sometime in the late 7th century.

She's mentioned a few other places on the web but every mention is short and says not much more than that quoted above.  One site says she is mentioned by Bede the Venerable.   Another calls her the least known of the sisters.  True enough, so far as I can tell.  I had never heard of her to be sure.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Oh, Bother. . .late again

What with New Year's Eve and all I forgot the Bonnie Prince's birthday, which was, of course, the 31st of  December 1720. 


You're welcome, Charlie Stuart,
 You're welcome, Charlie Stuart,
 You're welcome, Charlie Stuart,
 There's none so right as thou art.

 1. Had I the power, by my will,
 Thy foes to scatter, take and kill,
 I'd make thee famous by my quill,
 From Billingsgate (*) to Duart (*).

 2. Thy sympathising complaisance
 Made thee believe intriguing France;
 But woe is me for thy mischance,
 That saddens every true heart!
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 3. Hadst thou Culloden's battle won,
 Poor Scotland had not been undone,
 Nor butchered been with sword and gun,
 By Lockhart (**) and such cowards.
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 4. Kind Providence to thee a friend,
 A lovely maid, did timely send,
 To save thee from a fearful end,
 Thou royal Charlie Stuart.
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 5. Illustrious prince, we firmly pray
 That she and we may see the day,
 When Britons with one voice shall say,
 "You're welcome, Charlie Stuart."
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 6. Whene'er I take a glass of wine,
 I drink confusion to the swine,
 But health to him that will combine
 To fight for Charlie Stuart.
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 7. Though Cumberland, the tyrant proud,
 Doth thirst and hunger for thy blood,
 Just Heaven will preserve the good,
 The gallant Charlie Stuart.
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 8. The ministry may Scotland maul,
 But our brave hearts they'll ne'er enthral,
 We'll fight like Britons, one and all,
 For liberty and Stuart.
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.

 9. Then haste, ye Britons, to set on,
 Your lawful king upon his throne,
 And to Hanover drive each one,
 Who will not fight for Stuart.
You're welcome, Charlie Stuart, etc.