Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Global Warming. . .

. . .or not.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Pedes habent, et non ambulant

"Buy boots you can walk in.  Walk in them.  Even if you lessen the income of the General Omnibus Company, or your family doctor;  you will discover the human foot.  On discovering it, your joy will be as great as if you had invented it.  But this joy is the greatest, because no human invention even of Mr Ford or Mr Marconi is within a mile of a foot."
-Vincent McNabb, O.P.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bl John Henry Newman -- Moving House

If you've been depending upon The Inn for news of the our little Ordinariate community in Orange County California, then you don't know that we've moved. For the past 13 months we were sharing space in St Joseph Church in Santa Ana, a beautiful old Spanish-style building with an excellent organ. But the St Joseph parish community is a large one and we were limited in what we could do, e.g., no Holy Week services of our own.

 Our pusillus grex now celebrates Mass in the Anglican Use in the "St Luke" room at St Mary Catholic Church in Fullerton at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. The St Luke room is, alas, a class room in what was St Mary's parish school.  On the other hand, it is air conditioned -- no small benefit in a southern California summer.  Parishioners passing out from the heat adds nothing to the solemnity of High Mass.

However, we've been doing our best to turn it into a proper chapel.  We started with, well, a classroom.

Looks like we'll have some place to sit, anyway.   Here's the same space showing the west facing windows and the blessed air conditioner and with some of our furnishings moved in.

Greg's making a start here on a claret-coloured fabric back drop for the altar.  (Nobody thought much of my idea for Sarum-ish riddel posts and a canopy.  I think it may have been the pvc pipe riddel posts that killed it.)

Now this is not quite so classroom-y and a bit more chapel-y:

Since this was taken the candles have been tidied up and there's a different crucifix which will be (or maybe, by now,  is) higher up and either attached to the wall or hanging down from above.  There's also a little side-altar to Blessed John to the left which you just see a corner of.

And someone (thank you, Cheryl) donated a small organ so that your servant has a fighting chance at staying on pitch.

Yes, the choir loft (ahem) still says "classroom".  But we have hopes. And not just for the choir corner. There are more plans afoot for our new home, including a simple reredos.  And we'll be able to have our own Mass on the great feast days and next year even our own Sacred Triduum.  Laus sit Deo.

"I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet shall stand in thy gates, O Jerusalem!"


Friday, July 19, 2013

Some Piping for the Weekend. . .

The tune is The High Drive by the late Gordon Duncan. The piper is Alexander Anistratov, a Russian piper and pipe-maker, playing smallpipes in D made by himself.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rushing the Growler

The growler is back.  The Wall Street Journal has an article on its return in this morning's paper.  You can find it on line here.   No, it's not an irascible editor down at the WSJ but a container for picking up some draught beer to bring home.  According to my mother and my uncles it used to be a tin bucket with a lid.  But now the Journal informs us it is an elegant porcelain or china contraption holding 64 ounces.   I'm told my grandfather would send one of the boys down to the corner with his growler and have him bring back the beer.  This was called rushing the growler.  And apparently it was no unusual thing for a 10 or 11 year old to be hauling a bucket of beer back to dad.  I couldn't say if this was pre- or during prohibition.  Could very well have been during.  I am reliably informed Grandpa was no great fan of the Volstead Act.  Some day I'll tell you about the time - most assuredly during prohibition - the railroad porter dropped Grandpa's suitcase and broke all the bottles of beer in it.  Grandpa sued the railroad.

Festæ Carmelitanæ

Yesterday the 16th was a complete loss for The Inn.  We missed putting up anything about Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast it was.  And today the 17th is almost gone and nothing has appeared about the holy Carmelite martyrs of Compiegne.

A bit tardy, but here is something from The Inn in a prior year on Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  The same day is also considered the feast commemorating the Carmelite scapular and here Mrs Vidal, who is far more organized than I and not at all tardy, has a nice piece on the brown scapular.

And a little more scapularia:

From the July/August 1980 number of The Maryfaithful:


When certain Portuguese questioned the genuineness of the Sabbatine Privilege in the year 1609, the matter was thoroughly investigated by the Holy Office in Rome, and at the end of three years, on January 20, 1613, Pope Paul V approved the following: "It is lawful for the Carmelites to preach that the faithful may reverently believe...that the Blessed Virgin will assist by her continued intercession, by her pious suffrage and merits, and also by her special protection after their death, particularly on Saturday (which day has been dedicated to the most holy Virgin by the Church), the souls of those Brethren and members of the Confraternity who depart this life in charity, and who whilst living on earth have worn the Habit, have observed chastity according to their state of life, and have recited the Little Office, or, if they know not how to read, have observed the fasts of the Church and have abstained from flesh meats on Wednesdays and Saturdays (unless the feast of Christmas falls on either of these days.)"

And for the Holy Carmelite martyrs of Compiegne, whose feast is actually today in the Carmelite calendar, you can't do better on-line than Terrye Newkirk's booklet which is published here.  A few years ago I put up a little excerpt here.   For a thorough book-length exploration, Professor William Bush's "To Quell the Terror" can't be outdone.

Monday, July 15, 2013

St Swithun's Day - 15 July

St Swithun was a 9th century Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester.  You can find a short biography in the good old Catholic Encyclopædia here.  Wikipedia has something here and a schools page has something of his place in British custom and tradition here.

 The good bishop ought to be better known in southern California as he is the patron of those places enduring drought.  The rhyme gives it as fact that whatever the weather on his day it will continue for 40 days.

St Swithun's Day if thou doest rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days twill rain nae mair.

So drought alleviation petitions probably ought to be made prior to the feast day. 

In fact, he's one of those saints associated with all sorts of weather patterns.  Saith the Wikipedia  page;

 In France, Saint Medard (8 June), Urban of Langres, and Saint Gervase and Saint Protais (19 June) are credited with an influence on the weather almost identical with that attributed to St Swithun in England. In Flanders, there is St Godelieve (6 July) and in Germany the Seven Sleepers' Day (27 June). 

 All medieval stuff and nonsense.  Or maybe not.  The same page continues:

 Around the middle of July, the jet stream settles into a pattern which, in the majority of years, holds reasonably steady until the end of August. When the jet stream lies north of the British Isles then continental high pressure is able to move in; when it lies across or south of the British Isles, Arctic air and Atlantic weather systems predominate.
There is apparently and addendum of sorts to the traditional rhyme which advises:
If on St Swithun's Day it really pours,
You're better off to stay indoors.

Belabours the obvious somewhat, but who am I to disagree with a traditional rhyme?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

14 July again

There's more to the 14th of July than French regicides.

There's the feast of Blessed Richard Langhorne, a beatified attorney.  And not just a canon or civil lawyer either as most of his canonized and beatified legal confreres seem to be, but a genuine practitioner of the common law of England.

And our own St Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, is honoured today in the calendar for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

14 July. . . .

. . . .a.k.a., Bastille Day.

A summary of the, um, great day provided by Jerry Pournelle a few years back:

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn't want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court).

On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and another. The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse. The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father's insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.

I would cite you to the original location but in the process of blog renovation it is no longer located where it was.  The new blog location is here and the original  of the above is probably there somewhere.  My search capabilities in the time available are apparently not up to it.

Something more recent on the French national day from a descendant of some of its victims.

And is the 14th of July really Bastille Day, properly so-called, at all?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is coming up. . .in nine days to be precise.  If you mean to pray the novena this is the day to start.

There is a lovely old set of appropriate prayers here.  (The link on that page to litanies to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is dead.  This one gives three.)

And a newer (and shorter) version here which can be printed in a little folder for your prayer book.


Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Glorious 4th

In a few short hours we will be at a friend's house for a 4th of July barbecue in a city nearby which frowns upon fireworks.  So, with any luck, we will miss this evening's local orgy of patriotic pyromania here in the Athens of the southeast county.  Then again, maybe not.  Barbecues sometimes end early. And if the local economy has picked up sufficiently the pyromaniacally inclined may be able to purchase a whole night's worth of  rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air.

The 4th of July is supposed to commemorate the signing of the declaration of independence on that day in 1776.  Now they tell us it was actually signed for the most  part on the 2d of July, with a few stragglers signing up in the succeeding days.  But the continental congress had been meeting for some time before that.  And it wasn't always as exciting as you might think.  It seems John Adams relieved the tedium with visits to  multiple churches one Sunday, including even -- sharp intake of breath --  Philadelphia's  Romish chapel.

John Adams' Impressions of a Catholic Service, October 9, 1774
Most of the founding fathers of the Republic had been nourished on a deep prejudice against the Catholic Church, and whatever tolerance some of them later displayed sprang from a belief in the necessity of religious toleration as a public policy for all rather than from any softening of their attitude toward Catholicism. During the session of the Continental Congress John Adams (1735-1826), a delegate from Massachusetts, at times found his official duties very dull. He enlivened one day, therefore, by visiting some of Philadelphia's churches with George Washington. The letter which he wrote to his wife Abigail on October 9, 1774, contained a vivid impression of his reactions after a visit to St Mary's Church during an afternoon service. Source: Charles Francis Adams (Ed.), "Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail, During the Revolution" (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1876), pp. 45-46.

I am wearied to death with the life I lead. The business of the Congress is tedious beyond expression. . . .
This day I went to Dr. Allison's meeting in the forenoon, and heard the Dr.; a good discourse upon the Lord's supper. . . . This is a Presbyterian meeting. I confess I am not fond of Presbyterian meetings in this town. . . . And I must confess that the Episcopal Church is quite as agreeable to my taste as the Presbyterian. They are both slaves to the domination of the priesthood. I like the Congregational way best, next to that Independent.
This afternoon, led by curiosity and good company, I strolled away to mother church, or rather grandmother church. I mean the Romish chapel. I heard a good, short moral essay upon the duty of parents to their children, founded in justice and charity, to take care of their interests, temporal and spiritual. This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting; the poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood; their pater nosters and ave Marias; their holy water; their crossing themselves perpetually; their bowing to the name of Jesus, whenever they hear it; their bowings, kneelings and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich white lace. His pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar-piece was very rich, little images and crucifixes about; wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Saviour in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds! The music, consisting of an organ and a choir of singers, went all the afternoon except sermon time, and the assembly chanted most sweetly and exquisitely.
Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and imagination -- everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell. Adieu.

-from Documents of American Catholic History, volume  1, John Tracy Ellis, editor, Henry Regnery Company, Chicago (1967)

I expected him to say that we were slaves of the priesthood.  But Presbyterians?  That's not a point of view you hear every day.


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Baseball Tradition

"Where else other than a ballpark does someone sitting in the middle of a row of 30 seats pass a $20 bill down through many different hands -- black, white, brown, male, female, gay, straight -- to a hot dog man with the complete expectation that they will get back not only the hot dog but every last penny of change? It happens every day at a baseball game."
-from Science Daily