Friday, July 29, 2016


Of a sort, anyway.  The last of the conventions wrapped up last night.  There used to be an actual respite when the last of the political conventions closed up shop for another four years.  Campaigning didn't start in earnest until after Labor Day. Now it just never ends.

But we were fully involved in politics last night during the last gasp of the Democratic convention.  We watched John Ford's wonderful film of Edwin O'Connor's The Last Hurrah.  When there isn't any tolerable real politics on offer, I recommend quality fictional politics.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Trump, the Russians and the Clintonian Emails of Song and Story

From Chaos Manor:

Mr. Trump asked the Russians to give us the 33,000 (according to Mrs. Clinton) emails that the Secretary of State erased from the private server she kept in the basement.  The media exploded. How dare he invite the Russians to hack us? Treason! Treason! But everyone knows that server has been destroyed.  Mrs. Clinton says so.  Thus it can’t be hacked.  If the Russians have these 33,000 erased emails, they did it long ago – a not unreasonable assumption, of course.  Any intelligence service would have had a go at it.  I’m sure the Brits did. It cannot be treason to invite the Russians to give us a copy of whatever they have already stolen.  The fact that grown people, presumably competent, would think Trump's remarks treason says more about them than him.  Hardly unexpected; more like a confirming instance.

(BTW: the link isn't direct; you'll have to scroll down.  I don't see a way to make a direct link.  Here it is again.)


Fr Jacques Hamel

One more thing about Fr Jacques Hamel's martyrdom by the Mohammedan fanatics that I find very interesting but that I haven't seen anyone comment on. He was martyred on the feast day of his patron, St James.  St James was also martyred by beheading.  In the old Spanish legend St James appeared to fight for the Christian army against the Mohammedans.  Hence, his Spanish nickname, Santiago Matamoros -- St James the Moorslayer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Spent a while this evening looking for a good version of the Magnificat to go with Evensong.  This one was it.


So . . . how serious are things?

Ecclesiastically, I mean.

Have a look at The Wanderer these days.  The Wanderer has had a papal homily/address/essay or what-have-you on the front page for the past century and a half.  (At least, I think so.   I've actually only seen it for a third of that time.) The Wanderer has done its best, being only a weekly, to fulfill W.G. Ward's wish for a new papal bull every morning with his Times at breakfast.  Even the, um, unfortunate Paul VI retained The Wanderer's front page first column on the left.  But these days Mr Ward, were he a subscriber, would have to page to the back of the book.  We don't find Francis's Angelus address until section B.

Even the occasional columnist has been seen to imply that things may not be all ship-shape and Bristol fashion at the Santa Marta hostel.

But this morning's mail brought the July 28, 2016 number of The Wanderer and there on the front page,   where for the last decade or so a large photo of a prominent Catholic Church has been featured,  is a large color photo of St Nicholas du Chardonnet Church in Paris.  Yes, the same St Nicholas du Chardonnet where the late Msgr Ducaud-Bourget presided and the Society of St Pius X has celebrated the sacraments for the past 40 years or so.

Inadvertence?  Or an opening to the traditionalists of the SSPX?   I suspect the former but one can hope.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

26 July -- St Anne

Today is the old feast of St Anne, the mother of Our Lady and grandmother of Our Lord.  The image above, which arrived in my Twitterfeed this morning (thanks @ClerkofOxford) shows St Anne as she was often depicted by our medieval ancestors, teaching Our Lady to read.  This dovetails nicely, so I'm told, with the medieval convention that the Annunciation occurred while Our Lady was reading scripture.

Something from St John Damascene in the old Roman Breviary.

Mrs Vidal points out what a gracious patroness St Anne is for those who need help with the little things.  "There is no need too small or insignificant for St. Anne to concern herself with; she is at home among the pots and pans, in the garden, the grocery store, and especially in the labor and delivery room."

Her collect from the old English Missal:

O God, who on blessed Anne didst vouchsafe to bestow grace, that she might be made worthy to become the mother of her who bore thine only-begotten Son : mercifully  grant : that we, who celebrate her festival may be aided by her intercession with thee.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Pretiosa in conspectu, Domine, mors sanctorum eius

We've all seen the news this morning that malignant Mohammedanism has claimed another victim, this time a priest-martyr in France.  The gist of it's here in case you missed it.

Fr Rutler's needed commentary is here.  Will any of the powers that be heed it?

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Death of the Contemplative Religious Life for Women

Bergoglio strikes again.

His plan will mean the extinction of every convent in the Holy Land, as they have no native constituency.

Some thoughts on Trollope

The Inn is rather fond of Anthony Trollope.  The top two shelves are all by Trollope or about Trollope.  Hence the following.

Trollope is perhaps that most adult of English novelists; he speaks better to us when we have “put away childish things.” In part, that’s because Barchester is obsessed with the persistent, corrosive theme of money: Who’s got it and who hasn’t, whether it’s “old” or “new,” deserved or undeserved, and the precarious existence and temptations of those who do not have enough. “Of all novelists in any country,” the poet W.H. Auden observed, “Trollope best understands the role of money.” 
Trollope is lethal in showing us the resulting contest between decency and pettiness in human nature. Pridefulness, status anxiety, the willingness to think the best or worst of your neighbor, seething jealousies and the vaulted ambition of mediocrities: all these elements of the human condition are brilliantly laid out for us. And while so many good men are suffocated by doubt and paralyzed about taking action, it is often the women characters to whom Trollope gives agency. In both novels it is not the Warden but his daughter, Eleanor Harding, whose strength of character forces events into a different, more satisfactory pattern.
More here.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Is Someone Trying to Tell Me Something?

The crossword puzzle is the third thing in the morning paper order.  While eating breakfast, the first thing in order is, of course,  the comics.  That has to be done first.  It's so easy to lose the thread of the plot in Judge Parker since the latest artist draws all the men to look alike and all the women to look alike.  If you start missing days it takes a while to catch up.   Second are the baseball scores, especially the Angels.  Yes, the Angels.  See, you haven't been keeping up. They've been doing quite well lately, even with  half the team on the disabled list and a roster of unknowns on the field.  (There's a lovely singing group called The Anonymous Four.  I wonder if they'd mind if the Angels became known as The Anonymous Nine?)

And finally there are the crossword puzzles, which brings us to the point of this ramble.  One of the clues this morning was "time period when the meteor hit the earth".  Well, I had no idea and the intersecting clues weren't helping.   So out came the online puzzle dictionary.  The second answer in the list was "Monday". That didn't fit the spaces available but you can see where the sensitive soul might incur a light patina of perspiration.  I mean, four days away from now rather than, oh, I don't know, sometime long past, say the Pleistocene Era.  Gosh.

No sooner finished breakfast than Herself comes into the room and says  "Would you like armageddon?"  Sort of takes one's breath away, even for the non-sensitive soul. I can only respond "You mean now?  Or can it wait until Monday?"  Which confuses her mightily since she was referring to a book  about the dreaded former Secretary of State entitled "Armageddon" that she had just heard reviewed well on the radio.

We did get that sorted out.  But the years-long feeling of impending doom regarding both church and state, although diminished, does remain.

And how was your morning?