Monday, March 30, 2020

Found in my mail this afternoon

"The depths of our soul are for God alone; they must not become a den of thieves that steal praise and adoration from Him.  Prayer is an audience He gives us and we should be mindful of His immense majesty. . .Life is a daily encounter with God's will and everything is a sacrament hiding His will and revealing it to those who have eyes to see.. . . May it make us the friends of God and the sharers of His infinite riches; may it be the channel of His grace to others and the way that will lead us to the things the eye has never see and the ear never heard. . . ."  --- Prayer, by Fr Killian Lynch, O.Carm.

Via Fr Michael Driscoll, O. Carm.

Friday, March 27, 2020

And Speakng of Surprises . . .

I finally got one of those home grocery delivery services to work and we got our stuff this evening.  It's like Christmas.  Now I don't have to go out.  At least not just yet.

Next time I shall have to be more focused on making the list.   I have been trying every service that exists and often enough going off the top of my head on what to order.  But there are a few dishes that aren't going to work without a few extra ingredients I didn't think of.

Still, delighted not to have to go a-marketing any more often than necessary.

Laus sit Deo!

Much to our own surprise . . .

. . . Mary and I remembered the Urbi et Orbi blessing this morning and attended, if that's the right word for a television broadcast.  I know some of the brethren are none too fond of His Holiness.  I understand and sympathize -- even share those sentiments betimes.  (Oh, all right.  All the time.) But I'm in no position to be turning down any plenary indulgences that might be coming my way.

It was rather moving with the rain, the solitary pontiff, and the empty square.  And he seemed to be having a hard time of it.  Added  a bit of pathos.   I'm told the sermon was good but I had trouble following it.   At least in our home the volume of the Pope's Italian version was about equal to the volume of the English translation.  I heard "Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith?" quite a lot.  But what he made of it, I couldn't tell you.  I understand the text is online somewhere; I may give it a look.

It was good to pray with, I suppose, a good part of the Catholic world for an end to the plague.  The old Roman Ritual has a rite for that. A shame it wasn't used.  But prayer nonetheless.

HEAR my prayer, O Lord, * and let my crying come unto thee.
2  Hide not thy face from me in the time of my trouble; * incline thine ear unto me when I call; O hear me, and that right soon.  -- from Ps 102 
O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto Thee for succour.  Deliver us, we beseech Thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ or Lord. Amen. 

My Pastor

From his FB page this afternoon:

Following the leadership of Bp. Strickland of Tyler and Pope Francis earlier today, Deacon Frank Mercardante and I brought Our Lord to the heights and blessed the Temecula Valley around 3pm on this Friday in the Fourth Week in Lent, asking for God’s mercy to spare Murrieta and Temecula and the wider area from coronavirus. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Of Papal Interest

This arrived in this morning's twitter feed.

The original is on in Spanish (link to the original below) and this is via Google Translate, which has done a remarkably readable job for a computer programme:

An Italian monsignor who works in the Secretary of State and has lived for a long time in Santa Marta, the papal residence, has been hospitalized diagnosed as infected by Covid-19, Marco Tosatti reported yesterday in Stilum Curiae. 
There are already five "official" infections in the Vatican, a State so tiny that it fits within a city, and with what is probably the oldest average population on the planet, the main risk group in this pandemic. 
The latter case is more serious, and not only because he has needed hospitalization (in an Italian hospital: the Vatican does not have adequate sanitary facilities), but because the affected person lives in the same house as the Pope, the Casa Santa Marta residence, and the pontiff, at 83 years old and whom we have seen shaking hands and receiving people until very recently, runs a considerable risk of contagion. 
The now undeniable entry of viruses into the papal residence should have immediate and visible consequences. Being a hotel, following the health recommendations that apply in 'neighboring' Italy and in much of the world, the building should be closed immediately. But how is that done when one of the ‘guests’ is the Vicar of Christ, father of Catholics around the world?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Please Pass the Geritol

Assorted folk on the media have asked us to look out for the elderly and the disabled.  Make sure they have the supplies they need and so forth.  We don't really have any in our neighborhood.  Mary's aunt uses a wheelchair and lives not too far away but her daughter lives with her and they have regular care-givers.   I could help if needed but otherwise not an issue around here.  I thought.

A couple of days ago the penny dropped.  During the last week three separate neighbors came by to check on us and see if there was anything we needed.   As Pogo might have put it, "We have met the elderly and he is us."

It was really rather pleasant to know that people were thinking kindly of us and willing to risk the market for us.  Of course, that's due to Mary not me; when they were handing out social skills I was probably off in a corner somewhere with a book.  But I didn't take any of them up on it.  I'm still upright and mobile and able to get the groceries, even if begloved and as skittish as the proverbial long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  You can't ask someone to risk The Virus when you're perfectly capable of getting the groceries yourself now can you.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Just a thought . . . .

In my opinion it would reduce the current daily irritation if the helpful people giving suggestions for enduring the current pandemic would stop recommending the use of services that are no longer available in order to buy products that cannot be had anywhere for love nor money.

Home delivery of hand-sanitizer?  Uh-huh.  Yeah.  Right.

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Interesting the way things that have been around for a while and were always true suddenly become relevant.  E.g., the collect in this Sunday's daily office:

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God: that  we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace, may mercifully be relieved, 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.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Satiety Yet?

Any predictions as to when the plague-of-locusts community is going to decide they have enough and stay home to enjoy their lifetime supply of toilet paper and dairy products?   Is it when they've maxed out their credit cards?  Or when the garage can no longer hold another box of Cheerios?  Soon one hopes. The non-insane community would like to get some milk for the tea and perhaps a piece of meat for the dinner.

It's interesting to note what the plague-of-locusts community apparently has no use for:  fresh fruits and vegetables.  The stores I've been in seem to have relatively untouched produce sections.  Yet surely all that milk they've been buying is going to sour long before the apples and oranges go bad?  Is a puzzlement.

I feel rather sorry for the woman with the over-flowing shopping cart who is being looked at as a hoarder when in fact she's got 5 children, a husband, and an elderly parent at home.  An over-flowing shopping cart is what her normal weekly shopping cart always looks like.  And now with her children home from school, and school lunches no longer provided,  it probably won't even last the week.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas . . .

Well, I don't know how innocentes anyone is but I'm certainly lavabo-ing manus meas at every opportunity.  And it is not encouraging to be told not to worry as I won't die of the Wuhan virus as it's only old people who are shuffling off this mortal coil and joining the choirs invisible.  I've been entitled to The Discount at our local cafe for, ahem, several years now.  So, not to put too fine a point upon it, I'm already in the departure lounge. . . .

But I'm unaccountably not all that worried about my mortality.  Except.  Presumably if one is in quarantine one will not get the sacraments.  Now that's worrying.

In the meantime, a collect or two:

In Time of Great Sickness and Mortality 
O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto Thee for succour.  Deliver us, we beseech Thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ or Lord. Amen. 
For Those in Hazardous Occupations 
Protect and prosper, O Lord, all those who labour at tasks of danger and difficulty, especially those tending the sick and risking contagion, that they may be preserved in safety and health; and grant that, knowing the dangers which beset them, they may ever take thought one for another, and be sustained by a sure trust in Thee; through Christ our Lord.  Amen .
From the Litany:
From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine:  Good Lord, deliver us.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Corona Virus Etiquette

Proper reaction to the plague du jour, courtesy of Mary Killen via The Spectator:

. . . don’t forget we won’t necessarily die — only 2 per cent of us, mainly oldies[e.g., me], will. Meanwhile, with the plausible prospect of life as we knew it grinding to a halt, we will reassess the amazingly luxurious long and healthy lives (compared to any other time in history) that all of us have been enjoying over recent decades and be grateful for, instead of begrudging of, the tyranny of choices we have had about which holiday to go on and how to stop ourselves drinking and eating too much and how to stop swiping and instead settle for one partner. 
Business will grind to a halt for those hook-up apps which effectively promote barnyard sex, and this can only be good for human dignity. Carbon emissions will fall as we take fewer planes. Fear will drive us, if not back to church, at least to consider our moral positions. Pangolins have a chance of not becoming extinct. These are among the blessings coronavirus could bestow.

More here.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Lenten Penance . . . again

Apparently, someone still stops by The Inn every once in a while.  In re: the first "Lenten Penance" post below I have been cited here "as it might be relevant".

And so it is.   Herewith a bit from an editorial in The Magnficat quoting Msgr Ronald Knox:

The effect of this, he observed, is the experience we are familiar with and which we have come to take as a sine qua non of the season of Lent: a “gratifying sense of irritation.” We’re supposed to give something up, we’re supposed to feel the pinch. “Such is our human make-up that a deliberate abstention, though it be only from sweets or the cinema, pricks like a hairshirt. Which is why the forty days of Lent seem to pass so slowly; will it never be Easter Day? And no doubt it is good for us.”

But it was Monsignor’s next point that really stuck with me: “in a curious way, this impression Lent makes on us is the exact opposite of what the Church intends. Lent ought to pass like a flash, with a sense of desperate hurry. ‘Good heavens! The second Sunday already, and still so little to show for it!’ Lent is the sacramental expression of the brief life we spend here, a life of probation, without a moment in it we can afford to waste. That is why it begins with Saint Paul’s metaphor of an ambassador delivering an ultimatum; we have only a few ‘days of grace’ to make our peace with God. Ash Wednesday recalls our ignominious, earthy origins, Easter looks forward to our eternity. The space between is not, if we look at it properly, a sluggish declension; it is a mill-race…. If only we could cheat ourselves into the feeling that these forty days were our last, how quickly they would run their course!”

More here.