28 April 2017

Feast of St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort

Brief account of this great saint of Mary here.

St. Louis, pray for us!

Breaking News: Knights Issue Preconditions on Fra Festing's Travel

One of my old contacts now in Rome has sent me this raw video of the actual demands the Knights placed on this noble traveler as he sought an audience of a certain powerful someone.

27 April 2017

There's at Least One

As part of my preparation for total consecration to Jesus through Mary according to the St. Louis de Montfort method, I'm using an excellent book from Angelus Press as the basis of daily meditations: Consecration to Mary, by Fr. Helmuts Libietis.

I had read at times in the past that Marian devotion was ordained by God to grow, and to become especially important in the latter days of time.  God, Who loves the Virgin for her humility and desire to be hidden, desires that she be acknowledged and loved by all, and to be given honor.  St. Louis de Montfort is not alone in predicting that Mary's devoted children will rise to be the great saints of those times. 

Mary is the instrument, not because is bound by nature to do so, but because He has willed that Mary be the Mediatrix of All Graces. God gave Mary the choice to become Mother of the God Man; Mary brought forth Christ into the world; Mary brought Him to St. John the Baptist and it was her words that caused him to "leap in the womb", working the first removal of original sin in a fallen human creature; she brought Him to the Temple to fulfill the law and prophecy of the Messias; the first of His public miracles was performed in response to her intercession; she offered Him for our salvation, and it was Mary that He chose to be the Mother of all Christians; she was the mother of the Church's Head, and thus of His Body, being present at the Church's birth on Pentecost. Why is it any wonder that she should be instrumental in the last coming of that same Son of hers?

When Mary has struck her roots in a soul, she produces there marvels of grace, which she alone can produce, because she alone is the fruitful Virgin who never has had and never will have, her equal in purity and in fruitfulness. Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been or ever will be-- a God Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time. The formation and education of the great saints, who shall come at the end of the world, are reserved for her. For it is only that singular and miraculous Virgin who can produce, in union with the Holy Ghost, singular and extraordinary things.

In another passage, St. Louis explains his devotion to Mary is one which is unknown to many and practiced by few-- consisting in surrendering oneself to Mary, and to Jesus through her, without any possible reserve, giving her everything and performing all our actions with, in, through and for her.   

There was a particular claim that struck me when I meditated on it, and my wife pointed out a fact that just blew me away. 

We willingly and lovingly and under no constraint, consecrate and sacrifice to her unreservedly our body and soul. We give to her our material possessions, such as house, family, income, and even the inner possessions of our soul, namely, our merits, graces, virtues and atonements.

Notice that, in this devotion, we sacrifice to Jesus through Mary all that is most dear to us, that is, the right to dispose of ourselves, of the value of our prayers and alms, of our acts of self-denial and atonements. This is a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members. We leave everything to the free disposal of Our Lady, for her to use as she wills for the greater glory of God, of which she alone is perfectly aware (emphasis added).

That phrase-- a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members-- is what struck me, and independently also my wife. But it was she who told me why. While not canonically a religious order, and I cannot speak to whether this is a question of strict obedience, there is one society whose members daily consecrate themselves in this spirit to Mary: The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

In its daily consecration, which I have previously posted here, each member consecrates everything to Mary every single day-- the Institute, their family, persons, good actions, etc., leaving to Mary "the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us."

This Institute, canonically founded in 1990, consecrated to Mary in Her Immaculate Conception, has performed so much good, and been shepherded through all the tumults of the Church in these "latter days", that when my wife mentioned this consecration to me, in light of all de Montfort said, I could at last clearly see the reason for their good works and vitality. Of course, it took me long enough to grasp this, when any Institute priest would have, and has, credited her for years.

So, I guess there is at least one order who requires this devotion. Why this never struck me in this way before I cannot say.

May Mary continue to protect the Institute and all of us in time and eternity.


 

25 April 2017

To Jesus through Mary

When you follow Mary you will not go astray; when you pray to her, you will not despair; when your mind is on her, you will not wander; when she holds you up, you will not fall; when she protects you, you will have no fear; when she guides you, you will feel no fatigue; when she is on your side, you will arrive safely home.

She keeps her Son from striking us; she prevents the devil from harming us; she preserves virtue in us; she prevents our merits from being lost and our graces from receding.

--St. Bernard

20 April 2017

Easter Thursday

Dic nobis Maria
Quid vidisti in via?
'Sepulchrum Christi viventis
Et gloriam vidi resugentis.
Angelicos testes,
Sudarium et vestes.'

Surrexit Christus spes mea, 
Praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci,
Quam Iudaeorum turbae fallaci.

Scimum Christum surrexisse
A mortuis vere;
Tu nobis, victor rex, miserere.
Amen

18 April 2017

Easter Tuesday Jury Duty

Christus surrexit! Surrexit vere!

Two days with alternating periods of reflection time and stultifying boredom, reading Graham Greene, surrounded by Man and the civil trappings of what in former times might have been called law, two days into the celebration of Life's triumph over death.

Preparing for total consecration to Mary according to de Montfort. It's a wonder, yet so typical, that it took me this long. Will culminate on May 13-- the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. It's as though Our dear Mother is rounding up a straggler, the rather dim-but-lost-without-her child, hurrying him into the storm cellar before the mother of all tornados hits the house. Praying this week for a true knowledge of self. Jury duty is as good a place as any to find it.

I would ask for your prayers as I prepare, especially from those blessed ones already consecrated to her.

My prayers for all of you.

Sorry for the little interlude. Just seems to all go together somehow. And like I said, I'm sitting in jury duty.



14 April 2017

Triduum

In the Garden

Bob Dylan

When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?
When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?
Did they know He was the Son of God, did they know that He was Lord?
Did they hear when He told Peter, "Peter, put up your sword"?
When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?
When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?

When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?
When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?
Nicodemus came at night so he wouldn't be seen by men
Saying, "Master, tell me why a man must be born again."
When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?
When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?

When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?
When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?
When He said, "Pick up your bed and walk, why must you criticize?
Same thing My Father do, I can do likewise."
When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?
When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?

Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?
Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?
The multitude wanted to make Him king, put a crown upon His head
Why did He slip away to a quiet place instead?
Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?
Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?

When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
He said, "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth."
Did they know right then and there what that power was worth?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?

When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
He said, "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth."
Did they know right then and there what that power was worth?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?

When He rose from the dead, did they believe?

13 April 2017

President Trump Confirms Fatima Prophecy

It's Holy Thursday, and in the spirit of the unintentional prophecy of Caiaphas about our Lord, I present the following Tweet today from President Trump:

Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!

09 April 2017

Palm Sunday

May we join in the praise and honor to the King of Kings, and may we remain faithful throughout the scandal of the passion-- His and ours.  May we remain a faithful Jerusalem, and thus be spared Jerusalem's fate.

A blessed Holy Week to you all.

08 April 2017

St. Francis de Sales Oratory Wins Most Beautiful Church in America Contest

As you have followed and likely know by now, the Oratory won the Art & Liturgy National Churchpionship 2017 in voting that concluded Thursday night.  Thank you if you voted.

There are other stories covering the news, but I enjoyed this piece at St. Louis Magazine.

Low Masses every day at 8 am; Additional High Mass on Sunday at 10am; other Masses through the week as indicated in the bulletin.  If you haven't assisted at Solemn High Mass at the Oratory, you are missing a truly mystical experience.  As I commented on another site, the Mass is infinitely more beautiful than even this beautiful church.  Of course, the Mass in such a setting only adds to the total beauty and harmony of the worship of God.


07 April 2017

"You are not liked at St. Francis de Sales."

I have received lots and lots of emails and comments in the ten years I've written this blog. Many of them have been directed to-- or at-- me personally. I'm used to receiving the bouquets and brickbats, so to speak.  Much of the vitriol sent my way actually amuses me, and and other times motivates me.

Yet I have to admit that last night I received an attempted comment on one of my posts that has to be the single most hateful, mean-spirited, and depressingly hurtful thing I've gotten in ten years. The author used my real name, I suppose as a threat (?) or sign of their moral intensity.  Re-reading it in the light of day takes the edge off of my initial reaction.  Who knows? Maybe it's not that bad. All I can say is that when I read it, it bothered me a great deal. So, congratulations, anonymous friend, your comment will be published (redacted, but otherwise verbatim):

--------, I saw your comment in the Post Dispatch today. It was sick, disgusting, and anti-Catholic. I know who you are and will be watching you at St Francis de Sales. The abortion legislation will be overturned in the city of St Louis by the Missouri legislature but State Senator Onder from Lake St Louis has no right to change the name of the St Louis Zoo to the "Abortion Sanctuary City Zoo." If the people of St Charles want to pay a tax, that's fine. If they don't that's fine and that is their right. Let them vote. That is their right. That's their choice. But if you applaud him saying we should change our zoo to that name, you are a sick human being full of anger. You are not liked at St Francis de Sales. See you in the confessional line. -------- you do not help people come back to the church of Jesus Christ. You push them away with your arrogance and pride. Please be advised.

-Catholic City Resident and Latin Mass goer

Thank you, Catholic City Resident and Latin Mass goer. It is good to know that I'll be watched by someone who knows my name and thinks I'm a sick human being full of anger, while I assist at Mass in a place where I am not liked. 

Man, do I love blogging.

03 April 2017

Let's Get This Done

Since I've already asked you to vote for St. Francis de Sales Oratory in the Art and Liturgy Church Madness Contest Final Four (and thank you very much if you did), I can hardly help asking you to vote for the Oratory now that it is in the finals, right?

Voting closes Thursday night at 11:59 pm, but why not just vote right now?

02 April 2017

Sunday Until 11:59pm-- Vote for St. Francis de Sales Oratory

How about voting right now?

Art and Liturgy has been hosting an NCAA tourney-style contest of the most beautiful churches in America. Our own St. Francis de Sales Oratory is in the final four, and the vote is close.

Why not vote right now?



30 March 2017

Missouri House Passes Bill to Overturn St. Louis 'Abortion Sanctuary' Ordinance

I often feel very blessed to live in Missouri-- a state with some semblance of decent government, (relative) freedom, natural beauty, decent people, and common sense. This week the state legislature reinforced that feeling.

The Missouri legislature, with GOP and pro-life supermajorities in both houses, is set to undue some of the mischief of my beloved-but-ruled-by-baby-killers city.

Pray for the enactment of this legislation (HB 174), and make your views known to your state senators and the governor.  I'll post updates when I can.

24 March 2017

Feast of St. Gabriel the Archangel

Angel of strength, friend of mankind! continue thy ministry of aiding us. We are surrounded by terrible enemies: our weakness makes them bold; come to our assistance, procure us courage. Pray for us during these days of conversion and penance. Obtain for us the knowledge of all we owe to God in consequence of that ineffable mystery of the Incarnation, of which thou wast the first witness. We have forgotten our duties to the Man-God, and we have offended Him: enlighten us, that so, henceforth, we may be faithful to His teachings and examples. Raise up our thoughts to the happy abode where thou dwellest; assist us to merit the places left vacant by the fallen angels, for God has reserved them for His elect among men.

Pray, O Gabriel, for the Church militant, and defend her against the attacks of hell. The times are evil; the spirits of malice are let loose, nor can we make stand against them, unless with God's help. It is by His holy angels that He gives victory to His bride. Be thou, O strength of God! foremost in the ranks. Drive heresy back, keep schism down, foil the false wisdom of men, frustrate the policy of the world, arouse the well-minded from apathy; that thus the Christ whom thou didst announce may reign over the earth He has redeemed, and that we may sing together with thee and the whole angelic choir: 'Glory be to God, peace to men!'

--Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year

23 March 2017

We Need More Clarity for Parody

See what I did there? Huh? Heh.

Anyway, I love the Eye of the Tiber blog. So do you. Parody and satire are fun. They teach us to laugh and keep good cheer as the world burns.

But when it comes to covering Pope Francis, parody becomes tough. You see, stories like this are hard to figure out if they are real or not:

Little Girl Who Attempted to Steal Pope's "Hat" Arraigned on Felony Charges

Apparently, this is satire, and not at all true.  Whew!  

I almost forgot that nothing like that could ever happen.


21 March 2017

Feast of St. Benedict

One of the patrons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. A plenary indulgence may be gained by assisting at Mass at any Institute apostolate.  The Oratory has Mass this evening at 6:30 pm in case you missed the morning Mass.

Who couldn't use a plenary indulgence in the 100th Anniversary of Fatima year?

St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism and as a result, the civilization of the West that resulted in Christendom and beyond.  We certainly need his intercession in this time of the death of that civilization.  He shepherded the faithful through one civilizational collapse-- why not two?

Blessed Feast Day to all readers!

20 March 2017

Still Kicking

Sorry for the absolute dearth of posts.  I have not given up blogging for Lent. I am not dumbfounded by the Vatican.

I am just as busy as I can be at work.  Busier than I have been in years.  Lots of work stemming from the new administration, and lots of tight deadlines with lots at stake.  Thanks for checking back here when you do.  I can see blogging picking up in about 10 days or so. And I will try to post before then if I can.

I really feel badly for not posting the interview Mother Miriam was kind enough to give me, but I have been so slammed as to not be able to finish transcribing it.  I will get that up still.

Thanks. Sorry.  Blessed Lent. See you soon...

15 March 2017

Strange to Say, but Important Advice for My Children...

...and any other person who complains about Bob Dylan and/or the volume of same while I'm driving.

Attention statists: I am certainly joking. No need to report.

02 March 2017

In Memoriam

Today is the third anniversary of my father's death. If you will, of your charity, say a prayer for his soul, I would be grateful.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.

May the soul of James, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

01 March 2017

Blessed Ash Wednesday

Just a quick post to wish you all a blessed Lent; may all your resolutions lead to greater holiness.  I apologize to those waiting for me to post my interview with Mother Miram, OSB. I am in the process of transcribing it and will get it posted soon. 

The President, God bless him, is keeping me extremely busy at work these days, and deadlines are many and severe. As you know, our first duty is to live out our state of life.

Be back soon.  God bless. If you still haven't hit Mass today, the Oratory has one at 6:30pm.

28 February 2017

For Shrove Tuesday

Sweet is this present life, but it passes away; terrible, O Christ, is Thy judgment, and it endures forever. Let us, therefore, cease to love what is unstable, and fix our thoughts on the fear of what is eternal; saying: Christ, have mercy upon us!

No Bigs

Just Mount Etna erupting.

27 February 2017

And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail

O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces of the smallest spider's web,
The collars of the moonshine's watery beams,
Her whip of cricket's bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight,
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O'er ladies ' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep,
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,

Making them women of good carriage.

--Speech of Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene IV

23 February 2017

Gallows Humor Presupposes Gallows

"I'm glad you're here with me, Luis, here at the end of all things."

"A Simple Yet Demanding Way of Holiness for All the Faithful": the Importance of Blessed Columba Marmion

Homiletic & Pastoral Review has a nice post on Blessed Columba Marmion, his spirituality and importance. They describe him as "St. Thomas Aquinas meets St. Therese, who meets St. Benedict". I would add that he is profoundly Salesian as well.  In fact, all four of these saints are patrons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and I think of Marmion as the first paleo-Canon of the Institute. Any soul who has benefited from the spiritual care of the Institute will recognize the charism in the writings of Blessed Columba Marmion.

If you are still deciding on spiritual reading for Lent, might I suggest Marmion's Christ, the Life of the Soul? Though the book is long, it is easy and pleasant to read, much like de Sales. If that seems too much, there is great short book of letters of spiritual direction called Union with God

Blessed Columba Marmion, pray for us!

Legal Abortion: Lincoln's Constitutional Legacy?

Maybe it would have happened anyway, but since Lincoln the Constitution has meant not what it says, but whatever the U.S. Government decides it shall mean. The very meaning of constitutionality has become entirely fluid, so that the law itself has become exactly what law should never be: unpredictable.


Think of the U.S. Supreme Court’s notorious 1973 abortion ruling. Nobody before then had ever suggested that abortion was a constitutional right, but the Court suddenly discovered that it was, protected somehow by the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. The laws of all 50 states were struck down at a blow, but thanks to Lincoln the remedy of secession was no longer available to them.

22 February 2017

Urgent: Prayer Request for John Vennari

Mr. Vennari is near death. Michael Matt issues a call for prayer here.

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch

Dear Lord, please protect the Holy Father. Strengthen him to rouse himself in defense of the timeless Catholic faith, and in defense of unchangeable Catholic doctrine. Free him from the agents of the evil one who seek to trammel him. May Your Truth and Charity shine forth in and through him. And may the Church be freed from the confusion and error that seemingly reign in our time. Through Christ Our Lord, and through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima. Amen.

21 February 2017

Bonus for Presidents Day

An intriguing article about a far better President than King Lincoln: Did George Washington die a Catholic?

For the Fatima File

The latest from Pat Buchanan. Trump must stand firm against the warmongers in both parties. De-escalate this thing in some kind of formal agreement before his enemies can sink it-- or him.

20 February 2017

For President's Day: H.L. Mencken on the Gettysburg Address

Since today is President's Day, which began as a celebration of King Lincoln's birthday, I submit this H.L. Mencken commentary on his most famous speech:

Like William Jennings Bryan, he was a dark horse made suddenly formidable by fortunate rhetoric.  The Douglas debate launched him, and the Cooper Union Speech got him the Presidency. His talent for emotional utterance was an accomplishment of late growth. His early speeches were mere empty fire-works—the hollow rhodomontades of the era. But in middle life he purged his style of ornament and it became almost baldly simple—and it is for that simplicity that he is remembered today. The Gettysburg speech is at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history. Put beside it, all the whoopings of the Websters, Sumners and Everetts seem gaudy and silly.  It is eloquence brought to a pellucid and almost gem-like perfection—the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Nothing else precisely like it is to be found in the whole range of oratory. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous.


But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it.  Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination—"that government of the people, by the people, for the people," should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i.e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle free; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and veto of the rest of the country—and for nearly twenty years that veto was so effective that they enjoyed scarcely more liberty, in the political sense, than so many convicts in the penitentiary.

I Love Stuff Like This, and Hope It's True

Scoffers need not point out things like double hearsay and difficulty in defining fulfillment of the terms.  Got it. Watch anyway. There does seem to be something very interesting developing right in front of us.

Call to Action: State Legislature Considering Bill to Preempt the City's Abortion Sanctuary Law

N.B. Excellent article by Jennifer Brinker in the St. Louis Review on Missouri House Bill 174, which would pre-empt and invalidate the execrable St. Louis City Board Bill 203.

If passed and signed by the Governor, this bill would preempt the "abortion sanctuary" bill passed by the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen (voted for by every Democrat mayoral candidate on the Board) and signed by the anti-Catholic's favorite "Catholic" mayor, Francis "Gay Marriage" Slay.

The bill is sponsored by Tila Hubrecht, and co-sponsored by Bruce De Groot and Hannah Kelly.

We need to follow this bill, support this bill, publicize this bill, call Representatives, Senators and the Governor. This needs to get done.

Contact information can be found in the Review article linked above.

Cardinal Burke Defends Himself as Only a True Salesian Can

In response to the (to my mind, and to the minds of most who have paid attention to the tactics of Francis' cabal of anti-Natural Law clerics and advisors) laughable attempt by the acting FrancisHead of the Order of Condom Knights of Malta to accuse Cardinal Burke of being the one to ask the condom-distributing Grand Chancellor to resign, the good Cardinal called a spade a spade.

He stated that the accusation was flat-out CALUMNY.

But thetimman! Isn't that wrong of Cardinal Burke to say that? Shouldn't a truly holy man bear calumnies without complaint?! Where is the FrancisMercy?

Well, in response, let us consult the Doctor Caritatis, St. Francis de Sales, on this issue (from The Introduction to the Devout Life):


When any evil happens to you, apply whatever remedies you can and do this in a way agreeable to God, since to do otherwise is to tempt God. Having done this, wait with resignation for the results it may please God to send.  If He pleases to let the evil be remedied, thank Him humbly; but if it be His will that the evil grow greater than the remedies, patiently bless His Holy Name.

Follow Saint Gregory’s advice: When you are justly blamed for some fault you have committed, humble yourself deeply, and confess that you deserve the blame. If the accusation be false, defend yourself quietly, denying the fact; this is but due respect for truth and your neighbour’s edification. But if after you have made your true and legitimate defence you are still accused, do not be troubled, and do not try to press your defence—you have had due respect for truth, have the same now for humility. By acting thus you will not infringe either a due care for your good name, or the affection you are bound to entertain for peace, humility and gentleness of heart.

Although such judgment [detraction, rash judgment, calumny) are passed on to us by foolish and stupid people, we must not forsake the path of virtue even if we suffer loss of reputation.

If because of exercise of piety, advancement in devotion, or progress toward heaven men grunble, murmur, and speak ill of us, let us leave them to bay at the moon. If at times they can cast aspersions on our good name and thus cut and shave off the hair and beard of our reputation, it will quickly grow out again. The razor of detraction will be as useful toward our honor as the pruning knife is to the vine, which makes it abound and multiply in fruit.

Let us always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ crucified and go forward in his service with confidence and sincerity but with prudence and discretion. He will protect our reputation. If he permits it to be taken away from us, it will either be to give us a better one or to make us profit by holy humility, of which a single ounce is preferable to a thousand pounds of honor. If we are condemned unjustly, let us calmly oppose truth to calumny. If the calumny continues, let us continue to humble ourselves. By surrendering our reputation together with our soul into God’s hands, we safeguard it in the best way possible.

Nevertheless, I except from this certain crimes so horrid and infamous that no man should put up with being falsely charged with them if he can justly acquit himself of it.


I also except certain persons on whose reputation the edification of many others depends. According to the opinion of theologians, in such cases we must quietly seek reparation of the wrong received.

Certainly, His Eminence is acting justly-- and charitably-- to defend his reputation from the libels of others in this case. Thc crime of calumniating a Prince of the Church, whose character is so linked to the edification of others-- in fact, those many or few who are left to defend Christ's words on Matrimony and Holy Communion-- requires a defence.

Now you know. And of course, I think it is obvious whose word is more worthy of belief in this little stand-off.

And we now return you to patiently awaiting the parousia answering of the dubia.



17 February 2017

Prayer Request from Mother Miriam, O.S.B.

Dear Readers, it was my privilege today to speak with Mother Miriam, Foundress of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope. The interview will be published here by early next week. In our conversation, I learned that Mother's biological sister, Susan, is battling an extremely aggressive cancer. Your prayers for her would be most welcome. As an aside, through God's providence Susan was received into Holy Mother Church last Easter. 

May Our Lord and Lady aid her!

Even If You're 49...

Sometimes I read something so well written and insightful I just have to cut and paste it here. Hilary White posted the following paragraphs (and more), in a recent piece at Orwell's Picnic on her plans to return to Norica:


If you are over 50, you might have experienced this feeling of remoteness from your past. It seems as though we look back and down on a long road, as though we have spent many days climbing a mountain trail. And in some places the trail turns and you can sit down on a stone or a bit of grass and see the way you’ve come, with the place you started perhaps just visible, far off in the misty distance. Then you see this other person, a little dark figure toiling uncertainly up the long way and you can pity that person because you know what lies ahead. But it’s just a phantom, a distant memory.

Converts will recognise this strange feeling of detachment from our past. And the moreso if we are converts not only from secularist modernism to a serious-minded Catholicism, which is rare and alienating enough, but to the far less likely “second conversion” to a realm even further in and higher up, to Traditional Catholicism.

Many who read him wonder how C.S. Lewis could have been so insightful, to so accurately identify human failings. But he answered the question himself, saying that he was a Christian "not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else". In reality, to be a Traditional Catholic is to live every moment of every day in an entirely different country, a dazzlingly illuminated parallel world of meaning, of rationality and coherence that seems to exist slightly out of phase with the rest of the world and from which we watch the world moving farther away every day.

So we have become interior expatriates. And the longer we stay in this realm, the more distant and vague and shadowy the World Outside becomes; the less it has to do with us, the less we can even understand the old language, the old ways of our previous lives. We can remember them, but they are no longer ours.

We converts, we newcomers, stop now and then and wonder how we came into this brilliantly lit place whose walls are clear as windows, pouring light onto the shadowy World Outside. I know people who have lived their whole lives in that bright house and have never known the vast and terrifying gloom outside. But their native language is the one we have had to adopt. This is the value of converts to the Kingdom, since we can remember how we used to think and see and feel. We can, if we try, even still understand and speak the old Black Tongue, and know it when we hear it.

I am often asked, “How did you know so quickly that Bergoglio was going to be such a disaster?” I try not to say the first thought that comes to mind: “How is it that you didn’t?” The moment he walked out onto the loggia, he was sending the signals, his dress, his gestures, his words all speaking the language he intended us to understand; it was as though he was looking straight at us. Those first hours and days he was all but shouting his blasphemous intentions. I have not yet met a Traditionalist Catholic who did not understand him almost immediately. By its light we see everything else.



How did I get here? There is one constant impulse I’ve felt throughout life that I don’t know the origin of, this drive to know what’s really true. The need to know the truth has been a lash prompting this long chase half way around the world. Searching for the One True Thing has been Ariadne’s thread, unwound behind every step through the strange labyrinth of this life. But however strange it seems, here I am and I've had my answers and know what to do.

__________________

A few lines that particularly resonate with me and which I could adopt as my own were I bright enough to write them:

"In reality, to be a Traditional Catholic is to live every moment of every day in an entirely different country, a dazzlingly illuminated parallel world of meaning, of rationality and coherence that seems to exist slightly out of phase with the rest of the world and from which we watch the world moving farther away every day."

"So we have become interior expatriates."

"We [reverts] stop now and then and wonder how we came into this brilliantly lit place whose walls are clear as windows, pouring light onto the shadowy World Outside."

"I am often asked, 'How did you know so quickly that Bergoglio was going to be such a disaster?' I try not to say the first thought that comes to mind: 'How is it that you didn’t?'”

"Searching for the One True Thing has been Ariadne’s thread, unwound behind every step through the strange labyrinth of this life. But however strange it seems, here I am and I've had my answers and know what to do."

__________________

God has a plan for each of us. The Truth is a Person, a Person Who loves us. This Truth founded one Church, the True Church. We are His spouse. The undiscovered country has already been discovered. And when we realize we are strangers here, the impulse to go home can effect its desire.


Thank you, Miss White, for writing it down.

15 February 2017

Mail Bag: Sally Field Edition



One of the best things about blogging is the incredible support I get from all seven readers. And by support, I'm including the wonderful anonymous people who would rather that I die, or develop some dread disease, or shut up through means natural or unnatural.

Some kind readers really want to know if my parents were married when I was born. Others look forward to meeting me juuust at the time the Church, the Mass, and the remnants of Western Civilization are destroyed-- you know, so they can see my face.

If you have read my blog for some years, you know that ordinarily I am defenseless against reverse psychology: anyone who cleverly points out that I won't ever have the nerve to post their wonderful comment (wink, wink) is sure to have it posted.

Some declare delight just knowing that I. Will. Read. This., but never post.

Some are just d*******s. Can I say that on the air?

Far from discouraging me, they keep me going. As one of my many, many daughters might say, "Timmy's loving life!"

And since I'm loving life, I thought I would share just a few of the printable comments I would not normally post, and give their authors a long-sought-for reply. Why? Because everything else is so great these days, I thought I'd be good to these good souls. 

N.B. Spelling and grammar as in the orignal. Enjoy!
____________

"Many of us are gaining great pleasure in watching you, Burke, Trump, and your coterie of philistines twist in the wind." 

--Anonymous

Dear Jorge, 

As you know, I am quite rigid about the need to affix a name to your comment in order to see it posted. So bear that in mind. However, I like your use of the word coterie, and your concept of schadenfreude. Not sure you know what a philistine is, but hey, two out of three ain't bad.

--thetimman
____________

Oh, geez. What's next, are you going to put the back of your hand to your forehead, declare that's all just too much, and faint? Your poor dad. Probably thinking "should have named that boy Nancy."

--Jimmy

Dear Jimmy, 

That's all just too much. How did you know my birth name was Nancy?

-- thetimma.....(faints)
___________

And we should listen to a person who "Reader X could tell stories, no doubt, of the difficulties of getting me to even consider certain facts about the state of things"; So you are open to facts when giving opinions??? I think not, AND this comment will never pass moderation but YOU will see this. The height of ignorance is saying "here's the facts, but people will tell you it's hard to convince me of the facts... what a joke.

--Anonymous

Dear Reader X Anonymous,

I was torn in moderating this comment between enforcing the simple, longstanding rule against posting anonymous comments, and my powerlessness in the face of reverse psychology. As you can see, I really am powerless in the face of reverse psychology. It is nice to hear from about Reader X after his long absence from this space, and I would respond to your comment more fully if I understood it at all. Pax & all the best,

--thetimman
______________

(This last series of comments requires a brief intro.  "Mary", presumably not Our Blessed Mother, wrote several times taking me to task over President Donald J. Trump.)

It's time for you to just SHUT UP. Most of Congress thinks Obama did the right thing. Anything Obama did would be wrong in your mind. If he mandated Catholicism as the state religion and made the Latin Mass the only form of worship, he'd still be wrong. I know now why you hate Lincoln so much. You are a closet racist (perhaps not so closet). Don't even try to pretend otherwise. Don't try to claim that you support states' rights. I know you won't post this, and I don't care. You just need a mirror held up to your prejudiced face. You're only a step away from calling the Obamas gorillas. Also, since when do people like you admire Communists? Oh, of course, it's when the Communist is a white guy and the President is black. Also, it's Trump who's going to start a war with his ill-considered, self-loving tweet-storming. 

--Mary (12/30/16)

Dear Mary,

You make a lot of really great points. Thanks for writing. King Lincoln was white. Obama was born of one white and one black parent. If either of them mandated Catholicism as the state religion, that would be A-OK. It would be even better if either of them would #AnswerTheDubia.

Can't we all get along?

I think the problem might be one of projection-- you charge me with racism, but you are fixated on rejecting the lawfully elected president on the grounds that he's orange. Don't pretend otherwise. I, on the other hand, will continue to fight for the rights of my orange brothers and sisters in the face of your hostility. 

--thetimman
P.S. Still powerless in the face of reverse psychology.
_______________

It won't be long before Donny boy starts a war with Jina. No president has ever let his mouth run like he does.

--Mary (01/16/17)

Mary, 

Inauguration day was the 20th. You wrote this on the 16th. 

--thetimman
_____________

Oh, yes, let's keep out those scary Canadians. Also, Melania was sleeveless. I guess it's OK because she's not Michelle Obama. You disgust me.

--Mary (01/21/17)

Dear Mary, 

You, on the other hand, fascinate me. Peace and Love,

--thetimman


Oh, Boy. Here It Comes.

Steve Skojec asks, "Am I the only one who finds this incredibly suspicious?"

Answer: No.

Let's see. A thought experiment:

1. Send Cardinal Burke to the Knights with a mandate to stop the condom guy. 
2. Serve up Cardinal Burke as having acted without authority. 
3. Take over Knights.
4. Rehire condom guy.
5. Check press find out Cardinal Burke still has many supporters.
6. Send Burke to investigate a sexual abuse claim against the Bishop of Guam because, hey, why not send the Cardinal Patronus of the Knights of Malta to investigate a sexual abuse case against the Bishop? Everybody knows the Cardinal has the complete confidence of the Holy See, and everybody knows how much the Holy See is cracking down on sexual abusers that don't form part of the Pope's inner circle, right?
7. Serve up Cardinal Burke as having mishandled a sexual abuse claim.
8. Take over Malta (see what I did there)?
9. Affirm love for Bishop.
10. Check press to find out if we can finally can Burke for good.

Any questons?

Just one. When will the merciful God relent and have mercy on us? No, we don't deserve it, but please, God, we need it.

14 February 2017

Cardinal Burke at the Priory of Ephesus


From a reader of this blog:


On February 10, 2017, the Feast of Saint Scholastica, Cardinal Burke celebrated Holy Mass at the Priory of Ephesus, the home of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  Below are some photographs of the visit. While in KC over the weekend, His Eminence also delivered a lecture on Friday to an overflow crowd at Saint James Academy.  On Saturday, the Cardinal celebrated Holy Mass at the Church of the Nativity in Leawood, KS, for the Catholic Medical Association, with Archbishop Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City (KS) and Bishop Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (MO).

A good time, as ever, to pray for this holy and steadfast shepherd! (click on photos to enlarge):




I Don't Know Why I Don't Read This Every Day

Lenten resolution: return to the basics, courtesy of St. Francis de Sales.  The following excerpt comes from The Introduction to the Devout Life:

____________

Call often to mind that our Saviour redeemed us by bearing and suffering, and in like manner we must seek our own salvation amid sufferings and afflictions; bearing insults, contradictions and troubles with all the gentleness we can possibly command. Do not limit your patience to this or that kind of trial, but extend it universally to whatever God may send, or allow to befall you. Some people will only bear patiently with trials which carry their own salve of dignity,--such as being wounded in battle, becoming a prisoner of war, being ill-used for the sake of their religion, being impoverished by some strife out of which they came triumphant.

Now these persons do not love tribulation, but only the honour which attends it. A really patient servant of God is as ready to bear inglorious troubles as those which are honourable. A brave man can easily bear with contempt, slander and false accusation from an evil world; but to bear such injustice at the hands of good men, of friends and relations, is a great test of patience.

[…]

Be patient, not only with respect to the main trials which beset you, but also under the accidental and accessory annoyances which arise out of them. We often find people who imagine themselves ready to accept a trial in itself who are impatient of its consequences. We hear one man say, "I should not mind poverty, were it not that I am unable to bring up my children and receive my friends as handsomely as I desire." And another says, "I should not mind, were it not that the world will suppose it is my own fault;" while another would patiently bear to be the subject of slander provided nobody believed it.

[…]

If any trouble comes upon you, use the remedies with which God supplies you. Not to do this is to tempt Him; but having done so, wait whatever result He wills with perfect resignation. If He pleases to let the evil be remedied, thank Him humbly; but if it be His will that the evil grow greater than the remedies, patiently bless His Holy Name.
Follow Saint Gregory's advice: When you are justly blamed for some fault you have committed, humble yourself deeply, and confess that you deserve the blame.

If the accusation be false, defend yourself quietly, denying the fact; this is but due respect for truth and your neighbour's edification. But if after you have made your true and legitimate defence you are still accused, do not be troubled, and do not try to press your defence--you have had due respect for truth, have the same now for humility. By acting thus you will not infringe either a due care for your good name, or the affection you are bound to entertain for peace, humility and gentleness of heart.

Complain as little as possible of your wrongs, for as a general rule you may be sure that complaining is sin; (3) the rather that self-love always magnifies our injuries: above all, do not complain to people who are easily angered and excited. If it is needful to complain to some one, either as seeking a remedy for your injury, or in order to soothe your mind, let it be to some calm, gentle spirit, greatly filled with the Love of God; for otherwise, instead of relieving your heart, your confidants will only provoke it to still greater disturbance; instead of taking out the thorn which pricks you, they will drive it further into your foot.

[…]

As to the trials which you will encounter in devotion (and they are certain to arise), bear in mind our dear Lord's words: "A woman, when she is in travail, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world." (5) You, too, have conceived in your soul the most gracious of children, even Jesus Christ, and before He can be brought forth you must inevitably travail with pain; but be of good cheer, for when these pangs are over, you will possess an abiding joy, having brought such a man into the world. And He will be really born for you, when He is perfected in your heart by love, and in your actions by imitating His life.

[…]

Gaze often inwardly upon Jesus Christ crucified, naked, blasphemed, falsely accused, forsaken, overwhelmed with every possible grief and sorrow, and remember that none of your sufferings can ever be compared to His, either in kind or degree, and that you can never suffer anything for Him worthy to be weighed against what He has borne for you.

Consider the pains which martyrs have endured, and think how even now many people are bearing afflictions beyond all measure greater than yours, and say, "Of a truth my trouble is comfort, my torments are but roses as compared to those whose life is a continual death, without solace, or aid or consolation, borne down with a weight of grief tenfold greater than mine."


11 February 2017

No Need to Respect the Church: Board of Aldermen Passes Bill to Limit First Amendment Rights to Disagree with Murdering Babies

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging... the right of the people peaceably to assemble...

U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1 (in relevant part)

...No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

U.S. Constitution, Amendment 14 (in relevant part)

Constitution be damned. And for that matter, why in the world would the Saint Louis City Board of Aldermen-- the legislative body for what used to be called The Rome of the West-- have to care that the Catholic Church is vehemently opposed to its murderous, unconstitutional agenda?

The Board of Aldermen of the City of Saint Louis, the municipal version of a failed state seemingly designed to make the denizens of Detroit and Cleveland feel optimistic, has decided by 17-10 vote to make our city an abortion "sanctuary city". One may not now even disagree with any baby-killing advocate without legal consequences. How so? Well, the Archbishop states it well in his wonderfully defiant statement, and I have written on it here before.

So, I read a post on Facebook which referenced the St. Louis Review story, and left the following comment:

EVERY mayoral candidate on the Democrat side voted for this. Hey Lyda Krewsen, I WILL NOT take a Democrat primary ballot to vote for your sorry hide. Hope you lose by a single vote.

I guess we can pray that gay marriage Slay will not sign the bill. Right.

I was considering moving my business into the city. Not now.

Finally, why does the St. Louis Review headline reference this as a "reproductive health bill"? Is this a Catholic publication?

And I mean it. When I think of the difficulties that actually exist in Saint Louis, preventing its civic rebound, I think of violent crime in nearly every neighborhood and in the "tourist" zones as well; I think of a dismal public school system that chases families out of the city; I think of the Board of Aldermen itself, a vestige of a political machine patronage system set up when the city was at all important; I think of Catholic schools and parishes closing and taking with them the anchors of neighborhood viability; I think of a truly bizare tax system that penalizes people for living or working in the city.

I don't think "Hey, we don't kill enough babies, and we don't prosecute people who make baby killers feel bad."

Failed state model indeed. A merger with the county is the only thing that could save the edifice, but like all failed states, I can see why county government would want "extreme vetting" before letting any city official near it.

HEY VOTERS: EVERY DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL CANDIDATE VOTED FOR THIS. Are any of them Catholic? I mean, at least as Catholic as outgoing Mayor Slay, who violated the Missouri Constitution to allow sodomites to pretend to get married, and who should have been arrested for doing so? I'm sure any Catholic who voted for this abomination will be denied Holy Communion by their pastor. Right? Of course excommunications are not to be hoped for.

Finally, a couple of notes on my Facebook comment, above. It seems someone from the Review reads Facebook, because the headline of the story was changed to remove the word "health" from the "reproductive decisions" we are not allowed to criticize. It is just as milquetoast as it gets. Maybe the Review is already self-censoring to avoid problems with this bill. How are we ever going to win when we use the enemy's terminology for genocide?

And I will never move my business interests into the city while this bill stands.

St. Louis, for some reason known only to God, seems to be one locus of the major civilizational conflict of our times. God have mercy on us.