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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Monks Of Norcia



The Basilica over the birthplace of St. Benedict was destroyed in the recent earthquake in mid-Italy. I have written about the Benedicine monks there before -their singing, their beer. There is hope for the Church as long as there are men like this in it.  Please read this article by Rod Dreher.



There is a man driven to his knees, on the piazza, surrounded by nuns, the elderly, and someone in a wheelchair. The weak, the frightened, those without a roof over their heads. What did the priest-monk Basil do? He went to his knees to pray. This is the fruit of the spiritual training, day and night, that Brother Augustine talks about — the training that simply
 is the Benedictine life. This is the core of the Benedict Option: building up the daily habits of prayer, asceticism, and charity that allow the Holy Spirit to make us resilient. If you think losing their basilica and monastery is going to stop the Monks of Norcia, you badly underestimate them. All the prayer, worship, fasting and brotherhood they’ve been living these last 16 years, this ordering their lives around the service of Christ, has rooted them deeply in the faith. This terrible calamity shows their human weakness, but it also will reveal their inner strength, for as God said to St. Paul, “My power is made perfect in weakness.”

St. Joseph Catholic Church

In Macon, Georgia. I went to Mass here on my birthday at the end of September - the feast of the martyr, St. Wenceslaus. The priest wore the red chasuble and his sermon was about Wenceslaus and martyrdom. A great birthday gift!


Happy Halloween!

Don't forget that tomorrow is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION! I hope to attend Mass tomorrow at All Souls Catholic Church. I learned two things about the Church today - they hold a 5:30PM Mass in their cemetery on All Souls Day (November 2) AND they have a 2PM Mass in Latin every Sunday - and  5PM on holy days!


I love the little kid on the right's tonsure. I'm guessing he is Thomas Aquinas.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25 - St. Crispin's Day

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us on Saint Crispin's day.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)  (King Henry V, Act 4, Sc. 3) 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Archbishop Chaput Speaks

The Archbishop of Philadelphia spoke to the Bishops Symposim at the formerly Catholic Notre Dame this week, and hit it out of the park. From Maggie Gallagher's article in the National Review:



To put it another way, quite a few of us American Catholics have worked our way into a leadership class that the rest of the country both envies and resents. And the price of our entry has been the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new “Church” of our ambitions and appetites. People like Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Kennedy, Joe Biden and Tim Kaine are not anomalies. They’re part of a very large crowd that cuts across all professions and both major political parties.


You can read the whole speech here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

He Wore His Collar

I wish more would in public. And cassocks.


How fun is this? Fr. Bill Matheny from Bridgeport, West Virginia, just won it big on the TV game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire! And better than that, he’s giving away every penny of his prize money.



Talk about persistence. The 61-year-old priest from All Saints Church had been trying to be a contestant on Millionaire for 17 years. It was a personal goal of his to be on the show, knowing his love of trivia could pay off. He’d been watching the show ever since it debuted. This year he wasn’t going to bother trying out again, but a friend convinced him to give it another try.
Not only did he win $250,000, but he announced he’s giving it all to his alma mater, St. Francis of Assisi near Charleston, West Virginia.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

We Are All Radicals. Ergo, There Are No Radicals.

Vegan Buddhist Russell Simmons, who apparently is famous, explains:


Russell Simmons joined Trevor Noah on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on Monday to talk about "Muslims Speak Out," a project he formed to deal with Islamophobia, which he called "the worst scourge we have."
He told Noah that people misunderstand the Muslim community and that "99.99-tenths of them are not radicalized, right?" And then he added the kicker: "Probably more Christians are radicalized."


The rebuttal:

Of course, nothing of the sort is true, unless you accept the left's definition of radicalization, which says that religious objections to sex outside of the biblical definition of marriage—and perhaps refusing to bake a wedding cake or having the expectation of privacy in the bathroom—is exactly the same thing as throwing homosexuals off buildings and stoning them to death. Simmons apparently thinks saying words that people find objectionable is the same as blowing people up. It's hard to reason with individuals whose minds have been turned to mush by years of moral relativism.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Only the Middle Ages?

A newly leaked email shows Hillary Clinton’s current campaign chairman John Podesta and a Left-wing activist casually discussing fomenting “revolution” in the Catholic Church.
“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church,” Sandy Newman, president and founder of the progressive nonprofit Voices for Progress, writes to Podesta in an email titled “opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing.”

In response, Podesta assures Newman to rest easy for he and his progressive pals have already created organizations explicitly designed to infiltrate the Catholic Church with progressive ideology, though he cautions that the time may not be right for full revolution — just yet.
We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up,” Podesta writes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

In the Big Inning...

Baseball fans across the country were saddened at the end of an era on Oct. 3, when Vin Scully, the voice of Dodgers’ baseball for the past 67 seasons, signed off for the last time, calling the San Francisco Giants’ 7-1 victory over Los Angeles in the city by the bay.
But the man known as the voice of baseball is back, this time lending his voice to an audio recording, “The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” produced by the group Catholic Athletes for Christ in collaboration with Immaculate Heart Radio.
For Catholics who are baseball fans, it’s basically the answer to a prayer.




(The audio recording of “The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary” narrated by Vin Scully is available for purchase at www.catholicathletesforchrist.org/rosary or can be downloaded from most major digital distribution sites, including Apple iTunes, Amazon Music and Google Play.)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Today in History - a Need For More Dialogue!

The Battles of Tours was not a war of nations, but rather a battle of civilizations between Islam and Christian Europe. The Muslims had been conquering the remains of the Roman and Persian empires and were heading toward modern day France to continue their expansion. The Frankish King Charles (“The Hammer”) Martel wasn’t about to let that happen, so he gathered his forces at Tours as Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of Moorish Spain, led his Army northward.

Most modern historians believe that Martel’s victory at Tours shaped the course of Western Europe. Had the Franks fallen to the Moors, there was no other power in existence at the time capable of containing Islam’s spread, meaning there would have been no Charlemagne (Martel’s grandson) or Holy Roman Empire. Christianity and Europe as we know it today may have hinged on that one battle.
In addition to changing the course of Western civilization, Martel’s brilliant strategic military mind and his ability to coordinate cavalry and infantry enabled him to beat the much larger Islamic army. The Battle of Tours marked the first time a European force of heavy infantry defeated a Moorish cavalry army, and established the Franks as the premier military power in Europe for years to come.

Friday, October 07, 2016

North Carolina...Hotbed of Catholicism

Lots going on in North Carolina! First, a minor seminary has opened:



St. Joseph College Seminary (opened) in September in temporary facilities near St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte. Nine men will live there together in community and prayer while they attend classes at Belmont Abbey College.
A college seminary, also called a “minor” seminary, is for men who are considering the priesthood but who are only 18 to 22 years old. After graduating with a philosophy degree from Belmont Abbey, they will then need to go on to what’s called a “major” seminary to study theology and receive more specific priestly formation. Only when they complete this four years of post-graduate work can they be ordained.

And this:


 — Bishop Michael Burbidge spoke publicly on Thursday for the first time since it was announced earlier this week that he would leaving the Diocese of Raleigh after a decade at the helm.
Burbidge, who has headed the Catholic Church in eastern North Carolina for the last 10 years, will take over in Arlington, Va. on Dec. 6, following the retirement of the bishop there. Until then, Burbidge will serve as the diocesan administrator in Raleigh. His moves comes at the request of Pope Francis. 
On Thursday, Burbidge said the news came in the form of a phone call about a week ago.
"In the Catholic Church you do not volunteer to be a Bishop, or volunteer for a new post. You don’t interview for it and in fact, you are not consulted," he said. "When you get the phone call it starts with 'The Holy Father has appointed you...The only thing to say at that point is 'Yes.'

Thursday, October 06, 2016

A salute to the International Food and Wine Festival


Speaking of Democrats

Kevin Williamson has this to say:

Tim Kaine apparently is blissfully unaware of the fact, but it is a long part of the Christian tradition, and especially prominent in the Catholic tradition, that the basic facts of the universe — physical and moral — can be discerned through the light of human reason, independent of religious revelation.


Intellectually, Tim Kaine’s argument about abortion is incoherent and indefensible; it is, in fact, illiterate. He argues that while his own Catholic devotion points him in a pro-life direction, the fact that we are a pluralistic society with a constitutional guarantee of religious freedom precludes him from supporting initiatives that would enshrine certain Catholic preferences in law. That did not stop him from campaigning against capital punishment and from using his gubernatorial powers to that end (the Catholic position on the death penalty is not absolute and, given the history of the church, hardly could be; its prohibition of abortion is absolute) any more than the First Amendment has stopped any cookie-cutter progressive with an Italian or Irish surname from citing the example of Jesus when arguing for this or that social-welfare program. (Never mind, for the moment, that this misconstrues that example.) Back in the ancient days when he was running for president, Barack Obama cited his faith in explaining his opposition to homosexual marriage.

Thinking About Voting For A Democrat?

Think (really think) again.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I'm Spiritual, Because Religious People are Scary

CHALLENGE:


”I consider myself spiritual rather than religious. Why isn’t that enough?”
DEFENSE:
Because God loves you and wants even better things for you.
When people say they are spiritual rather than religious, they frequently mean that, although they don’t practice a specific religion, they recognize there is more to the world than matter; that it has a spiritual dimension.
This is good! But it doesn’t go very far. Wouldn’t it be nice to know more about the world’s spiritual dimension? In every field, having more knowledge is better, and it makes sense to ask if we can learn more about the world’s spiritual dimension.
From a Christian perspective, we can learn more. God loves us and wants us to know him, not just have feelings or guesses. When he created the universe, God left evidence that allows us to learn certain things about him: “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20).
He also left evidence in the human heart: “With [man’s] openness to truth and beauty, his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his conscience, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about God’s existence. In all this he discerns signs of his spiritual soul. The soul, the seed of eternity we bear in ourselves, irreducible to the merely material, can have its origin only in God” (CCC 33).

Read the rest here.

QUIET!!!

At Mass on Sunday at Corpus Christi Church in Celebration, FL, everything was sung except the  Eucharistic Prayer (or so it seemed). None of the "music" was written before 1978. And as in most churches nowadays, once the priest left the altar a chat session began. I do not think this is the type of music referred to below.


C.S. Lewis covers this in The Screwtape Letters, as Demon Screwtape writes:


Music and silence–how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell–though longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express–no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise–Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile–Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it. Research is in progress.

Monday, October 03, 2016

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 57

Officials at a Jesuit-run high school in Phoenix have banned a school alumnus from commenting on their Facebook page after he dared criticize Tim Kaine’s public support for abortioncommenting on their Facebook page after he dared criticize Tim Kaine’s public support for abortion.


Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school in Phoenix, Arizona and part of the California Province of the Society of Jesus, posted a USA Today column on its Facebook page highlighting Tim Kaine’s Jesuit education.


The column noted how the Virginia senator said he lives by the Jesuit maxim of “men and women for othersAfter reading the piece, Brophy grad Eric J. Halvorson entered a comment observing that Mr. Kaine may be a man for others, but he is certainly not “a man for the unborn,” based on his public record and presidential running mate, the noted abortion supporter Hillary Clinton.
According to an email from Halvorson, several minutes later he received a message from the Brophy Facebook manager requesting that he refrain from making “political” comments on the school’s page—a curious request given that the USA Today article featured a prominent Catholic politician.
Halvorson responded by saying that his comments were not intended to be political, but spoke directly to the sanctity of human life.

We WIN!


Sunday, October 02, 2016

Stupidity on Stilts

Benedict XVI’s aide: 2014 World Cup led to his leaving
The geniuses at the Washington Post have it figured out.

Lost and Found

A Cambridge academic believes he has discovered Thomas Becket’s personal book of psalms, an ancient manuscript the martyred saint and so-called “turbulent priest” may have been holding when he was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.

Dr Christopher de Hamel, a historian at Cambridge University, stumbled across the book during a conversation with a colleague. De Hamel, author of the just-released Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, had said that books belonging to saints were generally not used as relics, and his fellow historian replied that he knew of an exception.
He showed de Hamel an entry from the Sacrists’ Roll of Canterbury Cathedral, dating to 1321, which gave a detailed description of a Psalter, or book of psalms, in a jewelled binding, that was then preserved as a relic at the shrine of Becket in the cathedral. Becket, archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170, was murdered by four knights inside the cathedral, who took on the task after supposedly hearing Henry II remark: “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Read the rest...