Thursday, April 12, 2018

Himself and the Tin Man

About 16 years back I arrived at work one morning to discover a suit of armor at my desk. The Tin Man belonged to my boss, who wanted to recognize me for my heroic and gallant efforts on behalf of the team and the company during a demanding and difficult project. Though just a temporary loan, the knight-in-miniature was a welcome token of appreciation.

Himself and the Tin Man

The Tin Man and I enjoyed several days of diversion together, and he was a popular conversation piece with colleagues. I did put him to work here and there, but for the most part he was just eye candy.

Tin Man at work: not just a pretty face

A couple of months later my celebrity status came crashing to a halt when I declined to work on an objectionable project. We were handling publications for a state agency that sponsored what was euphemistically dubbed women's reproductive health initiatives, but was really a means to promote birth control and abortion. The assignment hit my inbox, and I immediately replied to my boss that I would not work on it; I wouldn't even facilitate the work by passing it down the line to a colleague. Ah, I was the unwelcome black sheep after that; my time with the company ended in less than a year.

Did I save the lives of any unborn children through my non-participation in a shabby assignment? I can't say, but I doubt it. More importantly, I did not lose my soul over the matter.

Where is the Tin Man today?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Alleluia for Candlemas

Alleluia, alleluia. Senex Puerum portabet: Puer autem senem regebat. Alleluia.

Alleluia, alleluia. An old man was carrying a Child; but the Child was the old man's Lord. Alleluia.

Luke 2:22-32

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nine Choirs of Angels

“It is from the lowest of the nine choirs, the nearest to ourselves that the Guardian Angels are for the most part selected. God reserves to the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones the honor of following His own immediate court. The Dominations from the steps of His throne preside over the government of the universe; the Virtues watch over the course of nature’s laws, the preservation of species and the movements of the heavens; the Powers hold the spirits of wickedness in subjection. The human race in its entirety, as also its great social bodies, the nations and the churches, are confided to the Principalities; while the Archangels, who preside over smaller communities, seem also to have the office of transmitting to the Angels the commands of God, together with the love and light which come down even to us from the first and highest hierarchy. Thus then, the admirable distribution of offices among the choirs of heavenly spirits terminates in the function committed to the lowest rank, the guardianship of man, for whom the universe subsists.”
– Fr. Louis Alessio

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas on December 25

Taylor Marshall gets into how we know that December 25 is the nativity of Christ at

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Hyvää Joulua, Wesołych Świąt, Cчастливого Рождества...

Christmas in Mosul

This is the Arabic letter Nun (pronounced noon). It became known in the west as the Christians were being driven out of or killed in Mosul in northern Iraq over the past several years: the ISIS aggressors would put this sign on the homes and businesses of Christians to indicate that if they remained, they would be killed.

Nun is the first letter in the name “Nazarene,” which is what some Muslims in that region call Christians. It is a pejorative term, a word of contempt. Think of it as the Arabic equivalent of the N-word.

After three years of persecution, on Christmas day 2017 the Iraqi Christians publicly celebrated Christmas in a Mosul church for the first time since ISIS was driven out.


With prayers for Mosul.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dodd on God

Said Bella Dodd: 

“I have learned from bitter experience that you cannot serve man unless you first serve God in sincerity and truth.”


ommunists usurp the position of the left, but when one examines them in light of what they really stand for, one sees them as the rankest kind of reactionaries and Communism as the most reactionary backward leap in the long history of social movements. It is one which seems to obliterate in one revolutionary wave two thousand years of man’s progress."

Thursday, August 31, 2017

In Supremo Apostolatus

In 1839, Gregory XVI issued the apostolic letter In Supremo Apostolatus against the slave trade and chattel slavery, in which he wrote:

In the process of time, the fog of pagan superstition being more completely dissipated and the manners of barbarous people having been softened, thanks to Faith operating by Charity, it at last comes about that, since several centuries, there are no more slaves in the greater number of Christian nations. But - We say with profound sorrow - there were to be found afterwards among the Faithful men who, shamefully blinded by the desire of sordid gain, in lonely and distant countries, did not hesitate to reduce to slavery Indians, negroes and other wretched peoples, or else, by instituting or developing the trade in those who had been made slaves by others, to favour their unworthy practice. Certainly many Roman Pontiffs of glorious memory, Our Predecessors, did not fail, according to the duties of their charge, to blame severely this way of acting as dangerous for the spiritual welfare of those engaged in the traffic and a shame to the Christian name; they foresaw that as a result of this, the infidel peoples would be more and more strengthened in their hatred of the true Religion...

[W]e have judged that it belonged to Our pastoral solicitude to exert Ourselves to turn away the Faithful from the inhuman slave trade in Negroes and all other men...[D]esiring to remove such a shame from all the Christian nations, having fully reflected over the whole question and having taken the advice of many of Our Venerable Brothers the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and walking in the footsteps of Our Predecessors, We warn and adjure earnestly in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare to vex anyone, despoil him of his possessions, reduce to servitude, or lend aid and favour to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not men but rather animals, having been brought into servitude, in no matter what way, are, without any distinction, in contempt of the rights of justice and humanity, bought, sold, and devoted sometimes to the hardest labour...

We reprove, then, by virtue of Our Apostolic Authority, all the practices above mentioned as absolutely unworthy of the Christian name. By the same Authority We prohibit and strictly forbid any Ecclesiastic or lay person from presuming to defend as permissible this traffic in Blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse, or from publishing or teaching in any manner whatsoever, in public or privately, opinions contrary to what We have set forth in this Apostolic Letter.