Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Little Lad

I was talking to my pal Doug Sunday, who was letting his little tyke of a toddler sleep on his shoulder.

"That's great Doug," I said. "He drools just like his father."

"Hey, how did you know I drooled in my sleep?" Doug asked.

"What do you mean 'in your sleep?'" I answered.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More on Marriage


From the article, remarks of Pope Benedict XVI:

* Many children raised by cohabitating, separated, divorced, or remarried parents are deprived of fixed points of reference and can suffer from inner conflict and confusion.

* Families in secularized cultures, especially where divorce is legal, are deeply immersed in uncertainty.

* More and more couples build their unions on the fragility and impermanence of cohabitation, which is based on an "individual's feeling or subjectivity."

* As divorces increase and cohabitation is on the rise, the children in these situations are "deprived of their parents' support and become victims of malaise and abandonment, thus spreading social disorder."

* Children today "feel like they are orphans are not children without parents, but children who have too many parents."

* This situation of a child caught between the different expectations and mixed messages of too many stepparents "cannot help but create inner conflicts and confusion" within the child.

* Pope Benedict reminds us of the clear teaching of Christ that in the case of the "irregular and dangerous situation" of divorced and remarried people, only the first marriage exists. "There is no husband and wife in a second marriage" -- rather they are a man and woman living in adultery.

Saturday, September 26, 2009



Divorce "is the fruitful cause of mutable marriage contracts; it diminishes mutual affection; it supplies a pernicious stimulus to unfaithfulness; it is injurious to the care and education of children; it gives occasion to the breaking up of domestic society; it scatters the seeds of discord among families; it lessens and degrades the dignity of women, who incur the danger of being abandoned when they shall have subserved the lust of their husbands. And since nothing tends so effectually as the corruption of morals to ruin families and undermine the strength of kingdoms, it may easily be perceived that divorce is especially hostile to the prosperity of families and States..."

– Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum, February 10, 1880

Friday, September 25, 2009

Longinque Oceani


"As for what more closely touches spiritual interests, which are based upon the exercise of Christian virtues, many facts have been brought to Our notice, whereby We are animated with hope and filled with joy, namely, that the numbers of the secular and regular clergy are steadily augmenting, that pious sodalities and confraternities are held in esteem, that the Catholic parochial schools, the Sunday-schools for imparting Christian doctrine, and summer schools are in a flourishing condition; moreover, associations for mutual aid, for the relief of the indigent, for the promotion of temperate living, add to all this the many evidences of popular piety.

The main factor, no doubt, in bringing things into this happy state were the ordinances and decrees of your synods, especially of those which in more recent times were convened and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See. But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance...

Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic...

From Our knowledge of the American character, We are fully confident that the example set by this noble man will incite others of your citizens to imitate him; they will not fail to realize that liberality exercised towards such an object will be repaid by the very greatest advantages to the public...

All intelligent men are agreed, and We Ourselves have with pleasure intimated it above, that America seems destined for greater things. Now, it is Our wish that the Catholic Church should not only share in, but help to bring about, this prospective greatness. We deem it right and proper that she should, by availing herself of the opportunities daily presented to her, keep equal step with the Republic in the march of improvement, at the same time striving to the utmost, by her virtue and her institutions, to aid in the rapid growth of the States...”

Pope Leo XIII, Longinque Oceani, January 6, 1885

Thanks to Ed Waggoner Sr. for the tip.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina

Today is the feast day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968), confessor, priest, and stigmatist.

From his writings:

* Prayer is the best weapon we possess, the key that opens the heart of God.

* Do not worry over things that generate preoccupation and anxiety. One thing only is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.

* The most beautiful act of faith is the one made in darkness, in sacrifice, and with extreme effort.

* Often place your confidence in Divine Providence and be assured that sooner Heaven and earth shall pass away than that the Lord neglect to protect you.

* My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, to Your love; my future, to Your Providence!

* The most beautiful Credo is that which come from your lips in darkness, in sacrifice, in pain, in the supreme effort of an unbending will for good. It is this which, like a stroke of lightning, penetrates the darkness of the soul; it is this which in the flash of the tempest lifts you and leads you to God.

* Always be humble in everything you do, guarding fervently the purity of your body and soul, because these are the two wings which carry us to God, and make us almost divine.

* Bear in mind that the more the enemy (devil) assaults you, the closer God is to your soul. Think about, and penetrate, this great and comforting truth.

* Why should you worry whether God wants you to reach the Heavenly home by way of the desert or by the fields, when by the one, as well as by the other, one arrives all the same at a Blessed Eternity?

* Do not fear, Jesus is more powerful than all Hell. At the invocation of His Name every knee in Heaven, on earth, and in hell must bend before Jesus; this is the consolation of the good and terror of the evil ones.

* Continue to pray that God may console you when you feel that the weight of the Cross is becoming too burdensome. Acting thus you are not doing anything against the will of God, but are with the Son of God, Who in the garden, asked His Father for some relief.

* Be comforted with this divine thought that your spiritual and physical pains are the test of the Divine Will. All lovers of Jesus must conform themselves always more to this divine and eternal Model.

* Pray, hope, and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer.

* The proof of love is to suffer for the one you love.

* Do not be so given to the activity of Martha as to forget the silence of Mary. May the Virgin who so well reconciled the one with the other be your sweet model and inspiration.

* The best consolation comes from prayer.

* Let us bind ourselves tightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our heavenly Mother and reflect on its boundless grief and how precious is our soul.

* On this earth everyone has his cross. But we must act in such away that we be not the bad, but the good thief.

* To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity.

* Don't spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety, and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: Lift up your spirit and love God.

* Ahead! Courage! In the spiritual life, he who does not advance goes backward. It happens as with a boat which always must go ahead. If it stands still, the wind will blow it back.

* When you are exposed to any trial, be it physical or moral, bodily or spiritual, the best remedy is to think of Jesus Who is our life, and not to think of the trial without joining it to the thought of Jesus.

* The gates of Heaven are open for all creatures (who repent). Remember Mary Magdalene.

* Jesus always lends comfort to those who place their trust and hope in Him.

* One thing is necessary: to be near Jesus. You know well that at the birth of our Lord the shepherds heard the angelic and divine chants of the heavenly spirits. The Scriptures say so. But they do not say that His Virgin Mother and St. Joseph, who were nearer to the Child, heard the voices of the angels or saw those miracles of splendor. On the contrary, they heard the Child weeping, and saw by the light of a poor lantern the eyes of the Divine Child all bathed in tears, in sighs and shivering cold. Now I ask you: Would you not have preferred to have been in the dark stable, filled with the cries of the little Child, rather than to have been with the shepherds. beside yourself with joy over those sweet melodies from heaven and the beauties of this wonderful splendor?

* May Jesus be always at the center of your endeavors...May He offer us comfort in our moments of sadness. May He sustain us with His grace, enlighten our minds and inflame our hearts with Divine Love.

* The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat.

* Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament.

* You must speak to Jesus also with the heart, besides with the lips; indeed, in certain cases you must speak to Him only with the heart.

* Fear not because God is with you.

* Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.

* Who can assure us that we will be alive tomorrow? Let us listen to the voice of our conscience, to the voice of the royal prophet: "Today, if you hear God's voice, harden not your heart." Let us not put off from one moment to another (what we should do) because the (next moment) is not yet ours.

* Oh, how precious time is! Blessed are those who know how to make good use of it. Oh, if only all could understand how precious time is, undoubtedly everyone would do his best to spend it in a praiseworthy manner!

* The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Code-Cracking Pipeweed Smoker

The last line is perplexing, but see the article Tinker, Tailor, Hobbit, Spy.

The respected linguist J.R.R. Tolkien was sought after to crack Nazi codes, and in March, 1939 he spent three days in training with the top-secret British Government Code and Cypher School. Although keen to the idea, Middle Earth's chief chronicler eventually declined a £500-a-year offer to become a full-time recruit.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

From the Monastery

Mementos from my stay at Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery in Silver City, NM from September 2-9, 2009.

The Monastery

Main Entrance


Construction in the Coutryard

The Chapel

Ad Orientem


My Cell

The View Outside

Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux, Non Draco Sit Mihi Lux.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Price of Organic


Michelle Obama said, "There are times when putting together a healthy meal is harder than you might imagine."

Michelle O.

A Little Arugula

Particularly when it involves a soundstage, an interpreter for the deaf, three TV satellite trucks, and the closing of part of downtown Washington during rush hour -- as the link above illustrates.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Business Buzzwords


From the article:

Executive coach Liz Bywater, president of Bywater Consulting Group, believes buzzwords can serve as a "linguistic shorthand" when used properly and in context.

"But using too many buzzwords can lessen an individual's credibility as an independent, intelligent, creative thinker," she says. "At worst, it can make him look like a wishy-washy wannabe."

Thank you Liz.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cardinal Suspends Communion in the Hand


Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna has prohibited the reception of communion in the hand.

The Cardinal's reason? The "privilege" of communion in the hand has been gravely abused: individuals have taken the Sacred Species as "souvenirs," put consecrated Hosts up for sale, or taken them to be profaned in satanic rites (yes Virginia, there are people out there who take pleasure in committing deliberate sacrilege).

Consequently, Cardinal Caffarra has decided that “communion shall be distributed to the faithful only on the tongue.” Ushers are to ensure that each person who approaches the altar rail to receive communion “consumes the host immediately and that no one be allowed to walk away with the Eucharist in their hands or to place it in their pockets.”

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SSPX Priest Celebrates Mass in St. Peter's

Source (in German)

Fr. Marcus Jasny, prior of the SSPX House of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany, celebrated a series of early-morning Masses at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

St. Peter's Basilica - Early Morning

The Masses were celebrated during an August 24-September 2 pilgrimage to Rome of graduates of the Schöneberg High School for Girls.

Lucky girls.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More on the Benedictines

The Benedictines have played many roles in Christianizing and civilizing the countries they visit. They are known for faithfully praying the Divine Office; some of their other accomplishments are listed here.

Missionary Work
The Benedictines erect monasteries wherever they go, and use that as a base for organizing missions.

Civilizing Influence
They carry knowledge and skills for organized work, agriculture, the arts and sciences, and the principles of true government.

Education and Parochial Work
The work of education and the cultivation of literature have always been looked upon as belonging by right to the Benedictines. The liberal arts and the study of the Holy Scriptures are given great attention.

Medal of St. Benedict

The medal bears the image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: "Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti" (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Around the margin of the medal stands the legend "Ejus in obitu nro praesentia muniamus" (May we at our death be fortified by his presence). The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: "Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux" (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, "Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux" (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of "Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti" in the angles of the cross. Around the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: "Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas" (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram IHS (Jesus).