Saturday, November 11, 2017

Did you know Martinmas was once considered Old Halloween?

That would have been last night.

Kids went out, singing songs, carrying lanterns and were rewarded with sweets.  Bonfires were lighted the night before St. Martin's Day which begins at 11:11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month.  I like that.  Then the fast for Epiphany began the day after Martinmas.  That was changed and later became Advent.  I think I might do St. Martin's lent however.

What I am going to do for sure is try to keep this time like a little child.

Once upon a time there was a poor veteran
suffering from the early winter.
He was outside the city walls,
shivering, nearly naked.
A Roman soldier came upon him and sliced
his heavy woolen cloak to share 
with the poor veteran ...
me thinks he did much more for him
that may not be recorded,
because that night 
the soldier
saw Christ in a dream,
showing the angels a cloak
he received from Martin ...
Martin clothed Christ
with his cloak.
I was naked,
and you clothed me.
St. Martin,
pray for us.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Corruption of morals.

No one can remain decent in a culture that has become obscene.

All the scandals of today reveal a complete corruption of morals.  Corruption is something Pope Francis continually speaks about and points out.  Today he called it the 'smog of corruption' which pollutes society.

With the clergy scandal the smog began to clear, just enough to see the 'filth' in the Church - perhaps this is what Blessed Paul VI meant when he spoke of the 'smoke of Satan'?  It certainly couldn't have been a liturgical reference, since the liturgy, the Eucharist is the heart of the Church, the source and summit of the life of the Church, it is sacred and inviolable... there is only one, holy Mass, albeit two forms in the Latin rite.

That said, first the judgment and chastisement exposed the corruption in the Church - in a sense, now it comes upon the world - culture/society.  I may be wrong, but it seems to me this is what is happening now, the corruption is being revealed.  People deny it - like those busily defending perpetrators such as Weinstein, Spacey, Roy Moore ... and before them, Trump.  What seems so strange is that they all look so normal.  Especially those defending politicians.  Few will defend Weinstein and Spacey, but many are willing to pick their accusers apart, seeking to discredit them or blame them - or just shame them.  In a sense, that is part of what I mean when I point out that no one can remain decent in a culture that has become obscene.

Rotting on the inside.

I'm thinking the least defensible actors in all of this are those who are most vocal in dismissing allegations against those they support politically.  This is corruption.  This is hypocrisy unmasked.  The toleration of lies and deceitful propaganda to promote a political agenda.  We saw it when every Trump supporter defended him against sexual harassment allegations.  Now Roy Moore is getting the same sort of treatment.   Alabama State Representative Ed Henry has suggested the accusers should be jailed.  Blaming and shaming is one reason victims do not come forward.  Edging on complete blasphemy, State Auditor Zeigler  defended Moore with an obscene reference to the Holy Family.  It's an outrageous statement coming from a Christian.  A respectable Christian politician.

Who can be surprised when figures in the entertainment industry are charged with sexual misconduct and corruption?  Be it male on male on female on young people on children?  Throughout history, actors, musicians and entertainers were always considered more or less immoral, it is only in our day that we have placed them upon pedestals and hold them in high esteem or treat them like royalty.  The same goes for professional sports and athletes - although a bit less so.  Every aspect of culture is corrupt:  The worthless are prized highly by the sons of men. (Psalm 12: 9)  It seems to me to be a form of propaganda, to deceive the public, already seduced by obscenity.

I sense it even among Catholic critics of the Pope, the Church and the liturgy.  They can look and sound so normal.  Something is wrong with them however, something is off.  Their rhetoric is just as obscene, just as deceptive.  They are anti-Catholic even though they claim to be more Catholic than the Pope.  They seem to me to be caught in the same smog of corruption, disoriented by the fog, the smoke of Satan.

I'll leave it at that, closing with what the Holy Father said today:
Speaking about what he described as the “smog of corruption” that pollutes society, the Holy Father also urged for prayers for the corrupt so that they “find a way out of the prison in which they wanted to enter.” - P. Francis
One more thought I like to point out to religious people, not all the residents of Sodom were gay.  

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Inmates running the asylum.

I just discovered he does videos.  

Brothers and sisters: You are God's building.

I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, that my name may be there forever.

Shortly after my conversion and return to the sacraments I had a dream of angels constructing a church - Fra Angelico style angels - busy placing stone upon stone to frame a Romanesque window.  I knew it was a reflection of my soul.  I knew it was a literal interpretation of today's readings for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.

Very early on, I was given the prayer of recollection.  So no matter what happens in the world, in the Church, I know what St. Paul said in his Leter to the Romans:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Prayers in reparation for the Texas church shooting.

Prayers for the victims and the survivors.

I have no comment.

I don't have to comment on everything.

Yet I'm writing this.

So anyway, on the latest shooting in Texas.  I have nothing pious to say.  It isn't apathy, or is it?  I'm not sure.  The thing is, the shooting follows closely upon the heels of the Vegas massacre. You know, the strange, single shooter armed with an arsenal of assault rifles who scored the largest mass shooting in U.S. history prize.   He was a nice guy, never harmed anyone, minded his own business, he just liked to gamble and he loved guns.  When you stockpile weapons, at some point you have to do something - like go on a big hunt.

On the other hand, the guy in Texas was an abuser and a bully, an angry, hateful man - who beats animals and little kids.  A bully.  Yet the guy in Vegas just liked to shoot. 

Guys love their guns - they want their guns, and they use them to score, to get even, and when necessary - to triumph over their enemies and those who are weaker and more vulnerable.  This country awards these guys with tons of news coverage, exploiting the shock and awe, until the audience gets bored with that.  Yet they are always guaranteed a place in the NRA Hall of Infamy.  They live on forever as the most notable shooters in history.

Anyway - you aren't supposed to talk about it.  That's why politicians insist up thoughts and prayers immediately after an event, cultivating the shock and awe and redirecting all the focus upon the sadness and consolation that can only come from God ...

Don't mention gun control - don't even think about it.   

Monday, November 06, 2017

This is interesting.

Medieval illumination, Circumcision of Abraham.

I have to get busy stocking my Etsy shop and painting and yard clean up...

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Pontifical Mass at the Throne... a photo album ... kind of.

The throne or cathedra.
The full Pontifical High Mass is carried out when the bishop celebrates the Mass at the throne (or cathedra) in his own cathedral church, or with permission at the throne in another diocese. - Wiki

It takes a village.

Sometimes it seems people who love great pomp and extravagance especially love a Mass at the Throne because of it's drama.  It is very rich in symbolism and vestment, as well as ceremony.  Personally, I'm more attracted to a simple 'low' Mass,  very quiet and prayerful.  Often when I see notices for a Mass at the Throne to be celebrated here or there, it strikes me in the same way as an ad for the symphony or opera would - an invitation to a performance.  It involves a large number of clerics and servers for the celebration, which is why I stole the term, 'it takes a village'.  Indeed it does, which explains the notices and invitations (beyond a parish or diocesan boundaries) to attend.  I have no doubt quietly assisting, or hearing and watching the elaborate ceremonies and solemn choreography can be a contemplative, prayerful experience, but I'm fine with the Ordinary Form of Mass, and/or, the simple Low Mass.

Ceremonial stockings of silk, sometimes interwoven with gold threads, and even heavily embroidered, worn by the celebrant of a pontifical Mass. Originally worn by priests, they were reserved about the eighth century for the exclusive use of bishops, a privilege recently extended to lesser prelates. In colour they correspond to the chasuble, but are never worn with black. - NLM

Things difficult wear w/out assistance.

This could be where the phrase "four sheets to the wind" came from?

Church floors can be dirty.

Grand entrance.

It can be very cold in European cathedrals.

All vested at the throne.



The source and summit, the Eucharist.



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I love a simple Low Mass.

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*Buskins can be worn by laymen now as well.