Monday, 24 January 2022

The Joy of the Traditional Roman Mass: They Can't Take That Away From Us.

Father discusses the glories of the Gregorian Rite and how it is the ultimate solution to the crisis we are in as a Church and as a society today.

From Rorate Cæli

By Fr Richard Gennaro Cipolla

Last week at Mass we heard the gospel from St. John that recounts Jesus’ first miracle, the changing of water into wine.  Today on the Third Sunday after the Epiphany we hear of two more miracles performed by our Lord:  the healing of the lepers and the healing of the centurion’s servant.  The gospels in the season of the Sundays after Epiphany concentrate on the miracles of Jesus as the answer to the seminal, the basic question asked and answered in the gospels: who is this man Jesus?  These miracles are not offered as proof to the gospel answer to this question, that he is the Son of God, the Word of God the Savior of the world. But they are offered—and they are offered in a historical sense, not in some sort of symbolic sense—to point to the answer to the seminal question.  Many who call themselves Christians have been having problems with these miracles for a long time, and they have done so because they have succumbed well over a century ago to a rationalistic and moralistic understanding of the person of Jesus Christ. And they are locked into a totally outdated and false understanding of the physical world: they live in an imaginary Newtonian world in which surprise is absent. It is absent by decree, since there can be no surprises in a clock world understanding of the physical universe.  One does not have to be conversant with the ins and outs of contemporary physics to know that physical reality is full of surprises and that these surprises happen with alarming frequency.  The irony is that in an age in which science is seen to be the basis and the touchstone of what is real, most people, certainly including theologians, are locked into a view of reality that corresponds in no way to the mysterious and in a way crazy picture of physical reality that contemporary physics paints for us.  And the verb paints is very apt, for physical reality is much more like a painting whose meaning can never be fully grasped than the rather boring view of reality that is like a Patek Phillipe watch: expensive, keeps good time, but in the end not very interesting.

There is no doubt that we are living through one of the worst crises the Church has faced in her now more than 2000 year history.  The roots of this crisis do not lie in yesterday.  The roots have been growing for at least three centuries, some would say much longer than that, and these roots are firmly grounded in the soil of that radical and myopic view of reality that places the individual at the center of the universe and as the ultimate meaning of what is real and true and good.  The cry of Martin Luther: “Here I stand, I can do no other”, finds its logical and inevitable consummation in the world in which we live, a world that loves to talk about community only in terms of a reality that is totally circumscribed by a radical denial of what has formed communities in the past:  family, friends,  shared values grounded in something beyond the community, in a sense of the transcendent.  This is a world in which any objectivity in morality is denied.  Morality is defined in terms of the freedom of the individual to do whatever he or she wants, with the exception of hurting another person, and that hurting another person is seen in terms of making that other person unhappy.  Even killing another person does not get in the way of this morality based on the self and a selfish understand of freedom, as we can see in the painful example of the contemporary acceptance of abortion as a personal right.

The crisis in the Church lies in her willful refusal, in those who are supposed to be the guardians of the Faith, to vigorously counter in an ecclesial way, that is, based on the truth of the Gospel, this warped view of what is real, what is true and good.  There is no doubt from a reading of Church history that the Church has succumbed at various times in her history to trying to make peace with the world by a deliberate forgetting of her role and mission given to her by Him who is the ultimate contradiction to the world.  But in those times, there have always been those whom we call saints, especially the martyrs, who have seen through these dishonest attempts to come to terms with the world, and whose lives and death have the same effect as Jesus’ miracles: they point beyond and above to the God who is good, true and beautiful.  The Church has often had a hard time dealing with these people: like St Antony of Egypt who fled from the world to live in the desert; like St Francis of Assisi who embraced a terrible form of poverty to point to the reality of the radical nature of Christianity; like St Thérèse of Lisieux, whose understanding of the vocation of love that lies at the heart of what it means to be a Catholic brought her to such terrible suffering and in the end at her death a darkness that she perceived as a loss of faith.  Or like St Thomas More, that very worldly and intelligent man, that eminent scholar and writer of superb even if mock Ciceronian Latin, that ambitious man who rose so high in political power and who found himself quite unexpectedly and not by choice confronting that choice that is at the heart of the Catholic faith and yet is denied by most Catholics, that choice between the world that tolerates only a tamed and impotent Christian faith,  and that faith which demands to choose contra mundum because of love of Christ who died pro mundo. And Thomas More chose for God in the context of defending the Papacy in the person of a Pope who was no great model for the Petrine ministry. The trouble is that these saints and most saints have been so pietized and hagiized and sentimentalized by Catholics that their meaning, who they really were, has evaporated. St Francis becomes a Disney character complete with birds and a birdbath.  St Thérèse becomes a sweet pious French little girl holding roses.  St Thomas More becomes a character in a Robert Bolt play who is reduced to a man of principle.

But this is all part of the history that has brought us to this time of crisis. This is a time when bishops refuse to condemn the warped worldliness of their flock who hold prominent positions in government, those who dare to claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, dare to proclaim themselves as Catholics, dare to claim to be daily Mass goers, and at the same time support contemporary moral positions that deny the Lord of life himself.  And all of this in the name of compassion, compassion redefined in the name of the freedom of the individual.  And this is what compassion has been reduced to.  So many Catholics do not know what compassion means: it means to suffer with another.  It does not mean to excuse the faults of another.  But it does mean to love the other, and to love some one means to be willing to suffer with that person,  means to reach out to the other from the Cross of Jesus Christ: there is no other compassion than the compassion of Mary at the foot of the Cross. There is no other compassion than St Francis’ receiving the stigmata. There is no other compassion than St Thérèse suffering her dark death in the context of her vocation to love. There is no compassion other than St Thomas More’s terrible realization of what love for the world really means,  dying in behalf of the love of Christ for all men,  in a most ambiguous context.  It means that there is no foundation for true compassion except in the infinite compassion of Jesus Christ for the sinners of the world.  

But what has brought us to the particular depth of crisis the Church faces today?  The difference between the crises of the Church in the past, and there were many of them, and the crisis besetting us now is this:  the contemporary loss of the sacred, specifically in the liturgy of the Mass, as the binding force that was the fundamental context in which the Catholic life was lived through the centuries.  It was, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, the fons et culmen, the source and summit of the Catholic life.  The Mass of the Tradition, the Traditional Roman Mass, is the fruit of organic development whose words, prayers, gestures, music cannot be identified with any one culture, any one provenance.  The Mass includes its roots in Judaism, in the Greek speaking world of ancient times, in the Middle East of Syria and Lebanon, in the city and empire of Rome, drawing from traditions far and wide, from Britain to Gallican France, to Spain, to North Africa, from what we call in general the East: all expressed in a common and unchangeable language that is foundational in the Christian world of the West. This structure, this palace, this humble home, this house that everyone, rich, poor, men, women, children, educated, peasant could come to and be at home in, at home even if not intellectually understanding what all these rooms meant, yet coming into a place that was familiar and yet not common, the place that was always there, that did not depend on the fashion of the world, what was au courant at the time, that transcended time and space, that always pointed to what one could not understand but believed. This is so wonderfully captured in that scene in Graham Green’s novel,  The Power and the Glory when the Mexican peasants sigh with happiness as the priest, risking his life for them,  says the Mass in a poor home, and when he raises the Host they sigh, and in that sigh they know, they know, despite the terrible reality of their lives, they know that God is with them again in the home of the Mass.

And yet, what we are doing right now is the antidote to the crisis we face. We offer at this time and in this church that Mass that grew organically through 1500 years,  not as a set of prayers and rules but as a living organism that took was best in the ever changing historical milieu of the past millennium and a half, the form of the Mass inculturated by and in the many cultural milieus of the past 1500 years, shedding what was dross and embracing what was consonant with the essence of the Roman Mass, at whose heart is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross and thus a source of grace.  Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum in essence did not merely “allow” the free celebration of the Traditional Roman Mass.  That document broke the spell of the false and un-Catholic fiction that St. Paul VI had abrogated the Traditional Roman Mass in his  imposition of  the Novus Ordo form of Mass on the whole Church as if it were continuous with the Traditional Roman Mass.  How could a form of the Mass that was written by a committee whose members used liturgical scholarship for their own purposes and who were determined to make up a liturgy that would appeal to “modern man”, a liturgy that is fixed in one time and space, and which is the product not of organic growth but rather of doctrinaire imposition of attitudes of a very small time in the history of the Church: how could this form of the Mass be continuous with the Traditional Roman Mass?  

The Consilium that produced the Novus Ordo Mass forgot that the Mass is for God, is the worship of God. It is not  for the priest nor for the people. The Mass is not a religious exercise for people. It is not something for the priest to make up and to make relevant and to make people happy. It is not an extension of religious education, a didactic exercise. The Mass is where one enters into the Holy of Holies and gives oneself over to the mystery and love of God. When I was ordained a priest nearly 38 years ago, I never dreamed I would be celebrating this Mass in this place surrounded by people of faith from all sorts and conditions of men and women. But God is good and faithful.  And he will continue to be faithful despite those who presume to outlaw this form of worship that is the product of and the heart of Catholic Tradition. And we rejoice in this source of grace and truth, this treasure, the ultimate treasure that is filled with the beauty of God in the distillation of time, of that time impregnated with the astounding event of God becoming man, becoming flesh of a real woman who lived full of grace at a specific time and place in the history of the world. And what else can we do on this day then to be grateful and happy, oh so happy, oh so filled with joy?  And what else can we do than before Holy Communion to echo the centurion’s words from the Gospel:  “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.” And then receive that Lord with great joy.

Why They Fought

I seem to have been out of order for a couple of days, but we're back in sync now.

From The Mad Monarchist (12 July 2013)

I am sure quite a few people have seen the Frank Capra films, commissioned by the U.S. government when America entered World War II called, “Why We Fight”. They used to be shown in school and are still replayed on the History Channel (on one of those very rare occasions when they actually show something historical rather than construction or pawn shop shows). I would say that those were the days when the U.S. government still made openly blatant propaganda movies but they still do, they are just more partisan these days. Those were also the days when it was considered normal and even okay to actually hate your enemies since, as anyone who has seen the films will recall, they do not just make the case that Adolf Hitler, Mussolini and General Tojo were bad guys but that their entire nations are basically pure evil and always have been. They are the enemies of mankind, hate everything that is decent and pure and will conquer the world if they are not totally destroyed. So, that was “Why We Fight” but what about why “they” fought? Monarchists probably pay more attention to the First World War than the Second (for obvious reasons) but a great many monarchies hung in the balance in World War II. Many did not survive the Allied victory and likewise quite a few would certainly not have survived in the event of an Axis victory.

Some may be surprised at what seemingly trivial issues caused the start of the largest and deadliest war ever fought in human history. Certainly that is the case with the most prominent member of the Axis, Nazi Germany. Contrary to what many may think, Germany did not go to war in 1939 as part of a grand scheme to conquer the world. Putting aside the absurdity of any one country being strong enough to subdue every other nation on the planet, any country even wishing to fight such an intercontinental conflict could never think of doing so without a large fleet of aircraft carriers of which Nazi Germany had none. Planning to attack North or South America without aircraft carriers would be like planning to land on the moon without having any rockets; you can plan all you like but you are never going to get there. The most simple reason for why Germany went to war in 1939 was, anticlimactic though it may be, the city of Danzig. This was a German-populated city that had been given to Poland by the Allies after World War I and Germany wanted it back just as it wished to incorporate all German populations into the new “Third Reich” (as Hitler rather blasphemously called his regime). This goal was what was behind the annexation of Austria and the occupation of Czechoslovakia (or at least the Czech half of it). Hitler wanted Danzig and after what had happened with Austria and Czechoslovakia he was probably convinced that, while the Allies might grumble, no one would try to stop him.

Much of his genuine popularity at that time rested on the fact that Hitler had delivered great victories, in the sense of expanding the German borders, without actually having to fight. He was called the “miracle man”, the man who “conquers with words”. As such, Hitler first tried to gain Danzig by diplomatic means, proposing to Poland that the city be allowed to vote on annexation to the Reich (which would surely be favorable to Germany) but promising the Poles that they would still be allowed to keep their Baltic Sea coastline with Germany being given only a narrow corridor of road and rail lines to link Germany proper with Danzig and East Prussia. By that time, however, the Allies (primarily Britain and France) had decided that they would oppose any further moves Hitler made even if that meant a European war. A “war guarantee” was given to Poland by which Britain and France promised to declare war on Germany if Hitler made any aggressive move toward Poland. Armed with this promise, the Poles could be more strident in their opposition than Austria or Czechoslovakia had been and they refused all German proposals. National pride was also at risk and, after a stunning victory over the Soviets, the Polish military rulers may have thought things were not as bad as they seemed. Hitler, never the sort to handle defiance very well, ordered his troops to invade, perhaps still not really believing that Britain and France would go to war on behalf of a country they could do nothing to help when in the past they had done everything possible to avoid it.

It seems incredible that it could have been that simple, as simple as the city of Danzig, but when you boil it down, that was it. Every other aggressive move Hitler made was a reaction to circumstances rather than a pre-planned strategy, except to some degree the invasion of the USSR which was both a war to obtain Russian grain and other resources as well as a war of intense ideological hatred between national and international socialists. Why did Hitler invade France? Because France first declared war on Germany. Why did Hitler invade the Low Countries? For the same reason the Kaiser did (sans Netherlands) in the First World War; practical military necessity. Why did Hitler invade Denmark and Norway? Because the British mined Norwegian ports to cut off supplies going to Germany. Why did Hitler invade the Balkans? Because the Prince-Regent of Yugoslavia had been overthrown by a pro-Allied faction and Hitler wanted his southern flank secure before invading Russia and that meant stomping on any government there that was not Axis-aligned and putting a quick end to the war in Greece where the British had diverted considerable resources. Why did Hitler invade north Africa? Because the premature Italian invasion of Egypt ordered by Mussolini had ended in total failure and the British were about to take over the whole of Libya. Although Hitler liked to portray himself as a man of action, these were all reactions and not part of a grand strategy.

The next question is; why did the Kingdom of Italy fight? The answer, again, is not very satisfying. Italy had stayed out of the fight at first (which the King thought best) and Mussolini had even tried to arrange peace talks, which may sound odd but is not surprising considering how high his popularity shot up after the Munich agreement. However, both Mussolini and the Allied leadership wanted Italy in the war but for very different reasons obviously. Most have heard the motivation for Mussolini. France was nearing defeat, few expected Britain to carry on after such an event and Mussolini feared that if Italy did not get into the war before it was over they would gain nothing from it. The famous line of his was that he needed only a few thousand dead to be able to sit at the conference table at which he hoped to gain Savoy, Nice, Corsica, Tunisia and a corridor across the Sudan to link Libya with Italian East Africa. The Allies, for their part, realized that Mussolini would be getting into the war sooner or later and they preferred it to come sooner. The Italian armed forces were fairly worn and weary by 1940. In the twenty years since World War I the Italians had suppressed a guerilla war in Libya, conquered Ethiopia, successfully intervened in the Spanish Civil War and occupied Albania (which was done virtually without resistance but was still a logistical and economic strain). All of this had put stress on a war machine that was not exactly ‘up to code’ in the first place. Italy needed time to fully modernize their military and the Allies (primarily Britain) did not want to give them that time and preferred Italy to enter the war before they were fully prepared.

So, why did Italy fight? Coal. True, it seems about as anticlimactic as saying, “Danzig” but that was the given excuse. In March of 1940 the Allies ordered the seizure of all Italian coal shipments coming out of Germany, bound for the industrial heartland of northern Italy. At the time the Kingdom of Italy was still neutral and at peace with both sides and Mussolini seized on this (as the Allied leaders surely knew he would) as an outrageous act of piracy and a violation of Italian sovereignty. Mussolini could also point out (and did) that with Britain holding Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, and determined to cut off their overseas trade, Italy was effectively bottled up in the Mediterranean and cut off from the rest of the world, all before Italy had taken any aggressive moves against any of the Allies. In truth, of course, Mussolini wanted to get into the war and the Allies were simply being good enough to provide him with a reason to. On June 10, much to the horror of the King, Mussolini declared war on Britain and France. Later Italian troops would participate in the invasions of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union for the same reasons as Germany but the only other attack Mussolini launched entirely on his own was the invasion of Greece, which did not go exactly as planned nor are the reasons for it entirely clear. Was it simply an act of mad aggression? Fascist paranoia? Was it a ruse meant to draw British support out of Egypt prior to the Italian invasion? Only Mussolini would know for sure and he never said, and it would be even money if he could have been believed if he had.

Finally we come to the last question; why did the Empire of Japan fight? One big difference between Japan and the other principle Axis powers was that Japan was already fighting and had been fighting for a decade in an undeclared war with China. This arose out of the Japanese desire to secure a buffer in northeast Asia between themselves and the Soviet Union which had already suppressed efforts to form an opposition government in the Russian Far East and occupied Mongolia, making it a part of the Soviet Union in all but name. There was also the desire for the natural resources of Manchuria and control of Chinese markets (with whom their primary competitor was the United States). Economic interest in China was also the basic reason for why many other nations maintained military forces in China. At the time war broke out in Europe, Japan was focused on consolidation and winning the war in China (having already been burned in a border clash with the Soviets). The situation was not fundamentally different in the Far East in 1941 than it had been in 1931 but the United States decided to get involved in what had, until then, been the Second Sino-Japanese War. Why did Japan fight? To sum it up in another one-word answer, it was about oil.

As an island nation with a small population and no sources of oil of their own, Japan depended on imports of oil to maintain their war effort and (it is often forgotten) to simply maintain a modern standard of living such as every other industrialized country enjoyed. The United States cut off all trade with Japan, froze Japanese assets in the United States and encouraged Great Britain and the Dutch government-in-exile to do the same. The U.S. also sent Japan an ultimatum ordering the Japanese to withdraw from China completely, including Manchuria. This might have been simply ignored were it not for the stoppage of oil imports by America, Britain and Holland as the only sources of oil available to Japan in those days were those in the United States, Malaysia (controlled by the British) or Indonesia (controlled by the Dutch). So, with virtually no oil at all coming in, Japan faced either total military and social collapse or the surrender of all they had been fighting for over the last ten years to comply with American orders. The only other option was to fight and occupy the areas of southeast Asia that had the resources they needed. Oddly enough, part of the reason Japan had been so interested in taking control of Manchuria was so that they would not be dependent on foreign sources of oil and subject to the sort of pressure the U.S. was placing on them.

The result was the “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor which turned the American public from isolationist to interventionist overnight. In condemning this “dastardly” attack by Japan, what President Roosevelt failed to mention was that he had signed off on a surprise, first-strike fire bombing of Japan several months earlier, using American personnel in American planes but under the flag of republican China. Logistical slowness simply allowed Japan to beat America to the punch but that information was not declassified until many years after the war was over. FDR was mostly concerned with the struggle against Nazi Germany but had been unable to make the case to the American public that would dissuade them from their desire to stay out of any more foreign wars. Japan was simply the only Axis power against which sufficient pressure could be brought to force them to take the first swing at the United States. Republican Representative Clare Boothe Luce said that FDR was, “the only American president who ever lied us into a war because he did not have the political courage to lead us into it” (who, I might point out was a Dame of the Order of Malta and a Catholic convert).

When reduced down to the bare minimum, words like Danzig, coal and oil hardly seem sufficient in justifying war but when it is a global conflict with many millions of dead any words would certainly seem insufficient justification. The Allies certainly had more noble words or at least noble-sounding words which they presented to their people as the reason for going to war. However, words like “freedom”, “democracy” and “self-determination” were certainly not the rewards of a great many people after the war ended in an Allied victory. If you were on the wrong side of the “Iron Curtain” when it was over, it would not be unreasonable to wonder if you might not have been better off if the Axis had won. Certainly it must have been a bitter pill for Poland in particular. Britain and France went to war with Germany, starting a second world war, in defense of the independence of Poland only to have the war end with Poland being subject to a red-shirted dictator rather than a brown-shirted one. Sometimes war is the only way, yet at the same time, losses on such a monumental and global scale cause any reason or attempt at justification to shrink in comparison. In the end, the Allies won but everyone knows that did not mean everything got better for everyone in the world afterwards.

This was a victory that left half of Europe in communist slavery and ultimately would leave most of East Asia in communist slavery as well, in several cases of an even more murderous variety than the worst Stalin ever managed. It was a victory that saw the downfall of many monarchies; Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia and Italy all went republican because of the war. It could be argued that the downfall of the Greek monarchy started with the civil war that emerged from World War II. In Asia the monarchies of Korea, Manchuria and Vietnam fell and it was only by the narrowest of margins that the Japanese monarchy did not go as well (thankfully cooler heads prevailed) though even there things have never been the same since. The gains made by communism also meant that the days were numbered for the monarchies of Laos and Cambodia. Finally, with the fall of the British Empire, a direct result of the war, many more republics would emerge all over the world. How things would have turned out if the Axis powers had been victorious we can never know and most would prefer not to even imagine such a thing. Even conceding that though, given the state of the world since, it seems rather elementary to say that Danzig, coal and oil were certainly not worth it.

24 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Following Jesus

1. When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus. We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth. The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects. Still less can they satisfy our hearts. What they teach is either incomplete or false. This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of men have succeeded and replaced one another down through the centuries, while "the word of the Lord endures forever." (I Peter, 1:25)

The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family, and in society. It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation. There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity. This gulf would be even wider only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe. There is only one reform necessary. This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere. We must begin by carrying it out ourselves. Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) "He who follows Me does not walk in darkness." (John 8:12)

Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven.

2. Jesus is not only Truth; He is also Life. He is not only our Teacher: He is our Saviour as well. He has given us something which human philosophers could never give. For He has given us more than doctrine; He has also given us the means of putting it into practice in our lives. He has given us grace and the Sacraments. He has given us Himself in the Blessed Eucharist. It would be impossible for us to carry out His divine precepts if He did not give us the necessary spiritual strength to do so. We should be grateful to Jesus for His goodness and mercy. We should cherish the gifts which He has given us for our sanctification.

Follow Jesus, the Giver of grace and holiness. Make advantageous use of His Sacraments. Above all, receive the nourishment of His Divine Body with fervour and with love. In this Sacrament we can discover the unique spiritual force which makes men saints.

3. Jesus is also the Divine Model whom we ought to follow and imitate. In Him the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity. Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness, but kindly invites us to love and follow Him. “Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt., 11:29) After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us that we shall find it light. (Mt. 11)

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience even in this life a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.

Eastern Rite - Feasts of 24 January AM 7530

Today is the Feast of Our Venerable Mother Xenia the Roman and her Servants.

Saint Xenia of Rome, in the world Eusebia, was the only daughter of an eminent Roman senator. From her youth, she loved God and wished to avoid the marriage arranged for her. She secretly left her parental home with two servants devoted to her and set sail upon a ship. Through the Providence of God, she met the head of the monastery of the holy Apostle Andrew in Milassa, a town of Caria (Asia Minor). She besought him to take her and her companions to Milassa. She also changed her name, calling herself Xenia [which means “stranger” or “foreigner” in Greek].

At Milassa she bought land, built a church dedicated to Saint Stephen, and founded a woman’s monastery. Soon after this, Bishop Paul of Milassa made Xenia a deaconess, because of her virtuous life. The saint helped everyone: for the destitute, she was a benefactress; for the grief-stricken, a comforter; for sinners, a guide to repentance. She possessed a deep humility, accounting herself the worst and most sinful of all.

In her ascetic deeds, she was guided by the counsels of the Palestinian ascetic, Saint Euthymius. The sublime life of Saint Xenia drew many souls to Christ. The holy virgin died in 450 while she was praying. During her funeral, a luminous wreath of stars surrounding a radiant cross appeared over the monastery in the heavens. This sign accompanied the body of the saint when it was carried into the city, and remained until the saint’s burial. Many of the sick received healing after touching the relics of the saint.

Following the death of Saint Xenia, first one of her former servants died, then the other. They were buried at the saint’s feet.

Troparion — Tone 3

Living the life of a stranger in the world, / you estranged yourself from every sin; / you abandoned comforts and fleeting honors / and betrothed yourself to your Immortal Bridegroom. / Glorious Xenia, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion — Tone 2

We celebrate the memory of the life you lived as a stranger in the world, / and as we honour you with love, O Xenia, / we praise Christ, who gave you power to grant healing to all; / ever pray to Him on our behalf.


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 24 JANUARY – SAINT TIMOTHY (Bishop and Martyr): Timothy was born at Lystra in Lycaonia. His father was a Gentile and his mother a Jew. When the Apostle Paul came into those parts Timo...

24 January, The Chesterton Calendar



To the quietest human being, seated in the quietest house, there will sometimes come a sudden and unmeaning hunger for the possibilities or impossibilities of things; he will abruptly wonder whether the teapot may not suddenly begin to pour out honey or sea-water, the clock to point to all hours of the day at once, the candle to burn green or crimson, the door to open upon a lake or a potato-field instead of a London street. Upon anyone who feels this nameless anarchism there rests for the time being the spirit of pantomime. Of the clown who cuts the policeman in two it may be said (with no darker meaning) that he realizes one of our visions.

'The Defendant.'

24 January, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism


CHAPTER VI. Of the Practice of Silence

24 Jan. 25 May. 24 Sept.

Let us do as saith the prophet: “I said,  I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue, I have placed a watch over my mouth; I became dumb and was silent, and held my peace even from good things.” Here the prophet sheweth that if we ought at times to refrain even from good words for the sake of silence, how much more ought we to abstain from evil words, on account of the punishment due to sin.

Therefore, on account of the importance of silence, let leave to speak be seldom granted even to perfect disciples,* although their conversation be good and holy and tending to edification; because it is written: “In much speaking thou shalt not avoid sin”; and elsewhere: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” For it becometh the master to speak and to teach, but it beseemeth the disciple to be silent and to listen. And therefore, if anything has to be asked of the Superior, let it be done with all humility and subjection of reverence. But as for buffoonery or idle words, such as move to laughter, we utterly condemn them in every place, nor do we allow the disciple to open his mouth in such discourse.

25 January, The Roman Martyrology

Octávo Kaléndas Februárii Luna vicésima secúnda Anno Dómini 2022

On the morrow we commemorate the conversion of the holy Apostle Paul, which took place in the second year after our Lord's ascension.
January 25th 2022, the 22nd day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

At Damascus, holy Ananias, who baptized the aforesaid apostle. He preached the Gospel at Damascus and at other places, and was first scourged and rent with thongs, and then stoned to death under the judge Licinius.
At Antioch, the holy martyrs Juventinus and Maximus, who were crowned with martyrdom under the Emperor Julian the Apostate, and on whose feast-day holy John Chrysostom preached unto the people.
At Auvergne, (in the year 674,) the holy martyrs Projectus, Bishop of that see, and Marinus the man of God, who suffered under the chief men of that city.
Likewise the holy martyrs Donatus, Sabinus, and Agapis.
At Tomis, in Scythia, holy Bretannion, Bishop (of that see), who flourished in the Church in wonderful holiness and zeal for the Catholic faith under the Arian Emperor Valens, whom he withstood stoutly.
At Arras, in Gaul, holy Poppo, Abbot (of Stavelotz,) famous for miracles, (in the year 1048, and also his mother, blessed Adelviva.)
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

Memes of the Day


Sunday, 23 January 2022

Bloomberg Just Equated the COVID Vax to the Evil Ring of Power From LotR

This is unbelievable! Possibly prophetic, but unbelievable.

From NotTheBee

By Jesse James

It's difficult to believe that this tweet made it out of workshop and onto the actual Internet, but it did:

One Covid shot to rule them all, one Covid shot to find them, one Covid shot to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

The article is speculating on the possibility that a fourth COVID vaccine shot could "last forever," hence the concept of "one Covid shot to rule them all."

But... the literary reference in this case is to the One Ring of Sauron.

For those who may not be aware: In J.R.R. Tolkein's epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings, the One Ring is the evil ring forged by the evil dark lord of Middle-earth, Sauron.

It was meant to be used to enslave the entire population of that world.

Is this really the message that Bloomberg wants to send??

The responses to the tweet, meanwhile, were perfect:

But we figured, hey, if the vax represents the evil Ring of Power, that means that somewhere, perhaps in Joe Rogan's Homely House, a fellowship is being formed to fight the Dark Lord's vax.

Fortunately, the updated films about this can feature Ivermectin, since there are actual horses and everyone knows it's just horse dewormer.

I look forward to the epic showdown between mRNA tech and the natural immune system!

Poor Boromir tho...

Oh, let's not forget a character that represents brainwashed obsession!

Anyway, thank you for giving us the perfect analogy for what the vaccine, mandates, and other restrictions represent!