31 March 2018

Please Pray for Ireland!

Please, please pray with me that the outcome of the abortion referendum in Ireland will be NO.
Abortion is the greatest form of genocide because it is the genocide of complete innocents. This referendum is the enemy’s will, not God’s, and our prayers and fasting can and will, make the greatest difference in rising against it! Please pray this prayer daily with me! We can't sit back and do nothing for our God.

O Mother of Salvation, pray for your children in Ireland to prevent the wicked act of abortion from being inflicted upon them. Protect their holy nation from sinking deeper into despair from the darkness which covers their country. Rid them of the evil one who wants to destroy your children, yet to be born. Pray that those leaders will have the courage to listen to those who love your Son, so that they will follow the Teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

MediƦval Lenten Fasting Rules

I'm going to pin this to the top of the blog for the rest of the month, until Easter. Remember that Traditionally, Holy Saturday is a day of Fast and Abstinence!

And we think we have it tough! I abstain from meat every day in Lent that is not a Sunday or a I Class Feast. Also, even tho' I'm no longer bound to fast because of my age, I fast (using the 'modern', pre-Conciliar rules) on every Wednesday and Friday of Lent. I doubt I get much spiritual benefit from the fasting, however. Due to a wonky metabolism, I fast most other days of the year, as well. I'm not hungry in the morning, so I seldom eat breakfast. Since I'm a night person who sleeps into the late morning, breakfast and lunch tend to fall by the wayside. I eat a hearty supper, and then before bed, I have a light snack. Alas, the paucity of my meals seems to have no effect on my weight! šŸ˜„

From Dr Taylor Marshall

Medieval Lent was Harder than Islamic Ramadan

Ihave been told that medieval Christians would ridicule the Islamic season of fasting called Ramadan as weak, effeminate, and easy when compared to the austere Christian season of fasting during Lent or Quadragesima.
The Catholic Church has decreased the austerity of Lent over the centuries so much that Islamic Ramadan now appears as more challenging than Lent. Let’s take a look at Ramadan compared to Medieval Lent.

Rules for Islamic Ramadan:
  1. Duration? 29-30 days during the entire month of Ramadan.
  2. Fasting rules? Fasting completely from the break of dawn until sunset:
    1. food (zero calories and no food intake)
    2. drink (including water)
    3. sexual intercourse
    4. smoking

Rules for Medieval Quadragesima or “Lent”:

Nota bene: I’m using the standards of the Roman Church. The Eastern Churches have had various disciplines by jurisdiction. For this article, we are focusing only on the Roman rules. Perhaps we’ll study the Eastern fasting rules in a future post.
  1. Duration? 46 days. 40 Days plus 6 Sundays in the Roman Church.
  2. Fasting rules? Medieval Lenten rules (as described Saint Thomas Aquinas) were as follows:
    1. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday were black fasts: no food at all.
    2. No food from waking until 3pm (the hour when Christ died). This practice of fasting till 3pm goes back to the 5th century (see Socrates’ Church History V.22).
    3. No animal meat or fats (no lard).
    4. Fish was allowed. Click here to understand the theology of why fish was is allowed, but not meat.
    5. No eggs.
    6. No lacticinia or “dairy products”: milk, cheese, cream, and butter. However, Catholics of the British Isles before the arrival of Saint Augustine of Canterbury were still consuming dairy products and perhaps eggs during Lent. Roman influence brought this to an end.
    7. Wine and beer were allowed.
    8. Medieval Europeans during Lent subsisted on bread, vegetables, and salt.
    9. No sexual intercourse between spouses. Pagan kings were pretty pissed to learn about this after they married hot Catholic princesses.
    10. No Sundays off. All these rules apply for 46 days. The 6 Sundays in Lent were relaxed liturgically (less penitential), but the fasting and abstinence were not relaxed on Sundays.
    11. For the Good Friday black fast, many would begin fast from Maundy Thursday night till about noon on Saturday. The Easter Vigil was usually celebrated about noon on Saturday and this ended the Lenten fasting officially.
  3. Was it Changed?
    1. Breaking the no food fast before 3pm began to creep in as early as AD 800. The reason we English speakers call 12pm “noon” is because the liturgical recitation of nones (“ninth hour” or 3pm in Latin) was moved up by hungry monks more and more until nones(3pm) was celebrated as early as 12pm so that they could break fast and eat lunch!)
    2. In Germany, dispensations were given for consuming lacticinia or dairy products based on payment or performing good deeds. In honesty, wealthy people simply paid a fee to the diocese, and were allowed to serve and eat dairy in their homes during Lent. It was a popular “fundraising technique” by (German!) bishops.
    3. Dinner snacks were allowed at the time of reading Cassians book Collationes and so this snack became known as a “collation” – the term we still use today for a snack during fasting.
    4. With the advent of tea and coffee, it became allowable to have tea or coffee in the morning and this was considered as not violating the fast before nones.
    5. Over time, papal indults allowed meat on Sundays and then to other days of the week until only Friday remained “meatless.”
    6. Pope Paul VI’s 1966 Apostolic Constitution of Paenitemini changed Lenten practice to what it is today:
      1. No meat (only fish) allowed on Fridays in Lent.
      2. 1 meal and 2 collations (snacks) allowed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Ramadan vs Medieval Lent:

  1. Both have no food at all until 3pm (Catholic) or sundown (Muslim).
  2. Both have no sex allowed at all, but the Muslim is allowed at night.
  3. Only the Catholic is restricted on kinds of food (no meat, dairy, eggs), whereas the Muslim can eat steak every night.
  4. Muslims may not drink even water during the daylight, but Christians may.

Conclusion: Medieval Christians were Tough

For the Medieval Christian, he would have seen the chief difference between Lent and Ramadan as the Muslims having a “reset” every single night with refreshment with food and sex every 24 hours. Whereas the Christian had to wait until Easter. The Muslim had daily sprints. The Medieval Christian had a marathon that ended on Easter.
You can leave a comment by clicking here.
So could you do it? No sex, butter, or bacon for 46 days? No food daily till 3pm? Leave a comment and tell me what you think about this old Lenten rules. Is it good or bad that changed them?
You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Terry Schiavo, 3 December 1963-31 March 2005, R+I+P

It was on this day 13 years ago that Terry Schiavo was murdered by her husband, with the connivance of the State of Florida.

Bergoglio Crucifies Jesus All Over Again

From Vox Cantoris on the 'There is no hell' heresy being spouted by Francis.

Image result for nailing in jesus hands
As I wrote two days ago, it was my intention not to blog this week, particularly over the Sacred Triduum. My peace has been disturbed and has yours no doubt, by the man sitting on the Chair of Peter. "Don't let him disturb your peace," some will opine. To which I respond, "So, we should abandon Our Lord at His Cross, His new Calvary?"

We are not little children, we are not even Bergoglio's "yoots." We can take the truth, we can survive our disturbed peace to call out what is now clear to all, a heretic Pope named Jorge Bergoglio.

The comments attributed to Bergoglio by Eugenio Scalfari have been denied by the Vatican press experts. They state that he has not been "quoted" therefore, the comments have no basis in fact and should be dismissed.

Sorry, Greg. Sorry, George. Not good enough!

This is not the first time Bergoglio has made these comments about Hell to Scalfari and he has reported them. He continues to go back to this atheist communist like a dog to vomit. If he is trying to convert Scalfari, it is not working. Yet, this Bergoglio is not a stupid man, He is not a fool, he is not suffering from dementia. He is a manipulative, calculating, spiteful, deceitful, vindictive malefactor who has been thrust on the Seat of Peter by evil men and inept Cardinals.

The fact that those Cardinals who have a reported "buyers remorse" sit by whilst this boil on the papal seat continues without rebuke is to their own damnation.

This scandal by Bergoglio, that no Hell exists, has made the global media. Just this morning on Twitter, I have seen it on Fox, the Wall Street Journal and even, Rush Limbaugh. It is the same worldwide.

The fact that this man has done this in Holy Week shows his arrogance, egoism and diabolical narcissism. He cannot let Our Lord Jesus Christ outrank him. Some will say, "Ignore him, you are doing the work of the devil by focussing off of him." To those who do, I say, "You are the real Pharisees. you do the work of Satan, your father. If you lost a dollar on the Sabbath, would you not search for it? Would you not go to the peripheries to search for the lost sheep leaving the ninety-nine behind?"

Greg Burke can issue all the statements he wants. Bergoglio's toadies and butt-kissing sycophants in the media and Church can spin all they want, it is not good enough.

Nothing less than Bergoglio publicly stating that Scalfari did not quote him correctly and that he affirms the Catholic and Biblical truth of Hell is good enough.

Until he does that, then we have no choice to believe that Scalfari's report is correct.

There have been many occasions before but it must now be positively obvious to everyone. Jorge Bergoglio, Bishop of Rome, is a formal heretic.

He may have the legal office of Pope, but he no longer has the Grace of Office and must be treated as such.

In his pride, his arrogance he has engaged in a massive overreach. He has been "found wanting."

Cardinals, Bishops, do your duty.

Food For Thought

Chevalier Charles Coulombe on Living the Liturgical Seasons

The Chevalier discusses living the rhythm of the Liturgical Year. For those who want a more in-depth knowledge, Dom Prosper GuĆ©ranger's multi-volume, The Liturgical Year is invaluable. For those who want a shorter account, Fr Francis X. Weiser, S.J.'s Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs is very good. Fr Weiser also wrote other books about the customs of specific holidays, including The Holyday Book, The Christmas Book, and The Easter Book

Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Our King Enthroned

By Braden N. Plyler, Marshall of The Counter-Revolution, an organisation of which I'm very proud to be a member. I am the 'old man' of the group, since most of my fellows are lads in their twenties!

From The Counter Revolution

Long ago, our enemies thought they had finally conquered Him - the Divine within a Bodily veil. He corrected them, and they beat Him. He showed them the Truth, and they rent apart His Holy Face. Like Paul, those who cried out for His crucifixion did not have the reality of their torture revealed to them until later.
They didn't realize they were truly honoring the King as it was foretold. He was welcomed when they assumed He would serve Earthly desires, and rejected when He surrendered Himself to His Father's Will.

This is not a time of defeat, brother Christians. Though the world around us calls for His crucifixion again and again, they forget that his torture was his true coronation.

We do not long for kings and lords which work for their own will, as those who crucified Him did, but the Will of the Father. We do not aim for hierarchy which preserves only itself, but a mirror and reflection of Heaven. We do not want comfort - but struggle against Flesh and Blood until we meet our Eternal Reward which only awaits our eternal souls.

Each time man thinks he tramples Christ and His Bride, the Church, they fall into their own trap. For Our Lord was enthroned upon the Cross, publicly scourged, and anointed by His Blood and common wine. He was crowned by thorns and suffering, not material wealth.

Thus must we look always to the Cross and not to the glories of this world - for this glory only delights the soul as much as it reflects the true divine and eternal Light. We should not look for order for the sake of  the material, for the sake of temporal power, or the maintaining of the status quo; rather, to put ourselves closer to that order which exists in Heaven. This order only comes from the Logos, Our Lord the Incarnate Word, and how it reflects God's creation of the world.

As this this order comes only from the Word, so too does legitimate power -- as Our Lord told Pilate "my power comes from the Lord". We should not look to popularity, or might, or emotional manipulation, but always above and to the Cross as the principle of legitimacy.

Therein it is assured; all people, all nations, and all governments will fail unless they look to Our Lord crucified. Not only as our Savior, but as a model of virtue, of service, and surrender to the Will of the Father. We would do well, then, to dwell upon Our King who promised to dwell with us until the end as Our Eucharistic King, and as King of the Universe. He holds every right and presses upon us every duty He desires; He offers as much grace as we need to fulfill His call.

As a people working to form a Catholic and legitimate society, we must allow Christ the King and His Church to exercise every right necessary; to impose upon us every task deemed prudent for Her defense, and mold ourselves more perfectly to model of His Humanity, to the purity of Our Blessed Mother, and the virtue of his holy foster-father Joseph. All of time looks to the Cross - all souls born before his Suffering yearned for His Sacrifice. Ought now we look back, to contemplate and meditate upon it, upon this great turning point which saved us from the original sin of Eden. So too should every aspect of our world look to Our Lord, crucified, Enthroned, Crowned, and giving all of Himself up for us to truly strive for holiness and perfection.

All must only see and strive for the reflections of the divine in our lives, in suffering and prosperity, in sickness and health. We must model our lives on virtue, our families on the Holy Family, and our governments as mirrors of Heaven. All virtue, all truth, and all beauty comes from throwing ourselves at the foot of Our Lord's Cross.

For the more we look to the true coronation of Our Lord, the greater the triumph we see when Death and Hell have been conquered, His Resurrection, and eventual return to restore all things to Him. 

A Question and Answer Session With an Americanist Papolater, by Jack Seney

This was written by a Facebook friend of mine. It is so good that I asked for, and graciously received, permission to post it. Thanks, Jack!

I'm in the mood for a question and answer session with an imaginary American Pope Francis loyalist-in-all-things, so I'll frame his questions in quotes and then give my answers. Here we go:
Q. "Don't you know how people elsewhere in the world suffer in poverty?! Don't you see how lucky you are to be an American?! How dare you criticize this country from your traditional Catholic point of view?!"
A. America can take back anything that it has ever "given" me, keep anything that it ever will "give" me, and leave me to die in the street, if only it will stop murdering babies in the abortion genocide. Many of the people who suffer extreme povery in the world do so in countries that do NOT mass-murder babies by abortion, and many of their people would agree with me. America's shibboleths about how wonderful she is are not going to cut it anymore, not after the genocide of 50 million innocents and counting by abortion.
Q. "But America gives you the right to protest these things! Why aren't you grateful for that?!"
A. Oh really? The American mass media allows much talk about abortion that does not support "pro-choice" causes? The media here give the same coverage to large anti-abortion demonstrations that they do to "women's rights" and "anti-gun" marches? Baloney! God gives us the ability to protest evil and there are enough millions of us doing so that America has not yet directly tried to stop us. But indirectly the government does everything in its power to stop us, including through its unholy marriage with the mass media.
Q. "The Novus Ordo Mass has reached out to countless people who couldn't relate to the Catholic Church! What is your problem that you rarely attend it, and go out of your way to attend the Traditional Latin Mass?!"
A. Your own statement shows that one goes out of one's way to attend the Traditional Latin Mass. What you should be asking is what it is about that Mass that has the power to draw people to do so who knew nothing of it and did not grow up in it. And what it is about the Novus Ordo that its mission of "bringing everyone in" has generally had an exact opposite effect according to all available statistics.
Q. "What is your problem with being accepting of people like homosexuals?! Didn't Christ sit and eat with sinners in defiance of the Pharisees?! Shouldn't you follow Pope Francis in doing the same?! Who do you think you are?!"
A. Christ ate with sinners with the goal of converting them. After saving numerous people in the gospels from sin, He told them to sin no more. He also warned that continuous sin would mean even worse consequences. Does anyone tell this to homosexuals and other pervasive sinners today? Are there many modern homosexuals who are prepared to sin no more? Or even make the effort? Does Pope Francis tell them to stop sinning, or just "reach out" to them and "try to be inclusive"? Or even worse mix the message and make them think they can be good Catholics and simultaneous active homosexuals? Having said all that, I believe homosexuals and others should be ministered to, but not in the liberal way that has become the norm.
Q. "But Pope Francis is as orthodox as anyone and we have his public statements to prove it! He is pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family! Isn't your real problem that he questions the capitalist economic powers of the world and is on the side of the poor?!"
A. To the contrary, I question Wall Street more than he does. In fact in the final analysis I think Francis believes in the world economic system, whereas I do not, not on the capitalist nor socialist nor any other side. As for his values, I used to say such things about Francis as well back when I was defending him, as I did for nearly two years after he became Pope. But the confusion he has created by saying something pro-life one day, then removing all the strong pro-lifers from important Vatican panels the next, became too much at last. Actions speak louder than words. Incident after incident like the above combined with his dubious-at-best Amoris Laetitia controversy which Francis himself apparently cannot defend, combined even further with all sorts of clashes caused by nothing but Francis' actions, are what have finally led me to the suspicion that we have a bad pope, which anyone who reads Catholic history knows is not so unusual and which we will survive because the survival does not depend on us, but on the eternal God.
As for the poor - of whom my income is low enough that I might be counted among them as one of the working poor - the Church has always helped them and always will. Even under the "richest" popes and Vaticans this has been the case. Francis is not doing anything so wonderfully different or new by putting on a dramatic and sentimental show of washing people's feet and talking to "homeless" people who like to live off handouts as "free vagabonds" and don't like paying rent or going to work. Saint Paul said that the man who refuses to work should not be allowed to eat! But the namby-pamby "Oh let's feed everyone including the bums" ethos of the modern Church is far from such discipline and suffers accordingly.
Meanwhile, all of the Francis "tender love and gentle caring" goes right out the window when dealing with those who dare to question Amoris Laetitia. Questioning it is entirely legitimate given that Cardinals in good standing are doing it within Church guidelines. But Francis minions threaten to shut down conservative-leaning and Amoris-doubting EWTN or have Ray Arroyo fired from there, which is just one example of their temper tantrums.
I pray for Pope Francis that he will drop his confused apparent attempts at "big changes" and "evolution" and simply be the Shepherd of the Church. Shepherds do not worry about changing this or that, but live in the world under God and do what is best for the flock, without doing anything to confuse or mislead them as this cannot possibly be good for their safety. If Pope Francis is having trouble managing this, then he should perhaps become the first one to take his own advice of a few years ago, and make self-retiring popes a more common thing.

The Man They Still Hate

Joseph Sobran (R+I+P) was a Counter-Revolutionary, Traditionalist Catholic writer, whose work I loved to read. One of the proudest moments of my life was when I was asked to write for a review, and was told that they wanted the 'heavy hitters, like Sobran and I!

This was written almost 20 years ago, but it's a fresh now as when Joe wrote it.

From LewRockwell.com

The Man They Still Hate
By Joe Sobran

The world has long since forgiven Julius Caesar. Nobody today finds Socrates or Cicero irritating. Few of us resent Alexander the Great or his tutor, Aristotle.

No, only one man in the ancient world is still hated after two millennia: Jesus Christ.

This does not in itself prove the divinity of Christ, but it does show that his words and example haven’t dated. They still have an amazing power to provoke hatred as well as adoration.

Of course the hatred of Christ usually pretends to be directed at side targets: St. Paul, the “institutional” Church, or, more vaguely, “organized religion” (as if religion would be all right if only it were a solitary activity). The clichĆ© of the Christ-haters, including many “liberal” theologians, is that he was a “great moral teacher” who “never claimed divinity,” but that his “simple message of love” was “corrupted” by his followers.

But why would anyone want a man crucified for preaching an innocuous message of benevolence? Jesus was accused of blasphemy for equating himself with the Father: “I and the Father are one.” “No man comes to the Father but by me.” And if his claim were untrue, the charge of blasphemy would be fully justified.

People not only saw him after the Resurrection, many of them died under torture to bear witness to him. The martyrs were the principal human “media” of Christianity in its infancy, deeply impressing and finally converting others. Christ was “revealed” to the ancient world in the courageous love of his best disciples.

Other “media” included the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as the epistles of Paul and other apostles. Each Gospel views Jesus from a slightly different angle, but all four of them (along with the epistles) portray the same recognizable man. As Thomas Cahill notes in his book Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), this “makes Jesus a unique figure in world literature: never have so many writers managed to convey the same impression of the same human being over and over again.”

Moreover, these writers weren’t polished professionals or literary geniuses. Yet they achieved something beyond the powers of such titans as Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton: they depicted a character who exudes holiness.

The Eternally Unfashionable

Cahill goes on: “What especially makes the Gospels — from a literary point of view — works like no others is that they are about a good human being. As every writer knows, such a creature is all but impossible to capture on the page, and there are exceedingly few figures in all of literature who are both good and memorable.” The Gospel writers thus “succeeded where almost all others failed. To a writer’s eyes, this feat is a miracle just a little short of raising the dead.”

Amen! In the epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, for example, Milton notoriously made Satan more vivid than God and Christ. This led the poet William Blake to remark that Milton “was of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” Be that as it may, world literature boasts many convincing villains but few convincing saints. And no literary saint has ever spoken words with the lasting impact of Jesus’ teachings.

To a writer’s eyes, as Cahill might say, the sheer power of Jesus’ sayings (which the poet Tennyson called “his greatest miracle”) are almost enough to prove his claim. Physical miracles might be feigned, but not these verbal miracles. Yet he apparently never wrote them down; he spoke them, often off the cuff, trusting them to “carry” by their inherent power.

Most writers are flattered if their words are remembered at all. But the spiritually demanding words of Jesus — which condemn even looking at a woman with lust — are still carried in the hearts of millions after 2000 years, even though we know them only in translations from translations. (Jesus spoke Aramaic, but the Gospels are written in Greek.)

Even conveyed to us so indirectly, those words have “carried” like no others in all history, because so many people have found them true and compelling. The durability of those words is all the more striking when you consider that they are always out of fashion, as the secular world goes through its successive fads and crazes.

Jesus is Lord!

Today is Holy Saturday

Today, until the Vigil Mass of Easter this evening, is one of the saddest days in the Liturgical Calendar, surpassed only by yesterday when we celebrated the Passion of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour. It is on this day that we remember His Descent into Hell as we say in both the Apostles' and Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creeds. He Descended into that region of hell known as the Limbus Patrum or Limbo of the Fathers, where the souls of the just reposed. These were the souls of all those who had lived just lives, worthy of salvation, before the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Blessed Redeemer.

One of my all-time favourite poems deals with this. It is 'Limbo', by Sister Mary Ada. I have posted it since it is very appropriate for today.

On this day, Our Blessed Mother was truly Our Lady of Sorrows, and the Apostles and other Disciples of Our Lord sorrowed with Her. Can you imagine hoe abandoned they must have felt?

As I noted yesterday, only the Sacraments of Baptism (in danger of death) and Penance are licitly celebrated today. Holy Mass is not celebrated on this day until the Vigil Mass of Easter, which under Paschalis Sollemnitatis, On The Preparation an Celebration of Easter, given by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship on 16 January 1988, starts after night-fall.
1. The Meaning Of The Nocturnal Character Of The Easter Vigil
78. "The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night. It should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on Sunday." This rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense. Reprehensible are those abuses and practices which have crept into many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday Masses.
Those reasons which have been advanced in some quarters for the anticipation of the Easter Vigil, such as lack of public order, are not put forward in connection with Christmas night, nor other gatherings of various kinds.
In the Eastern traditions, the great Vigil Liturgy of Easter begins with a procession round the Church 'looking for the dead Christ', a very moving experience. In one Eastern Parish to which I belonged, the Church was on the top of a steep hill. The back of the Church was built almost to the edge of a steep drop of around 20 feet. The procession became an occasion of physical danger for the participants because it was easy to misstep in the dark, especially if one was a banner-bearer!

Tonight, after attending the glorious and joyous Vigil Mass, I will return home to my traditional Easter dinner of kubasa, sauerkraut, and potatoes. Since it's not worth the work of making a paskha just for myself, dessert will be a cheesecake. When I was Orthodox, I attended Divine Liturgy in a Slavic enclave in Kansas City, KS. On Holy Saturday, you could smell the kubasa and kraut cooking all over Strawberry Hill in the afternoon, as families prepared the Easter feast for when they returned from the Vigil.

But, if you desire to be totally Slavic and traditional, here is a recipe for paskha.

One of My Favourite Poems

One of my two, all time favourite poems. To this day, I can't read it without tearing up. It seems especially appropriate for today, Holy Saturday, since it was then that Our Lord descended to Hell and freed the just who had died before His Crucifixion.

AVILA, SPAIN, The Resurrected Christ in Limbo with 
Adam and Eve and the Patriarchs, on the main altar of 
Catedral de Cristo Salvador by Pedro Berruguete (1499).

The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”
A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
they wondered if they dreamed-
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.
And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?
A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.
And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.
No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue-
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is your Mother,
How is your Mother, Son?”
-Sister Mary Ada
The Reign Of Mary -Vol. XXV, No 76
Christ's Descent into Limbo by Jacopo Bellini, 
15th century, Museo Civico, Padua, Italy


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 31 MARCH – HOLY SATURDAY: Dom Prosper GuĆ©ranger: A night has passed over the tomb in which lies buried the body of the Man-God. Death is triumphant in that ...

31 March, A Chesterton Calendar

MARCH 31st

As Mr. Blatchford says, ‘The world does not want piety, but soap— and Socialism.’ Piety is one of the popular virtues, whereas soap and Socialism are two hobbies of the upper middle class.

‘What’s Wrong with the World.’

Chesterton, G. K.. The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books] (Kindle Locations 43877-43881). Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.

1 April, The Roman Martyrology

The Martyrology is not read today, since it is Holy Saturday, but if it were not, the following would be read.

April 1st anno Domini 2018 The 15th Day of Moon were born into the better life: 

At Rome, the passion of St. Theodora, sister of the illustrious martyr Hermes, who underwent martyrdom in the time of the emperor Adrian, under the judge Aurelian, and was buried by the side of her brother, on the Salarian road, a short distance from the city.

The same day, St. Venantius, bishop and martyr.

In Egypt, the holy martyrs Victor and Stephen.

In Armenia, the holy martyrs Quinctian and Irenaeus.

At Constantinople, under the emperor Leo, St. Macarius, confessor, who ended his life in exile for the defense of the honour paid to sacred images.

At Grenoble, the bishop St. Hugh, who spent many years of his life in solitude, and departed for Heaven, with a reputation for miracles.

At Amiens, the abbot St. Valery, whose tomb is made illustrious by frequent miracles.

V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God.

Memes of the Day

30 March 2018

Keeping the Faith Alive In the Most Remote Parish on Earth

A heartwarming story of the Faith of one devout Irishwoman and what it did. Grannie Aggie, pray for us!

When numbers fell, islanders responded by building 
a bigger church (Abbot Hugh Allan)

Life on the island of Tristan da Cunha began with Napoleon. Today, it is sustained by faith
The main island of Tristan da Cunha prides itself on being the most remote inhabited island in the world. It takes up to two weeks to get there by sea from South Africa.
This gives the Catholic parish of St Joseph’s a claim to being the most remote parish on earth. It was thanks to Napoleon that life on the island began. When the defeated emperor was exiled to St Helena, the British sent a garrison to Tristan da Cunha as a precaution against a French attempt to liberate him. Pretty soon the government realised that the French weren’t coming, and even if they were, Tristan da Cunha was so far away that they certainly wouldn’t come from there. So the garrison was withdrawn. Some of the men stationed there sought leave to remain on the island, and thus the little settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas was born.
The Catholic community on the island began with the arrival of a remarkable woman from Mullingar called Agnes Rogers, remembered today by islanders as Granny Aggie. She came to work as housekeeper for the island’s administrator. This devout soul was horrified to find no Catholic church and no sign of a priest ever having visited the island.
She came under enormous pressure to renounce her faith and simply conform to the majority religious practice. She refused and was treated appallingly by the authorities. The prejudice was such that, when food was scarce, she was even denied rations. Eventually, her stubborn love of her faith wore down the opposition and she established a small chapel in her home. The parish was born.
In 1932, Fr LH Barry was the first Catholic priest to visit Tristan (he was Catholic chaplain on HMS Carlisle). Aggie hadn’t seen a priest for 23 years. He reported that “She heard Mass and went to the Sacraments, and her joy was great and touching to see.” The next recorded visit of a priest was in 1955. He wrote: “On Tristan da Cunha, the world’s loneliest island, I heard the first Confession of children too young to remember what a priest looks like. They were better prepared than many of the children who live within sight of city churches.
“ ‘Did they do all right?’ Agnes Rogers anxiously asked me.
“‘Yes, Grannie Aggie – God bless you – they did splendidly!’
“Agnes has lived most of her life beyond the reach of priest and sacrament.
Nevertheless, Sunday after Sunday, she tries, humbly, to instil into her kin something of her own simple greatness.”
We are now preparing to set Granny Aggie on the path to canonisation, but for the islanders she is a saint already.
Today the parish is cared for by three catechists, all descendants of Granny Aggie. A priest visits once a year, normally in September. This year, however, I visited the parish in January and February. This meant sailing on the good ship Edinburgh, a “fish factory” that can carry 12 passengers wishing to visit the island. The accommodation on this working vessel is small and basic. Getting into my small berth each night was quite a challenge, as I am not exactly petite. And as for the South Atlantic swells, I can assure you that they are anything but swell. The voyage was so bad that I’m pretty sure the captain was considering throwing me overboard, like Jonah. But thankfully we made it.
Tristan da Cunha has a population of 263, just over a third of whom are Catholics. This may seem a small number to travel such great distances to visit, but the kindness and deep faith of the islanders made the long voyage well worthwhile.
The island’s motto is “Our faith is our strength”. A shining example of this strong faith is the building of their new church in the 1990s. It was a time when the prolonged absence of a priest and other pressures had led to a fall in church attendance. The remaining faithful decided to pray a novena together asking the Lord to bring their families and friends back to the Church. Having done this, they reckoned that when God had answered their prayers they would need a bigger church. So they set about constructing a larger one. Sure enough, numbers increased and the new church was filled.
The islanders’ kindness is evident above all in their care for the elderly, who are loved, respected and looked after. When I visited the oldest islander (aged 102) she was so delighted to see a priest that she put her teeth in for the occasion.
It is a great privilege to be responsible for the spiritual welfare and needs of this isolated parish community. This island has a lot to teach us, including the need to slow down and take life as a gift; care and concern for each other’s welfare; and, above all, contentment with the life they have. Like anywhere, there are problems and worries, but for islanders the faith really is their strength.
Abbot Hugh Allan O.Praem is apostolic administrator of the Falkland Islands and the superior of the ecclesial mission sui juris of St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Island