11 February 2016

The Doctor of Charity, on Death

O Jesus, from this moment I wish to employ all my powers in accepting all the circumstances and pains of my death; from this moment I desire to accept death in the place, hour, and manner in which it may please You to send it. I know very well that I must suffer and be ground by the teeth of tribulations, sorrows, privations, desolations, and sufferings in order to become bread worthy to serve at Your celestial banquet, O Christ, on the day of the general resurrection. I well know that if the grain of wheat does not fall into the ground and die, it brings forth no fruit; therefore, with all my heart, I accept the annihilation of death in order to become a new man, no longer mortal and corruptible, but immortal and glorious.

--St. Francis de Sales

10 February 2016

New Hampshire and the Populist Wave

Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com has an insightful piece on the results out of New Hampshire.

An Interesting Remark from Pope Francis to Begin Lent: Did the Pope Just Revive Teaching against Usury?

Rome Reports has a story on the Pope's remarks to begin Lent. The style and substance of these remarks is consistent with His Holiness' past statements, but I noticed one little wrinkle that I hope gets amplified by the press:


"And often, in desperation, many men end in suicide because they fail and don't have hope. They don't find a helping hand but a hand that asks them to pay interest. The biblical message is clear: open up courageously and share. This is mercy. And if we want God to be merciful to us it must come from us first.”

Usury is typically defined these days as the charging of excessive interest on loans. But it wasn't always seen that way by the Church. She forbade lending at any interest. The Mohammedans still adhere to this principle, which in effect causes profit without work. A most appropriate reflection on Ash Wednesday, recalling the expulsion from Eden and the curse to man of having to work by the sweat of his brow to gain the fruits of the earth.

Pope Francis didn't say the desperate man received a hand that asks for "excessive or heavy" interest. He said a hand that asks for "interest". The giving he is asking for is precisely that giving in charity and love on the part of Christians, and not a system of institutionalized redistribution founded on the lending of money at interest.

Whether or not His Holiness even realizes it, this giving courageously-- without interest-- is the system of a Catholic society, the kind the Henry VIIIs of the world seek to replace with the state usurping the Role of Church and charities.

Isn't that that society we want to have?

I wonder how bankers feel about interest-bass lending being criticized by the pope?

Ash Wednesday

A blessed and spiritually profitable Quadragesima to you all.

09 February 2016

Revolution and Counterrevolution in France

Sorry, but I can sympathize with a political movement that invokes St. Joan of Arc and irritates ISIS.

Shrive Yourself to Confession

Then you'll be shriven.

Be careful out there with the snow.  Don't drink and shrive.

Remember that movie where Jessica Tandy confessed all her problems to Morgan Freeman?  You know, Shriving Miss Daisy

Sorry.  Pre-Lenten dementia.

It's Shrove Tuesday.  IHOP day, or, Original Pancake House day, if you're loaded.

Get 'er going.

07 February 2016

Preparing, Prepared

By Henry Timrod

Calm as that second summer which precedes
The first fall of the snow,
In the broad sunlight of heroic deeds,
The City bides the foe.

As yet, behind their ramparts stern and proud,
Her bolted thunders sleep—
Dark Sumter, like a battlemented cloud,
Looms o’er the solemn deep.

No Calpe frowns from lofty cliff or scar
To guard the holy strand;
But Moultrie holds in leash her dogs of war
Above the level sand.

And down the dunes a thousand guns lie couched,
Unseen, beside the flood—
Like tigers in some Orient jungle crouched
That wait and watch for blood.

Meanwhile, through streets still echoing with trade,
Walk grave and thoughtful men,
Whose hands may one day wield the patriot’s blade
As lightly as the pen.

And maidens, with such eyes as would grow dim
Over a bleeding hound,
Seem each one to have caught the strength of him
Whose sword she sadly bound.

Thus girt without and garrisoned at home,
Day patient following day,
Old Charleston looks from roof, and spire, and dome,
Across her tranquil bay.

Ships, through a hundred foes, from Saxon lands
And spicy Indian ports,
Bring Saxon steel and iron to her hands,
And summer to her courts.

But still, along you dim Atlantic line,
The only hostile smoke
Creeps like a harmless mist above the brine,
From some frail, floating oak.

Shall the spring dawn, and she still clad in smiles,
And with an unscathed brow,
Rest in the strong arms of her palm-crowned isles,
As fair and free as now?

We know not; in the temple of the Fates
God has inscribed her doom;
And, all untroubled in her faith, she waits
The triumph or the tomb

04 February 2016

Fr. James Rodis, Requiescat in Pace

I wanted to post news of this as soon as possible, so check back here later for a link to an official obituary or biography.   (Funeral and visitation details here)

Fr. James Rodis passed away this morning, February 4, 2016, the Feast of St. Andrew Corsini.  Those St. Louisans attached to the traditional Mass will know him as the Pastor of St. Agatha Parish until 2005.  He performed much good service to the traditional Catholic community and was the clerical force behind the regular celebration of the TLM here from 1984 until other traditional Mass communities began to arrive in St. Louis in 2005.  Even after this, Fr. Rodis continued until his last illness to celebrate the Mass at Little Flower Parish.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua
luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Remember, I Get 30%

With all of the recent talk about actors playing the Pope, and the Pope playing an actor, there is one sure-fire hit that keeps coming to my mind.

What better way to capitalize on the popularity of the Pope and the insatiable desire of the homebound and unemployed to digest TV reality-courts than to lure "Judge Judy", Judith Sheindlin, over to a higher court-- the Vatican?

This show, to which I'll give the working title "Who am I to Judge Judy?", involves the irascible TV jurist settling disputes among Curia officials, reviewing decrees of nullity, and adjudicating slip-and-fall cases brought by the homeless people now inhabiting the colonnade edging St. Peter's Square.  Cardinal Maradiaga can be the bailiff, and Fr. Lombardo can interview the parties after each trial.

Pure gold, Jerry! 

Who am I to Judge Judy?: A Nostra Aetate production.