Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust

MU330, "Hang Tuff Hold Tight" from Chumps on Parade (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: The intentional misspelling of tough as "tuff" notwithstanding, the title needs a comma & thus should be "Hang Tuff, Hold Tight." Alternately, "Hang Tuff! Hold Tight!"

I espy the hand of Providence in today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D., specifically in its timing. I originally chose "Hang Tuff Holt Tight" to be Tuesday's SKAugust R.B.D.S.O.T.D., before the back-to-back inspirations to choose "Dr. D." & "Bad in Plaid." Unbeknownst to me when these decisions were being made, a time when Thursday looked like a light day, a day of most welcome respite from all my recent extraordinary exertions (atop & in addition to all my ordinary exertions), today is turning out to be diabolically difficult. I'm on the verge here. I needed to hear a message to hang tough & hold tight. I am in continuing need of taking that message to heart.
"When I look down,
I sometimes see the ground.
(Hang tough! Hold tight!)
I try to hold on,
But the van keeps spinning around.

"(Hang tough! Hold tight!)
The ride's not over yet,
(Hang tough! Hold tight!)
The ride's not over yet…"

Bonus! Song o' the Day: Requiescat In Pace


Aretha Franklin, "Think" from The Blues Brothers Original Soundtrack Recording (The Last Angry Blues Brother)

Commentary: In memoriam Aretha Franklin, 25 March 1942-16 August 2018.

Saints + Scripture

Better Late than Never | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "The Last Chapter"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Stephen of Hungary (circa 969-1038, King Stephen I, also spelt István, Štefan; A.K.A. Vajk): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Husband of Bl. Gisela of Hungary [7 May] & with her father of St. Emeric of Hungary [4 November].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
To give God the glory for his success, Stephen built near the site of a battle a monastery dedicated to St. Martin [of Tours, 11 November], called the Holy Hill, & bestowed on it extensive lands, as well as one third of the spoils of victory. It is the mother house of all Benedictine congregations in Hungary. Stephen now followed up his plans by inviting priests & monks to come from Germany, France, & Italy.
Wikipedia-link Abbey


'Tis also the festival of Saint Armel, Abbot (died circa 570, also spelt Arthfael), founder of monasteries at Plouarzel & Saint-Armel: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Roch, Confessor, T.O.S.F. (circa 1295-1327; also spelt Rocco, Roque, etc.): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi, Priest, O.Carm. (1377-1438): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter twelve, verses one thru twelve;
Psalm Seventy-eight, verses fifty-six & fifty-seven, fifty-eight & fifty-nine, & sixty-one & sixty-two;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eighteen, verse twenty-one thru chapter nineteen, verse one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel today focuses on the gift of forgiveness. This is such an anchor of the New Testament and so central to Jesus’ ministry and preaching. When it comes to the offenses that we have received from others, we are, all of us, great avatars of justice. We will remember every insult, every snub, and every shortcoming when it comes to our being hurt by others. That’s why forgiving even once or twice is so difficult.

Forgiving seven times, as Peter suggests, is beyond the pale. Yet Jesus says to him, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." In other words, forgive constantly, relentlessly, and without calculation. Your whole life must become an act of forgiveness.

And this is why Jesus tells the parable in today’s Gospel. The man who had been forgiven so much should, at the very least, show forgiveness to the one who owed him so much less.

Here is the spiritual heart of the matter: whatever anyone owes you (in strict justice) is infinitely less than what God has graciously given to you; the divine forgiveness of you is infinitely greater than any forgiveness you might be called upon to offer.

Becoming an instrument of God’s life, grace, forgiveness, and peace is what it is all about. Allow to flow through you what has been poured into you—that is the whole story.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Stephen of Hungary
The Book of Deuteronomy, chapter six, verses three thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Twelve, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-five, verses fourteen thru thirty
(or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-five, verses fourteen thru twenty-three).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The outpouring of the Spirit in our hearts brings about a change that is slow & hard won, but certain. It is a change that leads to the formation of the new person. In this way, 'we all attain to the unity of the faith & knowledge of the Son of God' (Eph, 4:13)."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I will scatter flowers, perfuming the Divine Throne, & I'll sweetly sing my hymn of love."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' the Day
"Mathematics is the alphabet with which God wrote the world."
—Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Saints + Scripture: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary

'Tis the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Madonna-link ūna, Madonna-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into heaven at the end of her earthly life.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Vigil
The First Book of Chronicles, chapter fifteen, verses three, four, fifteen, & sixteen & chapter sixteen, verses one & two;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-two, verses six & seven, nine & ten, & thirteen & fourteen;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verses fifty-four(b) thru fifty-seven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eleven, verses twenty-seven & twenty-eight.

Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Day
The Book of Revelation, chapter eleven, verse nineteen(a) & chapter twelve, verses one thru six(a) & ten(a/b);
Psalm Forty-five, verses ten, eleven, twelve, & sixteen;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verses twenty thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses thirty-nine thru fifty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her great Magnificat, Mary is the new Isaiah and the new Jeremiah and the new Ezekiel, for she announces with greatest clarity and joy the coming of the Messiah.

What was only vaguely foreseen in those great prophetic figures is now in clear focus: “He has shown the strength of his arm; he has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel, for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” There is nothing stronger or more beautiful in any of the prophets.

Mary is the true Israel, and she knows what to do and how to do it with enthusiasm. No dawdling, backpedaling, straying, or complaining: she moves, she goes. And she goes upon the heights (the “hill country” that Luke describes), which is exactly where God had always summoned Israel, so that it could be a light to the nations.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bible Study—Pauline Epistles
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter two (verses one thru thirty);
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter three (verses one thru twenty-one).

Commentary: III. Instructions for the Community (cont'd): Please for Unity & Humility (2:1-11) & Obedience & Service in the World (2:12-18); IV. Travel Plans of Paul & His Assistants: Timothy & Paul (2:19-24), Epaphroditus (2:25-30), & Concluding Admonitions (3:1); & V. Polemic: Righteousness & the Goal in Christ: Against Legalistic Teachers (3:2-4a), Paul's Autobiography (3:4b-6), Righteousness from God (3:7-11), Forward in Christ (3:12-16), & Wrong Conduct & Our Goal (3:17-21).

Proverb o' the Day (Proverbs, 3:5-6)
Trust in the LORD will all your heart,
on your own intelligence rely not;
In all your ways be mindful of Him,
and He will make straight your paths.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Tarcisius, Martyr (floruit third century), martyred by a pagan mob while defending the Blessed Sacrament: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Altfrid of Hildesheim, Bishop, O.S.B. (died 874, also spelt Alfred), founder of Essen Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Religious, S.J. (1550-1568): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Worshipping is stripping ourselves of our idols, even the most hidden ones, & choosing the Lord as the center, as the highway of our lives."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"O sweetest Star of Heaven! O Virgin, spotless, blest, shining with Jesus's light, guiding to Him my way! Mother! beneath your veil let my tired spirit rest, for this brief passing day!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"On this feast of the glorious Assumption of Mary we celebrate the glorification of her immaculate soul & of her virginal body, of her perfect conformity to the risen Christ. This is the same glorification & destiny of those whom Christ made His brothers & sisters."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Bad in Plaid" from More Noise and Other Disturbances (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: 'Tis gratifying to recall that even after all these years, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are still bad in plaid.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Dr. D" from More Noise and Other Disturbances (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Even legends such as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have to start somewhere. "Dr. D" recalls their early years rehearsing, honing their craft in the home of the parents of original drummer Josh Dalsimer.
"Waaaah! What are these noises?

"We're sending this one out to a beautiful, beautiful human being.

"Noise, noise, noise from down below,
And it's coming from the basement,
It's underneath the house now,
And it's rocking the foundation.
It's a noise we love to make,
And for years we have been making;
While Doctor D watches T.V.
His house is fucking shaking.

"He lets us practice in his place (In his place!),
He's got a wife with a pretty face (Pretty face!),
Takes vacation, owns property (Dr. D!),
Dr. Dalsimer, Dr. D.!

"In the daytime what's he doing?
Upstairs in the attic
He's saving lives from ruin
And sorting through the static,
He puts back together
Brains, I guess they're broken,
Bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, bip,
Man, I'm not fucking joking!

"He lets us practice in his place (In his place!),
He's got a wife with a pretty face (Pretty face!),
Takes vacation, owns property (Dr. D!),
Dr. Dalsimer, Dr. D.!

"Waaaah! What are these noises?
Waaaah! What are these noises?

"Nice!
Nice!

"Nice, nice, nice neighborhood,
A nice place to raise the kids,
They're tough things to obtain
But Dr. D., he did.
Worked hard to take it easy,
Worked hard and wasn't lazy,
Guitars, drums, tones, saxophones;
He must be fucking crazy!

"He lets us practice in his place (In his place!),
He's got a wife with a pretty face (Pretty face!),
Takes vacation, owns property (Dr. D!),
Dr. Dalsimer, Dr. D.!

"Waaaah! What are these noises?
Waaaah! What are these noises?"

Saints + Scripture

Better Late than Never | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club Bonus: "Uncle Mike"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. Conv. (1894-1941, the "Apostle of Consecration to Mary;" A.K.A. Raimund Kolbe), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment!, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
A Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the [Nazi] death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Eusebius of Rome, Priest (died circa 357), persecuted in the reign of the Roman emperor Constantius II for opposing the Arian heresy; on the site of his house stands the titular church of Sant'Eusebio: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Heresy & Wikipedia-link Sant'Eusebio.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Antonio Primaldo & Companions, Martyrs (died 1480, A.K.A. the Martyrs of Otranto), martyred for refusing to convert to Islam in the reign of the Ottoman emperor Mehmed II the Conqueror: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link Otranto.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Aimone Taparelli, Priest, O.P. (circa 1395-1495): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Morning
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter two, verse eight thru chapter three, verse four;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses fourteen, twenty-four, seventy-two, one hundred three, one hundred eleven, & one hundred thirty-one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eighteen, verses one thru five, ten, & twelve thru twenty-four.

Commentary: Video reflection by Father Joseph Vacco, O.F.M.: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe
The Book of Wisdom, chapter three, verses one thru nine;
or, the First Letter of John, chapter three, verses fourteen thru eighteen;
Psalm One Hundred Sixteen, verse fifteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses twelve thru sixteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today we celebrate the feast of Maximilian Kolbe, the great saint of Auschwitz. A prisoner from Fr. Kolbe’s barracks escaped, and in retaliation, the Nazi guards picked out ten other prisoners at random for execution. When one of those chosen broke down in tears, protesting that he was the father of a family, Kolbe stepped forward and said, “I am a Catholic priest; take me and spare this man.”

Priests are called “father” because they are life-givers in the spiritual order. Spiritual fathers protect their children; they teach them; they are there for them; and at the limit, they even give their lives for them. And that’s what we see in today’s great saint.

Jesus gathered around himself a band of Apostles whom he shaped according to his own mind and heart and whom he subsequently sent on mission. Priests, down through the centuries—from Augustine and Aquinas to Francis Xavier and John Henry Newman to John Paul II and your own pastor—are the descendants of those first friends and apprentices of the Lord. They have been needed in every age, and they are needed today, for the kingdom of heaven must be proclaimed, the poor must be served, God must be worshiped, and the sacraments must be administered.
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Vigil
The First Book of Chronicles, chapter fifteen, verses three, four, fifteen, & sixteen & chapter sixteen, verses one & two;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-two, verses six & seven, nine & ten, & thirteen & fourteen;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verses fifty-four(b) thru fifty-seven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eleven, verses twenty-seven & twenty-eight.



Bible Study—Pauline Epistles
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter one (verses one thru thirty);

Commentary: I. Address: Greeting (Philippians, 1-2) & Thanksgiving (1:3-11), II. Progress of the Gospel (1:12-26), & III. Instructions for the Community: Steadfastness in Faith (1:27-30).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"You must trust in God, but also in yourselves. You must trust in the admirable energies that God has given to every person for the development of personality & in a chosen form of life."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Dear Lord, Thow knowest that I do not serve Thee for the sake of a reward but simply because I love Thee, & in order to save souls."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice & is nourished by giving. Without sacrifice, there is no love."
—St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941, feast day: 14 August)

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXXIV

Operation AXIOM: The World War
13 August-3 September 1918: The Battle of San Matteo—Italian Alpini conducted a surprise attack on the Austro-Hungarian artillery installation atop Punta San Matteo, which could only be reached by a four-hour climb up a glacier; three weeks later, Austro-Hungarian Kaiserschützen retook the peak; 'twas Austria-Hungary's last victory in the war, the last victory of the centuries-old Hapsburg dynasty.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "The Beauty of the Bible"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saints Pontian, Pope, & Hippolytus, Priest, Martyrs (died 235), eighteenth (XVIII) Bishop of Rome & first (I) Antipope, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Maximinus Thrax: Martyrs-link; Martyr-link Papa ūnus, Martyr-link Papa duo, & Wikipedia-link Papa; Martyr-link Hotel & Wikipedia-link Hotel; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Antipope.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
In 235, during the persecution of Christians in the reign of the emperor Maximinus the Thracian, Pontian was arrested & sent to the island of Sardinia. He resigned to make the election of a new pope possible.

Hippolytus came into conflict with the popes of his time & seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival to the Bishop of Rome. He opposed the Roman bishops who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large numbers of new pagan converts. However, he was very probably reconciled to the Church when he died as a martyr.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Maximus the Confessor, Abbot (circa 580-662), persecuted & physically mutilated though not martyred in the reign of the Eastern Roman emperor Constans II for opposing the Monothelite heresy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Jan Berchmans, Religious, S.J. (1599-1621, Anglicized as John): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Jakob Gapp, Priest & Martyr, S.M. (1897-1943), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter one, verses two thru five & twenty-four thru twenty-eight(c);
Psalm One Hundred Forty-eight, verses one & two, eleven & twelve, thirteen, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seventeen, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus prophesies his crucifixion and resurrection: "The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day."

What enabled the first Christians to hold up the cross, to sing its praises, to wear it as a decoration is the fact that God raised up and ratified precisely this crucified Jesus. "You killed him, but God raised him up." Therefore, God was involved in this terrible thing; God was there, working out his salvific purposes.

But what does this mean? There have been numerous attempts throughout the Christian centuries to name the salvific nature of the cross. Let me offer just one take on it. It became clear to the first Christians that somehow, on that terrible cross, sin had been dealt with. The curse of sin had been removed, taken care of. On that terrible cross, Jesus functioned as the "lamb of God," sacrificed for sin.

Does this mean God the Father is a cruel taskmaster demanding a bloody sacrifice so that his anger might be appeased? No; Jesus’ crucifixion was the opening up of the divine heart so that we could see that no sin of ours could finally separate us from the love of God.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. Pontian & Hippolytus
The First Letter of Peter, chapter four, verses twelve thru nineteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses eighteen thru twenty-one.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Whenever you help a sick person, you are a sign of Christ's compassion for all who suffer."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"How short-sighted His creatures can be! They find a soul whose lights surpass their own; they think the Lord loves them less. Yet when did He lose the right to use one of his children to provide others with the nourishment they need?"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"No one can arrive at the knowledge of divine & human things unless he has previously & thoroughly learned mathematics."
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast day: 20 August)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust

Reel Big Fish, "Boyfriend" from Everything Sucks (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I never thought that I'd be a heartbreaker. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would repeatedly have to frustrate & ultimately thwart the unbidden romantic intentions of eligible maidens. Yes, maidens, plural; remarkably enough, this is not a black swan phenomenon.
"They want me to be their boyfriend,
They want me to be their boyfriend.

"I can take you anyplace you want to go,
I can show you anything you want to see,
I can be whatever you want me to be,
I can be whatever you want me to be…

"Don't you want me to be your boyfriend?
Don't you want me to be your boyfriend?…

"They want me to be their boyfriend,
They want me to be their boyfriend,
They want me to be their boyfriend,
They want me to be their boyfriend.

"I can take you anyplace you want to go,
I can show you anything you want to see,
I can be whatever you want me to be,
I can be whatever you want me to be.

"Boyfriend!
Boyfriend!
Boyfriend!
Boyfriend!

They want me to be their boyfriend,
They want me to be their boyfriend."

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Saturday, 11 August

The Long Road Back | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

Saturday, 11 August was the Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin, O.S.C. (1194-1253, of Assisi; A.K.A. Chiara Offreduccio), foundress of the Poor Clares, formally the Order of Saint Clare (A.K.A. the Second Order of Saint Francis), & founding abbess of the San Damiano convent: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.S.C. & Wikipedia-link San Damiano.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Daughter of Bl. Ortolana of Assisi [?] & sister of St. Agnes of Assisi [16 November], both of whom followed her into San Damiano.

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Clare of Assisi was the first woman to practice the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis [4 October]. Placed by him at the head of a few companions in the small convent of San Damiano, she governed her community for forty-two years thus founding at the gates of Assisi the Order of Poor Clares.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Alexander the Charcoal Burner, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 251, of Comana), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Decius, a victim of the Decian persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed John Sandys, Priest & Martyr (circa 1552-1586), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed William Lampley, Martyr (died 1588), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Habakkuk, chapter one, verse twelve thru chapter two, verse four;
Psalm Nine, verses eight & nine, ten & eleven, & twelve & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seventeen, verses fourteen thru twenty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel we meet a boy driven mad by a demon whom the disciples could not heal. They asked Jesus why they had failed, and he said, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

In all circumstances, you have to pray with faith. Have you noticed how Jesus, time and again, says to people before working a miracle, "Do you believe I can do this?" Once, Matthew tells us, Jesus was unable to perform many miracles because he met with so little faith among the people.

Lots of people today, especially in the healing ministry, seem able to reproduce what Jesus did, precisely because of the purity of their faith. Is part of our problem simply a lack of faith? Perhaps. We allow our skepticism to get the better of us. We’re just a little embarrassed by asking God for things, or we’re convinced that he is a distant power only vaguely connected to our lives. But God is far greater than that.
Video reflection by Deacon Bernard Nojadera: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Clare
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter three, verses eight thru fourteen;
Confer Psalm Sixteen, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine.

Bible Study—Deacon's Challenge
The Gospel according to John, chapter five, verses forty-one thru forty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six (verses one thru seventy-one).

Commentary: Unbelief of Jesus's Hearers (John, 5:41-47), Multiplication of the Loaves (6:1-15), Walking on the Water (6:16-21), the Bread of Life Discourse (6:22-59), & the Words of Eternal Life (6:60-71).

Bible Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Sirach, chapter three, verses twenty-nine & thirty;
The Book of Sirach, chapter four (verses one thru thirty-one);
The Book of Sirach, chapter five (verses one thru seventeen);
The Book of Sirach, chapter six, verses one thru four.

Commentary: Alms for the Poor (Sirach, 3:29-4:10), the Rewards of Wisdom (4:11-19), Sincerity & Justice (4:20-31), Against Presumption (5:1-10), & Sincerity of Speech (5:11-6:4).

Proverb o' the Day (Sirach, 6:2-4)
Fall not into the grip of desire,
lest, like fire, it consume your strength;
Your leaves it will eat, your fruits destroy,
and you will be left a dry tree,
For contumacious desire destroys its owner
and makes him the sport of his enemies.
Papal Quote o' That Day
"In humanity beauty produces love; in Christ love precedes & produces the beauty of the Church, that is, the beauty of humanity loved & redeemed by Christ, & thus brought back to its original perfection. The Church, ablaze with Christ's Spirit, is like a bright lamp."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Remember that this sweet Jesus is there in the Tabernacle expressly for you & you alone. Remember that He burns with the desire to enter your heart. Do not listen to Satan. Laugh him to scorn, & go without fear to receive Jesus."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him."
—St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253, feast day: 11 August)

Bonus! Song o' the Day: SKAugust

Dance Hall Crashers, "He Wants Me Back" from The Old Record (1989-1992) (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Many of the romantic wounds rude boys lament are self-inflicted, as the rude girls of D.H.C. remind us.
"Yesterday the leaves were brown,
And I was wearing a big frown,
Because my lover left me for the girl,
That he had loved before.

"The sky was cloudy then turned blue,
Because I saw it was no use
To want someone whose heart was elsewhere,
So I decided not to care, oh yeah!

"He wants me back,
But he can't have me,
He wants me back,
There's no denying,
He want me back,
He's on his knees,
Now we'll see who's crying.

"The grass is greener without you, it's true,
So many things for me to do,
Living my life for me and on my own,
It is so great to be alone.

"And now you're knocking at my door, ha ha,
You've realized you love me more,
Well I've no time to hear apologies,
I've got the world to see.

"He wants me back,
But he can't have me,
He wants me back,
There's no denying,
He wants me back,
He's on his knees,
Now we'll see who's crying…"

Saints + Scripture: XIX Sunday in Ordinary Time

'Tis the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses four thru eight;
Psalm Thirty-four, verses two thru nine;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter four, verse thirty thru chapter five, verse two;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses forty-one thru fifty-one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus offers himself as food for the soul. There is a great truth revealed in the bread of life discourse. It is the law of the gift. This personal, incarnating God wants to be eaten and drunk, to be radically and fully for the other.

Why were the gods of the ancient world so popular? Because they were projections of ourselves—vain, arrogant, resentful, violent. This means that they put little moral pressure on us. They were frightening but not morally demanding.

But this God who shows that he is totally love and who wants us in relation to him, to eat and drink him in, is the God who wants us to be like him. As he is food and drink for the world, so we must be food and drink for the world. As he gave himself away utterly, so we must give ourselves away utterly, without clinging to the goods, honors, or values of the world—all those things that aggrandize the ego.

The personal God, the incarnate God, the God of the gift. How compelling. How deeply challenging. How will you decide?
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Father Claude Burns: Weekend Reflection with Father Pontifex.

Video reflection by Jeff Cavins (Ascension): Encountering the Word.

Audio reflection by Scott Hahn, Ph.D. (St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology): Breaking the Bread.


Mass Journal: Week Thirty-three
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
I believe there is a direct relationship between happiness & holiness. This was my first serious observation of the Christian life as a teenager. I must also confess it was the reason I first began to explore Catholicism seriously. As simple as it may sound, I was aware of my yearning for happiness. I had tried to satisfy this yearning in other ways & had been left wanting. I had witnessed a peace & purpose in the loves of a handful of people I knew who were striving to live their faith, & I knew they had something I was yearning for. God calls each of us to holiness. He invites us to be truly ourselves. This call to holiness is in response to our deep desire for happiness. We cry out to God, saying, Show us how to find the happiness our hearts are hungry for, & God replies, Walk with Me, be all I created you to be, become the-best-version-of-yourself. It is a natural & logical conclusion that we will never find happiness if we are not ourselves.


Otherwise, 12 August would be the festival of Saint Jænberht, Bishop & Abbot (died 792, of Canterbury; also spelt Jambert): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious, V.H.M. (1572-1641, A.K.A. Jeanne-Françoise Frémiot), foundress of the Visitation Sisters, formally the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Order-link V.H.M. & Wikipedia-link V.H.M.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Innocent XI, Pope (1611-1689, the "Savior of Hungary;" A.K.A. Benedetto Odescalchi), two hundred fortieth (CCXL) Bishop of Rome: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Karl Leisner, Priest & Martyr (1915-1945), martyred by the regime of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, which he outlived: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Bl. Karl died of tuberculosis in August 1945; he is accounted a martyr because of the brutality & medical experiments to which he was subjected in the Dachau Concentration Camp's Priest Barracks (Wikipedia-link Priesterblock).

Papal Quote o' This Day
"What we believe is important, but even more important is the One in whom we believe."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"Your lot is indeed a beautiful one, since Our Lord has chosen it for you, & has first touched with His own Lips the cup which He holds out to yours."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Let us restore in ourselves the right awareness of sin, which is not frightening. The awareness of good will grows in opposition to the awareness of evil. The sense of responsibility will grow, rising from the inner moral judgment & widening to the sense of our duties—personal, social, & religious."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

The R.B.D. Song o' the Lord's Day: XIX Sunday in O.T.


The Daughters of Mary, "O Salutaris Hostia" from De Profundis (The Last Angry Man)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Toxic Toast" from Question the Answers (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Question the Answers was released in 1994, though I wouldn't discover it 'til well after the 1997 release of Let's Face It. One of the manifold pleasures of ska back in those halcyon days of the turn of the millennium was learning that it wasn't brand new, that I wasn't getting in on the ground floor but stepping into an edifice that had been built up over decades, spanning oceans & cultures. Ska had history! Sweet, glorious history! My primordial passion.

"Toxic Toast" seems an apropos song as we look back with affection on the past twenty years.
"Someone's always up to something,
One thing's always understood:
If nothing happened in a minute,
Wait another, something would.
Avoid the landlord, spend the rent,
Raising hell with reckless style,
And, sure, our time was poorly spent,
But toxic toast still makes me smile.

"Looking back now,
Not sure how
We made it through, not all of us but most.
Still haunts me,
Like it wants me.
I remember, I remember, I remember toxic toast…"

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXXIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
9 August 1918: The Flight over Vienna—Gabriele D'Annunzio, the Italian Decadent poet, playwright, & journalist, who in the course of the war had trained as a fighter pilot & become associated with the Arditi commandos, conceived & led a flight of eleven Ansaldo SVA aeroplanes over a seven-hundred-plus mile round trip to drop thousands of propaganda leaflets on Vienna, capital of Austria-Hungary.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: Feast of Saint Lawrence

Better Late than Never | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

'Tis the Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr (225-258, of Rome), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Valerian, a victim of his persecution: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution ūnus, & Wikipedia-link Persecution duo.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome, Italy, under Pope [St.] Sixtus II [7 August] who were martyred in the persecution of the Christians that the Roman emperor Valerian ordered in 258.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. Lawrence
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter nine, verses six thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred Twelve, verses one & two, five & six, seven & eight, & nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today contains one of the most beautiful and terrible summations of the Christian message: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."

And now this one upon whom the crowds had pinned their hopes is speaking of falling to the earth and dying. And then it gets stranger. "The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world, preserves it to life eternal." Come again?!

Just when we are raising you up, Jesus, you’re talking about falling down; just when we are seeing how your life has come to its fulfillment, you’re talking about hating this life.

To understand what all this means, we should go back to the grain of wheat that falls to the earth. A seed’s life is inside, yes, but it’s a life that grows by being given away and mixing with the soil around it. It has to crack open, be destroyed.

Jesus’ sign is the sign of the cross, the Death that leads to Transfiguration.
Video reflection by Deacon Jose Luis Lopez: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


'Tis also the festival of Saint Blane, Bishop (died circa 590): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Nephew of St. Cathan [17 May].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, Priest, O.F.M. (1420-1482, João de Menezes da Silva): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Brother of St. Beatrice of Silva [17 August].

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Franciszek Drzewiecki (F.D.P.) & Edward Grzymała, Priests & Martyrs (died 1942), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, two of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link Foxtrot Delta & Wikipedia-link Foxtrot Delta (List, № 21), Martyr-link Echo Golf & Wikipedia-link Echo Golf; Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Christ is absolute Truth; in Him the Father offers human beings the complete answer to all the questions that worry them. In Christ we can discover the full truth about ourselves & about the world."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"When faced by our limitations, we must have recourse to the practice of offering to God the good works of others."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Philosophical Quote o' the Day
"To believe in a God means to realize that the facts of the world are not the whole story. To believe in a God means to realize that life has a meaning."
—Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust


MU330, "Captain" from Press (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"Captain America, America still needs you!…

"Red Skull is in jail,
I caused his master plan to fail,
Well, I saved the world for everyone,
Now I'm gonna have some fun…"

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Queue

The plan is to begin reading Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (A.K.A. Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War) immediately after the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. I doubt I'll have finished the oft-interrupted Vanished Kingdoms by mid-November, but we shall see. I will also not be surprised if I "briefly" set aside either or both Vanished Kingdoms & Paris 1919 to read a shorter, Catholic book.

Recently
Matthew Kelly, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: A Living Mosaic—How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive
Pope Saint Clement I (A.K.A. Clement of Rome), The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

Currently
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***resumed***

Presently
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Xavier Rynne, Vatican Council II
John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity)
Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
Rosario Carello, Pope Francis Takes the Bus and Other Unexpected Stories
Father Mathias D. Thelen, Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies
Trent Horn, Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love
Diane Moczar, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again

Gratuitously
Pope Saint Clement I (A.K.A. Clement of Rome), The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies
David Hobbs with Andrew Marriot, Hobbo: Motor Racer, Motor Mouth—The Autobiography of David Hobbs
Adrian Newey, How to Build a Car
Mark Brumley, The Seven Deadly Sins of Apologetics: Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Explaining & Defending the Faith

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAugust


Mustard Plug, "Miss Michigan" from Evildoers Beware! (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I endorse neither the attitude exhibited nor the behaviors recommended by "Miss Michigan," but the loneliness encountered by many a ska kid, coupled with a poor anthropology, an impoverished vision of the human person, lead many to "date Miss Michigan" for years, to the detriment of all their relationships—romantic, platonic, & familial—creating an intensely negative feedback loop & doing substantial harm to our entire society. This downward spiral is in no way limited to the ska subculture, but reflects broader societal trends since the catastrophe of the sexual revolution.

As ever, third-wave ska's response to tragedy & disaster is to pair jaunty melodies with biting sarcasm & pessimistic lyrics.
"I've done it before and I'll do it again!
I've seen the path and I've seen its end!
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
I think I'm better off just dating Miss Michigan!"

Saints + Scripture

Better Late than Never | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Theology Thursday: "The Mathematics of Sin"
&
Summer Book Club: "Saints, Saints, & Then Some More Saints"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Virgin & Martyr, O.C.D. (1891-1942, A.K.A. Edith Stein), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler: Martyr-link ūna, Martyr-link duæ, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment!, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
On 9 August, the Catholic Church remembers St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as St. Edith Stein. St Teresa converted from Judaism to Catholicism in the course of her work as a philosopher, & later entered the Carmelite Order. She died in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in 1942.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Nathy, Priest (floruit sixth century, of Achonry; also spelt Nath Í, A.K.A. Crumnathy): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Thomas Palasor, Priest; John Norton; & John Talbot; Martyrs (died 1600), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, three of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Tango Papa & Wikipedia-link Tango Papa, Martyr-link Juliett November, Martyr-link Juliett Tango & Wikipedia-link Juliett Tango; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Michał Tomaszek & Zbigniew Adam Strzałkowski, Priests & Martyrs, O.F.M. Conv. (died 1991), martyred by the Shining Path Communists, two of the Three Martyrs of Chimbote: Martyr-link Mike Tango, Martyr-link Zulu Alpha Sierra, & Wikipedia-link III.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verses thirty-one thru thirty-four;
Psalm Fifty-one, verses twelve & thirteen, fourteen & fifteen, & eighteen & nineteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter sixteen, verses thirteen thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus asks his disciples that devastating question: "But who do you say that I am?" But the disciples don’t speak. Are they afraid? Perhaps. Finally Simon Peter speaks: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." You are the Messhiach, the anointed one, the long-awaited Savior, but more to it, you are the Son of God, not just a human hero. This is the mystical faith that stands at the heart of Christianity. To hold this Petrine faith is to be a Christian; to deny it is to deny Christianity.

And then those amazing words of Jesus: "Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." This insight did not come from Simon’s own intelligent speculation. It came from above, through grace, from God. And this is why Peter is a rock.

The Church is built not on a worldly foundation of any kind but on a mystical foundation, born of Peter’s faith in the revealing God. The Church is neither democratic nor aristocratic—it is charismatic. And this is where its power comes from.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
The Book of Hosea, chapter two, verses sixteen(b/c), seventeen(c/d), twenty-one, & twenty-two;
Psalm Forty-five, verse eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-five, verses one thru thirteen.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Every apostolate is an action of Christ Himself; it cannot be exercised except under the impulse of the Spirit. The Spirit searches out the deep things of God. The Spirit also arouses in us an ineffable prayer & continues the salvific action of Christ through the Church's members."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (-, feast day:)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"We must forget ourselves, & put aside our tastes & ideas, & guide souls not by our own way, but along the path which Our Lord points out."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper & firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me in the plan of Divine Providence & has a completely coherent meaning in God’s all-seeing eyes. And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me."
—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942, feast day: 9 August)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Saints + Scripture

Better Late than Never | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest, O.P. (1170-1221, of Osma, of Caleruega; A.K.A. Dominic de Guzmán, Domingo Félix de Guzmán), founder of the Dominicans, formally the Order of Preachers: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.P.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Son of Bl. Juana of Aza (2 August).

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a Castillian priest & founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Altmann of Passau, Bishop (circa 1020-1091), founder of Göttweig Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed John Felton, Martyr (died 1570), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Father of the martyr Bl. Thomas Felton, O.F.M. [28 August].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed John Fingley, Priest & Martyr (circa 1553-1586, A.K.A. Finglow), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Religious, R.S.J. (1842-1909), foundress of the Josephites, formally the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link R.S.J.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verses one thru seven;
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verses ten, eleven & twelve(a/b), & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter fifteen, verses twenty-one thru twenty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, a long tradition stresses the perseverance of the Canaanite woman we meet in today’s Gospel. Augustine says that we pray in order to expand our will to accept what God is going to give us. Another reading shows how the woman exemplifies the proper attitude toward God, a combination of humility and boldness, of deference and defiance. We are creatures and God is God; nevertheless, God invites us into intimacy with him.

But I want to emphasize the reading conditioned by the "other." The Old Testament speaks insistently of the "stranger, the widow, and the orphan." The ethical life, in a biblical framework, is about the press of these people upon us. They press upon us even when we would greatly prefer them just to go away.

We the Church are the Body of Christ. And so people come to us demanding food, sustenance, friendship, love, shelter, or liberation. Often we are tempted to do what Jesus does initially and what the disciples do: tell them to back off. We are overloaded, busy, and preoccupied. We can’t be bothered.

But the whole of the Christian life consists in remembering the suffering and need of the annoying other.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Dominic
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter two, verses one thru ten(a);
Psalm Ninety-six, verse three;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses fifty-seven thru sixty-two.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"Like Paul, Dominic teaches all knowledge & all virtue with authority, refutes doctrinal errors, stirs up & encourages what is good, reproves & corrects bad morals. He does this always with unalterable patience & heavenly wisdom."
—Pope Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958, feast day: 9 October)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"For me, prayer is a burst from my heart, it is a simple glance thrown toward heaven, a cry of thanksgiving & love in times of trial as well as in times of joy."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"People are made for happiness. Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Today: SKAugust

Save Ferris, "The World Is New" from It Means Everything (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I was relatively indifferent to popular music before the Summer of Ska. Many of my kith, especially Daddy Dylweed, were passionate about music to a degree that I simply couldn't understand. All of that changed on that one magical night in 1997, when I heard & saw the music videos for both "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & "Sell Out" by Reel Big Fish. Save Ferris sing about the world being made new by the mere thought of her beau (though I suppose in today's vernacular he'd be called her "bae"); for your humble narrator, the world is new when that sweet syncopated "riddim" fills my ears & touches my heart. Boisterous brass is a bonus.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday: SKAugust!

Dienstag, 7. August
The Hippos, "When Will I Learn?" from Forget the World (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Perchance, have I mentioned that romance rarely works out in ska-punk?
"I bought you everything that you asked for,
everything but you wanted more,
I guess it wasn't quite enough.

"I did everything that you asked me to,
everything that I could do,
I guess it wasn't quite enough.

"I should have acted like a hopeless pessimist,
'Cause I know that you're a sucker for that type,
And if I told you I was gonna kill myself,
Maybe then you'd comfort me and hold me tight.
When will I learn?

"I took you every place that you wanted to go,
Every single place that I know,
I guess it wasn't quite enough.

"I told you everything that you want to hear,
I said, 'I love you' in your ear,
I guess it wasn't quite enough.

"I should have acted like a hopeless pessimist,
'Cause I know that you're a sucker for that type,
And if I told you I was gonna kill myself,
Maybe then you'd comfort me and hold me tight.

"No matter what I do,
I'll never be with you,
And if it ends that way,
I guess I'll be O.K."

Saints + Scripture — Tuesday, 7 August

The Long Road Back | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

Tuesday, 7 August was the Optional Memorial of Saint Sixtus II, Pope, & Companions, Martyrs (died 258, also spelt Xystus; A.K.A. the Martyred Deacons of Rome), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Valerian, victims of his persecution: Martyr-link Sierra ūnus, Martyr-link Sierra duo, & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Deacons & Wikipedia-link Foxtrot & Alpha; & Wikipedia-link Pontiff, Wikipedia-link Persecution ūnus, & Wikipedia-link Persecution duo.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Forbidden to hold services, he & his deacons continued to worship in the chapel in the cemetery of Prætextatus. One day in 258, as the pope preached, soldiers broke into the chapel & beheaded Sixtus.
'Twas also the Optional Memorial of Saint Cajetan, Priest, C.R. (1480-1547, A.K.A. Gaetano dei Conti di Thiene), founder of the Theatines, formally the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of the Divine Providence: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.R.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Cajetan was an Italian Catholic priest & religious reformer, co-founder of the Theatines. He is the patron of the unemployed.
Not to be confused, as was done yesterday by the host of E.W.T.N.'s
Called to Communion, with the non-canonized bishop, cardinal, & Master of the Order of Preachers Thomas Cajetan (1469-1534), most noted as an opponent of Martin Luther in the interval 'twixt the posting of the Ninety-five Theses & the latter's formal schism & excommunication.

'Twas also the festival of Blesseds Edward Bamber, Thomas Whittaker, & Martin of Saint Felix (O.F.M.), Priests & Martyrs (died 1646, the last A.K.A. John Woodcock), martyred in the reign of the English "Long Parliament," three of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Echo Bravo & Wikipedia-link Echo Bravo, Martyr-link Tango Whiskey & Wikipedia-link Tango Whiskey, Martyr-link Juliett Whiskey & Wikipedia-link Juliett Whiskey; & Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Nicholas Postgate, Priest & Martyr (circa 1596-1679), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles II, a victim of the perjurer Titus Oates's "Popish Plot" hoax; one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Plot-link & Wikipedia-link Plot; & Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty, verses one, two, twelve thru fifteen, & eighteen thru twenty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Two, verses sixteen, seventeen, & eighteen; nineteen, twenty, & twenty-one; & twenty-nine, twenty-two, & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-two thru thirty-six
or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter fifteen, verses one, two, & ten thru fourteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel today is the story of Jesus walking on the water. Water is, throughout the Scriptures, a symbol of danger. At the very beginning, the spirit of the Lord hovered over the surface of the waters. This signals God’s lordship over all of the powers of disorder.

In all four Gospels there is a version of this story of Jesus mastering the waves. The boat, with Peter and the other disciples, is evocative of the Church. It moves through the waters, as the Church will move through time. Storms—chaos, corruption, stupidity, danger, persecution—will inevitably arise.

Now during the fourth watch of the night, which is to say the darkest time of the night, Jesus comes walking on the sea. This is meant to be an affirmation of his divinity: just as the spirit of God hovered over the waters at the beginning, so Jesus hovers over them now. So he says to his terrified disciples: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” But even more than that: you can participate in my power. “Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.” This is the story of all the saints.
Video reflection by Father David Baker: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. Sixtus II & Companions
The Book of Wisdom, chapter three, verses one thru nine;
Psalm On Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-three.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Cajetan
The Book of Sirach, chapter two, verses seven thru eleven;
Psalm One Hundred Twelve, verse one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses thirty-two, thirty-three, & thirty-four.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Prayer opens the mind & heart to God. It deepens our longing for His Kingdom. Prayer consciously links us to the Communion of Saints, who support us by their continual intercession."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"The nothingness of me is strangely loved; Sustaining ever—The all of love, my need, is strangely here—Departing never."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Faith by its very nature is the acceptance of a truth that our reason cannot attain; simply & unconditionally on the basis of testimony."
—Bl. John Henry Newman (1801-1890, feast day: 9 October)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXXII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Hundred Days Offensive, Part I
8-12 August 1918: The Battle of Amiens (or, the Third Battle of Picardy)—An Entente attack took the Germans largely by surprise, advancing seven miles on the first day & capturing over ten thousand P.O.W.; the battle buoyed Entente morale & shattered German morale out of all proportion to the territorial gains & losses, General Ludendorff calling 8 August the "black day of the German Army."






Lest we forget.

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Explorers' Club Special

Operation AXIOM: The World War
15 July-6 August 1918: Contrary to popular belief, no T-65 X-wing starfighters were downed during the Second Battle of the Marne.





Lest we forget.

Commentary: The first "Explorers' Club Special" (Wayback Machine) was inspired by some oddly lighthearted images that popped up in a perfectly serious search for photographs related to Bulgaria's entry into the war. This sequel was inspired by the first image above, about the downed X-wing, which popped up in a perfectly serious search for photographs related to the Second Battle of the Marne. The others popped up in searches for "world war 1 funny" & "world war 1 memes." (One has to use the Roman numeral "1," because searching for "world war i" will yield results for the Second World War ("world war ii"). Remembering the Weltkrieg is grim business, & though the end draws near there remains much heartbreaking horror ahead, even after the Armistice. A jolly guffaw now & again is necessary for one's continued good cheer, even if from gallows humor.