Friday, June 22, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXI

Operation AXIOM: The World War
15-23 June 1918: The Second Battle of the Piave River—The Austro-Hungarians, bolstered by forces transferred to the Italian Front after the victory on the Eastern Front, attacked, not at all applying the lessons of the stunning Central Powers victory at Caporetto (October 1917); the Italians, though, had completely reorganized after that debacle & their elastic defense broke the back of Austria-Hungary.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

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

The Popish Plot
Fermentation Friday: "Countdown to 'Made for Happiness,' Part Deux"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Paulinus of Nola, Bishop (circa 354-431, A.K.A. Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Paulinus retained much of the style of the old classical poets, & composed most of the poems in honor of the feast of St. Felix [of Nola, 14 January]. He is the author of a body of extant works including fifty-one letters, thirty-two poems, & several prose pieces.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saints John Fisher, Bishop, & Thomas More, Martyrs (died 1535): Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot ūnus, Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot duo, & Wikipedia-link Juliett Foxtrot; Martyr-link Tango Mike ūnus, Martyr-link Tango Mike duo, & Wikipedia-link Tango Mike.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More—It is fitting that these two men have the same feast day, because they were both Englishmen martyred within [a fortnight] of each other, for the same cause, religious freedom; on the same occasion, defending the sanctity of marriage & Papal authority against state usurpation; & at the hands of the same man, King Henry VIII.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Alban, Martyr (died circa 303, of Verulamium), the protomartyr of Britain, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Innocent V, Pope, O.P. (circa 1225-1276, A.K.A. Pierre of Tarentaise), one hundred eighty-fifth (CLXXXV) Bishop of Rome, who attended the Second Council of Lyon (1274): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Council.

Commentary: Not to be confused with St. Pierre of Tarentaise, O.Cist. [1102-1174, 14 September].

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Book of Kings, chapter eleven, verses one thru four, nine thru eighteen, & twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-two, verses eleven, twelve, thirteen & fourteen, & seventeen & eighteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses nineteen thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples not to store up treasures for themselves on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven, "where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal."

St. Augustine once said that since every creature is made
ex nihilo, it carries with it the heritage of non-being. There is a kind of penumbra or shadow of nothingness that haunts every finite thing.

This is a rather high philosophical way of stating what all of us know in our bones: no matter how good, beautiful, true, or exciting a thing or state of affairs is here below, it is destined to pass into non-being. Think of a gorgeous firework that bursts open like a giant flower and then, in the twinkling of an eye, is gone forever. Everything is haunted by non-being; everything, finally, is that firework.

But this is not meant to depress us; it is meant to redirect our attention precisely to the treasures of heaven, to the eternity of God. Once we see everything in light of God, we can learn to love the things of this world without clinging to them and without expecting too much of them. Think of how much disappointment and heartache could be avoided if we only learned this truth!
Video reflection by Barbara Forde: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Paulinus of Nola
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter eight, verses nine thru fifteen;
Psalm Forty, verses eight(a) & nine(a);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses thirty-two, thirty-three, & thirty-four.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More
The First Letter of Peter, chapter four, verses twelve thru nineteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses thirty-four thru thirty-nine.

Mass Readings—Requiem for Juliett Victor November
The Book of Sirach, chapter three, verses one thru six, eight, nine, fourteen, fifteen, eighteen, & nineteen;
Psalm Twenty-seven;
The First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter four, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses one thru six.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"In the present-day confusion of the notion of good & evil, licit & illicit, just & unjust, in the demoralizing spread of crime & immorality, we will do well to preserve & deepen the sense of natural law. This mans the sense of justice, of integrity, & of the good."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Jesus bore with me patiently, for He does not unfold everything at once to the soul. He gives His light little by little."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first."
—St. Thomas More (1478-1535, feast day: 22 June)

Religious Freedom Week '18 — Day 1


We blog so often about the many, many martyrs slaughtered under the Devil's dynasty—the Tudor monarchs Henry VIII, Edward VI, & Elizabeth I (& we lament the many Protestant martyred under the misguided & murderously Catholic Mary I)—& their diabolical successors, the Stuarts—James VI & I, Charles I, Charles II, & William III & Mary II—because they died not so long ago & not so far away. Those martyrs, including St. John Fisher & St. Thomas More, spoke modern English, as did their persecutors. We still read literature from their period, such as the works of William Shakespeare, Kit Marlowe, & John Dunne, & even listen to their music—"Greensleeves," anyone? The English colonies that eventually became these United States originated in this period—the Lost Colony of Roanoke in 1587, Jamestown in 1607, & the Plymouth Colony in 1620. If we are not watchful, & are not very careful, the grim specter of Tyburn could very well return to these shores.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Real Can of Yams, "A Cold Night in December" from CODENAME: Koala (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Yesterday was—in the Northern Hemisphere—the summer solstice, the longest day o' the year. Last night was the shortest night o' the year. From here 'til the winter solstice, each day will be just that little bit shorter, each night just that little bit longer. The cold & the dark are coming, inexorably winter is coming.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Parenting on Your Own"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious, S.J. (1568-1591): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Cousin of the martyr Bl. Rudolph Acquaviva [25 July].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was an Italian aristocrat who became a member of the Society of Jesus. While still a student at the Roman College, he died as a result of caring for the victims of a serious epidemic.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Alban of Mainz, Priest & Martyr (died circa 400), martyred by pagan Vandals; a cephalophore: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Cephalophore.

'Tis also the festival of Saint John Rigby, Martyr (circa 1570-1600), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link XL & Wikipedia-link XL.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-eight, verses one thru fourteen;
Psalm Ninety-seven, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses seven thru fifteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the Gospel for today is of great significance, for in it the Son of God teaches us to pray. We hear from not just a guru, a spiritual teacher, or a religious genius, but from the very Son of God. This is why the Our Father, the Lord’s Prayer, is the model of all prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer for the Christian journey which has been offered up consistently for the past two thousand years. Think for a moment how this prayer links us to all of the great figures in Christian history, from Peter and Paul to Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi, John Henry Newman, G.K. Chesterton, John Paul II, and right up to the present day.

Keep in mind that prayer is not designed so much to change God’s mind or to tell God something he doesn’t know. God isn’t like a big city boss or a reluctant pasha whom we have to persuade. Rather, he is the one who wants nothing other than to give us good things—though they might not always be the things we want.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga
The First Letter of John, chapter five, verses one thru five;
Confer Psalm Sixteen, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-two, verses thirty-four thru forty.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"To construct this world you have to undertake great tasks. If you want your legitimate ideals to be meaningful & not halfhearted, beginning now you must be daring, patient, & sincere with yourselves. You must also have an unshakable faith."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"What mysteries we shall one day see unveiled!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa, 1910-1997; feast day: 5 September)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Robbie Williams, "Candy" from Take the Crown (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: The muse started running "Candy" through my head not long after I woke up, which as long-time readers will recall is my favorite way of selecting the R.B.D.S.O.T.D.
"Hey! Ho! Here she go,
Either a little too high or a little too low,
Got no self-esteem and vertigo,
'Cause she thinks she's made of candy.

"Hey! Ho! Here she go,
Either a little too loud or a little too close,
Got a hurricane in the back of her throat,
'Cause she thinks she's made of candy…"

Bonus! Autobiographical Song o' the Day

The Secret Base has changed a great deal over a decade & a half of publication, reflecting, one hopes, maturation & personal growth on the author's part. I used to grouse & kvetch about every little thing that roused my ire (this tendency to fury was why my Moonbase Studios colleagues nicknamed me "The Last Angry Man," though this was back when we called ourselves Blue Tree Whacking), airing all of my dirty laundry in this very public forum. I still do, to a sometimes unhealthy extent, but as I've begun to take my faith more seriously, I've become much more willing to extend to others the same benefit of the doubt I'd ask them to extend to me in my less-than-finest moments. Persons deceive, betray, & undermine other persons all the time; sometimes this reflects outright malice, but more often it reflects ignorance or indifference. To my mind, that's actually worse: We don't mean to harm one another, we're just so self-absorbed that we don't consider whom our words or actions might hurt, nor do we try to anticipate such "collateral damage" & mitigate the chance of it occurring. Straight-up villainy is relatively rare. I minister to the inmates of the local county jail; so, I know there are hardcore villains in the world—not just "in the world" but in our local municipalities & neighborhoods—but more common is the base villainy of indifference. We hurt each other all the time because we simply don't stop to consider how our actions or words might affect others; or, if we do pause for such reflection, we conclude that causing pain to others is a fair price to be paid for the all-mighty ego's desire to "express itself" in some banal & petty way.

All this is prologue to the following song. Maybe the man who inspired this selection didn't intend to do what he did, though that of course doesn't excuse the damage he wrought. I won't describe the circumstances, because I don't wish him to be identified, yet I am still so vile a sinner that this petty act of revenge helps to salve the wounds his duplicitous words & actions caused.

Mono Puff, "Back-stabbing Liar" from It's Fun to Steal (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Mono Puff is (was?) a side project of John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants.
"Hear the scream that the turning subway made,
Hear the screams of the people in your way,
They love you very much but they
Don't know that you're the one.

"Back-stabbing liar, and have been all along
Back-stabbing liar, has learned to write songs…

"Back-stabbing liar, and everyone's wrong,
Back-stabbing liar, has learned to write songs…

"Back-stabbing liar, says he's resigned,
Back-stabbing liar, will change your mind."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the festival of Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 910-981, the "Apostle of the Slavs"): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Margareta Ebner, Religious, O.P. (circa 1291-1351): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Dermot O'Hurley, Bishop, & Margaret Ball, Martyrs (died 1584, also spelt Diarmaid Ó Hiarlatha & Maighréad Ball), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, two of the Irish Martyrs: Martyr-link Delta Oscar & Wikipedia-link Delta Oscar, Martyr-link Mike Bravo & Wikipedia-link Mike Bravo; Martyrs-link Irish & Wikipedia-link Irish.


'Tis also the festival of Blesseds John Fenwick, John Gavan, William Harcourt, Anthony Turner, & Thomas Whitbread; Priests & Martyrs, S.J. (died 1679), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles II, victims of the perjurer Titus Oates's "Popish Plot" hoax: Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot & Wikipedia-link Juliett Foxtrot, Martyr-link Juliett Golf & Wikipedia-link Juliett Golf, Martyr-link Whiskey Hotel & Wikipedia-link Whiskey Hotel, Martyr-link Alpha Tango & Wikipedia-link Alpha Tango, Martyr-link Tango Whiskey & Wikipedia-link Tango Whiskey; Perjurer-link & Wikipedia-link Popish Plot.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Book of Kings, chapter two, verses one & six thru fourteen;
Psalm Thirty-one, verses twenty, twenty-one, & twenty-four;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses one thru six, sixteen, seventeen, & eighteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel asks us to do three things: pray, fast, and give alms. Let’s focus today on prayer. Studies show that prayer is a very common, very popular activity. Even those who profess no belief in God pray!

What is prayer, and how should we pray? Prayer is intimate communion and conversation with God. Judging from Jesus’ own life, prayer is something that we ought to do often, especially at key moments of our lives.

Well, how should we pray? What does it look like? You have to pray with faith, and according to Jesus’ model, you have to pray with forgiveness. The efficacy of prayer seems to depend on the reconciliation of differences.

You also have to pray with persistence. One reason that we don’t receive what we want through prayer is that we give up too easily. Augustine said that God sometimes delays in giving us what we want because he wants our hearts to expand.

Finally, we have to pray in Jesus’ name. In doing so we are relying on his influence with the Father, trusting that the Father will listen to him.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Our world is suffering in the icy grip of selfishness & fever. It needs to feel the certainty that renews & confirms forever the great work of the Covenant: 'The Lord chooses you, the Lord loves you.'"
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I understand now that charity consists in bearing with the faults of others, in not being surprised at their weakness, in being edified by the smallest acts of virtue we see them practice."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"After all I die as a child of the Church. My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may Your will be done. O my Lord & my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time for us to meet one another."
—St. Teresa of Ávila, Doctor of the Church (1515-1582, feast day: 15 October)

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 338.0 lbs
This weigh-in: 338.8 lbs.
Difference: +0.8 lbs.

As the man said, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." I know what to do to get what I want, the challenge is in choosing, in each moment, to do that instead of choosing habit, instead of choosing to do what I've always done.

Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
Tally Hall, "Just Apathy" from Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum (The Last Angry Elephant)

Commentary:
"I'm too much or not enough,
Maybe everyone else is messed up,
Well, anyway, I can't seem to stay
In just one state of mind…

"'Cause it's one thing or another,
I don't even know why I even bother,
Something I just can't get around…"

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Taco Grande" from Off the Deep End (The Last Angry Man)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Leonard Nimoy, "Highly Illogical" from Spaced Out: The Very Best of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner (The Last Angry Trekkie)

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Romuald, Abbot, O.S.B. Cam. (circa 950-1027, of Ravenna): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.S.B. Cam. & Er. Cam.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was very influential in reforming monastic life in the eleventh century. When, as a young man, Romuald witnessed his father kill a relative in a property dispute, he fled to a nearby monastery & adopted a life of penance & prayer.
'Tis also the festival of Blesseds William Exmew, Humphrey Middlemore, & Sebastian Newdigate, Priests & Martyrs, O.Cart. (died 1535), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, three of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link Whiskey Echo & Wikipedia-link Whiskey Echo, Martyr-link Hotel Mike & Wikipedia-link Hotel Mike, Martyr-link Sierra November & Wikipedia-link Sierra November; Martyrs-link Charterhouse & Wikipedia-link Charterhouse.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Woodhouse, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1535-1573), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Venerable Matt Talbot, Confessor, T.O.S.F. (1856-1925): Venerable-link ūnus, Venerable-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter twenty-one, verses seventeen thru twenty-nine;
Psalm Fifty-one, verses Ythree & four, five & six(a/b), & eleven & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses forty-three thru forty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel tells us to love our enemies so that we may be like the Father. What is the Father of Jesus Christ like? Well, listen: "He makes his sun to rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust." The Father of Jesus Christ is love, right through. That’s all God is; that’s all he knows how to do. He is not like us: unstable, changing, moving from one attitude to another. No, God simply is love.

In every case, his grace comes first, and grace is all that he has to give. This is why the comparison to the sun and the rain is so apt. The sun doesn’t ask who deserves its warmth or its light before it shines. It just shines, and both good and bad people receive it. Neither does the rain inquire as to the moral rectitude of those upon whom it showers its life-giving goodness. It just pours—and both just and unjust people receive it.
Video reflection by Father Andrew Lauricella: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Romuald
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter three, verses eight thru fourteen;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-five thru thirty-three.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"I ask that you have the grace to be very close to your children, letting them grow, but being by their side. They need you, your presence, to be there, your love!"
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I understand clearly that through love alone can we become pleasing to God, & my sole ambition is to acquire it."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."
—St. Stephen (5-34, feast day: 26 December)

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXX

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Spring Offensive, Part V
9-12 June 1019: The Battle of Matz (Operation Gneisenau)—The Germans attacked across a broad front along the River Matz; the French were forewarned by German P.O.W.s, yet the stormtroopers advanced 'til a massive French counterattack (11 June) surprised them by proceeding without a preliminary artillery bombardment, spearheaded by Saint-Chamond & Schneider CA tanks.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: XI Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Sunday, 17 June was the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Week
Mass Readings—Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter seventeen, verses twenty-two, twenty-three, & twenty-four;
Psalm Ninety-two, verses two & three, thirteen & fourteen, & fifteen & sixteen;
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter five, verses six thru ten;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter four, verses twenty-six thru thirty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that "when it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants." It seems to be a law of the spiritual life that God wants good things to start small and grow over time.

We’re tempted to say, "You’re God. Just get on with it. Do it!" But why would God work the way he does? We might attempt a few explanations. It is a commonplace of the Bible that God rejoices in our cooperation. He wants to involve us, through freedom, intelligence, and creativity, in what he is doing. And so he plants seeds, and he wants us to cultivate them.

Consider what God said to St. Francis: "Francis, rebuild my Church." God could have rebuilt his Church without Francis, but he wanted him to get involved.

When things start small, they can fly under the radar while they gain strength and heft and seriousness. Also, those involved can be tested and tried. Suppose you want to do something great in the life of the Church and you pray and God gives you massively what you want. You might not be ready, and your project will peter out. So be patient and embrace the small invitations.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Mister Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

Audio reflection by Doctor Scott Hahn, Ph.D.: Breaking the Bread.


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-five
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Several years ago, my brother Nathan was living in japan for a year as an exchange student. During that time, I received a letter from him with a photograph he had taken of what seemed to be the courtyard of an ancient Japanese garden. In the middle of the courtyard was an almond tree in full bloom. Nathan has always been a talented photographer, but what really captured my attention was a quotation he had written on the back of the photograph. The quotation was from the writing of El Greco, the famed Greek-born Spanish painter. It read: "I said to the almond tree, 'Sister, speak to me about God,' & the almond tree blossomed."


Otherwise, 17 June would have been the festival of Saint Mo Ling, Bishop (614-697, of Ferns, of Wexford; also spelt Moling Luachra, Molling, Mullins), founder of the monastery around which arose the town of St. Mullin's: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Monastery.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Rainerius of Pisa, Hermit (circa 1115-1161, A.K.A. Raineri Scacceri): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Theresa of Portugal, Religious, O.Cist. (1178-1250), Queen of León: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Albert Chmielowski, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1845-1916, A.K.A. Adam Chmielowski), founder of the Albertine Brothers, formally known as the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor; & the Albertine Sisters, formally known as the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis Serving the Poor: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.F.A.P.U. & Wikipedia-link C.S.A.P.U.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"To be a good father, the first requirement is to be present in the family. To be close to his wife, to share in everything, joy & pain, burdens & hopes. And to be close to the children as they grow: when they play & when they make efforts, when they are carefree & when they are distressed, when they dare & when they are afraid, when they make missteps & when they return to the right path.

A father must always be present, but being present is not the same as controlling. Fathers who seek to control end up stifling their children; they do not let them grow."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I would like to fly as the eagle does, but I can only flutter my wings—it is beyond my feeble strength to soar."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"O Christ, only God, O Splendour, O Power of the Father, O Maker of heaven and earth & builder of this city’s walls! Thou has placed Rome’s scepter high over all; Thou hast willed to subject the world to it, in order to unite under one law the nations which differ in manners, customs, language, genius, & sacrifice. Behold the whole human race has submitted to its empire, & all discord & dissensions disappear in its unity. Remember Thy purpose: Thou didst will to bind the immense universe together into one Christian Kingdom. O Christ, for the sake of Thy Romans, make this city Christian; for to it Thou gavest the charge of leading all the rest to sacred unity. All its members in every place are united—a very type of Thy Kingdom; the conquered universe has bowed before it. Oh! may its royal head bowed in turn! Send Thy Gabriel & bid him heal the blindness of the sons of Iulus, that they may know the true God. I see a prince who is to come—an Emperor who is a servant of God. He will not suffer Rome to remain a slave; he will close the temples & fasten them with bolts forever."
—St. Lawrence (225-258, feast day: 10 August)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Special Circumstances"

'Tis the festival of Saints Marcus & Marcellianus, Martyrs (died circa 286), martyred in the reigns of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian: Martyr-link Mike-Sierra, Martyr-link Mike-Lima, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Elisabeth of Schönau, Abbess, O.S.B. (circa 1126-1164): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Gregorio Barbarigo, Bishop (1625-1697): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru sixteen;
Psalm Five, verses two & three(a/b); four(b), five, & six(a); & six(b) & seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel gives Jesus’ teaching about non-resistance to evil people. We are continually wanting God to behave as we would, that is to say, withdrawing his love from those who don’t deserve it and giving his love to those who do deserve it. But this is just not the way God operates.

Why should you pray for someone who is persecuting you? Why shouldn’t you be allowed at least to answer him in kind—an eye for an eye? Because God doesn’t operate that way, and you are being drawn into the divine life. Why should you turn the other cheek to someone who has struck you? Because it’s practical? No, because that’s the way God operates, and you’re being called into the divine life. Why should you go beyond simply loving those who love you? Because that’s the way God operates: he loves the saints and he loves the worst of sinners.

Is any of this easy to do? Of course not. Are we able to get to this state through willing it, through earnest practice? Of course not! That’s why love is referred to as a theological virtue. It is the sheerest participation in the divine life, and it can only come from God.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Love alone makes Jesus the Savior. Only through the ways of love can we approach Him, imitate Him, & bring Him into our souls. Only through the ways of love can we bring Him into the ever dramatic vicissitudes of human history."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I remember His love for the prodigal son, I have heard His words to Mary Magdalene, to the woman taken in adultery, to the woman of Samaria. No—there is no one who could frighten me, for I know too well what to believe concerning His mercy and His love."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"To restore all things in Christ."
—Pope St. Pius X (1835-1914, feast day: 21 August)

The R.B.D. Song o' the Day: Requiescat In Pace


Matt "Guitar" Murphy, "The Blues Don't Bother Me" from Blues Brothers 2000: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: In memoriam Matt "Guitar" Murphy, 29 December 1929-15 June 2018.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Lord's Day

Matt Maher, "Land of My Father" from Saints and Sinners (The Last Angry Man)

24 HEURES DU MANS | +0:52:00

Congratulations to Toyota on their victories, both overall & in L.M. P.1! Congratulations to G-Drive* Signatech (Alpine [Oreca]-Gibson) for their victory in L.M. P.2! Congratulations to Porsche for their victory in G.T.E. Pro! Congratulations to Dempsey-Proton (Porsche) for their victory in G.T.E. Am!

I'm not off to church, to sing at Mass even though I haven't had a wink of sleep. Whee!

*The dirty, rotten scoundrels of G-Drive were disqualified after the race for cheating, thus promoting the second-place Signatech Alpine squad to class victors.

Bonus! Song o' the Last 24 Hours


Cake, "The Distance" from Fashion Nugget (The Last Angry Homme)

Commentary: Diane Kruger is already one of the most beautiful women in the world, but in a racing suit her allure reaches preposterous heights. The above photo is a promotional still for the 2003 film Michel Vaillant, in which Kruger played driver Julie Wood, based on the long-running & much beloved French comic book series. The film shot its racing scenes at the 2002 24 Heures du Mans.
"…The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can…
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

"He's going the distance,
He's going for speed,
She's alone (all alone),
All alone in her time of need,
Because he's racing and pacing and plotting a course,
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse,
He's going the distance…"

24 HEURES DU MANS | 2:35:00

I will never understand Toyota's logic in (a) hiring triple World Touring Car Champion José María López (2014, '15, & '16) to drive their TS050 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype bug especially in (b) retaining López in 2018 while dumping 2014 World Endurance Champion Anthony Davidson. The № 7 Toyota entered the night leading the pole-sitting № 8, but throughout their stints in the № 8 both Fernando Alsonso & then Kaz Nakajima took chunks of time out of López in the № 7; as soon as Kamui Kobayashi took over the reigns of the № 7, he first stablized & then increased the lead over the № 8. Now, in the early afternoon at the Circuit de la Sarthe, López at the helm of the № 7 is dropping tires into the grass, spinning the car in the corners, & all the while falling further & further behind Alonso in the № 8. The are so many supremely talented former Audi & Porsche prototype drivers out there, guys who are now driving P.2s & G.T.E.s. Why, oh why is José María López in that coveted Toyota seat instead of almost anyone else?

24 HEURES DU MANS | 4:45:00

This is the toughest point of the race, from the at-home spectator's perspective. It's the dead of night, with no hints of the dawn yet on the horizon; I've been awake for nearly twenty-two hours; & safety cars & slow zones deprive the race of almost any amusement value. Let's hope for clear running the rest o' the way.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 6:32:00

First World Problems Revisited: This is the first, last, & only year I will ever endure the Eurosport commentators. I do not know how, but should the Good Lord permit me to live 'til next year's Le Mans, the finale of the 2018-2019 F.I.A. World Endurance Championship "Super Season," I will acquire & expend the resources necessary to watch the race (Eurosport's pictures are fine, because they are the world feed's, just like Speed & then Fox Sports used to air) while listening to the commentary from Radio Le Mans.


The № 63 Corvette is now running fifth in L.M. G.T.E. Pro, behind two of the factory Porche 911s (№ 92 & № 91) & two of the factory Ford GTs (№ 68 & № 67) & ahead of two of the factory Ford GTs (№ 69 & № 66), the three quasi-factory Ferrari 488s (№ 52, № 51, & № 71), & the № 95 Aston Martin Vantage. The № 64 Corvette, which has struggled all race but has never given up, runs eleventh in class, ahead of the № 97 Aston Martin Vantage, the № 93 Porsche 911, & the № B.M.W. M8.

I love the fact that there are still six hours of the race left to go. Most of the other races on the World Endurance Championship calendar are "only" six hours long, there's more than that duration remaining, & the competitors have already run almost three times that long. Hee hee, hee hee! Le Mans!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 8:23:00

The № 8 Toyota retook the overall (& P.1 class) lead from the sister № 7 just before an already troubled P.2 drove into the tire barrier at the Indianapolis corner, inspiring the first "slow zone" in quite a long time. Almost immediately thereafter, the № 82 B.M.W. smacked into multiple walls & limped back to the pits. Subsequently, the № 82 has officially retired.


To this point in the "Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency," eight of the sixty entrants have retired. Every finisher receives a medal, because win or lose completing the 24 Hours is an achievement of which one should be proud.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

24 HEURES DU MANS | 9:35:00

Dawn approaches in Le Mans, Sarthe, France. Meanwhile, here in Grand Blanc, Michigan, United States, midnight approaches. The 24 Heures is about to enter its gloriously surreal phase, in which the dead of night here contrasts with the bright of morning there, & the weary competitors experience a surge of optimism as the claustrophobic night gives way to the boundless dawn—only to realize that they have nine more hours of hard racing ahead of them, with equipment that has already been abused for fifteen or so hours.

The № 64 Corvette continues to run seventh in class, occasionally rising as high as fifth depending on the vagaries of the pit-stop cycle. Come on, boys! Let's go!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 11:59:00

It's genuinely hard to believe that there is less of the 86e 24 Heures du Mans ahead than there is behind. Tempus fugit! Truth be told, I haven't been watching the race from the start. The race starts at 3:00 P.M. local time (9:00 A.M. my time). I made the decision to attend my Saturday morning men's group—Bible & Catechism study & fellowship—& catch up on the race via the D.V.R. I also wished to finish & publish the daily BLACK MAMBA post before settling into devoting my full attention to Le Mans. It took 'til nearly 4:00 P.M. my time to catch up to the live television broadcast, which is part of why there weren't any blog posts during those early hours of the great race: I fast-forwarded through the commercials, which are now normally my cue to come upstairs & listen to Radio Le Mans while composing these posts. (I know, nothing's more exciting than naval gazing.)

Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 12:42:00


L.M. G.T.E. Pro
The European-based duo of Porche 911s (№ 92 & № 91, above, in heritage liveries) continue to lead in class, while the American-based duo both had trouble: the № 93 spent time in the pits with alternator troubles & the № 94 retired. The much-faster-than-in-qualifying B.M.W. M8s have come to (relative) grief, with first the № 82 & then the second-running № 81 losing several laps in the pits with damper issues (in American automotive parlance, we call those shocks), the latter also suffering on-track damage from contact. The № 64 Corvette ran into mechanical trouble early & continues to circulate near the bottom of the running order, while the sister № 63 is running a respectable seventh, one lap down from the class-leading Porches.

L.M. P.1
The petrol/electric hybrid Toyotas continue to run multiple laps ahead of the purely petrol-powered privateer P.1s, with the № 7 leading the № 8 by one & a half minutes, a little less than half a lap. The progress of the № 8 was slowed when it had to serve a one minute stop-&-go penalty for speeding in a slow zone.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 14:06:00

He's Dead, Jim
I've a strategy in mind to help me endure through "the Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency," though it might best be described as a harebrained scheme. First, a stipulation: I stay awake for the entire twenty-four hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You might say that is stupid, but it's not going to change, so my strategy/harebrained scheme takes place in the context of a non-negotiable all-nighter; just accept it. In a past year, I experimented with emulating the live crown, campers who often spend the whole week in Le Mans, subsisting on seemingly nothing other than beer. Drinking beer all night was not a good idea. I was never drunk nor did I pass out, but being dehydrated did not make the experience any more fun. The following year, I experimented with drinking copious quantities of Red Bull. The excess of caffeine left me tired & twitchy, again not enhancing the racing experience. This year, I'm drinking lots & lots of water, so much so that I have to make a "pit stop" at least once an hour. I am also drinking one Red Bull every six hours, the idea being to use the caffeine to perk myself up without overdoing it so that I become twitchy & distracted. I'll let you know how it goes once it's gone.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 15:27:00


Night has fallen at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The views of the race are more limited at night, restricted to on-boards views from the race cars, a few lighted corners, & head-on shots were the cars are obscured by the glare of their own headlights. I so love this race!

The sun is still shining here in sacred Michigan, but the real head trip won't come 'til dawn in France, which is in the dead of night here. Fatigue combines with the darkness & a circadian rhythm not happy to be upset to create a genuinely surreal experience, but of course that won't be for several hours. No point in jumping head.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 16:28:00

Woo hoo, Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans! It has been several years since I've been able to sit down & watching the 24 Heures du Mans on television. (Curse ye, Fox Sports!) Velocity, a part of the Discovery, Inc. family of channels, is carrying Eurosport's (another part of Discovery, Inc.) coverage the whole race, including an hour-long pre-race show & a scheduled half-hour-long post-race show (podiums & whatnot). This is a joy, especially after having to cobble together online coverage.

That said, I have a First World Problem. (Actually, everything to do with Le Mans is a First World Problem, since it is a motor race run in France which I am able to watch here in America.) The pictures of the race are glorious, but the Eurosport commentators are, while better than Fox Sports' goonish crew, not as superb as the commentators on Radio Le Mans. I've watched Radio Le Man's "Studio Vision" on the YouTube the last couple years, which is a less-than-ideal way to experience the race, since the video feed is just that, just their crew commentating from studio—no video coverage of the race. But the Radio Le Mans boys & girls are second to none in covering "the Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency." Ideally, I could watch Europsort's pictures on Velocity while listening to Radio Le Mans, but this is not feasible in that I do not have a television in my bedroom, where my Macintosh is located, nor do I have a laptop to use down in the living room where the television & the comfy green armchair await my return. Like I said, a First World Problem.

L.M. P.1
The Toyota hybrids, the only factory hybrids in the field after the withdrawal of Audi (2016) & Porsche (2017), are far outpacing the non-hybrid privateer P.1s, but this is a surprise to no one. The petrol-only privateers are counting on the unreliability that knocked out four of the six hybrid P.1s in 2017, unreliability that could well rear its head with just under sixteen & a half hours of racing left to go. For their part, Toyota aren't just cruising around, they are setting faster lap times than they did in last year's duel against Porsche.

L.M. G.T.E. Pro.
There were "balance of performance" (B.O.P. or "bop") changes made the day before the race, between qualifying & the start, which may explain why the B.M.W. M8s are so much faster in the race than they were in practice & qualifying, but there are also dark suspicions of "sandbagging," B.M.W. having deliberating concealed the true pace of their car, in order to earn B.O.P. help from the organizers, the A.C.O. Of course, most of those dark suspicions come from Porsche & Ford, both of which have been known to play B.O.P. games themselves.

Corvette, Ferrari, & Aston Martin don't seem to have the pace to keep up with B.M.W., Porsche, & Ford, but Le Mans is a long race & there's much more to it than pure speed. Fortitudine vincimas ("By endurance we conquer").

Bonus! Song o' Le Mans
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "First World Problems" from Mandatory Fun (The Last Angry Homme)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: Prayer Time Out: "The Angelus"

'Tis the festival of Saint Isfael, Bishop (floruit sixth century, of Menevia; incorrectly Anglicized as Ishmael): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Lutgardis of Aywières, Abbess, O.Cist. (1182-1246, A.K.A. of the Sacred Heart, of Tongeren; also spelt Lutgarde): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Redyng, Religious & Martyr (died 1537), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, one of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List); Martyr-link Charterhouse & Wikipedia-link Charterhouse.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses nineteen, twenty, & twenty-one;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one(b), two(a), & five; seven & eight; & nine & ten;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-three thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel speaks of vows. It calls to mind the story of Ann Russell Miller, a fabulously wealthy San Francisco socialite. Ann had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, was a denizen of the finest clubs, and liked to vacation on her yacht in the Mediterranean.

But Ann was also a very devout Catholic, and she and her husband made a vow that whoever died first, the surviving partner would dedicate his or her life to God. So when Ann’s husband died relatively young of cancer, Ann resolved to give her life to God in the most dramatic way.

She threw one more huge party for her friends—and then gave everything away and joined the cloistered Carmelite sisters in Des Plaines, Illinois. She now wears the simple brown habit of a Carmelite religious and lives a life of utter devotion, in poverty, chastity, and obedience. She sleeps on wooden planks covered by a thin mattress; she eats the simplest meatless dishes served in the convent refectory. She is no longer Ann Russell Miller; she is Sr. Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Sr. Mary fulfilled the vow she made to her husband by taking new vows as a religious. The new vows she now appreciates not as burdens but as a means to freedom. For now, in the most radical sense, she is free to give her life utterly to God.

Now, I realize that her path is a radical one, and that not everyone is called to this sort of total surrender. But everyone is indeed called to the spirit of the evangelical counsels, for we must all become detached from wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. They don’t matter at the end of the day. Only God matters.
Video reflection by Deacon Bernard Nojadera: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"It could be said that the Cross, its awful scene, its shameful story, would create an emptiness around itself, would repel the contemplation of humans. Instead, however, the Cross attracts. Jesus Himself predicted it: 'When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to Myself.'"
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"The nearer one gets to God, the simpler one becomes."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Jesus. Maria."
—St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio, 1887-1968; feast day: 23 September)

Saints + Scripture — Thursday, 7 June

The Long Road Back, Part VI of VI
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Children & Pigs"

Thursday, 7 June was the festival of Saint Colmán of Dromore (died circa 585, A.K.A. of Llangolman, Mocholmóc): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Robert of Newminster, Priest & Abbot, O.Cist. (circa 1100-1159), co-founder of Fountains Abbey & founding abbot of Newminster Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Fountains & Wikipedia-link Newminster.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Ana of Saint Bartholomew, Religious, O.C.D. (circa 1549-1626, A.K.A. Ana García Manzanas): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter two, verses eight thru fifteen;
Psalm Twenty-five, verses four & five(a/b), eight & nine, & ten & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today features the Word of God himself telling us what stands at the heart of the Law. A scribe posed, as a kind of game, the following question: "Which is the first of all the commandments?" There were hundreds of laws in the Jewish system. So it was a favorite exercise of the rabbis to seek out the single rule that somehow clarified the whole of the Law.

So Jesus gives his famous answer: "The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

What does that mean? The law is finally about love, and the love of God and neighbor are inextricably bound to one another. If we love God, but hate our neighbors, we’re wasting our time.

Why are the two loves so tightly connected? Because of who Jesus is. Jesus is not just a human being, and he is not just God. He is the God-man, the one in whom divinity and humanity come together. Therefore, it’s impossible to love him as God without loving the humanity that he’s created and embraced.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Listen to the voices that call you to great things. They call you to individual work, honestly & humbly performed; to a right conception of social services; & to a true witness each day of your lives by holiness & sanctity."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"In truth I had long known that the Lord is more tender than a mother, & I have sounded the depths of more than one mother's heart."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Stand fast in the faith & love one another."
—St. Perpetua (died 203, feast day: 7 March)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Next 24 Hours


Michel Legrand, "Le Mans: The Race, First Laps" from Le Mans/The Hunter (Bendes originales de films) (The Last Angry Homme)

Commentary: And so it begins.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Tuesday, 5 June

The Long Road Back, Part V of VI
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

Tuesday, 5 June was the Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 675-754, the "Apostle to the Germans;" of Mainz, of Crediton; A.K.A. Winfrid), martyred by pagan Frisians; who cut down Donar's Oak: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Oak.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the eighth century. He organized Christianity in many parts of germania & was made archbishop of Mainz by Pope [St.] Gregory III [10 December]. He was martyred in Frisia in 754, along with fifty-two others.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Illidius of Clermont, Bishop (died 385): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Meinwerk of Paderborn, Bishop (circa 975-1036, the "Builder Bishop"): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Łucja Szewczyk, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1828-1905, A.K.A. Małgorzata Szewczyk), foundress of the Seraphic Sisters, formally the Daughters of the Sorrowful Mother of God: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Letter of Peter, chapter three, verses twelve thru fifteen(a), seventeen, & eighteen;
Psalm Ninety, verses two, three & four, ten, & fourteen & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses thirteen thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus escapes from a trap with one of his most famous one-liners: “Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” We should not read this as though there is a clearly demarcated political realm that belongs to the Caesars of the world and a clearly demarcated spiritual realm that belongs to God. And we certainly shouldn’t read it in the modern mode—that the public arena belongs to politics, while religion is relegated to the private dimension.

No, this won’t do, precisely because God is God. He’s not a being in or above the world, nor one reality among many. God is the sheer act of being itself, which necessarily pervades, influences, grounds, and has to do with everything, even as he transcends everything in creation.

God is the deepest source for everything in life, from sports to law to the arts to science to medicine. What has seized the lawyer (at his best) is a deep passion for justice—and God is justice itself. What has seized the doctor (at his best) is a deep passion for alleviating suffering—and God is love itself. Everything comes from God and returns to God.
Video reflection by Father Bill Quinlivan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Boniface
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-six, verses nineteen thru twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verse fifteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses eleven thru sixteen.

Papal Quote o' That Day
We must conform our lives to the Gospel in all its fullness, accepting its demands & trusting its wisdom."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Charity took possession of my soul & filled me with the spirit of self-forgetfulness, & from that time I was always happy."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he."
—St. Boniface (675-754, feast day: 5 June)

The Rebel Black Dot Le Mans Song o' the Day


They Might Be Giants featuring Marty Beller, "Speed and Velocity" from Here Comes Science (The Last Angry Homme)

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the festival of Saint Vitus, Martyr (died circa 303), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Helpers-link XIV & Wikipedia-link XIV; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Scryven, Religious & Martyr, O.Cart. (died 1537), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, one of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List); Martyr-link Charterhouse & Wikipedia-link Charterhouse.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Albertina Berkenbrock, Virgin & Martyr (1919-1931), martyred by her attempted rapist, Maneco Palhoça: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses nine(a) & eleven thru sixteen;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses seven & eight(a), eight(b) & nine(a/b/c), & thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus exposes the root problems behind sexual sin. Jesus says, "You have heard it said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The act is certainly bad, of course. It’s grounded in a dysfunctional attitude, a basic misperception, a compromise of the soul. In order to be aligned to the God who is nothing but love, these underlying problems need to be addressed.

Time and again, we hear that the Church’s moral demands—especially in the sexual arena—are too stringent, that the Church ought to conform itself with societal expectations, or that huge pluralities of Catholics themselves want to lighten the load. What do these data prove? Well, nothing really, except that Catholic moral teaching is difficult. But so what? To dial down our moral ideals is to compromise the Church’s whole purpose. Jesus didn’t dial down the demands of love, and neither does his Church.
Video reflection by Paula Trigo-Galan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"Three words sum up Mary's attitude: listening, decision, action. They are words that point out a way for us, too, as we face what the Lord asks of us in life. Listening, decision, action."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"To live in love is to sail forever, spreading seeds of joy & peace in hearts."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!)"
—Bl. Miguel Pro (-, feast day:)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Monday, 4 June

The Long Road Back, Part IV of VI
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Marian Monday: "Mary, Mother of Flint"
&
Summer Book Club: "Marriage"

Monday, 4 June was the festival of Saint Metrophanes of Byzantium, Bishop (died circa 326): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Francesco Caracciolo, Priest, C.R.M. (1563-1608, A.K.A. Ascanio Pisquizio), co-founder of the Adorno Fathers, formally the Clerics Regular Minor: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.R.M.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Antoni Zawistowski, Priest & Martyr (1882-1942), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses two thru seven;
Psalm Ninety-one, verses one & two, fourteen & fifteen(b), & fifteen(c) & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses one thru twelve.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel tells of the landowner who planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants. This vineyard stands for Israel, but it could be broadened to include the whole world. Like the landowner, God has made for his people a beautiful and productive place, a place where they can find rest, enjoyment, and good work.

When vintage time drew near, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to obtain the produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Is this not the whole, sorry history of Israel and its prophets, of the world and the people whom God has sent?

Then we hear the event upon which the parable turns: “Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they killed him.” After the terrible treatment that his representatives have received, the owner sends his son? Is he crazy? Yes, a little. But this is the over-the-top patience and generosity of God, his crazy love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” knowing full well what his fate would be.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Faithfulness to Christ & to His Gospel in order to proclaim them with our words & our life, witnessing to God's love without our own love & with our charity to all: These are the luminous examples & teachings that the saints canonized today offer us.

"But they also call into question our Christian life: How am I faithful to Christ?Let us take this question with us, to think about it during the day: How am I faithful to Christ?"
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I desire neither death nor life. Were the Lord to offer me a choice, I would not choose. I will only what He wills, & I am pleased with whatever He does."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Jesus, I love You."
—St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680, feast day: 14 July)

Bonus! Le Mans Song o' the Day


Michael Giacchino, "32 Hours" from Speed Racer: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (The Last Angry Homme)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Flag Day


Operation AXIOM
Aaron Tippen, "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly" from Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly (The Last Angry American)

Commentary: The twenty-first century has not been particularly kind to these United States, as we reap the consequences of our many mistakes & missteps, as our sins come home to roost. Some days it can be awfully hard to remember just how fortunate we are to be Americans, yet we dare not lose sight of how abundantly blessed we are. The goodness & virtue of these United States is bigger than the moral failings, dirty politics, & malign policies of a Barack Obama or a Donald Trump.

Innumerable brave souls gave the last full measure of devotion to defend the honor or our flag & we dare not dishonor their sacrifice by wallowing in self-pity & despair.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Faith Family"

'Tis the festival of Saint Methodius of Constantinople, Bishop (circa 788-847, A.K.A. Methodios I), exiled as an opponent of the heresy of Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Heresy-link & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, Bishop (circa 810-886, the "sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church," A.K.A. of the Studium), exiled as an opponent of the heresy of Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Heresy-link & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Walter Eustace, Martyr (died 1583), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Irish Martyrs: Martyr-link; Martyrs-link Irish & Wikipedia-link Irish.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter eighteen, verses forty-one thru forty-six;
Psalm Sixty-five, verses ten, eleven, & twelve & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today is taken from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus has symbolically established himself as the new Moses, giving a law upon a mountain. His “you have heard it said...but I say...” has revealed that he has authority even over the Torah.

To be clear, the Law is not being abrogated here; it is being intensified. The Law was always meant to bring humanity into line with divinity. In the beginning, this alignment was at a fairly basic level. But now that the definitive Moses has appeared, the alignment is becoming absolute, radical, complete.

And so Jesus teaches, “You have heard it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” Killing is an action, but that action is rooted in a more fundamental dysfunction: a hateful attitude, a disordered soul, a basic misperception of reality. To utterly be like God, we obviously have to eliminate cruel and hateful actions; but we have to go deeper, eliminating cruel and hateful thoughts and attitudes. For God is love, right through.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"It was then that I thought of St. Francis… I thought of wars & about peace & that's how the name came to me—a man of peace, a poor man… & how I would like a church of the poor, for the poor."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"There is no need for me to grow up. In fact, just the opposite: I must become less and less."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"O, my God!"
—St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556, feast day: 31 July)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXIX

Operation AXIOM: The World War
March-April 1918: The Sixtus Affair—Emperor-King Karl I & IV of Austria-Hungary (now Blessed Karl of Austria) attempted to negotiate a separate peace with the French, using as an intermediary Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, his brother-in-law & a Belgian officer; the secret initiative was publicized by the French, leading to the resignation of the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister Count Ottokar Czernin.





Lest we forget.