Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Spring Offensive, Part I
21 March-5 April 1918: Operation Michael—The Germans, bolstered by fifty divisions transferred to the Western Front after the victory on the Eastern Front, launched an all-out offensive aimed at driving the British Expeditionary Force into the sea & the French to the negotiating table, making widespread use of "stormtrooper" tactics & including the combat debut of a German tank, the A7V.





Lest we forget.

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Three…


This is the week! But three days remain 'til Narwhal Day! Narwhal Day is fun for all ages!

Saints + Scripture: Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday

'Tis the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Pentecost-link & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
[Pentecost] commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles & other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. This event represents the birth of the catholic Church.
Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Mass during the Day
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & twenty-four, twenty-nine & thirty, & thirty-one & thirty-four;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, verses three(b) thru seven, twelve, & thirteen;
or, the Letter to the Galatians, chapter five, verses sixteen thru twenty-five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen thru twenty-three;
or, the Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses twenty-six & twenty-seven & chapter sixteen, verses twelve thru fifteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel for today, drawn from St. John’s account, Jesus shows his disciples the wounds of his Crucifixion, and then he offers them shalom (peace). It is the juxtaposition of the wounds and the shalom that carries power. The wounds alone would leave us afraid, convinced of our sin but not of a way out. The shalom alone would leave us with cheap grace, a too easy way out.

And this is precisely why, immediately after uttering that word and showing those wounds, Jesus sends the disciples on a mission of forgiveness: "Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.’"

The Church receives its essential mission and identity as the bearer of the divine forgiveness. We have been entrusted with speaking the
shalom of Jesus to a fallen and hopeless world. But it’s not cheap grace that we share. We participate in Jesus’ mission of showing his wounds as well. The Church refuses to explain sin away or make excuses for it or call it by another name. But when those wounds are revealed, it offers peace.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

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


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-one
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
In every age, there are a small number of men & women who are prepared to turn their backs on popular culture & personal gain to embrace heroically the life Jesus outlines in the Gospels. These people fashion Catholicism into a lifestyle, they listen attentively to the voice of God in their lives, & they passionately pursue their personal adventure of salvation. As a result, they capture the attention & the imagination of everyone who crosses their path.


Otherwise, 20 May would be the festival of Saint Lucifer of Calgiari, Bishop (died circa 370), who vigorously opposed the Arian heresy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Heresy.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Ælfthryth of Crowland, Virgin (died circa 835, A.K.A. Alfreda, Etheldrytha): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Bernardino of Siena, Priest, O.F.M. (1380-1444, the "Apostle of Italy"), who popularized devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus thru the IHS Christogram: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Holy Name & Wikipedia-link IHS.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed María Crescentia, Religious (1897-1932, "Sister Sweetness," A.K.A. María Angélica Pérez): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The truth is not always the same as the majority decision."
—Pope John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I am not dying, I am entering into Life…"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Heart of Jesus, I ask You for a special blessing for Chile, given that it is God’s will that I die here. Gladly I offer You the sacrifice for the peace & tranquility of this nation."
—Bl. María Crescentia (1897-1932, feast day: 20 May)

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


Audrey Assad, "Spirit of the Living God" from Fortunate Fall (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"O Spirit of the living God, thou Light and Fire Divine,
Descend upon Thy Church once more and make it truly Thine,
Fill it with love and joy and power, with righteousness and peace,
Till Christ shall dwell in human hearts, and sin and sorrow cease!

"Oh-oh-oh-oh…

"Blow, wind of God, with wisdom blow until our minds are free,
From mists of error, clouds of doubt, which blind our eyes to Thee,
Burn, winged fire, inspire our lips with flaming love and zeal,
To preach to all Thy great good news, God's glorious commonweal!

"Oh-oh-oh-oh…

"So shall we know the power of Christ, Who came this world to save,
So shall we rise with Him to life which soars beyond the grave,
And earth shall win true holiness which makes Thy children whole,
Till, perfected by Thee, we reach creation's glorious goal.

"Oh-oh-oh-oh…"

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Songs o' History Quiz Night

Project MERCATOR: Misty Beavers (defeated)—The History o' History Quiz Night '18, in Song
Samstag, 24. März
Taylor Swift, "Better than Revenge" from Speak Now (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: When the scores were announced, with the Misty Beavers in second place, no one clapped & cheered more loudly for the new champions, Ben Swallows, than did we. After all, not only are several of their team our pals & former teammates, but even with the History Quiz Night organizers & every other disadvantaged stacked against us, we were still beaten fair & square. We chanted "Four more years! Four more years!" for Ben swallows & some pathetic, bitter old shrew shouted back, "No more years! You lost!" I shouted back, "Four more years for them! We're cheering for them!" & to my credit did not hurl any of the well-earned expletives that horrible woman had coming. I must say, with the rest of the saints I will laugh & laugh when that salty crone is sentenced, on Judgment Day, to the eternity in hellfire that awaits all scoffers & all those who, unable to find anything worthwhile in themselves, seek their wretched satisfaction in tearing others down.

Without taking anything away from Ben Swallows, we Misty Beavers were the architects of our own demise when we failed to embrace the spirit that had so often carried us to History Quiz Night victory. The only other year (since I joined the team) in which we failed to win was also the only other year in which we failed to give ourselves a year-specific name, which is our year-specific mission. Next year, we will not repeat that mistake. I'm only one Beaver, I do not speak for the whole team, but if I have anything to say about it, next year our mission will be clear. We will be Misty Beavers REVENGE.
"…She should keep in mind,
She should keep in mind,
There is nothing I do better than revenge.

"And do you still feel like you know what you're doing?
'Cause I don't think you do.
Oh, do you still feel like you know what you're doing?
'Cause I don't think you do, I don't think you do.
Let's hear the applause.

"C'mon, show me how much better you are,
See, you deserve some applause.
'Cause you're so much better…"
2013: Misty Beavers—Tied, 3rd Place
2014: Misty Beavers Redemption—Champions
2015: Misty Beavers Repeat—Champions
2016: Misty Beavers Dynasty—Champions
2017: Misty Beavers Empire—Champions
2018: Misty Beavers—2nd Place
2019: Misty Beavers Revenge—woe to those who stand against us!

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Four…


Four day's 'til Narwhal Day! Raise yer glass, or bottle, & toast to that oddest of whales, the narwhal!

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: "Heaven, Hell, & the iGen"

'Tis the festival of Blessed Alcuin of York, Deacon & Abbot (730-804): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Dunstan, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (909-988, of Canterbury), who as abbot introduced the Benedictine Rule at the Abbey of Glastonbury: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Rule, Wikipedia-link Abbey, & Wikipedia-link Abbots.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Nephew of St. Athelm [8 January], also an Archbishop of Canterbury, & kinsman of St. Ælfheah the Bald [12 March].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Celestine V, Pope, O.S.B. Cel. (circa 1210-1296, A.K.A. Pietro Angelerio, of Morrone), one hundred ninety-second (CXCII) Bishop of Rome, founder of the Celestines, a branch of the Benedictines: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link O.S.B. Cel..

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Peter Wright, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1603-1651), martyred in the reign of the English warlord Oliver Cromwell: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Theophilus of Corte, Priest, O.F.M. (1676-1740, A.K.A. Biagio Arrighi): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday: Mass in the Morning
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-eight, verses sixteen thru twenty, thirty, & thirty-one;
Psalm Eleven, verses four, & five & seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses twenty thru twenty-five.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in the Gospel Jesus rebuffs Peter’s question about the fate of John. “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” The undercurrent here is the promise of eternal life, the union of divinity and humanity, and the call to follow Jesus. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning or wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

Think of the oceans of tears that have been shed by suffering humanity up and down the ages. Think of the agony caused by sickness, by psychological torment, and by the death of loved ones. It will all be swallowed up, washed away, taken up into a higher place.

And what makes all of this possible? Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. He is the reconciliation of divinity and humanity; he is the new Jerusalem; he is the accomplishment of the covenant.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Vigil Mass
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
or, the Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses three thru eight(a) & sixteen thru twenty(b);
or, the Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses one thru fourteen;
or, the Book of Joel, chapter three, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two, twenty-four & thirty-five, twenty-seven & twenty-eight, & twenty-nine & thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses thirty-seven, thirty-eight, & thirty-nine.


Mass Readings—Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Extended Vigil Mass
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
Psalm Thirty-three, verses ten & eleven, twelve & thirteen, & fourteen & fifteen;
The Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses three thru eight(a) & sixteen thru twenty(b);
The Book of Daniel, chapter three, verses fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-five, & fifty-six;
or, Psalm Nineteen, verses eight, nine, ten, & eleven;
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses one thru fourteen;
Psalm One Hundred Seven, verses two thru nine;
The Book of Joel, chapter three, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two, twenty-four & thirty-five, twenty-seven & twenty-eight, & twenty-nine & thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses thirty-seven, thirty-eight, & thirty-nine.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"May Jews, Christians, & Muslims find in other believers brothers & sisters to be respected & loved."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Each time I needed food for the souls in my charge, I always found my hands filled. Had I relied on my own strength, I should very soon have been forced to surrender."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Be brave, because I am going to Paradise; but I shall always remain with you, too; I shall never abandon you!"
—St. Clelia Barbieri (1847-1870, feast day: 13 July)

The Rebel Black Dot Holy Ghost Song o' the Day

Cowboy Junkies, "Working On a Building" from The Trinity Session (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Working on a building,
A Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, for my Lord,
If I was a drunkard,
I tell you what I'd do:
I would quit my drinking
And work on that building, too.

"Working on a building,
A Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, yeah, for my Lord
If I was a liar,
I tell you what I'd do:
I would quit my lying
And work on that building, too.

"Working on a building,
It's a Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, yeah, for my Lord.

"Working on a building,
It's a Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, yeah, for my Lord,
If I was a singer,
I tell you what I'd do:
I would keep on singing
And work on that building, too."

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Songs o' History Quiz Night

Project MERCATOR: Misty Beavers (defeated)—The History o' History Quiz Night '18, in Song
Freitag, 23. März
Dropkick Murphys, "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced" from Blackout (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: In defeat, the Misty Beavers retired to the Soggy Bottom Bar & drank. Fear not, we weren't wallowing in dejection. In years past, in victory, the Misty Beavers retired to the Soggy Bottom Bar & drank. We were dejected, to be sure, unable to do shots out of our championship trophies, but most of all we were just glad to be together. I had long, & long overdue, conversations with both Red Patton & the Animal, & made two new friends, Millennials, a brother & sister who recognized me from daily Mass at St. Matthew in downtown Flint.

The defeat stung, of that let there be no doubt, but even as we licked out wounds I could not help but think of the words of Churchill, which I posted to the Misty Beavers' FaceSpace page the next day:
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."
Meanwhile, we did have wounds to lick & libations to imbibe.
"I play in a band,
We're the best in the land,
We're big in both Chelsea and France.
I play one mean guitar
And then score at the bar,
There's a line of chick waiting for their chance.
So, come on now, Honey,
I'll make you feel pretty,
These other gals means nothing to me!
Let's finish these drinks
And be gone for the night,
I'm more than a handful, you'll see!

"So, kiss me, I'm shitfaced!
I'm soaked, I'm soiled and brown,
In the trousers she kissed me,
And I only bought her one round…

"Ah, fuck it, who am I shittin'?
I'm a pitiful sight
And I ain't all that bright,
I'm definitely not chiseled from stone.
I'm a cheat and a liar,
No woman's desire,
I'll probably die cold and alone…"

The Rebel Black Dot Holy Ghost Song o' the Day

Melanie Rea, "Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God" from It Is Well (The Last Angry Man)

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Five…


Five day's 'til Narwhal Day! Make ready! Make ready!

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, Pope & Martyr (died 526), fifty-third (LIII) Bishop of Rome, martyred in the reign of the Gothic king Theodoric, an Arian heretic: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Heresy.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was sent on a diplomaic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theodoric to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theodoric had the Pope imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Eric of Sweden, Martyr (circa 1120-1161, A.K.A. King Eric IX, the Lawgiver), martyred by pagans led by the usurper Magnus Henriksson: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Felix of Cantalice, Religious, O.F.M. Cap. (1515-1587, A.K.A. Felice Porri): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Marcin Oprządek, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. (1884-1942, A.K.A. Jan Oprządek), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (list, № 4); Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-five, verses thirteen(b) thru twenty-one;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, eleven & twelve, & nineteen & twenty(a/b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses fifteen thru nineteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel tells of the great engagement between the risen Jesus and Peter. Peter knows his sin—he betrayed Jesus three times. But Jesus brings him through the process of repentance and gives him the key to transformation. Three times Peter denied the Lord, and so three times Jesus asks him to reaffirm his faith: "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Notice that Christianity is not a set of ideas or convictions or principles. It is a relationship with a person. Do you love Jesus? Has he become your friend?

When Simon says yes, Jesus tests him: "Feed my lambs; tend my sheep; feed my sheep." The test of love is action. Are we willing to do what Jesus did? Are we willing to go on mission on his behalf?

Then we hear that wonderful closing section: "As a young man you fastened your belt and went about as you pleased; but when you are older you will stretch out your hands, and another will tie you fast and carry you off against your will." The ultimate test of discipleship is our willingness to abandon our egos and be carried by a power greater than ourselves.
Video reflection by Paula Trigo-Galan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. John I
The Book of Revelation, chapter three, verses fourteen(b), twenty, twenty-one, & twenty-two;
Psalm Twenty-three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-two, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"What was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries."
—Pope St. Leo I the Great (400-461, feast day: 10 November)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"It is so wonderful to think that God is really just, that God takes into account our weakness and our frailty."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Blood! Blood! Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."
—St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church (1347-1380, feast day: 29 April)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Songs o' History Quiz Night

Project MERCATOR: Misty Beavers (defeated)—The History o' History Quiz Night '18, in Song
Donnerstag, 22. März
James Darren, "Here's to the Losers" from This One's from the Heart (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: After four consecutive triumphs, we Misty Beavers ran into an opponent we couldn't defeat: ourselves. We were off from the word "Go," anxious, uncertain, & distracted. Long have we prided ourselves on "winning the fun," on being raucous & joyous on our merry way to victory. We don't win the fun because we win the quiz, we win the quiz because we win the fun. This bewitched Friday, we won neither the fun nor the quiz.

None of which is meant to take anything away from the victors, Ben Swallows, a team build around a core of former Misty Beavers, hangers-on if never official teammates (due to the History Quiz Night restrictions on team size). They played a masterful game, scoring forty-eight correct answers out of fifty-four questions (eighty-nine percent [89%]). Even on a good night, we Misty Beavers would have been hard pressed to defeat Ben Swallows. As it was, even plagued by anxiety, defeatism, & self-doubt even before we were defeated, we finished in a comfortable second place (first loser), but well behind the champions with only forty-two out of fifty-four correct (seventy-eight per cent [78%]).

We lost, something we had not done since my first year as a Misty Beaver, 2013.
"Here's the last toast of the evening,
Here's to those who still believe
All the losers will be winners,
All the givers shall receive,
Here's to trouble-free tomorrows,
May your sorrows all be small,
Here's to the losers,
Here's to the losers,
Here's to the losers,
Bless them all!"

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Saturday, 12 May

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

Saturday, 12 May was the Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus & Achilleus, Martyrs (died 98, of Terracina), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Trajan: Martyrs-link, Martyr-link November, Martyr-link Alpha, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The old Roman lists of the fifth century, which passed over into the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, contained the names of the two martyrs Nereus & Achilleus, whose grave was in the Catacomb of Domitilla on the Via Ardeatina. Nereus & Achilleus are also mentioned in the Sacramentarium Gelasianum. The Basilica of Ss. Nereus & Achilleus in the Via Ardeatina, to which the relics of the saints were translated in the sixth century, was erected above the burial site of the two saints & is [from] the latter part of the fourth century.
'Twas also the Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, Martyr (circa 289-304), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Saint Pancras was a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity, & was beheaded for his faith at the age of fourteen, around the year 304. His name is Greek & means, "the one who holds everything."
'Twas also the festival of Saint Ephram of Jerusalem, Bishop (floruit 135, also spelt Efrem): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Dominic of the Causeway, Priest & Hermit (1019-1109, A.K.A. Domingo García), so-called because he built bridges & causeways to ease the pilgrimage along the Way of Saint James (the Camino de Santiago): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Camino.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eighteen, verses twenty-three thru twenty-eight;
Psalm Forty-seven, verses two & three, eight & nine, & ten;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twenty-three(b) thru twenty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel urges us to expect the Father to answer our prayers because he loves us. “On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”

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. He is, rather, the one who wants nothing other than to give us good things—though they might not always be what we want.

The entire point of religion is to make us humble before God and to open us to the path of love. Everything else is more or less a footnote. Liturgy, prayer, the precepts of the Church, the commandments, sacraments, sacramentals—all of it—are finally meant to conform us to the way of love. When they instead turn us away from that path, they have been undermined.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. Nereus & Achilleus
The Book of Revelation, chapter seven, verses nine thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-two.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Pancras
The Book of Revelation, chapter nineteen, verses one & five thru nine(a);
Psalm One Hundred Three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five thru thirty.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Suffering is a necessary ingredient of holiness. Love is like it. The love that Christ teaches us & that He first lived to give us an example is a merciful love, a love that atones & saves through suffering."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Your Face, O my sweet Savior, is the divine bouquet of myrrh I want to keep on my heart!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Holy Mary, pray for me, a poor sinner."
—St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879, feast day: 16 April)

The Rebel Black Dot Holy Ghost Song o' the Day

Francesca Battistelli, "Holy Spirit" from If We're Honest (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Holy Spirit, You are welcome here,
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere,
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord…"

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Six…


Can it be true? Only six more days 'til Narwhal Day? That's right, less than a week 'til Narwhal Day!

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide

'Tis the festival of Saint Thethmar, Priest, O.Præm. (died 1152): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Pàscuàl Baylón, Religious, O.F.M. (1540-1592, the "Seraph of the Eucharist," Anglicized as Paschal Baylon): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Ivan Ziatyk, Priest & Martyr, C.Ss.R. (1899-1952), martyred in the reign of the Communist dictator Joseph Stalin, one of the twenty-five Martyrs Killed under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link XXV.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-two, verse thirty & chapter twenty-three, verses six thru eleven;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one, two(a), & five; seven & eight; nine & ten; & eleven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus prays for our unity with him and for us to be immersed in God’s love. "I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them."

We are not simply supplicants or penitents, calling to God from without; we are sons and daughters, friends, calling to him from within. The Paschal Mystery is intelligible only in the light of the doctrine of the Trinity. God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, even to the limits of godforsakenness, even into sin and death, into the darkest corners of human experience, in order to find us.

But this acrobatic act of love is possible only if there is in the very being of God a sender and one that he can send, only if there is a Father and a Son. The language Jesus uses—"that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me"—shows us that the Father and the Son are united in love, and this love is itself the divine life. Thus there is a Spirit, coequal to the Father and the Son.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"The Ascension of Jesus into heaven acquaints us with this deeply consoling reality on our journey: In Christ, true God & true man, our humanity was taken to God."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"I have always desired to become a saint, but in comparing myself with the saints I have always felt that I am as far removed from them as a grain of sand, trampled underfoot by the passer-by is from the mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"My only desire is to see Mary who saved me & who will save me from the clutches of Satan."
—Bl. Bartolo Longo (1841-1926, feast day: 5 October)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXI

Operation AXIOM: The World War
16 May 1918: The Sedition Act, an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917, was signed into law by President Wilson, further restricting freedom of speech & criminalizing opposition to the war, even "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, & abusive language;" the Act applied only "when the United States is in war," but some of those incarcerated remained so after the Armistice & the Paris Peace Conference.





Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Saint Brendan's Day


Great Big Sea, "Jolly Roving Tar" from Play (The Last Angry Man)

O'Commentary: Chosen in honor o' St. Brendan the Navigator & companions, & all those who sail in search o' St. Brendan's Isle: Wikipedia-link.

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Seven…
Every year since the dawning o' the third millennium, 23 May has been observed as Narwhal Day, a day to celebrate & sympathize with the narwhal, an animal that is proof positive of Creation's delightfully enduring oddity. The eighteenth Narwhal Day is now but seven days hence—make ready!

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

The Popish Plot
Wordy Wednesday: "The Story of Your Life"

'Tis the festival of Saint Brendan of Clonfert, Priest & Abbot (circa 484-577, A.K.A. the Navigator, the Voyager), one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XII.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Simon Stock, Religious, O.Carm. (circa 1165-1265), to whom was revealed the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Scapular-link & Wikipedia-link Scapular.

'Tis also the festival of Saint John of Nepomuk, Priest & Martyr (circa 1340-1393, A.K.A. John Nepomucene, etc.), martyred in the reign of the Bohemian king Wenceslaus IV: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Andrzej Bobola, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1591-1657, the "Apostle of Lithuania"), martyred in the reign of the Cossack warlord Bohdan Khmelnytsky: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Vladimir Ghika, Priest & Martyr (1873-1954), martyred in the reign of the Communist dictator Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-eight;
Psalm Sixty-eight, verses twenty-nine & thirty; thirty-three, thirty-four, & thirty-five9a); & thirty-five(b/c) & thirty-six(a/b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus prays, saying: “I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.”

Sadness of soul follows from the heaviness of self-regard, a sadness and weight which precludes real union with the other. Joy, on the other hand, must be the principal “emotion” shared by the trinitarian persons, since their life is nothing but self-forgetting love. Joy, a concomitant of that ecstasy, is the mark of anyone caught in the loop of grace and the gift of Jesus Christ to his Church.

Chesterton’s magnificent comment is apposite here: “A characteristic of the great saints is their power of levity. Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.” And nothing so conquers the dull sadness and heaviness of self-regard—nothing so makes us fly with lightness and levity—as the surprise and facticity of the Resurrection.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"How sweet, how consoling it is for us who wish to walk in the footsteps of the Lord to have before us Mary, her image, her remembrance, her kindness, her humility & purity, her greatness. How close to us the Gospel is in the power that Mary personifies & radiates with human & superhuman splendor."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"The power of prayer has been understood by all the saints, & especially, perhaps, by those who have illumined the world with the light of Christ's teaching."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"One little deed, done against natural inclinations for God's sake… has in it power outbalancing all the dust & chaff of mere profession."
—Bl. John Henry Newman (1801-1890, feast day: 9 October)

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 336.0 lbs
This weigh-in: 337.0 lbs.
Difference: +1.0 lbs.

Well, that's not good. Not surprising, but still not good.

Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
Jim Gaffigan, "Fruits & Vegetables" from Obsessed (The Last Angry Easter Feaster)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Friday, 11 May

The Long Road Back, Part II of III

The Popish Plot
Prayer Time Out: "The Novena to the Holy Spirit"

Friday, 11 May the festival of Saint Odilo of Cluny, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 962-1049), fifth Abbot of the Abbey of Cluny, who instituted All Souls' Day & promoted the Peace & Truce of God: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Abbey-link, Wikipedia-link Abbey, & Wikipedia-link Abbots; Wikipedia-link All Souls' & Wikipedia-link Pax.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Blesseds John Rochester & James Walworth, Priests & Martyrs, O.Cart. (died 1537), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, the third group of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link Juliett Romeo & Wikipedia-link Juliett Romeo, Martyr-link Juliett Whiskey; Martyrs-link O.Cart. & Wikipedia-link O.Cart.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Ignatius of Laconi, Religious, O.F.M. Cap. (1701-1781, A.K.A. Vincenzo Peis): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eighteen, verses nine thru eighteen;
Psalm Forty-seven, verses two & three, four & five, & six & seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twenty thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel calls us to pray in Jesus’ name, making our prayer a way of life. Have you noticed that when we pray liturgically, officially, we always do so in the name of Jesus the Lord? This is because Jesus himself told us so: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are relying on his influence with the Father, trusting that the Father will listen to him.

It also is a way of naturally monitoring and shaping our prayers. When we pray "through Christ our Lord," we are praying in the stance, attitude, and spirit of Jesus, deigning to want the sort of things that he wants. So we can pray, honestly and consistently, for justice, peace, forgiveness, and greater love, all in Jesus’ name.
Video reflection by Doctor Ricardo Luzondo: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"All are called to holiness, & it is possible to all. It is an invitation from the heart of God the father Who sanctifies & divinizes us through the grace merited by Christ. This grace is sustained by the Holy Spirit, nourished by the Sacraments, & transmitted by the Church."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Jesus may hide Himself, but we know He is there."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Your will be done. Come, Lord Jesus!"
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast day: 28 August)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

MxPx, "Punk Rock Girl" from On the Cover II (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"I tapped her on the shoulder,
I said, 'Do you have a beau?'
She look at me and smiled
And said she did not know…"

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Isidore (circa 1070-1130, of Madrid; A.K.A. the Farmer): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Alas, the Holy Redeemer bulletin gave a hagiography of St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop & Doctor of the Church [4 April], not today's St. Isidore the Farmer, a layman.

St. Isisdore & Bl. María were husband & wife, though after the death of their only child they lived chastely, as brother & sister.


'Tis also the festival of Blessed María de la Cabeza (died 1175, A.K.A. Maria Torriba): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Bertha & Rupert of Bingen, Pilgrims (died circa 757 & 712-732), Rupert was buried beneath the hill named Rupertsberg in his honor, after which Bertha established her hermitage there: Saint-link Bravo & Wikipedia-link Bravo, Saint-link Romeo & Wikipedia-link Romeo; Wikipedia-link Rupertsberg.

Commentary: Ss. Bertha & Rupert were mother & son.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed André Abellon, Priest, O.P. (1375-1450): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses seventeen thru twenty-seven;
Psalm Sixty-eight, verses ten & eleven & twenty & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses one thru eleven(a).

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, Jesus’ prayer in today’s Gospel sums up his wonderful work as he is about to return to his Father. Jesus was, in his very person, the meeting of heaven and earth. God and humanity came together in him, and his entire ministry was the outward expression of that inward identity. By calling a scattered Israel to unity, inviting the poor to table fellowship, healing the sick in body and heart, and embodying the path of forgiveness and love, Jesus was bringing God’s will and purpose to earth.

Now, in his Passion and Death, Jesus brought heaven all the way down into the world. He carried the divine light into the darkest places of the human condition—hatred, cruelty, violence, corruption, stupidity, suffering, and death itself—and thereby transformed them. And the proof that heaven is able to transform earth is, of course, the Resurrection.

Now we know that cruelty, hatred, violence, fear, suffering, and death are not the most powerful forces in the world. Now we know that the divine love is more powerful. God’s kingdom has, in principle, broken the kingdoms of the world, which thrive upon, and in turn produce, those very negativities.
Video reflection by Father James Vacco, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Isidore
The Book of Revelation, chapter nineteen, verses one & five thru nine(a);
Psalm One Hundred Three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five thru thirty.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"To be a mother is a great treasure. Mothers, in their unconditional & sacrificial love for their children, are the antidote to individualism; they are the greatest enemies against war."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Do not let your weakness make you unhappy. When, in the morning, we feel no courage or strength for the practice of virtue, it is really a grace: it is the time to 'lay the axe to the root of the tree,' relying on Jesus alone."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"A mother's love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa, 1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAfter Party!

The Aquabats!, "C.D. Repo Man!" from The Return of the Aquabats! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Skammentary!: The lyrics of this song must be completely incomprehensible to those who've grown up with downloadable/streaming music era.
"When C.D. Repo Man, that guy is on a roll,
He'll jump through windows to get back what the suckers stole,
He looks tame, but you know he will attack,
He does his job to get your C.D.s back!

"C.D. Repo Man!
He can go where I can't go,
C.D. Repo Man!
He'll infiltrate your stereo,
C.D. Repo Man!
He'll creep up around your back,
C.D. Repo Man!
He'll get your CDs back!

"When your possessions are gone
And something is wrong,
There is action to take.
Don't call him unless you're really ticked
Because there is no escape.
He wears a suit, it looks like he's strapped,
Don't mess with him or you'll get smacked,
Don't steal my CDs,
That don't make no sense,
Because the Repo Man is always intense!…

(Sidekick) "'Wow, that was intense!'
(C.D. Repo Man) "'Repo Man's always intense. Come on, let's go get a drink!'"

Saints + Scripture: Feast of St. Matthias

Eastertide

'Tis the Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle (died circa 80): Apostle-link ūnus, Apostle-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Apostles.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The apostle chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot following Judas's betrayal of Jesus & his subsequent death.
Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. Matthias
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, & twenty thru twenty-six;
Psalm One Hundred Thirteen, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & seven & eight;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses nine thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus announces to his disciples: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”

Many mysticisms and philosophies of the ancient world—Platonism and Gnosticism come readily to mind—spoke of God or the sacred, but they spoke of it as a force or a value or an ontological source. It was impersonal and at an infinite remove from the world of ordinary experience. These ancient schools find an echo in many modern and contemporary theologies. Think of deism, which was so influential on the founders of the United States, or even the New Age philosophy of our time. These speak of a “divine” principle or power, but one would never dream of addressing such a force as “thou” or of engaging with it in intimate conversation.

Then there is the Bible. The Scriptures obviously present God as the overwhelming, transcendent, uncontrollable, inscrutable Creator of the heavens and the earth, but they insist that this sublime and frightening power is a person who deigns to speak to us, to guide us, and to invite us into his life.

In making that utterance—“I no longer call you slaves, but friends”—Jesus turned all of religious philosophy and mysticism on its head.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


'Tis also the festival of Saint Dyfan, Martyr (died circa 180), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Commodus: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Érembert of Toulouse, Bishop, O.S.B. (610-672, A.K.A. of Fontenelle, of Wocourt): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"Today the Church is alive. Despite all contrary appearances, the Church is united. The Church is & remains the yeast in the dough, the signal among the nations."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"Our mission as Carmelites is to form evangelical workers who will save thousands of souls."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion & for my God. It is for Him that I die. My immortal life is on the point of beginning. Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death, because God has eternal chastisements in store for those who have refused to know Him!"
—St. Andrew Kim Taegon (1821-1846, feast day: 20 September)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Saturday, 5 May

The Long Road Back, Part I of III

Saturday, 5 May was the festival of Saint Hilary of Arles, Bishop (circa 400-449): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Avertinus of Tours, Deacon & Hermit (died 1180): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Jutta of Kulmsee, Hermitess, T.O.S.F. (circa 1200-1260; A.K.A. of Sangerhausen, of Thuringia, of Prussia): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, Religious, C.F.C. (1762-1844, in Irish: Éamann Iognáid Rís), founder of the Congregation of Christian Brothers & the Congregation of Presentation Brothers: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.F.C. & Wikipedia-link F.P.M.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter sixteen, verses one thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred, verses one(b) & two, three, & five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses eighteen thru twenty-one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel balances our Easter joy with the warning of danger from a society opposed to God: “If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.”

It is altogether appropriate that, during this Easter season, we rejoice. The Lord is risen; he is truly risen. Jesus Christ is Lord, God is King, and sin and death have been defeated. All of that is true and remains centrally important during this season.

At the same time, we must not succumb to a “cheap grace” interpretation of Christianity, whereby Christ is risen and all is well. As Julian of Norwich said, “All will be well, all manner of things will be well.” Notice the future tense. The definitive battle has been won, but the war continues. The struggle is ongoing.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"We believe we are free because we liberate ourselves from what we have learned, because we get away from obedience & rules, because we entrust ourselves to the new & unknown. But we often fail to notice that we are becoming followers of others' ideas & imitators of fashion imposed by others."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Jesus is in paradise & it is there your heart should dwell."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Lord, eternal King of glory, receive me hanging from the wood of this sweet cross. Thou Who art my God, Whom I have seen, do not permit them to loosen me from the cross. Do this for me, O Lord, for I know the virtue of Thy Holy Cross."
—St. Andrew, Apostle (first century, feast day: 30 November)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Saints + Scripture: The Ascension of the Lord

Better Late than Never*

In the Diocese of Lansing (as throughout the Ecclesiastical Province of Detroit), as in most of these United States, today is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord: Ascension-link, Wikipedia-link Ascension, & Wikipedia-link Feast.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm Forty-seven, verses two & three, six & seven, & eight & nine;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter one, verses seventeen thru twenty-three;
or, The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter four, verses one thru thirteen
(or, the Letter to the Ephesians, chapter four, verses one thru seven, eleven, twelve, & thirteen);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verses fifteen thru twenty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus is taken up to his Father in heaven. We tend to read the Ascension along essentially Enlightenment lines, rather than biblical lines—and that causes a good deal of mischief. Enlightenment thinkers introduced a two-tier understanding of heaven and earth. They held that God exists, but that he lives in a distant realm called heaven, where he looks at the human project moving along, pretty much on its own steam, on earth.

On this Enlightenment reading, the Ascension means that Jesus goes up, up, and away, off to a distant and finally irrelevant place. But the biblical point is this: Jesus has gone to heaven so as to direct operations more fully here on earth. That’s why we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Jesus has not gone up, up, and away, but rather—if I can put it this way—more deeply into our world. He has gone to a dimension that transcends but impinges upon our universe.
Video reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.


In much of the world, though, where the Ascension is observed on the Thursday forty days after the Resurrection of the Lord, today is the Seventh Sunday of Easter: Wikipedia-link Eastertide.

Mass Readings—Seventh Sunday of Easter
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, twenty(a), & twenty(c) thru twenty-six;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, eleven & twelve, & nineteen & twenty;
The First Letter of John, chapter four, verses eleven thru sixteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus prays: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.”

The Church is one because its founder is one. Jesus compels a choice precisely because he claims to speak and act in the very person of God. Jesus simply cannot be one teacher among many, and therefore those who walk in his way must be exclusively with him.

Moreover, the God whom Jesus incarnates is one. The Israelite conception of God is fiercely monotheistic and hence it excludes any diversity or syncretism at the level of basic belief: “The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Joseph Ratzinger commented that the opening line of the Nicene Creed,
Credo in unum Deum (I believe in one God), is a subversive statement because it automatically rules out any rival claimant to ultimate concern.

To say that one accepts only the God of Israel and Jesus Christ is to say that one rejects as ultimate any human being, any culture, any political party, any artistic form, or any set of ideas. A Christian is someone who, at the most fundamental level of his or her being, is centered on the one God of Jesus Christ.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.


Mass Journal: Week Twenty
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
In every age, the Church experiences problems & difficulties. Our time is no different. The solution to the problems that plague our lives & the Church is unchanging & singular. The problems are many; the solution is solitary. Personal holiness is the answer to every problem. In every situation in my life, in every problem, in every difficulty, I know that if I allow the values & principles of the Gospel to guide me, it will turn out for the best.


Otherwise, 13 May would be the festival of Our Lady of Fátima (apparitions 13 May-13 October 1917): Madonna-link ūna, Madonna-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint John the Silent, Bishop & Hermit (454-558, A.K.A. the Hesychast): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Maël, Hermit (floruit sixth century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Jesus is the center of history & of all things. He is the One Who knows us & loves us, the Companion & Friend of our life, a Man of sorrow & hope."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"The expression of Our Lady's face was ineffably sweet, tender, & compassionate; but what touched me to the very depths of my soul was her gracious smile. Then, all my pain vanished…"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon Our Lady. Just say this simple paryer: 'Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a Mother to me now.' I must admit: this prayer has never failed me."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa, 1910-1997; feast day: 5 September)

*The title "Better Late than Never" means it is better that this "Saints & Scripture" post be published late (the scheduled publication time is three o'clock post meridian) than never published at all. A second layer of meaning occurs to me, that even for those of us who believe the Solemnity of the Ascension ought be celebrated on the preceding Thursday, it is better to celebrate it late—or at least later, on the following Sunday—than never to celebrate the Ascension at all. I will continue to pray for the metropolitan & the ordinaries (the bishops throughout the Ecclesiastical Province of Detroit) to be convicted by the Spirit of Truth to move the observance of the Ascension back to the traditional Thursday—& to celebrate the sadly neglected Seventh Sunday of Easter on the following Sunday, the Sunday prior to Pentecost—but in the meanwhile Ascension Sunday is better late than never.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday

Samstag, 12. Mai
P!nk, "So What" from Funhouse (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: The good news is the marriage that P!nk sings of being so imperiled in "So What" (2008) endures to this day (2018), after counseling & reconciliation, & has even produced two children. Here's hoping P!nk & her husband help lead each other to Heaven, which is the first duty of every husband to his wife & the first duty of every wife to her husband.
"So, so what?
I'm still a rock star,
I got my rock moves,
And I don't need you,
And guess what,
I'm havin' more fun,
And now that we're done,
I'm gonna show you tonight!
I'm alright, I'm just fine,
And you're a tool!
So, so what?
I am a rock star,
I got my rock moves,
And I don't want you tonight…"

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


The Daughters of Mary, "Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest" from De Profundis (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Happy Mothers' Day! Mary, Mother of Flint, óra pro nóbis!

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAfter Party


"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Your Horoscope for Today" from Running with Scissors (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Such was the popularity of ska in the late '90s that even "Weird Al," in many ways a barometer of cultural relevance, wrote a style parody of third-wave ska-punk.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, & Grandmaster Caz, "Downtown" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide*

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Damien de Veuster, Priest, SS.CC. (1840-1889, of Molokai, the "Apostle to the Lepers;" A.K.A. Jozef de Veuster): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium & member of the Congregation of the Sacrred Hearts of Jesus & Mary, a missionary religious institute. He won recognition for this service from 1873 to 1889 in the Kingdom of Hawai'i to people with leprosy, who were required to live under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Moloka'i.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed Niccolò Albergati, Bishop, O.Cart. (1373-1443): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint John of Ávila, Priest & Doctor of the Church (1499-1569, the "Apostle of Andalusia"): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Doctor.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Ivan Merz, Confessor (1896-1928): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eighteen, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Ninety-eight, verses one, two & three(a/b), & three(c/d) & four;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses sixteen thru twenty.

Commentary: Video reflection by Father Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S.C.C.B.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Damian de Veuster
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses seventeen, eighteen(a), twenty-eight thru thirty-two, & thirty-six;
Psalm Forty, verses eight(a) & nine(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses eleven thru sixteen.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The rearing & education of children should be the joint task of the father & the mother, & there is certainly progress to be made in order that men should take their part in this task to a greater degree. But it it only too clear that the role of the woman remains an essential one."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The Blessed Sacrament is indeed the stimulus for us all, for me as it should be for you, to forsake all worldly ambitions. Without the constant presence of our Divine Master upon the altar in my poor chapels, I never could have persevered casting my lot with the lepers of Molokai; the foreseen consequence of which begins now to appear on my skin, & is felt throughout the body. Holy Communion being the daily bread of a priest, I feel myself happy, well pleased, & resigned in the rather exceptional circumstances in which it has pleased Divine Providence to put me."
—St. Damien of Molokai (1840-1889, feast day: 10 May)

*Commentary: This Thursday, forty days after Resurrection Sunday & ten days before Pentecost Sunday, is the traditional—& I believe proper—observance of the Ascension of the Lord. However, in the majority of dioceses in the United States (actually decided at the level above diocese, that of ecclesiastical province), the observance has been moved to the following Sunday, with Ascension Sunday overriding the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

Last year, 2017, in a pompous fit of rebelliousness, I was disobedient to both my local bishop & the metropolitan over him & blogged about the equivalent Thursday as the Ascension (Wayback Machine Ascension), blogging about the following Sunday as the Seventh of Easter (Wayback Machine VII). Quite simply, that is not my call to make. I believe we lost something precious when we conformed our liturgical observances to the world by moving major feasts to nearby Sundays, & I will pray that the observance of the Ascension will be transferred to the traditional Thursday throughout these United States, but even when I disagree with the Church hierarchy it is not my place to disobey those shepherds the King, Our Blessed Savior, has placed over me.


Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCX

Operation AXIOM: The World War
28 March-1 April 1918: Four days of rioting in Quebec City, including the exchange of gunfire between rioters & federal troops sent in to restore order, left five dead & over a hundred fifty injured; the internecine violence resulted from anti-conscription sentiments stirred up by the Military Service Act, 1917 & the boiling over of simmering ethnic tensions betwixt Anglo-Canadians & Franco-Canadians.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide

'Tis the festival of Saint Pachomius, Abbot (circa 290-346, of Tabenna; A.K.A. the Great): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Pickering, Religious & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 1621-1679), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles II, a victim of the perjurer Titus Oates' "Popish Plot" hoax: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Plot-link & Wikipedia-link Popish Plot.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter seventeen, verse fifteen & twenty-two thru chapter eighteen, verse one;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-eight, verses one & two, eleven & twelve, thirteen, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twelve thru fifteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel declares that when the Spirit comes, he will guide us into all truth. There is a story I’ve heard about Jean-Luc Marion that, if it isn’t true, should be. In the midst of a lively lecture on Descartes, a student asked a pointed question about God. Marion looked at her and said, "Go to Sunday Mass for a year and then return and ask me that question again."

Marion’s response was not just a clever one-liner. If true knowledge of God depends upon immersion in the Holy Spirit, then that knowledge is a function of an entire form of life, involving prayer, self-denial, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and the forgiveness of one’s enemies. We don’t think our way to an understanding of God so much as we live our way to it.

Thomas Aquinas always said that he owed his theology far more to the persistence of his prayer than to the acuity of his mind. His penetration of the divine mystery flowed from his life in the Holy Spirit. And so today we pray, "Come, Holy Spirit, come!"
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Bible Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Psalms, psalm seventh-two (verses one thru twenty).

Commentary: A Prayer for the King (Psalm 72).

Bible Study—Catholic Epistles
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter eleven (verses one thru forty).

Commentary: The Faith of the Ancients (Hebrews, 11:1-40).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"We must not be afraid of finding ourselves one day in a minority if we are faithful. We must not be embarrassed by unpopularity if we are consistent. We must not care about being defeated if we are witnesses to truth & to the freedom of the children of God."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I, who am but a little grain of sand, wish to set to work, though I have neither courage nor strength. Now this very want of power will make my task easier, for I wish to work for love."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"True & subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son & in the Holy Spirit, pouring out His heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to His mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life."
—St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church (313-386, feast day: 18 March)