Sunday, February 17, 2019

Saints + Scripture: VI Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Popish Plot
"The Many, Many Reasons to Join the Knights of Columbus"

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

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter seventeen, verses five thru eight;
Psalm One, verses one & two, three, & four & six;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verses twelve & sixteen thru twenty;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses seventeen & twenty thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today is Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, less well known than Matthew’s but actually punchier, more to the point. It all hinges on that decisively important spiritual attitude of detachment—apatheia in the Greek fathers, indifferencia in Ignatius of Loyola. It means that I am unattached to worldly values that become a substitute for the ultimate good of God.

How bluntly Luke’s Jesus puts things. Look at Luke’s first beatitude, a model for all: “Blessed are you poor; the reign of God is yours.” What if we translated this as, “How lucky you are if you are not addicted to material things.” When we place material things in the center of our concerns, we find ourselves caught in an addictive pattern.

Because material goods don’t satisfy the hunger in my soul, I convince myself that I need more of them. So I strive and work to get more nice things—cars, homes, TVs, clothes—and then I find that those don’t satisfy me. So I strive and strive, and the rhythm continues.

Therefore, how lucky I would be if I were poor, unattached to material goods, finally indifferent to them.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 28
The Book of Exodus, chapter twelve, verses twenty-one thru twenty-eight.

Commentary: The Passover Instituted (cont'd; Exodus, 21:21-28).

Mass Journal: Week Twelve
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church wastes no time in addressing this truth. The opening point of Chapter One, Section One reads, "The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God & for God; & God never ceases to draw man to Himself. Only in God will man find the truth & happiness he never stops yearning for.


Otherwise, 17 February would be the festival of Saint Lommán of Trim, Bishop (died circa 450; also spelt Lonan, Luman, etc.; A.K.A. Lommán mac Dalláin): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Nephew of St. Patrick [17 March].

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Silvin of Auchy, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 650-718, A.K.A. of Thérouanne): Saint-link ūnus & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Evermode of Ratzeburg, Bishop & Abbot, O. Præm. (circa 1100-1178, also spelt Evermod): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, formally the Order of Servants of Mary (O.S.M., floruit 1240): Saints-link ūnus, Saints-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Luke Belludi, Religious, O.F.M. (circa 1200-1285): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link (List, by date of death).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Mary is the clearest & surest sign that God always comes to us with His love. She sings with all her being that whatever we receive from God is grace. The Virgin is our true teacher in the journey of faith."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"God would not give you the desire to be possessed by Him, by His Merciful Love if He were not reserving this favor for you."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Samson, the strong man, fell in love with a woman named Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines went up to the country to see her and said, 'Coax him and find out what gives him his great strength, & how we can master him, bind him, & hold him captive.' And Delilah tried to find out what gave Samson strength, until finally he told her the secret.

"He said, 'If my head were shaved, then my strength would leave me & I should become as weak as any other man.' Delilah then told the Philistines. She lulled Samson to sleep on her knees & summoned a man, & he shaved the seven locks of Samson's hair for her, & they made him captive. And Samson's strength left him. But the strength was not in the hair, as is so often erroneously said. Samson had taken the Nazirite vow which committed him first to totally abstain from women & from strong wine. The growing of the hair was a symbol of that vow, so that the cutting of the hair was also the symbol of the breaking of the vow.

"And then Delilah cried, 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson.' He woke from his sleep and said, 'I will go out as usual & shake myself.' In other words, I'm as strong as I ever was. He did not know that the Lord had left him. We're not as strong as we were."
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Queue: Book Club Special

I strongly urge one & all to read Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World. Anyone who has enjoyed "The Explorers' Club's" rolling retrospective on the Weltkrieg would profit by reading this engrossing & enlightening survey of the fiasco that followed the tragedy.

I've hardly begin Mere Christianity & I already hate it. I am instinctively repulsed by the disingenuous notion of a "mere" Christianity & Lewis's preface (the forward is written by an otherwise unknown person named Kathleen Norris) has done nothing to allay my repulsion. He puts forward a very "weak sauce" argument for not tackling certain sins. I enjoyed the recent re-reading of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe & remember fondly The Screwtape Letters; so, I yet hold out hope that Mere Christianity will prove worthwhile.

Recently
Brant Pitre, The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ
C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Currently
G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Devotionally
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Perpetually
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***suspended***

Presently
Steve Weidenkopf, Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church
Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins, Walking with God: A Journey through the Bible
Diane Moczar, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
Curtis Martin, Making Missionary Disciples
Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors, Why I Love Being Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Xavier Rynne, Vatican Council II
John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity)
Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
Rosario Carello, Pope Francis Takes the Bus and Other Unexpected Stories
Father Mathias D. Thelen, Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization
Jennifer Fulwiler, Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies

Saints + Scripture: Please Stand By

Friday, February 15, 2019

Saints + Scripture: Complex Editions

I've complicated the BLACK MAMBA "Simplex Editions" originally published last Thursday & Friday, 7-8 February.

Wayback Machine — Thursday, 7 February

Wayback Machine — Friday, 8 February

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
G. K. Chesterton's The Defendant: "Humility"

'Tis the festival of Saint Onesimus, Bishop (died circa 95), the principal subject of Saint Paul's [25 January, 29 June] Letter to Philemon: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Epistle.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Berach of Cluain Coirpthe, Abbot & Martyr (died 595; also spelt Barachias, Barry; A.K.A. of Termonbarry, of Kilbarry): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Nephew of St. Freoch [?], brother of St. Midabaria [?].

'Tis also the festival of Saints Sunaman, Deacon; Unaman, Priest; & Winaman, Subdeacon; Martyrs, O.S.B. (died circa 1040), martyred by pagan Swedes in the reign of the good king Anund Jakob: Martyr-link Sierra, Martyr-link Uniform, Martyr-link Whiskey, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Nephews of St. Sigfrid of Sweden [15 February]; see: below.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Sigfrid of Sweden, Bishop, O.S.B. (died circa 1045, the "Apostle of Sweden;" also spelt Siegfried, Sigurd, etc.; A.K.A. of Växjö, of Wexlow): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Claude de la Colombière, Priest, S.J. (1641-1682), promoter of devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; imprisoned (ruinous to his health) & banished from England, a victim of the perjurer Titus Oates' "Popish Plot" hoax: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Sacred Heart, Popish Plot-link, & Wikipedia-link Popish Plot.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Michał Sopoćko, Priest (1888-1975), founder of the Congregation of Sisters of Merciful Jesus, promoter of devotion to the Divine Mercy of Jesus: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Divine Mercy.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis, chapter three, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Thirty-two, verses one & two, five, six, & seven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses thirty-one thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today has to do with Jesus’ healing of a deaf man with a speech impediment. As always, we have to look at the surface and at the depth. Jesus is performing a physical miracle. But every one of his actions should also be read symbolically, so as to uncover a deeper spiritual meaning.

So what does Jesus do? He "put his finger in the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue." Jesus establishes, as it were, an electrical current, running from God the Father, through him, to this man. He—almost literally—plugs him into the divine current, compelling him to hear the word. He says "Ephphatha," be opened. When he does, his speech impediment is immediately overcome. Now he is able to speak the word of God clearly.

So this deaf man stands for all of us who do not hear the word of God, who have grown oblivious to it. And what is the result of this deafness? A speech impediment. At the spiritual level, if you don’t hear the word of God clearly, then your capacity to speak it is also severely compromised.
Video reflection by Alejandro Orbezo-Elizaga: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 26
The Book of Exodus, chapter eleven, verses one thru ten.

Commentary: Warning of the Final Plague (Exodus, 11:1-10).

The Imitation of Christ
Book II: Considerations for Leading an Interior Life
Chapter 1: "On Interior Conversation"

Papal Quote o' the Day
"As a manifestation of the human spirit, music performs a function that is noble, unique, & irreplaceable. When music is truly beautiful & inspired, it speaks to us more than all the other acts of goodness, virtue, & peace."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"My penance consisted in breaking my will, always so ready to impose itself on others, in holding back a reply, in rendering little services without recognition."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"We fear Christ's goodness. I remember when I was a boy, if I had a toothache I would always go to my grandmother, never to my mother. I would go to my grandmother because she would get some oil of cloves & put it on my tooth & ease the pain. If I went to my mother, she would take me to the dentist, & the dentist would start probing about, & I was absolutely sure that he would find something wrong & inflict a little pain on me. I feared goodness. This is the psychology of our mediocrity."
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCLXXIII

Operation AXIOM: After the World War—The Paris Peace Conference, Part II
14 February 1919: The draft Covenant of the League of Nations was presented to the Conference—The United States insisted on the League as the peacemakers' paramount business, while the French argued to focus on containing Germany; the French wanted a strong, armed League to enforce the peace; the Americans & the British favored a weaker League based on unanimous decision-making.




Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
"Catholic T-shirt Club Unboxing 4"

'Tis the Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, & Methodius, Bishop ("Apostles to the Slavs;" circa 827-869, A.K.A. Constantine; & circa 815-885, A.K.A. Michael): Saints-link, Saint-link Charlie, Saint-link Mike, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
They are two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians & Christian missionaries. They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic.
Quoth
Minute Meditations from the Popes:
O Lord, Sts. Cyril & Methodius spent their lives to share the Word of God. Teach me to share that Word, especially with those who are living without hope.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Valentine of Rome, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 269), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius II Gothicus: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Saint Valentine's Day.


'Tis also the festival of Saint Abraham of Harran, Bishop & Hermit (circa 350-422; also spelt Abraames; A.K.A. of Charres, of Cyrrhus): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Auxentius of Bithynia, Hermit (circa 400-473), who was vindicated by the Council of Chalcedon (451): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Council.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Antoninus of Sorrento, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 555-625, A.K.A. of Campagna): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Vicente Vilar David, Martyr (1889-1937), martyred in the reign of the Communist president Manuel Azaña: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis, chapter two, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-eight, verses one & two, three, & four & five;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today, the story of Jesus’ conversation with the Syro-Phoenician woman, is one of those famously problematic passages in the New Testament. This poor woman, a Canaanite, a foreigner, comes forward and tells Jesus of her daughter who is troubled by a demon. She prostrates herself at his feet, but Jesus says, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs."

Of course, the woman responds with one of the best one-liners in the Scriptures, almost all of which otherwise belong to Jesus himself: "Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps." At this point, Jesus praises her for her faith and cures her daughter.

What’s going on here is really interesting and provocative. The Syro-Phoenician woman is being invited into a life of discipleship, into the following of Jesus. She is resisted, not because Jesus is having a bad day, but because he wants the strength of her faith to show itself.
Video reflection by Father John Crossin, O.S.F.S.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of Ss. Cyril & Methodius
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses forty-six thru forty-nine;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verse fifteen & Psalm One Hundred Seventeen, verses one(b/c), two;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses one thru nine.

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 25
The Book of Exodus, chapter ten, verses twenty-one thru twenty-nine.

Commentary: The Ninth Plague: Darkness (Exodus, 10:21-29.

The Imitation of Christ
Book I: Useful Admonitions for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 25: "On the Fervent Amendment of Our Whole Life"

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The person who has been evangelized goes on to evangelize others. It is unthinkable that people should accept the Word & give themselves to the Kingdom without becoming persons who bear witness to it & proclaim it in turn."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"How few there are who accept failure & weakness, who are content to see themselves on the ground & to be found there by others."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Nothing in this world is of value until offered or dedicated to a higher end. What is the worth of land unless we do something with it? What is the worth of our body unless it is spent for Christ?"
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979, feast day:)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Saints + Scripture — Tuesday, 5 February

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

The Popish Plot
G. K. Chesterton's The Defendant: "Heraldry"

Tuesday, 5 February was the Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin & Martyr (circa 230-251; of Sicily, of Catania, of Palermo), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Decius, a victim of the Decian Persecution: Martyr-link ūna, Martyr-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
She is one of seven women, who, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. She is patron saint of breast cancer patients, martyrs, wet nurses, bellfounders, bakers, [against] fire, earthquakes, & eruptions of Mount Etna.
Wikipedia-link Canon

Quoth
Minute Meditations from the Popes:
O Lord, teach me the lessons of love that guided St. Agatha as she suffered & died for her Faith. Give me the courage to see my own suffering as an encounter with Your Cross.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Avitus of Vienne, Bishop (circa 450-525, A.K.A. Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Brother of St. Apollinaris of Valence [5 October].

'Twas also the festival of Saint Bertulf of Renty, Priest & Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 640-705, also spelt Bertoul, etc.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Adelaide of Vilich, Abbess, O.S.B. (circa 970-1015; also spelt Adelheid, A.K.A. Alice, of Guelders): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Elisabetta Canori Mora, O.SS.T. (1774-1825): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter twelve, verses one thru four;
Psalm Twenty-two, verses twenty-six(b) & twenty-seven, twenty-eight & thirty, & thirty-one & thirty-two;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter five, verses twenty-one thru forty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the centerpiece of today’s Gospel is Jesus healing the hemorrhaging woman. Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn’t, in any meaningful sense, participate in the ordinary life of her society.

The woman touches Jesus—and how radical and dangerous an act this was, since it should have rendered Jesus unclean. But so great is her faith, that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.

But what is perhaps most important is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of the book of Leviticus. What he implies is that the identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him. Notice, please, how central this is in the New Testament. We hear elsewhere in the Gospels that Jesus declares all foods clean, and throughout the letters of Paul we hear a steady polemic against the Law. All of this is meant to show that Jesus is at the center of the new community.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Agatha
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter one, verses twenty-six thru thirty-one;
Psalm Thirty-one, verses three(c/d) & four, six & eight(a/b), & sixteen(b/c) & seventeen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses twenty-three thru twenty-six.

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 16
The Book of Exodus, chapter seven, verses eight thru thirteen.

Commentary: Aaron's Miraculous Rod (Exodus, 7:8-13).

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Love gives suffering meaning & makes it acceptable. It is possible to have love without suffering; but suffering without love has no meaning. Suffering accepted with love, as Christ & the Saints accepted it, acquires inestimable value."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Knowing that beyond the dark clouds my Sun is shining, I should never dare to change my place."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"If a man takes a poison & is given an antidote, it makes no difference whether he throws the antidote out of the window or whether he just neglects it. Because the poison is operating in his system, death is certain. Scripture asks us, “How shall we escape if we neglect?”—just neglect. How often in the gospels, for example, it is said, “Thou didst not, thou didst not, thou didst not”—the refusal to walk the extra mile. The mole once had eyes to see, but it groveled down in the bowels of the earth, & nature, as if seated in judgment, said, “Take the talent away!” And the talent that is not used as taken away. This is the first reason we have to begin to act differently, to resist the forces of evil."
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)
The Rebel Black Dot Gospel Song o' That Day
Sam Cooke, "Touch the Hem of His Garment" from Portrait of a Legend, 1951-1964 (The Last Angry Exodus Man)

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the festival of Saint Fulcran of Lodève, Bishop (died 1006): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, Religious, O.P. (circa 1190-1237, A.K.A. of Alamania), second (II) Master of the Order of Preachers: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Masters.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Christina of Spoleto, Religious, O.S.A. (1435-1458, A.K.A. Agostina Camozzi): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Archangela Girlani, Religious, O.Carm. (1460-1495, A.K.A. Eleanora Girlani): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis, chapter two, verses four(b) thru nine, fifteen, sixteen, & seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two(a), twenty-seven & twenty-eight, & twenty-nine(b/c) & thirty;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses fourteen thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus explains that sinful behavior flows from within our hearts. How often the Bible speaks of the “heart.” By that it means the core of the self, the deepest center of who we are, that place from which our thoughts and actions arise. God wants to penetrate that heart, so that he is the center of our souls.

But there is something terribly black in the human heart. We are made in the image and likeness of God, but that image can be so distorted by sin as to be barely recognizable. Our faith clearly teaches the awful truth of the fall, and we see the evidence of it in the mystery of sin, which is not to be ignored, not to be trifled with, not to be rationalized away. We are all capable of dark and evil acts. I’m not okay and neither are you.

Have our hearts become hardened, so that God cannot get in? Is there a deep resistance in us to grace?
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 24
The Book of Exodus, chapter ten, verses one thru twenty.

Commentary: The Eighth Plague: Locusts (Exodus, 10:1-20).

The Imitation of Christ
Book I: Useful Admonitions for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 24: "On the Last Judgment & the Punishment for Sins"

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Nobody is a Christian for oneself alone. The gift of faith is given to us so that by word & example we may become witnesses before others."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Sometimes when I am in such a state of spiritual dryness that not a single good thought occurs to me, I say very slowly the "Our Father," or the "Hail Mary," & these prayers suffice to take me out of myself."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"An electric wire attached to the generator will give no light if the bulb is burned out. One of the reasons Christianity does not influence the world more is that few Christians shine more brightly than those who lack the faith. Is this not true also of many priests, in spite of the fact that the priest should be a different person from all the others because he is the Person of Christ?"
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)

Operation ÖSTERREICH: Exodus 90, Day 24

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 328.2 lbs
This weigh-in: 327.0 lbs.
Difference: -1.2 lbs.

I can do better. I must do better. I will do better.


My current weight of three hundred twenty-seven pounds (327 lbs.) is one & two-fifths pounds (1.4 lbs.) more than the recent low of three hundred twenty-five & three-fifths (325.6 lbs.), registered on 26 September 2018. I aim to set a new low by this time next week.

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day

Johnny Cash, "The Man Comes Around" from American IV: The Man Comes Around (The Last Angry Exodus Man)

Commentary: Inspired by today's reading from The Imitation of Christ, "On the Last Judgment & the Punishment for Sins."

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Saints + Scripture: IV Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Sunday 3 February was the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.


Scripture of That Week
Mass Readings—Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter one, verses four, five, seventeen, eighteen, & nineteen;
Psalm Seventy-one, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & fifteen & seventeen;
The Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, verse thirty-one thru chapter thirteen, verse thirteen
(or, the Letter to the Corinthians, chapter thirteen, verses four thru thirteen);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter four, verses twenty-one thru thirty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel develops a theme that is uncomfortable. It tells how the people of Nazareth rejected Jesus. Authentically religious people, authentically spiritual people, will almost always be opposed. The logic behind this is simple and unanswerable: we live in a world gone wrong, a world turned upside down; therefore, when someone comes speaking the truth to us, we will think that they are crazy and dangerous.

Think for just a moment what would happen to you if you consistently and publicly spoke the word of God to our culture. If you spoke out against abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, human trafficking, rampant materialism, and ideological secularism, what would happen to you? If you presented, in a full-throated way, the full range of Catholic social and moral and spiritual teaching, what would they do to you? Trust me, they would throw you in a version of Jeremiah’s cistern.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 14
The Book of Exodus, chapter six, verses fourteen thru twenty-seven.

Commentary: The Genealogy of Moses & Aaron (Exodus, 6:14-27).

Mass Journal: Week Ten
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Before Christmas last year, I saw a Jewish scholar interviewed on television. The topic of discussion was the influence Jesus has exerted on human history. In summary, the scholar concluded, "The impact this man has had on human history is undeniable. Because of this man we call Jesus,the world will never again be the same. Because of Jesus, men & women will never think the same. Regardless of whether or not we believe he was the Son of God, because of this man who walked the earth two thousand years ago, men & women will never live the same, will never be the same."


Otherwise, 3 February would have been the festival of Saint Blaise, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 316, also spelt Blase), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Licinius; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, known especially for the Blessing of the Throats: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Helpers-link XIV, Wikipedia-link XIV, & Wikipedia-link Blessing.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Berlinda of Meerbeke, Religious, O.S.B. (died 702; also spelt Berlindis, Berelenda; A.K.A. Bellaude): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Niece of St. Amand of Maastricht [6 February]

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Ansgar, Bishop, O.S.B. (801-865, the "Apostle of the North;" also spelt Anskar, Anschar), who founded the abbey school at the Abbey of Corvey: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.


'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Margaret of England, Religious, O.Cist. (died 1192): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Kinswoman of the martyr St. Thomas Becket [29 December].

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed John Nelson, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (circa 1534-1578), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Martyrs of Douai: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Douai & Wikipedia-link Douai.

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed Maria Virgo, Religious, S.Sp.S. (1852-1900, A.K.A. Helena Stollenwerk), co-foundress of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters & the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.Sp.S. & Wikipedia-link S.Sp.S.A.P.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Grace builds upon nature. The Gospel does not make inhuman demands on us. It enlightens, elevates, & perfects what is human through the power of God's grace."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Jesus offers you the cross, a very heavy cross, and you are afraid of not being able to carry it without giving way. Why? Our Beloved Himself fell three times on the way to Calvary, and why should we not imitate Him?"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"There is no Saint without a past, no sinner without a future."
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast day: 28 August)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
G. K. Chesterton's The Defendant: "Farce"

'Tis the festival of Saint Julian the Hospitaller (born circa 7, A.K.A. the Poor): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Eulalia of Barcelona, Virgin & Martyr (circa 290-303; also spelt Aulaire, etc.), 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 Saint Sedulius, Priest (died circa 450, A.K.A. Siadhel), composer of the hymn "A solis ortus cardine" ("From the Pivot of the Sun's Rising"): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Hymn.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Æthelwold of Lindisfarne, Bishop & Abbot (died circa 740; also spelt Ethelwald, etc.), who contributed to the production of the Lindisfarne Gospels: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Evangelion.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Benedict of Aniane, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 747-821, the "Second Benedict;" A.K.A. Witiza), in augural abbot of Kornelimünster Abbey, formally the Abbey of the Abbot Saint Benedict of Aniane & Pope Cornelius: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Antony Kauleas, Bishop & Abbot (circa 829-901, A.K.A. Anthony II of Constantinople), eighty-eighth (LXXXVIII) Patriarch of Constantinople: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Patriarch.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis, chapter one, verse twenty thru chapter two, verse four(a);
Psalm Eight, verses four & five, six & seven, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses one thru thirteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus exposes the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who have imposed their interpretation of the Law on the Israelites. Keep in mind that the first Christians and the writers of the first Christian documents were all Jews, or at least people formed by a Jewish thought world. They made sense of Jesus in terms of what were, to them, the Scriptures.

Jesus himself was an observant Jew, and the themes and images of the Holy Scriptures were elemental for him. He presented himself as the one who would not undermine the Law and the Prophets but fulfill them.

All of those social and religious conventions that had effectively divided Israel, he sought to overcome and expose as fraudulent. He reached out to everyone: rich and poor, healthy and sick, saints and sinners. And he embodied the obedience of Israel: “I have come only to do the will of the one who sent me.” “My food is to do the will of my heavenly Father.”
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Scripture Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of the Proverbs, chapter twelve (verses one thru twenty-eight).

Commentary: Wise Sayings of Solomon (cont'd; Proverbs, 12:1-28).

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 23
The Book of Exodus, chapter nine, verses thirteen thru thirty-five.

Commentary: The Seventh Plague: Thunder & Hail (Exodus, 9:13-35).

The Imitation of Christ
Book I: Useful Admonitions for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 23: "Meditation on Death"

Proverb o' the Day (Proverbs, 12:28)
"In the path of righteousness is life,
but the way of error leads to death."
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Welcome Christ into your lives. Without the experience of this interior meeting with Christ, life can all too easily be wasted on illusory & consumerist experiences. These obviously include the suicidal experience of drugs or the egoistic one of using our neighbor & rejecting solidarity."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Beside each believer stands an angel as a protector & shepherd leading him to life."
—St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (329-379, feast day: 2 January)

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Queue: Book Club Special

Rapid progress continues to be made through Paris 1919, in large measure thanks to the Exodus 90 prohibition on television (broadly defined) & non-essential internet usage, which has created more reading time. While it is overly simplistic to claim that the Paris Peace Conference & the resultant Treaty of Versailles "caused" the Second World War (1939-1945), the cavalcade of terrible decisions from the triumphant Entente Powers about which I'm reading exacerbated the upheavals & trauma produced by the First World War (1914-1918), creating the conditions which made possible the deadliest conflict in history.

The Abiding Together podcast's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe book club wrapped up in today's episode, though I finished the book a few weeks hence. The protocols of my two-person Mere Christianity book club with my ex-girlfriend Miss Mozart have yet to be set, but I'd like to finish the book before Lent (which I'm strongly favoring calling by its Latin name, Quadragesima) begins with Ash Wednesday on 6 March.

The Popish Plot's "G. K. Chesterton's The Defendant" book club (which has spectacularly failed to garner any YouTube collaborators) is also scheduled to conclude before Quadragesima begins.

Recently
Mac Barron, Clueless in Galilee: A Fresh Take on the Gospels
Brant Pitre, The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ
C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Currently
G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Devotionally
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Perpetually
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***suspended***

Presently
Steve Weidenkopf, Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church
Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins, Walking with God: A Journey through the Bible
Diane Moczar, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
Curtis Martin, Making Missionary Disciples
Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors, Why I Love Being Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Xavier Rynne, Vatican Council II
John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity)
Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
Rosario Carello, Pope Francis Takes the Bus and Other Unexpected Stories
Father Mathias D. Thelen, Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization
Jennifer Fulwiler, Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (apparitions 11 February-16 July 1858): Madonna-link ūna, Madonna-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
On 11 February 1858, [St. Bernadette] Soubirous [16 April] went with her sister Toinette & neighbor Jeanne Abadie to collect some firewood & bones in order to buy some bread. After taking off her shoes & stockings to wade through water near the Grotto of Massabielle, she said she heard the sounds of two gusts of wind (coups de vent) but the trees & bushes nearby did not move. A wild rose in a natural niche in the grotto, however, did move.
Quoth Minute Meditations from the Popes
O Mary, you appeared to the humble young woman, St. Bernadette Soubirous, to call us to conversion. Help me to respond to that call with generosity.
Wikipedia-link Grotto


'Tis also the festival of Saint Cædmon, Religious (died circa 684, A.K.A. Cadfan), who composed "Cædmon's Hymn": Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Hymn.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Gregory II, Pope (669-731), eighty-ninth (LXXXIX) Bishop of Rome, an opponent of the first bout of the Byzantine iconoclastic heresy: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Paschal I, Pope, O.S.B. (circa 775-824, A.K.A. Pascale Massimi), ninety-eighth (XCVIII) Bishop of Rome, an opponent of the second bout of the Byzantine iconoclastic heresy: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Pedro de Jesús Maldonado Lucero, Priest & Martyr (1892-1937), martyred in the reign of the Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas, one of the Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Mexico.

'Tis also the World Day of the Sick: Day of the Sick-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis, chapter one, verses one thru nineteen;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two(a), five & six, ten & twelve, & twenty-four & thirty-five(c);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter six, verses fifty-three thru fifty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel reports Jesus healing many people at Gennesaret. We hear that people brought the sick from all over the region and all of them were cured. "Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed."

It’s hard to deny that Jesus was known as a healer and a miracle worker. And there is also abundant evidence that the performance of miracles was a major reason why the first preachers were taken seriously.

In addition to miracles, we also have the witness of martyrs. Miracles and martyrs: two beacons of light that illuminate the truth of Jesus Christ.
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-six, verses ten thru fourteen(c);
The Book of Judith, chapter thirteen, verses eighteen(b/c/d/e) & nineteen & chapter fifteen, verse nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter two, verses one thru eleven.

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 22
The Book of Exodus, chapter nine, verses eight thru twelve.

Commentary: The Sixth Plague: Boils (Exodus, 9:8-12).

The Imitation of Christ
Book I: Useful Admonitions for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 22: "On the Consideration of Human Misery"

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Lourdes is a prophecy of justice & peace, where there is no room for pride & hardness of heart. Indeed, Lourdes is where this hardness is dissolved by one's witness of charity, mercy, serene resistance to evil, human solidarity, & sincere & moving generosity."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"In the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Let us now praise the Guardian of the Kingdom of Heaven & the might of the Creator, & the thought of His Mind, glorious Father of men; for He, Lord Eternal, did frame the beginning of every marvelous thing. He first made the heavens as a roof for the children of men, God, the Creator! Then the mid-earth did the eternal Lord, the Guardian of men, therewith provide, & earth for men, the Lord God Almighty!"
—St. Cædmon (died 684, feast day: 11 February)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCLXXII

Operation AXIOM: After the World War—The Red Scare, Part I
6-11 February 1919: The Seattle General Strike—In sympathy with Seattle's shipyard workers, who were on strike against lingering wartime wage freezes, rank & file union members, openly inspired by the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, called a general strike, over the objections of union officials; the city was paralyzed, but peaceful & orderly; the strikers lost the propaganda war to mayor Ole Hanson.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: V Sunday in Ordinary Time

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


Scripture of This Week
Mass Readings—Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Isaiah, chapter six, verses one, two(a), & three thru eight;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-eight, verses one & two, two & three, four & five, & seven & eight;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verses one thru eleven
(or, the First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verses three thru eleven);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter five, verses one thru eleven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel gives us the story of the miraculous draught of fishes. In many ways, the whole of the spiritual life can be read off of this piece.

Without being invited, Jesus simply gets into the fisherman’s boat. This is to insinuate himself in the most direct way into Simon’s life. And without further ado, he begins to give orders, first asking Simon to put out from the shore and then to go out into the deep. This represents the invasion of grace. The single most important decision that you will ever make is this: Will you cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your boat?

In many ways, everything else in your life is secondary, is commentary. When the Lord Jesus Christ gets into your boat, he will always lead you to the depths.
Duc in altum, as St. John Paul II loved to quote. More dangerous? Yes. More exciting? Yes.

Now, mind you, the depths we’re talking about here are spiritual depths. The excitement we’re talking about is the true excitement that comes from spiritual transformation. The depths have nothing to do with what the world considers important or exciting.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 21
The Book of Exodus, chapter nine, verses one thru seven.

Commentary: The Fifth Plague: Death of the Egyptians' Livestock (Exodus, 9:1-7).

Mass Journal: Week Eleven
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
The life of Jesus Christ is indelibly engraved upon history; neither the erosion of time nor the devastating & compounding effects of evil have been able to erase His influence. Some people thought He was crazy; others considered Him a misfit, a troublemaker, a rebel. He was condemned as a criminal, yet His life & teachings reverberate throughout history. He saw things differently, & He had no respect for the status quo. You can praise Him, disagree with Him, quote Him, disbelieve Him, glorify Him, or vilify Him. About the only thing you cannot do is ignore Him, & that is a lesson that every age learns in its own way. You can't ignore Jesus, because He changed things. He is the single greatest agent of change in human history. He made the lame walk, taught the simple, set captives free, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, healed the sick, comforted the afflicted, afflicted the comfortable, & in all of these, captured the imagination of every generation.


Otherwise, 10 February would be the festival of Saint Scholastica, Virgin, O.S.B. (circa 480-543): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, Saint-link trēs, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia [11 July].

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Trumwine of Abercorn, Bishop (died circa 704; also spelt Trumwin; A.K.A. of Whitby): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint William of Maleval, Hermit (died 1157; A.K.A. the Great, of Guyenne, etc.), founder of the Williamites, formally the Hermits of Saint William: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Williamites.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Clare of Rimini, Abbess, O.S.C. (circa 1282-1346, A.K.A. Chiara Agolanti): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Bishop & Martyr (1898-1960, also spelt Alojzije Stepinac), martyred in the reign of the Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"In a single word, be Saints! Holiness is the most powerful force that leads human hearts to Christ. Remember that verse of the Gospel about the vine & the branches. In the union of the branches with the one vine is the concrete source & the sure measure of one apostolic activity."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Commentary: John, 15:1-6, by the way.

Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Always keep lifting your foot to climb the ladder of holiness, & do not imagine that you can mount even the first step. All God asks of you is good will."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"As time goes on, the good and the bad have different attitudes. The good are less conscious of their goodness. They strive to be zealous, close to the Lord; they are more conscious of their failings. But evil people, and those that are not living up to their full commitment to Christ, they are very satisfied. Samson did not know that his strength had left him. Saul, the first king the Israelites, did not know that the Lord had left him. We become self-satisfied and resent any challenge to change. Take a frog; put that frog in water. Then heat the water imperceptibly, day by day increasing the temperature until the water is boiling. At no point during the increase of temperature will the frog ever offer resistance. It will never realize that the water is too hot - until it s dead. That is the way we are spiritually. We just become used to the temperature of the world. And we don t realize that it is gradually possessing us until we are in its grip. So we are doing battle therefore with triteness, shallowness, and dullness, and we have to resist and begin to go in the other direction."
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)

Friday, February 8, 2019

Saints + Scripture

Simplex Edition | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
G. K. Chesterton's The Defendant: "Ugly Things"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Jerome Emiliani, C.R.S. (1486-1537, also spelt Hiëronymus, Gerolamo; Jerome Aemilian), founder of the Somaschi Fathers, formally the Order of Clerics Regulars of Somasca: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.R.S.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin, F.D.C.C. (circa 1869-1947): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


'Tis also the festival of Saint Ælfflæd of Whitby, Abbess (circa 653-714; also spelt Elfleda, etc.), second (II) abbess of Whitby Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

Commentary: Kinswoman of St. Hilda of Whitby [17 November], the founding abbess.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Meingold (died 892; also spelt Mengold, Meingaud), Count of Huy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Giuseppina Gabriella of Jesus, Religious (1843-1906, A.K.A. Giuseppina Gabriella Bonino), foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Savigliano: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter thirteen, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses one, three, five, & eight(b) & nine(a/b/c);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter six, verses fourteen thru twenty-nine.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel is a prelude to Jesus feeding the multitude in the desert. There is a darkness at the beginning of this famous account. We hear that John the Baptist has just been murdered; later, we hear that Jesus has withdrawn into a remote and deserted place, fearing probably that the same fate might be his.

His charisma and reputation are such that thousands come seeking him out, even in this out-of-the-way and dangerous locale. There are many overtones and undertones for the biblically minded reader. For example, there’s the prophet who is under threat—as were Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jeremiah, and Elijah. This is the terrible fate of the one who speaks for God: hunted down, forced into exile, not at home in this world.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Jerome Emiliani
The Book of Tobit, chapter twelve, verses six thru thirteen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verses two & three, four & five, six & seven, eight & nine, & ten & eleven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru thirty
(or, the Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-seven).

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter seven, verses twenty-five thru thirty-five;
Psalm Fortry-five, verses eleven & twelve, fourteen & fifteen, & sixteen & seventeen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-five, verses one thru thirteen.

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 19
The Book of Exodus, chapter eight, verses sixteen thru nineteen.

Commentary: The Third Plague: Gnats (Exodus, 8:16-19).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Children learn to do what they see others doing. For this reason, they should learn from you how to be strong, industrious, temperate, happy, & devout, upright citizens & exemplary Christians."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Abandonment alone brings me into your arms, O Jesus."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"What a great grace it is to know God!"
—St. Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947, feast day: 8 February)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day

Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Hell" from Hot (The Last Angry Exodus Man)

Commentary: Quoth the Exodus 90 Field Guide, "Disciplines" Quick Reference Guide:
Only listen to music that lifts the soul to God
Check this out, for lifting the soul to God:
"In the afterlife,
You could be headed for the serious strife,
Now you make the scene all day,
But tomorrow there'll be hell to pay!

"People, listen attentively,
I mean about future calamity,
I used to think the idea was obsolete
'Til I heard the old man tapping his feet…

"Now the D and the A and the M and the N,
And the A and the T and the I-O-N,
Lose your face, lose your name,
Then get fitted for a suit of flame!"

Saints + Scripture

Simplex Edition | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

'Tis the festival of Saint Richard the Pilgrim (died circa 722, also spelt Ricarius; A.K.A. the King, the Saxon, of Swabia, etc.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Brother-in-law of St. Boniface [5 June] & father of Ss. Willibald [7 June], Winebald [18 December], & Walpurga [25 February].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Sherwood, Martyr (circa 1551-1578), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Martyrs of Douai: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Douai & Wikipedia-link Douai.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Egidio Maria of San Giuseppe, Religious, O.F.M. (1729-1812, the "Consoler of Naples;" Anglicized as Giles Mary of Saint Joseph, A.K.A. Francesco Postillo): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Pius IX, Pope (1792-1878, A.K.A. Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti), two hundred fifty-fifth (CCLV) Bishop of Rome, who convened the First Vatican Council & became the original "Prisoner in the Vatican": Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff, Wikipedia-link Council, & Wikipedia-link Prisoner.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Adalbert Nierychlewski, Priest & Martyr (1903-1942, A.K.A. Wojciech Nierychlewski), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List, № 77); Martyrs-link Polska & Wikipedia-link Polska.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter twelve, verses eighteen, nineteen, & twenty-one thru twenty-four;
Psalm Forty-eight, verses two & three(a/b), three(c/d) & four, nine, & ten & eleven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter six, verses seven thru thirteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus sends the Twelve on their mission to announce the nearness of the kingdom. I want to say a few things about our embracing our mission and being equipped for it.

What do you need for your mission? You need a keen sense of God as the absolute center of your life. In a word, you require the spiritual gifts of piety and fear of the Lord. I realize that these terms can sound fussy and puritanical, but they are actually naming something strong and essential.

You need fear of the Lord, which does not mean that you are afraid of God. It means that nothing to you is more important than God, that everything in your life centers around and is subordinate to your love for God. And your equipping needs to include piety. That means that you honor God above everything else, that you worship him alone. These spiritual gifts enable you to find true balance; they allow you to know what your life is about.

Equipped with these gifts, you are ready for mission. Having received the fire of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to set the world on fire.
Video reflection by Monsignor James C. Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 18
The Book of Exodus, chapter seven, verse twenty-five;
The Book of Exodus, chapter eight, verses one thru fifteen.

Commentary: The Second Plague: Frogs (Exodus, 7:25-8:15).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Jesus is the joy of the earth; He is the physician of every human infirmity. He is personified in every person who suffers, arousing compassion & generous love. Jesus, therefore, is present always & everywhere."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Our Beloved needs neither our brilliant deeds nor our beautiful thoughts. Were He in search of lofty ideas, has He not His Angels, whose knowledge infinitely surpasses that of the greatest genius of earth?"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The Eucharist is the privileged summit of the meeting of Christ's love for us; a love that is made available for each of us, a love that is made to be sacrificial lamb & food for our hunger for life. As the Apostle says, 'He loved me & gave Himself up for me.'" (Galatians, 2:20)
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Paul Miki (S.J.) & Companions, Martyrs (died 1597, A.K.A. the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan, the Martyrs of Nagasaki): Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Nagasaki & Wikipedia-link Nagasaki.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Paul was a Roman catholic Japanese Jesuit seminarian, martyr, & saint, one of the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan. He preached his last sermon from the cross, & it is maintained that he forgave his executioners, stating that he himself was Japanese.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Dorothea of Caesarea, Virgin & Martyr (died 311) martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Galerius & Licinius, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Ine & Æthelburg of Wessex (circa 673-740; also spelt Ina, Ini; & Æthelburh, Ethelburga), King & Queen of Wessex: Saint-link India & Wikipedia-link India; Saint-link Æ & Wikipedia-link Æ.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Hildegund, Abbess, O.Praem. (circa 1130-1183): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Mother of St. Hermann Joseph [24 May] & Bl. Hadewych [14 April], both also O.Praem.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel, Religious, S.S.F.P.A. (1830-1905; Anglicized as Mary Teresa Bonzel; A.K.A. Regina Christine Wilhelmine "Aline" Bonzel), foundress of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration (S.S.F.P.A.): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.S.F.P.A.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter twelve, verses four thru seven & eleven thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, thirteen & fourteen, & seventeen & eighteen(a);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter six, verses one thru six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in Mark’s account of the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth, Christ refers to himself as a prophet.

In the Old Testament tradition, the prophet is a religious visionary and truth-teller. The great Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel said that the prophet is someone who feels the feelings of God and then speaks out of that experience. He stubbornly reads the world through the lens of the word of God and speaks the divine truth. And this mission implies opposition, confrontation, and critique, since the keepers of worldly order are frequently looking through other lenses and listening to other words.

But Jesus is much more than one more prophet in a long line of prophets, one more speaker of the divine truth, one more reader of the divine word. Jesus is the Word made flesh; he is the Divine Truth in person.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Paul Miki & Companions
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter two, verses nineteen & twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verses one(b/c) & two(a/b, two(c/d) & three, four & five, & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-eight, verses sixteen thru twenty.


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 17
The Book of Exodus, chapter seven, verses fourteen thru twenty-four.

Commentary: The First Plague: Water of the Nile Turned to Blood (Exodus, 7:14-24).

The Imitation of Christ
Book I: Useful Admonitions for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 21: "On Compunction of Heart"

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Suffering for the sake of the love, truth, & justice is a sign of fidelity to the God of life & of hope. It is the blessedness of those who suffer for Christ,who fall to the ground like grains of wheat & are promised life & resurrection."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"And it is the Lord, it is Jesus, Who is my judge. Therefore I will try always to think leniently of others, that He may judge me leniently, or rather not at all, since He says: 'Judge not, & ye shall not be judged.'"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Christ is our light. If we are walking away from the sun (for the sun is the symbol of Christ), the shadows are before us. This is one of the reasons why we have Catholics afflicted with every manner of psychosis & neurosis, afraid of these lengthening shadows, of these phantoms & fears & dreads. As we walk away from Christ, the further we go, the longer the shadows that appear before us—the resentment, the aggressiveness, just as soon as we are checked & told that we are walking from the light. If however, we walk toward the sun, & intensify our love of Christ, then all the shadows are behind us—all the remorse & regrets. As the sun comes more & more into our life, all these things pass away. Fears are gone, remorse is swallowed up in the intense love of Christ."
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)