Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXVII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Russian Civil War, Part III
17 July 1918: The Romanov family—the deposed Emperor Nicholas II; his wife, Alexandra; their five children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, & Alexei; & their loyal retinue—was brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks; isolated for months & constantly watched in Ipatiev House (the "House of Special Purpose"), Yekaterinburg, the slaughter of the Romanovs was approved by Lenin on 3 July.






Lest we forget.

Commentary: At the time, the Reds admitted to killing only the emperor, denying until 1926 that the rest of the imperial family had died; the bodies were not discovered 'til 1979 & that discovery was not admitted 'til 1989. The Romanovs & their servants, eleven souls in all, have been canonized as martyrs by several of the various Russian Orthodox churches. Consecrated in 2003, the ornate Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land was build on the site of Ipatiev House & a smaller church was built on Gamina Yama, the site of the Romanovs' hidden burial.


Bonus!
17 July 1918: The Cunard ocean liner R.M.S. Carpathia, the ship famed for braving the icebergs to rescue seven hundred-plus survivors from the R.M.S. Titanic in April 1912, was torpedoed off the Irish coast by the German u-boat S.M. U-55 & sank; five men died.



The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Magic!, "No Way No" from Don't Kill the Magic (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary:
"Hey lady, lady,
Life's too short to be waiting long,
So let's not waste it, waste it,
When we both know you're the one.

Will I ever be too far away when you feel alone?
(No way, no!)
Will I ever back down my sword to protect our home?
(No way, no!)
Will I ever spend a day not telling you you're beautiful?
(No way, no!)
No way, no way, no,
(No way, no way, no)…"

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis, Priest, M.I. (1550-1614), founder of the Camillians, formally the Clerics Regular, Ministers to the Sick: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link M.I.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Saint Camillus de Lellis, M.I., was a Roman Catholic priest from Italy who founded a religious order dedicated to the care of the sick.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Pambo, Priest & Hermit (circa 303-375): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Theneva (floruit sixth century, A.K.A. Teneu, Thaney, etc.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Mother of St. Mungo [13 January].

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Isaiah, chapter ten, verses five, six, seven, & thirteen(b) thru sixteen;
Psalm Ninety-four, verses five & six, seven & eight, nine & ten, & fourteen & fifteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five, twenty-six, & twenty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel we see Jesus praying to his Father. We are being given a share in the inner life of God, the conversation between the first two Trinitarian persons.

And what are the "things" that have been concealed from the learned and revealed to the little ones? Nothing other than the mystery of the inner life of God.

Now why, precisely, is this knowledge concealed from the learned and disclosed to children? The clue is in the next statement: "All things have been handed over to me by my Father." What is the essence of the divine life? It is a play of giving and receiving.

The Father, forgetting himself, gives rise to the Son, and the Son, refusing to cling to himself, receives from the Father. The Holy Spirit
is this mutual sharing of the Father and the Son. God’s own inner life is a looking toward the other in love.

From Adam and Eve to today the fundamental human problem is that we seek something other than God. We seek to fill up the ego with stuff, such as sex, pleasure, power, honor. But this will never work, because we’ve been wired for God, and God
is love.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis
The First Letter of John, chapter three, verses fourteen thru eighteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twelve, verse one;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses nine thru seventeen.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: 'Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble & do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?' If you don't ask those questions, your governance will not be good."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"I wish to smile, resting on Your Heart & there tell You again & again that I love You, O my Lord."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Think well. Speak well. Do well. These three things, through the mercy of God, will make a man go to Heaven."
—St. Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614, feast day: 18 July)

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 332.6 lbs
This weigh-in: 333.0 lbs.
Difference: +0.4 lbs.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
Jim Gaffigan, "Spray Cheese" from Beyond the Pale (The Last Angry Mouse)

Saints + Scripture — Wednesday, 11 July

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

Wednesday, 11 July was the Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 480-547, of Nursia), founder of Subiaco Abbey & the Abbey of Monte Cassino, & author of the Rule of Saint Benedict: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Subiaco, Wikipedia-link Monte Cassino, Wikipedia-link Rule, & Wikipedia-link Ora et Labora.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Brother of St. Scholastica [10 January].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Benedict's main achievement in his "Rule of Saint Benedict," containing precepts for his monks. It also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation, & reasonableness. Benedict is often called the founder of Western Christian monasticism.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Pius I, Pope (circa 81-155), tenth (X) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Olga of Kiev (879-969, A.K.A. Helena, Helga), Queen consort & Regent of Kievan Rus': Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Grandmother of St. Vladimir [15 July] & great-grandmother of Ss. Boris & Gleb [24 July].

'Twas also the festival of Blesseds Thomas Hunt & Thomas Sprott, Priests & Martyrs (died 1600), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, two of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Hotel, Martyr-link Sierra, & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Hosea, chapter ten, verses one, two, three, seven, eight, & twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Five, verses two & three, four & five, & six & seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses one thru seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus commissions the twelve Apostles. Perhaps we can see here a fulfillment of his prophetic invitation to the first disciples: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.”

“Come after me.” This is a Hebraicism that indicates discipleship. Jesus is not offering a doctrine, a theology, or a set of beliefs. He is offering himself. He’s saying, “Walk in my path; enter into the world that I have opened up.”

“And I will make you fishers of men.” This is one of the best lines in Scripture. Notice the first part of the phrase: “I will make you...” God is the one who makes us from nothing. To live in sin is to live outside of the creative power of God, to pretend that we can make ourselves. How wonderful that he tells us that he will make us!

And what he makes us is always a reflection of himself: a fisher of men. God wants to draw all things and all people into a community around him, in him. He is a fisher of people—and so wants us to be.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Benedict
The Book of Proverbs, chapter two, verses one thru nine;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Work is a fundamental part of our earthly life. It often involves heavy fatigue & even suffering, but it can also forge strong character & vigorous personality. It can be the means by which we build up the world according to the values in which we believe."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I am a very little soul whom God has overwhelmed with graces. In heaven you will see that I am speaking the truth."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"Apart from Jesus Christ we do not know what God, life, death, & we ourselves are."
—Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Josie and the Pussycats, "Shapeshifter" from Music from the Motion Picture Josie and the Pussycats (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"If you think that's cool,
Whatever, dude…"

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Taco Tuesday: "Going on Pilgrimage"

'Tis the festival of the twelve Martyrs of Scilla (died 180), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Commodus: Martyrs-link Scilla & Wikipedia-link Scilla.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Alexius of Rome (floruit fifth century; also spelt Alexis, A.K.A. of Edessa): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Leo IV, Pope (circa 790-855) one hundred third (CIII) Bishop of Rome, who ordered the building of Rome's Leonine Walls: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff, Walls-link, & Wikipedia-link Walls.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Hedwig of Poland (circa 1374-1399, A.K.A. Jadwiga, of Anjou), Queen of Poland: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Isaiah, chapter seven, verses one thru nine;
Psalm Forty-eight, verses two & three(a), three(b) & four, five & six, & seven & eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty thru twenty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today Jesus declares judgment on the towns of Galilee that did not believe in him and repent. He stands at the end of the long line of prophets God sent in order to reconcile his people to himself. Like the prophets before him, Jesus is ignored, mocked, and rejected.

What happens as a result of man’s refusal of God? Not nothing. God’s judgment falls on the unfaithful nation. What is the instrument of God’s justice? One of the heathen nations, the Chaldeans, come and destroy the city of Jerusalem, burn the Temple, carry off its most sacred objects, and force the Israelites into exile. And then the Romans follow suit in the first century.

Is this bad luck? Just the typical give and take of geopolitical forces? No! The Bible insists that this should be read as God’s action, more specifically, as God’s judgment and punishment. Mind you, this is not an arbitrary punishment, something cruel and vindictive; rather, it is God allowing the fallen nation to feel the effects of its sin.

So what’s the lesson? Sin has consequences, and we rarely have to wait for the next world to experience them.
Video reflection by Sister Peggy Gorman, R.S.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"This is his [the theologian's] mission: in the loquacity of our day & of our times, in the plethora of words, to make the essential words heard. Through words, it means making present the Word, the Word who comes from God, the Word Who is God."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"What God has given me has always pleased me, even the things which appear to me less good & less beautiful than those which others had."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Be defenders of human life, whenever it is threatened. Be such particularly of those who are helpless, or when recourse to war does not seem justified by an absolute necessity of justice."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

Saints + Scripture — Tuesday, 10 July

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

Tuesday, 10 July was the festival of Saints Victoria, Anatolia, & Audax, Martyrs (died circa 250), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Decius, victims of the Decian Persecution: Martyr-link Victor, Martyr-link Alpha-Alpha, Martyr-link Alpha-X-ray, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Amalburga of Maubeuge, Religious, O.S.B. (died circa 690): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Mother of Ss. Gudula of Brussels [8 January], Emebert of Cambrai [15 January], Reineldis of Saintes [16 July], & Pharaildis [4 January].

'Twas also the festival of Saint Canute, Martyr (circa 1042-1086, King Canute IV of Denmark; A.K.A. the Holy, also spelt Knud), martyred by rebellious Vikings: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Hosea, chapter eight, verses four thru seven, eleven, twelve, & thirteen;
Psalm One Hundred Fifteen, verses three & four, five & six, seven(a/b) & eight, & nine & ten;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nine, verses thirty-two thru thirty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus directs his disciples to "ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest," to pray for evangelists to rescue the lost. But what precisely does it mean to evangelize?

Euangelion (glad tidings) was a familiar word in the culture of the New Testament authors. When the emperor or one of his generals won a battle, he would send evangelists ahead to announce the glad tidings.

The first Christians were being edgy when they adapted the word to their purposes. They were saying that the definitive battle had indeed been won, but that it had nothing to do with Caesar and his armies. It had to do with the victory that God had won in Christ over sin and death.

Jesus went into the belly of the beast—into the heart of our dysfunction, to the limits of godforsakenness—and he defeated the dark powers. He demonstrated that the divine love is greater than our greatest enemies.

This evangelical message entails, too, that there is a new King, a new Emperor. Christ, the victor over sin and death, must be the center of your life.
Video reflection by Father Leon Biernat: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"There can be no outward peace unless it reflects & is ruled by that interior peace without which the affairs of human beings shake, totter, & fall. Only God's holy religion can foster, strengthen, & maintain such a peace."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"My God, you have gone beyond my desire & I will sing your mercies!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"We cannot talk about God, but woe to the one who remains silent about him."
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast day: 28 August)

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Magic!, "One Woman One Man" from Don't Kill the Magic (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary:
"I am a sinner,
As cold as the winter,
She is the sun,
She is the queen of love.
I am a burden,
Always uncertain,
She is a raft,
Only believes in us.

"And I know that she cries
By the red in her eyes,
She's been waiting for signs
That never come.
All she ever really wanted was—

"One woman, one man,
That's all that she ask,
No other demands,
One woman, one man.

"I am a loser,
I only confuse her,
She is the sail
No matter where we go.
Tradition in her veins passed down,
The way I live is foreign to her now,
Oh, I wish it wasn't so!
(Lord, I wish it wasn't so!)

"And I know that she cries
By the red in her eyes,
She's been waiting for signs
That never come.
All she ever really wanted was—

"One woman, one man,
That's all that she ask,
No other demands,
One woman, one man…"

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Working Out"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Madonna-link ūna, Madonna-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Scapular-link & Wikipedia-link Scapular.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
This is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late twelfth & early to mid-thirteenth century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed Bartolomeu dos Mártires, Bishop, O.P. (1514-1590, of Braga; A.K.A. Bartolomeu Fernandes), who attended the Council of Trent: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Council.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds John Sugar, Priest, & Robert Grissold, Martyrs (died 1604), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king James VI & I, two of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Juliett Sierra & Wikipedia-link Juliett Sierra, Martyr-link Romeo Golf & Wikipedia-link Romeo Golf; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Isaiah, chapter one, verses ten thru seventeen;
Psalm Fifty, verses eight & nine, sixteen(b/c) & seventeen, & twenty-one & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verse thirty-four thru chapter eleven, verse one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus lays down the conditions for discipleship: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

There is [a] line from the illuminator of the
St. John’s Bible that states: "We have to love our way out of this." There is nothing wimpy or namby-pamby or blind about this conviction. When we love extravagantly, we are not purposely blinding ourselves to moral realities—just the contrary. Love is not a sentiment, but "a harsh and dreadful thing," as Dostoevsky said.

This is just what Jesus shows on his terrible cross. And this is just what we, his followers, must imitate. Taking up the cross means not just being willing to suffer, but being willing to suffer as he did, absorbing violence and hatred through our forgiveness and nonviolence.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Book of Zechariah, chapter two, verses fourteen thru seventeen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verse forty-nine;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twelve, verses forty-six thru fifty.

Bible Study—Pauline Epistles
The Letter to the Romans, chapter six (verses one thru twenty-three).

Commentary: Freedom from Sin; Life in God (Romans, 6:1-23).

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Mother of the Incarnate Word! You are the human heart's immaculate sensitivity to all that is of God. This means all that is true, good, & beautiful, all that has its source & fulfillment in God."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"True, one can fall… but, knowing how to draw profit from everything, love quickly consumes everything that can be displeasing to Jesus."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Mary seeks for those who approach her devoutly & with reverence, for such she loves, nourishes, & adopts as her children."
—St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church (1221-1274, feast day: 15 July)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXVI

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Second Battle of the Marne, Part II
15-20 July 1918: The Fourth Battle of Champagne & the Battle of the Mountain of Reims—The Germans attacked both to the east & to the west of Reims, the Friedensturm (loosely translated, "Peace Offensive"), ultimately a diversion meant to draw Entente troops away from Flanders; the American 38th Infantry Regiment earned the nickname it holds to this day, the "Rock of the Marne."





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: XV Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Scripture of This Week
Mass Readings—Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Amos, chapter seven, verses twelve thru fifteen;
Psalm Eighty-five, verses nine & ten, eleven & twelve, & thirteen & fourteen;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter one, verses three thru fourteen
(or, the Letter to the Ephesians, chapter one, verses three thru ten);
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 Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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

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


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-nine
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
We are called to live holy lives & this is something we should strive for as Christians, but let me be very clear that this holiness is not something that we can attain for ourselves. In truth, holiness is something God does in us & not we achieve. And yet at the same time, God is the perfect gentleman: He invites us to participate in His life, but never forces Himself upon us. He wants our consent, He wants to be invited into our hearts & lives, but much more than consent & invitation He desires our loving cooperation. God yearns for us to be coworkers with Him in this work of holiness. It is this dynamic collaboration between God & man that brings delight to God.

The North Star is the only star in the sky that never moves; it remains constant & unwavering, & therefore is a true guide. In the same way, God's call to live a holy life never changes. In a world of rapid & constant change, it is what is unchanging that allows us to make sense of change. The ideas you encounter may change, your emotions may change, but God's call to live a holy life never changes.


Otherwise, 15 July would be the festival of Saint Vladimir (circa 956-1015; A.K.A. Basil, Vladimir I, the Great), Grand Prince of Kiev & Prince of Novgorod: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Grandson of St. Olga of Kiev [11 July].

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop & Doctor of the Church, O.F.M. (1221-1274, the "Seraphic Doctor;" A.K.A. Giovanni di Fidanza, of Bagnorea), seventh (VII) Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, who attended the Second Council of Lyons (1272-1274): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment!, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Doctors, Wikipedia-link Minister General, & Wikipedia-link Council.


'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey, Religious (1779-1851, the "Liberator of the Slaves"), foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"Holiness reveals itself in the last analysis as fullness of life, boundless happiness, & immersion in the light of Christ & God. It is also an inebriating foretaste of the Communion of Saints, that is, of the living Church who is the Lord's, both in time & in eternity."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"I understand so well that only love could make me acceptable to God, & that love is the only thing I aspire to."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than that proceeding from the mouth."
—St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church (1221-1274, feast day: 15 July)

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

Matt Maher, "Firelight" from Saints and Sinners (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: This was never one of my preferred songs from Saints and Sinners 'til I saw & heard Maher perform it at Faith Fest 2018, a few weeks ago. His explanation of the song's origin in the spirituality of St. Teresa of Calcutta [5 September] & the vim of the live performance changed my perspective entirely.
"If anyone remembers my name,
If I'm ever known for anything,
Let it be I ran into the night
Running with a firelight, firelight!

"If anyone remembers my name,
If I'm ever known for anything,
Let it be I ran into the night
Running with a firelight, firelight!

"If anyone remembers my name,
If I'm ever known for anything,
Let it be I ran into the night
Running with a firelight, firelight!

"'Cause I don't wanna stroll the streets of gold
While there's still a soul to love,
Let me run into the night,
Running with a firelight, firelight!
Burning with a firelight, firelight!
Burning with a firelight, firelight!"
In today's Gospel (Mark, 6:7-13), Our Blessed Savior sends His Twelve Apostles out two by two, to preach repentance, to drive out demons, & to anoint with oil & thereby cure the sick. In other words, He sends them running into the night of sin & death with a firelight, burning with a firelight.

Saints + Scripture: XIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Sunday, 8 July was the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Week
Mass Readings—Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter two, verses two thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-three, verses one & two, two, & three & four;
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, verses seven thru ten;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter six, verses one thru six(a).

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? Today’s Gospel offers a clue.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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

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


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-eight
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
A man's work may be to collect the rash, but if he does it well, & hour by hour turns to God in his heart & says, Father, I offer You this hour of work as a prayer for my neighbor Karen, who is struggling with cancer… or in thanksgiving for my wife & children, then he has truly discovered & is living the words "pray constantly" (1 Thessalonians, 5:17). He has transformed an hour of work into an hour of prayer. Through his work he has grown intimacy with God & neighbor, & he has becomea-better-version-of-himself. The attitude with which we approach our work is crucial. The transformation of ordinary activities into prayer is the very essence of the inner life. Every activity of our day can lead us to experience God. Learn to foster the interior life in this way & you will live a life uncommon in the midst of common circumstances.


Otherwise, 8 July would have been the festival of Saints Priscilla & Aquila, Martyrs (died circa 64, also spelt Prisca), wife & husband, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero: Martyr-link Papa, Martyr-link Alpha, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Adrian III, Pope (circa 830-885, also spelt Hadrian; A.K.A. Agapitus), one hundred ninth (CIX) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed Eugene III, Pope, O.Cist. (circa 1080-1153, A.K.A. Bernardo Pignatelli, of Pisa), one hundred sixty-seventh (CLXVII) Bishop of Rome, who called the Second Crusade: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Crusade.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Some of you might ask me: 'Don't you ever have doubts?' I have many. Of course, everyone has doubts at times! Doubts which touch the faith, in a positive way, are a sign that we want to know better & more fully God, Jesus, & the mystery of His love for us."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Let us be one with Jesus… let us make our life a continual sacrifice, a martyrdom of love to console Jesus."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"I pray, go to the nearest church, & bring me the cross, & hold it up level with my eyes until I am dead. I would have the cross on which God hung ever before my eyes while life lasts in me."
—St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431, feast day: 30 May)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Saturday, 7 July

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

Saturday, 7 July was the festival of Saint Prosper of Aquitaine (circa 390-455): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Boswell, Abbot (died circa 661, A.K.A. Boisil): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Benedict XI, Pope, O.P. (1240-1304, A.K.A. Nicola Boccasini, Niccolò of Treviso), one hundred ninety-fourth (CXCIV) Bishop of Rome, eighth (VIII) Master of the Order of Preachers: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Master.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Amos, chapter nine, verses eleven thru fifteen;
Psalm Eighty-five, verses nine(a/b) & ten, eleven & twelve, & thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nine, verses fourteen thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, people ask Jesus why he and his disciples do not fast when John and his disciples do. Jesus’ answer is wonderful: “How can the guests at a wedding fast while the groom is still with them?” Could you imagine people fasting at a wedding banquet? It would be ridiculous!

Jesus later says, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins.” The new wine is the Gospel. The receptacle for this wine must be conformed to it, not the other way around.

To take in the Good News, we can’t be living in the cramped space of our sinful souls. We can’t have an “expect the worst” attitude. Instead we repent, or change the minds that we have. Another way to get at this is to say that like is known by like. If God is love, then only a soul that is on fire with love will properly take him in.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Liberty & authority are not opposing terms, but values that complement each other. Their mutual cooperation fosters growth of the community & of those capacities for initiative & enrichment of individual values."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"May all moments of our life be for Him alone."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"Something incomprehensible is not for that reason less real."
—Blaise Pascal (1588-1651)

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin (1656-1680, the "Lily of the Mohawks"): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
She contracted smallpox in an epidemic; her family died & her face was scarred. She converted to Roman Catholicism at age nineteen, when she was renamed Kateri, baptized in honor of Saint Catherine of Siena [29 April]. Refusing to marry, she left her village & moved for the remaining five years of her life to the Jesuit mission village of Kahnawake.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Deusdedit of Canterbury, Bishop, O.S.B. (died circa 664,; also spelt Adeodatus, A.K.A. Frithona): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Francisco Solano, Priest, O.F.M. (1549-1610, Anglicized as Francis Solanus, the "Wonder Worker of the New World"): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Isaiah, chapter six, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Ninety-three, verses one(a/b), one(c/d) & two, & five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses twenty-four thru thirty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, Jesus instructs his disciples in today’s Gospel, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna.”

What is the greatest fear we have? Undoubtedly, the fear of losing our own lives; we fear the death of the body. But Jesus is telling us not to worry about those paper tigers that can only affect the body and its goods.

When I am in love with God, when I am “fearing” him above all things, I am rooted in a power that transcends space and time, a power that governs the universe in its entirety, a power that is greater than life and death.

More to it, this power knows me intimately and guides me according to his purposes: “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid.” Because of this we have nothing to fear from anything or anybody here below.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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

Bible Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter seven (verses one thru twenty-nine).

Commentary: Critique of Sages on the Day of Adversity (Ecclesiastes, 7:1-14), Critique of Sages on Justice & Wickedness (7:15-25), & Critique of Sages on Women (7:26-29).

Proverb o' This Day (Ecclesiastes, 7:2)
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of every man,
and the living should take it to heart.
Papal Quote o' This Day
"Man's unique grandeur is ultimately based on his capacity to know the truth. And human beings desire to know the truth. Yet truth can only be attained in freedom. This is the case with all truth, as is clear from the history of science; but it is eminently the case with those truths in which man himself, man as such, is at stake, the truths of the spirit, the truths about good & evil, about the great goals & horizons of life, about our relationship with God. These truths cannot be attained without profound consequences for the way we live our lives."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"Jesus wishes to own your heart completely."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"One of the most striking aspects of the public ministry of Jesus was His special love for those who were suffering. He touched, blessed, & healed them. He forgave their sins. He offered them consolation & hope by proclaiming to them the Gospel of salvation."
—Pope St. John Paul II (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Magic!, "Let Your Hair Down" from Don't Kill the Magic (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary:
"To me you are more than just skin and bones,
You are elegance and freedom, and everything I know.

So come on and,
Baby, let your hair down,
Let me run my fingers through it,
We can be ourselves now,
Go ahead, be foolish,
No one's on the clock now,
Lying in this simple moment,
You don't gotta worry now,
Just let your hair down…"

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Package Store Petition" from The Magic of Youth (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"My misfortunes made me miss so many chances,
Opportunities I'll never get again,
But I did happen to find a cause that I can get behind,
So if you don't mind would you kindly take the pen?

"Their match they've met,
It's not a threat.

"And we'll knock down every statue that they've put up,
Overthrow the powers that exist,
Our freedoms are at stake, our way of life lies on the line
And all I need for you to do is sign!

"Without the drive or real ambition or the strength to soldier on,
I was the man without a mission till this mission came along,
Now I'm the one man coalition with the package store petition,
Me and my seven signatures stand strong.

"Their match they've met,
It's not a threat,
They've met their match,
It's hell they'll catch.

"And we'll knock down every statue that they've put up,
Overthrow the powers that exist,
Our freedoms are at stake, our way of life lies on the line
And all I need for you to do is sign!"

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXV

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Second Battle of the Marne, Part I
Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918), the youngest son & favorite of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), twenty-sixth president of the United States; he grew up in the White House, graduated from the Groton School, & attended Harvard University; a Nieuport 28 pilot in the 95th Aero Squadron, he was shot twice in the head in an aerial dogfight & crashed behind the German lines on 14 July 1918.






Lest we forget.

Bonus! Song o' the Day

Magic!, "Little Girl Big World" from Don't Kill the Magic (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary:
"Long live the queen of all exaggeration,
Long live the queen,
'Cause you're just a little girl in a big, big, big, big world
Let it do, let it do, let it do, do,
You're just a little girl in a big, big, big, big world…"

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Inner Artist"

'Tis the festival of Saint Giovanni Gualberto, Abbot, O.S.B. Vall. (circa 985-1073, Anglicized as John Gualbert), founder of Vallombrosa Abbey & thus the Vallumbrosan Order, a congregation of the Benedictine Confederation: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey, Wikipedia-link O.S.B. Vall., & Wikipedia-link Confederation.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint John Jones, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. (died 1598, A.K.A. Griffith Jones, Godfrey Maurice, et al.), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link XL & Wikipedia-link XL.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Joachim of Saint Anne, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. (1620-1679, A.K.A. John Wall), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles II, a victim of the perjurer Titus Oates's "Popish Plot" hoax; one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Popish Plot-link & Wikipedia-link Popish Plot; & Martyrs-link XL & Wikipedia-link XL.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Louis Martin & Marie-Azélie Guérin (1823-1894 & 1831-1877, nicknamed "Zélie"): Saint-link Lima Mike, Saint-link Mike-Alpha Golf, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Parents of the Doctor of the Church St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus & the Holy Face, A.K.A. of Lisieux, the "Little Flower of Jesus" [1 October] & the Servants of God Agnès of Jesus, Françoise-Thérèse Martin, & Geneviève of the Holy Face.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Hosea, chapter eleven, verses one thru four, eight(e), & nine;
Psalm Eighty, verses two(a/c) & three(b), fifteen & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses seven thru fifteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus sends the Apostles on a mission of evangelization, a mission that we continue today.

We Catholics cannot avoid the demand of evangelization, of proclaiming the faith. Vatican II couldn’t be clearer on this score, seeing the Church itself as nothing but a vehicle for evangelization. According to Vatican II, it’s not so much the case that the Church has a mission, but rather that a mission has the Church. Bringing people to Christ is not one work among many; rather, it is the central work of the Church, that around which everything else we do revolves.

Do we need evangelization? The statistics couldn’t be clearer. Did you know that the fastest-growing "religious" group in the United States is the "nones"—that is, those who claim no religious affiliation? In the latest Pew Research Center survey, fully 25 percent of the country—80 million people—say that they have no formal religion. When we focus on young people, the picture is even more bleak. Almost 40 percent of those under thirty are nones, and among Catholics in that age group, the number rises to 50 percent. Of all the Catholic children baptized or confirmed these last thirty years, half no longer participate in the life of the Church.

We need evangelization more than ever before. Will you answer the call?
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Sometimes, in the anxiety of our modern mentality to get things done, we are inclined to consider prayer as an obstacle to action, as if they were competing for time. In fact, action & prayer must be complementary."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"In my Little Way there are only very ordinary things."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful."
—Pope Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958, feast day: 9 October)

The Queue

I agree with Matthew Kelly's analysis that the eponymous Biggest Lie is indeed hamstringing the Christian witness in the twenty-first century (though I prefer the violent term, kneecapping). Now to be more active on social media, promoting The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity & to see about the parish giving away The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity as this Christmas's participation in the Dynamic Catholic Book Program. Of course, the Book Program would be more effective, I intuit, if we had programming to go along with it, discussion groups &/or a preaching series of homilies, rather than using the books as "fire & forget" tools.

Great Catholic Parishes is a pretty dry read, as it is an analysis of & commentary upon the Parish Catalyst organization's research into what makes great Catholic parishes great & how to catalyze not-so-great parishes into becoming great. Still, the Cursillo exhortation is, "Don't just read good books, read the best," not "the most entertaining."

New to the Queue
I was given Why We're Catholic at Faith Fest 2018 by a gentleman from the Archdiocese of Detroit (the A.O.D., as I prefer to call it, though I really should desist since I always have to explain that "A.O.D." stands for Archdiocese of Detroit). I know of Trent Horn from Catholic Answers for his work as an apologist on their radio show, Catholic Answers Live, & I've recently started listening to his podcast, The Counsel of Trent (a play on the the Council of Trent, 1545-1563); though I was already aware of Why We're Catholic, it wasn't high in the queue, since I already know why I'm Catholic. (The grace of God; the answer is, because of the grace of God.) The gentleman's explicit instructions in gifting me the book were to read it & then to pass it on to someone else; that I shall do; I already have a couple candidates in mind.

Converts and Kingdoms, another book from Catholic Answers, looks highly intriguing, sating not just my jones for history but also sitting at the intersection of learning history & practically applying the lessons of that history to these latter days. Within the month, the Church history study I've been leading, Epic from Ascension, will conclude; Converts and Kingdoms could well serve as an excellent companion piece to the following on study Epic: The Early Church. So much to learn, so little time!

Recently
Pope Francis, Guadete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad)
Pope Blessed Paul VI (with Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, & Pope Francis), Humanae Vitae with Related Papal Texts
Matthew Kelly, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness

Currently
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: A Living Mosaic—How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive

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

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Less Than Jake, "Short Fuse Burning" from Anthem (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I am very close to just turning in my keys & walking away, washing my hands of this misbegotten venture. The slightest provocation might trigger intemperate words & rash decisions.
"These are all the reasons why
I'll be exploding tonight
And why this chip on my shoulder
Feels like a mile wide
It's from the overwork,
Overtime compromise…

Hey, everybody don't forget me, forget me,
Hey, everybody don't forget me,
I forgot who I used to be!
And I'm a short fuse burning,
I'm so close to exploding,
So everybody don't forget me
I forgot who I used to be…"

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Less Than Jake, "We, the Uninspired" from the Absolution for Idiots & Addicts E.P. (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"Punch me awake, we're the uninspired,
There'll be no white flags over the heads of the sick and tired,
Maybe it's the standing still that kills what's alive inside us,
This world is for the living not the dead, but we're still the uninspired…"

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday

Dienstag, 10. Juli
Rachel Platten, "Fight Song" from Wildfire (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep,
Everybody's worried about me,
In too deep, say I'm in too deep (in too deep),
And it's been two years, I miss my home,
But there's a fire burning in my bones,
Still believe, yeah, I still believe…

"This is my fight song,
Take back my life song,
Prove I'm alright song,
My power's turned on,
Starting right now I'll be strong,
I'll play my fight song,
And I don't really care if nobody else believes,
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me,
A lot of fight left in me…"

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 334.6 lbs
This weigh-in: 332.6 lbs.
Difference: -2.0 lbs.

O.K., Mike. Good work. That's the goal, two pounds per week. Now keep it up.

Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Grapefruit Diet" from Running with Scissors (The Last Angry Feather)

He's Dead, Jim
I had my annual eye exam this morning. The optometrist administered eye drops that in his words would make my eyes feel "sticky." Yeah, that's exactly how they felt 'til those drops wore off. Bizarre!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday

Montag, 9. Juli
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, "100 Days, 100 Nights" from Luke Cage: Original Soundtrack Album (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"One hundred days, one hundred nights, to know a man's heart,
One hundred days, one hundred nights, to know a man's heart,
And a little more before he knows his own…"

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXIV

Operation AXIOM: The World War
The tank continued to evolve as a war-fighting, man-killing technology of 1918: The British introduced the heavy Mark V tank, a further development of 1917's Mark IV, & the Medium Mark A Whippet; the French introduced the revolutionary Renault FT, debuting what has remained the standard tank configuration ever since—driver in the front, engine in the back, & armaments in a fully-rotating turret.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "The Web"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, & Companions, Martyrs (died 1648-1930, A.K.A. the Martyr Saints of China): Martyr-link Alpha Zulu Romeo, Martyrs-link ūnus, Martyrs-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The eighty-seven Chinese Catholics & thirty-three Western missionaries, from the mid-seventeenth century to 1930, were martyred because of their refusal to apostatize. Many died in the Boxer Rebellion, in which xenophobic peasants slaughtered thirty thousand Chinese converts to Christianity along with missionaries & other foreigners.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed Giovanna Scopelli, Religious, O.Carm. (1428-1491): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Nicolaas Pieck, Priest (O.F.M.), & Companions, Martyrs (died 1572, A.K.A. the nineteen Martyrs of Gorkum), martyred by Calvinist heretics: Martyr-link November Papa & Wikipedia-link November Papa, Martyrs-link Gorkum & Wikipedia-link Gorkum.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Veronica Giuliani, Abbess, O.S.C. Cap. (1660-1727, A.K.A. Orsola Giuliani), stigmatic: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Stigmata-link & Wikipedia-link Stigmata.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Hosea, chapter two, verses sixteen, seventeen(b), eighteen, twenty-one, & twenty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses two & three, four & five, six & seven, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nine, verses eighteen thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the centerpiece of our Gospel today is the story of the hemorrhaging woman. To get at the power of the Gospel, we have to reacquaint ourselves with the Jewish attitudes regarding the clean and the unclean. In the book of Leviticus we find carefully laid out prescriptions dealing with animals, plants, foods, and situations that are unclean. These prescriptions were meant to identify the Jewish people as a people. But they had a rather severe downside, since they placed certain people in extremely difficult situations.

Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that for that entire period the woman in our Gospel was a virtual pariah. Anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn’t participate in the ordinary life of her society.

She touches Jesus and should have rendered him unclean. But so great is her faith, that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.

The most important outcome is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of Leviticus. The identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Augustine Zhao Rong & Companions
The First Letter of John, chapter five, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"God is present, no matter how often humanity may forget God. Christianity has the living & modern spiritual energy, ready to confront the negations of a materialistic world."
—Pope John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Yes, life is a treasure. Each moment is… an eternity seeing God face to face, being one with Him."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Do justice, God sees you."
—St. Veronica Giuliani (1660-1727, feast day: 9 July)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Bonus! Song o' the Day

The Proclaimers, "Five O'Clock World" from Born Innocent (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: No rest this sabbath, nor ever again, I fear. What have I done?

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

Alan Powell, "Chasing after the Wind" from The Song Album: Music from the Motion Picture (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Why should you be if no one's there to see?
All of your deeds are raindrops in the sea.
What do we mean if nothin' has meanin',
If in the end you're chasin' after wind?…"

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Queue

Humanae Vitae is brief but concise, prophetic, & powerful. The Related Papal Texts are letters from Blessed Paul VI on the tenth anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, Saint John Paul (II) the Great on the twentieth & thirtieth anniversaries, Benedict XVI on the fortieth anniversary, & an article from Pope Francis's Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, published two years shy of the fiftieth anniversary. The longest piece in this edition of Humanae Vitae are selections from the 1968 statement of the (United States) National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Human Life in Our Day. I cannot recommend Humanae Vitae highly enough, no matter your opinion of contraception.

I received an advance copy of Matthew Kelly's The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity & aim to finish it before the book is officially released in August. I'm about halfway through it in less than two days; so, finishing it before August should be achievable. In the letter that accompanied the advance copy, I was asked not to reveal what the biggest lie is; like an audience member at Agatha Christie's long-running play The Mousetrap, I find this an entirely reasonable request that I intend to honor.

Recently
Matthew Kelly, Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God's Dream for You
Pope Francis, Guadete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad)
Pope Blessed Paul VI (with Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, & Pope Francis), Humanae Vitae with Related Papal Texts

Currently
Matthew Kelly, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: A Living Mosaic—How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive

Presently
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***oft delayed***
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Xavier Rynne, Vatican Council II
John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity)
Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
Rosario Carello, Pope Francis Takes the Bus and Other Unexpected Stories
Father Mathias D. Thelen, Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Suburban Legends, "Bright Spring Morning" from Rump Shaker (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: She said, "Just kill me," to grouse about her workload & working conditions. When the kitchen didn't have the cold beverage I'd ordered & I nonchalantly ordered a different cold beverage that I could see she had in stock, she said, "I love you." I offered to take her away from all that. She didn't take me seriously, not even when I told her I'd just topped off the Malibu Stacey's fuel tank & we could just go, but that was wise because I wasn't being serious (though I had, in fact, topped off the Malibu Stacey's fuel tank en route to that den of iniquity). I have to wonder, if she had taken me seriously, would I have done it, just driven into the night with her, destination unknown? She is achingly beautiful & that kind of beauty has been known to render better, more levelheaded men than me foolhardy.
"…True, it's all in my dreams, yeah.
(All in my dreams.)
You are in all my dreams, yeah.

"What I need is a long holiday,
What I need is a long holiday,
What I need is a long holiday,
What I need is to get away!

"From here for good tonight,
Let's fly away tonight.
On this bright spring morning,
Send our spirits soaring,
Now is the time!
Go, roll down the window,
Go, crank up that radio,
Lets drive until we hit the sky.
It's not about where we go
Lets start living life before we die.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday

Freitag, 6. Juli
Less Than Jake, "City of Gainesville" from GNV FLA (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: A Less Than Jake song about feeling trapped in a dead-end existence? Surprising!
"I may be going broke, but I'm never broken down…"

Friday, July 6, 2018

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr (1890-1902), martyred by her attempted rapist, Alessandro Serenelli: Martyr-link ūna, Martyr-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Moria Goretti is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Catholic Church, & one of the youngest canonized saints. Her father died when she was nine. Maria took over household duties while her mother, brothers, & sister worked in the fields. One afternoon, Alessandro, the Serenellis' son, made sexual advances to her. When she refused to submit to him, he stabbed her fourteen times.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Sexburga of Ely, Abbess (circa 635-699; also spelt Seaxburh, Saxburgh), Queen of Kent, foundress of abbeys at Milton Regis & Minster-in-Sheppey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

Commentary: Sister of Ss. Æthelburh of Faremoutiers [7 July], Sæthryth [7 January], Etheldreda [23 June], & Withburga [8 July]; & mother of Ss. Ermenilda of Ely [13 February] & Ercongotha [23 February].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Aufield, Priest & Martyr (1552-1585, also spelt Alfield, etc.), 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.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Amos, chapter eight, verses four, five, six, & nine thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses two, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, & one hundred thirty-one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nine, verses nine thru thirteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today is the simple but magnificent story of the conversion of Matthew. I urge you to read it and meditate upon it this week, for it’s about you. The Bible says that Jesus told Matthew, "Follow me." The call of Jesus is meant to get into your mind, and then past your mind into your body, and then through your body into your life, into your most practical decisions.

And then we hear that Matthew "got up and followed him." The verb used here in the Greek is the same verb used to describe the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead: Matthew rose. Conversion means a transition into a higher life, arising from a preoccupation with the goods of the world and a reorientation to the things of God.

Then we hear what happened after Matthew’s conversion: "And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples." This deeply annoys the Pharisees, who ask of Jesus’ disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" The answer is that Jesus loves sinners, and he doesn’t require perfection before he approaches them.
Video reflection by Father Praveen Lakkisetti: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Maria Goretti
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter six, verses thirteen(c), fourteen, fifteen(a), & seventeen thru twenty;
Psalm Thirty-one, verse six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.

Mass Readings—Requiem for Charlie Alpha Sierra
The Book of Proverbs, chapter thirty-one, verses ten thru thirty-one;
Psalm Twenty-seven;
The First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter four, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses one thru six.

Commentary: Yesterday, I was asked to serve as an extraordinary Eucharistic minister (E.E.M.) at a Requiem today. I agreed, knowing this would require me to depart early from the Genesee County Jail, where I minister to the inmates on Friday mornings. At the Requiem, one of the parish's three deacons was present; a layman is an extraordinary Eucharistic minister, a deacon is the ordinary Eucharistic minister of the cup. Also, there was only one cup for the Precious Blood, not the usual two (usual for a Requiem at Holy Redeemer). One cup & a deacon present meant I wasn't needed as an E.E.M. Had I known this, I would not have left the jail early. *sigh* I wish I could say that such crossed wires were uncommon in parish life at Holy Redeemer.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"One of the underlying problems today is a loss of appreciation of the virtue of chastity. How important it is to recover this virtue in our own time! Chastity helps us to harmonize all the dimensions of our sexuality & thus to live joyfully in accordance with God's will."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, & being just what God wants us to be."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The noblest power of man is reason. The highest goal of reason is the knowledge of God."
—St. Albert the Great, Doctor of the Church (1200-1280, feast day: 15 November)