Thursday, April 2, 2020

Bonus! Songs o' the Day: In memoriam

Fountain of Wayne, "Richie and Ruben" from Sky Full of Holes (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: In memoriam Adam Schlesinger (1967-2020). Requiescat in pace.

Ivy,"Edge of the Ocean" from Long Distance (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

Life without the Eucharist: Day 16
The consolation from last Sunday has faded, but I've not sunk back into the utter desolation of the preceding ten days.

'Tis the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The Book of Genesis, chapter seventeen, verses three thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Five (R/. eight[a]), verses four & five, six & seven, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eight, verses fifty-one thru fifty-nine.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus asserts his pre-existence by declaring that "before Abraham came to be, I AM."

There has been a disturbing tendency in recent years to turn Jesus into an inspiring spiritual teacher. If that’s all he is, the heck with him. But the Gospels are never content with such a reductive description. Though they present him as a teacher, they know that he is infinitely more than that. That something else is at stake in him and our relation to him.

Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is divine. He once declared, "Have faith in God; have faith also in me." We can easily imagine other religious founders urging faith in God, but we’d be hard pressed to imagine them urging the same faith in themselves! But on Jesus’ lips, the two are parallel.

As C.S. Lewis so vividly saw, this means that Jesus compels us to make a choice the way no other figure does. Either you are with Jesus or you are against him. There is no other way to take in this language. To get this wonderful paradox is to come close to the heart of what it means to be a Christian.

Reflect: Reflect on this statement: "Either Jesus is who he says he is, or he is a lying lunatic. There is no middle ground." Where do you stand?
Video reflection by Father Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (U.S.C. of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is once again explaining to the Jews that He is God, the great “I AM.” Both human and divine, He is the great healer, forgiver of sins, and comes from our loving and merciful Father. The Jews did not want to accept Jesus as their Messiah because He did not fulfill their expectations. They were so angry at His claims that they wanted to stone Him. Their hard hearts refused to be open to the mystery of God's plan of salvation in Christ and closed themselves off from the new life Jesus was offering.

How often do we reject God? We want to control our life and plan how we think it should turn out. We try to fit God into our own self-designed boxes, but God is a God of surprises and wants to open us up to even greater possibilities than we could even plan or dream! This is the beauty of our Catholic faith. We have a God who is actively pursuing us amid our doubt and unbelief. We are called to place our trust in His unfailing promises. In turn, a sense of peace will come over us because we know that He has a beautiful plan for our lives. As we approach Easter, let us open ourselves more fully to the mystery of God.

Today’s Tip: Take a few minutes to remember a moment of consolation, a moment in your life where you really felt the presence of God in your life, and sit with that moment embracing the closeness of our mysterious yet loving God.
Scripture Study—Prophetic Books
The Book of Daniel, chapter one (verses one thru twenty-one);
The Book of Daniel, chapter two (verses one thru forty-nine).

Commentary: Four Young Israelites at the Babylonian Court (Daniel, 1:1-2:16), God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Dream (2:17-23), Daniel Interprets the Dream (2:24-45), & Daniel & His Friends Promoted (2:46-49).

I find rich the readings from Daniel whenever we encounter them in the Lectionary (the Mass Readings), but I've not read the whole book since I skimmed it back in my undergraduate course with Professor Ralph Williams, "The Bible as Literature." I hope to read several of the Prophetic Books, though there is every chance I will re-read the Acts of the Apostles during the Paschaltide.


Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 81
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-five, verses one thru twelve;
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-seven, verses one two, ten, seventeen, twenty-five, & twenty-nine;
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-eight, verses one & two.

Commentary: Sabbath Regulations (Exodus, 35:1-3, Preparations for Making the Tabernacle (35:4-12), Making the Ark of the Covenant (37:1-2), Making the Table (37:10), Making the Lampstand (37:17), Making the Altar of Incense (35:25), Making the Anointing Oil & Incense (37:29), & Making the Altar of Burnt Offering (38:1-2).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Micah, chapter three, verse twelve.
Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
& the mountains of the house a wooded height.
Commentary: Several of the chapters of Micah have sixteen or more verses, but chapter three has only twelve.

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit, O.M. (1416-1507, A.K.A. the Fire Handler), founder of the Order of Minims (1435, O.M.): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Order-link O.M. & Wikipedia-link O.M.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Aphian of Caesarea, Martyr (circa 287-305, also spelt Appian, etc.), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Galerius & Constantius, a victim of the Great Persecution (303-313): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Persecutions-link & Wikipedia-link Great Persecution.

Commentary: Brother of the martyr St. Aedesius of Alexandria [8 April].

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Theodosia of Tyre, Martyr (circa 290-307, also spelt Theodora), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Galerius & Constantius, a victim of the Great Persecution (303-313): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Persecutions-link & Wikipedia-link Great Persecution.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint John Payne, Priest & Martyr (1532-1582), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Elizabetta Vendramini, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1790-1860), foundress of the Franciscan Elizabethan Sisters: Blessed-link, Blessed-link (List), & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Vilmos Apor, Bishop & Martyr (1892-1945) Bishop of Győr (1941-1945), martyred in the reign of the Communist dictator Joseph Stalin for defending women against a Red Army rape gang: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Győr.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Christian renunciation is an authentic way of Christian life.It implies a hierarchical classification of its goods & it stimulates us to choose the better part. It gives us practice in self-control,& it establishes a mysterious economy of expiation, which makes us participants in Christ's redeption."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, r. 1963-1978; feast: 29 May)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"We must often feel weary & tired, yet God brings us through all these things."
—St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909, feast: 8 August)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"When we have come to the end of a thing we have come to the beginning of it."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril X


Bite Me Bambi, "Hot Lava" from the Hot Lava Single (Rude Boy Mike Papa Whiskey)

Skammentary: "Hot Lava" is brand new music, as in late February 2020 new. Bite Me Bambi has a pedigree: the horn section includes T-Bone Willy of the original Save Ferris & Starpool. To the best of my knowledge, Bite Me Bambi have not yet released an album, but have several singles available beyond "Hot Lava." Now, as ever, ska is dead.
"Baby, we're burning hot lava,
We're melting to the floor!
Baby, we're burning hot lava,
Please don't shut that door!
Baby, we're burning,
Baby, we're burning,
Baby, we're burning hot lava,
Please don't shut that,
Please don't shut that door!…"

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

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

The Popish Plot
"The Pig Pig Plot"

Life without the Eucharist: Day 15
Thanks be to God Almighty, I ought to be able to partake of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a week's time, Wednesday, 8 April—the Wednesday of Holy Week.

'Tis the Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The Book of Daniel, chapter three, verses fourteen thru twenty, ninety-one, ninety-two, & ninety-five;
The Book of Daniel, chapter three, (R/. fifty-two[b]) verses fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-five, & fifty-six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eight, verses thirty-one thru forty-two.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel the Lord tells some Jewish leaders that they are enslaved to sin and that the truth will set them free.

Jesus was distinguishing between sins and sin, between the underlying disease and its many symptoms. When the Curé d’Ars (St. John Vianney) was asked what wisdom he had gained about human nature from his many years of hearing confessions, he responded, "People are much sadder than they seem." Blaise Pascal rests his apologetic for Christianity on the simple fact that all people are unhappy. This universal, enduring, and stubborn sadness is sin.

Now, this does not mean that sin is identical to psychological depression. The worst sinners can be the most psychologically well-adjusted people, and the greatest saints can be, by any ordinary measure, quite unhappy.
When I speak of sadness in this context, I mean the deep sense of unfulfillment. We want the truth and we get it, if at all, in dribs and drabs; we want the good, and we achieve it only rarely; we seem to know what we ought to be, but we are in fact something else. This spiritual frustration, this inner warfare, this debility of soul, is sin.

Reflect: Regardless of how sinful we are, we are all tainted by the "underlying disease" of sin. What is the connection between our fallen human nature and your own unhappiness or unfulfillment
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D. (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In Today’s Gospel, we read that Christ is the Truth that will set us free. There is nothing else on this earth that will fulfill us the way He does. He loves us unconditionally and knows our hearts better than anyone else, even better than we know ourselves. He desires to be close to you and to have an intimate relationship with you.

What is your relationship with Jesus like? Lent is the perfect time to go even deeper with Him through prayer. Prayer is a safe place in which we can immerse ourselves in the love of God. Sometimes you may feel like your prayer is a monologue, where only you speak and God never answers or speaks back. But when cultivated, prayer becomes a dialogue between you and our Father in Heaven, where you speak and God replies, or God speaks and you act. The key is not just to pray when we need something or only when it’s convenient for us, but to pray through every circumstance. Personal growth and inner freedom develop in prayer, in both moments of desolation as well as moments of consolation and great joy.

Today’s Tip: Carve out 30 minus of silent prayer to deepen your relationship with Him. Although exteriorly you may be silent, speak to Him interiorly and thank Him for His presence in your life.
Scripture Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of the Psalms, psalm ninety-one (verses one thru sixteen).

Commentary: Assurance of God's Protection (Psalm 91). I was promoted to read Psalm 91 by my new pandemic-inspired T-shirt from the fine folks at the Catholic T-shirt Club:
PSALM 91
FEARLESS
I will not fear the pestilence
for the Lord is my refuge.
Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 80
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-four, verses twenty-nine thru thirty-five.

Commentary: The Shining Face of Moses (Exodus, 34:29-35).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Jonah, chapter one, verse sixteen.
Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, & they offered a sacrifice to the LORD & made vows.
Commentary: Though the Book of Jonah has four chapters, the only one with more then eleven verses is chapter one. I decided it was more in keeping with the spirit of the exercise to quote Jonah, 1:16 than Jonah, 3:10.

'Tis the commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt, Hermit (circa 344-421): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine '18.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Tewdrig ap Teithfallt, Martyr (fifth-sixth century), king of Glywysing, martyred repelling pagan Saxon invaders: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Hugh of Châteauneuf, Bishop (1053-1132, A.K.A. of Grenoble), Bishop of Grenoble (1080-1132), patron of the formation of the Carthusian Order (1084, O.Cart.), & founder of the Monastère de Chalais (1101): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link & Wikipedia-link Grenoble, Order-link O.Cart. & Wikipedia-link O.Cart., & Wikipedia-link Chalais.

Commentary: Uncle of St. Hugh of Bonnevaux [1 April].

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Hugh of Bonnevaux, Abbot, O.Cist. (circa 1120-1194), abbot of Bonnevaux Abbey (1166-1194), abbot of Léoncel Abbey (1162-1166): Saint-link & Encyclopedia-link; Wikipedia-link Bonnevaux.

Commentary: Nephew of St. Hugh of Châteauneuf [1 April].

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed John Britton, Martyr (circa 1527-1598, also spelt Bretton), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

Proverb o' the Day (Psalm 91:7-8)
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand;
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
& see the recompense of the wicked.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Lent renews in us the hope in the One Who made us pass from death to life."
—Pope Benedict XVI (b. 1927, r. 2005-2013)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
—St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226, feast: 4 October)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Idolatry exists wherever the thing which originally gave us happiness becomes at last more important than happiness itself."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima — Please Stand By

Operation ÖSTERREICH: Exodus 90, Day 80

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 336.6 lbs. (Friday, 27 March)
This weigh-in: 336.6 lbs.
Difference: +/-0.0 lbs.

I have to take a mulligan on 2020's Exodus 90, which through my own lack of focused commitment has yielded neither the spiritual nor the physical fruit of 2019's Exodus. Call it the sophomore slump?


Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Inactive" from Mandatory Fun (Mike Papa Wash)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril X


Reel Big Fish, "Ska Show" from Life Sucks… Let's Dance! (Rude Boy Mike Papa Whiskey)

Skammentary: Welcome to SKApril, our tenth annual fête of the greatest music known to man, ska! Ska had always sought to foster unity & peace, a message that is all the more important in these days of pandemic & panic, of division & unrest, when we are told by our self-proclaimed betters in government, medical science, & journalism to view our neighbor with suspicion instead of welcome, with fear instead of with compassion.

It is not possible, under penalty of arrest & imprisonment, to gather for a ska show as described in "Ska Show," but in the fullness of time these panic-driven emergency measures must end. Until that glorious day, when we can all skank together as brothers & sisters once again, let's have ourselves a month-long, properly socially-distanced ska show. Welcome to SKApril X!
"Hey, everybody, let's go
Downtown to the ska show,
There's a ska show,
Come on, let's go!

"We want to dance & sing,
And forget about everything,
Don't want to fight or cry,
Just have some fun before we die.

"And there's never any doubt
That's what it's all about!

"Hey, everybody, let's go
Downtown to the ska show,
There's a ska show,
Come on, let's go!

"This invitation is for all,
It doesn't matter who you are,
It don't matter where you're from
'Cause everybody is welcome…

"Let's go!"

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day

Elvis Costello & the Attractions, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" from Armed Forces (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"As I walk through
This wicked world,
Searching for light in the darkness of insanity,
I ask myself,
'Is all hope lost?
'I there only pain and hatred and misery?'

"And every time I feel like this inside
There's only one thing I want to know:
What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding? Oh!
What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?

"And as I walk on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes,
So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony, sweet harmony?…"

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

Life without the Eucharist: Day 14
I must be acclimating to watching Mass via internet live-stream, because this morning I showed up late, logging in during the Psalm Response.

'Tis the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-one, verses four thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Two (R/. two), verses two & three; sixteen, seventeen, & eighteen; & nineteen, twenty, & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eight, verses twenty-one thru thirty.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus predicts his death on the cross.

We are meant to see on that cross not simply a violent display, but rather our own ugliness. What brought Jesus to the cross? Stupidity, anger, mistrust, institutional injustice, betrayal of a friend, denial, unspeakable cruelty, scapegoating, fear, etc. In other words, all of our dysfunction is revealed on that cross.

So far so awful. But we can’t stop telling the story at this point. Dante and every other spiritual master know that the only way up is down. When we live in convenient darkness, unaware of our sins, we will never make spiritual progress. So we need the light, however painful it is—then we can begin to rise.

On the cross of Jesus, we meet our own sin. But we also meet the divine mercy that has taken that sin upon himself in order to swallow it up. We have found, in that cross, the way up. We want to hold up this thing that was considered too horrible to look at. We want to embrace and kiss the very source of our pain.

Reflect: What do you do to move out of the "convenient darkness" and shed the light of Christ on your own attitudes and behaviors?
Video reflection by Father Michael F. Tunney, S.J. (U.S.C. of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In today’s Gospel, Jesus affirms His divinity and astonishes the Pharisees in the process. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, it’s extremely obvious what Jesus is saying, yet the Pharisees, who knew every detail of the law, couldn’t grasp Jesus’s words. Jesus is the Word of the Father made flesh; He and the Father are one. Jesus makes it clear that unless you believe He is the Christ, you cannot go where He’s going: Heaven. Does this mean Jesus is being exclusive with His invitations to the Eternal Banquet? No, of course not! Jesus implored the Pharisees time and again to repent and be saved but they continued to persist in their hardness of heart.

What does it mean to believe in Jesus? He makes it clear that if we believe in Him and obey His commands, the Holy Trinity will dwell within us. Believing in Jesus is not just an intellectual knowing, rather it means we accept all that He has shared with us. By accepting His Word into our hearts, our hearts can be transformed and become like His Heart. This transformation cannot take place without humility, something the Pharisees severely lacked. It is only through true humility that we can empty and dispose ourselves to receive the gift of God, which is His very life. No longer do we have to dwell in darkness like the Pharisees because Christ is our light and salvation!

Today’s Tip: Pray the Litany of Humility. Ask for the grace of humility that you might be ready to not only hear when Jesus speaks to you, but also understand His words, and ponder these words within your hearts.
E.W.T.N.-link Litany of Humility


Scripture Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Sirach, chapter fifty-one (of fifty-one, verses one thru thirty).

Commentary: The Search for Wisdom (Sirach, 51:1-30).

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 79
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-four, verses ten thru twenty-one, twenty-seven, & twenty-eight.

Commentary: The Covenant Renewed (Exodus, 34:10-21, 27-28).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Obadiah, verse sixteen.
For as you have drunk upon my holy mountain,
all the nations round about shall drink;
they shall drink, & stagger,
& shall be as though they had not been.
Commentary: The Book of Obadiah isn't divided in chapters. The above is simply Obadiah, 16 (not even Obadiah, 1:16).

'Tis the commemoration of Saint Balbina of Rome, Virgin & Martyr (died circa 130), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine '18. Daughter of the martyr St. Quirinus of Rome (30 April).

My records indicate that there is a "Saints + Scripture" post for 31 March 2019, but I cannot find it, despite diligent searching. Given unlimited time, I might be able to locate it, but for the nonce we must consider it lost, a casualty of the worst time in the six-year history of Project BLACK MAMBA. We appreciate your patience with the echoes of that fiasco.


'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Acacius Agathangelos of Melitene, Bishop & Confessor (died circa 251, the "Good Angel," A.K.A. Acathius), Bishop of Melitene: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Benjamin, Deacon & Martyr (circa 329-424), martyred in the reign of Persian emperor Bahram V (A.K.A. Varanes V): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Stephen of Mar Saba, Priest & Hermit (circa 725-794, A.K.A. the Sabaite, the Hymnographer): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Nephew of the Doctor of the Church St. John Damascene [4 December].

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Gilla Mo Chaidbeo, Abbot (died 1174, A.K.A. Machabeus), abbot of the monastery of Ss. Peter & Paul in Armagh (1143-1174): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Christopher Robinson, Priest & Martyr (circa 1568-1598), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyr-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

Proverb o' the Day (Sirach, 51:8)
Then I remembered Your mercy, O Lord,
& Your work from of old,
that You deliver those who wait for You
& save them from the hand of their enemies.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"It is not enough for us to reach out & help those in need. We must discover the values that enable them to buld new life & to take their rightful place in society with dignity & justice."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, r. 1978-2005; feast: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"On the cross we no longer have Christ & His Mother, or Jesus & Mary. I know we speak of the sorrowful Mother at the foot of the cross, but I don't think she was sorrowful, I think she was suffering. I cannot imagine the mother of the Maccabees as being sorrowful when she sent her seven sons to death. There must have been a certain joy in the mother's heart as she gives her son. But there's something different here. At this moment on the cross we no longer have Jesus & Mary. We have the new Adam & the new Eve. Our Lord on the cross is the new Adam, the Blessed Mother at the foot of the cross is the new Eve. And we're going to have the consummation of a marriage, & out of the consummated marriage of the new Adam & the new Eve is going to begin the new Church of which John will be the symbol. And so the new Adam looking down now to the woman, says: 'Woman, your son.' And to the son, he did not say 'John' (he would have then been only the son of Zebedee), but 'Son, your mother.' Here is the begetting of a new life. The Blessed Mother becomes the symbol of the Church. And as Eve was the mother of the living, so Mary becomes the Mother of the new living in the order of grace."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Sow in our souls, like living grass,
The laughter of all lowly things."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Bonus! Song o' the Day — 1 Day 'til SKApril


Mustard Plug, "Life Is Too Short" from In Black and White (Rude Boy Mike Papa Whiskey)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Bonus! Song o' the Day! — 2 Days 'til SKApril!


The Aquabats!, "Ska Robot Army!" from The Return of the Aquabats! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day


Lenka, "The End of the World" from Two (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: Memento mori, "remember your death." Let this pandemic & the attendant panic serve to remind us all that nothing in this life, not even life itself, is permanent, that sooner rather than later we shall each have to make an accounting for how we used the gift that was this life.

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

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

Life without the Eucharist: Day 13
In the now-twice weekly "Monday Morning Ministry Memo" from Thursday, Deborah Amato, Chief of Staff of the Diocese Lansing said that "Most of our priests" are still offering confession. That is great news! I asked if she could furnish a list & she replied that she would do so in Monday's "Ministry Memo." Such was not the case when the "Ministry Memo" arrived in my inbox this morning, but it could well be the case that that memo had been prepared too far in advance. I remain hopeful that I will be able to make my confession sooner rather than later.

'Tis the Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The Book of Daniel, chapter thirteen, verses one thru nine, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, nineteen thru thirty, & thirty-three thru sixty-two
(or, the Book of Daniel, chapter thirteen, verses forty-one[c] thru sixty-two);
Psalm Twenty-three (R/. four [a/b]), verses one, two, & three(a); three(b) & four; five; & six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eight, verses one thru eleven.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel presents the story of the woman caught in adultery, which is one of the clearest demonstrations of what Catholic philosopher René Girard called the scapegoat mechanism.

The scribes and Pharisees bring to Jesus a woman they had caught in adultery. Where must they have been standing and how long must they have been waiting in order to catch her? Their eagerness to find a victim is testimony to the insatiable human need for scapegoats.

The novelty of the Gospel is revealed in Jesus’ refusal to contribute to the energy of the gathering storm: "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Jesus directs the energy of scapegoating violence back toward the accusers. He unveils the dangerous secret that the unstable order of the society has been predicated upon scapegoating. The Church Fathers emphasized this point with a neat interpretive move: they imagined that Jesus was writing in the sand none other than the sins of those who were threatening the woman.

Then we see, at least in seminal form, the new order: "Go, and from now on do not sin any more." The connection between Jesus and the woman is not the consequence of condemnation but rather the fruit of forgiveness offered and accepted.

Reflect: Reflect on the prevalence of scapegoating in contemporary culture. Think especially about the times when you have been guilty of singling out an individual or some group as a scapegoat.
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In Today’s Gospel, we see that no one but God has the power or authority to condemn us, but the fear of being condemned by those around us can impact us greatly. We base our decisions on what we think will make us accepted. And sometimes we will even sacrifice our morals if they are unpopular. The woman in today’s Gospel was judged in regards to her sin, but so often we find ourselves being judged for fighting to do what is right.

Place yourself in today’s Gospel, what would you have done? It is impossible to please everyone. When we are aiming to please the world, we are not aiming to please God. When we seek Him, the rest will fall into place. This means that sometimes we will not be accepted, but that is a risk of presenting the Truth. More than anyone, Christ understands what it feels like to be mocked and tortured for the sake of righteousness. We have no control over how others react, our responsibility lies in choosing to live as God has intended for us. His judgment is the only one that matters. Just as He freed the woman who committed adultery, Christ chooses to free us from condemnation as well. In accepting this gift of freedom, we must also not condemn our neighbors.

Today’s Tip: Be a bold follower on Christ. Chose not to judge or condemn others but chose to do good. Don’t wait for others to take the lead or worry about the opinions of the crowd. Be an example of courage and faith.
Scripture Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Sirach, chapter fifty (verses one thru twenty-nine).

Commentary: Simon, Son of Onias; a Benediction, & an Epilogue

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 78
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-four, verses one thru nine.

Commentary: New Tables of Stone (Exodus, 34:1-9).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Amos, chapter chapter three, verse fifteen.
"I will strike the winter house with the summer house;
& the houses of ivory shall perish,
& the great houses shall come to end end," says the LORD.
Commentary: The third chapter of Amos doesn't have sixteen verses, only fifteen

'Tis the commemoration of Saint Crónán Mochua of Balla, Bishop & Abbot (died 637, A.K.A. Mo Chua, Crónán mac Bécáin), founding bishop & abbot of the diocese & abbey at Balla: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Balla.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint John Climacus, Abbot (circa 579-649; A.K.A. John Scholasticus, John Sinaites), author of The Ladder of Divine Ascent: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link The Ladder of Divine Ascent.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. "Climacus" is an epithet, meaning "of the ladder."

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Peter de Regalado, Priest, O.F.M. Conv. (1390-1456, also spelt Peter Regalatus): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472, A.K.A. Duke Amadeus IX "the Happy" of Savoy): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Ludovico of Casoria, Priest, O.F.M. (1814-1885, A.K.A. Arcangelo Palmentieri), founder of the extinct Gray Friars of Charity (1859) & the extant Gray Sisters of Saint Elizabeth (1862): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Maria Restituta Kafka, Virgin & Martyr, S.F.C.C. (1894-1943, A.K.A. Helena Kafková), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Proverb o' the Day (Sirach, 50:28-29)
Blessed is he who concerns himself with these things,
& he who lays them to heart will become wise.
For if he does them, he will be strong for all things,
for the light of the Lord is his path.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Above all it is my conviction that all work is a fundamental dimension of human existence on the earth. This is true of all work—from the simplest to the most difficult, from the less paying to the most rewarding."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, r. 1978-2005; feast: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, a letter which he wrote from prison, said: 'It is now my happiness to suffer for you. This is my way of helping to complete in my poor human nature the full tale of Christ's affliction still to be endured for the sake of his body, which is the Church.' Our Lord says, 'It is finished.' Paul says, 'It is not finished.' Certainly the sufferings of our Blessed Lord were finished in Him as the head of the Church, but they are not finished in His Body. The quota of the physical Christ is finished. The quota of the mystical Christ is not. So St. Paul says: I am helping to fill up that quota. And so Christ's wounds are eternally fresh. They're all over the world. They're in those who have the faith, & they're in those who do not have the faith. This vision will come to us as we live close to the cross & meditate on the Passion of our Lord. Nothing gives us so much understanding of the love of God, the sacrificial love, as God coming down to this world from heavenly headquarters & saying, I will take the pain as my own. This vicarious love is the agape love of Christianity. No wonder, then, St. John tells us about the Lamb, the Lamb with the marks of slaughter upon Him. If Christ is in agony until the end of the world, & He is, then our vision changes. The Passion is not a past history like the Battle of Waterloo. So maybe we had better change our lives to be more closely linked with the Lamb who has the marks of slaughter upon Him."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"They will tell you the modern world rebels against Religion. It rebels much more against Reason."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima — Please Stand By

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Explorers' Club, № DCCXL

Operation AXIOM: After the World War—The Armenian Genocide, Part VI
22-26 March 1920: The Shushi Massacre—The Armenian population of Shushi, the capital of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, were massacred by their Azeri neighbors in an orgy of murder, rape, & destruction; 25,000 were killed; Nagorno-Karabakh was disputed 'twixt the nascent republics of Armenia & Azerbaijan, both states soon to be conquered & crushed by the Soviet Communists.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: V Sunday of Lent / Please Stand By

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


Matt Maher, "Rise Up" from The Love In Between (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Bonus! Song o' the Day — 3 Days 'til SKApril


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Sunday Afternoons on Wisdom Ave." from The Magic of Youth (Rude Boy St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Bonus! Song o' the Day — 4 Days 'til SKApril


Less Than Jake, "Danny Says" from Hello Rockview (Rude Boy St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

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

Life without the Eucharist: Day 11
I posted the following to Fortify, the online pornography addiction recovery community to which I subscribe, in response to the question, "Changing events in the world around us have added stress to many individuals and families. How has this all affected you?":
I'm dying inside. I'm physically healthy, but spiritually dying a little bit each day as we lay faithful are forbidden from church & the Mass.
'Tis the Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter eleven, verses eighteen, nineteen, & twenty;
Psalm Seven (R/. two[a]), verses two & three, nine(b/c) & ten, & eleven & twelve;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses forty thru fifty-three.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, we see in today’s Gospel how Jesus’ preaching caused division. Some hearers believed him, but others wanted to arrest him.

The life, preaching, and mission of Jesus are predicated upon the assumption that all is not well with us, that we stand in need of a renovation of vision, attitude, and behavior. A few decades ago the book
I’m OK—You’re OK appeared. Its title, and the attitude that it embodies, are inimical to Christianity.

The fact of sin is so often overlooked today. Look, no one has ever savored being accused of sin, but especially in our culture now there is an allergy to admitting personal fault.

A salvation religion makes no sense if all is basically fine with us, if all we need is a little sprucing up around the edges. Christian saints are those who can bear the awful revelation that sin is not simply an abstraction or something that other people wrestle with, but a power that lurks and works in them.

When we lose sight of sin, we lose sight of Christianity, which is a salvation religion.

Reflect: Is all basically fine with you, or do you personally need a Savior?
Video reflection by Gina Czerwinski (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In today’s First Reading, the prophet Jeremiah is voicing his grievances to the Lord because his life has been threatened by those who oppose his prophecies. Even though his life is on the line, he continues to trust in Our Heavenly Father. This passage also foreshadows Christ’s passion. He, too, will be the “trusting lamb [that is] led to the slaughter.” However, unlike Jeremiah, Jesus does not want vengeance against those who are plotting to kill him. Instead, He wants to save them.

Are you a prophet for Christ? This passage reminds us of the difficulty of living your faith boldly. You will face various trials and tribulations for being a Faithful Catholic. However, it is comforting to know that God is always with us. He will give us the strength and encouragement to accomplish any task He has given us. God has created each one of us for a specific purpose, so let us do our best to fulfill our unique role in His divine plan.

Today’s Tip: Step outside of your comfort zone and be more open with your Catholic Faith. Be bold and share your faith with your family and friends. Be a listening ear to someone who is struggling in their faith journey. Take your entire family to a parish event. Invite a friend who has left the Catholic Church to a Sunday Mass. You never know what seeds you are planting when you involve others in your Catholic faith!
Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 76
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-two, verses twenty-five thru thirty-five.

Commentary: The Golden Calf (concluded; Exodus, 32:25-35).

Scripture Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-four (verses one thru twenty-three);
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-five (verses one thru twenty-six);
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-six (verses one thru twenty);
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-seven (verses one thru twenty-five);
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-eight (verses one thru twenty-five);
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-nine (verses one thru sixteen).

Commentary: Praise of Our Fathers (Sirach, 44:1-49:16). These six chapters offer a tour of salvation history, of the major figures of the Old Testament. These chapters wouldn't have made nearly as much sense to me before I went through The Bible Timeline. As St. Jerome said, "Ignorance of Scripture"—referring to the Old Testament—"is ignorance of Christ.

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Hosea, chapter chapter three, verse sixteen.
"And in that day, says the LORD, you will call me, 'My husband," & no longer will you call me, 'My Baal.'"
'Tis the commemoration of Saint Sixtus III, Pope (died 440) forty-fourth (XLIV) Bishop of Rome (432-440), who approved the canons of the Council of Ephesus (431, the third ecumenical council): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontifex-link & Wikipedia-link Pontifex, Council-link & Wikipedia-link Ephesus.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Hesychius of Jerusalem, Priest (died circa 450): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Alkelda of Middleham, Religious & Martyr (died circa 800), martyred by Danish vikings: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Stephen Harding, Priest & Abbot, O.Cist. (circa 1060-1134, Francofied as Étienne Harding), co-founder of the Abbey of Cîteaux & the Cistercian Order: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Abbey-link Cîteaux & Wikipedia-link Cîteaux, Order-link O.Cist. & Wikipedia-link O.Cist..

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Christopher Wharton, Priest & Martyr (circa 1540-1600), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Józef Sebastian Pelczar, Bishop (1842-1924), Bishop of Przemyśl (1900-1924), co-founder of the Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (1894): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Przemyśl.

Proverb o' the Day (Sirach, 44:9-11)
And there are some who have no memorial,
who have perished as though they had not lived;
they have become as though they had not been born,
and so have their children after them.
But these were men of mercy,
whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
their posterity will remain with their descendants,
and their inheritance to their children's children.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Christians do not estrange themselves from life in society. They assume its history & express its culture. At the same time they strive to radiate to those around them the spiritual realities of which they are bearers."
—Pope St. John Paul II (1920-2005, r. 1978-2005; feast: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The Rosary is the prayer of those who triumph over everything & everyone. It was Our Lady who taught us this prayer, just as it was Jesus who taught us the Our Father."
—St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968, feast: 23 September)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Catholics are almost the only people now defending reason."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima — Please Stand By

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day

They Might Be Giants, "Hopeless Bleak Despair" from Mink Car (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Bonus! Song o' the Day — 5 Days 'til SKApril


Mu330, "Raw Fish" from Ultra Panic (Rude Boy St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Skammentary: Though the Lenten fish fry traditionally runs all the way through Good Friday (in 2020, 10 April) & this year my council's was scheduled to run through Friday, 3 April, His Excellency the Most Reverend Earl Boyea, the fifth Bishop of Lansing, has decreed that all Knights of Columbus & parish fish fries are to end by Wednesday, 1 April. As a consequence, today's fish fry & fish bake was the end of the already abbreviated & highly disrupted season. Our revenues are minimal, which will negatively effect our charitable giving, & I am sore toward my shepherd, flabbergasted by his decision. We were already observing health & safety protocols above & beyond Governor Whitmer's constitutionally-dubious diktats. What more could we have done?

Nevertheless, he is our shepherd & we obey. The measure of obedience is not when you agree with what you are being ordered to do, but when you disagree vehemently & obey anyway.

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

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

The Popish Plot
"Between Scenes of the Final Four 2020"


Life without the Eucharist: Day 10
On yesterday's new episode of Catholic Stuff You Should Know, one of the priests, Fr, Mike Rapp, hit the nail right on the head: We are in an indefinite Holy Saturday, bereft of the Lord & His consoling might, but expectantly awaiting the new dawn of East Sunday, of the Resurrection. The trouble, what makes his waiting so unbearable, is that unlike Holy Saturday, when we know exactly when the glory of the Paschal Vigil will begin (& our choir call time), no one can say when the dawn will come. We're stuck in an unending Holy Saturday, & Holy Saturday is not a place in which to tarry.

'Tis the Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
The Book of Widsom, chapter two, verses one(a) & twelve thru twenty-two;
Psalm Thirty-four (R/. nineteen[a]), verses seventeen & eighteen, nineteen & twenty, & twenty-one & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses one, two, ten, & twenty-five thru thirty.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus proclaims during the Feast of Tabernacles that the Father has sent him.

In his passion to set right a disjointed universe, God broke open his own heart in love. The Father sent not simply a representative, spokesman, or plenipotentiary, but his own Son into the dysfunction of the world so that he might gather that world into the bliss of the divine life.

God’s center—the love between the Father and the Son—is now offered as our center; God’s heart breaks open so as to include even the worst and most hopeless among us. In so many spiritual traditions, the emphasis is placed on the human quest for God, but this is reversed in Christianity.

Christians do not believe that God is dumbly "out there," like a mountain waiting to be climbed by various religious searchers. On the contrary, God, like the hound of heaven in Francis Thompson’s poem, comes relentlessly searching after us.

Because of this questing and self-emptying divine love, we become friends of God, sharers in the communion of the Trinity. That is the essence of Christianity; everything else is commentary.

Reflect: How has God come "relentlessly searching" for you during your life?
Video reflection by the Reverend Jonathan W. Felux (U.S.C. of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus attend the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast commemorated both the end of the autumn harvest and God's provision for Israel during its time in the wilderness after liberation from slavery in Egypt. John the Evangelist makes clear that it is in Jesus, who is from the Father, that we find the greatest example of God providing for His people. Jesus is the Light that overcomes the darkness. He is the Rock from which will flow the Living Water of the Holy Spirit. He is the True Bread that came down from Heaven. And when His hour comes, by His passion, cross, and resurrection, we will be set free from slavery to sin and death, and experience the definitive Exodus!

What is your response to Jesus? The religious leaders rejected Jesus because he was a challenge to their authority. The inhabitants of Jerusalem rejected Jesus for intellectual reasons and then lashed out at Him when He got too "personal." The brothers of Jesus did not believe (see John 7:5), for they wanted Him to prove Himself. Do I insist on maintaining authority over my life? Do I seek reasons to avoid giving myself to Christ? Do I reject Him when His words shine a light on my sin and hypocrisy? Do I refuse to believe until He has adequately proved Himself? Or will I accept Him as my Savior and Lord, as Christ and Son of God, as the True Light that enlightens all men and the Living Water that will quench our insatiable thirst, and entrust my life to Him?
Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 75
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-two, verses twenty-one thru twenty-four.

Commentary: The Golden Calf (cont'd; Exodus, 32:21-24).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Daniel, chapter chapter three, verse sixteen.
Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego answered the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter."
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Faith must be accompanied by charity, charity that unites us all with one another & with Christ. It must be accompanied by chairty that, under the inspiration & motion of the Divine Spirit, welds the members of teh Mystical Body together by an unbreakable bond."
—Pope Ven. Pius XII (1876-1958, r. 1939-1958)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood."
—St. Louis de Monfort (1673-1716, feast: 28 April)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"As an old-fashioned person, who still believes that Reason is a gift of God & a guide to truth, I must confine myself to saying that I do not want a God Whom I have made, but a God Who has made me."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Operation ÖSTERREICH: Exodus 90, Day 75

Weekly Wednesday Friday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 333.4 lbs
This weigh-in: 336.6 lbs.
Difference: +3.2 lbs.


Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
Jim Gaffigan, "Spray Cheese" from Beyond the Pale (Mike Papa Waffle)

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Songs o' the Day


Jim Gaffigan, "Fish" from Cinco (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)
&
Jim Gaffigan featuring Jeannie Gaffigan, "Fish (Commentary)" from Cinco (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Bonus! Song o' the Day — 7 Days 'til SKApril


Reel Big Fish, "Everything Sucks" from Turn the Radio Off (Rude Boy St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Skammentary: Everything sucks. We can't go to work, can't go to church, can't watch sports on T.V., there isn't any toilet paper in the stores, & we're told constantly that we should regard each other with fear & loathing, remaining at least six feet from everyone else. Man was not meant to live this way! Man cannot live this way! Everything sucks & even Easter's been cancelled. You can't count on the government &, tragically, you can't count on the Church, but one thing you can count on is ska music. SKApril 2020, our tenth annual festival of ska, coming to The Secret Base on 1 April—no foolin'!

Saints + Scripture: The Annunciation of the Lord

Life without the Eucharist: Day 8
This is the third solemnity in six days: 19 March, Saint Joseph; 22 March, the Fourth Sunday in Lent; & 25 March, the Annunciation. I don't feel much like celebrating, but it is as important to learn to feast when the Church feasts as to learn to fast when the Church fasts.

'Tis the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (nine months B.C.): Annunciation-link ūnus, Annunciation-link duo, Wikipedia-link Annunciation, & Wikipedia-link Feast.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth Minute Meditations from the Popes:
Lord Jesus, as Your dear Mother Mary gave her "fiat" when she responded, "Let it be done to me according to your word" (Like, 1:38), so too many I learn to cooperate with God's will.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
The Book of Isaiah, chapter seven, verses ten thru fourteen & chapter eight, verse ten;
Psalm Forty (R/. eight[a] & nine[a]), verses seven & eight(a), eight(b) & nine, ten, & eleven;
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter ten, verses four thru ten;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses twenty-six thru thirty-eight.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel the angel Gabriel reveals to Mary that she will bear a Son who will reign from David’s throne.

As background, note that God had promised that David’s throne would last forever, but his line had apparently been broken in 587 BC. Six hundred years later Gabriel appeared to Mary, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph of the house of David.

Greeting her as "full of grace," the angel announced that she will conceive in her womb and bear a Son. "He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High." Then comes the kicker that would have taken the breath away from any first-century Jew listening to the story: "And the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end."

What seemed to have come to an end had in fact just gone underground, and was now ready to appear fully in the light. The kingly line of David was in fact unsevered, and now the full meaning of God’s promise would be revealed.

Reflect: What is revealed here about God’s timing and his promises?
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D. (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In Today’s Gospel we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Although this Gospel is commonly shared during the Advent Season, it is important to meditate on it during the Lenten season. The Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would have a Son. This young, humble teenage girl was asked to carry the Savior of the world. She didn’t know exactly what would happen, but she knew it would be difficult and require a sacrifice of her. Despite this, she trusted in God’s plan with joy. She deeply desired to serve God when she said,“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Her Yes gave us the Savior.

Are you willing to say yes to God’s plan for you? So often we worry about our daily struggles and become anxious not knowing what the future will bring. We agonize over the little things and begin doubting ourselves. We get frustrated when things don’t go our way and ask, “Why, God?” We are called to trust in Our Lord despite the uncertainties in life. We may not know what lies ahead of us, but God knows! In fact, He has a beautiful plan for each one of us. It may be different than what you thought you had planned for yourself, it may be difficult and demand great sacrifices of you, but God knows you better than anyone. Like Mary, we need to trust that God knows what is best for us, no matter how difficult it may seem.

Today’s Tip: Say a decade of the Rosary, pray to have the courage to say a greater Yes to God and His plans for you. If something happens in your life today that inconveniences or upsets you, let it go and give it to God. Understand that all things happen for a reason and work together for the good. As Mary did, may we continue to trust in God and His perfect plan for our lives.

Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 73
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-two, verses one thru six.

Commentary: The Golden Calf (Exodus, 32:1-6).

Scripture Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-three (verses one thru thirty-three).

Commentary: God's Greatness in Creation (Sirach, 43:1-33).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Baruch, chapter chapter three, verse sixteen.
Where are the princes of the nations,
& those who rule over the beasts on earth;
Proverb o' the Day (Sirach, 43:30)
When you praise the Lord, exalt Him as much as you can;
for He will surpass even that.
When you exalt Him, put forth all your strength,
& do not grow weary, for you cannot praise Him enough.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"The angel departs; her mission remains, & with it matures her inner closeness to God, a closeness that in her heart she is able to see & touch."
—Pope Benedict XVI (b. 1927, r. 2005-2013)

Saint Quote o' the Day
"Him Whom the heavens cannot contain, the womb of one woman bore. She ruled our Ruler; she carried Him in Whom we are; she gave milk to our Bread."
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast: 28 August)

Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"A baby is the kingdom of God."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day

The Reunion Show, "New Rock Revolution" from The Motion (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"You taught us how to dance,
You taught us how to listen,
You taught us how to rock,
But that don't mean a thing!

"(It's all been done before!)
Welcome to the revolution, new rock revolution!
(It's all been done before!)
Welcome to the revolution, new rock revolution!
It's the new rock revolution,
It's the new rock revolution,
Wo-wo-wo-yeah!…"

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Rebel Black Dot Exodus 90 Song o' the Day

"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Angry White Boy Polka" from Poodle Hat (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: "Weird Al's" ironic juxtaposition is what makes these lyrics amusing. Earnest nu metal isn't funny, though it is laughable. In any event, "Angry White Boy Polka" came to me earlier today whilst I was washing my hands for the umpteenth time.
"Get up, come on, get down with the sickness,
Get up, come on, get down with the sickness,
Get up, come on, get down with the sickness,
Open up your hate and let it flow onto me.
Get up, come on down with the sickness,
You mother, get up, come on down with the sickness,
Get up, come on down with the sickness,
Madness is the gift that has been given to me…"

Saints + Scripture: Quadragesima

The Popish Plot
"Are You Going to Heaven?"

Life without the Eucharist: Day 7
Why is being under interdict—& thus unable to partake of the Eucharist—so distressing?
That the Eucharist—and thus the whole of Christian life—is a meal shows us that we do not have life in ourselves. We must receive it, eat it. We become what we receive. If we refuse to receive, refuse to eat & drink Him, we remain without life.
—Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D. (b. 1944), from Bread That Is Broken
My only consolation for this inconsolable grief is that I'm not refusing to receive, I've been forbidden to receive.

'Tis the Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent (meaning "Spring;" the Latin name is Quadragesima, meaning "fortieth"): Quadragesima-link & Wikipedia-link Quadragesima.


Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter forty-seven, verses one thru nine & twelve;
Psalm Forty-six (R/. eight), verses two & three, five & six, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses one thru sixteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus heals a man who was physically ill for thirty-eight years. I want to make an observation about another manifestation of Christ’s power: his spiritual healing.

The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus’ healing encounters with those whose spiritual energies are unable to flow. Much of Jesus’ ministry consisted in teaching people how to see (the kingdom of God), how to hear (the voice of the Spirit), how to walk (thereby overcoming the paralysis of the heart), how to be free of themselves so as to discover God. It is interesting that Jesus was referred to in the early Church as the Savior—soter in Greek and salvator in Latin. Both terms speak of the one who brings healing.

The "soul" is that still point at the heart of every person, that deepest center, that point of encounter with the transcendent yet incarnate mystery of God. When the soul is healthy, it is in a living relationship with God; it is firmly rooted in the soil of meaning and is the deepest center of the person.

Reflect: In what way does your soul need spiritual healing?
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. (U.S.C. of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

"Easter of Hope" Reflection (Array of Hope):
In Today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man who was ill for thirty-eight years. What a miracle! In this scene we can see how the healing waters of Bethesda foreshadow the healing powers found in the Sacraments. There is true grace and healing that comes from the Sacraments. May we use this time of Lent to receive them as often as we can so we may be strengthened in our own faith and healed from the wounds found within us. Just like those who sought physical healing in today’s reading, we too need healing, whether that be physical, spiritual or emotional. We must bring our wounds to the feet of Jesus so that we may be healed.

Do you want to be well? When Jesus sees the man in the Temple, He reminds him that he must go forth and sin no more. When we experience the healing power of God’s mercy, we must also make a firm promise not to fall back into our old ways. We need to rely on the healing transformation that has taken place, which is the strength of Christ. Our hope is in Christ who has come to heal us of all that prevents us from accepting His love, and thus loving others.

Today’s Tip: Ask God how He wants to heal you this Lent. It may be scary at first to bring up wounds in our lives but remember, God never brings something to the surface that He does not intend to heal.You are so precious to Him and He wants you to be made whole!
Scripture Study—Exodus 90: Day 72
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-one, verses one thru six & twelve thru seventeen.

Commentary: Bezalel & Oholiab (Exodus, 31:1-6) & the Sabbath Law (Exodus, 31:12-17).

Scripture Study—The 3:16 Project
The Book of Lamentations, chapter chapter three, verse sixteen.
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
& made me cower in ashes;
'Tis the commemoration of Saint Hildelith of Barking, Abbess, O.S.B. (died circa 712), second (II) abbess of Barking Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Barking.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Bernulf of Asti, Bishop & Martyr (fl. 800, A.K.A. of Mondovì), Bishop of Asti, martyred by Muslim raiders: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Asti.

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed John of the Staff, Priest, O.S.B. (circa 1200-1290; in Italian dal Bastone; A.K.A. of the Club, Giovanni Bonello Botegoni): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine '19 & Wayback Machine '18.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Catherine of Sweden, Abbess, O.Ss.S. (circa 1331-1381, A.K.A. of Vadstena): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter of St. Bridget of Sweden [23 July].

'Tis also the commemoration of Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cádiz, Priest, O.F.M. Cap. (1743-1801, A.K.A. José Francisco López-Caamaño y García Pérez): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the commemoration of Saint Óscar Romero, Bishop & Martyr (1917-1980), fourth (IV) Archbishop of San Salvador (1977-1980), second (II) Bishop of Santiago de María (1974-1977), martyred by a death squad on the orders of Roberto D'Aubuisson: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link San Salvador & Wikipedia-link Santiago de María.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"The Spirit creates joy, & joy is effusive. This, too, is a testimony that you can & must offer to people of our time, so often made cold & unhappy by selfishness."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, r. 1963-1978; feast: 29 May)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Let us not tire of preaching love; it is the force that will overcome the world."
—St. Óscar Romero (1917-1980, feast: 24 March)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Burn from my brain and from my breast
Sloth, and the cowardice that clings,
And stiffens and the soul’s arrest:
And feed my brain with better things."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)