Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCVII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
23-24 April 1918: The Zeebrugge & First Ostend Raids—The British Royal Navy raided Zeebrugge & Ostend, Belgium, to cut off the inland port of Bruges, a major German U-boat base, from the sea; the plan was to sink "blockships" to obstruct the channels, but the sunken blockships still allowed U-boats to pass & the German defenders inflicted heavy casualties on the landing party of Royal Marines.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

The Popish Plot
Wordy Wednesday: "Gaudete et Exsultate."

'Tis the Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist (died circa 68, A.K.A. John Mark), inspired author of the Gospel according to Mark: Evangelist-link ūnus, Evangelist-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Gospel.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Mark is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of early Christianity.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
The feast of St. Mark the Evangelist is April 25. he was probably the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt & the founder of the Church of Alexandria.

There is an interesting story about the relics of St. Mark, which are enshrined in the beautiful cathedral (St. Mark's) in Venice. According to legend, priests feared Saint Mark's relics might be damaged or destroyed by the Muslims during the persecution of the Catholic community in Alexandria. Merchants convinced the priests to allow them to return to Venice with the relics of Saint Mark. The relics were then placed in a chest covered by a layer of pork & cabbage. When the Muslim officials asked to inspect the chest, they cried out, "O horror!" at the sight & smell of the pork (according to their custom they are not allowed to touch/eat pork). Thus the evangelist was safely conveyed to Venice, but not before a number of miracles eased his passage across the Mediterranean.
Wikipedia-link Basilica di San Marco.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. Mark
The First Letter of Peter, chapter five, verses five(b) thru fourteen;
Psalm Eighty-nine, verses two & three, six & seven, & sixteen & seventeen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verses fifteen thru twenty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s reading Jesus commissions his disciples (and us) to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world. Then he is taken up to heaven, where he takes his place at God’s right hand, and the disciples go forth and preach everywhere.

The Ascension of Jesus signals the beginning of the era of the Church. As Jesus leaves the scene (at least in the most obvious sense), he opens the stage for us. What if Caesar, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Churchill were still striding the world stage? No one would have the courage to enter the game. So, Jesus leaves, that we might act in his name and in accord with his spirit.

And it is precisely those who are most focused on the things of heaven that do the most good here below—Gandhi, King, Dorothy Day, John Paul II. Those who pray most intently are most effective in the practical realm. This too is opened up by the Ascension.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.




'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Robert Anderton & William Marsden, Priests & Martyrs (died 1586), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, two of the Martyrs of Douai: Martyr-link Romeo Alpha, Martyr-link Whiskey Mike, & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Douai & Wikipedia-link Douai.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Pedro de San José Betancur, Religious, O.F.B. (1626-1667, also spelt Betancourt), founder of the Order of Bethlehemite Brothers: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, Wikipedia-link & YouTube-link The True Enlightenment, "Saint of the Week"; Wikipedia-link O.F.B.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Mario Borzaga, Priest (O.M.I.), & Paul Thoj Xyooj, Martyrs (died 1960), martyred by the Communist Pathet Lao, two of the seventeen Martyrs of Laos: Martyr-link Mike Bravo, Martyr-link Papa Tango X-ray, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Laos.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Christians are born for combat."
—Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Do all in your power to detach your heart from earthly cares… then be assured Our Lord will do the rest."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could."
—St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor of the Church (329-390, feast day: 2 January)

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


Rude City Riot, "Don't Go Away" from the Rude City Riot E.P. (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Mayhap she left you, dude, because you never talked about her as an individual, only as the fulfillment—ever the perfect fulfillment—of a checklist of attributes. I've often remarked that heartbreaks & breakups are par for the course in third-wave ska, but let it never be said that I claimed the rude boys were blameless for these romantic misadventures.
"I never knew why
You started to cry,
(Started to cry!)
Never ever knew that old sadness inside ya
Was just a lie.

"You left me today
To find your own way
(Find your own way!)…

"Don't go away,
Don'tcha go away,
Don'tcha go away from me!
You're everything,
You're everything,
Everything a girl should be!…"

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Tuesday, 17 April

The Long Road Back, Part VIII of VIII

Tuesday, 17 April was the festival of Saint Arnoald of Metz, Bishop (circa 540-611, also spelt Arnual): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Father of St. Arnulf [18 July], also bishop of Metz.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Paul of Saint Magdalene, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. Rec. (circa 1599-1643, A.K.A. Henry Heath), martyred in the reign of the English king Charles I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter seven, verse fifty-one thru chapter eight, verse one(a);
Psalm Thirty-one, verses three(c/d) & four; six, seven(b), & eight(a); & seventeen & twenty-one(a/b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses thirty thru thirty-five.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel is from the bread of life discourse: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” What God has wanted from the beginning is to sit down with his creatures in a fellowship banquet, sharing life and laughter, giving, receiving, and giving back again.

This is the loop of grace. The more we receive the divine life, the more we should give it away and thereby get more of it.

Throughout the Old Testament, we find images of the holy banquet. On God’s holy mountain, Isaiah says there will be good meats and pure choice wines. And throughout his ministry, Jesus hosts meals to which all are invited. God wants to share his life with us.

This comes to fullest expression at the Eucharist, where Jesus identifies himself so radically with the bread and the wine that they change into his Body and Blood, and then invites all of us around this table to feast and share life, to give and to receive and to give again.
Video reflection by Father Conrad Stachowiak: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"As Christians we should offer our memories to the Lord. Thinking about the past will not alter the reality of your sufferings or disappointments, but it can change the way you look at them."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Be not afraid… He is here at hand. He is watching."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"There is no doubt about it: a person who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames, & who becomes impatient at the least little thing who does not go his way—a person like that is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonor to his religion, for Jesus Christ has said so: 'Anyone who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself & take up his cross every day of his life, & follow Me.'"
—St. John Vianney (1786-1859, feast day: 4 August)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Tuesday, 10 April

The Long Road Back, Part VII of VIII

Tuesday, 10 April was the festival of Saint Bademus, Abbot & Martyr (died 376; also spelt Bademe, Vadim), martyred in the reign of the Sassanid emperor Shapur II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Fulbert of Chartes, Bishop (circa 952-1029): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Antonio Neyrot, Priest & Martyr, O.P. (1425-1460), martyred in the reign of the Hafsid caliph Uthman: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Magdalene of Canossa, Virgin (1774-1835, also spelt Maddalena), foundress of the Canossians, a family of two religious institutes & three affiliated organizations: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Canossians.

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

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that we must be “born from above.” He says: “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is the love shared by the Father and the Son; he is, in the lovely image proposed by Fulton Sheen, the sign of affection that goes up when the Father looks at the Son and the Son looks back at the Father.

We have access to this holy heart of God because the Father sent the Son into the world, into our dysfunction, even to the limits of godforsakenness—and thereby gathered all of the world into the dynamism of the divine life. Those who live in Christ are not outside of God as petitioners or supplicants; rather they are in God as friends, sharers in the Spirit.
Video reflection by Deacon Miguel Santos: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Pray also for your brothers & sisters & for all the children of the world, especially those whoa re poor & hungry. Pray for those who do not know Jesus, for those who are alone & sad."
—Pope John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"You alone are true joy, my hope & my crown, my gladness & my honor, my Lord!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"I can't stop praying for poor sinners who are on the road to hell. If they come to die in that state, they will be lost for all eternity. What a pity! We have to pray for sinners! Praying for sinners is the most beautiful & useful of prayers because the just are on the way to heaven, the souls of purgatory are sure to enter there, but the poor sinners will be lost forever. All devotions are good, but there is no better one than such prayer for sinners."
—St. John Vianney (1786-1859, feast day: 4 August)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. Cap. (1577-1622; A.K.A. Mark Roy, Mark Rey), martyred by Swiss proponents of the Calvinist heresy: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Heresy.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
A Capuchin friar who was a major figure in the Counter-Reformation, & was murdered by his opponents at Seewis im Prättigau, now part of Switzerland.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Mary Salome (floruit 33): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Kinswoman of the Virgin Mary [many, many feast days] & mother of the Apostles Ss. James the Greater [25 July] & John [27 December], the sons of Zebedee.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Diarmid of Armagh, Bishop (died circa 852; also spelt Dermot, Diarmait ua Tigernáin): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint William Firmatus, Priest & Hermit (1026-1103, of Tours): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses nineteen thru twenty-six;
Psalm Eighty-seven, verses one(b), two, & three; four & five; & six & seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses twenty-two thru thirty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus explains why his sheep listen to him and follow him. They do so because he is leading them to eternal life.

He says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” The life of heaven, where we “shall never perish,” is that place where death and sickness have no power over us, where we see God face to face.

Heaven and earth are always connected in the biblical imagination; that’s true. But heaven should never be reduced to earth, as though religion is just about this-worldly ethics, social justice, or psychological well-being. No; the Christian faith is about a journey beyond this world to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Everything in the Christian life—from our ethical behavior, to prayer, to the liturgy, to works of justice—all of it is meant to conduce to that end. So listen to the voice of the shepherd and follow him wherever he goes.
Video reflection by Father Jack Ledwon: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter one, verses twenty-four thru twenty-nine;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"The only ones who win when Christians stay quiet are the enemies of truth. The silence of Catholics is particularly disturbing because frequently a few bold words would have vanquished the false ideas."
—Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"You came into this land of exile, willing to suffer & to die, in order to carry away every single soul & plunge it into the very heart of the Trinity—love's eternal home."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Woe to me if I should prove myself but a half-hearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain!"
—St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622, feast day: 24 April)

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


The English Beat, "Mirror in the Bathroom" from I Just Can't Stop It (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: In devising this skammentary on "Mirror in the Bathroom," aiming to draw a connection twixt the myth of Narcissus & our all-too-modern obsession with "selfies," I discovered that the earliest known photographic portrait, a daguerreotype from 1839, is of & by a man named Robert Cornelius (1809-1893, above). Of course, the cameras aren't to blame; there's no photography in the self-obsession of "Mirror in the Bathroom," for instance. Cameras don't decide to take selfies, persons do. I simply lament that we've become a culture of Narcissuses. Whether using a photographic lens of the Mark I eyeball, we've becoming a culture of self-destructive madmen.
"Mirror in the bathroom, recompense
For all my crimes of self-defense,
Cures, you whisper, make no sense,
Drift gently into mental illness…"

Monday, April 23, 2018

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Monday, 16 April

The Long Road Back, Part VI of VIII

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: "Scaring the Hell out of Millennials"

Monday, 16 April was the festival of Saint Turibius of Astorga, Bishop (circa 402-460), who opposed the Priscillian heresy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Heresy.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Magnus of Orkney, Martyr (circa 1075-1115, A.K.A. Magnus Erlendsson), Earl of Orkney, martyred by the order of his cousin, the rival Norwegian earl Haakon Paulsson: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Kinsman of St. Olaf of Norway [29 July].

'Twas also the festival of Saint Drogo, Hermit (1105-1186, of Sebourg; A.K.A. Dreux): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, Pilgrim, T.O.S.F. (1748-1783, "the Beggar of Perpetual Adoration"): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, Wikipedia-link, & YouTube-link The True Enlightenment, "Saint of the Week".

'Twas also the festival of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Virgin (1844-1879, A.K.A. Bernadette Soubirous), to whom was revealed the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes (1858): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Madonna.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter six, verses eight thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses twenty-three & twenty-four, twenty-six & twenty-seven, & twenty-nine & thirty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses twenty-two thru twenty-nine.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the crowd, which he just fed, to believe in him and relate to him personally. Why is this so hard? Well, it is intellectually counter-intuitive. Why would this one figure, this Jesus, be the one and only? Why should I choose to relate to him and not the numerous other religious leaders and philosophers? Are all other religious people just lost or misguided? Wouldn’t it just be easier to relate to Jesus’ ideas and principles, to imitate his style of life? Yes, indeed it would, but that’s not what he says.

Perhaps we could look at it from Jesus’ side. Jesus wants to be friends: “‘I no longer call you servants, but friends,’ says the Lord.” What if there were someone who wanted to be friends with you, and you were to say, “Oh sure! I admire you and would like to imitate your form of life, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time with you.” How would that strike your prospective friend?

What is unique to Christianity is that God is offering us friendship. You don’t mess around with friendship; you don’t turn it into something abstract; you don’t compromise with it. You enter into it fully.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"The Church reaffirms the religious & supernatural values of penitence. She invites everyone to accompany the inner conversion of the spirit with the voluntary exercise of external acts of penitence."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Yes, all is well when we seek only the will of Jesus."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Do not just be a channel for grace, but a reservoir, an overflowing reservoir. No sooner has a channel received grace than it pours it out. A reservoir waits to be filled up & then offers grace to those who come to draw from its superabundance."
—St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879, feast day: 16 April)

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


The Specials, "Too Much Too Young" from The Specials (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: The choice of today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. was almost certainly influenced by last night's Catechism class, during which we taught the youth about the Sacrament of Matrimony. Ska & SKApril don't stand apart from my church family, it's all connected. Also, let me be clear: Just because I enjoy a song & select it as the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. doesn't mean I endorse one hundred per cent (100%) of its lyrical content—"Too Much Too Young's" breezy contraceptive politics, as a pertinent instance.

Saints + Scripture: The Annunciation of the Lord

Eastertide — Monday, 9 April | The Long Road Back, Part V of VIII

The Popish Plot
Prayer Time Out: "More Prayer Clips"

Monday, 9 April was Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord: Annunciation-link ūnus, Annunciation-link duo, Wikipedia-link Annunciation, & Wikipedia-link Solemnity.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. The Solemnity of the Annunciation is celebrated on 25 March, nine months before Christmas, except in the not-infrequent case that 25 March falls within either Holy Week or the Octave of Easter, in which case it is celebrated on the Monday after the Octave.

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord celebrates the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke, 1:26-38), his announcement that the Blessed Virgin had been chosen to be the mother of Our Lord, & Mary's fiat—her willing acceptance of God's holy plan.
Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
The Book of Isaiah, chapter seven, verses ten thru fourteen;
Psalm Forty, 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 of Luke, we find the Annunciation to Mary. Here is what Gabriel said to the Virgin: “Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus….The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

No first-century Israelite would have missed the meaning here: this child shall be the fulfillment of the promise made to King David.

And this means that the child is, in fact, the king of the world, the one who would bring unity and peace to the nations. The conviction grew upon Israel that this mysterious descendant of David would be king, not just for a time and not just in an earthly sense, but would rule forever and for all nations. This definitive king of the Jews would be king of the world. He would be our king, as well.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.




Otherwise, 9 April would have been the festival of Saint Materiana, Confessor (born circa 440; also spelt Madrun, Madryn), Queen of Gwent: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Waltrude, Religious (died circa 687, of Mons; also spelt Waudru, etc.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter of Ss. Walbert of Hainault [11 May] & Bertille of Thuringia [3 January]; sister of St. Aldegundis [30 January]; wife of St. Vincent Madelgarius [20 September]; & mother of Ss. Landericus of Soignies [17 April], Dentelin [?], Aldetrude [25 February], & Madelberte [7 September].

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Hugh of Rouen, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (died 730, A.K.A. of Champagne): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Casilda of Toledo, Anchoress (died circa 1050, A.K.A. of Briviesca): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"The Divine is united to the human. The invisible has become visible."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"We who run in the way of love shouldn't be thinking of sufferings that can take place in the future: it's a lack of confidence, it's like meddling in the work of creation."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Prayer is, beyond doubt, the most powerful weapon the Lord gives us to conquer evil… but we must really put ourselves into the prayer, it is not enough just to say the words, it must come from the heart. And also prayer needs to be continuous, we must pray no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in: the warfare we are engaged in is ongoing, so our prayer must be on-going also."
—St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church (1696-1787, feast day: 1 August)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint George, Martyr (circa 280-303), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Saint George's Day; Wikipedia-link Persecution; Helpers-link XIV & Wikipedia-link XIV.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. A Golden Legend: Wikipedia-link Saint George & the Dragon.

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. George was a Roman soldier of Greek & Palestinian origin & officer in the [Praetorian] Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian, who was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. As a Christian martyr, he became one of the most venerated saints in Christianity, especially venerated by the Crusaders.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Adalbert, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 956-997, of Prague; A.K.A. Vojtěch), martyred by pagan priests of the Old Prussians: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Adalbert was the Bishop of Prague & a missionary to the Hungarians, Poles, & Prussians whow as martyred in his efforts to convert the Baltic Prussians to Christianity.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed Adalbert III of Salzburg, Bishop (1145-1200, A.K.A. Vojtěch, of Bohemia): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Giles of Assisi, Religious, O.F.M. (circa 1190-1262, also spelt Aegidius): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross, Religious, O.C.D. (1846-1910, A.K.A. Teresa Adelaide Cesina Manetti), foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Florence: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses one thru eighteen;
Psalm Forty-two, verses two & three & Psalm Forty-three, verses three & four;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses one thru ten.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel builds on the enduring and endearing image of Jesus as the good shepherd. Jesus says: "The sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out."

How wonderful and strange that Christianity is not a set of ideas. It’s not a philosophy or an ideology. It’s a relationship with someone who has a voice. The first disciples were privileged to hear the voice of the historical Jesus. They heard its very particular tone and texture.

But we hear his voice too, in our own way, especially when we hear the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass. Mind you, we don’t just read the Bible; we hear the Bible. We also hear the voice of Jesus when the bishops and the popes speak; we hear it in our conscience, which Newman called "the aboriginal vicar of Christ in the soul"; and we hear it in good spiritual friends, those people who comfort us and challenge us and keep calling us to higher ideals and encourage us when we fall.

We listen to the voice of Jesus because he is leading us to a renewed and transformed life with God.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. George
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-one, verses five, six, & seven;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses twenty-three thru twenty-six.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Adalbert
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter six, verses four thru ten;
Psalm Thirty-one, verse six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses eleven thru sixteen.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe."
—Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"I would like to love Jesus so much… to love Him more than He has ever been loved! My only desire is to always do the will of Jesus!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Obedience is the yardstick of love."
—Bl. Charles de Foucald (1858-1916, feast day: 1 December)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCVI

Operation AXIOM: The World War
Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen (1892-1918), immortalized as "the Red Baron," was the leading ace of the war with eighty kills; shot down while piloting his Fokker Dr. I, credit at the time was assigned to Canadian ace Arthur Roy Brown (1893-1944) of the British Royal Air Force, but latter-day scholarship contends that the fatal shot came from the ground; age twenty-five, Richthofen died on 21 April 1918.






The Wayback Machine Tour of the Red Baron
№ DXV: September 1916, Richthofen scored the first of this eighty aerial victories.
№ DXLVII: April 1917, Richthofen's squadron alone accounted for one-third of Entente aerial losses.
№ DLV: June 1917, Richthofen took command of the innovative, multi-squadron "Flying Circus."
№ DLXIX: October 1917, Richthofen's Flying Circus first took delivery of the Fokker Dr.I triplane.

Lest we forget.

Commentary: The immediately previous episode of "The Explorers' Club" (№ DCV: Rouge Bouquet) was published exactly one month hence, on 22 March 2018. There has never before been so long a gap & for that I cannot sufficiently express my sorrow, regret, & deepest apologies. I hope & pray, dear readers & fellow explorers, that you will forgive me this unforgivable lapse & will stick with both The Secret Base & "The Explorers' Club" as we right the ship.

Saints + Scripture: IV Sunday of Easter — Better Late…

'Tis the Fourth Sunday of Easter (A.K.A. Good Shepherd Sunday or the World Day of Prayer for Vocations): Wikipedia-link Eastertide, Wikipedia-link Good Shepherd, & U.S.C.C.B.-link & Wikipedia-link Vocations.


Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Fourth Sunday of Easter
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter four, verses eight thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses one, eight, & nine; twenty-one, twenty-two, & twenty-three; & twenty-six, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine;
The First Letter of John, chapter three, verses one & two;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses eleven thru eighteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the image of God as shepherd is a classic one in the Bible. In the book of the prophet Ezekiel, we hear that God would one day come and shepherd Israel himself. Shepherds guarded, guided, protected, and watched over their flocks—just as God guards, guides, protects, and watches over Israel.

This image comes to a climactic expression in the words of Jesus: "I am the good shepherd." What precisely makes him good? A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The good shepherd is so other-oriented, so devoted to his sheep, that he is willing to surrender his life that they might live.

Sure, a good shepherd should do all that he can to protect and guide his flock, but who among us would really expect him to give his life for them? But this is precisely what Jesus claims to do.

Imagine the difference between humans and sheep; now, multiply that difference infinitely. That would give you some idea of the difference between God and humanity. And yet God is willing to lay down his life for the likes of us.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

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


Mass Journal: Week Seventeen
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Catholicism is not merely a religion, or a sect, or a set of rules. When small minds & smaller hearts try to capture the essence of Catholicism, this is often what they tend to conclude. But Catholicism is more than a religion. It is more than just another movement. The essence of Catholicism is not sin, punishment, duty, or obligation, & it is more than a set of lifeless rules & regulations. Catholicism is more. It is more than most people think & more than most Catholics ever experience. The essence of Catholicism is dynamic transformation. You cannot become more like Jesus Christ & at the same time stay as you are. To be Catholic means to be striving to live the Gospel, to be striving to become more like Jesus Christ. It is this dynamic approach to transformation that animates the human person—physically, emotionally, intellectually, & spiritually—&allows us to experience like "to the fullest" (John, 10:10). When are you most fully alive? When you are changing & growing & exploring all you are capable of becoming.


Otherwise, 22 April would be the festival of Saint Soter, Pope (circa 119-174), twelfth (XII) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Caius, Pope (circa 245-296, also spelt Gaius), twenty-eighth (XXVIII) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Theodore of Sykeon, Bishop (died 613, A.K.A. the Sykeote): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Maria Gabriella, Religious, O.C.S.O. (1914-1939, A.K.A. Maria Sagheddu): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
The pope: "What is the thing we most need, today, to save society?"
A cardinal: "Build Catholic schools."
The pope: "No."
Another cardinal: "More churches."
The pope: "Still no."
A third cardinal: "Speed up the recruitment of priests."
The pope: "No, no, the most necessary things of all, at this time, is for every parish to possess a group of laymen who will be at the same time virtuous, enlightened, resolute, & truly apostolic."
—Pope St. Pius X (1835-1914, feast day: 21 August)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Still God cannot be giving me trials beyond my strength. He gave me the courage to sustain this one."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey."
—St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556, feast day: 31 July)

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


The Toasters, "Daddy Cry" from Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Saturday, 14 April

The Long Road Back, Part IV of VIII

Saturday, 14 April was the festival of Saint Abundius the Sacristan (died circa 564; also spelt Abonde, Acontius): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Bénézet the Bridge Builder (circa 1163-1184, also spelt Benoît, etc.), founder of the Bridge-building Brotherhood, who began construction of the original Pont Saint-Bénézet: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Brotherhood-link & Wikipedia-link Brotherhood; Wikipedia-link Bridge.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Above: The remains of the Pont Saint-Bénézet.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Peter González, Priest, O.P. (1190-1246, A.K.A. "Saint Elmo" for unsatisfying reasons): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saints Anthony, Eustace, & John, Martyrs (died circa 1347, of Vilnius), martyred in the reign of the Lithuanian duke Algirdas: Martyr-link Alpha, Martyr-link Echo, Martyr-link Juliett, & Wikipedia-link.

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

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus demonstrates his authority over nature by walking on the sea. Water is, throughout the Scriptures, a symbol of danger and chaos. At the very beginning of time, when all was a formless waste, the spirit of the Lord hovered over the surface of the waters. This signals God’s lordship over all of the powers of darkness and disorder.

In the Old Testament the Israelites are escaping from Egypt, and they confront the waters of the Red Sea. Through the prayer of Moses, they are able to walk through the midst of the waves.

Now in the New Testament, this same symbolism can be found. In all four of the Gospels, there is a version of this story of Jesus mastering the waves. The boat, with Peter and the other disciples, is evocative of the Church, the followers of Jesus. It moves through the waters, as the Church will move through time.

All types of storms—chaos, corruption, stupidity, danger, persecution—will inevitably arise. But Jesus comes walking on the sea. This is meant to affirm his divinity: just as the spirit of God hovered over the waters at the beginning, so Jesus hovers over them now.
Video reflection by Deacon Bernard Nojadera: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Holiness has its deepest roots in the grace of baptism, in being grafted on to the Paschal Mystery of Christ, by which His Spirit is communicated to us, His very life as the Risen One."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I know that Jesus is in me—it is He who does everything in me: I do nothing."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"As a man must be born before he can begin to lead his physical life, so must he be born to lead a Divine Life. That birth occurs in the Sacrament of Baptism. To survive, he must be nourished by Divine Life; that is done in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist."
—Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1896-1979)

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Anselm, Bishop & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (1033-1109; of Canterbury, of Aosta, of Bec; "Father of Scholasticism"), who spoke at the Council of Bari (1098): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Council & Wikipedia-link Doctor.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Anselm was a Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher, & theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Simeon Barsabae, Bishop & Martyr (died 345, of Ctesiphon; also spelt Shemon Bar Sabbae, Shimun), martyred in the reign of the Sassanid emperor Shapur II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Wolbodó of Liège, Bishop (circa 950-1021; also spelt Vilpodo, Fulmodo, etc.): Saint-link ūnus & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Conrad of Parzham, Religious, O.F.M. Cap. (1818-1894, A.K.A. Johann Birndorfer): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine, verses thirty-one thru forty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Sixteen, verses twelve & thirteen, fourteen & fifteen, & sixteen & seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses sixty thru sixty-nine.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, we come today to the end of the extraordinary sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. He has told his listeners, "Unless you gnaw on the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."

We hear that "many of Jesus’ disciples…said, ‘This saying is hard; who can accept it?’" Knowing their murmuring, Jesus says, "Does this shock you?" Now, if his words were meant in a symbolic sense, they wouldn’t have had this explosive, shocking effect on his listeners. Given every opportunity to clarify his meaning along symbolic lines, Jesus does nothing of the kind.

What follows from these words of the Lord is one of the saddest moments in the New Testament: the Scripture tells us that most of his followers abandoned him.

But when Jesus asks whether his disciples will leave, too, Peter speaks for the Twelve: "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

The Church, down through the ages to the present day, has stood with Peter. Jesus is not one interesting teacher among many; he is the only one, the one with the words of eternal life—indeed, he is the Holy One of God. And he comes to us through the flesh and blood of the Eucharist.
Video reflection by Deacon Bernard Nojadera: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Anselm
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three, verses fourteen thru nineteen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses twenty-one thru twenty-nine.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"'Do you wish to become holy?' It means to set before you the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount: 'Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect' (Matthew, 5:48)."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Be comforted, little one! In Heaven everything will no longer look black, but dazzling white."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch & sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were to be in collusion with the Church's enemies & in conformity with the open foes of our faith."
—St. Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church (1521-1597, feast day: 21 December)

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


The Ninjas, "Doris" from Platypus (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"My time machine is the coolest thing,
It's the best machine that you've ever seen,
It's lean and mean and neon green,
Wait 'til you've been in my time machine,
Come along with me and I'll show you how much fun time travel can be!

"Even though my time machine doesn't work anymore
You'll always be my very favorite dinosaur,
Oh, Doris,
My brontosaurus!…"

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bonus! Song o' the Day: SKApril


Reel Big Fish, "Beer" from Turn the Radio Off (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"Maybe some day I'll think of what to say,
Maybe next time I'll remember what to do,
She looks like heaven, maybe this is hell,
She said she'd do it all again, she promised not to tell…"

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

'Tis the festival of Saint Anicetus, Pope (died 168), eleventh (XI) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Cædwalla, Confessor (circa 658-689; also spelt Cadwallon, etc.; A.K.A. Peter), King of Wessex: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano, Abbess, O.P. (1268-1317): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds James Bell, Priest, & John Finch, Martyrs (died 1584), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link Juliett Bravo & Wikipedia-link Juliett Bravo, Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot & Wikipedia-link Juliett Foxtrot.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Maurice MacKenraghty, Priest & Martyr (circa 1500-1585, also spelt Muiris mac Ionrachtaigh), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Irish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyr-link Irish & Wikipedia-link Irish.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Richard Sergeant & William Thomson, Priests & Martyrs (died 1586), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, two of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Romeo Sierra & Wikipedia-link, Martyr-link Whiskey Tango; Martyr-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine, verses one thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Seventeen, verses one(b/c) & two;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses fifty-two thru fifty-nine.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel declares that the Word really became flesh. Why has the Incarnation been resisted from the very beginning? Why is the extension of the Incarnation, which is the Eucharist, still such a source of division?

I think it has to do with flesh. God became one of us, as close to us as blood and muscle and bone. It is no longer correct to say simply that God is in his heaven and we are on the earth. It is not correct to say simply that God is spirit and we are matter. Matter has been invaded by spirit. In Jesus, God became flesh, and, more to the point, he invites us to eat his Body and drink his Blood. But that means that he wants us to take him into ourselves.

"Now, wait a minute!" many people think. That’s a little too close for comfort, for it means that he wants to be Lord of my flesh and my bones, that he wants to move into every nook and cranny of my life. My work, my recreation, my sexual life, my life of play—all those fleshy things that I do—he wants to be Lord of all of that! That’s precisely right.
Video reflection by Father Praveen Lakkisetti: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"The true problem of our time is the 'Crisis of God,' the absence of God, disguised by an empty religiosity."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"It is true that His Cross has been with me from the cradle, but for that Cross He has given me a passionate love."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"You have made us for Yourself, Lord, & our hearts are restless until they rest in You."
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast day: 28 August)

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


King Apparatus, "Five Good Reasons" from King Apparatus (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"He had five good reasons and they clenched so tight,
Five good reasons and they clenched so tight,
Five good reasons and they clenched so tight,
Five good reasons and they clenched so tight…"

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide

The Popish Plot
Prayer Time Out: "Adoration"

'Tis the festival of Saint Crescentius of Florence, Deacon (died circa 396): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link (disambiguation, "deacon of Saint Zenobius"); Wikipedia-link Saint Zenobius of Florence.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Ursmar of Lobbes, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 640-713), co-founder of Aulne Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Ælfheah of Canterbury, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 953-1012; A.K.A. of Winchester, also spelt Alphage), martyred by Viking Danes; abbot of Bath Abbey prior to episcopal consecration: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Leo IX, Pope (1002-1054, "the Pilgrim Pope;" A.K.A. Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg), one hundred fifty-second (CLII) Bishop of Rome, who for all his holiness could not prevent the Great Schism: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff; Wikipedia-link Schism.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed James Duckett, Martyr (died 1601), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eight, verses twenty-six thru forty;
Psalm Sixty-six, verses eight & nine, sixteen & seventeen, & twenty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses forty-four thru fifty-one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus offers himself as food for the soul. There is a great truth revealed in the bread of life discourse: it is the law of the gift. This personal, incarnating God wants to be eaten and drunk, to be radically and fully for the other.

Why were the gods of the ancient world so popular? Because they were projections of ourselves—vain, arrogant, resentful, violent. This means that they put little moral pressure on us. They were frightening but not morally demanding.

But this God who shows that he is totally love, and who wants us to eat and drink him in, is the God who wants us to be like him. As he is food and drink for the world, so we must be food and drink for the world. As he gave himself away utterly, so we must give ourselves away fully.

We’re not to cling to the goods, honors, and values of the world—all those things that aggrandize the ego—but rather give ourselves away. That’s what we learn from the God of the gift.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Real love is demanding. It was for Jesus—our Jesus Himself—who said: 'You are My friends if you do what I command you' (John, 15:14). Love demands effort & a personal commitment to the will of God. It means discipline & sacrifice, but it also means joy & human fulfillment."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"It is true, you are the Mother of Jesus, but you have given Him to me; & He, from the Cross, has given you to be our Mother—thus we are richer than you!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Love, to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (A.K.A. Mother Teresa, 1910-1997; feast day: 5 September)

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


Edna's Goldfish, "If You Want It" from Before You Knew Better… (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Edna's Goldfish were one of the shortest-lived third-wave ska bands, forming in 1997 & breaking up in 2000, marking them as polar opposite of stalwarts such as Reel Big Fish (1991-present) & The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (1983-2003, 2007-present). A shame, because they had some good stuff, like "If You Want It," but I suppose they just didn't want it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Queue

In the fortnight since the last "The Queue" post, I've made steady progress through Perfectly Yourself, reading five of the book's nine lessons, compared to the single lesson I completed in the six weeks of Lent. Bully for me! For those playing the home version of our game, I've read two-thirds of Perfectly Yourself, six of the nine lessons. Therefore, I'm going to push through to the book's conclusion before moving on to another volume.

Recently
Matthew Warner, Messy & Foolish: How to Make a Mess, Be a Fool, and Evangelize the World
Father John Riccardo, Heaven Starts Now: Becoming a Saint Day by Day
Thomas F. Madden, The Crusades Controversy: Setting the Record Straight

Currently
Matthew Kelly, Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God's Dream for You

Presently
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***oft delayed***
Pope Francis, Guadete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad)
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive
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

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

'Tis the festival of Saint Perfectus of Córdoba, Priest & Martyr (died 850), martyred in the reign of the Andalusian emir Abd ar-Rahman II, one of the forty-eight Martyrs of Córdoba: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Giacomo Oldo, Priest, T.O.S.F. (1364-1404, Anglicized as James Oldo): Blessed-link ūnus & Blessed-link duo.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Marie of the Incarnation, Religious, O.C.D. (1566-1618; A.K.A. Barbara Avrillot, Barbara Acarie): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin, S.S.A. (1809-1890, A.K.A. Esther Blondin), foundress of the Sisters of Saint Anne: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.S.A.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eight, verses one(b) thru eight;
Psalm Sixty-six, verses one, two, & three(a); four & five; & six & seven(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses thirty-five thru forty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, Joseph Ratzinger said that the soul corresponds to our capacity for relationship to God. We have a whole range of intellectual and relational powers, but beyond them all, we have the capacity to know and love God. And since God is eternal, this power links us to eternity, proving that we are not simply limited to space and time. To say that we are nothing but “bodies” which flourish briefly and then fade away is to miss this dimension of our existence. Instead, we speak of souls and of the enduring existence of those who have gone before us into death.

This is why Jesus speaks so readily of eternal life in today’s Gospel: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” There was a great debate in Jesus’ time within Judaism in regard to this question. Many, including the Sadducees, denied the idea of life after death; but others, including the Pharisees, affirmed it.

Jesus clearly sides with those who affirm it, and his own resurrection from the dead demonstrated this belief as emphatically as possible.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"In vast areas of the earth the faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel. We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today… The renewed faith must, then, be a priority for the entire Church in our time."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"O Jesus, I know it, love is repaid by love alone, & so I searched & I found the way to solace my heart by giving you Love for Love."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"We belong to the Church Militant; & she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction."
—Pope Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958, feast day: 9 October)

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


Dance Hall Crashers, "Skinhead B.B.Q." from The Old Record (1989-1992) (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Referencing, of course, the ska/punk/reggae/oi!/etc. skinhead subculture, not American journalism's lazy misuse of "skinhead" as a byword for racist thuggery.

Also, of all the songs for which Elyse & Karina sang the lyrics ridiculously quickly, "Skinhead B.B.Q." might well be the quickest. The first stanza is a lyrical blur, only decipherable with patience & care.
"We always need a skinhead barbecue
Back in the month of June
To ward off all the bad feelings
Left over from the fall and spring.
We must rely on common sense
To keep us out of any mess,
Protect all those who do attend
And entertain them 'til the end.

"Why can't all things be simple
Just like a barbecue,
A summer skinhead barbecue,
Why can't all things be simple
Just like a barbecue,
A summer skinhead barbecue,
Someday they will,
Someday they will,
Someday they will.

"Hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and onion dip,
Watermelon and Hawaiian Punch to sip,
Don't forget the Oreos—Double Stuf, of course!
Hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and onion dip,
Watermelon and Hawaiian Punch to sip,
Don't forget the Oreos—Double Stuf, of course!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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


The Selecter, "Three Minute Hero" from Greatest Hits (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I'd never heard of The Selecter until they were mentioned in The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' song "Don't Worry Desmond Dekker" (also how I learned of Dekker), one of the new songs on their first post-hiatus album, Medium Rare. This is The Selecter's long overdue SKApril debut & I look forward to spotlighting more of their music in the future, possibly in the SKAfter Party & certainly in SKAprils yet to come.

"Three Minute Hero" is about dreaming of escaping the drudgery of one's workaday life by becoming a rock star, radio hits supposedly averaging about three minutes in duration. Think of it as a 2-Tone precursor to so much of Reel Big Fish's music.

Monday, April 16, 2018

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


Derrick Morgan, "Tougher than Tough" from Do the Beng Beng (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"Rougher than rough,
Tougher than tough,
Strong like lion,
We are iron,
Rudies don't fear now, boys,
Rudies don't fear,
Rudies don't fear now, boys,
Rudies don't fear…

"Rougher than rough,
Tougher than tough,
Strong like lion,
We are iron,
Rudies are free, yes, boys,
Rudies are free,
Rudies are free, yes, boys,
Rudies are free…"

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bonus! Song o' the Day: Midway through SKApril!


Mustard Plug, "Brain on Ska" from Skapocalypse Now! (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: This is our objective with SKApril, to hook one's brain on ska. "Ska, ska, ska!"

Saints + Scripture: II Sunday of Easter

The Long Road Back, Part III of VI

Sunday, 8 April was the Second Sunday of Easter, the Octave Day of Easter, A.K.A. Divine Mercy Sunday (A.K.A. Quasimodo Sunday): Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Divine Mercy Sunday.


Scripture of That Week
Mass Readings—Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter four, verses thirty-two thru thirty-five;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses two, three, & four; thirteen, fourteen, & fifteen; & twenty-two, twenty-three, & twenty-four;
The First Letter of John, chapter five, verses one thru six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen thru thirty-one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our magnificent Gospel today declares that there is no greater manifestation of the divine mercy than the forgiveness of sins. We are in the upper room with the disciples, those who had denied, betrayed, and abandoned their master. Jesus came and stood in their midst. When they saw him, their fear must have intensified; undoubtedly, he was back for revenge.

Instead, he spoke the simple word "Shalom," peace. He showed them his hands and his side, lest they forget what the world (and they) did to him, but he does not follow up with blame or retribution—only a word of mercy.

And then the extraordinary commission: "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." Jesus’ mercy is communicated to his disciples, who in turn are sent to communicate it to the world.

This is the foundation for the sacrament of penance, which has existed in the Church from that moment to the present day as the privileged vehicle of the divine mercy.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

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


Mass Journal: Week Fifteen
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
There are certain disciplines that are associated with the lifestyle of an athlete that could also be compared with the lifestyle of a Christian. Athletes abide by certain diets & adhere to certain training regimens. They don't stay out all night partying, because they know they have to wake early the next morning for training. All these are part of an athlete's lifestyle. So it is with the life of a Christian. There are disciplines & practices that must be embraced & respected if we are to walk faithfully along the path of salvation, fulfill our destiny, become better-versions-of-ourselves each day, & enjoy the happiness God wants to fill us with. Your journey with God will require more discipline than any other quest you will pursue in this life.


Otherwise, 8 April would have been the festival of Saint Walter of Pontoise, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 1030-1099, A.K.A. Gautier): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Julie Billiart, Virgin, S.N.D.deN. (1751-1816), foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.N.D.deN.

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed August Czartoryski, Priest, S.D.B. (1858-1893): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed Domingo of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Priest, O.SS.T. (1901-1927, A.K.A. Domingo Iturrate Zubero): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Now, though the era of persecution is gone, yet our peace has its martyrdom, because though we bend not the neck to the sword, yet with a spiritual weapon we slay fleshly desires in our hearts."
—Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church (540-604, feast: 3 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I want to be charitable in my thoughts toward others at all times, for Jesus has said: 'Judge not, & you shall not be judged.'"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Let us be filled with confidence & let us discard everything so as to be able to meet this onslaught. Christ has equipped us with weapons more splendid than gold, more resistant than steel, weapons more fiery than any flame & lighter than the slightest breeze… These are weapons of a totally new kind, for they have been forged for a previously unheard-of type of combat. I, who am a mere man, find myself called upon to deal blows to demons; I, who am clothed in flesh, find myself at war with incorporeal powers."
—St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church (349-407, feast day: 13 September)