Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Monday, 30 July

The Long Road Back | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Prayer"

Monday, 30 July was the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop & Doctor of the Church (circa 380-450): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment!, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Doctors.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Petros Chrysologus means Peter the 'golden-worded.' He is known as the 'Doctor of Homilies' for his concise but theologically rich reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna.
'Twas also the festival of Blesseds Thomas Abel, Richard Featherstone, & Edward Powell, Priests & Martyrs (died 1540), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII: Martyr-link Tango Alpha & Wikipedia-link Tango Alpha, Martyr-link Romeo Foxtrot & Wikipedia-link Romeo Foxtrot, & Martyr-link Echo Papa & Wikipedia-link Echo Papa.

Commentary: Bls. Thomas, Richard, & Edward were twinned with & executed alongside a trio of Lutherans: Robert Barnes, Thomas Gerrard, & William Jerome. The Catholics were hanged, drawn, & quartered for treason; the Lutherans were burned at the stake for heresy.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Leopold of Castelnuovo, Priest, O.F.M. Cap. (1866-1942, the "Apostle of Unity," A.K.A. Bogdan Ivan Mandić): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment!, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the first-ever festival of Blessed Solanus Casey, Priest, O.F.M. Cap. (1870-1957, A.K.A. Bernard Francis Casey): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Bl. Solanus was beatified on 18 November 2017 with yours truly in attendance: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirteen, verses one thru eleven;
The Book of Deuteronomy, chapter thirty-two, verses eighteen & nineteen, twenty, & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses thirty-one thru thirty-five.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that "when it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants." It seems to be a law of the spiritual life that God wants good things to start small and grow over time.

We’re tempted to say, "You’re God. Just get on with it. Do it!" But why would God work the way he does? We might attempt a few explanations. It is a commonplace of the Bible that God rejoices in our cooperation. He wants to involve us, through freedom, intelligence, and creativity, in what he is doing. And so he plants seeds, and he wants us to cultivate them.

Consider what God said to St. Francis: "Francis, rebuild my Church." God could have rebuilt his Church without Francis, but he wanted him to get involved.

When things start small, they can fly under the radar while they gain strength and heft and seriousness. Also, those involved can be tested and tried. Suppose you want to do something great in the life of the Church and you pray and God gives you massively what you want. You might not be ready, and your project will peter out. So be patient and embrace the small invitations.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three, verses eight thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verse twelve;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses forty-three, forty-four, & forty-five.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"If humanity 'groans & travails in pain,' it does so to the extent that people's minds & hearts are not lifted up with Christ to God. Their consciences are not conformed through Christ to the wisdom that comes from God."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"We practice charity much better when we are helping a person who is less appealing to us."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Let us foster confidence in God & thank Him ahead of time for whatever He chooses to send us."
—Bl. Solanus Casey (1870-1957, feast day: 30 July)

Saints + Scripture

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

The Popish Plot
Taco Tuesday: "Nacho Tuesday"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest, S.J. (1491-1556, A.K.A. Íñigo López de Loyola), founder & first Superior General of the Jesuits, formally the Society of Jesus: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.J. & Wikipedia-link Black Pope.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a Spanish Basque priest & theologian, who founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) & became its first Superior General. The Jesuit order served the pope as missionaries, & they were bound by a vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff in regard to the missions. They therefore emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter-Reformation.
Wikipedia-link Catholic Reformation


'Tis also the festival of Saint Neot, Religious (died circa 877, the "Pygmy Saint"): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Zdenka Schelingová, Religious & Martyr, S.C.S.C. (1916-1955, A.K.A. Cecília Schelingová), martyred in the reign of the Communist dictator Antonín Novotný: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

We also remember Venerable Alphonse-Marie Eppinger, Religious (1814-1867, A.K.A. Élisabeth Eppinger), foundress of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer: Venerable-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Ven. Alphonse-Marie is to be beatified on 9 September 2018, after which she will be known as Bl. Alphonse-Marie.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter fourteen, verses seventeen thru twenty-two;
Psalm Seventy-nine, verses eight, nine, & eleven & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses thirty-six thru forty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today Jesus explains the parable of the weeds among the wheat. God’s word creates the Church, the community of those who strive to build up the Kingdom. But this Church is never absolutely pure and untrammeled, for God’s ways are opposed by a spiritual power, an enemy. His task is to sow weeds among the wheat—clandestinely, quietly, unobtrusively.

This sort of coming-together of good and evil is to be expected. The Church will always be a place of saints and sinners, and the sinners will often look like saints. The enemy of the Church, who never rests, ensures it.

When we discover evil, it is always very tempting to go after it with both fists, to take it out. But the warning of the Master here is extremely important. Sometimes, our zeal can lead to far greater problems, precisely because of the way evil is related to the good.

So what should we do? Let them grow side-by-side for the time being. At the end, at harvest time, the Master will separate them out.
Video reflection by Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, S.T.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter ten, verse thirty-one thru chapter eleven, verse one;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-five thru thirty-three.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"Do not make concessions as regards truth & goodness. Do not stoop to compromise on the Gospel values that must be the basis of your life. For they are the foundation of your new life inaugurated by Christ."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"I do everything for God, & in this way I lose nothing, & I'm always well repaid for the trouble I go to for other people."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Lord, what do I want, what can I want, apart from You?"
—St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556, feast day: 31 July)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

The Planet Smashers, "She's So Hot" from Attack of the Planet Smashers (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: "She's So Hot" presents a stunted, or to be more charitable, an incomplete anthropology, prizing a girl solely for her physical attractiveness, but it is a fun, lighthearted song the syncopated rhythm of which was bounding through my head when I first woke up this morning.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

GOGO13, "Espionage" from The Aquabats and Horchata Records Proudly Present Rice Capades Music Sampler, Vol. 1 (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Skammentary: It's been a hard day, an unfair day (to paraphrase John Hodgman). I chose "Espionage" because I wanted to listen to something fun & it fit the bill perfectly.

The Queue

Great Catholic Parishes is a valuable & informative read, full of best practices & whatnot. I recommend it to anyone who is involved in his or her parish, anyone who spends time pondering how best to go about reaching souls for Christ.

When the Church was young (a phrase I love, stolen from the title of a book, When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers by Marcellino D'Ambrosio), before the Holy Spirit inspired the Church to set the canon of the Bible, Pope St. Clement's First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Clement) was sometimes read liturgically, that is, read in the Church's communal worship. Despite being divided into a preposterous fifty-nine chapters, I suspect it's no longer than the Biblical epistles, or perhaps the lengthier gospels. The comparison is hard to eyeball, since the writings are all gathered together in single-volume Bibles, while my copy of The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians is printed as a standalone book.

I received the following books for my recent birthday:

Gratuitously
Pope Saint Clement I (A.K.A. Clement of Rome), The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies
David Hobbs with Andrew Marriot, Hobbo: Motor Racer, Motor Mouth—The Autobiography of David Hobbs
Adrian Newey, How to Build a Car

I devoured Belloc's How the Reformation Happened with great relish; so, I eagerly await wading into his treatment of the great heresies—Arianism, Mohammedanism, Albigensianism, Protestantism, & Modernism—in The Great Heresies. Ecumenism does not come naturally to me, & Belloc speaks to my deepest nature.

Formula One journo Will Buxton aptly said of David Hobbs, "Hobbo's like your crazy grandfather. You never know what he's going to say next!" The television coverage of the 2018 F1 season, fascinating though the racing has been, has been dishwater dull thanks in part to the absence of Hobbs & his broadcasting partner of the previous fifteen glorious, hilarious years, Steve Matchett (whose insightful, amusing books Life in the Fast Lane, The Mechanic's Tale, & The Chariot Makers I've also read). Hobbo is a coffee table book-sized, but I fully intend to read it cover to cover, & hope to hear Hobbs's voice in my head as I do so.

Adrian Newey is an F1 car designer (a chariot maker, in Matchett's phrase), currently working for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. He's worked for numerous teams & designed innovative, race-winning cars everywhere he's been. Newey is a specialist in aerodynamics, a dark art that is as much intuition as it is calculation. Before unwrapping How to Build a Car I had had no idea he'd authored a book. This was an excellent & warmly-received off-list gift.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled queue, already in progress.

Recently
Pope Blessed Paul VI (with Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, & Pope Francis), Humanae Vitae with Related Papal Texts
Matthew Kelly, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: A Living Mosaic—How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive

Currently
Pope Saint Clement I (A.K.A. Clement of Rome), The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

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

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXX

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Second Battle of the Marne, Part IV
Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), the American writer, lecturer, & poet, most famous for the seminal poem "Trees;" he joined New York's "Fighting Sixty-ninth" Infantry Regiment as a sergeant, refusing officer's commissions in different regiments; assigned to safe rear-echelon duties, he volunteered for perilous intelligence missions to the front; he was killed by a German sniper's bullet on 30 July 1918.






Lest we forget.

Commentary: Before being shipped over there, Kilmer accepted a commission to author a book about the war, to be titled Here & There with the Fighting Sixty-ninth, which he did not live to complete. Kilmer's poem "Rouge Bouquet," about the death of his comrades ("Explorers' Club" № DCV), was first published in Stars & Stripes a fortnight after his own death, & was read at his graveside.

Saints + Scripture: XVII Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Second Book of Kings, chapter four, verses forty-two, forty-three, & forty-four;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses ten & eleven, fifteen & sixteen, & seventeen & eighteen;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter four, verses one thru six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses one thru fifteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel today focuses on St. John’s intense meditation on the meaning of the Eucharist. The tone is set with the familiar story of the feeding of the five thousand, the only miracle story mentioned in each of the four Gospels. This scene deeply affected the first Christians.

Jesus instructs the crowd to recline on the grass. Taking the barley loaves and dried fish, Jesus makes a meal that satisfies the enormous crowd. They are hungry, tired, and worn out from their exertions, and Jesus gives them sustenance for the day.

For Thomas Aquinas, the great metaphor for the Eucharist is sustenance, food for the journey. Baptism defines us, making us sons and daughters of God; confirmation confirms and deepens this identity; marriage and holy orders seal us in our life’s vocation. These are sacraments offered once at key moments in one’s life.

Then there is the Eucharist, which is daily food, nourishment to get us through the day-to-day. How effective would we be if we never ate, or ate only on special occasions and in a festive environment? Not very. So, in the spiritual life, we must eat and drink or we will not have the strength.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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

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


Mass Journal: Week Thirty-one
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Holiness brings us to life. It refines every human ability. Holiness doesn't dampen our emotions; it elevates them. Those who respond to God's call to holiness are the most joyful people in history. They have a richer, more abundant experience of life, & they love more deeply than most people can ever imagine. They enjoy life, all of life. Even in the midst of suffering they are able to maintain a peace & a joy that are independent of the happenings & circumstances surrounding them. Holiness doesn't stifle us; it sets us free.

The surest signs of holiness are not how often a person goes to church, how many hours he spends in prayer, what spiritual books he has read, or even the number of good works he performs. The surest signs of holiness are an satiable desire to become all God created us to be, an unwavering commitment to the will of God, & an unquenchable concern for unholy people. Living a holy life means letting our decisions be guided by the Holy Spirit. It means allowing each moment to be all it can be.


Otherwise, 29 July would be the festival of Saint Martha (died circa 80, of Bethany): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Sulien, Abbot (floruit sixth century), founding abbot of the abbey around which grew the village of Luxulyan: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Luxulyan.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Olaf, Martyr (circa 995-1030, A.K.A. King Olaf II of Norway, Olaf Haraldsson; also spelt Olave, Ólafr Haraldsson), martyred by pagan Vikings: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Urban II, Pope, O.S.B. (circa 1040-1099; A.K.A. Odo, Otho, Eudes; of Châtillon, of Lagery), one hundred fifty-ninth (CLIX) Bishop of Rome, who called the Council of Clermont (1095) & the First Crusade (1096-1099): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff, Wikipedia-link Council, & Wikipedia-link Crusade.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Lord Jesus, grant that those You have called Your friends may come to know in fullness the joy You have promised. May they know the joy of praising You, the joy of serving their brothers & sisters, the joy of abiding in Your love."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I would willingly spend the whole of my religious life in this dark underground passage, if by it I might win light for sinners."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' the Day
"Faith means putting up with God's incomprehensibility for a lifetime."
—Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J. (1904-1984)

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

Marty Haugen, "Shepherd Me, O God (Psalm 23)" from Shepherd Me, O God (The Last Angry Man)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the festival of Saint Victor I, Pope & Martyr (died 199), fourteenth (XIV) Bishop of Rome, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Samson of Dol, Bishop & Abbot (circa 485-565, A.K.A. of York; also spelt Sampson, Samsun), one of the Seven Founder Saints of Brittany: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link VII.

Commentary: Brothers of Ss. Gwyneth of Cornwall & Veep [both 1 July].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Jaime Hilario Barbal, Religious & Martyr, F.S.C. (1898-1937, A.K.A. Manuel Barbal i Cosín), martyred by Spanish Communist "Republicans": Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Stanley Rother, Priest & Martyr (1935-1981), martyred by a Guatemalan death squad: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Bl. Stanley was beatified in September 2017.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter seven, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm Eighty-four, verses three; four; five, six(a), & eight(a); & eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel today is the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God sows his good seed, his word, his love and compassion, but his project is met with opposition. And the evil is such that it insinuates itself right into the very fabric of the good.

In classical theology, we speak of evil as a
privatio boni, a privation of the good, meaning that evil is always and everywhere parasitic on the good. Just as a parasite is living off of the healthy body (and thereby weakening it), so moral evil lives off of the good soul, the good society, the good Church (and thereby weakens them).

What is the result? That it is exceptionally difficult to extricate the evil from the good without damaging the good. That’s why it is extremely difficult—and often counter-productive—to go after these evils with a crusading spirit.

To be sure, there are certain evils that simply have to be addressed—right now, no questions, no hesitations. But there are other evils (and they really are evil) that are best left alone for the time being, lest more damage is done in the process of extricating them.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The Eucharist is the privileged summit of the meeting of Christ's love for us; a love that is made available for each of us, a love that is made to be sacrificial lamb & food for our hunger for life. As the Apostle says, 'He loved me & gave Himself up for me.'"
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"He guides & inspires me every moment of the day. Just when I need it, a new light shines on my problems."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The day you learn to surrender yourself totally to God, you will discover a new world, just as I am experiencing. You will enjoy a peace & a calm unknown, surpassing even the happiest days of your life."
—St. Jaime Hilario Barbal (1898-1937, feast day: 28 July)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Today

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

Commentary:
"If you want space (you could have it),
If you want change (you could have it),
Sleep on your bed (you could have it),
Bullet to my head (you could have it).

"If you want love (you could have it),
The way that you love (you could have it),
If you want time (you could have it),
I’ll tell you no lie (you could have it).

"Just don’t kill, don’t kill the magic!
Just don’t kill, don’t kill the magic!
I’m not ready to give up just yet,
We can stay until we both forget,
So, baby, don’t kill (don’t kill), don’t kill the magic!

"If you want space (you could have it),
If you want change (I’ll make it drastic),
Sleep on your bed (I’ll be your mattress),
Bullet to my head (you could blast it).

"Oh, if you want love (I’ll be tragic),
The way that you love (I can match it),
If you want time (I’ll be elastic),
Tell you no lie (You can have it),
No lie!…"

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday

Freitag, 27. Juli
Flogging Molly, "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" from Drunken Lullabies (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"But it's time I'll take before I begin,
Three sheets to the wind,
Three sheets to the wind,
Yeah, it's time I'll take before I begin,
Three sheets to the wind,
Three sheets to the wind.

"Rebels are we
Though heavy our hearts shall always be,
And no ball or chain, no prison shall keep,
We're the rebels of the Sacred Heart!
I said, no ball or chain, no prison shall keep,
We're the rebels of the Sacred Heart!…"

Friday, July 27, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Thursday, 26 July

The Long Road Back | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Doctors"

Thursday, 26 July was the Memorial of Saints Joachim & Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (circa 50 B.C.-A.D. 15): Saints-link Juliett & Alpha, Saint-link Juliett & Wikipedia-link Juliett, & Saint-link Alpha & Wikipedia-link Alpha.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Joachim & St. Anne remind us of the mystery of the Incarnation: God truly became man & entered into a human family that included not only his mother Mary [the Blessed Virgin; 1 January, 25 March, 31 May, 15 August, 8 September, 8 December, et al.] & father [St.] Joseph [19 March, 1 May] but their parents, & their parents, & their parents, all the way back to Adam (& Eve). Like all of us, Jesus was born into a web of relationships, the "cradle of life & love" that is the family.
'Twas also the festival of Blesseds Robert Nutter, O.P. & Edward Thwing, Priests & Martyrs (died 1600), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, two of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Romeo November & Wikipedia-link Romeo November; Martyr-link Echo Tango & Wikipedia-link Echo Tango; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed William Ward, Priest & Martyr (circa 1560-1641, A.K.A. William Webster), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles I, one of the Martyrs of Douai: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Douai & Wikipedia-link Douai.

'Twas also the festival of Servant of God Jacques Hamel, Priest & Martyr (1930-2016), martyred by Muslim jihadists loyal to Daesh (I.S.I.L., the "Islamic State"): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Martyrdom.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter two, verses one, two, three, seven, eight, twelve, & thirteen;
Psalm Thirty-six, verses six & seven(a/b), eight & nine, & ten & eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses ten thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel the disciples ask Jesus why he speaks to the crowds in parables. Jesus is explaining the kingdom of God in these provocative and puzzling stories and images that seemed to be his preferred way of preaching. And he replies to his disciples, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.’” In other words, because the crowds refused to believe in him and what he has to say.

Many parables are strange and initially off-putting and puzzling. Of course, that is the point of parables: to bother us, throw us off base, confuse us a bit. How characteristic this was of Jesus’ preaching! He rarely lays things out in doctrinal form: he prefers to tell these puzzling, funny stories. Why? Because in many cases stories reveal truth that arguments can’t quite capture.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of Ss. Joachim & Anne
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-four, verses one & ten thru fifteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verse thirty-two;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses sixteen & seventeen.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Heat & food are not enough; there is also the heart; we must think of the heart of our old people. The Lord said that parents must be respected & loved, even when they are old."
—Pope Venerable John Paul I (1912-1978, feast day: 28 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"There are some who take such a gloomy view of things they make them much worse, I always look on the bright side."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"To read Sacred Scripture means to turn to Christ for advice."
—St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226, feast day: 4 October)

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the festival of Saint Pantaleon, Martyr (circa 275-305, also spelt Panteleimon), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution, Helpers-link XIV, & Wikipedia-link XIV.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Aurelius & Natalia; Felix & Liliosa; & George, Deacon; Martyrs (died 852), martyred in the reign of the Umayyad emir Abd ar-Rahman II, five of the forty-eight Martyrs of Córdoba: Martyr-link Alpha & Martyr-link November, Martyr-link Foxtrot & Martyr-link Lima, Martyr-link Golf, & Wikipedia-link V; Wikipedia-link Córdoba.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Robert Sutton, Priest & Martyr (circa 1544-1587), 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 LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed William Davies, Priest & Martyr (circa 1559-1593), 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 LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter three, verses fourteen thru seventeen;
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verses ten, eleven & twelve(a/b/c/d), & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses eighteen thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus explains the parable of the sower. Let’s study each part of his explanation.

The seed sown on the path is “the one who hears the word without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown.” This means we might end up blocked from God because we lack education in the ways of the Spirit.

The seed sown on rocky ground is “the one receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time.” When difficulties and persecutions arrive, he loses confidence.

“The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.” Some people hear the word, but then they are unable to maintain their focus and sense of prioritization.

So from these sad cases we can construe the nature of good soil. When we understand the faith, when we take the time to read theology, to study the Scriptures; when we persevere, discipline ourselves, and practice the faith; when we have our priorities straight; then the seed will take root in us. And it will bear fruit thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.
Video reflection by Father Praveen Lakkisetti: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Bible Study—Wisdom Books
The Book of Psalms, psalm forty-four (verses one thru twenty-seven).

Commentary: God's Past Favor & Israel's Present Need (Psalm 44).

Papal Quote o' This Day
"Sacred Scripture is not something of the past. The Lord does not speak in the past but speaks in the present, He speaks to us today, He enlightens us, He shows us the way through life, He gives us communion, & thus He prepares us & opens us to peace."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"How powerless I am to express in human language the secrets of heaven!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"If the Church is able to enter a preparation for the perennial coming of the Holy Spirit, He, the "Light of hearts," will not hesitate to come. He will give Himself for the joy, the light, the fortitude, the apostolic virtue, & the unitive charity that the Church needs today."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Magic!, "Red Dress" from Primary Colours (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary:
"She's tried on everything,
Every little thing inside her closet,
And she knows it's getting late,
Knows that I been waiting and I'm starving.

"'Cause we been working overtime,
She wants to make a night that we'll remember,
And I'm staring at the time,
Thinking it's alright, put on whatever.

But I've been on my best behavior,
Pacing back and forth,
And ten thousand lifetimes later
When she walks through the door—

"I said, 'Hey, you, with the red dress on,
'I gotta find a way to take it off,
'I got a lot of love and it's growing strong
When I see you with your red dress on…'

"Yeah, it's hard to concentrate,
'Finish up your plate,' she whispers to me,
But I got one thing on my mind
As they pour the wine and it consumes me.

"But I've been on my best behavior,
Not to cause a scene,
But when we finally get home later
It's just you and me.

"And I said, 'Hey, you, with the red dress on,
'I gotta find a way to take it off…'"

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXIX

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Second Battle of the Marne, Part III
18-22 July 1918: The Battles of Château-Thierry (18 July), Soissons (18-22 July), & Tardenois (19 July)—The Entente struck back, the French, British, Italian, & American troops being coordinated by new Supreme Allied Commander Généralissime Ferdinand Foch; combined arms, including almost five hundred tanks, were committed to the elimination of the German salient west of Reims.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: Feast of Saint James

The Popish Plot
Wordy Wednesday: "Humanae Vitae @ 50"

'Tis the Feast of Saint James, Apostle (died 44, the Son of Zebedee, the Great/Greater, a "Son of Thunder"), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius by his client king Herod Agrippa: Apostle-link ūnus, Apostle-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
James is styled ["the Great" or] "the Greater" to distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less" [or "the Lesser"]. He was the brother of John, the Beloved Disciple [27 December], & probably the elder of the two.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. James
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter four, verses seven thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verses one(b/c) & two(a/b), two(c/d) & three, four & five, & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty, verses twenty thru twenty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel the mother of James and John asks Jesus on their behalf for high places of authority in his kingdom. Ah, there is the voice of ambition. Some people don’t care at all about money or power or pleasure—but they care passionately about honor. A lot of people can identify with James and John. They want to go places, they want to be movers and shakers in society. Perhaps a number of people reading this reflection are filled with these emotions.

But Jesus turns the tables on them: "You do not know what you are asking." He is indeed a King, and he will indeed rule Israel, but his crown will be made of thorns, and his throne will be a Roman instrument of torture.

And so he tries to clarify: "Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" The key to honor in the kingdom of God is to drink the cup of suffering, to be willing to suffer out of love, to give one’s life away as a gift. Look at the lives of the saints. It is not about aggrandizing the ego, but emptying it out.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


'Tis also the festival of Saint Christopher, Martyr (died circa 251), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Decius, a victim of the Decian Persecution; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution; Helpers-link XIV & Wikipedia-link XIV.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Olympias of Constantinople, Deaconess (circa 361-408, A.K.A. the Younger): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Glodesind of Metz, Abbess (died circa 608): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. …There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"My whole strength lies in prayer & sacrifice. They can move hearts far better than words."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The coming of the Holy Spirit does not take the Cross away from human reality. It is not a talisman that immunizes human life from sufferings & misfortunes."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

Bonus! Song o' This Auspicious Day

They Might Be Giants, "Older" from Mink Car (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older,
And now you're even older,
And now you're even older,
You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older,
And now you're older still.

"Time is marching on.
And time, is still marching on.

"This day will soon be at an end,
And now it's even sooner,
And now it's even sooner,
And now it's even sooner,
This day will soon be at an end,
And now it's even sooner,
And now it's sooner still.

"You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older,
And now you're even older,
And now you're even older,
You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older,
And now you're older still."

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' This Auspicious Day

Jim Gaffigan, "Presents" from Beyond the Pale (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"They give the alert because, you know, there's so much pressure in our society to have a good time on your birthday. You know, it's like, 'Can't believe I'm going to work on my birthday!

'Can't believe I'm doing laundry on my birthday!

'Can't believe I'm paying for sex on my birthday! Rip off!'…"

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Sharbel Makhlūf, Priest, O.L.M. (1828-1898, also spelt Charbel Makhlouf; A.K.A. Joseph Zaroun Makhlūf): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Sharbel Makhlūf is a Maronite saint, a member of the ancient Eastern catholic Church of Antioch. It was in Antioch that Christ's followers were first called Christians, & St. Peter [22 February, 29 June] ministered there before going to Rome.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Declán of Ardmore, Bishop (floruit fifth century, also spelt Déaglán), founder of the monastery around which grew the town of Ardmore (Aird Mhór): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Monastery.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Kinga of Poland, Abbess, O.S.C. (1224-1292; A.K.A. Kunigunde, also spelt Cunegunda, etc.), Grand Duchess of Poland: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Great-niece of St. Hedwig of Silesia [16 October], niece of Ss. Elizabeth of Hungary [17 November] & Agnes of Prague [2 March], sister of St. Margaret of Hungary [18 January] & Bl. Yolanda of Poland [11 June], & sister-in-law of Bl. Salomea of Poland [17 November].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Louise of Savoy, Religious, O.S.C. (1461-1503): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Descendant of St. Elizabeth of Hungary [17 November] & so distant kin of St. Kinga of Poland [24 July], et al.; daughter of Bl. Amadeus of Savoy [30 March] & cousin of St. Joan of Valois [4 February].

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Micah, chapter seven, verses fourteen, fifteen, eighteen, nineteen, & twenty;
Psalm Eighty-five, verses two, three, & four; five & six; & seven & eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twelve, verses forty-six thru fifty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, someone tells Jesus, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you." Jesus stretches his hand toward his disciples and says, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother."

Family is wonderful. There is nothing in the world wrong with fostering the flourishing of your family. But over and again, the Bible places the goods of the world into question—even something as good as family relationships.

Why? Because family isn’t God. It is not that which you should serve with your whole heart; it doesn’t belong in the center of your life.

Is family the point around which most of your energies revolve? Is it your primary focus as you make your way through the day? Are there times when you feel your family obligations competing with the will of God?

Then remember Jesus’ words: "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?...Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father."
Video reflection by Father Jack Ledwon: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Sharbel Makhlūf
The Book of Sirach, chapter three, verses seventeen thru twenty-four;
Psalm Fifteen, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Strong in faith, put up a good fight; the future belongs to the believers & not to the skeptics & doubters. The future belongs to those who love, not to those who hate. The Church's mission in the world, far from being ended or outmoded, goes out to meet new trials & fresh enterprises."
—Pope Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958, feast day: 9 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Far more noble is that learning which flows from above, from the divine influence, than that which with labor is acquired by the industry of man."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Christian Quote o' the Day
"The Bible is God's love letter to us."
—Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day

Magic! featuring Sean Paul, "Lay You Down Easy" from Primary Colours (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary:
"Now I know you don't believe me
When I say I do it right (trust me),
My confidence is peaking
To be close to you tonight,
Baby, this is human nature;
Let's turn up that guitar (guitar!),
Smoke a little vapor
And stay up til the sun.

"I'm tryin' to lay you down easy,
(La la la la lay you down easy, eh, yeah)
So, Love, I'm trying to lay you down easy (Follow me, girl),
(La la la la lay you down easy, yeah).

"Now I know you don't believe me
When I say I mean no harm (no harm),
Uncertainty is fleeting,
I'm inspired by your charm (inspired by your charm),
Imagine how I'm feeling,
Falling inches from your grace
I feel like Robert Marley
Got me waitin' here in vain…"

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom" from Welcome Interstate Managers (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: "Stacy's Mom" was a hit fifteen years ago this summer.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Sleep & Stress"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Bridget, Religious, O.Ss.S. (circa 1303-1373, of Sweden, of Vadstena; A.K.A. Birgitta Birgersdotter), foundress of the Bridgettines, formally the Order of the Most Holy Savior: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment!, & Wikipedia-link; Bridgettine-link & Wikipedia-link O.Ss.S.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Kinswoman of St. Ingrid of Skänninge [2 September] & mother of St. Catherine of Sweden [24 March].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
She was a mystic & saint, & foundress of the Bridgettines, nuns & monks, after the death of her husband of twenty years. She is one of six patron saints of Europe.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Phocas the Gardener, Martyr (died circa 303, of Sinope), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

'Tis also the festival of Saint John Cassian, Deacon (circa 360-435, A.K.A. the Ascetic, the Roman), founder of the Abbey of Saint Victor: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Krystyn Gondek, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. (1909-1942, A.K.A. Wojciech Gondek), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List, № 47); Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Micah, chapter six, verses one thru four, six, seven, & eight;
Psalm Fifty, verses five & six, eight & nine, sixteen(d/c) & seventeen, & twenty-one & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twelve, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel some Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign. And Jesus replies, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet,” who was in the belly of the whale for three days and nights.

Jonah was called by God to preach conversion to Nineveh, which is described as an enormously large city. It took, they said, three days to walk through it. I can’t help but think of Nineveh as one of our large, modern cities, a center of all sorts of worldly activity and preoccupation.

What would its conversion look like? A turning back to God as the only enduring good. After hearing the word of Jonah, the Ninevites “proclaimed a fast, and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.” What is the purpose of these ascetic practices? To wean people away from an attachment to worldly pleasures.

Go beyond the mind that you have. Repent. Live as though nothing in this world finally matters. And you will be living in the kingdom of God!
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Bridget
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter two, verses nineteen & twenty;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses one thru eight.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"In prayer we seek, find, & converse with God just as we would with an intimate friend. We can speak of our sorrows & joys, our weaknesses & problems, & our desires to be better & to help others to be better, too."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Let me be possessed by love, going above myself through excess of fervor & ecstasy."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."
—St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church (347-419, feast day: 30 September)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXXVIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
21 July 1918: The Attack on Orleans—Beaches & a marsh near Orleans, Massachusetts were shelled & the tugboat Perth Amboy heavily damaged, & her four barges sunk, by the German u-boat S.M. U-156; the U.S Coast Guard dispatched boats that rescued, under fire, all thirty-two sailors from the tugboat & barges; the U.S. Navy dispatched aeroplanes to bomb the U-156, but she escaped.






Lest we forget.

Bonus!
19 July 1918: The U.S.S. San Diego ACR-6, originally named the U.S.S. California, sank ten miles south of Fire Island, New York, after striking a mine, probably laid by the S.M. U-156; six men died.



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

Magic!, "How Do You Want to Be Remembered" from Don't Kill the Magic (The Last Angry Magician)

Commentary: The title is a question, oft-repeated through the song, so it really should be written as "How Do You Want to Be Remembered?"
"How do you want to be remembered,
As a sinner or a saint?
As a hero or a villain?
Think about the steps you take.

"How do you want to be remembered
When they're standing at your grave?
On your tombstone, what is written?
Think about the steps you take.

All my life I've been searching for the answers,
How did I lose so much of the things that really mattered?
Is there no paradise 'cause I feel no joy or laughter?
Seems everything I touch only turns into disaster,
So I ask myself:

"How do you want to be remembered,
As a sinner or a saint?
As a hero or a villain?
Think about the steps you take.

"How do you want to be remembered
When your children come to age
And they need some inspiration?
Think about the steps you take.

Do I reach for love only when she says she's leaving?
Do I pray above only when I feel I need it?
See, I can't sleep at night, when my sheep turning to demons.
There's no alibi when the jury knows your secret,
So I ask myself:

How do you want to be remembered,
As a sinner or a saint?
As a hero or a villain?
Think about the steps you take.

"How do you want to be remembered
When your children come to age
And they need some inspiration?
Think about the steps you take.

"'Cause on the day when you face judgment,
You better have your story straight.
Were you a good friend and a husband
To the ones that give you love, love, love?
Who you love, love, love, oh?

How do you want to be remembered?
As a sinner or a saint?
As a hero or a villain?
Think about the steps you take.

"How do you want to be remembered
When they're standing at your grave?
On your tombstone, what is written?
Think about the steps you take.

"How do you want to be remembered?
How do you want to be remembered?
Think about the steps you take.
How do you want to be remembered?
How do you want to be remembered?"

Saints + Scripture: XVI Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Popish Plot
Saintly Sunday: "Countdown to Made for Happiness 33 1/3"

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

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter twenty-three, verses one thru six;
Psalm Twenty-three, verses one, two, & three; three & four; five; & six;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter two, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter six, verses thirty thru thirty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel shows Jesus’ compassion for the multitude in the desert. "When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things."

There is the motif of the people Israel in the desert after their escape from Egypt. Isolated, alone, afraid, without food, they clamored for something from Moses. Here we see people who are dying to be fed, and a prophet who is under threat of death. This crowd around the threatened Jesus is a metaphor for the Church. We have come to him because we are hungry, and we stay even when things look bleak.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

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

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


Mass Journal: Week Thirty
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Holiness & renewal are inseparably linked. Where there is holiness the Church has always thrived. If the Church is not thriving there in one primary reason for that… & when you & I begin to take God's call to live holy lives seriously, the Church will begin to thrive in new & exciting ways. Holiness is compatible with every state in life. Married people are called to live holy lives just as much as monks & nuns. Sexual intimacy is a profound gift from God & an instrument of holiness. The riches of this world have value only inasmuch as they help us fulfill our essential purpose. If we own them, they can be powerful tools that help us live holy lives. If they own us, they will prevent us from becoming the-best-version-of-ourslves. The rich are called to live holy lives by using their wealth in productive ways that foster their own growth & the growth of others. Materials possessions, marriage & sexual intimacy, work, money, & positions of authority are just some of the opportunities life presents to live holy lives.


Otherwise, 22 July would be the festival of Saint Mary Magdalene (died circa 63, the "Apostle to the Apostles"): Magdalene-link ūna, Magdalene-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Joseph of Palestine (circa 285-356, A.K.A. of Tiberias), who built the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves & Fish & opposed the Arian heresy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Church & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Benno of Osnabrück, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 1020-1088, Bishop Benno II), founder of the Abbey of Schloss Iburg: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Augustine Fangi, Priest, O.P. (1430-1493, of Biella): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saints Philip Evans, S.J., & John Lloyd, Priests & Martyrs (died 1679), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles II, victims of the perjeror Titus Oates's "Popish Plot" hoax; two of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Papa Echo, Martyr-link Juliett Lima, & Wikipedia-link; Plot-link & Wikipedia-link Plot; & Martyrs-link XL & Wikipedia-link XL.

Papal Quote o' Today
"Someone would have a poor idea of human & marital love by thinking that affection & joy vanish when difficulties come. This is wen we really see what motivates people. Here also is where gift & tenderness are consolidated, because true love does not think about itself, but about how to increases the good of the beloved."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' Today
"Most of all I imitate the behavior of Mary Magdalene, for her amazing—or, rather, loving—audacity which delighted the heart of Jesus, has cast its spell upon mine."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' Today
"The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob—not of the philosophers & the scholars! The God of Jesus Christ. One finds & keeps Him only on the paths that are taught in the Gospel."
—Blaise Pascal (1588-1651)

Saints + Scripture — Saturday, 21 July

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

Saturday, 21 July was the Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest & Doctor of the Church, O.F.M. Cap. (1559-1619, A.K.A. Giulio Cesare Russo): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Doctors.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a Roman Catholic priest & a theologian as well as a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Lawrence wrote a commentary on Genesis & several treatises against Luther, but Lawrence's main writings are in the nine volumes of his sermons.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Praxedes, Virgin (died circa 165, of Rome): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter of Ss. Pudens [19 May] & Claudia [7 August] & sister of Ss. Prudentia [19 May], Novatus [20 June], & Timotheus [?].

'Twas also the festival of Saint Simeon Salus, Hermit (died circa 570, the "Holy Fool"): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Arbogast of Strasbourg, Bishop (died circa 678, A.K.A. Arascach): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of Yesterday
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Micah, chapter two, verses one thru five;
Psalm Ten, verses one & two, three & four, seven & eight, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twelve, verses fourteen thru twenty-one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel we hear a passage from Isaiah echoing the Baptism of Jesus: "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased."

In the Greek philosophical tradition, God is the supreme good around which everything in the universe revolves. But that Aristotle’s prime mover would stoop down to the level of a creature and move toward him—that would be unthinkable. And in the Jewish context, God’s absolute holiness was consistently contrasted with human sinfulness. But that God would himself take on the wretchedness of his creatures and stand with them—no way.

Yet, in Christ, God himself moves toward his creatures, takes on their wretchedness, and stands with them. Why? Because God has come in order to forgive sins. This is the heart and soul, the beginning and end of Christian revelation. How often the words and gestures of forgiveness radiate out from Jesus, and how central forgiveness is to the liturgy. "This is the cup of my blood…which will be shed so that sins may be forgiven."

This is why "he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick." God has not come to finish off those who have blown it spiritually and morally, but to stand with them in total solidarity.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Lawrence of Brindisi
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter four, verses one, two, five, six, & seven;
Psalm Forty, verses eight(a) & nine(a);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter four, verses one thru ten & thirteen thru twenty
(or, the Gospel according to Mark, chapter four, verses one thru nine).

Mass Readings—Nuptials of Echo Kilo Delta & Alpha Papa Papa
The Book of Sirach, chapter twenty-six, verses one thru four & thirteen thru sixteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-eight, verses one & two, three, & four & five;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter thirteen, verse thirty-one thru chapter fourteen, verse eight(a);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses six thru nine.

Papal Quote o' Yesterday
"There is an urgent need for the emergence of a new generation of apostles anchored firmly in the word of Christ, capable of responding to the challenges of our times& prepared to spread the Gospel far & wide."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' Yesterday
"I picture my soul as a patch of bare ground & I beg the Blessed Virgin to clear it from all rubbish (my imperfections) & then build there a vast pavilion fit for heaven & adorn it with her own jewels."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' Yesterday
"Christians must restore their spiritual & moral unity. It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live as Christians. Genuine Christians derive the rule, style, & strength of their life from the Faith."
—Pope Blessed Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Friday, 13 July

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

Friday, 13 July was the Optional Memorial of Saint Henry, Obl.S.B. (circa 972-1024, A.K.A. Holy Roman Emperor Henry II): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Husband of St. Cunigunde of Luxembourg [3 March].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He consolidated his power by cultivating personal & political ties with the Catholic Church. He greatly expanded the Ottonian dynasty's custom of employing clergy as counterweights against secular nobles. Through donations to the Church & the establishment of new dioceses, Henry strengthened imperial rule across the Empire & increased control over ecclesiastical affairs. He stressed service to the Church & promoted monastic reform.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Arno of Würzburg, Bishop & Martyr (died 892, also spelt Arn; A.K.A. Arno von Endsee), martyred by pagan Slavs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Thomas Tunstall, Priest & Martyr (died 1616, A.K.A. Thomas Holmes, Thomas Dyer), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish King James VI & I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Hosea, chapter fourteen, verses two thru ten;
Psalm Fifty-one, verses three & four, eight & nine, twelve & thirteen, & fourteen & seventeen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses sixteen thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will help us when we face persecution. Speaking to his disciples the night before he dies, Jesus says that he and his Father will send another Parakletos (Advocate). That word, stemming from kaleo (to call) and para (for, or on behalf of), designates something like a lawyer, someone who would plead on behalf of another, who would support, advocate, encourage.

Jesus is saying that while he will depart physically from the scene, he and his Father will send the Spirit as a friend. This is the the advocate who will inspire Christians up and down the ages.

When the martyrs went to their deaths, it was with the help of the Holy Spirit; when the missionaries went to proclaim the faith in hostile lands, it was the Holy Spirit who pleaded on their behalf; when Edith Stein went with her Gestapo captors to Auschwitz, she too went with the Holy Spirit. And that same Spirit is with you today, right now.
Video reflection by Paula Trigo-Galan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Henry
The Book of Micah, chapter six, verses six, seven, & eight;
Psalm Forty, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses twenty-one thru twenty-seven.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"The happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy, has a Name & a Face: it is Jesus of Nazareth."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"What peace pours over the soul once it soars above natural feelings."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"The Christian will for peace has its weapons, too. Its principal arms are those of prayer & love: constant prayer to the Father of Heaven; brotherly love among all, since all are children of the same Father."
—Pope Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958, feast day: 9 October)