Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCLIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
30 October-4 November 1918: On 31 October, the Armistice of Mudros, signed aboard the British battleship H.M.S. Agamemnon, took effect, ending the war between the Ottoman Empire & the Arabs & the Entente; on 4 November, the Armistice of Villa Giusti took effect, ending the war between the Austro-Hungarian Empire & Italy; of the Central Powers, the German Empire alone continued to fight.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: Allhallowtide

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

The Popish Plot
Wacky Wednesday: "The Catholic Origins of Halloween"

O.K. Catholics
Billy Opinion Land: "Is Halloween Really Pagan?"

'Tis All Hallows' Eve (also spelt Hallowe'en, A.K.A. All Saints' Eve), the vigil of the Solemnity of All Saints: All Hallows' Eve-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 924-994, the "Great Almoner;" A.K.A. of Ratisbon): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Tommaso of Florence, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1370-1447, A.K.A. Tommaso Bellacci): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Alphonsus Rodríguez, Religious, S.J. (1532-1617, also spelt Alonso): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Irene Stefani, Religious, M.C. (1891-1930, "Nyaatha" [meaning "Merciful Mother"]): Blessed-link ūna, Blessed-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter six, verses one thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses ten & eleven, twelve & thirteen(a/b), & thirteen(c/d) & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-two thru thirty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today features a question that people have been asking from time immemorial and that they still ask today: "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" Heaven, hell, salvation, damnation, who will be in and who will be out? We have remained fascinated with these questions for a long time.

Here’s how I would recommend we approach this issue. The doctrine concerning hell is a corollary of two more fundamental truths—namely, that God is love and that we are free. Love (willing the good of the other) is all that God is. He doesn’t go in and out of love; he doesn’t change his mind; he’s not loving to some and not to others. He is indeed like the sun that shines on the good and bad alike, in the words of Jesus.

No act of ours can possibly make him stop loving us. In this regard, he is like the best of parents. However, we are free. We are not God’s marionettes, and hence we can say yes or we can say no to his love. If we turn toward it, we open like a sunflower; if we turn from it, we get burned.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"The person who does not feel indebted to God remains entangled in restless inclination toward self. But to the heart of the truly humble believer the Lord reveals His presence, His sovereignty in saving power, His justice in the infinite greatness of His mercy."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"My frail barque has great difficulty in reaching port. I sighted it long since, & still I find myself afar off. Yet Jesus steers this little barque, & I am sure that on His appointed day it will come safely to the blessed haven of the Carmel."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Christian Quote o' the Day
"A religion without mystery is necessarily a religion without God."
—Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667, feast day:)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Hallowe'en


First Aid Kit, "Wolf" from The Lion's Roar (The Last Angry Wolf Man)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Wednesday, 17 October

The Longest Road Back, Part IX of XIV | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

The Popish Plot
Wordy Wednesday: "Unboxing: The Great Adventure Bible"

Wednesday, 17 October was the festival of Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr (circa 35-107, A.K.A. Ignatius Theophorus, Ignatius Nurono), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Trajan: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was an early Christian writer & bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of the later collection known as the Apostolic Fathers.
Wikipedia-link Letters, Saints-link Fathers, & Wikipedia-link Fathers


'Twas also the festival of Saint John the Dwarf, Priest & Abbot (circa 339-405, A.K.A. John Kolobus): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Nothhelm of Canterbury, Bishop (died 739): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Richard Gwyn, Martyr (circa 1537-1584), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link XL & Wikipedia-link XL.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter five, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm One, verses one & two, three, & four & six;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eleven, verses forty-two thru forty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus says, "Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them."

Some religious leaders get their kicks from burdening people, laying the law on them heavily, making demands that are terrible, exulting in their own moral superiority. At the core of Jesus’ program is a willingness to bear other people’s burdens, to help them carry their loads. And this applies to the moral life as well. If we lay the burden of God’s law on people, we must be willing, at the same time, to help them bear it.

When were you cured by Christ and how? What was it like to receive, through the Church, his healing touch? When did you feel ostracized, despised, unworthy—and how did Christ, through his Church, restore you to health and communion? Remember that moment and share it.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter three, verse seventeen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"In order to continue & grow the Gospel life-style as the early Christians did, you must be united among yourselves & with your bishops. You must persevere in the liturgical & sacramental life & meditate on the truth of the Faith within your heart."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"How happy I am to see myself imperfect & to be in need of God's mercy."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"Jesus is evident."
—Father Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Taco Tuesday: "Día de Muertos"

'Tis the festival of Saint Marcellus the Centurion, Martyr (died circa 298), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Asterius of Amasea, Bishop (circa 350-410): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Gerard of Potenza, Bishop (died 1119, A.K.A. Gerard La Porta): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Benvenuta Bojani, Virgin, T.O.S.D. (1254-1292, of Cividale): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds John Bodey & John Slade, Martyrs (died 1583), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link Juliett Bravo, Martyr-link Juliett Sierra, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter five, verses twenty-one thru thirty-three;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-eight, verses one & two, three, & four & five;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter thirteen, verses eighteen thru twenty-one.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel compares the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed. 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 us to involve ourselves—through freedom, intelligence, creativity—in what he is doing. And so he plants seeds, and he wants us to cultivate them.

"Francis, rebuild my Church." Heck, God could have rebuilt his Church, but he wanted St. Francis to get involved. God could have renewed the spiritual life of Christianity through a great infusion of grace, but he inspired St. Anthony to leave everything behind and go live alone in the desert.

There’s something else. When things start small, they can fly under the radar for a time, while they gain strength and heft and seriousness. And those involved can be tested and tried.
Video reflection by Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, S.T.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"God is so great that He can become small. God is so powerful that He can make Himself vulnerable & come to us as a defenseless child, so that we can love Him."
—Pope Benedict XVI (-, feast day:)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"The smallest actions done for His love are those which charm His Heart."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"A new era is unfolding of faithfulness to the Holy Spirit, of love of the crucified Christ, of dedication to one's brothers & sisters, of the building up of a more human & just society. We do not want to lag behind. Forward, in the Name of the Lord."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

The Rebel Black Dot Hallowe'en Song o' the Day


Robert Lopez, Trey Parker, & Matt Stone, "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" from The Book of Mormon: Original Broadway Cast Recording (The Last Angry Elder)

Saints + Scripture — Monday, 8 October

The Longest Road Back, Part VIII of XIV | Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

Monday, 8 October was the festival of Saint Reparata, Virgin & Martyr (died circa 250), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Decius, a victim of his empire-wide persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Felix of Como, Bishop (died circa 391): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Pelagia the Penitent, Hermitess (floruit fifth century, of Antioch; the "Beardless Hermit," A.K.A. the Harlot, Margarita): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Keyne, Hermitess (floruit fifth century; also spelt Kenya, Ceinwan, etc.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter of St. Brychan Brycheiniog [6 April].

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter one, verses six thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Eleven, verses one(b) & two, seven & eight, & nine & ten(c);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses twenty-five thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel today is one of the best-known of Jesus’ parables, the story of the Good Samaritan. Every story, parable, illustration, and exhortation is, at the end of the day, a picture of the Lord.

In one of the great windows of Chartres Cathedral there is an intertwining of two stories, the account of the fall of mankind and the parable of the Good Samaritan. This reflects a connection that was made by the Church Fathers. The Good Samaritan is a symbol of Jesus, himself, in his role as Savior of the world.

Now our task is to be other Christs. "Which of these three was neighbor to the man who fell in with the robbers?" "The one who treated him with compassion." Jesus says to him, "Go and do the same."

We spend our lives now looking for those people stranded by the road, victimized by sin. We don’t walk by, indifferent to them, but rather we do what Jesus did. Even those who are our natural enemies, even those who frighten us. And we bring the Church’s power to bear, pouring in the oil and wine of compassion, communicating the power of Christ’s cross.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"At the heart of the human family & of the Church the work of assistance to the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, the marginalized, the alienated, is as fruitful as the love that inspires it. It is the living force of Christ's disciples that causes today's observers to repeat, 'See how they love one another.'"
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"The only happiness here below is to strive to be always content with what Jesus gives us."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"Knowledge about God without an awareness of our misery produces vanity. Knowledge of our misery without an awareness of God produces despair. Knowledge of Jesus Christ provides the middle ground, because in Him we find God & our misery."
—Blaise Pascal (1588-1651)

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Hallowe'en Song o' the Day


Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" from Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Love Their Country (The Last Angry Ghost Rider)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
"Why We're Catholic Book Club: Truth & God (Part 1)"


'Tis the festival of Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem, Bishop (circa 99-216): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Abraham Kidunaia, Priest & Hermit (circa 296-366; A.K.A. the Great, of Kidunja): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Colman mac Duagh, Bishop & Abbot (circa 560-632, A.K.A. of Kilmacduagh), founder of the Kilmacduagh Monastery: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Monastery.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Gaetano Errico, Priest (1791-1860), founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Missionaries.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Chiara Badano (1971-1990, "Luce"): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.


Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter four, verse thirty-two thru chapter five, verse eight;
Psalm One, verses one & two, three, & four & six;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter thirteen, verses ten thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel gives us a wonderful story Jesus of performing a miracle, something he still does today. I want to draw your attention to an extraordinary book by Protestant scholar Craig Keener titled Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts. The most surprising section of the book contains his reports of some of the millions of miracles that come, even today, from all over the world.

I’ll relay to you just one case from Keener’s book. Ed Wilkinson’s eight-year-old son was found to have two holes in his heart. Surgery was scheduled and, while he was waiting, Ed prayed, but he was struggling with doubts. When his son asked whether he was going to die, his father was honest with him.

Ed’s pastor decided to hold a prayer service for the boy, during which hundreds gathered to pray for his recovery. The day of the surgery arrived, and Ed was told the surgery would take four to six hours. After about a half hour, the surgeon entered the waiting area, and Ed feared for the worst. Instead, the doctor had inexplicable news: there were no holes in the boy’s heart. They had simply closed up.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Wherever God does not have pride of place,… human dignity is at risk. It is therefore urgent to bring our contemporaries to 'rediscover' the authentic face of God, who revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"My God, by how many different ways you lead souls!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Only Christ's law, only Christ's grace can renew & restore private & public life. He alone can redress the true balance of rights & duties, check unbridled self-interest, control passion, implement & perfect the course of justice with His overflowing charity."
—Pope Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCLII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The German Revolution, Part I
24 October-4 November 1918: The German Maritime Warfare Command (Seekriegsleitung) ordered, on 24 October, the High Seas Fleet to sail for one final, decisive, possibly suicidal battle against the British Grand Fleet; when the order reached Wilhelmshaven on 28-29 October, sailors mutinied; the sortie was cancelled on 30 October, but when the mutiny reached Kiel it sparked a general revolution.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture: XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verses seven, eight, & nine;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verses one & two, two & three, four & five, & six;
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter five, verses one thru six;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses forty-six thru fifty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in the Gospel passage we see Jesus’ mercy toward the blind man as a hallmark of his ministry. Jesus comes as healer, savior, inaugurator of the kingdom. He is the embodiment of hope. Jesus wanted to connect human suffering to the very source of life and health. The energy of God pours through him to the needy.

Now, I realize a question may be forming in your mind: "Well, why doesn’t he simply cure everyone, then?" The answer is obviously wrapped up in the mystery of God’s will, but the important point is this: Jesus is healer in many senses, but ultimately in the sense that he heals us from sin and death, not only physical maladies. What appears historically in Jesus is an eschatological anticipation, a hint and foreshadowing of what is coming in God’s time and in his everlasting kingdom.
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.

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


Mass Journal: Week Forty-four
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Grace is the power of God alive within us. It heals the wounds that our sins have created & helps us to maintain moral balance. Grace helps us to persevere in the pursuit of virtue. It enlightens our minds to see & know which actions will help us become all God has created us to be. Grace inspires us to love what is good & shun what is evil. Grace is not a magical illusion. It is mystical & real.

I come to Confession to reconcile with myself, with God, & with the community. Confession is not just a cleansing experience; it is also a strengthening experience. Confession is an opportunity for you & God to work together to forma-better-version-of-yourself. It also increases our desires for holiness, & that is a desire we should fan will all our energy.


Otherwise, 28 October would be the festival of Saints Simon & Jude, Apostles (floruit first century; the Zealot, the Cananean; A.K.A. Thaddeus): Apostles-link, Apostle-link Sierra & Wikipedia-link Sierra, & Apostle-link Juliett & Wikipedia-link Juliett; Wikipedia-link Apostles.


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Abdias of Babylon, Bishop (floruit first century, also spelt Obadiah), one of the Seventy-two Disciples: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXII.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Godwin of Stavelot, Abbot, O.S.B. (died circa 690): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Eadsige of Canterbury, Bishop, O.S.B. (died 1050, also spelt Eadsin): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"We know that we have no riches other than that which we have received. Therefore, we must dare to question those who are going astray or who are leading others astray on deadend streets of a closed individualism or of an indifference to essential values."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Jesus Christ alone is singularly to be loved, Who alone is found good & faithful above all friends."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Deist Quote o' the Day
"Whereas the life & death of Socrates are the life & death of a wise man, the life & death of Christ are the life & death of a God."
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

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


Matt Maher, "All the People Said Amen" from All the People Said Amen (Live) (The Last Angry Saint)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saints + Scripture: Please Stand By

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: Bye Week


"Weird Al Yankovic, "Sports Song" from Mandatory Fun (The Last Angry Fan)

Commentary: "Sports Song" is a bye week tradition, because it strikes me as simply the perfect song for a weekend when the valiant Wolverines go not take to the gridiron. My two favorite clubs are Michigan & whomever is playing Ohio State; so, last Saturday was a nearly perfect football day: Michigan won, Ohio State lost, & Michigan Agricultural lost. Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Go Blue!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCLI

Operation AXIOM: The World War
24 October-3 November 1918: The Battle of Vittorio Veneto—The Italians marshaled their strength through the fall, despite insistent pleas for offensive action from their Entente allies, then launched a massive offensive, which included an amphibious assault against Trieste & captured 300,000 P.O.W.; the multi-pronged offensive drove the disintegrating Austro-Hungarian Empire to the peace table.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the festival of Saint Tabitha (floruit first century, A.K.A. Dorcas): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Chrysanthus & Daria, Martyrs (died circa 283), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Numerian & Carinus: Martyr-link Charlie, Martyr-link Delta, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Crispin & Crispian, Martyrs (died circa 286), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian: Martyr-link P-I-N, Martyr-link P-I-A-N, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy, Bishop (circa 1455-1492, the "White Martyr of Munster"): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Forty Martyrs of England & Wales (died 1535-1679), martyred in the reigns of the English & Anglo-Scottish monarchs Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, James VI & I, Charles I, & Charles II, & the warlord Oliver Cromwell: Martyrs-link XL & Wikipedia-link XL.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three, verses fourteen thru twenty-one;
Psalm Thirty-three, verses one & two, four & five, eleven & twelve, & eighteen & nineteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses forty-nine thru fifty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the statement of Jesus that we have in the Gospel for today is frightening: "I have come to cast a fire upon the earth; how I wish it were already kindled." He’s throwing fire down, much like the God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Okay, so how do we make sense of all this? I thought the angels on Christmas morning said that he had come as the Prince of Peace? Jesus is the Incarnation of the God who is nothing but love, but this enfleshment takes place in the midst of a fallen, sinful world. Therefore, it will appear as something threatening, strange, off-putting.

The world, on the Biblical reading, is a dysfunctional family. When Jesus comes, he necessarily comes as a breaker of the peace, as a threat to the dysfunctional family. Now we can begin to understand that strange language about setting three against two and two against three.

This is why Jesus wants to cast a consuming fire on the earth. He wants to burn away all that is opposed to God’s desire for us. He has to clear the ground before something new can be built. Is this utterly painful? Yes!
Video reflection by Father Roger Lopez, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Abortion isn't a lesser evil, it's a crime. Taking one life to save another, that's what the Mafia does. It's a crime. It's an absolute evil."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I ask Jesus to draw me into the fire of His love, & to unite me so closely to Himself that He may live and act in me."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"We are not the sum of our weaknesses & failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us & our real capacity to become the image of His Son."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)

The Rebel Black Dot Hallowe'en Song o' the Day


They Might Be Giants, "My Evil Twin" from Apollo 18 (The Last Angry Evil Twin)

Spooky Commentary:
"My evil twin,
Bad weather friend,
He always wants to start
When I want to begin…

"Here he comes again,
My evil twin,
My friends have seen him hiding
Underneath my skin…

"I'd hate to see you leave,
'Cause I have grown so grateful
For the blame you've saved me from…

"I know he looks like me,
Hates work like me,
And walks like me,
He's even got a twin like me.

"My evil twin,
bad weather friend,
I know some day I'll meet him,
But I don't know where or when."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Friday, 28 September

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

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: "Made for Happiness"

Friday, 28 September was the Optional Memorial of Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr (circa 907-935, A.K.A. Duke Wenceslaus I of Bohemia), martyred by his usurper brother Boleslaus the Cruel: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Grandson of the martyr St. Ludmilla [16 September].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The Duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, his younger brother, Boleslaus the Cruel, was complicit in the murder. He is the subject of the well-known "Good King Wenceslaus," a carol for St. Stephen's Day [26 December].
Wikipedia-link Carol


'Twas also the Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence Ruiz & Companions, Martyrs (died 1633-1637, A.K.A. the Sixteen Martyrs of Japan), martyred in the reign of the Japanese warlord Tokugawa Iemitsu: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XVI.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Lawrence Ruiz & his companions shed their blood for Christ in Nagasaki, Japan. These martyrs were members of the Order of St. Dominic. They were nine priests, two religious, two sisters, & three laymen.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Faustus of Riez, Bishop & Abbot (circa 405-495): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Jan of Dukla, Priest, O.F.M. Conv. (1414-1484, Anglicized as John): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Nykyta Budka, Bishop & Martyr (1877-1949), martyred in the reign of the Communist dictator Joseph Stalin: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-four, verses one(b) & two(a/b/c), three & four;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses eighteen thru twenty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the Gospel for today is incomparably rich and mysterious. First, we notice that peculiar question, "Who do people say that I am?" No other religious figure or founder would ask such a question. This is the primordial and peculiar question of the Christian faith. It has to do with Jesus and who he is.

The first group that "responds" is the general public: "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets." A range of opinions—and all of them wrong.

Then that devastating question: "But who do you say that I am?" You who are closest to me, you whom I have chosen. But the disciples don’t speak. Are they afraid? Perhaps. Are they ignorant? Probably.

Finally Simon Peter speaks: "You are the Messiah." You are the
Messhiach, the anointed, the long-awaited Savior, but more to it, as Peter says in other Gospels, you are the Son of God, not just a human hero. This is the mystical faith that stands at the heart of Christianity. This is the standing or falling point. To hold this Petrine faith is to be a Christian; to deny it is not to be a Christian.
Video reflection by Father Praveen Lakkisetti: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Wenceslaus
The First Letter of Peter, chapter three, verses fourteen thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses thirty-four thru thirty-nine.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Lawrence Ruiz & Companions
The Book of Wisdom, chapter three, verses one thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-three.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"There is nothing passive about nonviolence when it is chosen out of love. It has nothing to do with indifference. It has everything to do with actively seeking to resist evil & conquer it with good."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I understand clearly that through love alone can we become pleasing to God, & my sole ambition is to acquire it."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"People do not criticize Christ. They criticize Christians because they do not resemble Him."
—François Mauriac (1914-1996)

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop, C.M.F. (1807-1870), founder of the Claretians, formally the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who participated at the First Vatican Council: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Order-link, Wikipedia-link C.M.F., & Wikipedia-link Council.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a Spanish Roman Catholic archbishop & missionary, & was confessor of Isabella II of Spain. He founded the congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, commonly called the Claretians.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Senoch, Priest & Abbot, O.S.B. (died 576), founder of a monastery around which arose the commune of Saint-Senoch: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Commune.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Luigi Guanella, Priest (1842-1915), founder of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence & the Servants of Charity: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link F.S.M.P. & Wikipedia-link S.C.

Commentary: Brother of Servant of God Caterina Guanella.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Giuseppe Baldo, Priest (1843-1915), founder of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Mary & the Little Daughters of Saint Joseph: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: St. Luigi & Bl. Giuseppe died on the same day, 24 October 1915.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three, verses two thru twelve;
The Book of Isaiah, chapter twelve, verses two & three, four(b/c/d), & five & six;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses thirty-nine thru forty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel we meet a prudent steward who serves his master wisely. I would like to say something about prudence and wisdom. In the Middle Ages, prudence was called “the queen of the virtues,” because it was the virtue that enabled one to do the right thing in a particular situation.

Prudence is a feel for the moral situation, something like the feel that a quarterback has for the playing field. Justice is a wonderful virtue, but without prudence, it is blind and finally useless. One can be as just as possible, but without a feel for the present situation, his justice will do him no good.

Wisdom, unlike prudence, is a sense of the big picture. It is the view from the hilltop. Most of us look at our lives from the standpoint of our own self-interest. But wisdom is the capacity to survey reality from the vantage point of God. Without wisdom, even the most prudent judgment will be erroneous, short-sighted, inadequate.

The combination, therefore, of prudence and wisdom is especially powerful. Someone who is both wise and prudent will have both a sense of the bigger picture and a feel for the particular situation.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-two, verses seven thru ten;
Psalm Ninety-six, verse three;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter one, verses fourteen thru twenty.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"To celebrate Advent means: to become Marian, to enter into that communion with Mary’s ‘Yes,’ which, ever anew, is room for God’s birth, for the ‘fullness of time.’"
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"The Lord has given me the grace never to fear the conflict, to do my duty no matter what the cost."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Among creatures, no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of His mystery better than His Mother."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)

The Rebel Black Dot Hallowe'en Song o' the Day


Planet V, "To Serve Man" from The Aquabats! and Horchata Records Proudly Present Rice Capades Music Sampler, Vol. 1 (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Spooky Commentary: A tongue-in-cheek rumination on the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man," based on Damon Knight's short story, "To Serve Man."

Saints + Scripture — Wednesday, 26 September

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

Wednesday, 26 September was the Optional Memorial of Saints Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs (died circa 303), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, victims of the Great Persecution; two of the Holy Unmercenaries: Martyrs-link, Martyr-link Charlie, Martyr-link Delta, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution & Wikipedia-link Unmercenaries.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Saints Cosmas & Damian were twin brothers born in Arabia. They had three younger brothers; their father died, so their mother Theodotaia raised the five children. Cosmas & Damian saw in every patient a brother or sister in Christ. These martyrs are named in the First Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass & the Litany of the Saints.
'Twas also the festival of Saints Cyprian, Bishop, & Justina, Virgin, Martyrs (died circa 304, of Antioch, of Carthage, of Nicomedia), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, victims of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link Charlie, Martyr-link Juliett, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Paul VI, Pope (1897-1978, A.K.A. Giovanni Battista Montini), two hundred sixty-second (CCLXII) Bishop of Rome, author of the encyclical Humanae vitae: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Encyclical.


Commentary: On Wednesday, 26 September, he was Bl. Paul VI; as of Sunday, 14 October, he is St. Paul VI.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Proverbs, chapter thirty, verses five thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses twenty-nine, seventy-two, eighty-nine, one hundred one, one hundred four, & one hundred sixty-three;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses one thru six.

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

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

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

Equipped with these gifts, you are ready for mission. Having received the fire of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to set the world on fire.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. Cosmas & Damian
The Book of Wisdom, chapter three, verses one thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-three.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Change must be judged not so much for its own sake as for its content, it finality. Is the new of today leading us to a really better Christianity?"
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Be quite sure that God will bless you & that the depths of your sufferings will be matched by the consolation reserved for you."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"Speak about Christ only when you are asked. But live so that people ask about Christ!"
—Paul Claudel (1868-1955)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Hallowe'en Song o' the Day


The Rolling Stones, "Paint It, Black" from Aftermath (The Last Angry Ghoul)

Saints + Scripture — Monday, 24 September

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

Monday, 24 September was the festival of Our Lady of Walsingham (apparition 1061, A.K.A. the Virgin by the Sea): Madonna-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Our Lady of Mercy (apparition 1218, A.K.A. Our Lady of Ransom): Madonna-link, Wikipedia-link Mercy, & Wikipedia-link Ransom.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Anathalon of Milan, Bishop (floruit second century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blesseds William Spenser, Priest, & Robert Hardesty, Martyrs (died 1589), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, two of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Whiskey Sierra & Wikipedia-link Whiskey Sierra, Martyr-link Romeo Hotel; Martyr-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Pacificus of San Severino, Priest, O.F.M. (1653-1721, A.K.A. Carlo Antonio Divini): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Francesco Spoto, Priest & Martyr, M.S.P.T.M. (1924-1964), martyred by Communist Simba rebels: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Book of Proverbs, chapter three, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-four;
Psalm Fifteen, verses two & three(a), three(b/c) & four(a/b), & five;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eight, verses sixteen, seventeen, & eighteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel is the parable of the lamp, which, placed on a lampstand, gives light to all. Light obviously isn’t for itself. Rather, we see things by it. It illuminates things upon which it shines.

We are light by which people around us come to see what is worth seeing. By the very quality and integrity of our lives, we shed light, illumining what is beautiful and revealing what is ugly. The clear implication is that without vibrant Christians the world is a much worse place. Let me illustrate this principle with an example. One of the most painful truths of the last century is that the weakness of Christian witness allows some of the worst elements in society to flourish.

Think of the rise of the evil powers that created World War II. Christianity had become so weak, so uncompelling, so attenuated that great evil was allowed to flourish. Yes, indeed there were a handful of powerful Christian resisters, but let’s face it: the overwhelmingly vast majority of Christians either supported Hitler or remained in silence, out of either fear or indifference.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"We need a docile heart in order to build an exemplary Christian community. We need a spirit that is strong in the Faith in order to proclaim the love of God that conquers sin & saves in Christ Who died & is risen."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Kindness is my only guiding star. In its light, I sail a straight route, I have my motto written on my sail: 'To live in love.'"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Catholic Quote o' That Day
"The worst thing is not to commit crimes but, rather, not to accomplish the good that one could have done. It is the sin of omission, which is nothing other than to be unloving, & no one accuses himself of it."
—Léon Bloy (1846-1917)

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint John of Capistrano, Priest, O.F.M. (1386-1456): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Famous as a preacher, theologian, & inquisitor, he earned himself the nickname "the Soldier Saint" when in 1456 at age seventy he led a crusade against the invading Ottoman Empire at the siege of Belgrade with the Hungarian military commander John Hunyadi.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Ignatius of Constantinople, Bishop & Abbot (circa 798-877, A.K.A. Niketas): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Giovannangelo Porro, Priest & Hermit, O.S.M. (circa 1451-1505): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Arnould Rèche, Religious, F.S.C. (1838-1890, A.K.A. Julian-Nicolas Rèche): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter two, verses twelve thru twenty-two;
Psalm Eighty-five, verses nine(a/b) & ten, eleven & twelve, & thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses thirty-five thru thirty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus urges us to be ready for his second coming. It reminds me of John the Baptist preparing us: "Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path." He is saying that his job is to prepare for the mighty coming of the Lord. A change is coming, a revolution is on the way, a disaster (the destruction of the old) is about to happen. Prepare the way of the Lord.

And what is the manner of preparation? It is a baptism of repentance. Baptism—an immersion in water—reminded first-century Jews of the exodus, passing through the Red Sea, leaving the ways of slavery behind.

And repentance (
metanoia), going beyond the mind that you have. How our minds are conditioned by the fallen world! How our expectations are shaped, stunted by what has gone before. The world of Tiberius and Pilate and Herod and Caiaphas has shaped our imagination. It’s time, John is saying, for a new mind, a new set of eyes, a new kind of expectation. God is about to act!

Be ready!
Video reflection by Father Jack Ledwon: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. John of Capistrano
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter five, verses fourteen thru twenty;
Confer Psalm Sixteen, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses fifty-seven thru sixty-two.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"In prayer, we come to see the stark reality of our own poverty, the absolute need we have for a Savior. We discover in a more profound degree the many ways in which we ourselves are poor & needy, & thus we begin to feel an increasing solidarity with all the poor."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"If I cannot walk in paradise for the glory of Jesus, I prefer to remain in [this] exile."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises toward ever wider horizons!"
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCL

Operation AXIOM: The World War
20 October 1918: The Germans suspended submarine warfare; from June-November 1918, the Entente, principally the Americans (at the urging of Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt), had laid the North Sea Mine Barrage from Norway to the Orkney Islands, which sunk a confirmed four German U-boats (the last on 19 October, S.M. UB-123) & may have sunk four more.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Make-It Monday: "Sugar Skulls"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint John Paul II, Pope (1920-2005, the Great; A.K.A. Karol Józef Wojtyła), two hundred sixty-fourth (CCLXIV) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Catholic Extension 2018 calendar:
He prepared the Church for the Third Millennium. He was the first non-Italian pope in centuries, who, as a young priest & bishop, stood up to the communist regime in Poland. He traveled all over the world to bring the good news of Jesus. He started World Youth Day as he saw in the youth the future of the Church. He miraculously escaped an assassination attempt, & good-naturedly lived his life-limiting illness until his death.
Wikipedia-link World Youth Day

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
John Paul II is recognized as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland & eventually all of Europe. John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, & the Anglican Communion. He upheld the Church's teachings on such matters as artificial contraception & the ordination of women, but also supported the Church's Second Vatican Council & its reforms.
Wikipedia-link Council


'Tis also the festival of Saint Marcus of Jerusalem, Bishop & Martyr (died 156; also spelt Mark, A.K.A. Mahalia), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Mellon, Bishop (died 314; also spelt Mellonius, Mallóni, etc.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Bertharius, Abbot & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 810-883, of Monte Cassino), martyred by Saracens: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter two, verses one thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred, verses one(b) & two, three, four(a/b), & four(c) & five;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses thirteen thru twenty-one

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel Jesus tells of a rich man who has been so successful that he doesn’t have space enough to store his harvest. So he tears down his barns and builds bigger ones. But that very night, he dies—and all of it comes to naught. "Thus it will be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God."

No matter how good, how beautiful a state of affairs is here below, it is destined to pass into non-being. That sunset that I enjoyed last night—that radiantly beautiful display—is now forever gone. It lasted only a while. That beautiful person—attractive, young, full of life, creative, joyful—will eventually age, get sick, break down, and die.

An image that always comes to mind when I think of these things is the gorgeous firework that bursts open like a giant flower and then, in the twinkling of an eye, is gone forever. Everything is haunted by non-being. Everything, finally, is a bubble.

But this is not meant to depress us; it is meant to redirect our attention precisely to the things that are "above," to the eternity of God.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-two, verses seven thru ten;
Psalm Ninety-six, verse three;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses fifteen, sixteen, & seventeen.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"As far as the Christian is concerned, ethical behavior in public life must be restored. However, this must go hand in hand with an awareness of one's identity & of the message of salvation of which one is the humble but diligent witness."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I do not concern myself about what God might be asking of others. Whatever God asks of me always makes me happy."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Young people, have you ever thought of committing your existence totally to Christ? Do you think there can be anything greater than to bring Jesus to people & people to Jesus?"
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)

The Rebel Black Dot Hallowe'en Song o' the Day!


The Aquabats!, "Green Ghost!" from the untitled B-sides collection (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Spooky Commentary:
"My darling, my love, I regret the tragedy of the scene…"

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXLIX

Operation AXIOM: The World War
26 September-27 October 1918: The Capture of Damascus (26 September-1 October), the Pursuit to Haritan (3-27 October), & the Battle of Aleppo (25 October)—Entente forces pursued the retreating Ottomans to & then beyond Damascus, while Prince Faisal's Arab army captured Aleppo; the last remaining Turkish army, under Mustafa Kemal, prepared to defend the Ottoman heartland of Anatolia.






Lest we forget.