Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' New Year's Eve


Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, "Auld Lang Syne" from Auld Lang Syne (Mike Papa Wine)

Saints + Scripture: Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

Welcome to the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord within the Christmastide: Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Christmastide. Merry Christmas!


'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Sylvester I, Pope (died 335), thirty-third (XXXIII) Bishop of Rome (314-335): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, Saint-link trēs, Wikipedia-link, & Wikipedia-link Saint Sylvester's Day; Pontifex-link, & Wikipedia-link Pontifex.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The most important event of his reign was the Council of Nicaea in May 325, which condemned the Alexandrian Christian priest Arius, founder of Arianism, a heretical doctrine teaching that God the Son (Jesus) was neither equal with God the Father nor eternal.
Wikipedia-link Nicaea, Heresy-link Arianism, & Wikipedia-link Arianism


'Tis also the festival of Saints Savinian & Potentian of Sens, Martyrs & Bishops (died circa 390, also spelt Sabinian), first (I) & second (II) Bishops of Sens, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Theodosius I the Great: Martyr-link Sierra, Martyr-link Papa, & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Sens & Wikipedia-link Sens.

'Tis also the festival of Saints Valerius Pinianus, Abbot, & Melania the Younger, Abbess (circa 381-420 & 383-439, A.K.A. Pinian), husband & wife, who took vows of celibacy after the deaths of their children: Saint-link Papa & Wikipedia-link Papa, Saint-link Mike & Wikipedia-link Mike.

Commentary: St. Melania the Younger, granddaughter St. Melania the Elder [8 June].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Wisinto of Kremsmünster, Priest, O.S.B. (died circa 1250): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Jean-François Régis, Priest, S.J. (1597-1640, Anglicized as John Francis Regis): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
The First Letter of John, chapter two, verses eighteen thru twenty-one;
Psalm Ninety-six (R/. eleven[a]), verses one & two, eleven & twelve, & thirteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter one, verses one thru eighteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel comes to its climax with the magnificent phrase: "And the Word became flesh and lived among us."

The gnostic temptation has tugged at the Church, on and off, for nearly the past two thousand years. This is the suggestion, common to all forms of puritanism, that the spiritual is attained through a negation of the material. But authentic Christianity, inspired by this stunning claim of St. John, has consistently held off gnosticism, for it knows that the Word of God took to himself a human nature and thereby elevated all of matter and made it a sacrament of the divine presence.

The Greek phrase behind "lived among us" is literally translated as "tabernacled among us" or "pitched his tent among us." No Jew of John’s time would have missed the wonderful connection implied between Jesus and the temple. According to the book of Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant—the embodiment of Yahweh’s presence—was originally housed in a tent or tabernacle. The evangelist is telling us that now, in the flesh of Jesus, Yahweh has established his definitive tabernacle among us.
Video reflection by Bishop Mitchell Rozanski (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Sylvester I
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-four, verses eleven thru sixteen;
Psalm Twenty-three (R/. one), verses one, two, & three(a); four; five; & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter sixteen, verses thirteen thru nineteen.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Time is precious, it passes quickly. Time is a phase during which we make choices for our decisive & definitive state. Our fidelity to our duties decides our future & eternal fate. Time is a gift from God."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 29 May)
Christian Quote o' the Day
"Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world."
—C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"To have such an adventure as Christmas is to make an adventure recurrent & therefore, in one sense, to make an adventure everlasting."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Bonus! Song o' the 7th Day o' Christmas


Tara Philip & the Holy Redeemer Band, "What Child Is This?" from Christmas Hope (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"Nails and spears shall pierce Him through,
The cross He bore for me, for you,
Hail! Hail! the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

"This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing,
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!…"

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Queue: Xmas Loot Edition

The full title of Christus Vivit! is "Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit! of the Holy Father Francis to Young People & to the Entire People of God." Brevity is the soul of wit; His Holiness Pope Francis is never brief. St. Paul VI's epochal 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae weighs in @ thirty-one paragraphs (31) & shook the world; Christus Vivit! weighs in @ two hundred ninety-nine paragraphs (299) & made hardly a ripple. Coincidence?

The Word on Fire Classics volume Flannery O'Connor Collection is comprised of the short stories "The Peeler" (the germ of the novel Wise Blood), "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," "The Displaced Person," "A Temple of the Holy Ghost," "Good Country People," "Everything That Rises Must Converge," & "Revelation;" the novel The Violent Bear It Away; sixteen letters; & eight essays; & is divided into eight parts, each consisting of a short, two letters, & an essay.

As long as I'm criticizing the length of documents by clerics, I must be fair: Venerable (soon-to-be Blessed) Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ weighs in @ sixty-two chapters (62), over six hundred pages.

Recently
Rhonda Gruenewald, Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry
Christopher Carstens, A Devotional Journey into the Mass: How Mass Can Become a Time of Grace, Nourishment, and Devotion
Matthew Kelly, Rediscover the Saints: Twenty-five Questions That Will Change Your Life

Currently
Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit! (Christ Is Alive!)

Presently
Flannery O'Connor, Flannery O'Connor Collection (Word on Fire Classics)
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ (Word on Fire Classics)
Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, Spiritual Handbook for Catholic Evangelists: How to Win Souls without Losing Your Own

Eventually
I. Edward Sri, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk through Christ's Passion
II. Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
III. Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins, Walking with God: A Journey through the Bible
IV. Trent Horn, Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties
V. Steve Weidenkopf, Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church
VI. Diane Moczar, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again
VII. Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
VIII. Curtis Martin, Making Missionary Disciples
IX. Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors, Why I Love Being Catholic
X. Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
XI. Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
XII. Sam Guzman, The Catholic Gentleman: Living Authentic Manhood Today
XIII. Ulrich L. Lehner, God Is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For
XIV. Xavier Rynne, Vatican Council II
XV. John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
XVI. Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)
XVII. Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity)
XVIII. Rosario Carello, Pope Francis Takes the Bus and Other Unexpected Stories
XIX. Father Mathias D. Thelen, Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization
XX. Jennifer Fulwiler, Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
XXI. Richard Price, Clockers
XXII. Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
XXIII. Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
XXIV. William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
XXV. John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies
XXVI. Chris Stepien, Three Days: The Search for the Boy Messiah

Perpetually
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations

Saints + Scripture: Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

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

Welcome to the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord within the Christmastide: Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Christmastide. Merry Christmas!


Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Sixth Day within the Octave of Christmas
The First Letter of John, chapter two, verses twelve thru seventeen;
Psalm Ninety-six (R/. eleven[a]), verses seven & eight(a), eight(b) & nine, & ten;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter two, verses thirty-six thru forty.

Commentary: Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun (U.S.C.C.B.): Daily Reflection.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"No human riches could offer a fitting setting for the human birth of the eternal Son of God. Only that poverty, that abandonment, that crib, that night at Bethlehem could provide it. It was fitting that He would not find lodging in that town."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love & humility, in a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the 6th Day o' Christmas


The Klezmonauts, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Bonus! Hanukkah Song o' the Day


Barenaked Ladies, "Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah" from Barenaked for the Holidays (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: Hanukkah ends @ sunset.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Saints + Scripture: Feast of the Holy Family

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


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy family as a model for Christian families.
Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, & Joseph
The Book of Sirach, chapter three, verses two thru six, twelve, thirteen, & fourteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-eight (R/. cf. one), verses one & two, three, & four& five;
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter three, verses twelve thru twenty-one
(or, the Letter to the Colossians, chapter three, verses twelve thru seventeen);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter two, verses thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, & nineteen thru twenty-three.

Commentary: Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. (U.S.C.C.B.): Daily Reflection.

Welcome to the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord within the Christmastide: Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Christmastide. Merry Christmas!


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Would it not be beautiful if Christmas were to generate the inner Christ within us: a habit of meditation, a living memory of the great Mystery that we have solemnly commemorated; a persuasion of faith, now acquired & confirmed? We must live our lives in union with Christ's life."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1979, feast day: 29 May)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"On that blessed night the sweet infant Jesus, scarcely an hour old, filled the darkness of my soul with floods of light. By becoming weak & little for love of me, He made me strong & brave."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)

The R.B.D. Song o' the Lord's Day: Holy Family


Matt Maher, "Born on That Day" from The Advent of Christmas (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the 4th Day o' Christmas


Relativity, "Coventry Carol" from Joy to the World (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: Feast of the Holy Innocents

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


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Herod the Great, king of Judea, after his scribes warn[ed] him of the impending birth of the threat to his crown, order the execution of all male children two years old & under in the vicinity of Bethlehem.
Quoth
Minute Meditations from the Popes:
O Lord, today we commemorate the sacrifice of the Holy Innocents. But the innocents are still dying; may I fight with all my might & resources to protect them.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of the Holy Innocents
The First Letter of John, chapter one, verse five thru chapter two, verse two;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four (R/. seven), verses two & three, four & five, & seven(c/d) & eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter two, verses thirteen thru eighteen.

Commentary: Video reflection by Marc DelMonico, Ph.D. (U.S.C.C.B.): Daily Reflection.

Welcome to the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord within the Christmastide: Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Christmastide. Merry Christmas!


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Human life is sacred. From its inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws offend the Divine Majesty & degrade themselves & humanity. They also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"The Teacher of children became Himself a Child among children, that He might instruct the unwise."
—St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church (313-386, feast day: 18 March)

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCCXXVI

Operation AXIOM: Destination Moon—The 51st Anniversary of Apollo 8, Part III
27 December 1968: The unnamed Command Module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean & was recovered by crewmen from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown; Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, & Bill Anders spoke with incumbent U.S. president Lyndon Johnson by telephone, were named Time magazine's Men of the Year, & led the Pledge of Allegiance before Super Bowl III in January 1969.






Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' the Day
Leon Bridges, "Coming Home" from Coming Home (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 14" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: Feast of Saint John the Apostle

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


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was brother to James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. John
The First Letter of John, chapter one, verses one thru four;
Psalm Ninety-seven (R/. twelve), verses one & two, five & six, & eleven & twelve;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses one(a) & two thru eight.

Commentary: Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D. (U.S.C.C.B.): Daily Reflection.


Welcome to the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord within the Christmastide: Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Christmastide. Merry Christmas!


Papal Quote o' the Day
"The measure of our love cannot be found simply in the weak capacity of the human heart. We must love according to the measure of the Heart of Christ. With renewed conviction, proclaim your fidelity to Christ, the Redeemer of humanity."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Open wide your door to the One Who comes. Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart to see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the sweetness of grace. Open your heart & run to meet the Sun of eternal light that illuminates all men."
—St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church (340-397, feast day: 7 December)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"The fun of Christmas is founded on the seriousness of Christmas."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the 3rd Day o' Christmas


Barenaked Ladies, "I Saw Three Ships" from Barenaked for the Holidays (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' the Day: Apollo 8

William Shatner featuring Ritchie Blackmore & Candice Night, "Space Oddity" from Seeking Major Tom (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 13" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: Feast of Saint Stephen

The Popish Plot
"Stoned-until-Cold St. Stephen Dances"

Commentary: Our dancing St. Stephen, one of our three wee saints, is called "Stoned-until-Cold" because it's a modified Stone Cold Steve Austin action figure.

'Tis the Feast of Saint Stephen, the First Martyr (circa 5-34): Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, Martyr-link Aleteia, Wikipedia-link, & Wikipedia-link Saint Stephen's Day.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
One of the first ordained deacons of the Church & was also the first Christian martyr.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. Stephen
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter six, verses eight, nine, & ten & chapter seven, verses fifty-four thru fifty-nine;
Psalm Thirty-one (R/. six), verses three(c/d) & four, six & eight(a/b), & sixteen(b/c) & seventeen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus predicts the coming persecution of his disciples. And we can see his prophetic word realized through the ages.

Think of St. Peter himself, crucified upside down in the circus of Nero; of Felicity and Perpetua, thrown to wild animals because they wouldn’t deny their faith; of Thomas More, who resisted King Henry VIII and paid for it with his head; of Paul Miki, the Japanese Jesuit, who was crucified for announcing the Christian faith; of Padre Pro, who was shot to death for defying a repressive Mexican government, shouting as he was shot,
"Viva, el Cristo Rey!"; of Franz Jägerstätter and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whom the Nazi regime put to death; of Maximilian Kolbe, who died at Auschwitz, willingly taking the place of another man. And the list goes on and on.

Indeed, the martyrs have come from all corners of the world, and they have spoken Greek, Latin, French, German, English, Japanese, Polish, and many other languages besides. Friends, this, strangely, is the army that undermines the foundations of the fallen world through the centuries. This is the great fighting force that Jesus has unleashed and continues to unleash.
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

Video reflection by Father Ryan Mann (uCatholic): Christmas Reflection.



Welcome to the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord within the Christmastide: Wikipedia-link Octave & Wikipedia-link Christmastide. Merry Christmas!


'Tis also the festival of Saint Dionysius, Pope (died 268), twenty-fifth (XXV) Bishop of Rome (259-268): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontifex-link, & Wikipedia-link Pontifex.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Archelaus of Mesopotamia, Bishop (died circa 280), Bishop of Carrhae: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Zosimus, Pope (died 418), forty-first (XLI) Bishop of Rome (417-418): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontifex-link, & Wikipedia-link Pontifex.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Tathan, Abbot (fifth-sixth centuries; also spelt Tatheus, Tathai, Tathyw, etc.), founder of the monastery at Caerwent: Saint-link, Wikipedia-link Tathan, & Wikipedia-link Tathyw; Wikipedia-link Caerwent.

Commentary: Nephew of St. Samson of Dol [28 July].

Papal Quote o' the Day
"O sweet & gentle Infant of Bethlehem, grant us the gift of sharing with our whole soul in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into other's hearts the peace that at times they seek so openly & that You alone can give them."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin, needy in the manger of the sheep, & homeless on the wood of the cross. Nothing so humbles the proud sinner as the humility of Jesus Christ's humanity."
—St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church (1195-1231, feast day:)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"The absolute once ruled the universe from a cattle stall."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the 2nd Day o' Christmas


The Klezmonauts, "Good King Wenceslaus" from Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: A grouse: No snow lays roundabout today, not deep nor crisp nor even. The afternoon high is projected to top fifty degrees Fahrenheit (>50º F). *grumble grumble*
"Good King Wenceslas looked out
on the feast of Stephen,
when the snow lay round about,
deep and crisp and even…"

Bonus! Song o' the Day

The Interrupters featuring Rancid, "Got Each Other" from Fight to the Good Fight (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"If you are alone tonight,
You can come with us,
If you don't have friends or family
Or people that you trust,
We will be your confidants,
Your sisters and your brothers—

"We don't have much, but we got each other!
We don't have much, but we got each other!…"

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' the Day: Apollo 8

Ian Whitcomb, "Moonstruck" from Titanic: Music as Head on the Fateful Voyage (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 11" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"Please be informed there is a Santa Claus."

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Christmas Day


Nate King Cole, "Joy to the World" from Christmas with Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, & Dean Martin (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: The Nativity of the Lord

The Popish Plot
"It Is Christmas, for Christ's Sake"

'Tis the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Nativity-link ūnus, Nativity-link duo, Nativity-link trēs, Wikipedia-link Nativity, & Wikipedia-link Christmas.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. "Advent of Hope" reflection (Array of Hope):
Christ is born! Let us rejoice in the wonder of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior! He has come to share in our human existence. He comes to us this Christmas day in the most intimate and real way. He comes because He loves us. We are no longer alone, no longer walk in darkness, but have a Savior who is always with us. His love for us is infinite. It enters into our brokenness, suffering, and poverty to wipe away all our troubles and fill our heart with peace and hope. Do not doubt His love for you, but allow it to bring comfort to your heart.

Let us rejoice!

The joy of Christmas is not something we celebrate only once a year; it can be experienced every single day of our lives! Through the Holy Spirit, the Sacraments, and our loved ones, we can experience the birth of Christ within us each day. Our Advent preparations are meant to change us. His love within us will continue to transform and renew us. Reflect on how you have grown this Advent. Whether you successfully did all you wanted to do or not, apply your Advent practices to your daily life so that you may continue to grow in virtue and become the Saint you were created to be. May the peace of God enter your heart and ignite ignite it with the love of Christ.

Merry Christmas!
Video reflection by Father Joseph Mary Wolfe, M.F.V.A. & Michael Warsaw (Eternal Word Television Network): Merry Christmas!


Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Vigil
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-two, verses one thru five;
Psalm Eighty-nine (R/. two[a]), verses four & five, sixteen & seventeen, & twenty-seven & twenty-nine;
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses sixteen, seventeen, & twenty-two thru twenty-five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter one, verses one thru twenty-five
(or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-five).

Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Night
The Book of Isaiah, chapter nine, verses one thru six;
Psalm Ninety-six, verses one & two, two & three, eleven & twelve, & thirteen
(R/. the Gospel according to Luke, chapter two, verse eleven);
The Letter to Titus, chapter two, verses eleven thru fourteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter two, verses one thru fourteen.

Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Dawn
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-two, verses eleven & twelve;
Psalm Ninety-seven, verses one & six, eleven & twelve
(R/. "A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us");
The Letter to Titus, chapter three, verses four thru seven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter two, verses fifteen thru twenty.

Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Day
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-two, verses seven thru ten;
Psalm Ninety-eight (R/. three[c]), verses one, two & three, three & four, & five & six;
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter one, verses one thru six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter one, verses one thru eighteen
(or, the Gospel according to John, chapter one, verses one thru five & nine thru fourteen).


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for Christmas day is the Prologue to the Gospel of John. In many ways, it is the entire Gospel, indeed the entire Bible, in miniature.

Let’s turn to the central passage: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." The word used in Greek here for "dwelt" is
Eskenosen, which means literally, "pitched his tent among us." Don’t read that in a folksy way. It is meant to call to mind the tabernacle of the temple.

The Word becoming flesh is God coming to dwell definitively in his world, undoing the effects of sin, and turning it into what it was always meant to be. Notice, too, what we see in the wake of this tabernacling: "And we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth."

So John is telling us that Jesus is the new Eden, the new temple, the restored creation, the realization of God’s intention for the world. And our purpose is not simply to gaze on this fact with wonder, but rather to enter into its power: "From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

Reflect: Spend some time in quiet praise and thanksgiving today for the greatest gift of all times: the incarnate Son of God!
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D. (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops): Daily Reflection.

Video reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire): "On Christmas and the Prologue of John."


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Look upon the Baby born in Bethlehem Who is beside His Mother Mary. Draw near to Him, prostrate yourselves to adore Him, & offer Him the gifts that you bear in your heart."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"[Baby] Jesus pressed His head against my heart & gave me to know, by His profound gaze, how good He found it to be next to my heart."
—St. Maria Faustyna of the Blessed Sacrament, Diary § 1442 (1905-1938)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate—
Where the thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late;
As men dive for a sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star that has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCCXXV

Operation AXIOM: Destination Moon—The 51st Anniversary of Apollo 8, Part II
24 December 1968: Borman, Lovell, & Anders orbited the Moon ten times over the course of twenty hours, describing the Lunar surface & photographing potential landing sites in the Mare Tranquillitatis for subsequent Apollo missions; Anders took the famous Earthrise photograph, & the trio read part of the biblical Creation account to the live television audience, a peaceful end to a tumultuous 1968.





Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' the Day
Susan Egan, "Peace on Earth/God Bless Us Everyone" from Winter Tracks (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 9" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: The famous reading of the Book of Genesis, chapter one, verses one thru ten.

Saints + Scripture: Adventus | Christmas Eve

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

'Tis the Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent: Advent-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis the festival of Saint Gregory of Spoleto, Priest & Martyr (died circa 304), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Persecutions-link & Wikipedia-link Great Persecution.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Delphinus of Bordeaux, Bishop (died circa 404), Bishop of Bordeaux (380-404), a foe of the Priscillianist heresy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link (List); Wikipedia-link Bordeaux, & Heresy-link Priscillianism & Wikipedia-link Priscillianism.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Trasilla, Virgin (sixth century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Sister of St. Emiliana [5 January], descendants of Pope St. Felix III [1 March].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Irmina of Oeren, Abbess, O.S.B. (died circa 710, A.K.A. of Trier), second (II) abbess of Saint Mary's Convent at Oeren, donor of the land for the Abbey of Echternach: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Abbey-link Echternach & Wikipedia-link Echternach.

Commentary: Daughter of St. Dagobert [23 December]; sister, or possibly mother, of St. Adela of Pfalzel [see: below]; & possibly great-great grandmother of Bl. Charlemagne [28 January].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Adela of Pfalzel, Abbess, O.S.B. (died 735), foundress & second (II) abbess of the Convent of Palatiolum: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter, or possibly granddaughter, of St. Dagobert [23 December] & sister, or possibly daughter, of St. Irmina of Oeren [see: above].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Hanno of Worms, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (died 978), ninth (IX) Bishop of Worms (950-978), abbot of the Monastery of Saint Mauritius at Magdeburg: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link (List).

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
The Second Book of Samuel, chapter seven, verses one thru five, eight(b) thru twelve, fourteen(a), & sixteen;
Psalm Eighty-nine (R/. two), verses two & three, four & five, & twenty-seven & twenty-nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses sixty-seven thru seventy-nine.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel the Canticle of Zechariah declares how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament’s expectations of salvation.

Once we grasp that Jesus was no ordinary teacher and healer, but Yahweh moving among his people, we can begin to understand his words and actions more clearly. If we survey the texts of the Old Testament—and the first Christians relentlessly read Jesus in light of these writings—we see that Yahweh was expected to do four great things: he would gather the scattered tribes of Israel; he would cleanse the holy temple in Jerusalem; he would definitively deal with the enemies of the nation; and finally, he would reign as Lord of the world.

The eschatological hope expressed especially in the prophets and the Psalms was that through these actions, Yahweh would purify Israel, and through the purified Israel bring salvation to all. What startled the first followers of Jesus is that he accomplished these four tasks, but in the most unexpected way.

Reflect: To more fully understand who Jesus is, Christians also have to "read" him through the lens of the Old Testament. What insights does the Canticle of Zechariah provide and what do those insights mean to you?
Video reflection by Bishop Mitchell Rozanski: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"Advent of Hope" reflection (Array of Hope):
This song of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, is the epitome of what it means to know Jesus is our hope. Zechariah’s hymn summarizes our experience this Advent. In recounting God’s promise of the Messiah throughout the centuries, Zechariah reminds us of the ways we have worked to put our hope into action this Advent. It was hard work!

So too was it hard work for the Jews to continue hoping for the Savior, who was foretold from the time of Adam and Eve, promised to Abraham, and whom the prophets constantly proclaimed. But God was faithful. He gave the Messiah He promised. God is always faithful. Jesus is the Father’s compassion incarnate, the fount of God’s endless mercy, and the freedom from anything that binds. This is what the past weeks of Advent have been all about; focusing on cultivating hope and hoping in God’s love for us and His promise of everlasting life.

Tomorrow Christ comes, let us rejoice! Even if your Christmas preparation has been overcome with the busy-ness of the season, you can still prepare yourself by rejoicing. The Father loves you so much that He will let nothing keep you from eternal happiness with Him. Jesus Christ cares for you so much that He became a man to to save us and to teach us how to live. The Holy Spirit delights in you so much that He dwells in you to help you along your way to Heaven. Rejoice, O child of God! The Messiah has come to guide our feet into the Way of Peace!
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Setting up the Christmas crèche in our homes helps us to relive the history of what took place in Bethlehem. Naturally, the Gospels remain our source for understanding & reflecting on that event. At the same time, its portrayal in the crèche helps us to imagine the scene. It touches our hearts & makes us enter into salvation history as contemporaries of an event that is living & real."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Tomorow, no tonight, we shall contemplate Him, meek & mild, a child like any other 'born of woman.' We shall be invited to admire & recognize Him, just as the shepherds once did. He will bestow 'grace & peace' on 'all God's beloved who are called to be Saints.'"
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Here is a light, now let the candles flare,
Show to all travelers that the Child is here.
Come, take it so, see how the lantern bright
Bids all poor stragglers welcome here tonight."
—Frances Chesterton (1869-1938)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Christmas Eve


The Puppini Sisters, "O Holy Night" from Christmas with the Puppini Sisters (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Bonus! Christmas Song o' the Day


Nat King Cole, "Caroling, Caroling" from Christmas with Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, & Dean Martin (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: Of course, there is no snow this year, with overnight lows above freezing & daytime highs in the fifties Fahrenheit. *grumble grumble*

Monday, December 23, 2019

Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' Today: Apollo 8

Montag, 23. Dezember
They Might Be Giants, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)" from Here Comes Science (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 5" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' Yesterday: Apollo 8

Sonntag, 22. Dezember
They Might Be Giants, "Space Suit" from Apollo 18 (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 2" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: Adventus

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

'Tis the Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent: Advent-link & Wikipedia-link.


'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint John of Kanty, Priest (1390-1473, also spelt John Cantius): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Polish priest, scholastic, philosopher, physicist, & theologian. John spent many hours copying manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures, theological tracts, & other scholarly works.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Dagobert, Martyr (circa 650-679, King Dagobert II of Austrasia), martyred by his godson John: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Frithbert of Hexham, Bishop (died 766, also spelt Frithubeorht), eighth (VIII) Bishop of Hexham (734-766): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Hexham & Wikipedia-link Hexham.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Hartmann of Brixen, Bishop (circa 1090-1164), Bishop of Brixen (1140-1164): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Brixen.

'Tis also the festival of Saint John Stone, Religious & Martyr, O.S.A. (died circa 1539), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Dissolution of the Monasteries, Martyrs-link England & Wales, & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Anthony of Saint Ann, Priest, O.F.M. (1739-1822, "Frei Galvão," A.K.A. Antônio Galvão de Franca), co-founder of the monastery of Our Lady of the Conception of Divine Providence: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
The Book of Malachi, chapter three, verses one thru four, twenty-three, & twenty-four;
Psalm Twenty-five, verses four & five(a/b), eight & nine, & ten & fourteen
(R/. the Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-one, verse twenty-eight);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses fifty-seven thru sixty-six.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel tells the story of the birth and naming of John the Baptist. John’s father Zechariah had been rendered speechless after his vision in the sanctuary, but we hear that "his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God." What follows this passage is the wonderful Canticle of Zechariah, which puts Jesus and John in the context of the great story of Israel. I would like to explore two lines of that great prayer today.

The God of Israel, Zechariah prays, "has visited and brought redemption to his people." This is what God always wants to do. He hates the fact that we’ve become enslaved by sin and fear, and accordingly, he wants to liberate us. The central event of the Old Testament is an event of liberation from slavery. We are, as sinners, enslaved to our pride, our envy, our anger, our appetites, our greed, our lust—all of which wrap us up and keep us from being the people that we want to be.

Zechariah continues: "He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant." God will effect this liberation through the instrumentation of a mighty Savior. This should be read against the background of Israel’s long history of military struggle against its enemies. A great warrior has come, and he is from the house of Israel’s greatest soldier, David. God had promised that he would put a descendant of David on the throne of Israel for all eternity, and Zechariah is prophesying that this will take place.

Reflect: How are you "enslaved"? What do you have to do to become free?
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"Advent of Hope" reflection (Array of Hope):
The story of John’s birth reminds us of the importance of names. In Jewish culture, a name is thought to express the identity of a person and often a child is named after a holy or significant relative in the hopes that the child will share in their good qualities. Whereas those gathered wanted to name the child after his father, Zechariah, Elizabeth insisted that he be given the name announced by the angel, because what a person is called matters and obviously God wanted her child to be named John, which in Hebrew is Yochanan, meaning “God is gracious.”

Among all of the titles given to Jesus, “Emmanuel” comes from the Hebrew root 'Immanu'el meaning "God is with us" and Emmanuel is a reminder that God has truly entered into our human experience. No other faith tradition has a God who is both fully divine AND fully human. Jesus has two natures - one human (body and soul) and one divine - in one Divine Person (this is known as the hypostatic union).

Today’s
O antiphon implores, "O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God", but rather than clothing himself in regal attire, this King reaches down into our human experience and clothes himself with our poverty, weakness, hunger, tiredness, and suffering. Here is a God who knows our pain from the inside because He has experienced it. Spend time in prayer today and confidently approach the humble crib of Christ, wrapped in poverty, for He has come to save us as our Emmanuel, our “God-with-us”!
Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. John of Kanty
The Letter of James, chapter two, verses fourteen thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Twelve (R/. one; or, "Alleluia"), verses one(b/c) & two, three & four, five & seven, six & eight, & nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-eight.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"All of us must be believers in peace, for ourselves & for the world, the peace that begins in our own hearts when we renounce hatred & evil & seek to overcome evil with good. When it comes to peace we must be true believers; we must not lose hope in the message of Christmas."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"A Jewish scholar who became a Christian & who knew the Old Testament very well & all of the tradition of the Jews, said that at the time of Christ the rabbis had gathered together four hundred fifty-six prophecies concerning the Messiah, the Christ, the conqueror of evil who was to be born & to enter into a new covenant with mankind. Suppose the chances of any one prophecy being fulfilled by accident, say the place where he would be born, was one in a hundred. Then, if two prophecies were fulfilled, the chances would be one in a thousand. If three prophecies were to coincide in Christ, that would be one in ten thousand. If four, one in a hundred thousand. If five, one in a million. Now if all of these prophecies were fulfilled in Christ, what would be the chance of them all concurring at the appointed moment, not only in place but also in time, as was foretold by the prophet Daniel? Take a pencil & write on a sheet of paper the numeral 1, & draw a line beneath it. Under the line write 84, & after 84, if you have time, write one hundred twenty-six zeros. That is the chance of all of the prophecies of Christ being fulfilled. It runs into millions & millions, trillions & trillions."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"The best festivals of all are those held in the heart of fog or snow, like Christmas Day."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Saints + Scripture: Adventus — Please Stand By

The Rebel Black Dot Festivus Song o' the Day


They Might Be Giants, "Santa's Beard" from Then: The Earlier Years (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: A perfect Festivus song, since the protagonist is airing grievances against his wife, his Santa-costumed friend, & their home-wrecking dalliance.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Bonus! Christmas Song o' the Day


The Klezmonauts, "Jingle Bells" from Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Bonus! Hanukkah Song o' the Day


Barenaked Ladies, "Hanukkah Blessings" from Barenaked for the Holidays (Mike Papa Whiskey)

The R.B.D. Song o' the Lord's Day: IV Adventus


Matt Maher, "Love Came Down to Bethlehem" from The Advent of Christmas (St. Mike Papa Whiskey)

Saints + Scripture: IV Sunday of Advent

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

'Tis the Fourth Sunday of Advent: Advent-link & Wikipedia-link Advent.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Fourth Sunday of Advent
The Book of Isaiah, chapter seven, verses ten thru fourteen;
Psalm Twenty-four (R/. seven[c] & ten[b]), verses one & two, three & four, & five & six;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter one, verses one thru seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-four.


Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, the Gospel for today presents Matthew’s version of the Incarnation.

The central claim of Christianity—still startling after two thousand years—is that God became human. The creator of the cosmos, who transcends any definition or concept, took to himself a nature like ours, becoming one of us. Christianity asserts that the infinite and the finite met, that the eternal and the temporal embraced, that the fashioner of the galaxies and planets became a baby too weak even to raise his head.

And to make the humor even more pointed, this incarnation of God was first made manifest not in Rome, Athens, or Babylon, not in a great cultural or political capital, but in Bethlehem of Judea, a tiny outpost in the corner of the Roman Empire.

One might laugh derisively at this joke—as many have over the centuries—but, as G.K. Chesterton observed, the heart of even the most skeptical person is changed simply for having heard this message. Christian believers up and down the years are those who have laughed with delight at this sacred joke and have never tired of hearing it repeated.

Reflect: Reflect on the nature of God’s love–that he would stoop down to become one of his creatures and be born into poverty and obscurity.
Video reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire): Advent: Dreaming Big.

Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reflection from Father Joseph Mary Wolfe, M.F.V.A. (Eternal Word Television Network):
Who is this One we have awaited?

He is the Son of God, the Word made flesh, who has come to teach us and to save us through his Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension.

The Preface at Mass lyrically says:

“For all the oracles of the prophets foretold him,
the Virgin Mother longed for him
with love beyond all telling,
John the Baptist sang of his coming,
and proclaimed his presence when he came.

It is by his gift that already we rejoice
at the mystery of his Nativity,
so that he may find us watchful at prayer
and exultant in his praise.”

Let us pray for each other as we await, with love and longing, the birth of our Savior―Emmanuel – “God with us.”
Video reflection by Tim Hanley (Array of Hope): Advent of Hope 2019.

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




Otherwise, 22 December would be the festival of Saint Flavian of Acquapendente, Martyr (died 362), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List).

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Husband of St. Dafrosa of Acquapendente [4 January] & father of Ss. Bibiana [2 December] & Demetria [21 June], martyrs all.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Abbán of New Ross, Abbot (died circa 520; also spelt Eibbán, Moabba; A.K.A. of Magheranoidhe, Abbán moccu Corbmaic), founder of numerous churches & monasteries, including New Ross & that at which the Nurney Cross was erected: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link New Ross & Wikipedia-link Nurney Cross.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Hunger of Utrecht, Bishop (died 866, A.K.A. Hungerus Frisus), thirteenth (XIII) Bishop of Utrecht (854-866): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Utrecht & Wikipedia-link Utrecht.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Amaswinthus of Málaga, Abbot (died 892, A.K.A. of Silva), abbot of the monastery at at Silva de Málaga (850-892): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link (List).

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg, Abbess, O.S.B. (1091-1136, A.K.A. of Sponheim), abbess of Disibodenberg Abbey (1116-1136): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Disibodenberg.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Jacopone of Todi, Religious, O.F.M. (circa 1230-1306, A.K.A. Jacopo dei Benedetti): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Thomas Holland, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1600-1642, A.K.A. Thomas Sanderson, Thomas Hammond), martyred under the auspices of the Roundhead Parliament: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"With the coming of the birthday of the Redeemer, the Church brings us to the stable of Bethlehem & there teach that we must be born again & undergo a complete reformation. That will only happen when we are intimately & vitally united to the Word of God made Man."
—Pope Ven. Pius XII (1876-1958, reigned 1939-1958)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"When our Lord comes, it will not be just to judge the one circumscribed area of the earth in which He labored & revealed Himself. It will be to reveal Himself & to judge all nations & all empires. When that time is, nobody knows. He refuses to tell us. He only says that it will be sudden, like a flash of lightning. He, the Savior, is the judge. What a beautiful way to have a judgment. Can you imagine any earthly judge saying to a criminal before him: 'You were guilty, I am going to take all of your sins & crimes upon myself. I will suffer for you.' What a judge he would be? But our blessed Lord took upon Himself all of our sin as we stood before the bar of divine justice, & He who suffered for us will come to judge us. What a judgment it will be when we will see One Who loved us so much."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)
Chesterton Quote o' the Day
"Our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star."
—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Saints + Scripture: IV Sunday of Advent — Stand By

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCCXXIV

Operation AXIOM: Destination Moon—The 51st Anniversary of Apollo 8, Part I
21 December 1968: Apollo 8 lifted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, carrying Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, & Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders aboard a Command & Service Module atop a Saturn V rocket; the night before liftoff, the trio were visited by Brigadier & Mrs. Charles Lindburgh; Apollo 8 was the first human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit.





Commentary: The Apollo program was the subject of a multi-part "Explorers' Club" series some years hence, but with the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11 this past summer, I decided to revisit that epochal mission with a three-part series, detailing the launch, the first Moonwalk, & the safe return of the three heroic astronauts. When the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 12 rolled around this fall, I decided to similarly fête each of the subsequent missions. I then kicked myself for having overlooked the fiftieth anniversaries of Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9, & Apollo 10. Mea culpa. We shall be observing the fifty-plus-th anniversary of each mission as it rolls around.


Bonus! Moonshot Songs o' the Day
The Phenomenauts, "Rocket Roll" from Re-Entry (Mike Papa Whiskey)

&

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, "Apollo 8 Excerpt 1" from The Apollo Missions (Mike Papa Whiskey)