Monday, September 16, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCCVIII

Operation AXIOM: After the World War
12 September 1919: The Impresa di Fiume ("Endeavor of Fiume")—Gabriele D'Annunzio led a force of Italian veterans, irredentists, & fascists to Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia) & seized the formerly Austro-Hungarian Adriatic port; D'Annunzio claimed Fiume for Italy, rather than see it given to the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, & Slovenes (Yugoslavia), but Rome repudiated him & imposed a blockade.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, & Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs (died 253 & 258, respectively), twenty-first (XXI) Bishop of Rome, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Gallus & Volusianus; & Bishop of Carthage, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Valerian & Gallienus: Martyr-link C-O ūnus, Martyr-link C-O duo, Martyr-link C-O trēs, & Wikipedia-link C-O; Martyr-link C-Y ūnus, Martyr-link C-Y duo, & Wikipedia-link C-Y; Pontiffs-link & Wikipedia-link Pontiff; & Diocese-link Carthage & Wikipedia-link Carthage.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
These are two great third century saints, one a Pope, the other a bishop; one in Rome, the other in North Africa; both are martyrs. They are celebrated together because Bishop Cyprian was an ally of Pope Cornelius.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Ninian, Bishop (circa 360-432, "the Apostle to the Southern Picts;" A.K.A. Ringan, Trynnian), founder of the Candida Casa ("White House"), later called Whithorn Priory: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Casa.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Curcodomus, Abbot, O.S.B. (died circa 680), second (II) abbot of Maroilles Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Edith of Wilton, Religious, O.S.B. (circa 961-986; also spelt Eadgyth, Ediva, Editha; A.K.A. of Barking): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter of St. Wilfrida of Wilton [13 September].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Victor III, Pope, O.S.B. (circa 1026-1087), one hundred fifty-eighth (CLVIII) Bishop of Rome, abbot of the Abbey of Monte Cassino: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontiffs-link & Wikipedia-link Pontiff; & Abbey-link Monte Cassino & Wikipedia-link Abbey.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Tempus per annum
The first Letter to Timothy, chapter two, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Twenty-eight, verses two, seven, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter seven, verses one thru ten.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus is amazed at a Roman centurion’s faith: "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." How often the Bible compels us to meditate on the meaning of faith! We might say that the Scriptures rest upon faith, remain inspired at every turn by the spirit of faith.

Faith is an attitude of trust in the presence of God. Faith is openness to what God will reveal, do, and invite. It should be obvious that, in dealing with the infinite, all-powerful person who is God, we are never in control.

One of the most fundamental statements of faith is this: your life is not about you. You’re not in control. This is not your project. Rather, you are part of God’s great design. To believe this in your bones and act accordingly is to have faith. When we operate out of this transformed vision, amazing things can happen, for we have surrendered to "a power already at work in us that can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine." Even a tiny bit of faith makes an extraordinary difference.
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of Ss. Cornelius & Cyprian
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter four, verses seven thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verses one(b/c) & two(a/b), two(c/d) & three, four & five, & six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Have no enemies. Conquer hostility with the power of love. Cultivate a mentality & practice of nonviolence. Be open to the needy, the poor, the marginalized. May they be the specially invited guests at the table of your lives."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Be faithful in little things, for in them lies our strength."
—St. Teresa of Calcutte (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' the Day!


The Aquabats!, "Hi-Five City!" from Charge!! Special One Year Anniversary Edition (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Commentary:
"Well, now you're on the inside,
Now you're one of us,
Now you're on the inside
Of downtown Hi-Five City tonight!…"
Project MERCATOR
On Friday, my fellow Aqua-Cadet, Alphaman, & I, Captain Thumbs Up, took his children to their first rock concert, The Aquabats! @ the Majestic Theatre in Detroit. The kids needed Aqua-Cadet code names, of course, & named themselves Ninjablade Dragontooth & Cupcake Bat. Ninjablade & Cupcake Bat were unfamiliar with the traditions & etiquette of a rock show, but they quickly adapted & seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly. At the end of the encore, per tradition, The Aquabats! invited all the children in the audience (a great many, especially since many old-school Aqua-Cadets like Alphaman now bring their own children) up onto the stage. Alphaman & I could hardly seem them amidst all the other costumed children, but both Cupcake Bat & Ninjablade high-fived all five current Aquabats: The M.C. Bat Commander, Jimmy the Robot, Crash McLarson, EagleBones Falconhawk (after whom Ninjablade patterned his own code name), & Ricky Fitness.

After the show, a beautiful girl around twenty years-old wearing fascinatingly-patterned green eyeliner approached me & told me that a dozen years hence, she'd seen me in concert & had not accepted the invitation to go up on stage with the rest of the children, & that she regretted that decision. She evidently thought I was Crash McLarson, who like your humble narrator is extravagantly bewhiskered. I apologized for the confusion & gently explained to her that I'm not an Aquabat, I'm not Crash, merely an Aqua-Cadet. Alphaman had seen her coming & surmised her intent; he later apologized to me for not sounding a warning, but 'twas unnecessary from my point of view. I just felt bad for the poor girl.

In the lobby on the way out, I ran into Farr Afield, late of The Loose Ties. Catching up, I related the incident with the girl who thought I was Crash & Farr Afield proffered that I might have lied to spare the girl's feelings. I replied that I simply couldn't lie. She replied, "That's very moral."

Sunday, September 15, 2019

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


Meredith Andrews, "The Gospel Changes Everything" from Behold the Savior (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"The gospel changes everything,
The turning point in history,
Even now it's changing me
From who I was.

"The story of my Savior calls
Me to the wonder of the Cross,
The gospel changes everything
And it is changing me…"

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: Holy Cross-link ūnus, Holy Cross-link duo, Wikipedia-link True Cross, & Wikipedia-link Feast.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True cross by Saint Helena [18 August], the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, & the dedication in 335 of the basilica & shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which marks the site of the Crucifixion. However the feast, more than anything else, is a celebration & commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross & His Resurrection, through which death was defeated & the doors to Heaven opened.
Quoth
Minute Meditations from the Popes:
O Lord, grant me the courage to take up my cross & follow You. Make me understand that it is through the Cross that I learn how to die with You, so that I may also rise with You.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-one, verses four(b) thru nine;
Psalm Seventy-eight, verses one(b/c) & two, thirty-four & thirty-five, thirty-six & thirty-seven, & thirty-eight;
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter two, verses six thru eleven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter three, verses thirteen thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. How strange this feast would have sounded to someone in the ancient world! The triumph of the cross! It would have been analogous to someone speaking today of the triumph of the electric chair or the exaltation of the noose.

The cross terrified people in Greco-Roman times, and that was the point. The cross was state-sponsored terrorism, a form of capital punishment reserved for those who had in the most egregious ways undermined the authority of the Roman state.

So why are we celebrating the triumph of the cross? There is only one possible explanation, and that is the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. All the attempts to soft-pedal and explain away the Resurrection are ruled out by this feast. If Jesus was a victim of that terrible cross
tout court, then we should all go home.

Once they had taken in the experience of the Resurrection, the first Christians turned with rapt attention to the cross, convinced that in it they would find something decisive. Somehow, in the strange providence of God, that cross was ingredient in the very process by which God would save the world.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Cormac of Cashel, Bishop (836-908, A.K.A. Cormac mac Cuilennáin): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Pierre of Tarentaise, Bishop & Abbot, O.Cist. (1102-1174), Bishop of Tarentaise, inaugural (I) abbot of Tamié Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Tamié & Wikipedia-link Tarentaise.

Commentary: Not to be confused with Pope Bl. Innocent V (22 June, A.K.A. Pierre of Tarentaise).

'Tis also the festival of Saint Notburga of Rattenburg (circa 1265-1313, A.K.A. of Tyrol, of Eben): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Louis Gabriel Taurin Dufresse, Bishop & Martyr, M.E.P. (1750-1815, A.K.A. Jean-Gabriel-Taurin Dufresse), martyred in the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, one of the one hundred twenty Martyr Saints of China: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link China.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"On this day when Catholics around the world celebrate the Triumph of the Cross, the Church invites us to look once again at the meaning of Christian discipleship. She invites us to understand the sacrifices it involves & place all our hope in our Crucified & Risen Savior."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"In spite of all our defects, God is in love with us & keeps using us to light the light of love & compassion in the world."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

Saints + Scripture — Please Stand By

Bonus! Songs o' the Day


"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Sports Song" from Mandatory Fun (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: Despite this Saturday being only the third week of the college football season, the valiant Wolverines of Team 140 have a bye this week. This is in fact the first of two bye weeks this season. In the five years since its release, "Sports Song" has become a bye week staple.

More particular to the tire fire that is Michigan football under Coach Jim Harbaugh is today's second B!S.O.T.D.


Fountains of Wayne, "Everything's Ruined" from Fountains of Wayne (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary:
"One false move, suddenly everything's ruined…"

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' the Day!


The Aquabats!, "Aquabat March!" from The Return of the Aquabats! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church (circa 349-407), thirty-seventh (XXXVII) Archbishop of Constantinople, also a Father of the Church: Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Constantinople; Doctors-link & Wikipedia-link Doctors; & Fathers-link & Wikipedia-link Fathers.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He is known for his preaching & public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical & political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, & his ascetic sensibilities.
Wikipedia-link Divine Liturgy

'Tis also the festival of Saint Amatus of Grenoble, Abbot (circa 560-627, also spelt Ame), inaugural (I) abbot of Remiremont Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Abbey-link Remiremont & Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Venerius of Tino, Abbot (circa 560-630, A.K.A. the Hermit): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Amatus of Sion, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 690, also spelt Aimé), Bishop of Sion: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Sion.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Maria Luisa Angelica, Virgin & Abbess, O.S.B. (1799-1847, A.K.A. Gertrude Prosperi): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Tempus per annum
The First Letter to Timothy, chapter one, verses one, two, twelve, thirteen, & fourteen;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one(b), two(a), & five; seven & eight; & eleven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses thirty-nine thru forty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus commands us to stop judging others. He asks, "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?" We are exceptionally good at seeing the fault in others, but we are exceptionally adept at ignoring it in ourselves.

There was a very popular book that came out when I was a teenager. It was called I’m Okay and You’re Okay. It represented the culture of exculpation and feel-good-about-yourself. Not many years ago, Christina Aguilera crooned, "I am beautiful in every single way, and words can’t bring me down." Look at so many of the debates today; the attitude that is winning is one of self-invention and self-assertion. "Who are you to tell me how to behave?"

In all of this, we are fundamentally looking away from our guilt, our fault, our darkness. We are effectively drugging ourselves, dulling the pain of real self-consciousness. In the process, we turn ourselves into God, pretending to be absolute, flawless, and impervious to criticism. So "remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye."
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. John Chrysostom
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter four, verses one thru seven, eleven, twelve, & thirteen;
Psalm Forty, verses two & four, seven & eight(a), eight(b) & nine, ten, & eleven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter four, verses one thru ten & thirteen thru twenty
(or, the Gospel according to Mark, chapter four, verses one thru nine).


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Insist that your priests & those who collaborate with them in the liturgical service make ever more & more progress. Let them enhance the dignity of the celebration, the quality of the readings, & the beauty of the singing."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' the Day!


The Aquabats!, "Showtime!" from The Aquabats! Super Show! Television Soundtrack: Volume One (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Saints + Scripture

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

The Popish Plot
"Door to Door"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary: Madonna-link ūna, Madonna-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3). Its object is to commemorate all the privileges bestowed upon Mary by God & all the graces received through her intercession & mediation.

The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on which the inexpressible love of the Mother of God for her Holy Child is recalled, & the eyes of the faithful are directed to the figure of the Mother of the Redeemer, for them to invoke with devotion.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Juventius of Pavia, Bishop (first century), inaugural (I) Bishop of Pavia: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Pavia & Wikipedia-link Pavia.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Ailbe of Emly, Bishop (died circa 541, A.K.A. Elvis, Eilfyw): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Eanswith, Religious (circa 614-640), foundress of the original Folkestone Priory: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Priory.

Commentary: Grand-daughter of Ss. Æthelberht [24 February] & Bertha of Kent [1 May].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Guy of Anderlecht (circa 950-1012, the "Poor Man of Anderlecht;" also spelt Guido, Guidon; A.K.A. Wye of Láken): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Tempus per annum
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter three, verses twelve thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Fifty, verses one(b) & two, three & four, & five & six;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel today is taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain in Luke. It is one of the more puzzling texts in the New Testament. It speaks of loving our enemies—not tolerating them, or vaguely accepting them, but loving them. When you hate your enemy, you confirm him as your enemy. But when you love him in response to his hatred, you confuse and confound him, taking away the very energy that feeds his hatred.

There is a form of oriental martial arts called aikido. The idea of aikido is to absorb the aggressive energy of your opponent, moving with it, continually frustrating him until he comes to the point of realizing that fighting is useless.

Some have pointed out that there is a great deal of this in Jesus’ strategy of nonviolence and love of the enemy. You creatively absorb the aggression of your opponent, really using it against him, to show him the futility of violence. So when someone insults you, send back a compliment instead of an insult.
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter four, verses four thru seven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses forty-six & forty-seven, forty-eight & forty-nine, fifty & fifty-one, fifty-two & fifty-three, & fifty-four & fifty-five;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses thirty-nine thru forty-seven.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"I look to all of you, brothers & sisters of every state of life—to you, Christian families; to you, the sick & elderly; & to you, young people: Confidently take up the Rosary once again. Rediscover the Rosary in light of Scripture, in harmony with the Liturgy, & in the context of your daily lives. May this appeal of mine not go unheard!"
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Let no one ever come to you without coming away better & happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

Saints + Scripture — Please Stand By

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' Today!


The Aquabats!, "Fight Song!" from The Fury of the Aquabats! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Commentary: "Fight Song!" is instrumental, with fighting sound effects, the perfect song to be played whilst The Aquabats! battle their foes on stage, as happens at every concert.

I still enjoy The Aquabats! as a quintet, but I do miss the days when they were eight (or nine) men. Of the eight Aquabats! on the cover of
Fury, three are still fighting the good fight: the Bat Commander, Jimmy the Robot (then Jaime the Robot), & Crash McLarson.

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' Yesterday!


Mittwoch, 11. September
The Aquabats!, "Giant Robot-Birdhead" from The Aquabats! vs. The Floating Eye of Death! and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 1 (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Saints + Scripture — Please Stand By

Operation AXIOM: 9/11

Eighteen years ago to the day, 11 September 2001, the "day of fire," a nightmare that had been previously unimaginable became stark reality. Since that great & terrible day, life has been both much the same as before & never again been the same.


This morning, one of my kith sent me a very disturbing text message:
There are many people that doubt the story of what happened on 9/11. I find some of their points to be credible in supporting their position. 1) There was no plane found at the crash site in PA. 2) There was no luggage or lage plane parts (like engines) found at the Pentagon. 3) There is video evidence to show successive explosions down one of the World Trade towers as it fell. I'm not interested in unproductive conspiracy theories. I am only looking at the evidence (Mysterious World style) & saying the facts do not support the story. What is your perspective on this?
I replied (proud of my own self-restraint, because I was livid):
Atheists say, "If God is real, why doesn't He make Himself obvious? Appear in the sky in an undeniable way?" In the parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus [Luke, 16:19-31], Christ makes clear that no evidence is sufficient for the ardent skeptic. When Christ comes again @ the end of time, some will still scoff @ Him, before they go off to Perdition.

Don't approach the world through a hermeneutic of skepticism. Conspiracy theories about 9/11 are rampant, because in a world without faith, a world gone mad, conspiracy theories are a way to impose an order on the chaos.

I watched 9/11 live on television. Later, I read the 9/11 Commission's Report.

If you want a Jimmy Akin's Mysterious World-style examination, ask Jimmy Akin. Me, I've had too many encounters with ardently skeptical "Truthers" to tolerate 9/11 doubts or "alternate" theories.
To be clear, I am all in favor of inquiry. I am all in favor of poking & prodding & asking questions, because we've all been deceived by those in authority over us: our parents, public-school teachers, journalists & politicians, & even clergy. But when we embrace skepticism as an absolute, as a default assumption, we are lost. There is a healthy skepticism, so as not to be gullbile, but there is also an unhealthy skepticism, in which nothing is certain & everything is up for grabs. In such a world, the center cannot hold.

In these United States, for the first time in decades, average life expectancy is in decline. Not because the elderly aren't living longer & longer, they still are, but because of rising suicide & drug overdose rates among the young. This sad reality is the bitter fruit of our culture of skepticism. The center cannot hold. In a world wherein there is no truth, wherein no one & nothing can be trusted, despair is the only logical conclusion & self-annihilation—suicide—is a logical response to despair.

We all know what happened on 9/11. Most of us remember 9/11 only too well. Do not allow the merchants of skepticism, the conspiracy theorists who clean themselves up & disguise the crazy glint in their eyes with reasonable-sounding voiceover narration to confuse you, to darken your reason & cloud your heart. We dare not look at the world through the hermeneutic of skepticism or, in the often mocked & unfairly dismissed words, "The terrorists have won."


11 September 2001: 19 jihadist terrorists of al-Qaeda murder 2,977 innocents by hijacking four airliners, three of which were crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City & the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; the fight back began with the passengers & crew of the fourth airliner, leading to that plane's crash in a Pennsylvania field, instead of into the suspect target, the Capitol in Washington, D.C., eighteen years ago today.

The Wayback Machine Tour of 9/11
Patriot Day '18 / Patriot Day '17 / Patriot Day '15 / Patriot Day '13 / Patriot Day '11

Bonus! Song o' Patriot Day
The Abyssinian Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" from The Civil War: Original Soundtrack Recording (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' the Day!


The Aquabats!, "Look at Me, I'm a Winner!" from Charge!! Special One Year Anniversary Edition (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Commentary:
"Four radios blasting classic rock,
And they're pointing at you
With your fist raised high and a hitch in your step,
You got it all, I got no reason to lie!

"Look at me, look at me, look at me,
I'm a winner!
(You're a winner!)
It's just as simple as that!
Don't you agree, don't you agree, don't you agree
That I'm a winner?
(You're a winner!)
You just can't argue with that that!…"

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the festival of Saint Aelia Pulcheria, Virgin (circa 398-453, also spelt Pulqueria; A.K.A. Empress Pulcheria of the Eastern Roman Empire), who sponsored the Council of Ephesus (431, the third ecumenical council) & the Council of Chalcedon (451, the fourth ecumenical council): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Ephesus, Council-link Chalcedon, & Wikipedia-link Chalcedon.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Finnian of Movilla, Bishop & Abbot (circa 495-589, A.K.A. Finbarr), founder of the Movilla Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Frithestan, Bishop (died circa 933, also spelt Frithustan), twenty-second (XXII) Bishop of Winchester: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Winchester & Wikipedia-link Winchester.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, Priest, O.S.A. (circa 1242-1305, "Patron of Holy Souls"): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Two Hundred Five Martyrs of Japan (died 1598-1632) martyred in the reigns of the warlords Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tokugawa Hidetada, & Tokugawa Iemitsu: Martyrs-link Nihon & Wikipedia-link Nihon.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Ambrose Barlow, Priest & Martyr, O.S.B. (1585-1641), martyred in the reign of the Anglo-Scottish king Charles I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Tempus per annum
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter two, verses six thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses one(b) & two, eight & nine, & ten & eleven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses twelve thru nineteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, after Jesus names his twelve Apostles in today’s Gospel, he heals a multitude of people. And that multitude represents us, for we all stand in need of the Savior’s healing touch.

We are made for love and connection and justice and nonviolence, but at every turn and in every way we are twisted in the direction of hatred, separation, injustice, and violence. We are, as St. Augustine put it, wandering in the land of dissimilitude and in the grip of the
libido dominandi. The contemporary philosopher René Girard has reminded us that all of our social arrangements are marked by scapegoating and oppression.

The human race is best characterized as a dysfunctional spiritual family, all of us having been marked from birth by the effects of sin. Sin has found its way into every aspect of human life, personally and institutionally. We would be hopelessly naïve to think otherwise.

And so we need not just a philosopher or social theorist or political activist or military hero, but a Savior, someone who can break into our dysfunction from the outside and heal us.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Christ is our Savior; He is the head of our immense body that is maturing: believing & redeemed humanity: the Church. It is He Who pardons us & enables us to do things greater than ourselves. He is the defender of the poor & the consoler of the suffering."
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 29 May)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCCVII

Operation AXIOM: After the World War—The Paris Peace Conference, Part VI
10 September 1919: The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed—The Austrian delegation had arrived outside of Paris in May, but were excluded from the negotiations & signed only when the Entente issued an ultimatum; the treaty dealt with Austrian Cisleithania, not Hungarian Transleithania; included the League of Nations Covenant; & forbade Austria from any political union with Germany.






Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
"Catholic T-shirt Club Unboxing: St. Gianna Molla"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest, S.J. (circa 1580-1654, the "Slave of the Slaves" & "Apostle of Cartagena"): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He labored unceasingly for the salvation of the African slaves & the abolition of the Negro slave trade. Through his efforts three hundred thousand souls entered the Church. Furthermore, he did not lose sight of his converts when they left the ships, but followed them to the plantations to which they were sent, encouraged them to live as Christians, & prevailed on their masters to treat them humanely.
Quoth
Minute Meditations from the Popes:
O Lord, St. Peter Claver reached out in a truly heroic manner to those who were of a different race & religion from him. May my love be as fruitful & as color blind.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Audomar, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 595-670, also spelt Omer), Bishop of Thérouanne, founder of the Abbey of Saint Bertin, around which arose the town of Saint-Omer: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Thérouanne, Wikipedia-link Abbey, & Wikipedia-link Saint-Omer.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed George Douglas, Priest & Martyr (circa 1540-1587), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyr-link England & Wales & Wikipedia-link England & Wales.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1818-1853, A.K.A. Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam), co-founder of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (S.S.V.P.): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.S.V.P.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Jacques-Désiré Laval, Priest, C.S.Sp. (1803-1864): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Tempus per annum
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter one, verse twenty-four thru chapter two, verse three;
Psalm Sixty-two, verses six & seven, & nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses six thru eleven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today Jesus heals a man with a withered hand. As I’ve said many times before, we tend to domesticate Christ, reducing him to a guru or a teacher, one spiritual guide among many. But this is to do violence to the Gospel, which presents him not simply as teacher but as Savior.

I realize that the culture militates against Christianity at this point, for it steadily teaches the ideology of self-esteem and self-assertion. "I’m okay and you’re okay." "Who are you to tell me how to behave?"

But this sort of thing—whatever value it might have politically or psychologically—is simply inimical to a biblical Christianity. The biblical view is that we have, through the abuse of our freedom, gotten ourselves into an impossible bind. Sin has wrecked us in such a fundamental way that we have become dysfunctional. Until we truly feel what it means to be lost and helpless, we will not appreciate who Jesus is and what he means.

Jesus is someone who has rescued us, saved us, done something that we could never, even in principle, do for ourselves.
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Peter Claver
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-eight, verses six thru eleven;
Psalm One, verses one & two, three, & four & six;
(or, Psalm Forty, verse five[a]);
(or, Psalm Ninety-two, verses thirteen & fourteen);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-five, verses thirty-one thru forty.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Love is characterized by a deep respect for all people, regardless of their race, belief, or whatever makes them different from ourselves. Love responds generously to the needs of the poor, & it is marked by compassion for those in sorrow."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Remember that you have been created for greater things. Never stoop lower than that ideal. Let nothing satisfy you but God."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)

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

Sonntag, 8. September
The Byrds, "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)" from Turn! Turn! Turn! (Mike Papa Whiskey)

The Rebel Black Dot The Aquabats! Song o' the Day!


The Aquabats!, "The Legend Is True!" from Hi-Five Soup! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saints + Scripture — Please Stand By

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: Go Blue!


Ben Folds, "Army" (live) from Ben Folds Live (Mike Papa Wolverine)

Commentary: The management is chagrined over last Saturday's lack of a Michigan football-inspired R.B.D.S.O.T.D., but between the finale of SKAugust & a kinsman's out-of-state wedding there were legitimate mitigating factors.

Fire Harbaugh. Go Blue!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the festival of Saint Onesiphorus, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 60), Bishop of Colophon, later Bishop of Corinth, martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Eleutherius of Spoleto, Abbot (died circa 585): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link (List).

'Tis also the festival of Saint Chagnoald of Laon, Bishop (died 633, also spelt Cagnou), sixth (VI) Bishop of Laon, who attended the First Council of Reims (circa 625): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Laon, Wikipedia-link Laon, & Wikipedia-link Reims.

Commentary: Brother of Ss. Faro of Meaux [28 October] & Burgundofara [3 April].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Magnus of Füssen, Priest & Abbot, O.S.B. (died circa 666, the "Apostle of the Allgäu;" also spelt Mangoald, Mang), founder of Saint Mang's Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Abbey.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Gondulphus of Metz, Bishop (died 823), Bishop of Metz: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Metz & Wikipedia-link Metz.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter one, verses fifteen thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred, verses one(b) & two, three, four, & five;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter five, verses thirty-three thru thirty-nine.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel people ask Jesus why he doesn’t encourage fasting among his followers. Jesus’ answer is wonderful: "Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" (That’s a typically Jewish style, by the way, answering a question with another question.)

This great image of the wedding feast comes up frequently in the New Testament, most obviously in the wedding feast at Cana narrative. And it is echoed in the tradition. Jesus is the wedding of heaven and earth, the marriage of divinity and humanity; he is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride. In him, the most intimate union is achieved between God and the world.

Could you imagine people fasting at a wedding banquet? Could you imagine going into an elegant room with your fellow guests and being served bread and water? It would be ridiculous! The mark of the Christian dispensation is joy. Exuberance. Delight. God and the world have come together. What could be better news?
Video reflection by Monsignor James Vlaun: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"Not infrequently freedom is understood in an anarchic & simply anti-institutional manner & thus becomes an idol. Authentic human freedom can only be the freedom of just reciprocal relations, the freedom of justice; otherwise it becomes a lie & leads to slavery."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"If you want world peace, go home & love your family."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta ("Mother Teresa," 1910-1997; feast day: 5 September)

Saints + Scripture — Please Stand By

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the festival of Saint Hermione of Ephesus, Martyr (died 117), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Daughter of the deacon St. Philip the Evangelist [11 October].

'Tis the festival of Saint Boniface I, Pope (circa 350-422), forty-second (XLII) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontiffs-link & Wikipedia-link Pontiff.

'Tis the festival of Saint Ida of Herzfeld (circa 770-825): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Great-granddaughter of Bl. Charlemagne [28 January].

'Tis the festival of Saint Rosalia, Virgin (circa 1130-1160, "La Santuzza" [the "little saint"]): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Descendant of Bl. Charlemagne [28 January].

'Tis the festival of Saint Rose of Viterbo, Virgin, T.O.S.F. (circa 1233-1251), venerated annually by the procession of the magnificent Macchina di Santa Rosa through the streets of Viterbo: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Machine.

'Tis the festival of Blessed Marie of Saint Cecilia of Rome, Religious, R.J.M. (1897-1929, A.K.A. Dina Bélanger): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter one, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Fifty-two, verses ten & eleven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter four, verses thirty-eight thru forty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel we see Jesus in action. He is always hurrying from place to place, on the go. Today, Luke gives us a sort of “day in the life” of Jesus. And it is quite a day! Our Gospel opens just after the dramatic expulsion of a demon in the Capernaum synagogue. And after entering the house of Simon, Jesus cures Peter’s mother-in-law, and then the entire town comes to his door. He spends the whole evening curing presumably hundreds who were variously afflicted.

In the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, in an attempt to make Jesus more palatable to rationalists and “realists,” theologians put great stress on Jesus’ preaching, especially his ethical teaching.

But this is not the Jesus that Luke presents. Rather, he is a healer—
Soter, rendered in Latin as salvator, which just means “the bearer of the salus” or health. Jesus is portrayed as a healer, a savior. In him, divinity and humanity have come together; in him, the divine life and divine power are breaking through. God’s deepest intentions for his beloved creatures appears—what God plans for us in the kingdom to come is now historically anticipated.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"How consoling it is to know the telephone number of a friend, to know good people who love us, who are always available & never aloof: at any time we can call them & they can call us. This is precisely what the Incarnation of God in Christ says to us: God has written our names & phone numbers in His address book! He is always listening; we do not need money or technology to call Him. Thanks to baptism & confirmation, we are privileged to belong to His family."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"One day a woman came to me & told me that she could never love her husband again. I told her to try & think back to how much she loved him the day of their marriage, as they stood side by side at the altar. For that is the way he really was. What the woman had to do was to see, beneath the distorted image, the real person to whom she committed her life. This is precisely what our Lord does in coming to this earth. Even when men raged & stormed beneath His cross, He saw them as homeless & unhappy children of the Father in heaven. For them He grieved & for them He died. This is the vision our Lord has of humanity."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 326.2 lbs
This weigh-in: 327.4 lbs.
Difference: +1.2 lbs.


Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "The White Stuff" from Off the Deep End (Foxtrot Alpha Tango)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Shirley Walker, "Superman: The Animated Series (Main Title)" from Superman: The Animated Series (Main & End Titles) (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: My name, Michael, could be rendered Micha-El on Krypton, though I think to preserve the pronunciation Mik-El would be better.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Saints + Scripture

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

The Popish Plot
"The Pope's Prayer Intentions for September 2019"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (circa 540-604, A.K.A. Gregory I, the Dialogist), sixty-fourth (LXIV) Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Pontiffs-link & Wikipedia-link Pontiff; & Doctors-link & Wikipedia-link Doctors.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Great-grandson of Pope St. Felix III [1 March], son of St. Silvia of Rome [3 November], & nephew of Ss. Emiliana [5 January] & Trasilla [24 December].

Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. Gregory is also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope.
Wikipedia-link Mission


'Tis also the festival of Saint Phoebe of Rome, Deaconess (first century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Mansuetus of Toul, Bishop (died circa 375, the "Apostle of Lorraine;" also spelt Mansuy), inaugural (I) Bishop of Toul: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Toul & Wikipedia-link Toul.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds John of Perugia & Peter of Sassoferrato, Martyrs (died 1231), martyred in the reign of the Almohad king Idris al-Ma'mun: Martyr-link Juliett, Martyr-link Papa, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Bibiane & Angèle-Marie, Religious & Martyrs (died 1995, A.K.A. Dénise Leclerc & Jeanne Littlejohn), martyred by jihadist Muslims of the Armed Islamic Group, two of the nineteen Martyrs of Algeria: Martyr-link Bravo, Martyr-link Alpha-Mike, & Wikipedia-link (List); Wikipedia-link Algeria.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
The First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter five, verses one thru six, nine, ten, & eleven;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses one, four, & thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter four, verses thirty-one thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus teaches in the synagogue at Capernaum. One of the things that he comes to do is to teach, for at the root of our troubles and our suffering is a powerful clouding of the mind. What is it like to be in the same room with Jesus? “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority.”

“Astonished” is a pretty strong word. But we have to understand the tenor of the time. When a Jewish rabbi would speak, he would reference his teacher—another rabbi—who in turn had learned from another rabbi, and he by another, and so on. Finally, appeal would be made, implicitly or otherwise, to Moses, who had received the word and Commandments of God on Mt. Sinai.

What makes Jesus’ teaching so striking—apart from the content, which is striking enough—is his manner of teaching. He doesn’t appeal to “Rabbi so and so” and finally back to Moses. He teaches on his own authority. The Greek word here is instructive (
exousia), meaning “from his own being.” He moves through his public life, Chesterton said, like a lightning bolt.
Video reflection by Sister Peggy Gorman, R.S.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Gregory the Great
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter four, verses one, two, five, six & seven;
Psalm Ninety-six, verses one & two(a), two(b) & three, seven & eight, & ten;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-two, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Let us at long last place human life itself among those precious assets that deserve our every protection. Doctors & social workers, lawmakers, journalists, & teachers ought to be in conscience bound to call publicly for the legal protection of human life."
—Pope St. John Paul II the Great (1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"It is true that in every single system of authoritarianism fear is the basis of obedience. But because we start with the Person of Christ, the basis of our obedience is not fear, it is love. You cannot love dialectical materialism, but you can love a person. Between our Lord & us there is the bond of love. These two are inseparable. That is why our Lord did not communicate to Peter the power of ruling & governing His Church until Peter told our Lord three times that he loved Him. The power to command in the Church comes only from obedience to Christ. Therefore, the submission that we as Catholics make to the Church is something like the submission that we make to one of our most devoted friends. It is like the obedience of a son to a loving father. We do not feel any distance between our Lord & us. As a pupil becomes more & more attached to his teacher by absorbing more of the truths of the teacher, so too, the more we become more & more united to Christ, the more we love Him & also the more truth we absorb. The more we know our Lord, the more we obey the truth manifested through His Church, & the less we fear. That is why scripture says, 'Perfect love casts out fear.' The more His truth abounds, the more we love Him."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


Cast of St. Trinian's, "Defenders of Anarchy (The St. Trinian's School Song)" from St. Trinian's: Original Soundtrack (Mike Papa Whiskey)

Commentary: This one goes out to the back-to-school set, the last stragglers of whom must be beginning classes now that Labor Day has come & gone.
"Better be scared when we attack,
We're on to you, so watch your back,
Feel the fear, we're maniacs,
St. Trinian's!

"Check out our battle,
A song to terrify,
No one can stand in our way!
We are the best,
So screw the rest,
We do as we damn well please!
Until the end,
St. Trianin's,
Defenders of anarchy!…"

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Explorers' Club, № DCCVI

Operation AXIOM: After the World War—The Red Scare, Part IX
9-13 September 1919: The Boston Police Strike—Amidst post-war inflation, low wages, & dreadful working conditions, Boston's police went on strike; after a night of lawlessness, Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge sent in the State Guard; martial law reigned 'til 21 December; a general strike in solidarity never materialized & all the striking policemen were fired; nine souls were lost.






Lest we forget.