Sunday, June 17, 2018

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

Matt Maher, "Land of My Father" from Saints and Sinners (The Last Angry Man)

24 HEURES DU MANS | +0:52:00

Congratulations to Toyota on their victories, both overall & in L.M. P.1! Congratulations to G-Drive (Oreca-Gibson) for their victory in L.M. P.2! Congratulations to Porsche for their victory in G.T.E. Pro! Congratulations to Dempsey-Proton (Porsche) for their victory in G.T.E. Am!

I'm not off to church, to sing at Mass even though I haven't had a wink of sleep. Whee!

Bonus! Song o' the Last 24 Hours


Cake, "The Distance" from Fashion Nugget (The Last Angry Homme)

Commentary: Diane Kruger is already one of the most beautiful women in the world, but in a racing suit her allure reaches preposterous heights. The above photo is a promotional still for the 2003 film Michel Vaillant, in which Kruger played driver Julie Wood, based on the long-running & much beloved French comic book series. The film shot its racing scenes at the 2002 24 Heures du Mans.
"…The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can…
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

"He's going the distance,
He's going for speed,
She's alone (all alone),
All alone in her time of need,
Because he's racing and pacing and plotting a course,
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse,
He's going the distance…"

24 HEURES DU MANS | 2:35:00

I will never understand Toyota's logic in (a) hiring triple World Touring Car Champion José María López (2014, '15, & '16) to drive their TS050 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype bug especially in (b) retaining López in 2018 while dumping 2014 World Endurance Champion Anthony Davidson. The № 7 Toyota entered the night leading the pole-sitting № 8, but throughout their stints in the № 8 both Fernando Alsonso & then Kaz Nakajima took chunks of time out of López in the № 7; as soon as Kamui Kobayashi took over the reigns of the № 7, he first stablized & then increased the lead over the № 8. Now, in the early afternoon at the Circuit de la Sarthe, López at the helm of the № 7 is dropping tires into the grass, spinning the car in the corners, & all the while falling further & further behind Alonso in the № 8. The are so many supremely talented former Audi & Porsche prototype drivers out there, guys who are now driving P.2s & G.T.E.s. Why, oh why is José María López in that coveted Toyota seat instead of almost anyone else?

24 HEURES DU MANS | 4:45:00

This is the toughest point of the race, from the at-home spectator's perspective. It's the dead of night, with no hints of the dawn yet on the horizon; I've been awake for nearly twenty-two hours; & safety cars & slow zones deprive the race of almost any amusement value. Let's hope for clear running the rest o' the way.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 6:32:00

First World Problems Revisited: This is the first, last, & only year I will ever endure the Eurosport commentators. I do not know how, but should the Good Lord permit me to live 'til next year's Le Mans, the finale of the 2018-2019 F.I.A. World Endurance Championship "Super Season," I will acquire & expend the resources necessary to watch the race (Eurosport's pictures are fine, because they are the world feed's, just like Speed & then Fox Sports used to air) while listening to the commentary from Radio Le Mans.


The № 63 Corvette is now running fifth in L.M. G.T.E. Pro, behind two of the factory Porche 911s (№ 92 & № 91) & two of the factory Ford GTs (№ 68 & № 67) & ahead of two of the factory Ford GTs (№ 69 & № 66), the three quasi-factory Ferrari 488s (№ 52, № 51, & № 71), & the № 95 Aston Martin Vantage. The № 64 Corvette, which has struggled all race but has never given up, runs eleventh in class, ahead of the № 97 Aston Martin Vantage, the № 93 Porsche 911, & the № B.M.W. M8.

I love the fact that there are still six hours of the race left to go. Most of the other races on the World Endurance Championship calendar are "only" six hours long, there's more than that duration remaining, & the competitors have already run almost three times that long. Hee hee, hee hee! Le Mans!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 8:23:00

The № 8 Toyota retook the overall (& P.1 class) lead from the sister № 7 just before an already troubled P.2 drove into the tire barrier at the Indianapolis corner, inspiring the first "slow zone" in quite a long time. Almost immediately thereafter, the № 82 B.M.W. smacked into multiple walls & limped back to the pits. Subsequently, the № 82 has officially retired.


To this point in the "Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency," eight of the sixty entrants have retired. Every finisher receives a medal, because win or lose completing the 24 Hours is an achievement of which one should be proud.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

24 HEURES DU MANS | 9:35:00

Dawn approaches in Le Mans, Sarthe, France. Meanwhile, here in Grand Blanc, Michigan, United States, midnight approaches. The 24 Heures is about to enter its gloriously surreal phase, in which the dead of night here contrasts with the bright of morning there, & the weary competitors experience a surge of optimism as the claustrophobic night gives way to the boundless dawn—only to realize that they have nine more hours of hard racing ahead of them, with equipment that has already been abused for fifteen or so hours.

The № 64 Corvette continues to run seventh in class, occasionally rising as high as fifth depending on the vagaries of the pit-stop cycle. Come on, boys! Let's go!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 11:59:00

It's genuinely hard to believe that there is less of the 86e 24 Heures du Mans ahead than there is behind. Tempus fugit! Truth be told, I haven't been watching the race from the start. The race starts at 3:00 P.M. local time (9:00 A.M. my time). I made the decision to attend my Saturday morning men's group—Bible & Catechism study & fellowship—& catch up on the race via the D.V.R. I also wished to finish & publish the daily BLACK MAMBA post before settling into devoting my full attention to Le Mans. It took 'til nearly 4:00 P.M. my time to catch up to the live television broadcast, which is part of why there weren't any blog posts during those early hours of the great race: I fast-forwarded through the commercials, which are now normally my cue to come upstairs & listen to Radio Le Mans while composing these posts. (I know, nothing's more exciting than naval gazing.)

Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 12:42:00


L.M. G.T.E. Pro
The European-based duo of Porche 911s (№ 92 & № 91, above, in heritage liveries) continue to lead in class, while the American-based duo both had trouble: the № 93 spent time in the pits with alternator troubles & the № 94 retired. The much-faster-than-in-qualifying B.M.W. M8s have come to (relative) grief, with first the № 82 & then the second-running № 81 losing several laps in the pits with damper issues (in American automotive parlance, we call those shocks), the latter also suffering on-track damage from contact. The № 64 Corvette ran into mechanical trouble early & continues to circulate near the bottom of the running order, while the sister № 63 is running a respectable seventh, one lap down from the class-leading Porches.

L.M. P.1
The petrol/electric hybrid Toyotas continue to run multiple laps ahead of the purely petrol-powered privateer P.1s, with the № 7 leading the № 8 by one & a half minutes, a little less than half a lap. The progress of the № 8 was slowed when it had to serve a one minute stop-&-go penalty for speeding in a slow zone.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 14:06:00

He's Dead, Jim
I've a strategy in mind to help me endure through "the Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency," though it might best be described as a harebrained scheme. First, a stipulation: I stay awake for the entire twenty-four hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You might say that is stupid, but it's not going to change, so my strategy/harebrained scheme takes place in the context of a non-negotiable all-nighter; just accept it. In a past year, I experimented with emulating the live crown, campers who often spend the whole week in Le Mans, subsisting on seemingly nothing other than beer. Drinking beer all night was not a good idea. I was never drunk nor did I pass out, but being dehydrated did not make the experience any more fun. The following year, I experimented with drinking copious quantities of Red Bull. The excess of caffeine left me tired & twitchy, again not enhancing the racing experience. This year, I'm drinking lots & lots of water, so much so that I have to make a "pit stop" at least once an hour. I am also drinking one Red Bull every six hours, the idea being to use the caffeine to perk myself up without overdoing it so that I become twitchy & distracted. I'll let you know how it goes once it's gone.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 15:27:00


Night has fallen at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The views of the race are more limited at night, restricted to on-boards views from the race cars, a few lighted corners, & head-on shots were the cars are obscured by the glare of their own headlights. I so love this race!

The sun is still shining here in sacred Michigan, but the real head trip won't come 'til dawn in France, which is in the dead of night here. Fatigue combines with the darkness & a circadian rhythm not happy to be upset to create a genuinely surreal experience, but of course that won't be for several hours. No point in jumping head.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 16:28:00

Woo hoo, Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans! It has been several years since I've been able to sit down & watching the 24 Heures du Mans on television. (Curse ye, Fox Sports!) Velocity, a part of the Discovery, Inc. family of channels, is carrying Eurosport's (another part of Discovery, Inc.) coverage the whole race, including an hour-long pre-race show & a scheduled half-hour-long post-race show (podiums & whatnot). This is a joy, especially after having to cobble together online coverage.

That said, I have a First World Problem. (Actually, everything to do with Le Mans is a First World Problem, since it is a motor race run in France which I am able to watch here in America.) The pictures of the race are glorious, but the Eurosport commentators are, while better than Fox Sports' goonish crew, not as superb as the commentators on Radio Le Mans. I've watched Radio Le Man's "Studio Vision" on the YouTube the last couple years, which is a less-than-ideal way to experience the race, since the video feed is just that, just their crew commentating from studio—no video coverage of the race. But the Radio Le Mans boys & girls are second to none in covering "the Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency." Ideally, I could watch Europsort's pictures on Velocity while listening to Radio Le Mans, but this is not feasible in that I do not have a television in my bedroom, where my Macintosh is located, nor do I have a laptop to use down in the living room where the television & the comfy green armchair await my return. Like I said, a First World Problem.

L.M. P.1
The Toyota hybrids, the only factory hybrids in the field after the withdrawal of Audi (2016) & Porsche (2017), are far outpacing the non-hybrid privateer P.1s, but this is a surprise to no one. The petrol-only privateers are counting on the unreliability that knocked out four of the six hybrid P.1s in 2017, unreliability that could well rear its head with just under sixteen & a half hours of racing left to go. For their part, Toyota aren't just cruising around, they are setting faster lap times than they did in last year's duel against Porsche.

L.M. G.T.E. Pro.
There were "balance of performance" (B.O.P. or "bop") changes made the day before the race, between qualifying & the start, which may explain why the B.M.W. M8s are so much faster in the race than they were in practice & qualifying, but there are also dark suspicions of "sandbagging," B.M.W. having deliberating concealed the true pace of their car, in order to earn B.O.P. help from the organizers, the A.C.O. Of course, most of those dark suspicions come from Porsche & Ford, both of which have been known to play B.O.P. games themselves.

Corvette, Ferrari, & Aston Martin don't seem to have the pace to keep up with B.M.W., Porsche, & Ford, but Le Mans is a long race & there's much more to it than pure speed. Fortitudine vincimas ("By endurance we conquer").

Bonus! Song o' Le Mans
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "First World Problems" from Mandatory Fun (The Last Angry Homme)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: Prayer Time Out: "The Angelus"

'Tis the festival of Saint Isfael, Bishop (floruit sixth century, of Menevia; incorrectly Anglicized as Ishmael): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Lutgardis of Aywières, Abbess, O.Cist. (1182-1246, A.K.A. of the Sacred Heart, of Tongeren; also spelt Lutgarde): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Redyng, Religious & Martyr (died 1537), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, one of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List); Martyr-link Charterhouse & Wikipedia-link Charterhouse.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses nineteen, twenty, & twenty-one;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one(b), two(a), & five; seven & eight; & nine & ten;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-three thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel speaks of vows. It calls to mind the story of Ann Russell Miller, a fabulously wealthy San Francisco socialite. Ann had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, was a denizen of the finest clubs, and liked to vacation on her yacht in the Mediterranean.

But Ann was also a very devout Catholic, and she and her husband made a vow that whoever died first, the surviving partner would dedicate his or her life to God. So when Ann’s husband died relatively young of cancer, Ann resolved to give her life to God in the most dramatic way.

She threw one more huge party for her friends—and then gave everything away and joined the cloistered Carmelite sisters in Des Plaines, Illinois. She now wears the simple brown habit of a Carmelite religious and lives a life of utter devotion, in poverty, chastity, and obedience. She sleeps on wooden planks covered by a thin mattress; she eats the simplest meatless dishes served in the convent refectory. She is no longer Ann Russell Miller; she is Sr. Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Sr. Mary fulfilled the vow she made to her husband by taking new vows as a religious. The new vows she now appreciates not as burdens but as a means to freedom. For now, in the most radical sense, she is free to give her life utterly to God.

Now, I realize that her path is a radical one, and that not everyone is called to this sort of total surrender. But everyone is indeed called to the spirit of the evangelical counsels, for we must all become detached from wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. They don’t matter at the end of the day. Only God matters.
Video reflection by Deacon Bernard Nojadera: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"It could be said that the Cross, its awful scene, its shameful story, would create an emptiness around itself, would repel the contemplation of humans. Instead, however, the Cross attracts. Jesus Himself predicted it: 'When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to Myself.'"
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"The nearer one gets to God, the simpler one becomes."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Jesus. Maria."
—St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio, 1887-1968; feast day: 23 September)

Saints + Scripture — Thursday, 7 June

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

Thursday, 7 June was the festival of Saint Colmán of Dromore (died circa 585, A.K.A. of Llangolman, Mocholmóc): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Robert of Newminster, Priest & Abbot, O.Cist. (circa 1100-1159), co-founder of Fountains Abbey & founding abbot of Newminster Abbey: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Fountains & Wikipedia-link Newminster.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Ana of Saint Bartholomew, Religious, O.C.D. (circa 1549-1626, A.K.A. Ana García Manzanas): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter two, verses eight thru fifteen;
Psalm Twenty-five, verses four & five(a/b), eight & nine, & ten & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today features the Word of God himself telling us what stands at the heart of the Law. A scribe posed, as a kind of game, the following question: "Which is the first of all the commandments?" There were hundreds of laws in the Jewish system. So it was a favorite exercise of the rabbis to seek out the single rule that somehow clarified the whole of the Law.

So Jesus gives his famous answer: "The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

What does that mean? The law is finally about love, and the love of God and neighbor are inextricably bound to one another. If we love God, but hate our neighbors, we’re wasting our time.

Why are the two loves so tightly connected? Because of who Jesus is. Jesus is not just a human being, and he is not just God. He is the God-man, the one in whom divinity and humanity come together. Therefore, it’s impossible to love him as God without loving the humanity that he’s created and embraced.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Listen to the voices that call you to great things. They call you to individual work, honestly & humbly performed; to a right conception of social services; & to a true witness each day of your lives by holiness & sanctity."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"In truth I had long known that the Lord is more tender than a mother, & I have sounded the depths of more than one mother's heart."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Stand fast in the faith & love one another."
—St. Perpetua (died 203, feast day: 7 March)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Next 24 Hours


Michel Legrand, "Le Mans: The Race, First Laps" from Le Mans/The Hunter (Bendes originales de films) (The Last Angry Homme)

Commentary: And so it begins.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Tuesday, 5 June

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

Tuesday, 5 June was the Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 675-754, the "Apostle to the Germans;" of Mainz, of Crediton; A.K.A. Winfrid), martyred by pagan Frisians; who cut down Donar's Oak: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Oak.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the eighth century. He organized Christianity in many parts of germania & was made archbishop of Mainz by Pope [St.] Gregory III [10 December]. He was martyred in Frisia in 754, along with fifty-two others.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Illidius of Clermont, Bishop (died 385): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Meinwerk of Paderborn, Bishop (circa 975-1036, the "Builder Bishop"): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Łucja Szewczyk, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1828-1905, A.K.A. Małgorzata Szewczyk), foundress of the Seraphic Sisters, formally the Daughters of the Sorrowful Mother of God: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Letter of Peter, chapter three, verses twelve thru fifteen(a), seventeen, & eighteen;
Psalm Ninety, verses two, three & four, ten, & fourteen & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses thirteen thru seventeen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus escapes from a trap with one of his most famous one-liners: “Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” We should not read this as though there is a clearly demarcated political realm that belongs to the Caesars of the world and a clearly demarcated spiritual realm that belongs to God. And we certainly shouldn’t read it in the modern mode—that the public arena belongs to politics, while religion is relegated to the private dimension.

No, this won’t do, precisely because God is God. He’s not a being in or above the world, nor one reality among many. God is the sheer act of being itself, which necessarily pervades, influences, grounds, and has to do with everything, even as he transcends everything in creation.

God is the deepest source for everything in life, from sports to law to the arts to science to medicine. What has seized the lawyer (at his best) is a deep passion for justice—and God is justice itself. What has seized the doctor (at his best) is a deep passion for alleviating suffering—and God is love itself. Everything comes from God and returns to God.
Video reflection by Father Bill Quinlivan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Boniface
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-six, verses nineteen thru twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verse fifteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses eleven thru sixteen.

Papal Quote o' That Day
We must conform our lives to the Gospel in all its fullness, accepting its demands & trusting its wisdom."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Charity took possession of my soul & filled me with the spirit of self-forgetfulness, & from that time I was always happy."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he."
—St. Boniface (675-754, feast day: 5 June)

The Rebel Black Dot Le Mans Song o' the Day


They Might Be Giants featuring Marty Beller, "Speed and Velocity" from Here Comes Science (The Last Angry Homme)

Saints + Scripture

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

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

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Scryven, Religious & Martyr, O.Cart. (died 1537), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, one of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (List); Martyr-link Charterhouse & Wikipedia-link Charterhouse.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Albertina Berkenbrock, Virgin & Martyr (1919-1931), martyred by her attempted rapist, Maneco Palhoça: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses nine(a) & eleven thru sixteen;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses seven & eight(a), eight(b) & nine(a/b/c), & thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-two.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus exposes the root problems behind sexual sin. Jesus says, "You have heard it said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The act is certainly bad, of course. It’s grounded in a dysfunctional attitude, a basic misperception, a compromise of the soul. In order to be aligned to the God who is nothing but love, these underlying problems need to be addressed.

Time and again, we hear that the Church’s moral demands—especially in the sexual arena—are too stringent, that the Church ought to conform itself with societal expectations, or that huge pluralities of Catholics themselves want to lighten the load. What do these data prove? Well, nothing really, except that Catholic moral teaching is difficult. But so what? To dial down our moral ideals is to compromise the Church’s whole purpose. Jesus didn’t dial down the demands of love, and neither does his Church.
Video reflection by Paula Trigo-Galan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"Three words sum up Mary's attitude: listening, decision, action. They are words that point out a way for us, too, as we face what the Lord asks of us in life. Listening, decision, action."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"To live in love is to sail forever, spreading seeds of joy & peace in hearts."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!)"
—Bl. Miguel Pro (-, feast day:)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Monday, 4 June

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

The Popish Plot
Marian Monday: "Mary, Mother of Flint"
&
Summer Book Club: "Marriage"

Monday, 4 June was the festival of Saint Metrophanes of Byzantium, Bishop (died circa 326): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Francesco Caracciolo, Priest, C.R.M. (1563-1608, A.K.A. Ascanio Pisquizio), co-founder of the Adorno Fathers, formally the Clerics Regular Minor: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.R.M.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Antoni Zawistowski, Priest & Martyr (1882-1942), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Second Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses two thru seven;
Psalm Ninety-one, verses one & two, fourteen & fifteen(b), & fifteen(c) & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses one thru twelve.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel tells of the landowner who planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants. This vineyard stands for Israel, but it could be broadened to include the whole world. Like the landowner, God has made for his people a beautiful and productive place, a place where they can find rest, enjoyment, and good work.

When vintage time drew near, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to obtain the produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Is this not the whole, sorry history of Israel and its prophets, of the world and the people whom God has sent?

Then we hear the event upon which the parable turns: “Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they killed him.” After the terrible treatment that his representatives have received, the owner sends his son? Is he crazy? Yes, a little. But this is the over-the-top patience and generosity of God, his crazy love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” knowing full well what his fate would be.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' That Day
"Faithfulness to Christ & to His Gospel in order to proclaim them with our words & our life, witnessing to God's love without our own love & with our charity to all: These are the luminous examples & teachings that the saints canonized today offer us.

"But they also call into question our Christian life: How am I faithful to Christ?Let us take this question with us, to think about it during the day: How am I faithful to Christ?"
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"I desire neither death nor life. Were the Lord to offer me a choice, I would not choose. I will only what He wills, & I am pleased with whatever He does."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Jesus, I love You."
—St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680, feast day: 14 July)

Bonus! Le Mans Song o' the Day


Michael Giacchino, "32 Hours" from Speed Racer: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (The Last Angry Homme)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Flag Day


Operation AXIOM
Aaron Tippen, "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly" from Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly (The Last Angry American)

Commentary: The twenty-first century has not been particularly kind to these United States, as we reap the consequences of our many mistakes & missteps, as our sins come home to roost. Some days it can be awfully hard to remember just how fortunate we are to be Americans, yet we dare not lose sight of how abundantly blessed we are. The goodness & virtue of these United States is bigger than the moral failings, dirty politics, & malign policies of a Barack Obama or a Donald Trump.

Innumerable brave souls gave the last full measure of devotion to defend the honor or our flag & we dare not dishonor their sacrifice by wallowing in self-pity & despair.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Faith Family"

'Tis the festival of Saint Methodius of Constantinople, Bishop (circa 788-847, A.K.A. Methodios I), exiled as an opponent of the heresy of Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Heresy-link & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, Bishop (circa 810-886, the "sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church," A.K.A. of the Studium), exiled as an opponent of the heresy of Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Heresy-link & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Walter Eustace, Martyr (died 1583), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Irish Martyrs: Martyr-link; Martyrs-link Irish & Wikipedia-link Irish.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter eighteen, verses forty-one thru forty-six;
Psalm Sixty-five, verses ten, eleven, & twelve & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today is taken from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus has symbolically established himself as the new Moses, giving a law upon a mountain. His “you have heard it said...but I say...” has revealed that he has authority even over the Torah.

To be clear, the Law is not being abrogated here; it is being intensified. The Law was always meant to bring humanity into line with divinity. In the beginning, this alignment was at a fairly basic level. But now that the definitive Moses has appeared, the alignment is becoming absolute, radical, complete.

And so Jesus teaches, “You have heard it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” Killing is an action, but that action is rooted in a more fundamental dysfunction: a hateful attitude, a disordered soul, a basic misperception of reality. To utterly be like God, we obviously have to eliminate cruel and hateful actions; but we have to go deeper, eliminating cruel and hateful thoughts and attitudes. For God is love, right through.
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"It was then that I thought of St. Francis… I thought of wars & about peace & that's how the name came to me—a man of peace, a poor man… & how I would like a church of the poor, for the poor."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"There is no need for me to grow up. In fact, just the opposite: I must become less and less."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"O, my God!"
—St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556, feast day: 31 July)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXIX

Operation AXIOM: The World War
March-April 1918: The Sixtus Affair—Emperor-King Karl I & IV of Austria-Hungary (now Blessed Karl of Austria) attempted to negotiate a separate peace with the French, using as an intermediary Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, his brother-in-law & a Belgian officer; the secret initiative was publicized by the French, leading to the resignation of the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister Count Ottokar Czernin.





Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Le Mans Song o' the Day


The Cardigans, "My Favourite Game" from Gran Turismo (The Last Angry Homme)

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest & Doctor of the Church, O.F.M. (1195-1231, A.K.A. Fernando Martins de Bulhões): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, Wikipedia-link, & YouTube-link The True Enlightenment; Wikipedia-link Doctors.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, & undying love & devotion to the poor & the sick, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in Church history. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things.
Quoth
Joyfully Living the Gospel day by Day:
St. Anthony of Padua (whom we celebrate today) was a lover of God's Will & a man of peace. He was a priest & a Doctor of the Church, as well as a miracle worker. He was also a man of deep prayer.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Damhnade, Virgin (floruit sixth century, also spelt Damnet): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Marianna Biernacka, Martyr (1888-1943), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter eighteen, verses twenty thru thirty-nine;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one(b) & two(a/b), four, five(a/b) & eight, & eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses seventeen, eighteen, & nineteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus declares that he would not undermine the Law and the Prophets, but fulfill them. Jesus himself was an observant Jew, and the themes and images of the Holy Scriptures were elemental for him.

But what is he going to fulfill? Protestant theologian N.T. Wright has pointed out that the Old Testament is essentially an unfinished symphony, a drama without a climax. It is the articulation of a hope, a dream, a longing—but without a realization of that hope, without a satisfaction of that longing.

Israel knew itself to be the people with the definite mission to become holy and thereby to render the world holy. But instead, Israel fell into greater and greater sins, and instead of being the catalyst for the conversion of the world, the world was continually overwhelming and enslaving Israel.

And then came Jesus, who turned out to be, in the most unexpected way, the fulfillment of the dream. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus affected the gathering of the tribes of Israel through conversion and the forgiveness of sins.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-one, verses one, two, & three(a/b/c/d);
Psalm Eighty-nine, verse two;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses one thru nine.

Papal* Quote o' This Day
"This is a truth which verges on an authentic reconciliation between God & a person. Here we are faced with something which does not discredit our self-worth. Rather, it is a matter which totally penetrates our heart & prompts us to take control of the mystery of suffering & pain that has tied us down for many centuries."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
*Commentary: This quote is from a letter issued on 13 February 2013, before Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope.

Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"My slightest sighs, my greatest sufferings, my sorrows and my joys, my little sacrifices: my flowers, Jesus, for you."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Our mission is to educate thru heart & love."
—St. Paola Frassinetti (1809-1882, feast day: 11 June)

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 335.2 lbs
This weigh-in: 338.0 lbs.
Difference: +2.8 lbs.

The goal is to lose two pounds per week, Mike, not to gain nearly three. Are you finally sick & tired of taking one step forward & two steps backward? If not, what are we even doing here? Are you just playacting or is ÖSTERREICH real?

Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
Letters to Cleo, "Pizza Cutter" from Wholesale Meats and Fish (The Last Angry Fat Asshole)

Saints + Scripture: Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

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

The Popish Plot
Solemn Sunday: "The Fantastic Four: Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, & Corpus Christi"

Sunday, 3 June was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi): Corpus Christi-link & Wikipedia-link Corpus Christi; Wikipedia-link Real Presence, Wikipedia-link Body of Christ, Wikipedia-link Eucharist, & Wikipedia-link Transubstantiation.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The Feast of Corpus Christi is the Roman Rite liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the Eucharist—known as transubstantiation.
Scripture of That Week
Mass Readings—Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-four, verses three thru eight;
Psalm One Hundred Sixteen, verses twelve & thirteen, fifteen & sixteen, & seventeen & eighteen;
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter nine, verses eleven thru fifteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter fourteen, verses twelve thru sixteen & twenty-two thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel focuses on the spiritual power of the Eucharist. The central claim of the Catholic Church is that Jesus is substantially present under the forms of bread and wine. His presence is not simply evocative and symbolic, but rather real, true, and substantial.

To verify this scripturally, look at the accounts of the Last Supper in Matthew, Mark, and Luke—and also in Paul. But look especially at the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Jesus says, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” But when they object, Jesus does not soften his language; he intensifies it.

This is the ground for the Church’s defense of the Real Presence. How can we make sense of it? It has everything to do with who Jesus is. If he were simply an ordinary human being, his words would have, at best, a symbolic resonance. But Jesus is God, and what God says, is.

Thus, when Jesus’ words over the bread and wine are spoken, they change into what the words signify. They become really, truly, and substantially the Body and Blood of the Lord.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Mister Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

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


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-three
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
As Catholics, the one thing we do more than anything else is celebrate. Everything the Church does is centered around a celebration. We celebrate life. We celebrate the changing seasons with the riches of the Church's calendar. We celebrate excellence by honoring as saints the heroes of our faith. We celebrate birth & eternal life with baptism & burial. We celebrate truth, beauty, & goodness by seekign them out wherever they are to be found & honoring them in our everyday lives. We celebrate Christmas & Easter. We celebrate pilgrimage—our common journey & our own individual journeys. We celebrate salvation. We celebrate forgiveness with reconciliation. We celebrate total dedication to the service of God's people with Holy Orders. We celebrate s education. We celebrate communion with God & community with the Mass. We celebrate unity by seeking to bridge the gap. We celebrate love with marriage. We celebrate…


Otherwise, 3 June would have been the festival of Saint Juan Grande Román, Religious, O.H. (1546-1600, A.K.A. Juan Grande Pecador, "John the Great Sinner"): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed Francis Ingleby, Priest & Martyr (circa 1550-1586), martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link LXXXV & Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Charles Lwanga & Companions, Martyrs (died 1885-1887, A.K.A. the Martyrs of Uganda), martyred in the reign of the Bugandan king Mwanga II: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link Uganda & Wikipedia-link Uganda.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Jesus gives us the command to repeat this action by which He instituted the memorial of His own Pasch, & in so doing give us His Body & His Blood. This action reaches us today: it is the 'doing' of the Eucharist which always has Jesus as its subject, but which is mead real through our poor hands anointed by the Holy Spirit."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Yes, I can feel it, when I am charitable, it is Jesus working in me."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the living heart of each of our parishes."
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Saints + Scripture

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

'Tis the festival of Saint Leo III, Pope (died 816), ninety-sixth Bishop of Rome, who crowned Charlemagne the inaugural Holy Roman Emperor: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Emperor.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Eskil, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 1131), martyred by pagan Swedes: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Yolanda of Poland, Abbess, O.S.C. (1235-1298; also spelt Jolenta, A.K.A. Helen, of Hungary): Blessed-link ūna, Blessed-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Grand-niece of St. Hedwig of Silesia [16 October], niece of St. Elizabeth of Hungary [17 November], & sister of Ss. Margaret of Hungary [18 January] & Kinga of Poland [24 July].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Lorenzo Maria of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest, C.P. (1782-1856, A.K.A. Lorenzo Salvi): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter seventeen, verses seven thru sixteen;
Psalm Four, verses two & three, four & five, & seven(b) & eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirteen thru sixteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus uses the images of salt and light to show how we are to bring salvation to the world. In our rather privatized and individualistic culture, we tend naturally to think of religion as something for ourselves designed to make our lives richer or better. Now there is a sense in which that is true, but on the biblical reading, religiosity is like salt, light, and an elevated city: it is meant not for oneself, but for others.

Perhaps we can bring these two together by saying that we find salvation for ourselves precisely in the measure that we bring God’s life to others. The point is that we followers of Jesus are meant to be salt, which effectively preserves and enhances what is best in the society around us. We effectively undermine what is dysfunctional in the surrounding culture.

We are also light by which people around us come to see what is worth seeing. By the very quality and integrity of our lives, we shed light, illuminating what is beautiful and revealing what is ugly. The clear implication is that, without vibrant Christians, the world is a much worse place.
Video reflection by Deacon Miguel Santos: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' This Day
"The Eucharist sanctifies us, purifies us, & unites us in a marvelous communion with God. In that way we learn that the Eucharist is not a prize for the good, but strength for the weak; for sinners it is pardon; it is the viaticum that helps us move forward, to walk."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"Only that which is eternal can satisfy us."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"Work in full simplicity."
—St. Paola Frassinetti (1809-1882, feast day: 11 June)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day


John Linnell, "Maine" from State Songs, Vol. 1 (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Soon & very soon, I will once again have kin in the State of Maine. I've not been to the Pine Tree State in the twenty-first century, as by the turn o the millennium my paternal grandparents' health had forced them to forsake the cabin on a lake in rural Maine where they'd summered in their retirement. I'm looking forward to visiting my kin in Maine.
"Relaxing on my hands and knees, relaxing on my face,
Reclining in the bear trap of its render, warm embrace,
Blessed with coniferous green,
Blessed with excitement & dread,
Exhausted from oversleep,
Awake but still in bed.

"Shaving razor's rusty,
But the sting brings you exactly back to—

"Maine! is the world that went south,
Maine! is a punch in the mouth,
Maine! at the top of the chart
Has crushed my evil heart.

"Maine! is the devil you know,
Maine! is the heaven below,
Maine! at the top of the chart
Has crushed my evil heart…

"And give me back my evil heart
So I can see you as you aren't…

"Maine! is the poison you love,
Maine! is the hell from above,
Maine! at the top of the chart
Has crushed my evil heart."

Saints + Scripture — Saturday, 2 June

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

Saturday, 2 June was the Optional Memorial of Saints Marcellinus & Peter, Martyrs (died circa 304), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocetian & Maximian, victims of the Great Persecution: Martyrs-link, Martyr-link Mike, Martyr-link Papa, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Very little is known abou the two martyrs' lives. Marcellinus, a priest, & Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304, during the Diocletianic Persecution.
'Twas also the festival of Saint Erasmus of Formia, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 303, A.K.A. Elmo), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocetian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers; after whom is named Saint Elmo's Fire: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution; Helpers-link XIV & Wikipedia-link XIV; Wikipedia-link Saint Elmo's Fire.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Eugene I, Pope (died 657), seventy-fifth (LXXV) Bishop of Rome, who opposed the Monothelite heresy: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Joseph Thąo Tiěn, Priest, & Companions, Martyrs (died 1954-1970), martyred by the Pathet Lao Communists, fifteen of the seventeen Martyrs of Laos: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Laos.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter of Jude, chapter seventeen, verses twenty(b) thru twenty-five;
Psalm Sixty-three, verses two, three & four, & five & six;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eleven, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-three.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approach Jesus and ask him, "By what authority are you doing these things?"

The first witnesses of Jesus were astonished by the authority of his speech and his actions. This wasn’t simply because he spoke and acted with conviction and enthusiasm; it was because he refused to play the game that every other rabbi played, tracing his authority finally back to Moses. He went, as it were, over the head of Moses, as he did at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount: "You’ve heard it said...but I say..."

His listeners knew they were dealing with something qualitatively different than anything else in their religious tradition or experience. They were dealing with the prophet greater than Moses.

And Jesus had to be more than a mere prophet. Why? Because we all have been wounded, indeed our entire world compromised, by a battle that took place at a more fundamental level of existence. The result is the devastation of sin, which we all know too well. Who alone could possibly take it on? A merely human figure? Hardly. What is required is the power and authority of the Creator himself, intent on remaking and saving his world, binding up its wounds, and setting it right.
Video reflection by Deacon Bernard Nojadera: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. Marcellinus & Peter
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter six, verses four thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

Liturgical Readings—Sacrament of Matrimony: Alpha Echo & Delta Lima
The Book of Tobit, chapter eight, verses four(b) thru eight;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, eight & thirteen;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, verse thirty-one thru chapter thirteen, verse eight(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses twenty-one & twenty-four thru twenty-nine.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"If we wish to follow Christ closely, we cannot choose an easy, quiet life. It will be a demanding life, but full of joy."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Oh! how much is the pure love of Jesus able to do, when it is not mixed with any self-interest or self-love!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Let me go to the house of the Father."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Saints + Scripture — Friday, 1 June

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

Friday, 1 June was the Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr (circa 100-165), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius & Lucius Verus; author of, most notably, the First Apology, the Second Apology, & the Dialogue with Trypho: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link First Apology, Wikipedia-link Second Apology, & Wikipedia-link Dialogue.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
An early Christian apologist, he is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos (title of Jesus Christ, seen as the pre-existent Second Person of the Trinity).
'Twas also the festival of Saint Rónán of Locronan, Bishop (floruit sixth century; of Cornwall, of Quimper), around whose hermitage arose the town of Locronan: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Locronan.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Wystan, Confessor (died circa 849; of Evesham, of Mercia; also spelt Wigstan): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed John Storey, Martyr (1504-1571, also spelt Story), kidnapped from abroad & martyred in the reign of the English queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
The First Letter of Peter, chapter four, verses seven thru thirteen;
Psalm Ninety-six, verses ten, eleven & twelve, & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eleven, verses eleven thru twenty-six.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, at the heart of today’s Gospel is the cleansing of the Temple. Jesus entered the great Temple in Jerusalem—which for a Jew of that time was everything—and began to tear the place apart. Precisely because the Temple was supposed to be so holy, Jesus was flabbergasted at what had happened to it, and how the trading of merchants had come to dominate.

From the earliest days, Christian writers and spiritual teachers saw the Temple as symbolic of the human person. In fact, didn’t Saint Paul himself refer to the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit? Your very self is meant to be a temple where God’s spirit dwells and where prayer, communion with God, is central.

But what happens to us sinners? The money changers and the merchants enter in. What is supposed to be a place of prayer becomes a den of thieves. And so the Lord must do in us now what he did in the Temple then: a little house-cleaning. What shape is the temple of your soul in? Suppose that Jesus has made a whip of cords, knotted with the Ten Commandments. What would he clear out of you?
Video reflection by Paula Trigo-Galan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Justin
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirteen thru nineteen.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"The Blessed Virgin made of her existence an unceasing & beautiful gift to God because she loved the Lord. Mary's example is an incentive to those who live in this home, & for all of us, to live in charity for our neighbor, not out of some sort of social duty, but beginning from the love of God, from the charity of God."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"My actions, my little sufferings, can make God loved all over the world."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"As by the Word of God, Jesus our Savior was made Flesh & had both Flesh & Blood for our salvation, so also the food which has been blessed by the word of prayer instituted by Him is both the Flesh & Blood of Jesus Incarnate."
—St. Justin Martyr (100-165, feast day: 1 June)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAfter Party


Potshot, "We Are Potshot" from Pots and Shots (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: "We Are Potshot" is only 1:07 long, but there's a lot going on in that minute & change.

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Summer Book Club: "Friendship"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle (died circa 61, A.K.A. Joseph): Apostle-link ūnus, Apostle-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Apostles.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Barnabas & Paul the Apostle [25 January, 29 June] undertook missionary journeys together & defended Gentile converts against Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts & participating in the Council of Jerusalem (circa 50).
Wikipedia-link Council


'Tis also the festival of Saint Riagail of Bangor, Abbot (died 881): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Paola Frassinietti, Religious (1809-1882), foundress of the Frassinetti Sisters, formally the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Day
Mass Readings—Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses twenty-one(b) thru twenty-six & chapter thirteen, verses one thru three;
Psalm Ninety-eight, verses one, two & three(a/b), three(c/d) & four, & five & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses one thru twelve.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today is one of the most beautiful and important in the New Testament: the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, the eight Beatitudes. Why is it so important? Because it is the Son of God telling us how to be happy. It is the one who can’t be wrong telling us how to achieve that which each of us most basically wants. What could be more compelling?

At the heart of Jesus’ program are these Beatitudes: “Blessed are the merciful” and “Blessed are the peacemakers.” These name the very heart of the spiritual program, for they name the ways that we participate most directly in the divine life.

One of the most important words to describe God in the Old Testament is
chesed (tender mercy). The New Testament version of this is found in the first letter of John: God is agape (love). Everything else we say about God should be seen as an aspect of this chesed and this agape. Chesed is compassion; agape is willing the good of the other. Therefore, if you want to be happy, desire to be like God. Do it and you’ll be happy.
Video reflection by Mgsr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Barnabas
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses twenty-one(b) thru twenty-six & chapter thirteen, verses one thru three;
Psalm Ninety-eight, verses one, two & three(a/b), three(c/d) & four, & five & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses seven thru thirteen.

Papal Quote o' This Day
"The purpose is to proclaim the Kingdom of God & this is urgent! There is no time to waste in small talk, no need to wait for the consent of all—there is need only of going out & proclaiming. The peace of Christ is to be brought to everyone."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' This Day
"I'm not relying on my own merits, as I have none, but I put my hope in Him who is goodness & holiness Himself."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' This Day
"We're in God's hands, & we are so very well."
—St. Paola Frassinietti (1809-1882, feast day: 11 June)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXVIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Spring Offensive, Part IV
27 May-6 June 1918: The Third Battle of the Aisne (Operation Blücher-Yorck)—A massive & surprise artillery & gas bombardment helped the Germans capture the Chemin des Dames ridge (originally captured in 1914, recaptured by the French in 1917) & storm through the Entente lines, advancing to within thirty-five miles of Paris; the stormtroopers stopped at the Marne, men & matériel exhausted.






Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Yesterday: SKAfter Party


Samstag, 9. Juni
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "What the World Needs Now Is Love" from the What the World Needs Now Is Love single (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Saints + Scripture: X Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis, chapter three, verses nine thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & seven & eight;
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter four, verse thirteen thru chapter five, verse one;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter three, verses twenty thru thirty-five.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel, relatives of Jesus claim that he is mad, and scribes blaspheme him, charging that he is possessed by Beelzebul. You know, in cases like this, the basic problem is always the fearful ego. Ego-addicts know that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. If you want to protect the ego and its prerogatives, you must oppress and demoralize those around you.

There is a very unsubtle version of this method: you attack, put down, insult, and undermine those around you. This is the method of the bully. But the religious version is much subtler and thus more insidious and dangerous. It takes the Law itself—especially the moral law—and uses it to accuse and oppress. "I know what’s right and wrong; I know what the Church expects of us; and I know that you are not living up to it."

And so I accuse you; I gossip about you; I remind you of your inadequacy. Mind you, this is not to condemn the legitimate exercise of fraternal correction or the office of preaching. But it’s a reminder to not be sucked into the slavery of ego addiction. We must stay alert to this and avoid it at all costs.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Mister Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

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


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-four
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
I believe the best way to defend life is to celebrate life. I believe the best way to celebrate life is to live our own lives to the fullest—to embrace life with arms wide open, to lay our lives enthusiastically at the service of humanity, to love deeply the people who cross our paths, & above all, to embrace our God. Life should never be wasted—not one moment—because life is precious.

You can celebrate anything you wish. You can celebrate life & faith. You can celebrate love & honesty, mercy & forgiveness, kindness, & generosity. You can celebrate truth, beauty, goodness, & redemption. On the other hand, you can celebrate destruction & paganism. You can celebrate hatred & violence, selfishness & greed, contempt & disrespect. You can celebrate perversion, corruption; pride, deceit, & condemnation. But one thing is certain: We become what we celebrate. This is the one immutable truth found in the life of every person who has ever lived. We become what we celebrate. It is true not only of the life of a person, but also the life of a family. It is true of the life of a nation, & it is true of the life of the Church.


Otherwise, 10 June would be the festival of Saint Bardo of Mainz, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 980-1051): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Giovanni Dominici, Bishop, O.P. (circa 1355-1419), who attended the Council of Constance (1414-1418) & was instrumental in ending the Papal Schism (1378-1417): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Council & Wikipedia-link Schism.

'Twould also be the festival of Blesseds Thomas Green & Walter Pierson, Religious & Martyrs, O.Cart. (died 1537, A.K.A. Thomas Greenwood), martyred in the reign of the English king Henry VIII, two of the Carthusian Martyrs of London: Martyr-link Tango Golf, Martyr-link Whiskey Papa, & Wikipedia-link (List); Martyrs-link Charterhouse & Wikipedia-link Charterhouse.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"We bless St. Joseph as a worker! By recalling St. Joseph the Worker, we are reminded of God the Worker & Jesus the Worker. This theme of work is very evangelical."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I have a desire, a desire so great that I shall be unable to be happy in heaven if it is not realized."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Let us become saints so that after having been together on earth we will be together forever in heaven."
—St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio; 1887-1968, feast day: 23 September)

The R.B.D. Song o' the Lord's Day: SKAfter Party

The O. C. Supertones, "Shut Up" from Supertones Strike Back (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: The Gospels show us that during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, the scoffers thought him crazy. We, who dare to be known by the name of Christian, should except the same.
"I'm a freak and they say I've lost my mind,
But I know I've never seen so clearly.
When I speak, they say I've gone too far this time,
That lets me know I have not gone nearly…"