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Tuesday 26 February 2013

Just in case you have some extra cash and you do not want to give to the seminarian fund at right....

No more red shoes for the Pope

I really hope he does not miss them.

I would.

Sign, but brown is more humble, I suppose....thanks, Wiki, for the photos.

from Vatican Insider

Ratzinger will still be addressed as “Your Holiness” and is to be given the title “Pope Emeritus” when he steps down from the Throne of St. Peter. He will wear a simple white cassock but will no longer be able to wear the red papal shoes. The first Congregation of Cardinals will be held on 4 March

Joseph Ratzinger will be keeping his papal name when he leaves the Throne of Peter after 8 pm on 28 February: he will keep the name Benedict XVI and the title “His Holiness” and will be called 'Pope Emeritus' or 'Roman Pontiff Emeritus'.

During a press conference this morning, the Vatican’s spokesman explained that Ratzinger will continue to wear the “simple white” papal cassock, but without the shoulder cape. Fr. Lombardi also said he would no longer wear the red papal shoes. “The Pope did have a brown pair as well – the spokesman explained – and was particularly fond of a pair of shoes that were given to him as a gift in Leon, during his trip to Mexico in 2012.”

more at site....

Great Article on the Hypocrisy of Sanger

Here at this site is the excellent article in Crisis Magazine.
A snippet:
Today, New York City’s public school students—underage and without parental knowledge—are given access to birth control pills, Depo-Provera injections, and the insertion of plastic IUDs to prevent pregnancy. In an analysis of the records of 40 school based health centers in New York City—most of them in schools with large minority populations, the New York Post revealed that about 22,400 students sought reproductive care from January, 2009 through 2012.
In addition to these routine contraceptives, the City’s schools are providing students with Plan-B, the “morning-after pill” to prevent pregnancy. The Post reports that “handouts of the morning-after pill to sexually active students have skyrocketed” from 5,039 doses given to teenage students during the 2009-10 school year, to 12,721 doses given in 2011-12. Under New York State law, minors can obtain reproductive services without their parent’s permission.

New Organization for the Diocese of Portsmouth

This is exciting. Take a look at this PDF file.

Thanks to Fr. James Bradley for the heads up.

And, just yesterday, here in England, I heard the Malthusian argument

From this site, 12:30:01

...a new book, What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster (Encounter Books), adds to a growing list of books on the population implosion and says demographic winter is coming to America, too.
“In reality, from Africa to Asia, from South America to Eastern Europe, and from Third World jungles to the wealthy desert petro-kingdoms, nearly every country in every region is experiencing declines in fertility,” writes the new book’s author, Weekly Standard editor Jonathan Last. Every First World country has birth rates below the threshold replacement level of 2.1 children per woman (the 0.1 is to account for deaths from disease, war and famine), he observes, but even developing countries like Brazil and Iran are seeing decline.

The Pope's New Name

The retired name of the Pope has been bandied around. Here is finally the real deal.

Fr. Lombardi announced that after the Pope's resignation, he will officially be called "His Holiness, Benedict... 

Telegraph video of Part of Cormac Murphy O'Connor's Press Conference

Figolli--thinking of Easter

Figolli is a marzipan goodie from Malta for Easter. If one wants a different Easter treat, other than the usual for the family, try this.

For the pastry:
  • 400 grams butter or margarine
  • 800 grams flour
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • Water to mix
For the filling:
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 400 grams almonds
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom eater
  • 3 egg whites

Sieve flour into a large bowl or food processor. Rub in the margarine or butter to a cornmeal consistency (or pulse until it gets there). Add the sugar and lemon rind and mix or pulse again. Mix in the egg yolks and enough water to make a stiff dough.
Prepare the filling by grinding together the sugar and almonds in a spice grinder or blender (or the food processor, though a grinder seems to work best). Add the orange-blossom water and fold the beaten egg whites into this mixture.
Dust a work surface with flour and roll the pastry out. Use cookie cutters or custom-created cardboard shapes to cut out two identical shapes for each figolla.
Spread a thick (about 1 centimeter) layer of the almond filling onto half the pastry shapes you've made, leaving about 1 cm of space around the edges of each one. Then cover each with its corresponding half. Push the edges together slightly and bake for 1/2 hour in a moderate oven (325-350F, 175C).
Allow to cool and decorate with chocolate and / or icing, making fanciful designs around the edges, and filling in faces and other features as desired.

Another version is found here.

Fish Soup Recipes for Lent-borrowed-and suggestions for light meals

When one is fasting, the meals one does eat should include protein.
As seen above, olives, chick peas, eggs, bread sticks and tuna can be healthy and filling.
Here are some larger meal meatless soups.
Cacciucco is a fish stew made in the Tuscan port of Livorno.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of mixed fish (see list below)
  • A half a medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • A bunch of parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sliced fresh or canned plum tomatoes (if they're fresh, blanch and peel them) 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar diluted in 3/4 cup of water
  • Salt to taste 
  • Crumbled or minced hot red pepper (about a half teaspoon, or to taste - don't overdo it)
  • Toasted Italian bread rubbed with garlic


The Fish: Whatever is in season (it needn't be expensive), for example, sole, mullet, catfish, dogfish, goby, squid, octopus, fresh shellfish (see The Joy of Cooking for treatment instructions), and shrimp. Chop the large fish, but leave the small ones whole.

Procedure: Sauté the onion, parsley, and garlic in the oil in a deep bottomed pot. Once the onion has turned translucent, stir in the chopped tomatoes and season the mixture to taste. This is one of the few hot North Italian dishes, so don't feel you must be sparing with the red pepper. When the tomatoes are done, stir in the water and vinegar. Simmer the for a few more minutes and remove the garlic. Blend the sauce and return it to the fire with the fish, and, if you wish, sprinkle another tablespoon or two of olive oil into the pot. Simmer the cacciucco until the fish is done, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, toast several slices of bread and rub them with a crushed clove of garlic.

Once the fish is done, line the bottoms of your bowls with the toasted bread, ladle the cacciucco over them, and serve.
Yield: 4-6 servings 
Fish Bouillabaisse 
same yield
same process...


  • Rouille
  • 6 slices baguette
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 12 tsps orange zest (freshly grated)
  • 1 leaf parsley (chopped fresh, garnish)
  • 5 lbs red snapper (monkfish or striped bass bones heads removed)
  • 2 cups tomato paste
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • carrots (sliced 14 inch thick on the bias)
  • fennel bulbs (sliced 14 inch thick on the bias)
  • 1 bunch celery (sliced 14 inch thick on the bias)
  • onions (sliced)
  • leeks (white parts only sliced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 6 cloves 16 cups Homemade Fish Stock (sliced)
  • 2 tbsps saffron (fresh)
  • 1 cup pernod (2 tablespoons)
  • 750 mls white wine (chardonnay)
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes (canned)
  • 12 shrimp (jumbo)
  • 24 ozs monkfish (pieces)
  • 24 ozs striped bass (pieces)
  • 12 lbs cuttlefish (cleaned)
  • 3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • oranges (halved and sliced)
  • red onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup fronds (chopped green fennel)
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups carrots (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (finely)
  • 2 cups fennel (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp saffron
  • 2 lbs mussels (scrubbed and debearded)
  • 2 lbs clams (cockle)

In a Time Machine

DoC and Perfection: Bernard of Clairvaux Part 57; The love of strength

I am sure that readers can tell by now that I cannot write enough on my favourite male saints, Bernard of Clairvaux. I hope you have received his insights and experiences of God with the pleasure and amazement with which I have chosen these.

His writings would fill my little room. But, his three volumes of his Sermons on the Canticle of Canticles are all I would need for meditations for years to come.

I have not commented much, as how can one in my lowly state comment on a soul who came to unity with God before he died? That Bernard was given illumination by God about love and the soul is clear.

Therefore, here is one more section, which I share.

But there is something else that moves me, arouses and enflames me even more.
Good Jesus, the chalice you drank, the price of our redemption, makes me love you
more than all the rest. This alone would be enough to claim our love. This, I say, is what
wins our love so sweetly, justly demands it, firmly binds it, deeply affects it. Our Savior
had to toil so hard in this, in fact in making the whole world the Creator did not labor so
much. Then he spoke and they were made; he commanded and they were created. But
in saving us he had to endure men who contradicted his words, criticized his actions,
ridiculed his sufferings, and mocked his death. See how much he loved us. 

Add to this
the fact that he was not returning love but freely offering it. For who had given him
anything first, that it should be returned to him? As St John said: "Not that we had loved
him, but that he first loved us." He loved us even before we existed, and in addition he
loved us when we resisted him. According to the witness of St Paul: "Even when we
were still his enemies we were reconciled to God through the blood of his Son." 
If he had not loved his enemies, he could not have had any friends, just as he would have
had no one to love if he had not loved those who were not.

In our darkness and stupidity, Christ loves us first. He waits; he freely gives.

His love was sweet, and wise, and strong. I call it sweet because he took on a human
body, wise because he avoided sin, strong because he endured death. Even though he
took a body, his love was never sensual, but always in the wisdom of the Spirit. "A Spirit
before our face is Christ the Lord," jealous of us but with the jealousy of God, not man,
and certainly not like that of the first man, Adam, for Eve. So those whom he sought
after in a body, he loved in the spirit and redeemed in power. How sweet it is to see as
man the Creator of humanity. While he carefully protected nature from sin, he forcefully
drove death from that nature also. In taking a body he stooped to me, in avoiding sin he took counsel with himself, in accepting death he satisfied the Father. 

A dear friend, a
wise counselor, a strong helper. Should I not willingly entrust myself to the one who had
the good will, the wisdom, the strength to save me? He sought me out, he called me
through grace; will he refuse me as I come to him? I fear neither force nor fraud which
can snatch me from his hand. He is the one who conquered all things, even death, and
tricked the serpent, the seducer of the world, with a holy deception. He was more
prudent than the one, more powerful than the other. He took to himself a true body but
only the likeness of sin, giving a sweet consolation to weak men in the one and in the
other hiding a trap to deceive the devil. To reconcile us to the Father he bravely suffered
death and conquered it, pouring out his blood as the price of our redemption. His divine
majesty would not have sought me in chains unless he had loved me so tenderly, but he
added wisdom to his affection by which he deceived the serpent. Then he added
patience with which to appease his divine Father who had been offended.
These are the qualities of love of which I promised to tell you. But I have shown them to

you first in Christ, to make them so much more acceptable to you.

Be simple and look for the one thing that matters....

Christian, learn from Christ how you ought to love Christ. Learn a love that is tender,
wise, strong; love with tenderness, not passion, wisdom, not foolishness, and strength,
lest you become weary and turn away from the love of the Lord. Do not let the glory of
the world or the pleasure of the flesh lead you astray; the wisdom of Christ should
become sweeter to you than these. The light of Christ should shine so much for you that
the spirit of lies and deceit will not seduce you. 

Finally, Christ as the strength of God
should support you so that you may not be worn down by difficulties. 

Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Let love enkindle
your zeal, let knowledge inform it, let constancy strengthen it. Keep it fervent, discreet,
courageous. See it is not tepid, or temerarious, or timid. See for yourself if those three
commands are not prescribed in the law when God says: "You shall love the Lord your
God with your whole heart, your whole soul and your whole strength." It seems to me, if
no more suitable meaning for this triple distinction comes to mind, that the love of the
heart relates to a certain warmth of affection, the love of the soul to energy or judgment
of reason, and the love of strength can refer to constancy and vigor of spirit.

So love the
Lord your God with the full and deep affection of your heart, love him with your mind
wholly awake and discreet, love him with all your strength, so much so that you would
not even fear to die for love of him. As it is written: "For love is strong as death, jealousy
is bitter as hell." Your affection for your Lord Jesus should be both tender and intimate,
to oppose the sweet enticements of sensual life. Sweetness conquers sweetness as
one nail drives out another. No less than this keep him as a strong light for your mind
and a guide for your intellect, not only to avoid the deceits of heresy and to preserve the
purity of your faith from their seductions, but also that you might carefully avoid an
indiscreet and excessive vehemence in your conversation. Let your love be strong and
constant, neither yielding to fear nor cowering at hard work. Let us love affectionately,
discreetly, intensely. We know that the love of the heart, which we have said is
affectionate, is sweet indeed, but liable to be led astray if it lacks the love of the soul.
And the love of the soul is wise indeed, but fragile without that love which is called the
love of strength.

To be continued....

Part 56: DoC and Perfection: Bernard on the Song of Songs

On this blog, I have already referred to the sermons of St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the Song of Songs, or
Canticle of Canticles. These sermons may be considered his masterpiece as a Doctor of the Church. 
Today, I emphasize the love of the Bride for the Bridegroom, which is the love of the soul for Christ, by 
noting his sermon on the angels.
Again, Bernard's sensitivity and insights indicate a man in the Unitive State. May we all aspire and ask God
for the graces necessary for perfection, which is our destination.

The love-inspired bride will go on speaking, will chatter without end about her 
Bridegroom's excellence; and in order to entice more favors from him she shows that 
the ones already received have not been fruitless. To the words that have so long 
preoccupied us she adds: "That is why the 
maidens love you beyond measure." In 
effect she means: "It was not in vain, not without purpose, that you emptied out the 
power of your name, Beloved, and poured it on 
my breasts; that is why the maidens 
love you so much." But why exactly? Because of 
the outpouring of your name, because 
of the breasts it has suffused. It is this that aroused their love of the Bridegroom, this 
that inspired their affections. No sooner had the bride received the infused gift than 
they, who could never stay far from their mother's side, at once perceived its fragrance. 
Filled with its sweetness they proclaim: "God's love has been poured into our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." The bride commends their 
devotedness: "This, Beloved," she says, "is the fruit of the outpouring of your name, it 
is why the maidens love you. They perceive the outpouring of something that surpasses 
their capacity to absorb in its entirety; and so they give you their love." Thus, as far as 
the maidens are concerned, the outpouring makes your name knowable, knowledge 
makes it lovable. Those whose capacity is greater enjoy the name in its fullness without 
the need for an outpouring. 

What St. Bernard is saying is that we have little understanding  of the movement of Love from God.
We ask and cooperate with grace without understanding. It is
 part of the humility of the soul not to 
understand until God gives us understanding.

The angels, looking with undeviating gaze into the 
profound abyss of the divine 
judgments, are filled with inexpressible joy at the sight of their supreme righteousness; it 
is their glory that, through their ministry, these judgments are put into operation and 
made known to men. For this reason they so rightly love 
the Lord Christ. Scripture says: 
"The truth is they are all spirits whose work is service, sent to help those who will be the 
heirs of salvation. And the archangels - whom we must regard as differing in some 
degree from those called angels - experience a delight that is filled with awe as they 
enter more closely into the counsels of eternal wisdom, and are commissioned to 
execute them with supreme skill at the proper place and time. Here you have the reason 
why these in turn love the Lord Christ. 

Do we stop and think that the angels have already been taken up into their reason for creation; that is, the
good angels have found their rest in the Love of God? How wonderful to think of how happy these spirits 
are, knowing God completely and serving Him.

But this is the destiny of all of us. We are all called to this perfection in Love.
That is why we were created. That is who we are to become.
In some ways, the Song of Songs is the recapturing of Eden before the Fall.

Other blessed spirits are named Virtues because 
their God-given vocation is to explore and admire with a 
happy curiosity the hidden and 
eternal causes of signs and wonders, signs that they display 
throughout the earth 
whenever they please by the powerful manipulation of the 
elements. As a consequence.  
these naturally burn with love for the Lord of Hosts, for Christ,
the power of God. 
For it is 
an occupation full of sweetness and grace to contemplate the obscure mysteries of 
wisdom in Wisdom itself, a source of the greatest honor and glory that the effects 
produced by causes hidden in the Word of God should be revealed for the world's 
admiration by their ministry. 

This Pope Does Nothing By Accident

The Sanctify the Day, (start to say some of the Hours)

A  few selections from the

Laudis Canticum

The song of praise of the Church

The song of praise that echoes forever in the halls of heaven and that Jesus Christ, the High Priest, introduced in this exile has been consistently continued faithful and the Church, with a wonderful variety of ways.

The Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic complement

The Liturgy of the Hours gradually evolved to become the local church prayer, so that, in times and places established and chaired by the priest became a necessary complement to the perfect act of divine worship is the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which extends well and spreads to every moment of the life of men....

The Divine Office is prayer of clergy, religious and laity

Whenever the Office is prayer of the whole people of God, has been ready and prepared so that they can participate in it not only the clergy but also religious and laity themselves. Introducing various forms of celebration, we have tried to respond to the specific needs of people of different order and condition: prayer can adapt to the various communities that celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours, according to their status and vocation.

The Liturgy of the Hours is sanctification of the day, so the order of the sentence has been renovated so that the canonical hours can adapt more easily to the different times of day, given the conditions in which it develops human life in our time.

The laity can make the day holy by saying one or two of the Hours. 

Ave Regina Caelorum

Ave, Regína cælórum,
ave, Dómina angelórum,
salve, radix, salve, porta,
ex qua mundo lux est orta.

Gaude, Virgo gloriósa,
super omnes speciósa;
vale, o valde decóra,
et pro nobis Christum exóra.