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Friday 3 January 2014

Please join me in private prayer for my intentions

O God, merciful Father, you granted your servant Álvaro, Bishop, the grace of being an exemplary pastor in the service of the Church, and a most faithful son and successor of Saint Josemaría, the founder of Opus Dei. Grant that I too may respond faithfully to the demands of the Christian vocation, turning all the circumstances and events of my life into opportunities to love you and serve the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Deign to glorify your servant Álvaro, and through his intercession grant me the favor I request ... (here make your petition). Amen.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.

In conformity with the decrees of Pope Urban VIII, we declare that there is no intention of anticipating in any way the judgment of the Church, and that this prayer is not intended for public use.

My favorite post of 2013

Monday, 15 April 2013

White Roses on the Shore: a Long Poem by Supertradmum

White Roses on the Shore: Sea, ships and the bend of the coast

Part One: Ancona-"A star rises in midwinter"

Here, at this Ancona
I am beginning to forget you,
like we forget the histories of towns,
or the names of beautiful harbours.

But, memory, say the ancient holy ones,
can either aid us or be great rocks
in the heart and the mind-who recalls
the Valley of the Brambles, or

the Broken Bridge, or the Land
of the Grand Master. The henge is wrapped
in bureaucracy and Glastonbury’s martyrs
forgotten in silly action and false colours.

“But love, when perfect, is so powerful,
that we forget our own pleasure
in order to please God, whom we love”
wrote the Great Teresa—but what should

we keep in memory and what forget, as
I am forgotten in these walls?  The sea and
the ships bring my heart back in waves to you,
in greys, whites, reflecting my Clairvaux moods.

How can I grieve, like Odysseus on Circe’s isle,
waking out of drugged slumber from the depths
of the Middle Sea? “They say the sea is cold, but
the sea contains the hottest blood of all.”  This sea

holds mine and if I could send Love like ripples
to your shore, like tides to all whom I love, these
would be small white roses, riding on the dark sea,
small tokens lapping up on the far shores….

moving through time and memory, tossed over
the largest heart of all with a memory as old
as the song it sings, but it cannot sing the songs
of purged memory, the nocturnes of this day.

No white prayers come up from the deep, only
the praise of being warm in the cold, cold sea,
under the sail boats, under the rain and mist, the songs
vary outside my door—do those creatures on board

praise Him with persistent longing as the whales
below? What do they remember and what forget?
We have the missa and Word Incarnate, to remind
us of who we are and what we should remember.

Part Two: Telemachus- "They took a terrible vengeance"

Persistent love cannot be false, purified in the
gem polisher, made into some perfect stone
not born of passion, but compassion and pity;
not lust, but a reaching of the heart for completeness.

The young prince’s beard made mater’s decision
strong in pain and promise, being queen true to
her word, watching, weaving, weeping in the night
weary of those burning in envy and hatred.

Greed pitted itself against her age of fast happiness,
she wanted peace;  but, cannot the past be washed away,
the blood purified cleansed by the Blood of Him
Who showed Himself to a tribe unknown to

Telemachus? “Love is as strong as death” could
have been mater’s song as well as the desert groom,
coming up from the sheepfold, coming into the tent
looking for her who was dark and comely. Remembering.

Youth’s ascendancy tossed him into the sea of Mnemosyne,
into Menelaus’ grand company, but no wisdom there.
Sailors brought the son back to miracles and a goddess
he did not know.  He became a man, true, unlike others.

Wrapped in the courage of Pallas Athena, he did not see
like another youth of the sheepfold, He, Who broke the Seal of Death,
Ever-Young in the dawn of a foreign day. Did the bearded youth
look south, as I do today, towards the hot lands for courage,

missing the purple sea, far from this cold land of grey mist
this land rimmed by sunsets of orange and duck-egg blue?
Telemachus’ sun set quickly, like yours, fame for a thousand
years without a twilight, but there is no other way

than to be taught by one’s father the ways of war and wooing.
The Hyperborei knew this and blessed their bards, placing them
in the front lines of battle for fame and fortune. Such is the play
of poetry and war, youth and death, marriage and separation.

Part Three: Penelope- "How can I cherish my man?"

Orion’s Belt melts the clouds in this night’s brightness,
but Penelope’s constellation seemed smaller than mine,
this one who strides across the Bay and meets the hot
cliffs of the other lands of deeper waters and older tribes.

Memory and reflection were her gifts of love, she
affectionate emblem of faithfulness, like me, always
monogamous, notoriously faithful beyond waiting days.
A woman’s face grows old while the heart is purified.

She undid her weary work until minds of lust and greed
jackals, predators, circling her and showing themselves
not to be real men of the Middle Sea, but boys . While
she mourned the lion, the whelps played war.

Searching the shore in the grey mist of morning, she
with spring-love in her heart gave in for a moment, but
what we have is greater, stronger, divine Love holding
all in His Heart, Humanity reaching down to earth

like Orion capturing the sea. Penelope’s god was her
husband, but now God becomes the Husband, and even such
a man as her’s striving with Neptune to get home, could
not compare with the Crucified One.

Odysseus of collective memory regained his bride through
suffering, a man purified in water and wind, Poseidon’s
plaything, until humility was learned and earned.
Some of us, like the Poet, are “rememberers”,

the bards with bow and arrow in the line of honour,
passing on the muir Desunt caetera, repetition, memory,
love in names and titles never to be forgotten unless
carved in foreign lands. We forget to our own peril.

The missing have forgotten who they are and were and
what they were supposed to be. Like Adam, thrust out
of the green home, reflecting in nine-hundred years of
remorse, waiting for death, and then the harrowing.

Profane love, like coal, becomes a diamond heart over time
and heat and pressure. The God of History changed all,
for Penelope, for me, renewing hope in the heart
making one young in vision and mastery.

Without memory, there would be no people,
no poem, no bard in the front line of fire;
no children to carry on the reflections of the
mater and pater; nothing but death.

Part 4: Ithaca- "The soul of man"

I would sit quietly in the southern sunlight
and bring you tea, sitting not too close in
the heat of the day, in silence, where the
geraniums bloom under the low sierras

which hid the pain crying out for healing
and completeness. So much has been lost
in this generation lost to the confusion of
each Child of Our Time, like the sailors

stopping up their stubborn ears in order to reach
the wineskin of wind, of curiosity, destroying
years of peace and Odysseus’ domesticity, pushing
out again into the Ionian Sea; none returned but one.

Love and will were separated. We threw away chances,
for completeness, renewable, yes, but not the same, like
the queen’s lost years of childbearing.  But, there is
a greater mercy than Athena’ magic.  The shore is in view.

Ithaca’s rocky coast rises out of the sea a long way
from my cove, but love rides the white waves, regardless
of the temperature of the sea and shore. Odysseus’ soul
was healed before he found Penelope again.  So, climb

up and see the small raft and like the man of the Middle Sea
come home to who you are.  The New God is not Poseidon,
ruler of horses, but the One Who walked on the waves,
proving a new King of the blue sea not far from you.

The ships sail away. My heart stays with the Babe in the Womb
silent in waiting for the fullness of time, and here we have
our being, if we look in the same place for this healing God.
Find the raft hidden beneath the cliff and come home.

Part 5: The Unknown God-"I would know my shadow and my light"

The sons of Telemachus may have seen the sons
of the red-haired man,  in the market place of Athens,
speaking the words of Epimenides for we are indeed,
people of memory; “Men of Athens, I perceive that

in every way you are very religious,” or a varied translation.
Damaris and Dionysius  heard with the blood of Odysseus
calling them home to a different Love, choosing a Known
God faithful to time and memory, the One Who entered history

again and again and again, changing the darkness into dawn.
in a Resurrection some derided. The long song of Homer
created a space for a new mimesis, heart, home, memory, will,
understanding, for new descendants of the wandering man.

The Blood washed away the obstacles, the encumbrances,
the imperfections of the tribe, purging our own hearts so
that we could decide to do something somewhere, somehow.
The Vulnerable God gave us His courage.

Spousal love so praised by Homer and Solomon becomes
the norm for you, for me, for those who care to listen
to the song. Love is now my occupation-let it be yours.
Let the heart follow us home….

Per lumen gloriae fit creatura rationalis  Deiformis
Cum enim aligius intellectus creatus vidit
Deum per essentiam—ipsa essentia Dei fit intelligibilis

The waters by the dry sands will not let my voyage
be delayed—for we are humans, semper idem,
semper paratus waiting for God. And, “seven times
a day, I praise Thee for Thy righteous ordinances.”

Benedict took up the heart and home of the Known God.
“Let me live, that I may praise Thee.” And the God of
time and memory redeemed the grass, redeemed the springs,
redeemed the Middle Sea and this near sea, redeemed place.

Small waves like white roses on the sea gather on the sand.
I would send them out again, in wind and sun to the south,
to lap up on another shore, like small prayers in the dark.
Yield, bend,  gather the signs of memory at your feet in the waters.

copyright, 2013

From Today's NO Mass

Today, in the NO, it is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Colossians 3:5-16

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols.
For which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of unbelief,
In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.
But now put you also all away: anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth.
Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds,
10 And putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of him that created him.
11 Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:
13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.
14 But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:
15 And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms

Catholic, you better pray and fast and do penance--this is heating up

More here....

This demonstrates the absurdity of what happens when government mandates that the burden for lifestyle choices falls on those other than the individual him/herself. People who oppose those lifestyle choices object to having their pockets picked to fund them, and we end up telling nuns to cover contraception despite their celibacy. And then, when they object to facilitating access to contraception because of their intention to live their religious beliefs in their own actions, we get the New York Times and the White House insisting that the nuns don’t know how to do so. Had we just left things alone and acknowledged that birth control choices were only the business of the individual, this absurdity wouldn’t have arisen in the first place. Instead, the government decided to solve a non-problem by the most burdensome method possible.

Sharing from A Sem

A Latino seminarian friend of mine sent me this, which is a traditional birthday as well as name day song.

Here is the video. The words are amazing.

LAS MAÑANITAS con mariachi

I hope some of you enjoy this.

Las Mananitas

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo*, te las cantamos a tí,
Despierta, mi bien**, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores
En la pila del bautismo, cantaron los ruiseñores
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.
Quisiera ser solecito para entrar por tu ventana,
y darte los buenos días acostadita en tu cama,
Quisiera ser un San Juan, quisiera ser un San Pedro,
Para venirte a cantar con la música del cielo,
De las estrellas del cielo tengo que bajarte dos,
una para saludarte y otra para decirte adiós,
Con jasmines y flores hoy te vengo a saludar,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo te venimos a cantar.

This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint's day* we're singing it for you
Wake up, my dear**, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set
How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The day you were born all the flowers were born
On the baptismal font the nightingales sang
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn
I would like to be the sunshine to enter through your window
to wish you good morning while you're lying in your bed
I would like to be a Saint John I would like to be a Saint Peter
To sing to you with the music of heaven
Of the stars in the sky I have to lower two for you
One with which to greet you and the other to wish you goodbye
With jasmines and flowers we come to greet you
Because today is your saint’s day, we come to sing to you

No Middle Ground

We belong to the Church militant ; and she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights. No rank of the clergy is spared ; and the faithful—their number is legion—inspired by the valiant endurance of their shepherds and fathers in Christ, stand firm, ready to suffer and die, as the martyrs of old, for the one true Faith taught by Jesus Christ. Into that militia you seek to be admitted as leaders. -Venerable. Pope Pius XII delivered on 14 October 1953 (Acta Apostalicae Sedis 45 (1953) pp 679 ff.) at the opening of the North American College in Rome.

 Pope Pius XII Prayer for the Church Militant

Bless, O divine redeemer, the sacred hierarchy, the ministers of the sanctuary and those who aspire to the priesthood, and all who, renouncing the world, have consecrated themselves to you in the various forms of religious life. Bless the courageous groups of the lay apostolate and revive among them in full measure the courage of their Christian profession, the ardor of their zeal, and the firmness of manly fidelity. Bless the rulers of nations and inspire in them ideals of justice and peace, of fraternal understanding and mutual cooperation so that, freed from all threat of domination and violence, all people may live and serve God quietly and peacefully, and then pass from their days of labor here on Earth to the joys of their Heavenly home. Bless the families in whose protective bosoms are nurtured the generations that will form the church of tomorrow.  Bless and assist young boys and girls, whose purity, strength, and spiritual joy are one of the most heartfelt concerns of your spouse, holy mother, the church.
Bless and encourage those whose sentiments, thoughts, words, and works have been sullied by Earthly allurements and deceitful errors.  Help them find again the way that alone can lead them from the depths of tepidity and indifference and separation from God to truth and salvation. Pour forth your blessing on all who are suffering in body and soul.  Raise up in every-increasing numbers generous souls who are ready to go wherever they may hear of tears, mourning, or sorrow, ready to dedicate their spiritual and physical strength and their material possessions to the care of the many infants that have been abandoned along the ways, to the support of the numerous old people who are destitute of all help.  May they be prepared to assist the needy who are incessantly torn between want and sickness, the innumerable exiles who are wandering about in search of a new country, and all who are oppressed and are the victims of human injustices.
Give courage to all who are groaning in hospitals, languishing in prisons, possibly even unjustly, or pining away in places of exile and suffering.  Strengthen the fortitude of those who are suffering in their honor, their liberty, and in their bodies for the defense of their faith.  May they be noble examples of fidelity in your service, O you who are the divine conqueror of death and the underworld.Triumph, O Jesus, be triumphant!  Come!  May your kingdom march forward!  May your sovereignty shine forth on the Earth, always better known and loved, in proportion to the infinite power of your divine blood, which was shed for the redemption of the whole world.

Poll Results

Well, the "yes and no" category messed up the findings, but it seems that cookies are desserts, except for the opinions of the Brits and Aussies.

I have given up desserts forever and ever, so I wanted some outside opinions as to whether cookies fell into the cake, flan, custard, syllabub, ice cream, cheese cake, Boston Cream Pie (my favorite), and real pie categories.

I may have a poll as to whether malts and shakes are desserts. Sigh, I hope not.

What do you think?

More on The Passive Purgation

Do not be confused reading different authors on the process of holiness.

One must go through the passive purgation. Those who suffer intensely are in the passive purgation, which happens to detach each person from people, places, things.

One becomes more docile and more patient in the darkness of this passive purgation.

When one is in darkness, one must rely on those who are more spiritual. In this day, it is increasingly hard to find a holy spiritual director, who is mature and who gone through the passive purgation himself.

How hard it is for Americans to break away from the senses, when the entire culture centers on fulfilling sensual desires. I have said this before, but the virtues cannot come into effect until sins and the tendencies to sin are destroyed. Those things are like walls keeping the light of the virtues from coming out in the great light and power these give the soul.

The light of the Dark Night begins with peace, a solid peace which is not understandable but experienced.

One accepts this state of unknowing more and more.

One lets go of expectations and pride, the great sin of control.

With the letting go of pride, comes patience.

And, now and then, in the great darkness of the passive purgation, comes joy, not a joy based on anything but the knowledge that God is in control, and that one can rest in God.

To be continued....

Birthday Blast

Hey, minus 30 with windchill this morning, January 3rd, is predicted.

At nine o'clock at night on January 2nd  it was minus 20 with the wind, minus 2 temp and getting colder.

Europeans, these temps are in Fahrenheit.

It is my birthday. Sigh, in my entire life, I have only had one party because there were either 14 inches of snow on the ground, or ice storms, or freezing fog. Even when I lived in England for ten years in the '80s and '90s, the weather was less than perfect.

Oh well, this is Iowa; it could be International Falls, Minnesota, which gets much colder.

As I am not having a cake, I share this one with my readers.

Today is the Feast of St. Genevieve. I had an Aunt Genevieve, and narrowly escaped being named Genevieve.

This saint saved Paris from Attila the Hun, which was a great blessing for all. She did this by encouraging the people of the city to fast, to do penance, to pray. I like sheep, so I am pleased that she was a shepherdess.

She seems to have been a consecrated virgin.

She is the chief patron of the City of Paris.

But, I would never want to be called Jennabean in school, would you?

The name means "white wave" and may be an ancient name from Galatia. Perhaps a Genevieve of old heard the Epistle to the Galatians read in her church. Perhaps because I was born on her day, she helped me with my sea-poem last year, which one can find under the label poetry.

St. Genevieve lived to be 89, which is also a great feat. May St. Genevieve bless us all with courage today.

In addition, as I just got one card, which is usual, as no one remembers a birthday two days after New Year's Day, I am giving myself and you readers a card.

Poor, poor Notre Dame

Last week, a federal judge denied the University’s request for relief from the Obama administration’s mandate. Then on December 31, a panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied Notre Dame’s emergency motion for a stay, pending an appeal.
If the University fails to comply with the HHS mandate, it will face crippling fines of up to $100 per day per employee. But Notre Dame has decided to accept the Obama administration’s “accommodation,” which ensures employees the offensive coverage over the University’s objection.
"Having been denied a stay, Notre Dame is advising employees that pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, our third party administrator is required to notify plan participants of coverage provided under its contraceptives payment program,” said Paul Browne, Notre Dame’s vice president for public affairs and communications, according to WNDU. "As part of an ongoing legal action, however, the program may be terminated once the university's lawsuit on religious liberty grounds against the HHS mandate has worked its way through the courts."
- See more at:

Whose Alienation?

Years ago, after Vatican II, a movement to "dialogue" with the world seemed a good thing to many people, including some theologians. The idea was that the Church had become "alienated" with the world and could no longer communicate with those who had been turned off by the traditional religious stance of the Catholic Church.

Now, many of us know this is an incorrect emphasis. But, let me take this thought and turn it on its head.

It is the world which has alienated itself from the Church. Modern culture is doing everything to distance itself from the true teachings of the Catholic Church.

Speaking with someone on Tuesday, I remarked that the Church has not changed its teachings on anything in 2013. The person was surprised and quoted Pope Francis's comment on not judging homosexuals.

I noted that the Pope has not changed the teaching of the Church on the serious sin which homosexual sin is, but that the media has taken the Pope's comments out of context. But, this person went on to say, "But it doesn't matter, because no one believes what the Church teaches anyway."  His comment dismissed the conversation to a matter of opinion, and instead of wanting to pursue a truth, this person alienated himself from the Church, on purpose.

Why should Catholics be beating themselves about this so-called alienation from the world, when it is the world, the flesh, and the devil which insist on separating from Church teaching?

Too many Catholics feel like they have to be on the defensive. Actually, it is the "other side", the side of the atheists and agnostics which must defend their position.

Who has alienated themselves from God?

What is being ignored are the eternal consequences of this alienation.

Some people will lose their souls in all this confusion and relativism.

Read, think, reflect, pray, act....

Really Fun!

If your child listens to classical ...