LENTCAzT 12: 2nd Sunday of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is the 2nd Sunday of Lent.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (92% score)
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Internet to be regulated by Feds… what could possibly go wrong?




Anyone else worried about this?

Think… Amtrack… health.gov… U.S. Post Office…

What could go wrong?

18 votes, 3.83 avg. rating (77% score)
Posted in Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The Drill, You must be joking! | Tagged | 17 Comments

Bp. Galantino, 66, resigned

I note with interest in today’s Bolletino that His Excellency Nunzio Galantino, Bishop of Cassano all’Jonio and Secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference has resigned at age 66.

You might recall that Bp. Galantino has made some odd statements. For example, his comments about “expressionless persons praying rosaries outside abortion clinics”

His successor was appointed immediately, Fr. – Bishop-Elect – Francesco Savino. I’m sure you will, in your goodness, say a pray for him.


From an SMS I received:

Gagliarducci: totally expected Galantino would be asked to resign so he can devote all of his considerable talents to CEI

5 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (97% score)
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WDTPRS – 2nd Sunday of Lent: Purify your “spiritual view” lest God be offended

Transfiguration_by_fra_Angelico_(San_Marco_Cell_6)Here is the Collect of the 2nd Sunday of Lent, a new composition for the Novus Ordo based on a precedent in the Liber Mozarabicus Sacramentorum:

Deus, qui nobis dilectum Filium tuum audire praecepisti, verbo tuo interius nos pascere digneris, ut, spiritali purificato intuitu, gloriae tuae laetemur aspectu.

Used by early Latin writers such as Sts Hilary of Poitiers (+c 368), Ambrose (+397) and in liturgical texts, gloria is more than fame or splendor of appearance.  Our Latin liturgical gloria is the equivalent of biblical Greek doxa and Hebrew kabod.   Romans translated these concepts also with words like maiestas and claritasGloria has to do with man’s recognition of God as God.  Gloria is a characteristic of God which He will share with us so as to transform us throughout eternity.

The vocabulary of the prayers reinforces that this covenant we are in with God is not a contract between equals: He is Almighty and eternal, we are lowly and mortal.  We do well to beg as supplicants before His Majesty, not as cowed slaves terrified of a harsh master, but with the reverential awe of children looking at authority with the eyes of truth.  Our orations during Mass help us to see who we are and who we are not.


O God, who commanded us to listen to Your beloved Son, deign to nourish us interiorly with Your word, so that, once (our) spiritual view has been purified, we may rejoice in the sight of Your glory.


God our Father, help us to hear your Son. Enlighten us with your word, that we may find the way to your glory.


O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory.

Note the senses of hearing (audire) and of seeing (intuitus, aspectus), both physically and also inwardly, spiritually.  The voice of God the Father spoke at the Transfiguration commanding us to listen to His beloved Son (Matthew 17:5).  We listen to Jesus and look at what He does, both in the pages of Scripture and in His continuing work through Holy Church.  Christ’s words which we hear and His deeds which we see both save us and teach us who we are (cf. GS 22).

Aspectus has both active and passive connotations, that is, the sense of sight, the act of seeing a thing, and the appearance of the thing itself.  Aspectus can mean, “mien, countenance”, how something “looks”.  Think of Henry V in Shakespeare’s play inciting his soldiers before battle to “lend the eye a terrible aspect” (III, i).  Intuitus (from intueor) means “a look, a view; respect, consideration.”  You know intueor from a verse of the hymn of St Thomas Aquinas Adoro Te Devote: “I am not looking (intueor) at the wounds, like Thomas; I am nevertheless professing faith that you are my God; make me always more to believe in you, have hope in you, love you.”  That hymn also sings “ex auditu solo tuto creditur’, only “by hearing” is the doctrine of the Eucharist believed “safely”.  Sight, touch and taste can deceive us.

Our intuitus spiritalis could be our own ability to see clearly into the state of our soul. Our intuitus (“insight”, “view”) is that spiritual lens which must be cleansed so that we can have a more perfect “view”.  Otherwise, intuitus could be the spiritual landscape within us, the “view” God sees, how we “look” to Him.  “View” picks up both views of intuitus (the power to see and that which is seen).  “Insight” would favor just one possibility.  The cognate “intuition” suggests the wrong connotation from common usage, that is, “sudden insight” or “good guess”.

Both how we see and what is seen in us, our “spiritual view”, must be purified (purificato) so that God is not offended (cf. Habakkuk 1:3)  

God and neighbor must see His image in us.  We must see His image in ourselves and others if we are going to treat them with the charity Christ commands.

St. Bonaventure (+1274) wrote about how Thomas the Apostle looked through the Lord’s visible wounds and saw His invisible wound of love.

We must with charity try to look past our neighbor’s imperfections, the wounds caused by sin, to see the intended reality.

Lent is a time for gaining a “view” of the Love who died and rose for us, thus transforming us into more perfect images of who He is: risen, living, glorious.

This necessarily requires a close examination of our lives to see and to hear what or whom we have placed at the center of our lives, Jesus Christ’s rightful place.

2 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (94% score)
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Two years ago… Sede Vacante

Two years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI abdicated.

My posts from that sad, remarkable day, HERE.

4 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (96% score)
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Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the perps in the Vatican… SHOCK!… he is now being attacked on a personal level.

Damian Thompson has a good summary with comments on what has been going on:

The Sydney Morning Herald, no fan of Pell in his days as Archbishop of Sydney, has accused him of ‘living it up at the Holy See’s expense’. They cite leaked documents purporting to show he rented an office and apartment in Rome at a cost of £2,580 a month – which, unless I’ve got the figures wrong, isn’t very expensive. Plus £1,270 on ‘religious robes’. Oh, for God’s sake. [Indeed.  Find the most ignorant people you can to write this stories.] As a senior cardinal, Pell is required to wear a soutane plus other bits of church uniform, and since he’s massively tall with a rugby player’s build I’m guessing they can’t come off the peg. [Indeed.  That amount is chicken feed when one considers nearly any professional person’s clothing expenses.  And.. there’s more!]

[Update: I now learn that the robes were for the chapel in the Secretariat which had no vestments at all. So they’re not Cardinal Pell’s – they’re for any priest using the chapel.]

Card Pell conclave oathHe travels business class, too. As he should. [Exactly.  When he hits the ground, he has to hit the ground running.  I fly a good deal and, as I get older, the economy cabin is harder and harder to take for long flights.] Again, this is one hell of a big bloke, getting on a bit, with heart problems and a terrifyingly ambitious brief from Francis. It didn’t take him long to identify hundreds of thousands of euros hidden in the Vatican accounts. He revealed this in an article for the Catholic Herald, at which point we all knew that the Vatican mafia would arrange for him to have a little PR ‘accident’.

As this article in Crux explains, Pell’s Secretariat for the Economy this week formally required all heads of Vatican departments ‘to certify in writing that they’ve provided complete and accurate information’. This has never happened before, and the old boys from the Curia are flouncing around Rome like offended dowagers. There are rumours that, as an emergency measure, they’ve reduced the length of their lunches in the Borgo Pio trattorie from four to three hours.

Anyway, the tattling that’s going on is meant to drag Pell down.  That’s what thugs do and that seems to be how certain people in the Vatican are determined to work right now.

Today the Secretariat for the Economy issued a statement:



I love that last bit.

I wish he did have cappa. Maybe we should get him one.




15 votes, 4.73 avg. rating (94% score)
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LENTCAzT 11: Ember Saturday of the 1st Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Saturday of the 1st Week of Lent. Today is an Ember Day.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

4 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (96% score)
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Ancient Greek Fish on Friday

One of the blogs I follow is Pass the Garum. They recently moved to a new site, by the way. As you know from reading this blog for a while, garum is a fermented fish sauce that the Romans put on everything. It is rather like modern Vietnamese fish sauce.

As I was contemplating how to prepare Friday supper, I found an interesting recipe at the aforementioned blog for Baked Mackerel and Cheese. That’s mackerel and cheese, not macaroni and cheese.  Even though, these days, Romans are starting to experiment a bit with cheese on fish… a heresy… it seems that in the ancient world there was no such reluctance.

The blog has the source of this inspiration:

“When you’re by the sea at Carthage, bake some bream after washing it well.  You’ll find great big bream in Byzantium too, their bodies the size of round shields!  Work with the fish whole.  Once you have coated the fish with cheese and oil, hang it up in a hot clay oven and bake it through.  Once done, sprinkle with cumin and salt, and drench it with divine grey-green oil.”

- Archestratus [mid-4th c. BC – a source for ancient Greek food] fr. 13, as recorded in Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 320b-c

I was short of bream, and also of mackerel.  I had some cod, however.  Friday… Lent and all…

The approach is simple.  Grate cheese and make a paste of it with olive oil.

Smear it onto your fish.

Bake it at 350° F.   When it is finished (the recipe said 20 minutes but mine took a bit more… it’s a toaster oven), sprinkle it with salt and herbs.

Meanwhile, toast some salt and your spice: cumin.  I didn’t have cumin seeds, alas, but I did have some grated.

When finished, sprinkle with the spices.  NB: broccolini and lemon.

I’d like to do this again, but with seeds and with a better cheese, perhaps with a different fish as well.  But, in a pinch and with what I had on hand, this was pretty darn tasty.  I’ll probably broil rather than bake, depending on the thickness of the fish.

There is also a recipe for Mackerel in a Coriander Crust, which I am going to try.  That’s from Apicius, as it turns out.

So, be creative with your Friday repast.

6 votes, 3.67 avg. rating (74% score)
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Will Pope Francis be the only able-bodied diocesan bishop NOT to celebrate Mass of the Last Supper with priests and people?

From the marvelous Fr. Hunwicke.  I had to smile.  HERE

Job Sharing?
Why don’t people swap roles occasionally? Fr Lombardi could go riding around in airliners making remarks to journalists; then the Holy Father could do the News Conferences explaining what the remarks had really meant.

This year’s Vatican Liturgical Schedule doesn’t include the Holy Father presiding at the Mass of the Last Supper. Is Cardinal Burke, il Cardinale volante, still free to step into this breach? If, by then, the Swiss Guard has been abolished, he could bring his Knights of Malta to the Lateran to provide Security. Juventutem could waggle flabella over the sedia gestatoria.
_______________________________  [Father… don’t use long lines created from underscores… okay?  I cut this one down for you.]

I wonder if the Bishop of Rome will be the only able-bodied Latin Rite diocesan bishop in the world not to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper openly with his priests, deacons, and people? There will of course be sound precedents galore from the much more flexible age of the Renaissance papacy … it’s praxis within the rather more rigid post-Vatican II dispensation that I’m curious about.

If the Holy Father wants a substitute for the sacred rites in St. John Lateran, and if Card. Burke is otherwise engaged… I volunteer.

33 votes, 3.94 avg. rating (78% score)
Posted in Decorum, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests | Tagged | 16 Comments

LENTCAzT 10: Ember Friday of the 1st Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Friday of the 1st Week of Lent. Today is an Ember Day.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

And.. don’t forget…


Click me!

9 votes, 3.56 avg. rating (72% score)
Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments