These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.
Today is Wednesday in the 1st Week of Lent. The Roman Station is the Major Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Today you will hear a bit from an amazing disc. The tune is a setting of Venantius Fortunatus’ O gloriosa Domina, differently. St. Anthony of Padua’s mother sang it to him and he died while singing it himself.
Let’s think ahead to the Triduum. Traditionally, after the Gloria of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the church’s bells are silenced and a wooden noise maker is used instead. The harsh sound is striking. The technical name for the ecclesiastical noise maker is: crotalus – the rattle of a snake.
In some places a wooden gizmo with little hammers or clappers are used. In Italian they are called a “tric troc”. Other versions are handles with ratchets that you twirl around. Italians call those “raganella”.
Check with your parish priest to find out if they have a clacker or whizzer or other gizmo.
You should probably order them in pairs, since during the Eucharistic procession to repose the Blessed Sacrament after Mass of Holy Thursday, the altar boys could alternate as they went.
They will be delighted.
US HERE – UK HERE Or use the Amazon search box for a “Toca T-WR Ratchet”. It is not at all expensive.
For Holy Week, the last time bells, or organ, can be rung in the Roman Rite is for the first few words of the Gloria of Holy Thursday. After the beginning of the Gloria there should be no bells, which produce such cheery sounds. However, even in the older form of the Roman Rite, there is no clear indication in the rubrics that there should be some other noise-maker to substitute the bells at the elevations and during the procession.
That said, it is a strong and venerable custom that noise-makers such as the crotulus or the “tric troc”, clappers, should be used.
I cannot imagine not using some noise-maker if one is available. The association of the sounds with the Triduum are deeply part of the way we Catholics do things. They set a wholly different tone during the Triduum.
By the way, at least one church – this one in poor, poor unfortunate Malta – replaces their church bells with a really big crotalus.
In our day we finally gone beyond the decades long, post-Conciliar scandal of priest against priest when it comes to sacramental discipline. We have now reached bishop against bishop and conference against conference. If you are in one diocese or country, you can step across the border and have an entirely different approach on, say, absolution of people who don’t have a firm purpose of amendment and, consequently, admission to Holy Communion.
Here is an article at First Things which succinctly state the issue. It is a bit too long, perhaps, and it has some old information. However, it serves as a good review if you haven’t been keeping up.
THE EROSION OF CATHOLIC SACRAMENTAL DISCIPLINE IN GERMANY
On February 1, 2017, the German Bishops’ Conference published a press release announcing their new document, “The Joy of Love Lived in Families Is Also the Joy of the Church,” which summarizes the implications of Amoris Laetitia for sacramental discipline and pastoral care in Germany. German psychiatrist Christian Spaemann replies to the bishops in the following article. –Ed.
The time has come. The German bishops have done something that altogether exceeds their authority: They have undermined the sacramental discipline of the Catholic Church.
Thank you, Card. Kasper.
If you want to dig more deeply into this disciplinary cadaver to see what theological cancer rotted it from within, you might read the rather difficult, but dead-on right, essay by Robert Stark in Catholic World Report: German Idealism and Cardinal Kasper’s Theological Project. HERE
And we could also look at the issue of the “Church Tax” in Germany. That must be a factor in their decisions.
Did you know that Pope Clement XIV, in addition to suppressing the Jesuits in 1773, made Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart a knight of the Order of the Golden Spur on 4 July 1770? A singular papal honor! By the way, his full name was Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart. There is a portrait of him wearing the medal.
When Mozart was 14 his ambitious father Leopold took him to Rome in 1770. As the story goes, in April, during Holy Week, they managed to get through the guards and into the Gardens where they found Pope Clement serving food to the poor. Thus, introductions were made. It was during that Holy Week that young Wolfgang heard Allegri’s Miserere in the Sistine Chapel. That piece had been reserved to that chapel and forbidden elsewhere under pain of excommunication. Mozart, however, had the gift of remembering what he heard, so he wrote it down. Clement, true to his name, was pretty impressed. It is said that, thereafter, the Pope personally gave Mozart a guided tour of important places in the City. In July Papa Ganganelli knighted Mozart on his return to Rome from the south.
These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.
Today is Tuesday in the 1st Week of Lent. The Roman Station is St. Anastasia.
I have Stage Four cancer in the chest wall muscle and a tumor on the artery under the skull. I am considering all options.
I am asking all my friends to pray to Carlo Acutis for a complete cure. He needs a miracle.
Okay, everyone, she asked you to pray specifically to Carlo Acutis to intercede. Storm Carlo Acutis. We are not talking about “Jesus, Mary Joseph and all the saints and all the angels, especially [followed by a litany of your favorites].”
For the Orthodox, Sunday 5 March was the Sunday of Orthodoxy. They had solemn proclamations of “ANATHEMA” against heretics. It is very festive. I envy them conviction and this solemn ceremony. We Latins really should have something like this.
Here is looong video from Holy Trinity Monastery, Ekaterinburg in Russia, yesterday. Yes, this is 2017, not 1054. Click around in it if you can’t watch/listen to the whole thing. It is grand.
After reciting the Nicene Creed, they sing
This is the apostolic faith, this is the faith of the fathers, this is the Orthodox Faith, this faith confirmeth the universe. Furthermore, we receive and confirm the Councils of the Holy Fathers, and their traditions and writings which accord with divine revelation. And though there are some who are enemies to this Orthodoxy, and adversaries to the providential and salutary revelation of the Lord toward us, yet hath the Lord been mindful of the reproaches of His servants; for He hath covered the opposers of His glory with shame, and put the perverse enemies of Orthodoxy to flight. And therefore we bless and praise those who have submitted their understanding to the obedience of the divine revelation, and have contended for it; so following the Holy Scriptures, and holding the traditions of the primitive Church, we reject and anathematize all those who oppose the truth, if while the Lord tarried for their repentance and conversion they have refused to return.
To each of the following statements of the deacon, the clergy, choir, and people respond: Anathema! Thrice.
To those who deny the existence of God, and assert that the world is self-existing, and that all things in it are made by chance, without the divine providence, ANATHEMA!
To those who say that God is not a spirit, but flesh; or that He is not just, merciful, wise, omniscient, and such like blasphemies, ANATHEMA!
To those who dare to say that the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are not consubstantial and equal in honour with the Father; and who profess that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not one God, ANATHEMA!
To those who madly assert that the coming of the Son of God into the world in the flesh, and His voluntary passion, death, and resurrection were not necessary for our salvation and the expiation of sin, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the grace of redemption preached in the Gospel as the only means of our justification before God, ANATHEMA!
To those who dare to say that the most pure Virgin Mary was not a virgin before childbirth, in childbirth, and after childbirth, ANATHEMA!
To those who do not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and apostles, and by them instructed us in the true way to eternal salvation, and confirmed the same by miracles, and now dwelleth in the hearts of all faithful and sincere Christians, and guideth them into all truth, ANATHEMA!
To those who do not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father alone, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ sayeth in the Gospel, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the immortality of the soul, and deny that the world will have an end, and that there will be a future judgment, and eternal rewards for the virtuous in heaven, and punishment for the wicked, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject all the Holy Mysteries held by the Church of Christ, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the Councils of the Holy Fathers, and traditions which are in accord with divine revelation, and which the Orthodox Church piously maintains, ANATHEMA!
To those who reason that Orthodox sovereigns are elevated to their thrones not by God’s special good will for them, and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not poured out upon them during the anointing for the fulfillment of this great calling; and who likewise dare to rise up against them in revolt and betrayal, ANATHEMA!
To those who mock and blaspheme the holy icons which the Holy Church receiveth, in remembrance of the works of God and of His saints, to inspire the beholders with piety, and to incite them to imitate their examples, and to those who say that they are idols, ANATHEMA!
To the Theosophists and other heretics who dare to say and teach mindlessly that our Lord Jesus Christ did not descend to the earth and become incarnate only once, but hath been incarnate many times; and who likewise deny that the true Wisdom of the Father is His Only-begotten Son, and, contrary to the divine Scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Fathers, seek other wisdoms, ANATHEMA!
To the Masons, the occultists, spiritualists, sorcerers, and all who do not believe in one God, but honour the demons, who do not humbly surrender their life to God, but strive to learn the future through the sorcerous invocation of demons, ANATHEMA!
To the blasphemers of the Christian Faith, the ecumenists who say that they do not confess the Orthodox Eastern Church to be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, but madly say that the true Church seems to be a combination of various heresies, ANATHEMA!
To those apostatize from the Orthodox Faith and accept other beliefs, to the scandal of our brethren, and fall into schism, ANATHEMA!
To the persecutors of the Church of Christ, the impious apostates who have lifted their hands against the anointed of God, who slay the sacred ministers, who trample the holy things underfoot, who destroy the temples of God, who subject our brethren to iniquisition and have defiled our homeland, ANATHEMA!
Some of the Anathema Service in a Catholic Greek Melkite Church in English. HERE
By way of contrast, here’s a video about the same length. The Orthodox are not lacking in color and intensity. Perhaps the Russians have also the Three Days of Darkness in mind.
By the way, this year the LA “Religious” Education Conference did NOT post their “Closing Liturgy” as they have in years past. Perhaps they figured out that they are the hiss of all of the reverent.
And to any nitwit out there who suggests that Gregorian chant or solemn liturgy is toooo haaaard, look at this.
Headlines last week were proclaiming that a group of cardinals believe Pope Francis should step down to avoid a catastrophic schism in the Catholic Church.
Schism? What schism?
In fact, the modern Catholic Church is already in schism, but it is an internal schism, hidden to most people. [He is using the term “schism” equivocally, but read on…]
The divide is very clear and yet virtually unspoken. Nobody dares to really speak of it. [I don’t know about that. HERE] The divide runs between cardinals. It runs between bishops and archbishops. It runs between theologians. It runs between parish priests. It runs between liturgists and catechists, church workers, musicians, teachers, journalists and writers. [All true.]
It is not really a divide between conservative and liberal, between traditionalist and progressive. [Wellll…]
[NB] It is the divide between those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Virgin born Son of God and that as the second person of the Holy and undivided Trinity established his church on earth supernaturally filled with the Holy Spirit which would stand firm until the end of time, and those who believe otherwise. [As I read, I am acutely aware of my post about yesterday’s “Anthema” ceremony for Orthodoxy Sunday of Eastern Christians.]
Those who believe otherwise are the modernists. [Let’s also use “heretics”.] They are the ones who think the church is a human construct. It is a historic accident that occurred two thousand years ago and succeeded by a few twists of fate and a few happy circumstances. Because the believe the church is a human construct from a particular time and place, the church can and MUST adapt and change for every age and culture in which she finds herself.
This is the great divide. This is the schism which already exists.
I direct the readership’s attention to just about anything offered by Card. Kasper lately and, in particular, the incredible comments made by Card. Coccopalmerio to Edward Pentin HERE:
PENTIN: One last topic: At a recent plenary meeting with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, you reportedly encouraged the members to push for a less rigid understanding of the priesthood, essentially telling them to give up on an objective and metaphysical notion of priesthood. Your notion was that as we have an understanding of different levels of communion with the Church among the baptized, we should have different degrees of the fullness of priesthood, so as to permit Protestants to minister without being fully ordained. What exactly did you say, and why did you say it?
CARD. C: I was saying we have to reflect on questions. We say, everything is valid; nothing is valid. Maybe we have to reflect on this concept of validity or invalidity. The Second Vatican Council said there is a true communion even if it is not yet definitive or full. You see, they made a concept not so decisive, either all or nothing. There’s a communion that is already good, but some elements are missing. But, if you say some things are missing and that therefore there is nothing, you err. There are pieces missing, but there is already a communion, but it is not full communion. The same thing can be said, or something similar, of the validity or invalidity of ordination. I said let’s think about it. It’s a hypothesis. Maybe there is something, or maybe there’s nothing — a study, a reflection.
Call into question the very concept of validity? What are the implications?
Effectively, that means the obliteration of the Catholic Church.
What do libs do? They launch things out as ideas, “hypothesis”, and then they walk them back or they add “nuances”. In the meantime the needle has been bumped a half a point in the desired direct. Card. Kasper put some ideas out there to kick around. Chaos ensued. But now we have some bishops who say that the divorced and remarried can be given absolution and Communion while others don’t. This, based on an objectively unclear papal document. It’s surreal. Now, Card. Coccopalmerio (as LutherFest 2017 revs up) lofts the notion that, perhaps, there are shades or, a spectrum of validity. Maybe there isn’t really any such thing as validity.
I think my Guardian Angel prompted some good feedback over the last few hours. I really needed it.
First, from a reader:
Based on your recommendation, my wife and I watched The Nightingale last night – US HERE – UK HERE (French version). [HERE] Thank you. We both enjoyed the movie.
Next, from a priest:
Thank you for all that you have done for seminarians over these past many years, especially the work that you do through this blog. As a seminarian for nine years, I had quite an interesting time in formation. I attended a seminary that saw three different rectors with three very different views of how things should work. Despite the ups and downs for me and many other seminarians, we knew that we could turn to your blog in order to be informed, enlightened, encouraged and humored in such a way as to make the hard times a bit easier. For this and for the gift of your priesthood in this unique service to the Church, I thank you.
You may not remember this, but I will mention it nonetheless. Someone […] took a picture of [car], which had two of your bumper stickers on it. This picture found it’s way onto the blog. My bishop, several priests and many seminarians recognized it as my car, and I got an equal share of praise and warning for it. I do not regret it; if anything I was amused by it all.
I was ordained to the priesthood last year. I would like to learn to offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form as soon as possible. Please pray for me, and know of my prayers for you, that we may be good priests of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
That lifts my spirits!
Thank you for all you do. Your website is an oasis of sanity from my often insane diocese (that’s a story for another time).
Sadly any seminarian appearing in biretta in my diocese would, after the obligatory psychological assessment, be quickly assigned to the outer reaches of the universe, or worse. However we do have a wonderful 87 year-old priest who celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, who at his stage in life probably doesn’t care what the diocese thinks. This led to the thought have you considered another ACTION ITEM “Birettas for Octogenarians”?
Thanks for that. If there is anything we can do to lift the spirits of a 87 year old priest, I’m in. Let’s make it happen.
Thank you for the great sermon, Father Z [HERE] I like how you bring us back to the very origins of the Church.
(Kind of a desert here sorry to say) I know you don’t post them very often, but at least more priests are chiming in :) Appreciate all you do…blessed Lent to you, and of course thanks for the LentcaZts too, praying for all your intentions.
Prayers for my intentions are welcome indeed.
And now some voice mail – I really enjoy voice mail and I don’t get nearly enough – this comes from a gentlemen in reference to my post about clapping, applause, in church. HERE
Here in the realm of the Extraordinary Ordinary, where I am President of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison (a 501(c)(3) organization – please make a generous donation today!) I am fortunate to have as a colleague a young layman who acts as MC for many of our functions. He is super well-informed about his work and the Roman Rite.
The other day I mentioned that I was impressed that, if something were needed in a pinch, he always seemed to have what was necessary. So…
I asked him what he thought should be in the traditional MC’s “Go Bag”. This is what he sent:
ESSENTIALS FOR MC
Always take along:
Salt (preferably already blessed)
Pen and pencil, notepad
Matches, for when none of the available lighters will work (and that will eventually happen)
Swiss Army Knife (preferably one that includes a corkscrew)
Corkscrew (if not on the knife), for when you arrive and there is no wine in the sacristy so someone has to make a run to the store to buy a bottle, and it is corked (yes, this has happened when I was serving, and fortunately I had a pocketknife to open it)
Paperclips – for some reason they are needed more often than one might think
Helpful, but not essential:
Needle and thread
Standard straight pins
Copy of Fortescue, J.B. O’Connell, or L. O’Connell
Pontificale Romanum and a copy of Stehle (for Pontifical liturgies)
Essential references to own for study / rehearsal:
Fortescue, Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described (best general resource for all common parish ceremonies)
B. O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass (most in-depth resource for Masses celebrated by a priest)
O’Connell, The Book of Ceremonies (best resource for basic serving rules and principles, e.g. different types of bows and genuflections, how to light and extinguish candles, etc, as well as a basic overview of parish ceremonies, though less depth than Fortescue and never updated to post-55 Holy Week. Also a great appendix on liturgical chant)
Stehle, Manual of Episcopal Ceremonies (best resource for anything Pontifical)
Wapelhorst, Compendium Liturgiae Sacrae (most in-depth explanation of what is happening and why, for all types of Masses and the Divine Office. Lots of helpful charts and tables to summarize the more complicated ceremonies)
an actual Missale Romanum (i.e. not just a hand Missal), with the complete Rubricae generales, Ritus servandus,De defectibus, and the in-line rubrics
So to all you aspiring MC’s out there, get a “go bag”, get to studying and…
These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.
Today is Monday in the 1st Week of Lent. The Roman Station is St. Peter in Chains.
Along the way in these podcasts you might hear something from Lent at Ephesus by the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri. UK dwellers can get it HERE. Lent is just starting up, so consider helping the sisters and getting the disc.
My friend Prof. Peter Kwasniewski has been part of a project to create a Declaration on Sacred Music – Cantate Domino – on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Instruction Musicam Sacram, promulgated exactly 50 years ago today, 5 March.
This document, signed by numerous scholars, pastors, and musicians, seeks to promote greater importance of the place of traditional sacred music in liturgical worship of God. It points out many deficiencies in sacred music since the Council. However, it also offers constructive suggestions.
Cantate Domino could serve as a starting point for discussion in a diocese or a parish, a kind of examen conscientiae (“examination of conscience”) for renewal of worthy, artistic, sacred music for liturgical worship of God.
You can find it in various languages. You are invited to download it and distributed as widely as you can! Make sure that your pastors and musicians see this. Make your bishop aware of it and ask him, respectfully, to give it a chance, to read it. In English, it is only 5 pages long. The are dense pages, but there are only 5 pages.
Links to the document and a list of the signers is HERE
I think we can admit that solemn and traditional liturgy doesn’t seem to be Pope Francis’ thing. However, His Holiness recently addressed a conference for the 50th of Musicam sacram, and said: “Sometimes a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of liturgical celebrations.”
I use my Kindle a great deal, both at home and when I travel. I use an older generation Kindle even to read to me (text to speech). And, be reading Kindle books, there aren’t a bunch of books around which I have to store, and dust, or find new homes for. That’s a big deal, given the number of books I have.
Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday Obligation for this 1st Sunday of Lent? Let us know!
For my part… well… here it is. Since I am in LENTCAzT mode, I include some chant of the Tract for Mass – Extraordinary Form – to which I refer in the sermon. The Tract is long, because it is most of Psalm 90/91, a harrowing but hope-filled song of war for the penitent warrior.
I was, by the way, working on the wire without a net. This morning, I was carrying some heavy things to my car and… well… on my way to church my priestly neighbor, heading out for Mass himself, texted me:
So, I dug my heels into the floor boards and started.
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“This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z
Some words of wisdom…
The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and and limits of [papal] authority, which of course, as such, had never been considered. After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.
"We as Catholics have not properly combated (the culture) because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time. This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention... What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity... Charity means speaking the truth. I have encountered it (not speaking the truth) many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not 'politically correct.' But we cannot be silent any longer."
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Aedificantium enim unusquisque gladio erat accinctus.
- Nehemiah 4:18
"Where priest and people together face the same way, what we have is a cosmic orientation and also in interpretation of the Eucharist in terms of resurrection and trinitarian theology. Hence it is also an interpretation in terms of parousia, a theology of hope, in which every Mass is an approach to the return of Christ."
"In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. ... If all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians." CDF 2003
One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting.
— C. S. Lewis
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"One of the few things in life you can be absolutely sure about is that, if Management tells you it doesn't like your Tone, you are getting something right."
"Latin is a precise, essential language. It will be abandoned, not because it is unsuitable for the new requirements of progress, but because the new men will not be suitable for it. When the age of demagogues and charlatans begins, a language like Latin will no longer be useful, and any oaf will be able to give a speech in public and talk in such a way that he will not be kicked off the stage. The secret to this will consist in the fact that, by making use of words that are general, elusive, and sound good, he will be able to speak for an hour without saying anything. With Latin, this is impossible."
- - Giovanni Guareschi
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Let us pray…
Grant unto thy Church, we beseech
Thee, O merciful God, that She, being
gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may
be in no wise troubled by attack from her
O God, who by sin art offended and by
penance pacified, mercifully regard the
prayers of Thy people making supplication
unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of
Thine anger which we deserve for our sins.
Almighty and Everlasting God, in
whose Hand are the power and the
government of every realm: look down upon
and help the Christian people that the heathen
nations who trust in the fierceness of their
own might may be crushed by the power of
thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world
without end. R. Amen.
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A great hymnal…
Mystic Monk Coffee also has TEA!
Because it matters what children read…
I carry one of these super-strong rosaries in my spare mag pouch! The Swiss Guards have them too!
The Swiss Guard have these rosaries!For the story clickHERE and HERE (esp. 18:00)
Because you don’t know when you are going to need to move fast or get along without the supermarket…
My wish lists
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Food For Thought
“The legalization of the termination of pregnancy is none other than the authorization given to an adult, with the approval of an established law, to take the lives of children yet unborn and thus incapable of defending themselves. It is difficult to imagine a more unjust situation, and it is very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience — the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.”
"One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting."
- C.S. Lewis
More food for thought:
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”
Francis Card. George
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"It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been committed for fear of not looking sufficiently progressive."
Charles Pierre PéguyNotre Patrie, 1905
"If I ought to write the truth, I am of the mind that I ought to flee all meetings of bishops, because I have never seen any happy or satisfactory outcome to any council, nor one that has deterred evils more than it has occasioned their acceptance and growth."
St. Gregory Nazianzus
ep. 131 - AD 382
“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”
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“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
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