Can you believe how ridiculous this is getting?

Can you believe how ridiculous this is getting?

At a guitar shop, teenagers complained that a guitar with the Confederate flag was on display! HERE

union jack guitar


Ummm… no, kids.  Fail.


Thank you, American educators!  Well done.

And then there was the story in the American Mirror about the guy who called 911 because someone was selling Confederate memorabilia at a flea market.  The emergency? He was offended!

It gets worse.  The police dispatched a car!

This is getting ridiculous.



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Posted in Liberals, Puir Slow-Witted Gowk, You must be joking! | Tagged | 28 Comments

Of doilies, germs, and typographical symblos

From a reader…

Just when you have just about seen it all.

Went to mass in small town.

• All altar girls
• Processing the servers, choir, emhc’s, lectionary, etc.
• Alb and stole only for the priest (it was a hot day)

But then the purification of the fingers for the EMHC…

You can guess what is under the cloth…

sanitizer 01

sanitizer 02.png


The doily covering is cute in an old-lady sort of way.

Yah, okay.  Well… not much to see here, I think.

I admit that, a couple times, when I had a bad cold, I – as celebrant – used some of that sanitizer goo from a little bottle before distributing Communion.

This seems to respond to paranoia about germs. It’s tacky, but it isn’t a liturgical abuse. The liturgical abuse was the lack of proper vestments.

Before the priest vests for Mass, indeed before servers vest, they should wash their hands and recite the prayer:

Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam immundam; ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.

Give strength to my hands, Lord, to wipe away every stain, so that without impurity of mind and body I may be able to serve you.

Perhaps with sanitizer, this could be modified to say:

Da Domine virtutem squirt manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam et cimicem immundam, ut sine contagio mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.

If the is the rubrical typographical symbol for making the sign of the Cross, what would indicate the pressing of the sanitizer squirt button? Perhaps !?

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 28 Comments

3 views of Pope Francis after the South America trip

I bring to your attention three interesting analysis pieces about Pope Francis following his trip to South America.

First, check out George Weigel at National Review. My impression is that Mr. Weigel has drawn a line through the pontificate (at least one aspect of the pontificate), but probably only in pencil rather than in ink. Excerpt:

Has the Vatican Already Forgotten the Lessons of John Paul II?


John Paul was wily enough to let Casaroli continue his diplomacy behind the Iron Curtain, so that the Communist powers couldn’t publicly accuse this Pole of reneging on previous deals and acting as a front for NATO. Yet while he never would have put it as Ronald Reagan did when the future president said that his idea of ending the Cold War was that “we win and they lose,” the Polish pope knew that this was indeed a zero-sum game: Someone was going to win and someone was going to lose, not so much for reasons of power but because Communism was based on a false understanding of the human person, human community, human origins, and human destiny. And by restoring to his own Polish people the truth about themselves, John Paul II helped them forge tools of liberation that Communism could not match, while reinforcing the similar strategy of resistance by “living in the truth” that was being deployed by secular, anti-Communist human-rights activists such as Václav Havel, using what Havel famously called “the power of the powerless.”

The people in charge of Vatican diplomacy today seem to have missed all this or forgotten all this — or are, perhaps, deliberately ignoring it (not least because of the overwhelming archival evidence that the most important concrete effect of the Ostpolitik was to open the Vatican to serious penetration by Warsaw Pact intelligence services, an unhappy fact I thoroughly documented in the second volume of my John Paul II biography, The End and the Beginning). Those guiding the Holy See’s interface with politics today were born and bred in the Casaroli School. And they are busily replicating Casaroli’s accommodationist (or, if you prefer, less confrontational) formula. This seems clear, if unfortunately clear, in the Vatican’s diplomacy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and in the Holy See’s refusal to describe what is afoot in Ukraine as a gross violation of international law: an armed aggression by one state against another. It seems evident in the welcome that was afforded Raúl Castro in the Vatican several months ago. Now, to judge from the just-concluded papal visit to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay, Casaroli 2.0 seems to be informing the Vatican’s approach to the new authoritarians of continental Latin America.


Read the rest there. He also comments on the Commie-crux or the Sickle-fix.

Next, look at Sam Gregg’s hard-hitting piece at The Stream. Excerpt:

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina: Pope Francis and Economic Populism
The notion of a Latin American “Third Way” between capitalism and socialism is utopian sentimental nonsense.


In the first place, Francis discussed the injustice inflicted by “a system,” by which he seems to mean economic globalization. This “system,” he argued, has resulted in “an economy of exclusion” that denies millions the blessings of prosperity. Francis then specifically attacked “corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties” as part of an “anonymous influence of mammon” and “new colonialism.”

Some of this rhetoric is hard to distinguish from that used by Latin American populists, ranging from Argentina’s long-deceased Juan Perón to Bolivia’s Morales and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa. Leaving that aside, one wonders whether Pope Francis and his advisors have ever studied the respective merits of free trade versus protectionism. My suspicion is they haven’t, since tariffs and subsidies are precisely what allow already-wealthy countries to limit developing countries’ access to global markets. By definition, it’s protectionism that is an economy of exclusion — not free trade.

Likewise while the historical record of multinational corporations in developing nations isn’t lily-white, they have bought desperately-needed investment and jobs to Latin America. Francis lamented that new forms of colonialism often reduce developing nations to being “mere providers of raw material and cheap labor.” Yet if developing countries stopped capitalizing on what’s often their comparative advantage in the global economy — i.e., their lower labor costs and vast natural resources — it’s hard to see how they could generate enough wealth to lift millions out of poverty.

Moreover, whoever might be the “loan agencies” the pope has in mind, developing nations need infusions of foreign capital if they want to diminish poverty.


Finally, check out the formerly nearly ubiquitous John L Allen at Crux. Excerpt:

Under Francis, there’s a new dogma: Papal fallibility


In that context, it’s especially striking that Pope Francis appears determined to set the record straight by embracing what one might dub his own “dogma of fallibility.” The pontiff seems utterly unabashed about admitting mistakes, confessing ignorance, and acknowledging that he may have left himself open to misinterpretation.

Whether such candor is charming or simply confusing, leaving one to wonder if the pope actually means what he says, perhaps is in the eye of the beholder. In any case, it’s become a defining feature of Francis’ style.

A classic, almost emblematic case in point came during the pontiff’s airborne news conference on the way back to Rome on Sunday after a week-long trip to Latin America.

During a 65-minute session with reporters, Francis embraced his own fallibility at least seven times:


To be clear, it’s hardly as if Francis was backing away from his stinging critique of what he termed in Bolivia a global economic system that “imposes the mentality of profit at any price” at the expense of the poor.

On the contrary, he took another swipe during the news conference at what he termed a “new colonization … the colonization of consumerism,” which the pontiff said causes “disequilibrium in the personality … in the internal economy, in social justice, even in physical and mental health.”

What he added, however, was a dose of personal humility in acknowledging a lack of technical expertise and a capacity for error when he speaks on such matters, both in the substance of his positions and in the way he formulates them.


What’s great about that piece, is that the ever-nimble Allen uses even the occasion of the Pope being wrong to show how humble Francis is.  Gotta hand it to you, John.  You’re good!

Posted in Pope Francis, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

28-29 July: LaCrosse – Excellent annual conference for canonists and lawyers

OL Guadalupe Shrine WIOnce again this year, the Speculum Iustitiae Conference for canon and civil lawyers will be held at the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near LaCrosse.

If you haven’t been to the Shrine, you are in for a treat.

Raymond Card. Burke is the patron of this event, which I have attended several times.  It is always informative and great people attend.

This year the topic is marriage.

Archbp. Broglio of the Military Services will also be there to speak.

Click HERE for the pamphlet with the schedule.

Click HERE for registration.



Posted in Events, One Man & One Woman, Priests and Priesthood, Religious Liberty, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , | Comments Off on 28-29 July: LaCrosse – Excellent annual conference for canonists and lawyers

DETROIT: Unveiling statue of Satan event – Mass of Reparation

Detroit has many problems.  Here is another.

From ABC:

Threats Force Satan Statue Unveiling to Secret Detroit Venue

An 8½-foot-tall bronze monument featuring a goat-headed Satan will be unveiled at a secret, ticketed event in Detroit after the owner of a popular restaurant and entertainment complex backed out and opponents issued threats, organizers said.

The 1½-ton Baphomet, which is backed by an inverted pentagram and flanked by statues of two young children gazing up at the creature, [?!?] shows Satan with horns, hooves, wings and a beard.

The Satanic Temple, a group that advocates for the separation of church and state, [Therefore, allies of the Madison based Freedom From Religion Foundation.] will release the location of the unveiling on the day of the event, and details will be sent to ticketholders only, the group’s co-founder Lucien Greaves told The Associated Press Monday.

“Tickets are going to be pre-ordered to cut down on harassment … people threatening to burn the venue down,” Greaves said. “We’ve gotten those kinds of messages.”

“If people don’t want to come, they don’t need to come,” he added.

Greaves said he reported the threats to authorities. The AP left a message Monday seeking comment from Detroit police.

The statue was to have been unveiled July 25 at Bert’s Market Place in Detroit’s Eastern Market district, but Bert Dearing said he gave the group back it’s $3,000 rental fee when he learned who booked the place.  [Will he be sued?  Is this like refusing to bake a homosexcake?]

“Detroit is a very religious area,” Dearing said. “When I rented the place, I just thought it was a church. I didn’t know about the unveiling of a statue. We weren’t aware they were into devil worshipping.”

The Satanic Temple Detroit chapter founder Jex Blackmore has said the group doesn’t worship Satan but does promote individuality, compassion and views that differ from Christian and conservative beliefs. [Ummm… read that again.  Does that contrast “individuality. compassion” with Christian and conservative?]

The statue was designed and built at a cost of more than $100,000 and had been planned for the state Capitol in Oklahoma City until Oklahoma’s Supreme Court banned religious displays — including a monument of the Ten Commandments — on Capitol grounds.

Greaves said the statue will not remain in Detroit and that The Satanic Temple wants to erect it outside Arkansas’ Statehouse in Little Rock where a Ten Commandments monument also is planned. [So… this seems to be a plot also to eradicate the 10 commandments from public display… a goal of the Freedom From Religion types.]

Detroit was selected for the unveiling because The Satanic Temple in the city has a “strong congregation,” [?!?] Greaves said. “We just have a good community over there.”

Blackmore said Detroit has more than 200 registered members.

The group erected a display in December outside Michigan’s state Capitol in Lansing. The “Snaketivity Scene” featured a snake offering a book called “Revolt of the Angels” as a gift. The snake was wrapped around the Satanic cross on the 3-feet-by-3-feet display. Like other religious displays, it was taken down each night.

Bishop Charles Ellis III, pastor of the 6,000-member Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, said he is not concerned about a statue depicting Satan being unveiled in the city because America “was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

“If we ask others to be tolerant of our religion, we are going to be asked to be tolerant of their religion as well,” Ellis said.

“Tolerable does not mean you have to practice what they practice or that you are condoning what they are practicing. I’m not saying I’m being accepting. I’m just saying I have no control over that.”

I understand that there will be a Mass and Holy Hour of Reparation on 25 July at Mother of Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Detroit.

Posted in Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, You must be joking! | Tagged , | 15 Comments

IRELAND: Conservative seminarians ejected from Maynooth, bishops intervene

Once in a while it is good to be reminded that the oppression is still going on.

Did you see the story about the “conservative” seminarians who were given the heave ho from Maynooth Seminary in Ireland?

From Irish Catholic:

A number of Maynooth student priests [i.e. seminarians] who were reportedly asked to take time out [euphemis alert!  “thrown out”] of seminary because they were ‘too conservative[i.e, they believe in God, they don’t think women should be ordained, they don’t think men should sleep together, etc.] are to return to the college in the autumn after interventions by a number of bishops, it has been claimed.  [Because, these days, there are so many seminarians in Ireland they can afford to lose some, right?]

The Irish Catholic understands that of 10 diocesan seminarians who were due to return to Maynooth in the autumn [they have TEN?] after completing their pastoral year, six were recommended to take time out to reconsider their vocation.  [This reminds me of the diocese in California which had no seminarians at all for a couple years.  They said that their admissions process worked.  It was so excellent and sophisticated that no one got through!]

Sources have indicated to The Irish Catholic that the clear impression was given to the students that they were so advised because their theological views were considered at the conservative end of the spectrum.  [I’m shocked!  Shocked!]

However, Msgr Hugh Connolly, President of Maynooth, rejected the claim, insisting that there has been “nothing out of the ordinary in terms of usual action between students, dioceses and the seminary in making a decision on what is the best next step for a particular student”. [Uh huh.]

Msgr Connolly said it was “not a question of conservativism” but rather a question of “getting the right experience”.  [Uh huh.]

However, the issue will put fresh focus on concerns that the Vatican’s investigation of Maynooth, ordered by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, has had little practical effect. In previous years some Maynooth students claimed the college operated an informal ‘litmus test’ to sift out seminarians considered excessively conservative. [What does “excessively” conservative mean in the modern Irish context?  Translation: the rector didn’t like them.]


The Irish Catholic now understands that after interventions by a number of bishops, three of the six seminarians will in fact be returning to the college this autumn. It is understood that the bishops involved rejected the assessment of their seminarians by those involved in co-ordinating the pastoral year, [of course] and that the apprehensions shared were at odds with favourable reports from pastoral placements. The concerns aired were reportedly not shared by the college’s seminary council.  [It’s dejà vu all over again.  This is sounding really familiar.]

Maynooth President Msgr Connolly, who chairs the council, poured cold water on the claim that a bishop had to bring any student “back on board,” insisting that no student was ever “off board”. [Uh huh.]



This is not the first time the issue has provoked controversy. Some years ago, seminarians were reportedly suspended for wanting to kneel during the consecration at Mass.

[NB!] In 2012, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said “it is not just that the number of candidates is low; it is also that many of those who present are fragile and some are much more traditional than those who went before them”.  [That’s the old technique from the 80’s isn’t it?  Suggest that anyone who is conservative is psychologically damaged.  Then either force them out the door or into a shrink’s office so that he tell them that they are really gay.  It’s what we, back in the day, referred to as Lubyanka.]


While rejecting “priests or candidates who simply go with the trends of the day”, the archbishop warned there is “a danger that superficial attachment to the externals of tradition may well be a sign of fearfulness and flight from changed realities: and that is not exactly what we need”.


Changed realities…


Read the rest there.

Posted in Pò sì jiù, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

WDTPRS: 7th Sunday after Pentecost – acts of faith

Nadal 7th post PentecostIn the traditional Roman calendar this Sunday is the 7th Sunday after Pentecost.

Today’s Collect survived the cutting and pasting experts of the Consilium to live on as the Collect for the 9th Sunday of Ordinary Time.


Deus, cuius providentia in sui dispositione non fallitur te supplices exoramus, ut noxia cuncta submoveas, et omnia nobis profutura concedas.

Blaise/Chirat (a dictionary of Latin in French) indicates that dispositio is “disposition providentialle”. It has to do God’s plan for salvation. Fallo is an interesting word. It means basically, “to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, disappoint” and it has as synonyms “decipio, impono, frustror, circumvenio, emungo, fraudo”. Fallo is used to indicate things like simply being mistaken or being deceived. It can apply to making a mistake because something eluded your notice or it was simply unknown. In our Latin conversation it is not uncommon to say nisi fallor, “unless I am mistaken…”. If you look for submoveo you may have to check under summoveo. Find profutura under prosum. Don’t confuse noxia with noxa.


God, whose providence, in its plan, is not circumvented, humbly we implore You, that you clear away every fault and grant us all benefits.

There is no getting around or circumventing God’s plan.

Why, given who God is and who we are, would we want to try?

But we do, don’t we.

We have to make a choice about which way to go with noxia.  Does it mean “harmful things” that are outside us or that are within us, that is, our own sins, our faults?  Both?

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 9th Sunday Ordinary Time):

Father, your love never fails. Hear our call. Keep us from danger and provide for all our needs.

ROFL! Quite simply dreadful.  This may be one of the worst I have ever seen.But we NEVER have to HEAR IT AGAIN.

CURRENT ICEL (2011  9th Sunday Ordinary Time):

O God, whose providence never fails in its design, keep from us, we humbly beseech you, all that might harm us and grant all that works for our good.

We have to make a choice about which way to go with noxia.  Does it mean “harmful things” that are outside us or that are within us, that is, our own sins, our faults?  Both?
God knows who we are and what we need far better than we can ever know ourselves.

Foreseeing all our sins and many faults, all that we say and do is embraced in His eternal plan.

He has disposed all things so as to make glorious things result from the evils for which we alone are responsible.

Sometimes, moreover, it is hard to understand that God actually cares are us.  Given how immeasurably vast God is and how small we are, it is easy for some, mired in earthly distractions, to lapse into sort of deism and imagine a God who created everything and then, like a clock maker, just set the pendulum to swing and stepped away.

There is an old adage that, if you want to know if God is interested in you, just make a plan.

It is good for us each day never to forget to make an Act of Faith, which is a good Trinitarian prayer.

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Pope Francis leaves weird Bolivian Jesuit Communist “crucifix” in Bolivia… with a twist

FranciscoEvoRegalo_LOsservatoreRomano_090715From Vatican Insider:

This morning Francis lay the two presidential honours he received Wednesday from President Evo Morales in La Paz, at the feet of Our Lady of Copacabana. One of these featured the hammer and anvil with a carving of a crucifix

Before leaving Bolivia, Francis placed two gifts he received on Wednesday from President Evo Morales at the foot of a statue of Mary. One of these, a chain with a chunky medallion, had the figure of the crucified Christ carved into a wooden hammer and anvil. This image had been drawn by Fr. Luis Espinal, the Jesuit priest who was assassinated in Bolivia in March 1980. [So, it is the chain and medallion with the image of commie-crux that the Pope left?  Along with the Bolivian honor?]

“This morning,” reads a statement issued by Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, “Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the chapel of the private residence of the Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father presented two decorative honours that were conferred onto him by Bolivian president Evo Morales during his courtesy visit to the Presidential palace in La Paz , to a statue of the Our Lady of Copacabana, patron saint of Bolivia.[So… something doesn’t go back to Rome.  The wooden commie-crux?  However, didn’t Fr. Lombardi say that it wasn’t going to go into a church? ““Certainly, though, it will not be put in a church,” he said.” HERE This Pope is full is surprises.]

Francis accompanied this gesture with the following words: “The President of the nation was kind enough to offer me two decorative honours on behalf of the Bolivian people. I thank the Bolivian people for their affection and the President for this courteous gesture. I would like to dedicate these two decorations to the patron saint of Bolivia, the Mother of this noble nation, so that she may always remember her people and from Bolivia, from the shrine where I would like them to be, that she may remember the Successor of Peter and the whole Church and look after them from Bolivia.”

“Mother of the Saviour and our Mother,” Francis prayed, “You, Queen of Bolivia, who from the height of your Shrine in Copacabana attend to the prayers and needs of your children, especially the most poor and abandoned, and protect them: Receive as a gift from the heart of Bolivia and my filial affection the symbols of affection and closeness that – in the name of the Bolivian people – Mr. President Evo Morales Ayma has bestowed on me with cordial and generous affection, [uh huh] on the occasion of this Apostolic Journey, which I entrusted to your solicitous intercession.”

Francis concluded his prayer by saying: “I ask that these honours, which I leave here in Bolivia at your feet, and which recall the nobility of the flight of the Condor in the skies of the Andes and the commemorated sacrifice of Father Luis Espinal, S.J., may be emblems of the everlasting love and persevering gratitude of the Bolivian people for your solicitous and intense tenderness. At this moment, Mother, I place in your heart my prayers for all the many petitions of your children, which I have received in these days: I beg you to hear them; give them your encouragement and protection, and manifest to the whole of Bolivia your tenderness as woman and Mother of God, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.” [I’m pretty sure he means that God lives and reigns forever and ever, although Mary now lives forever and she is Queen of Heaven forever.]

So, I hope the contraption isn’t returning to Rome.

OL Copacabana

Posted in Pò sì jiù, Pope Francis, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, You must be joking! | Tagged , , | 55 Comments

WDTPRS: 15th Ordinary Sunday – Be living lenses of God’s light!

This week we have a good example of a dramatic difference Obsolete ICEL version and the Latin and the Current ICEL versions.

The Collect or Opening Prayer for this 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is also used in the Extraordinary Form on the 3rd Sunday after Easter.   In the Ordinary Form it is also the Collect for Monday of the 3rd week of Easter season.

Today’s prayer goes back at least to the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary.  My trusty edition of the St. Pius V’s 1570 Missale Romanum, and the subsequent 1962MR, show the insertion of a word – “in viam possint redire iustitiae” – not present in the more ancient Collect in the Gelasian (though it was present in some other ancient sacramentaries).

The Ordinary Form editions of the Missal drop iustitiae.

Stylistically, this is a snappy prayer, with nice alliteration and a powerful rhythm in the last line.

COLLECT – (2002MR):
Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire,
veritatis tuae lumen ostendis,
da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur,
et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini,
et ea quae sunt apta sectari.

It is hard to know what the sources influencing this prayer might be.  Certainly we can find John 14, which we shall see below. Can we find in the Collect a trace of the Roman statesman Cassiodorus (+c. 585 – consul in 514 and then Boethius’ successor as magister officiorum under the Ostrogothic King Theodoric)?  Cassiodorus wrote, “Sed potest aliquis et in via peccatorum esse et ad viam iterum redire iustitiae? But can someone be both in the way of sins and also return again to the way of justice?” (cf. Exp. Ps. 13).  Otherwise we might infer a touch of Milan’s mighty Bishop Ambrose (+397) or even more probably Augustine of Hippo (+430) who use similar patterns of words.   Note especially the presence of “iustitiae” in Cassiodorus’ phrase.

The thorough Lewis & Short Dictionary informs you that the verb censeo, though quite complicated, is primarily “to estimate, weigh, value, appreciate”.  It is used for, “to be of an opinion” and “to think, consider” something.  There is a special construction with censeo, censeri aliqua re meaning “to be appreciated, distinguished, celebrated for some quality”, “to be known by something.”   This explains the passive form in our Collect with the ablative christiana professione.   Getting this into English requires some fancy footwork.   Censeo here retains a meaning of “be counted among” (think of English “census”).  We can get the right concept in “distinguished” since it can mean both “be counted as” as well as “be celebrated for some quality.”

Christianus, a, um is an adjective with the noun professio. When moving from Latin to English sometimes we need to pull adjectives apart and rephrase them.  We could say “Christian profession”, but what this adjectival construction means here is “profession of Christ.”  We find the same problem in phrases such as oratio dominica, which is literally “the Lordly Prayer” in English comes out more smoothly as “the Lord’s Prayer”.

Respuo literally means “to spit out” and thus “reject, repel, refuse”.  The fundamental meaning gives a strong enough image for me to say “strongly reject”.  The deponent verb sector indicates “to follow continually or eagerly” in either a good or bad sense.  Sector is used, for example, to describe a group of followers who accompanied ancient philosophers, which is where we get the word “sect”.   The word via needs our attention.  It means, “a way, method, mode, manner, fashion, etc., of doing any thing, course”.   There is a moral content to via as well, “the right way, the true method, mode, or manner”.

O God, who does show the light of Your truth to the erring
so that they might be able to return unto the way,
grant to all who are distinguished by their profession of Christ
that they may both strongly reject those things which are inimical to this name of Christian
and follow eagerly the things which are suited to it.

God our Father,
your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ.
May all who follow him
reject what is contrary to the gospel.

O God, who show the light of your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honor

Some initial associations to my mind.

Ancient philosophers (the word comes from Greek for “lover of wisdom”) would walk about in public in their sandals and draped toga-like robes.  Thinker theologian/philosophers such as Aristotle were called “Peripatetics” from their practice of walking about (Greek peripatein) under covered walkways of the Lyceum in Athens (Greek peripatos) while teaching.  Their disciples would swarm around them, hanging on their words, debating with them, learning how to think and to reason.  They would discuss the deeper questions the human mind and heart inevitably faces and in this they were theologians.   We must be careful not to impose the modern divorce of philosophy and theology on the ancients.  In ancient Christian mosaics Christ is sometimes depicted wearing philosopher’s robes, his hand raised in the ancient teaching gesture.  He is Wisdom incarnate and the perfect Teacher.   He is the one from whom we should learn about God and about ourselves.  After Christ Himself, we also have His Church, who is Mater et Magistra – Mother and Teacher.  Sometimes a small Christ is seated upon His Mother as if she were His teaching chair, or cathedral.  When so depicted, Mary is called Seat of Wisdom.

I am also reminded of the very first lines of the Divine Comedy by the exiled Florentine poet Dante Alighieri (+1321) who was heavily shaped and influenced by Aristotle’s Ethics and the Christianized Platonic philosophy mediated through Boethius (+525) and St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274).  The Inferno begins:

Midway in the journey of our life
I came to myself in a dark wood,
for the straight way was lost.
Ah, how hard it is to tell
the nature of that wood, savage, dense, and harsh –
the very thought of it renews my fear!
It is so bitter death is hardly more so.

Have you not read Dante yet?  You could start with Esolen (Part 1, Inferno HERE) or perhaps with Dorothy Sayers’ fine version (Part 1, Inferno, HERE).  There are many renderings to choose from.  I would very much like to teach on Dante someday.  Maybe it’ll happen.

Dante, the protagonist of his own poem, is describing a fictional self.  His poetic persona, in the middle of his life (35 years old), is mired in sin and irrational behavior.  He has strayed from the straight path of the life of reason and is in the “dark wood”.  The life of persistent sin is a life without true reason, for human reason when left to itself without the light of grace is crippled.  Dante likens his confused state to death.  He must journey through hell and back.  He then experiences the purification of purgatory in order to come back to the life of virtue and reason.  In the course of the three-part Comedy he finds the proper road back to light and Truth and reason through the intercession of Christ-like figures such as Beatrice and Lucy and then through Christ Himself.

In the Comedy, Dante recovers the use of reason.  His whole person is reintegrated through the light of Truth.

Don’t we often describe people who are ignorant, confused or obtuse as “wandering around in the dark”?  This applies also to persistent sinners.

By their choices and resistance to God’s grace they have lost the light of Truth.  God’s grace makes it possible for us to find our way back into the right path, no matter how far off of it we have strayed in the past.

When we sin, we break our relationship with Christ.  If in laziness we should refuse to know Him better (every day), we lose sight of ourselves and our neighbor. The Second Vatican Council teaches that Christ came into the world to reveal man more fully to himself (GS 22).

Christ, the incarnate Word, tells us in the person of the Apostle St. Thomas:

“‘Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way (via) where I am going.’  Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way (via)?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way (via), and the truth (veritas), and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him…. He who has seen me has seen the Father’” (cf. John 14:1-6 RSV).

We have not only the words and deeds of Christ in Scripture, but God has given us in the Catholic Church herself a secure marked path to follow towards happiness.  We can stray off this sure path either to the right or to the left.  Either way, too far right or too far left, we wind up in the ditch in the dark.

When we have gone off the proper path and have left Christ, the Way, we can return to our senses again and be reconciled with God and neighbor through the sacraments entrusted to the Catholic Church, especially in the Sacrament of Penance and then good reception of Christ in Holy Communion.

We Catholics, who dare publicly to take Christ’s name to ourselves, need to stand up and be counted (censentur) in public and on public issues and even sharply refuse (respuere) whatever is contrary to Christ’s Name.

In what we say and do other people ought to be able to see Christ’s light reflected and focused in the details of our individual vocations.

To be good lenses and reflectors of Christ’s light, we must be clean.  When we know ourselves not to be so, we are obliged as soon as possible to seek cleansing so that we can be saved and be of benefit for the salvation of others.  We must also practice spiritual works of mercy, bringing the light of truth to the ignorant or those who persist in darkness either through their own fault or no fault of their own.

When people look at us and listen to us, do they see a black, light-extinguishing hole where a beautiful image of God should be?

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

CQ CQ CQ – #HamRadio Saturday – Priest hams out there?

ham radio percentA couple things to report on the Ham front this week.

One Wednesday evening I tuned in to listen to the local ARES check in.  This is something I might consider in the future.  This is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, which is a network of hams who volunteer to help with communications during emergencies or disasters.  It might be handy to have a priest in such a net.  And if I go ahead with some EMT training, even more so.  Just thinking aloud at this point.

finally heard back from the nice, but pokey, folks who made my Juicebox.  You may recall that my hardened portable power unit wouldn’t charge, despite my various efforts.  So, the Juicebox folks wrote to say they were going to send new batteries.  Then, days later, I got the email with the shipping information: That was a couple days ago, I’ll probably see them Monday, even though it was 2nd day shipping.

When I have those new batteries and if I can get the Juicebox to work, then I’ll fire up the Kenwood transceiver I received: it has only an Anderson Power Pole Cable, and the Juicebox has built in Anderson capability.  I have a bunch of Anderson stuff on my wishlist. One of these days I’d like to do some cables, etc. along the lines of what USNERDOC has shown in some of his instructive videos.  Example: HERE

I have to start thinking about a QSL card pretty soon.  Would that I were more artistic.  I suppose it ought to be in Latin… and retro.  Or perhaps I should wait on my “vanity” call sign decision.  So many conundra.

Baofeng UV-5R


Yaesu Vx-8dr


My little Baofeng (thanks readers!) is on and tuned to the local repeater. I’ve made a few brief contacts and listened to some interesting ragchew about radio gear: Way Over My Head™.   They were going on about tubes and mods and making RTTY contacts.  Yet, inspired, I fiddled around with my Yaesu and figured out what was wrong with my settings: I couldn’t get the repeater.  It’s a complicated little thing to program, but I solved my issue.  I am starting to recognize the calls (and personalities) of some of the local users.

Later today (Saturday) I’ll switch on Echolink.  NB: WB0YLE has lent us his node. Do an F-key search for his or my call or: WDTPRS Ham Cafe

Not quite Z-Chat, but it is interesting.

Speaking of Z-Chat, I might have to start that again.  It takes a lot more equipment to do the Ustream thing.


UPDATE 11 July 2112 GMT:

I was on earlier with WB0YLE and KE4WKV via Echolink and it worked well!

The topic of priests who are Hams came up. I’d sure like to build a list. Fathers! Bishops! CQ!

Also, I am wondering where our other hams are. I remember some of you have chimed in in the past:


  • acardnal KE4WKV
  • Joan W4JMJBMKoenig K3BMK
  • chris1 KJ4MPE
  • crule N4TII
  • Bryan Boyle WB0YLE
  • Andy Lucy KG4ZMF
  • Navy Jeff KC9TCZ
  • pledbet424 WB0MZT
  • Kenneth Jones KB3JA/BY
  • asperges G4NJH
  • Dan Soderlund KBØEO
  • Hesiodos AD7QQ
  • MWindsor – KT5WX
  • dahveed – KD8ZIB
  • FloridaJoan – W4JMJ
  • Jilly – WA4CZD
  • jpaluh – KB3LUE
  • Humilitas – KC4RAC
  • Jeffc – AC5XL
  • pledbet424 – WB0MZT
  • Patrick L – AG4JQ
  • Dr Guinness – VK3SJB
  • MacBride – KC2MEO
  • Evan C – N5EDC
  • boxerpaws1952 – N3XFQ
  • chris_R – N3GBJ
  • Jack – W1JEM
  • Julia12 – KC9ALW
  • moon123 – KB9VSE
  • Pearl – KC8JSL
  • OK_doc – KF5THY
  • Baritone – KD5AYJ
  • ByzCath08 – W8GMN
  • Mojoron – K0CCP
  • Deacon Bob – W8CRO
  • Incensum – N9WIV


  • Fr. David McGuire AE4LH
  • frdanbecker WA1ZHQ
  • Rev. Canon Glenn Gardner K9ALT
  • plaf26 – KC0GA
  • Fr. Bryan – KD8ZFF

There must be more of you!

Posted in Ham Radio | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments