Pope Benedict XVI on Corpus Christi processions and a rant from Fr. Z

In many places the Feast of Corpus Christi gets an “external celebration” on Sunday.  It is wonderful to see the multiplication of Eucharistic processions especially with the growth of the Traditional Latin Mass.  TLM began, processions generally followed.

In 2008 Pope Benedict taught about processions, a message we could all use today.  The full text is HERE.

“The Corpus Christi procession teaches us that the Eucharist seeks to free us from every kind of despondency and discouragement, wants to raise us, so that we can set out on the journey with the strength God gives us through Jesus Christ … Each one can find his own way if he encounters the One who is the Word and the Bread of Life and lets himself be guided by his friendly presence. Without the God-with-us, the God who is close, how can we stand up to the pilgrimage through life, either on our own or as society and the family of peoples? The Eucharist is the Sacrament of the God who does not leave us alone on the journey but stays at our side and shows us the way. Indeed, it is not enough to move onwards, one must also see where one is going! “Progress” does not suffice, if there are no criteria as reference points. On the contrary, if one loses the way one risks coming to a precipice, or at any rate more rapidly distancing oneself from the goal. God created us free but he did not leave us alone: he made himself the “way” and came to walk together with us so that in our freedom we should also have the criterion we need to discern the right way and to take it.”

This is a key point for our times in the Church right now….

“[I]f one loses the way one risks coming to a precipice, or at any rate more rapidly distancing oneself from the goal.”

We’ve gone down the wrong road for too long and we are paying the price.

As in geometry, the farther two rays extend from a point, the farther apart they get.  As in making a journey, if you want to get from, say, Chicago to Texas and, after driving for a long time, discover you are at the Canadian border, you would do well to turn around, retrace your MISTAKE, and start again on the right road.  As a matter of fact, you would be stupid to keep driving north.

Bashing Tradition to promote the Second Vatican Council is like driving north from Chicago in order to get to Texas.  More on this at the end.

No new initiative we undertake in the Church is going to succeed unless we revitalize our sacred liturgical worship and seek to fulfill the virtue of Religion, to give God what is His due.  Everything we do must flow from the Eucharist – by which we must understand both the sacred Eucharistic species and also its celebration which is Holy Mass.  Everything we do must then be brought back to the Eucharist.

Among the things that we can do relatively quickly are reinstitute many of our devotional practices: recitation of the Rosary (perhaps with a priest in the confessional), exposition and benediction (perhaps with a priest in the confessional), novenas on weeknights (perhaps with a priest in the confessional), processions, litanies, vespers, Forty Hours Devotion.

PROCESSIONS!  More processions!  Less chatter!

FORTY HOURS!   If there was ever a time in the life of the Church when we needed to recover the practice of FORTY HOURS DEVOTION… not pretend Forty Hours… not dumbed-down Forty Hours… not updated (see previous) Forty Hours… but REAL Forty Hours, it’s now.

Undiluted… unblended… undaunted… unmodified… unapologetic… traditional Forty Hours Devotion.

Thus endeth the rant.

We are our rites.

God, Our Father, with Your mighty steering hand guide Your priests and bishops out of the fog of worldly notions and onto a course of true renewal.

God, Our Savior and High Priest, chart onto the minds and hearts of Your sons a destination of a traditional priestly identity for our turbulent context here and now.

God, Holy Spirit, fill Your sons with zeal and with the courage to persevere when stormy resistance will rise from the agents of the Enemy.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, put your protecting mantle over your sons who will be persecuted by their brethren and superiors when they implement traditional worship.

St. Joseph, Protector of Christ, Protector of the Church, guide the efforts of your sons to build up the Temple of God for worthy worship according to the virtue of Religion.

Holy Angels, guard us from evil and prompt us to do good.


ACTION ITEM! Be a “Custos Traditionis”! Join an association of prayer for the reversal of “Traditionis custodes”.

Also, as mentioned above.

This book pertains to the attempt by some to build up the Council by bashing tradition.

Illusions of Reform – Responses to Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy


Three Catholic writers, Dr. John Cavadini, Dr. Mary Healy and Fr. Thomas Weinandy (CHW) signed a series of articles published by Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal (I know.. never heard of it…) attacking the TLM (and people who attend it) while also painting a picture of post-Conciliar “reforms” that was somewhat overly optimistic. “Cui bono?”  They seemed not really to have understood what they were writing about.

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From “The Private Diary of Bishop F. Atticus McButterpants” – 23-06- 01 – Trinity Sunday


It has been hard to obtain fresh entries recently.  It’s possible that with +F.Atticus taking more naps, access to the Diary has been more difficult.

June 1st, 2023

Dear Diary,

Had to have a quiet week after the festivities. Luis was ordained last Saturday, I confirmed a ton of young folks on Sunday, and then the clergy cookout on Monday. Had to go to the office on Tuesday, for a really long day, but after that….took a few days. Wiped out. The ordination was great, and the reception (and food!) magnificent. I ate way too much. Butch would have loved it all. Fr. Luis kept grinning from ear to ear. But I still have trouble understanding him. Fr. Ernesto, who vested him, still has to ‘translate’ for me.

I’ve set myself up to preach again at the cathedral this weekend — on the Trinity, for Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is like God’s family, and everyone can relate to that!

There’s an old white cape, or cope, at the cathedral with a triangle and an eye on it on the back panel, all embroidered. It’s nice but a little creepy. They bust it out for Trinity Sunday. More confirmations on Sunday. My arm’s tired! The oil smells nice though.  It calls back so many good memories.

Sent Fr. Gilbert out to walk Chester today. They were out for quite a while, and Chester took a long nap when they got back. Gilbert took Chester out on Tuesday when we were at the office. Vice joined them in walking around the parking lot. Vice even tried petting Chester. That did not go well.

I wonder how Fr. Tommy is doing.

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Daily Rome Shot 711

Great controversy in St. Louis at the women’s Cairns Cup, as the defender GM Humpy Koneru left the tourney for medical reasons after Round 4.  Chaos in the standings, some losing points as Koneru’s games were voided.

In Norway, Round 8 of hostilities are just getting underway as I write this.    Leader Fabiano Caruana is up against my guy Wesley So, who won his classical yesterday.  Shakh and Magnus should be interesting.  Magnus has not yet won a classical in Norway.

Fabi (2773) started with 1.d4 and Wesley (2765) countered with the Nimzo.

3:16 isn’t just in John.

White to move, win material.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

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Unintentional good advice.

One of the necessary steps to true Eucharistic renewal is the elimination of Communion in the hand.

Thanks to Fr. D for the image!  Biretta tip (even though I don’t use a pom on my biretta any longer)…  o{]:¬)

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Daily Rome Shot 710

Up this street every morning for Mass.  *sigh*

Welcome registrants:


I received a book from my wish list by Fr. James Mawdsley, fellow cancelled priest,

Crucifixion to Creation: Roots of the Traditional Mass Traced back to Paradise


NB: The title seems backwards.  In effect, Fr. Mawdsley points to the foreshadowing of Holy Mass and its effects from Creation all the way through salvation history.  He also has a chapter on the assault on the Mass and the attempts on its “roots”.  I look forward to getting into this one.

I very much like books by priests with long experience of celebrating Mass which are about the individual elements – their origins, their possible symbolic meanings.  There are some greats, such as Gihr, Croegaert, Sheen, Knox, etc.  I’ve contemplated writing one myself.

I note this with interest…

It is undoubtedly so.   More here on SAVE THE LITURGY – SAVE THE WORLD.

Meanwhile, I have another reader to thank, and I don’t know who it is.   One of you sent me some San Pellegrino Bitter (a zero-alcohol aperitif common in Italy).  When the box was delivered it was damaged and the gift slips were gone.  So, thanks who ever you are.  A toast to you.

In chess news, in Round 7 of Norway Chess, we saw the match that Magnus Carlsen would have wanted in another World Championship defense: Carlsen v. Firouzja. In a fun moment, Carlsen went into the “Confessional” I mentioned yesterday and talked about his strange 3. Bd3.

Magnus needs a haircut. At least he got rid of that ratty beard.

Hikaru Nakamura and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had a crazy QGA in which both players were in theory for over 20 moves. My mind reels. Shakh lost on time. My guy Wesley So defeated Nodirbek with a QGA. Yay! Fabiano is still on top of the heap, even though he flagged in his Armagedon game against young Gukesh… and he was clearly winning! If you want to see the end rush with seconds left… HERE. Wesley moved up to 3rd. There is a good interview with Wesley after his victory. I’ve bookmarked the start. Genuinely nice fellow. HERE.

Yesterday I apprehensive about going to OTB.  Today I am less so.

Also, I got a book of essays by the fellow I mentioned the other day, Raymond Keene.    US HERE – UK HERE  Evocative titles on the contents page… HERE.  This guy can write.

White to move and obtain a winning position.  F7 is a interesting square, isn’t it?

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.


I wish players at the top level would come to matches well-dressed, in a suit. I guess I’m getting old.


TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s

This came to my email and I have to share it.

Some of you have surely seen it already but repetita iuvant!

I am reminded of what the ancient Roman educator Quintillian said.  If, during the summer, a child is healthy he has learned enough.

And the days are still getting longer.




TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank – While they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs Covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight. WHY? Because we were always outside playing…that’s why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day and, we were OKAY. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, Only to find out that we forgot about brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not Have Play Stations, Nintendo and X-boxes. There were No video games, No 150 channels on cable, No video movies Or DVDs, No surround-sound or CDs, No cell phones, No personal computers, No Internet and No chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS And we went Outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, Broke bones and Lost teeth, And there were No lawsuits From those accidents.

We would get Spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, And no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms, And mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen – we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts And not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of … They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever.

The past 60 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If you are one of those born in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, congratulations.

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward this to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?


The quote of-the month by Jay Leno:

“With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of coronavirus and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?”

Posted in Lighter fare, Semper Paratus, TEOTWAWKI, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices |

Daily Rome Shot 709: QGA

In chess news, the women are duking it out in St. Louis.  I haven’t followed that one closely, since Norway is underway.  In Norway, with black Fabi won a classical against Nodirbek.  (I assume you all know their names by now.)  In doing so, he moved into the 2nd highest rating in the world after Magnus.  My guy Wesley So gained points against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.  Watch the action today at 1100 EDT and 1700 CET.

There was a funny moment in coverage.    Ivanka was taking us into a short break with a phrase like, “We’ll be back in a few minutes with all the exciting action!”  The shot didn’t cut right way and the camera was fixed with a side view of one of the tables where only one of the players was at the board, sitting absolutely dead still.

One of the odd features of the tourney in Norway is “The Confessional”.  It’s really called that.

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Norwegian chess organizers and chess.com apparently have more confidence in the Confessional than 80% of Catholic parishes in these USA.

Players can go into this booth and bare their souls to the camera.  Of course what is said in the confessional stays in the confessional… at least as far as the other players are concerned.  Hikaru, the chattiest Kathy of them all, is a frequent confessor.   He’s also doing recaps of his games every day.  I don’t know how he does it.  I haven’t been a huge fan of Hikaru’s live stream because he is so verbally repetitive.  However, his recent recaps have been instructive.  As far as his “confessions” are concerned, it is interesting to hear how he thinks he is doing, compared to the eval bar and the three commentators (including women’s chess legend Judit Polgar).

For all of you…


I’ll make a confession right here, a chessy confession.  I’ve been playing badly.  I am thinking about my first OTB tournament in 50 years.  Scary.

Your use of my Amazon affiliate link is a major part of my income. It helps to pay for insurance, groceries, everything. Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

Black to move. There are some weak squares around that enemy King.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Speaking of puzzles, a strong refutation of a series of puzzling pieces by scholars who ought to have know better than to wade into this topic unprepared:

Illusions of Reform – Responses to Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy


I’m an affiliate of the shop of chess.com which is handled by House of Staunton.  I’ve ordered from them and, once, called in to obtain some spare queens for a set – not because it’s pride month and there were Jesuits around – but because the sets only had 32 pieces.  It is really handy to have a couple of extra queens, particularly when there is some interior decoration to be done on the promotion rank.  After all, a promoted queen is really just a trans-pawn, right?  (Trick question: No, it isn’t. It’s a queen.)  Hmmm… I guess that begs the question of why one wouldn’t have a few spare minor pieces.  After all, I know one nasty gambit line that requires under-promotion to a knight to gain a tempo with a check.  Perhaps because by the time you get to promotion, some pieces are off the board.


I played OTB with the club today and did very well.  I won one with white against a super-aggressor with a really pretty surprise check mate and I won one with black, QGA against perhaps the strongest player.  (I won’t talk about the one before that, QGA where I went to the zoo and did exactly what my prep told me not to do.  Hilarity ensued.)


There is hardly anything crueler that a priest can do than to leave people in doubt about the validity of their sacraments.  

It is extremely VEXING to learn of priests who are so thick… so arrogant… that they can’t or won’t be exacting about the VALIDITY of sacraments.   It isn’t hard.  You “Say The Black and Do The Red” and you use valid matter.

At the Pillar there is a note about how the Archdiocese of Kansas City has laid down the law about what wine can be used for Mass.  It seems that at “parishes” (plural) invalid matter for the Eucharist was used, invalid wine.  Therefore, for years, none of the Masses were valid.  None of the intentions for Masses were fulfilled.  Hence, redress from Rome must be sought to deal with the intentions, etc.


Priests CANNOT CLAIM IGNORACE about these things because it is fundamental to their tool set.  If they are ignorant about the issue of valid matter for Mass it is culpable ignorance.    It is like running into a doctor who doesn’t know about blood types.

We read in Redemptionis Sacramentum:

wine that is used in the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances…It is altogether forbidden to use wine of doubtful authenticity or provenance, for the Church requires certainty regarding the conditions necessary for the validity of the sacraments. Nor are other drinks of any kind to be admitted for any reason, as they do not constitute valid matter.

There can be some additives as preservatives.

It is of divine institution that the only valid substances for transubstantiation are, for the Host, bread made from wheat and, for the Precious Blood, wine made from grapes or raisins (desiccated grapes).

The grapes used must be ripe, which rules out “wine” such as verjus.

The wine for Mass can be red, white, dry, sweet, whatever.

Some prefer red because it resembles blood.  Some prefer white because it is easier to clean the linens afterward.

Sometimes questions come up about the use of wine which has very low alcohol content, called mustum, a wine which had the fermentation process halted by rapid freezing.  That is a valid substance because it is from grapes and the natural fermentation process began, making it wine.  It has an artificially low alcohol content, but mustum is considered valid wine.

However, there is the other end of spectrum to consider: wine which has an artificially high alcohol content.  Sometimes alcohol distilled from wine is added to wine in order to preserve it against spoiling or changing to vinegar.  This addition of wine alcohol produces “fortified wine”.  The usual types of “fortified wine” we encounter are port, sherry, madeira, marsala, and vermouth.

Unreconstructed Ossified ManualistFortified wines are valid matter so long as the wine-spirit added was distilled from grapes, that the quantity of alcohol added, together natural content from the fermentation, does not exceed 18% and that the additional alcohol is added during the process of fermentation.  You can read a good, brief article on altar wine in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Also, because we are Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists, we check our old theology manuals, such as Unreconstructed Ossified ManualistTanqueray’s Theologia Dogmatica.

We find in Tanqueray that wine for Mass has to be from ripe grapes, it can be of any color, not corrupted, and not frozen at the time of consecration.  Citing the Missale Romanum we are warned against wine that is turning bad.  As a matter of fact, it was (probably is still) illicit to say Mass with doubtful, soured wine.  And if the priest is not doubtful about it, and it is truly bad, he sins gravely by consecrating it.  “Si fuerit aliquantulum acre… conficiens graviter peccat“, says the Missal.  He would – knowingly – be attempting to consecrate something that is not wine and is therefore invalid matter.

That is not just bad, that is very bad.

By the way, the coffee mug which appears here is great for Mystic Monk Coffee!  It’s swell!

I would rule out vermouth, because herbs and so forth are added.

I would not use sherry because, if I am not mistaken, the addition of the spirits takes place after fermentation.

Marsala seems to be okay, so long as it is 18% or less.

Vin Santo, from desiccated grapes, is fine.  As the name implies, it is wine for the altar!

Port is valid, 18% or under.

All this information provides ample motive to stick with altar wines made by ecclesiastically approved vintners (unless you can’t for some reason).  However, a decent bottle of wine from a sound vintner, even if it is not from an ecclesiastically approved source, will be valid matter.   For example, if I were to open up that bottle of Tignanello that I don’t have, and I were to use it for Mass, it would be valid.  And it would be tasty.

If you have a doubt, Fathers, don’t use it.  Don’t screw around with validity of sacraments.

There is hardly anything crueler that a priest can do than to leave people in doubt about the validity of their sacraments.

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Daily Rome Shot 708: Dalmatic Bling Opportunity

During my recent Roman Sojourn I was shown at the parish some beautiful sets of tassels for dalmatics.  Traditionally, the deacon(s) and subdeacon wear tassels on their dalmatics that descend from their shoulders and hang down their backs.

Before I forget… Welcome new registrant: ILoveMoose

For example…

Here are vestments of the TMSM which were shipped to Assumption Grotto in Detroit for a Pontifical Mass.

In this video from Easter, you can see the tassels (once the lights go up).

Here’s the deal.

At Ss. Trinità there is a painting over the St. Gregory altar which shows a Cardinal Deacon in his dalmatic with tassels.  Lower left, with a miter next to Pope Gregory.

Want a closer view?

Obviously, the crew had similar tassles made for use in Masses… as one does.   A darker and a lighter pair… several pairs, in fact.  And this is where we get to business.

They are handmade. Quite striking.  They are not exactly like the tassels in the altarpiece but they are fine.

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There was only one problem. They accidently ordered twice as many as they could use. They are, therefore, interested in selling a few.

My part in this? I can get you in touch with someone at Ss. Trinita who would be able to organize the sale. Drop me a note if you are interested in this dalmatic bling.

Saving the world, dalmatic tassel by dalmatic tassel.

And here’s a puzzle.

White to move and mate in 2.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance. US HERE – UK HERE  These links take you to a generic “catholic” search in Amazon, but, once in and browsing or searching, Amazon remembers that you used my link and I get the credit.

Help the Summit Dominicans by visiting their online shop and help your chess game by visiting Remote Chess Academy.  I recently had an alert that someone of you readers used my link and got a course.  Yay!

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ASK FATHER… ASK EVERYONE: Find recording of Archbp. Léonard imitating different regional Latin pronunciations

From a reader…


A few years ago you posted a YouTube video (audio only) of Archbishop Léonard imitating the accents of various professors speaking Latin: https://wdtprs.com/2016/03/fun-with-latin-with-archbp-leonard/.

It was hysterical! I actually shared it with students in my Latin oratory course, to appreciate different pronunciation. Plus, it was funny. I mentioned this video to priests at our local FSSP mission, and promised to send a link. (They were over for dinner, and they were joking about how TLM priests from different countries pronounce Latin.) However, when I found the video again, embedded on your site, it is locked.

I have no real understanding of how YouTube works. Would have any idea where I might look to find a copy of this recording, on YouTube or otherwise?

This is an unimportant matter, but any help would be most appreciated.

Yes, that was really funny.  I’ve tried to find another “copy” but I haven’t had any luck.

Anyone? Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard

And it is so true.

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Daily Rome Shot 707 and cool stuff

Photo by Claudius Unitrinus.

It is the Feast of Trinity Sunday and the liturgical anniversary of my ordination in 1991.

I am about to delve into a book with a unwieldy title, but not lacking in descriptive force:

Illusions of Reform – Responses to Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy


You might remember that three rather distinguished Catholic writers, Dr. John Cavadini, Dr. Mary Healy and Fr. Thomas Weinandy (CHW) undertook in a series of articles published by Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal (I know.. never heard of it…) attacking the TLM (and people who attend it) while also painting a picture of post-Conciliar “reforms” that was somewhat overly optimistic.  CHW left many of us scratching our heads.  “WHY?”  “Cui bono?”  Some of my friends thought that they were being political, currying favor.   It was, in addition, embarrassing to see such highly accomplished and respected writers commit one pratfall after another, like people who have never been on ice skates.  They seemed not really to have understood what they were writing about.

There were several responses to CHW.  They are collected in this volume.

There is included a helpful bibliography.


I am compelled to share an Article article with you which, though it deals with chess can be – and should be – read for its brilliant writing.  I admit to feeling waves of envy as I read.  Biretta tip to the mighty Robert Royal for the link: o{]:¬)

Chessmen of letters: Amis and Nabokov

For the puzzle today, I’ll share a bit of the first part of the article, which goes on to describe the weird dynamics and shenanigans behind the grueling Karpov v. Kasparov 1985 championship that lasted 48 games and which was abruptly cut short by the head of FIDE, sparking massive controversy.  Even if you have little or no interest in chess, it’s a great read.


While I was studying German language and literature at Trinity College Cambridge, I was astonished to receive a letter from Nabokov himself, offering me a hand-drawn diagram of one of his chess compositions, which I promptly forwarded to the Trinity undergraduate magazine. As I write, efforts are underway in the Trinity archives, desperately seeking the original MS of Nabokov’s puzzle.

The following reconstructed diagram and move record — first published on page 32 of The Trinity Review, Lent Term 1969 — pays scant regard to the magnificence of Nabokov’s masterpiece. One must imagine the yellow as a rich, burnished gold; and the green as a deep, regal purple.

Nabokov wrote to me as follows: “White to mate in two moves.”

Key: 1. Qxe4

The key deceptively prevents the set mate 2. Bxe4 after 1… f4. The interest of the problem lies in the first three variations with the Bishop advancing one step at a time.

    1. a) .. f4                  2. Bg6#
    2. b) .. Rxg5            2. Bxf5#
    3. c) .. fxe4              2. Bxe4#
    4. d) .. Nxe4            2. Nxf7#
    5. e) .. Kxg5            2. Qe3#”

These are the solutions given by Nabokov, but for completeness’ sake, we should also include:

                    f)           1… fxg5              2. Bxf5#

In his 1993 essay collection Visiting Mrs Nabokov And Other Excursions, Amis relates, during the course of an admiring interview with Nabokov’s widow, Véra, that during his time in Berlin during the 1920’s, “Nabokov started playing a lot of chess with Véra’s father.“ The interview took place at the Palace Hotel Montreux, where the Nabokovs had taken up permanent residence since 1961. Little did I realise, when I competed in a grandmaster tournament with Viktor Korchnoi at that selfsame hotel in April 1977 that the Nabokov ménage was living above the tournament on the sixth floor of that very edifice. Nabokov himself died two months later, while Véra Evseevna followed him in 1991.

Amis describes the Nabokovs as “intensely private” and I doubt that even one of the most notorious of Soviet defectors, the twice world championship challenger Korchnoi, was aware of the irony. Namely the presence of his fellow renegade against Soviet rule, the literary Titan,  still revising and perfecting his collected works, several floors above the chess moves being executed by Viktor Lvovich on the mezzanine.


Do check the whole piece and read to the end for some of the finest invective I’ve read in a long time.

Meanwhile, I adjusted the colors as he mentioned… Not sure that’s better.  What say you.  Of course, I can do metallic gold.

Reminds me of the football team of my native place.

Three points.

  • I once played Viktor Korchnoi in a simul in 1977.  I lost.
  • Nabokov once said that the Devil speaks all languages, but with an Italian accent.
  • Free Shipping over $75 to U.S. 48 states from Chess House.

Speaking of Italian monks of Norcia, Italy make good beer. Get some for yourselves and your priests.

Again speaking of Italian, Italo-American US-player Fabiano Luigi Caruana (30 yrs)  defeated Alireza Firouzja in a classical game (120 minutes for the entire game, with a 10-second increment per move starting on move 41).

Fabi is a beast in this Norwegian battle.  By defeating Alireza, Fabi’s rating went to 2787.9 to make him the #2 ranked player in the world.  Guess who is still #1 with 2842.8.

Today, my guy Wesley So tackles Alireza in what should be a sharp game.  Carlsen v. Giri, which might get dynamic: Carlsen is way behind, in 8th place of 10!

And a shot from my adoptive parish, now physically distant… and I had to leave.  *sigh*

A shot of the blessing of the 17th c. organ I mentioned.  More on that later.


WDTPRS – Trinity Sunday: Are you beautiful at Mass?


At some point we wind up taking a stab at explaining the Trinity to someone.  Results vary.

Today, to get at the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, let’s use the final prayer at Holy Mass in the venerable, traditional form of the Roman Rite as a crowbar.

Here is the Postcommunio of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity in the 1962MR.

POST COMMUNION (1962 & 2002MR):

Proficiat nobis ad salutem corporis et animae, Domine Deus noster, huius sacramenti susceptio, et sempiternae sanctae Trinitatis eiusdemque individuae Unitatis confessio.

There is a pleasant rhyme herein of susceptio and confessio, three syllable words preceded by words of four syllables and both deserving a little closer inspectio.

The indomitable Lewis & Short Dictionary indicates that a susceptio is “a taking in hand, undertaking” and “an acceptance”. This is a substantive derived from the verb suscipio. The deponent verb confiteor gives us the noun confessio, which means in its basic meaning “a confession, acknowledgment” and thus also “a creed, avowal of belief” and more specifically in the Latin Vulgate “an acknowledgment of Christ” (Rom 10:10, Heb 3:1) and therefore in the early Church “an acknowledgment of Christ under torture; and hence, “torture, suffering for religion’s sake” (Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 1).

A review of vocabulary is important, and can provide new insights into the deeper meaning of a prayer.  The structure or word order can give clues as well.

Today we have one main verb proficiat, coming from proficio (“to profit, derive advantage” and “to be useful, serviceable, advantageous, etc.,”) an old friend of WDTPRS vets. This verb has two subjects, susceptio and confessio. Susceptio is further specified by huius sacramenti (“reception of this sacrament”) and confessio is delineated in two ways, Trinitatis (“of the Trinity”) and Unitatis (“of the Unity”).

Often in Latin we will have a sentence structure of noun and then, frequently at the very end, main verb, with many other clauses and material in between which can be pealed open like layers of an onion. Here, the verb is out front as the very first word and the final subject noun is the last word.

For me, this structure emphasizes the nouns susceptio and especially confessio and the intimate relationship between them as well as the concepts that are attached to them, that is, the intimate bond at the moment of Communion between our reception of Christ’s Body and Blood with our confession of a God who is Triune – Three distinct divine Persons having one indivisible divine nature.

Furthermore, the theme of distinct elements in indivisible unity is even carried into the effect we hope for from the act of Communion in Mass: “health” of both “body and soul”. Latin salus is “a being safe and sound; a sound or whole condition, health, welfare, prosperity, preservation, safety, deliverance” and also in Christian contexts such as the Vulgate “salvation, deliverance from sin and its penalties. It can be rendered as both “health” and “salvation”.


Lord, God,
we worship you, a Trinity of Persons, one eternal God.
May our faith and the sacrament we receive
bring us health of mind and body


May the reception of this sacrament, O Lord our God, and also the confession of our faith in the holy everlasting Trinity and of the undivided Unity of the same, profit us for the salvation of body and soul.


May receiving this Sacrament, O Lord our God,
bring us health of body and soul,
as we confess your eternal holy Trinity and undivided Unity

Hmmmm…. you decide.

We have pairs of terms in this Latin prayer which underscore relationships: corpus and anima, susceptio and confessio, Trinitas and Unitas. Each element is necessary for and balances the other.

Humans are by God’s design persons comprised of both body and soul (corpus et anima). By contrast, angels are persons having only a soul but no body. The temporary separation of our body and our soul results in death. Their reunion at the end of time produces the resurrection of the flesh.

God loves us so much that he provides sustenance for both constituent elements.

In Holy Communion we have a food which our body transforms into what it is (flesh and blood) and which transforms our souls in to what It is (more perfect images of the Triune God after the Person of the Risen Christ).

For us to participate in this mysterious exchange of transformations we must both inwardly and outwardly conform to the transcendent reality we seek to embrace and be embraced by.

HENCE, before we can receive the transformed and transforming Host in Communion, we must be in an authentic communion of faith both with a larger group of believers and partakers (called the Church) and we must be interiorly disposed to receive the invisible benefits that the outward signs and actions portend. We must make a true confession and profession of faith consistent with our interior landscape. We must also be physically disposed, which is why we are asked to fast before receiving the Eucharist.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for….

In the mystery of the Unity and Trinity of God we believe that, from all eternity and before material creation and even outside of time itself, the One God who desired a perfect communion of love expressed Himself in a perfect Word, containing all that He is. The Word God uttered was and is a perfect self-expression, also perfectly possessing what the Speaker possesses: being, omniscience, omnipotence, truth, beauty, and even personhood. So, from all eternity there were always two divine Persons, the God who spoke and the Word who was spoken, the God who Generates and the God who is Generated, true God with and from true God, Begetter and Begotten, Father and Son. There was never a time when this was not so. These two Persons eternally regard and contemplate each other. From all eternity they knew and loved each other, each offering the other a perfect gift of self-giving. Since the self-gift of these perfect and divine Persons, distinct but sharing one divine nature, can be nothing other than a perfect self-gift, perfectly given and perfectly received, the very Gift between them also contains all that each of the Persons have: being, omniscience, omnipotence, truth, beauty, and even personhood. Therefore, from all eternity there exist three distinct divine Persons having one indivisible divine nature, Father, Son and the perfect self-gift of love between them, the Holy Spirit.

This is a foundational, saving doctrine we believe in as Christians. At the core of everything else we believe in and hope for, we will find this mysterious doctrine of divine relationship, the Triune God.

By baptism we images of God are brought into a new relationship with this Triune God.

We become the adoptive children of the heavenly Father, members of the Son our Lord Jesus Christ in the Mystical Person of the Holy Church which He founded. The Holy Spirit makes of us His dwelling so that all the divine Persons are present to us and in us, informing all that we are, do and say. Our membership in the Church opens the way to an eternal relationship of glory and praise with the Trinity.

The promise and token of this eternal reward is how we, as members of a Church of believers professing a common Faith, can take into our bodies, and thus into our souls, the already transformed Body and Blood of the Second Person, the one who unites in His divine Person both the eternity divinity of God and the finite two-fold nature of man.

For this to have taken place, and to make it possible for us to “return back” to the Father, the Second Person “went forth” from the Father in a new way, this time in the context of time and space.

In taking us up in our human nature, He made an act of self-empyting. In filling us with divine gifts in Holy Communion, Christ renews (not re-sacrifices) His Sacrifice, His giving forth and His taking back up again.

In Holy Mass we are asked to “take up and give forth” (susceptio et confessio). In our confessio we make an exterior expression, giving forth outwardly what we are within.

“I confess (confiteor) to almighty God…” is just a scratching of the surface, though an important one.

BotticelliFor St. Augustine, in his great prayer and autobiographical “giving forth” (The Confessions), the word confessio carried layers upon layers of meaning. As we learn from the magisterial Augustinus Lexicon, for Augustine confessio simultaneously, and in a fluid way, bore three main concepts: confession of sin, praise of God, and profession of faith.

For Augustine all created things in the universe, even inanimate things, both give witness to God and give Him glory:

Respondent tibi omnia: Ecce vide, pulchra sumus. Pulchritudo eorum confessio eorum… All things respond to you, O God: ‘Behold! See! We are beautiful!’ Their beauty is their hymn of praise/demonstration that you are God/admission that they are not God” (s. 241, 2 – PL 38: 1133).


Are we beautiful at Mass?

What we do outwardly in our bodies, and what we do interiorly in our souls, must conform to the Trinity in whose image we are made.

Receiving Holy Communion is a profound statement of who we are and what we hope to be. The act of reception must be consistent with who we are and what we are about in life. That act of reception must inform and transform all other acts which, in their turn, are a living “confession”, bearing witness, giving praise, and recognizing our true status before God which can often involve confession of sins.

Similarly every act of praise and testimony of the Church in her liturgy should reflect beautifully and accurately all that the Church professes and longs for.

Every liturgical gesture, church building, vestment, and musical prayer, must be like a gift simultaneously coming forth from the Sacred Heart of the Son and given to us for our benefit as well as a response we make to the glory of the Triune God who gives them.

“Their beauty is their praise.”

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REPOST ASK FATHER: How to make a “Trinitini” Martini for Trinity Sunday and avoid committing heresy?

Here’s an oldie but goodie.


We are planning to have a special drink for the potluck to commemorate today’s Feast of the Trinity.

We were planning to do a “Trinitini”, a Martini with three olives to represent the three Persons in the One Triune God.

However, just want to check that we wouldn’t be falling into any heresy (e.g., Arianism, Partialism, Modalism, Tritheism…) by doing so.

What would you suggest? One olive? Three?

I respond saying that, in the matter of Martinis, heresy is very bad.

That said, let’s solve this problem.  In advance, I consulted a highly credentialed theologian to sort this out and to check my work.  No, really, I did.

The first thing we have to deal with is the notion of “making” a Trinitini. 

We have to stipulate that, in this vale of tears (with which, of mine enemies, I sometimes  flavor my Martinis) the Trinitini can’t make itself.

To make a non-heretical Trinitini, you must “make” three Martinis simultaneously, from the same gin, in one pitcher. 

No Vodka as the principle pour, please. That opens up all the Filioque problems. The addition of some Vodka is admissible.  [Added 2023] 

TO SERVE: Pour them, simultaneously but distinctly by measure, remembering that, in the West, the second measure comes from the first and the third measure comes from both the first two, into one large well-chilled glass such that you have the three Martinis in one glass which has three garnishes.

The three garnishes, for the three Martinis in one glass, symbolize the three missions of the Martinis.  So, the Trinitini will have its lemon twist (a “Perfect” Martini), its pickled onion (which has layers), and its olive (without stuffing).  Hence, in the one glass containing the three Martinis would be the distinction of the three-in-one nature of each Martini, each sharing in the same nature but distinct, and all working together in everything, but with different missions.

I believe that would avoid most of the heresies listed above.

And, please, serve straight up.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you doubters are now mewling, “don’t you know that a Martini with an onion is really a Gibson?!?  You are a heretic by introducing into the Trinity different kind of … um… you know… thing… it’s a… YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

Dear skeptic, be not afeared.  The combined identity of the Martini with onion (which has layers) and the Gibson underscores the two natures in Christ.

Moreover, do not be concerned with the issue of the “blending” of the three Martinis as they are simultaneously and distinctly poured.  This is taken care of by the concept of perichoresis.  The relationship of the three Martinis in one Trinitini is like a “dance” which realizes both their oneness and threeness in an interpenetration leaving them nevertheless distinct. (Cf. John 17:21: “That they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us”.)  Do not doubt that the Spirit is present.

And, that they may all be in us, pour carefully!

QUAERITUR: Would it be okay to substitute a hot pepper for the olive?
RESPONSE: Affirmative.  It could be appropriate so long as the heat of the pepper doesn’t distract overly from the flavor of the other two garnishes.

On the vital issue of shaking or stirring.

Make the three Martinis by stirring (cf. perichoresis… circumincession), but not… NOT… by shaking.    Quod Deus avertat.

Lastly, given what we can tell of God’s sense of humor, the Trinitini should always be dry.

With that, it’s time for Vespers.

Posted in Classic Posts, Lighter fare, Linking Back |

Your Sunday Sermon Notes: Trinity Sunday 2023

Too many people today are without good, strong preaching, to the detriment of all. Share the good stuff.

Was there a GOOD point made in the sermon you heard at your Mass of obligation for Trinity Sunday?

We can have an exception to just good stuff this week.

Since this is a day when some priests or deacons go to the zoo in trying to talk about the Trinity, did you hear any really good heresy today, or something just plain stupid?

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass.  I hear that it is growing.  Of COURSE.   The church was jammed in Rome.  As “diverse” a crowd as you will see anywhere other than a major international airport.

Any local changes or (hopefully good) news?

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ROME 06/3 Day… My View For Awhile: Brooklyn to SOCOM

I was not in Rome to see today’s sunrise at 0534.

Instead, I was awake to see the sunrise in Brooklyn at 0526, though I admit I went back to sleep for a while.

I’ll probably stay on my feet until sunset, after this my final leg of the Roman Sojourn.

Coming back west isn’t so hard for the jet lag, but, hey.

Last night out to a Russian place at Brighton Beach with a bunch of priests.

Herring.  The raw onion was like candy.

A lovely bowl of borscht.  I ordered cold.  She brought me hot.  All good.

Which drink is mine?  Is or was?  I may have moved them around to be sneaky.

Octopus.  Thanks, Olga… you are a cut up.

This Georgian thing was on the table for all.  Cheesy.  No idea what it is called.

On the boardwalk.

Morning comes and with it certain obligations.



Fabiano Caruana won another classical game to take the lead in Norway.  He also rose to #3 in the world in rating!  After drawing their first classical game in four years after about 10 minutes of play, Magnus Carlsen beat Hikaru Nakamura in the tiebreaker.   It was a crazy thing.   KING’s GAMBIT!    My guy Wesley played to a tie with the help of his opponent.

Norway Chess continues on Saturday

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

Here’s a puzzle.

Mate in 2. White to move.

Chesscomshop Banner

More later…


The once great Palm. I understand it has crashed and burned nation wide under new management. Too bad.

Started by Nancy Silverton who took her bread inspiration from my bakery in the Campo de’ Fiori.

here we go

Posted in On the road, SESSIUNCULA, What Fr. Z is up to |

“I’ll see your ‘Wakanda!’ and raise you a ‘KATONDA!'” The Feast of St Charles Lwanga, Martyr – A saint we can all take pride in!

St Charles Lwanga


This year today is in the Vetus Ordo calendar Ember Friday in the Octave of Penance.  However, it is also the Feast of St. Charles Lwanga.    That said, because of the decree Cum sanctissima we can now celebrate St. Lwanga using the 1962 on days when it is not some feast that would outweigh it.

Here is what I posted on St. Charles in the past.

If you don’t know this saint, be sure to read it.  It is powerful.

As “Pride” month continues…

Today is the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and companions, murder victims and martyrs of homosexual depravity.

Today we might also contemplate the various ways in which the State is encroaches in our lives in this regard and tries to force us to do things that are repugnant to nature and to God’s laws.

Today we should especially ask God to forgive and convert all those who in any way have contributed to or succumbed to any aspect of what is rightly called toxic “gender theory” and called demonic, due to its origin.

More on that HERE and HERE and HERE.

Today is the feast day of a saint, who died as a martyr especially because he resisted a sodomite king, who was furious that he and many children wouldn’t have homosexual sex with him.

St. Charles Lwanga and many other martyrs died between 1885 and 1887 in Uganda. They were beatified in 1920 and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

In 1879 the White Fathers were working successfully as missionaries in Uganda.  They were, at first well received by King Mutesa.

Then there came a new pharaoh, as it were.

Mutesa died and his son, Mwanga, took over.  He was a ritual pedophile.

Charles Lwanga, a 25 year old man who was a catechist, forcefully protected boys in his charge from the king’s sodomite advances.

The king had murdered an Anglican Bishop and tried to get his page, who was protected by Joseph Mukasa, later beheaded for his trouble.  On the night of the martyrdom of Joseph Mukasa, Lwanga and other pages sought out the White Fathers for baptism. Some 100 catechumens were baptized.

A few months later, King Mwanga ordered all the pages to be questioned to find out if they were being catechized.  15 Christians 13 and 25 identified themselves.  When the King asked them if they were willing to keep their faith, They answered in unison, “Until death!”

They were bound together and force marched for 2 days to Namugongo where they were to be burned at the stake.  On the way, Matthias Kalemba, one of the eldest boys, exclaimed, “God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body.”  He was cut to pieces and left him by the road.

When they reached Nanugongo, they were kept tied together for seven days while the executioners prepared the wood for the fire.

On 3 June 1886 (that year the Feast of the Ascension… therefore a Thursday), Charles Lwanga was separated from the others and burned at the stake. The executioners burnt his feet until only the charred stumps remained.  He survived.  His tormentors promised that they would let him go if he renounced his Faith. Charles refused saying, “You are burning me, but it is as if you are pouring water over my body.”  They set him on fire.

As flames engulfed him he said in a loud voice, “Katonda! – My God!”

“Katonda!”  … Better than “Wakanda!”

His companions were also burned together the same day. They prayed and sang hymns.

Charles Lwanga and companions died for their Faith and because they resisted the intrinsically evil of homosexual sex.


Charles Lwanga, pray for us!



Thanks to the Great Roman™.  Here are a couple of shots of the canonization ceremony for St. Charles and companions…. during Vatican II.

Quite self-referential and maybe even neo-Pelagian, I’d say.

Posted in Modern Martyrs, Saints: Stories & Symbols, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged

Pentecost Saturday: We Are Our Rites.

Pentecost Saturday

Today the Season of Easter comes to an end.  The cycle that started with pre-Lent Sunday’s is over.

Being an Ember Saturday, there would be a vigil in the night in preparation for ordinations to the priesthood at St. Peter’s.

Tomorrow, as a matter of fact, is the ecclesial-liturgical, if not secular-calendrical, anniversary of my ordination at St. Peter’s, Trinity Sunday.

There are five readings before the Gospel in the Mass today, in the forma longior, the longer form. There is an option for a shorter Mass with two readings, but still with all the Pentecost Octave features, such as the Sequence and proper Communicantes and Hanc igitur. It is peculiar that at the end of the Sequence there is no Alleluia before the Gospel reading. There are various Alleluia verses amongst the lessons.  I think what happened is that when the more penitential Mass formulary for the Ember Day was fused into that of the Pentecost feria of Saturday, a bit of the festive Alleluiatic was lost.

The progression of the Collects and lessons is overwhelming if read in light of the moment (Octave of Pentecost) and ordinations.

I very much like the reading from Joel 2:

Thus says the Lord God: I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; even upon the servants and the handmaids, in those days, I will pour out My Spirit. And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke; the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, at the coming of the Day of the Lord, the great and terrible day. Then everyone shall be rescued who calls on the name of the Lord.

Then the Collect.

May the Holy Spirit, we beseech You, O Lord, inflame us with that fire which our Lord Jesus Christ cast upon the earth and desired that it be fanned into flame.

I’m not going to go through all of them, but I’ll suggest the themes.

The account in Leviticus is about Shavuot and the wave-offering of the first fruits.

The account in Deuteronomy is about the first-fruits of the land of milk and honey.

The description in Daniel is of the stoking of the furnace and the 49 cubits high flames that burned the enemy but not the stokers as they sang in praise of God.

Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus rebuked and casts out an afflicting fever demon from Peter’s mother-in-law and then healed and exorcised, commanding the demons to be silent.  Originally, before the fusing of the Ember Day with the Pentecost feria, the Gospel was the Matthew 20 account of the healing of blind men.

The work of the Gospel is the work of the priest against the enemy, the prince of this world.

How shocking it is to me that even bishops can be embarrassed by such things today.

How I long to see bishops to set examples of solemn worship.  I long to see them perform manifestly, blatantly, even ostentatiously priestly actions in public: processions, exorcisms, lying prostrate on the steps of their cathedrals in reparation for the sinful votes of Catholic politicians.

How I long to see them bishops be unabashedly, unapologetically Catholic, with every possible visual, material aid at their disposal, including glorious vestments, banners and big gaudy rings.

But, no. They talk talk talk in their bourgeois black suits and their slim apologetic chains connected to the Cross … that they’ve hidden in their pockets.  It’s like they are all laid out prostrate from the heat of the fever of this world’s fever swamp.  They must be raised from their fever!

It’s time to get medieval. What’s going on now sure isn’t working. Big hats, raised voices, and interdicts.

The SSPX recently built and consecrated a huge and unapologetically Catholic church in the middle of Nowheresville, USA.  They proved they could it.   They did it because people trusted that they would do it.  Now they have the proof not only that it was doable, but that they will do more.  They demonstrated during COVID Theatre that they were not going to abandon people by locking up their churches.

Let our bishops and priest smash their way out of their chains and then be openly, clearly, freshly, traditionally, unmistakably CATHOLIC .   I know that people will BACK THEM UP when they take hits for being Catholic.  Lay people will stand in front of them when they are attacked!

Enough of this, “I’m with you, win or tie!” rubbish.

The Postcommunion today:

Praebeant nobis, Dómine, divínum tua sancta fervórem: quo eórum páriter et actu delectémur et fructu.

May your Holy Sacraments supply use with divine raging passion: by which we may exalt in both their celebration and in their results.

Everything starts with proper worship, the fulfillment of the virtue of Religion. As a Church we’ve lost a great deal of the sense of who we are because of the loss of the riches of worship.

If we don’t know who we are, can we tell someone else?

Why should anyone pay attention to us if we don’t know ourselves?

Everything we do much start in worship and then be brought back to worship.

This is the staring point for renewal and the goal in an dynamic that will end in earthly terms at the Parousia described by Joel and will continue in heaven in eternity.

We Are Our Rites.

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How to view the SSPX.

This is interesting from Catholic Family News as a development of the SSPX’s great “proof of concept” project, the building and consecration of their beautiful, huge new church in Kansas, The Immaculata.

“While regrettably the Church and the SSPX are not currently in full communion, the Archdiocese does not consider the SSPX to be schismatic.

While canonically one may fulfill one’s obligation to participate at Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation by attending an SSPX Mass, the Masses are not licitly offered by priests possessing the grant of priestly faculties from the Archdiocese. Therefore, participation at SSPX Masses to satisfy one’s Sunday obligation is discouraged.

The Archdiocese does, in support of Pope Francis’ pastoral outlook as expressed in the 2017 letter, grant SSPX priests the faculty to witness marriages when the priests request it. The Archdiocese understands that at this time the SSPX priests in St. Marys request faculties to witness all marriages at The Immaculata.”

So, the Archdiocese of Kansas City (in Kansas) gives faculties/delegation to SSPX priests to witness marriages.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City does not hold the SSPX to be in schism.  (After all they give the priests faculties for marriages.)

The Archdiocese of Kansas City say you fulfill your Sunday and Holy Day of Precept obligation by attending the Masses of the SSPX.  (After all, why wouldn’t you?  It’s a simple matter of can. 1248 §1.)

The only thing that needs more thought in the above is that idea of “full communion”.  You are either in communion or not, no?

Posted in Canon Law, SSPX | Tagged ,

Pentecost Friday: You are our stretcher bearers.

The Pentecost Friday – it’s an Ember Day – Roman Station is Dodici Apostoli, Twelve Apostles, because that’s where Friday Ember Day Stations are. Believe me.  It was pulled to Dodici Apostoli from its original place Ss. Giovanni e Paolo on the Coelian Hill.

The texts of the Mass today are calming, as befits summery pursuits. Crops are planted. Early harvest of first fruits and grains are in. Other plantings and fruits are maturing. The days are long, warm, languid. There is always something to be done, but there is long daylight for leisure.

Leisure and praise of God.  As the Introit says and the other joyful antiphons echo today:

“Let my mouth be filled with Your praise, alleluia: that I may sing, alleluia. My lips shall shout for joy as I sing Your praises, alleluia, alleluia.”

The reading from Joel is about the harvest, and grain and wine and the gifts of God.   Here it is, but including v. 25 which had been excluded.

“Be glad, O sons of Zion,
    and rejoice in the Lord, your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the latter rain, as before.

24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
    the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore to you the years
    which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent among you.

26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
    and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again
    be put to shame.

Alleluia!  As the Holy Spirit moved on the waters and brought forth good things from the earth at the beginning of Creation, so too does He move and work now and in us.

If it is by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that our Alleluias are inspired, formed, charged and launched on high, it is also under the influence of the Spirit that our good works – fruits – are performed.

The Gospel today is about the man whose friends lower him through the roof to get him to Jesus, who heals him. It’s a great moment, one of my favorites, in the Gospels.  Imagine the sheer chutzpah of the man’s friends, ready to go up on top of the house where Jesus was and tear a hole in the roof to let their friend down on ropes on his stretcher.

Out of the chaos that must have ensued… do you think perhaps there maybe some shouting and protests and maybe even tussles? … order emerged, physical and spiritual.  The result was praise.

Set the image of the friends in the Gospel against the image in the Collect, which returns to the them of “the enemy”.

Grant to Your Church, we beseech You, almighty God, that, united by the Holy Spirit, she may in no way be harmed by any assault of the enemy.

In the midst of the joyful antiphons there is this stark reminder that, because I am in Brooklyn as I write, “It ain’t over, ’till it’s over.”  Okay, okay, Yogi was a Yankee rather than a Dodger (aka Traitorous Dogs).  And, yes, this was a check to see if you were still reading.

The Postcommunion seems to echo what happened in the Gospel, thus tying our minds in the moment of Communion to the healing, strengthening effects of the Eucharist:

“We who have received the gift of Your Blessed Sacrament, O Lord, humbly pray that what You have taught us to do in commemoration of You, may profit and help us in our weakness.”

As I write, I think of all your priests being the friends who tear a hole in the roof to get you to the Lord. The friends lowered the man. The priests bring the Lord to you. The fabric of the roof, Heaven, is torn open. The division of heaven from earth is ripped asunder and Christ is called down, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for your healing and joy.

We must turn this sock inside out. you lay people pull that roof apart and get us priests to the Lord. You do the heavy… lowering. We would be lost without you, frozen, unable to move.

You are our stretcher bearers.

This brings up the situation of many priests today, who have been canceled in serious ways, or mistreated and subjected to enduring moral injury.

St. Ambrose of Milan (+397) has this in his Commentary on Luke:

What is this bed/pallet which [the paralytic] is commanded to take up, as he is told to rise?  It is the same bed which was washed [with tears] by David every night, the bed of pain on which our soul lay sick with cruel torment of conscience.  But if anyone has acted according to Christ’s teaching, it is already not a bed of pain but of repose.  Indeed, though the compassion of the Lord, who turns for us the sleep of death into the grace of delight, that which was death begins to be repose.  Not only is he ordered to take up his bed, but also to go home to his house, that is, to return to Paradise. That is our true home which first fostered man, lost not lawfully, but by deceit.  Therefore, rightfully is the home restored, since he who would abolish the obligation of deceit and reform the law has come.  (Exp Luca 5.14)

The healing of the paralytic results in the paralytic being able to “go home”.

In a similar way, Christ in His Holy Church causes us to rise when we are paralyzed in our sins.

Not just in our sins, but also the memory of those sins.

Not just the memory of sins, but the memory of injury by others.

I want consciously here to connect for you the healing of the paralytic, with the help of his friends and the creative breaking of barriers, to the process and the results of purification of memory.

A first step is, of course, thorough examination of conscience.  Also,…


One of the effects of the Sacrament of Penance is strengthening again sin.

For most of us, most of the time, the confessional is palette from which the Lord causes us to arise, freed from sorrow, bondage, and new life.

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ROME 06/1 Day… My View For Awhile

The Ave Maria Bell won’t be heard at 2100.

While I did see the Roman sunrise at 0535 I won’t see the 2041 sunset.

I’ll be chasing the sun as I wing westward.

Here is the last home cooked meal with the last bunch of flowers. Not that I’m feeling melancholy or anything.

Fresh tomato, peas, cappers, tuna, hot and black pepper.

Last night a last short stroll. Of course the so-called connection won’t let me upload. Later.

The altar where I have been saying Mass for benefactors and donors.

The 16th c. Organ has arrived and it is being tuned. Exciting.

Which last breakfast is mine?


And here I am again. Security was weird. At a couple points I was the only traveler! I’m not complaining!

Great pizza in the lounge. Horrible for connectivity. Trying to write and post this has given me a headache.

More later.