Your Sunday Sermon Notes: Pentecost Sunday 2024

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 Pentecost Sunday.

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Any local changes or (hopefully good) news?

A taste of my thoughts from the other place: HERE

For this mighty Feast of Pentecost we first scrabble after some context to enrich our participation.  The sacred liturgical celebration of the mysteries of our salvation make us present to them and them to us.  Sacramental reality is not inferior to sensible reality.  Indeed, it embraces and elevates it and us, it transforms us.  In the strongest sense possible, we are our rites.  Therefore, we are never deeply content without deepening content, which includes context, even from the depths of history.


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Daily Rome Shot 1025: 20% off

Photo from The World’s Best Sacristan™.

Welcome registrant:


Meanwhile, in Casablanca where we wait… and wait… and wait… there were results from Round 1.  This is an interesting “variant” tournament wherein players start from positions in historic games.  In the first game, with the position of move 11 in the 1889 Chigorin v. Steinitz, Carlsen (won) v. Vishy and Nakamura (won) v. Amin (players from 4 continents).  Round 2 was move 11 in Game 10 of the Xie Jun vs. Alisa Galliamova Women’s World Championship Match in Kazan/Shenyang in 1999, Amin v. Carlsen (draw) and Nakamura v. Vishy (draw).  Round 3, move 12 in the 14th game of the 1985 Karpov-Kasparov match Amin v Vishy (draw) and Nakamura v Carlsen (won).

To demonstrate what a prodigious visual memory these guys have, Carlsen said:

 “The last game looked very similar to Karpov-Kasparov games from the second match, and I seemed to remember that Garry’s knight ended up on g4 and maybe h2. But that was about it. The first game I thought it has to be a Steinitz game since he’s the only one who plays like that. Probably against Chigorin, as they had a World Championship match in 1889, and there were a lot of Evans Gambits. The second one, I had no clue!”.

There is also a video of Carlsen identifying games from single positions.  Scary.

Three more rounds today.

Meanwhile, thanks to the kind but anonymous “A reader” who sent gift cards for Panera, which is virtually the only way I will buy their good but over-priced fare.   Why is this a thing?  We play OTB at a Panera.  Gratias tibi persolvo.

Nice people! Great service!

Interim, motus ad lusorem cum militibus albis pertinent. Scaccus mattus, scilicet mors regis, duobus in motis veniat.

NB: Detineam explicationes in crastinum, ne vestrae interrumpantur commentationes.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Meanwhile, Chess House has a 20% off sale going on.  CODE: S6296

Suggestion: If you travel or know someone who does, you might have a look at this: HERE  This is a spiffy travel set, remarkably compact and light (13.4 oz), with wood pieces, magnetized, extra queens, and a leather-backed folding 9″ board!  It is in a small pouch that fits in the bottom of my backpack when I am on the move.

It is interesting to root around at Chess House and see what they have.  May you can help to start a parish chess club!

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

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The largest ever Chartres Pilgrimage for Pentecost departed central Paris today, from Saint Sulpice, for Chartres Cathedral.

There is a YouTube channel for it for live events and which can be watched on demand.


Daily Rome Shot 1024


Yes, at The Parish™ preparations are being made for the Feast of St. Philip Neri (which is also my anniversary).  How I wish I could be there.  And now I, too, am a member of the Archconfraternity, the first priest invested who isn’t ex officio for who knows how long.

Welcome registrant:


Nice people! Great service!

NB: At Chess House right now through May 20 20% off with coupon S6296

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 and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

Speaking of a Triduum, and speaking of Benedictine nuns, he wonderful nuns of Gower Abbey, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, have this disc and digital download:

Tenebrae at Ephesus



These are the RESPONSORIES of Tenebrae for all three days of the Triduum.  They are, arguably, the most beautiful chants of the entire liturgical year. So, it isn’t Holy Week or even Lent… so what?

In chessy news, there is talk that the World Championship could be held in Singapore. I hear Singapore is interesting.

Also, I note that several readers, including at least one priest, has signed up for using my link.  Thank you.

There is a new thing going on in Casablanca.  A tournament with a chess variant.  Players will rapid games from positions of historical games.  Present shall be, Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and former world champ Viswanathan Anand.

I await the results!  And wait… and wait… and wait….

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Census Fidelium…. Sensus Fidelium… A book

At The Catholic Thing there is a piece about Catholic demographics.   The writer uses new information from the Pew Research Center.  As he says, the results are shocking but not surprising.   You can imagine the highlights.   Self-identifying “Catholic”, down.  Mass attendance, down.  Support of abortion, up.  For those attending Mass at least once a week, reverse the numbers.

One interesting bit is the observation that the Catholic core of these USA seems to be shifting to the South from the Northeast and Mid-West.

I note this passage:

But Burge points to a bright spot. Or at least, to a reprieve in the bad news. The portion of Catholics who say that their religion is “very important” in their life and who attend Mass at least weekly has not changed much in 15 years. Roughly a quarter of American Catholics – 23-25 percent – fall into this category.

If I were a bishop, I’d want to know a lot more about that slice of my flock and why they are the way they are. What are the conditions most conducive to promoting and maintaining a deep and abiding practice of the faith? What are the habits of living – at home, school, work, prayer, in the community – that help make such integrity of faith and practice possible? And how do we make such habits of life more easily accessible to more people?

I know a sector of the Church which is vital, young and committed.  Hey!  Let’s persecute them!

All the questions raised in the piece can be answered with a simple fact: the Church screwed up her sacred liturgical worship.  It has been a downhill slide into the demographic sink hole every since.

We are, collectively and individually, all bound to fulfill the duties of the virtue of Religion.  Justice governs what we owe to human persons.  Religion governs what we owe to divine Persons.  The primary act we owe to God is worship.  We fulfill this individually, in smaller groups like families parishes, and in larger groups like dioceses and the whole Church.  Screw up the Church’s formal sacred liturgical worship, the quintessential way by which we collectively fulfill Religion, and everything else will be screwed up too.  It is shocking but not surprising that the demographic sink hole is yawning, that Catholics support evils along societal trends.

We are our rites.  Change the rites, you change the “us”.

As the demographics change, I suspect a few groups will remind fairly strong in their identity, including converts, charismatics (who aren’t these days as goofy as they once were), and traditionalists.  These groups will have to find each other as the numbers and institutions of the Church collapse.  There will be frictions at first, but something amazing could emerge from the contact.

Now, more than ever, we all have to stand up for each other… in the manner described by Benjamin Franklin.

Finally, I recommend, again, an important book.

The Faith Once For All Delivered: Doctrinal Authority in Catholic Theology is a daring selection of essays by prominent orthodox Catholic scholars recently published by Emmaus Academic Press.


The book includes a Foreword and Introduction written by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, and an Afterword authored by Robert Cardinal Sarah. The book is edited by Father Kevin Flannery, SJ.

The essays in the first part of this collection seek to answer the question, “What went wrong with Catholic theology since the Second Vatican Council?”

Following a brief account of the movement in modern theology from its philosophical basis in Kant and Hegel to the nouvelle théologie and later progressivist theologies of the twentieth century, the writings of Karl Rahner, Walter Kasper, and Bernhard Häring are treated as representative of principal problematic trends, and the concept of heresy is surveyed as it has been understood in the past and as it operates in the Church today.

The essays in the second part indicate the way forward for Catholic doctrinal and moral theology, examining and distinguishing the orthodox use of the sources of theology of magisterial teachings, the deposit of faith in its development, the “sense of the faithful” (sensus fidelium), Sacred Scripture, and Church councils and synods.

Edward Feser’s treatment of the Magisterium is deeply instructive and challenging to the present pontificate. The same is true of John Rist’s masterful commentary on contemporary heresies. These essays are especially valuable in debunking the current German synodal way and stand as a warning about the upcoming Synod on Synodality.

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“They must make the noise they can, because if they cease for a moment, we hear the calls of sanity and sweetness again…”.

A while back I wrote a review of Anthony Esolen’s fine book NostalgiaHERE

In it, I wrote:

How often is the charge of “nostalgia” flung as a cliché into the teeth of those who desire, with their legitimate aspirations, the liturgical forms of their forebears?

Nostalgia, however, is, as the Greek indicates, a pain (algea) we feel for our “return home” (nostron): “pain for the return, ache for the homecoming.”  It is an essential longing.

Today I saw this tweet… which has the proper definition of nostalgia.

Going back to my entry about Esolen’s book, I also wrote:


With every page, I cannot help but find a parallel with the devastation to our Catholic identity caused over the last decades, especially through devastation of our sacred liturgical worship.   We are our rites.  Change and tinker and make “progress with our rites” and you alter our identity as Catholics.  The damage has been nearly catastrophic.


Those technocrats, for the sake of progress, damaged not something that was technically perfect, every bit accounted for somehow and having a utilitarian purpose to justify its continuance in our rites. They damaged our place, our home, our patria, where we start from and toward which we tend.

No wonder we are so damn screwed up as a Church.


Many of you have been misunderstood and mistreated for your desire to go home, to be a Roman in the Roman thing, your rite, your patria which you ache for because it is yours.  I sure have my stripes to show for it and the long tracks of my tears.

Time after time I have spoken with people, especially with priests, who at some point woke up from Calypso’s arms, who opened their eyes within the pigsty far from home, and realized that they had both squandered the patrimony they had or had been cheated out of the patrimony they didn’t know that they ought to have been given.

In his introduction, Esolen ends one section with the reaction of the progressive to those who feel deeply their sense of belonging, their desire to be placed and rooted.

“[P]eople who object to nostalgia are afraid that their achievements, such as they are, will not stand scrutiny.  “No, you don’t want to go home!” they cry.  They must cry, they must make the noise they can, because if they cease for a moment, we hear the calls of sanity and sweetness again, and we may just shake our heads as if awaking from bad and feverish dream.  Coming to ourselves, we may resolve, like the prodigal, to “arise and go to my father’s house.”


Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World by Anthony Esolen



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WDTPRS – Pentecost: “We can’t read/savor/grasp them without knowing these things.”

Pentecost Sunday’s Collect is the same as we recite after chanting the Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

COLLECT – (1962MR):

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere.

I am pretty sure that this ancient prayer, from at least the time of the Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis and probably older, survived the Consilium’s expert scalpels to live in the Novus Ordo only as the Collect for a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit. ­

Sideline: What on earth is the Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis, or Gellone Sacramentary (LSGell hereafter).

There is a critical edition of the LSGell in the Corpus Christianorum Series Latina edited by A. Dumas, the guy who reedited Albert Blaise’s handy dictionary of Liturgical Latin I call Blaise/Dumas.

The manuscript of the LSGell is in the Bibliotèque National in Paris and dates to around 780.  It is part of the super complicated web of manuscripts descending from what we called the Gelasian Sacramentary, the source of so many of our ancient prayers found in the Roman Missal.

There are two types of Gelasians, “old” and “new”, which in turn descend from the far more ancient Roman Libelli.  The some dozen 8th century Gelasians that survive can be used to reconstruct a lost archetype sometimes called the Roman Sacramentary of King Pepin (+768 King of the Franks, son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne), thus showing the blending the Roman and Frankish influences in the Church’s prayer life. One of the keys to rebuilding the archetype is a manuscript called the Gellone Sacramentary, our LSGell, written perhaps in Meaux between 790-800.

King Pepin wanted a sacramentary, or missal, for use in his territory to promote liturgical unity. But this was later supplanted by what we call the Gregorian Sacramentary, a more prestigious book, which Pepin’s son Charlemagne obtained directly from Pope Hadrian in Rome between 784-791.  The Gregorian, put together by Pope Honorius (+638), was originally the book used by the Bishop of Rome.  It later developed into different versions, including the Hadrianum type, which Hadrian sent to Charlemagne.  In any event, the 8th century “new” Gelasians were later used to fill in gaps in the Gregorian.

So, Frankish developments from the more ancient Gelasians are exemplified in the LSGell which has 3024 prayers divided in two parts, the first mainly for Mass, and the second for other rituals.  The LSGell seems to have been an attempt at a complete book for liturgical services.  And now you know.

In any event, our old Pentecost Collect from the LSGell was shoved to the back of the bus in the Novus Ordo in favor of two Collects from the Gelasian, also existing in the Hadrianum version of the Gregorian.  See how those references make more sense now?  Maybe?

There is nothing especially challenging in the Latin vocabulary of the collect. The source of Latin consolation and wisdom, Messrs. Lewis & Short’s dictionary, says that sapio (infinitive sapere) means first of all “to taste, savor; … to have a taste or flavor of a thing”. Logically it is extended to “to know, understand a thing”.  It is often paired in literature with the adverb recte, “rightly”, when wisdom is indicated.  Think of the English word “insipid” (the sap- shifts to sip-) for something without flavor and also a person without taste or wisdom. I suppose a homo sapiens is someone of “good taste”, who knows the savor of life, as it were.  Sapiens is thus connected with Greek sophos, or “wise”, or “sage” (also a savory herb!).  Sapientia, “Wisdom”, is a figure for the Holy Spirit as well as one of His Gifts.  The Holy Spirit, Parácletus, is our Counselor, leading us rightly, and Comforter, bringing us consolation.


O God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant to us, in the same Spirit, to know the things that are right, and to rejoice always in His consolation.

What leaps to my mind, steeped in the literature of late antiquity, is the connection of wisdom, inherent in the phrase recta sapere, with consolation.

There was a genre of consolation literature in classical times and late antiquity into the medieval period.  This was part of the province of philosophy (“love of wisdom”).  This literature was used as a moral medication for the soul.

In the famous work of the imprisoned Boethius (+525) before his execution, the Consolation of Philosophy, Lady Wisdom, Philosophy, comes to the author in his cell and diagnoses the true nature of his sickness of sadness.  She does this in a dialogue, so that Boethius can understand things rightly (like our recta sapere), and therefore be consoled. Lady Wisdom descended so as to raise Boethius up to God.  This is our pattern too, both in creation and in our renewal when we have sinned.

In explorations of various orations, I’ve told you how they contain influences of the ancient philosophical concept of that all creation proceeds from God (exitus) in and then turns (conversion) to thus take determinate form and return again to God (reditus). These prayers of late antiquity are echoes of these ancient philosophical concepts.

We can’t read/savor/grasp them without knowing these things.

Think now of our prayer and also the Veni Sancte Spiritus with which it is connected:

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts (corda) of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created

R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”

In the Holy Spirit, who breathed life into the Body of Holy Church on Pentecost, may we all be renewed.  May He help us to return to God when we have strayed – GO TO CONFESSION! – and to return to each other, reconciled in the embrace of our Holy Catholic Church.

Pray for those who are tearing the Church and her unity to pieces and committing grave scandal.  May grace illuminate their minds and hearts before more damage is done.


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Some not Vatican news notes

Today things keep rolling along and I, uncharacteristically, am paying some attention.

In regard to the terrific speech that Harrison Butker made for commencement at Benedictine College, as the lib world has a spittle-flecked nutty, I was sent these two screenshots…

What do you suppose is their average age?

Here’s something to think about…

Gower Abbey, in Gower, MO, is there the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles are.  They have so many vocations that they have to found daughter houses.  They are building a huge new place in Ava, MO and a bishop in England is helping them take over an old abbey.

The Benedictines of Mount Saint Scholastica are associated (how much is hard to tell) with Benedictine College in Atchinson, KS.   These two communities, one at death’s door and the other bursting life, are about 45 minutes apart by car.

A look at the website of the lib sisters is enlightening.  They have a photo gallery!

The shot of sister carrying the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday, with a humeral veil, is striking.

The Benedictines of Mary, at Gower Abbey, also have a photo gallery.

Compare and contrast.

Meanwhile, a friend informs me that Butker’s jersey is now among the top sellers in NFL jerseys.

And there’s this from the NYPost… it’s good to know that Archbishop Naumann is still a priest.

He is still a deacon too.

About the diaconate, I saw this at The Pillar….


This week marked the deadline for the world’s bishops’ conferences to submit feedback ahead of this October’s session of the synod on synodality, and several reports claimed significant support for the admission of women to the diaconate.

Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, and Switzerland all posted their reports online and, as Luke Coppen noted this morning, claimed “widespread agreement” for a female diaconate.


According to the German bishops’ portal, the teaching on sacramental ordination being reserved to men alone “isn’t infallible doctrine,” and the cardinal appeared to agree, saying “It can be changed. It needs arguments and time.”


Maybe the Benedictines of Atchison can get involved!


Meanwhile, somehow this fits right in…


Some Vatican news notes

For big Masses with Popes the Vatican’s  Office for Liturgical Celebrations issues a booklet.  We find in the booklet for Pentecost (19 May 2024) that, in the text for the consecration of the chalice, there has been a reversion:

Thus, at least for the sake of this Sunday, the choice was made to force a a Latin word to mean something it has never meant in the history of that language because a Greek word (polloí) had been made by Lutheran Scripture scholar Joachim Jeremias to mean something it had never meant before. All this was based on Jeremias’ guess about a word Jesus might have said in yet another language read through a lens designed correct an offense to Protestants implicit in the Church’s consecration formula. That’s what ICEL did back in the 70’s, though it was corrected by Benedict XVI in the wake of Liturgiam authenticam. ICEL and others set aside the probability that Evangelists and Paul knew what they were doing and meant what they wrote (with the Holy Spirit’s help). Never mind the Fathers of the Church. Never mind the explicit teaching in the authoritative Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part II, 4, which states that the Church cannot say pro universis.

It’s Back To The Future.

In other news, the document with the new Norms of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith for proceeding in the discernment of alleged supernatural phenomena has been released. HERE It was announced on 13 May, last Monday, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. That immediately set of the spidey senses of molti (maybe not tutti). Some suspected that this move was designed to reduce criticism of the Holy See aroused by negative implications in the messages of apparitions. Some alleged Marian apparitions have not been positive about what’s going on. One is, of course, forced to wonder why the Mother of God would appear just to say, “Everything’s fine. Keep doin’ whatchyer doin’! You’re okay just the way you are.”

The last norms were issued by Paul VI in 1978.

Some suspected that the move was designed also to cast doubts, or undermine, previously studied and approved apparitions, perhaps because they, too, were not wholly positive about what is going on.

Indeed, the new norms do not provide for approval of apparitions or messages, etc. They merely provide for a nihil obstat statement, that something is free from error. There is to be no determination that some event is of divine origin.

As I understand the norms, the role of diocesan bishops has been attenuated.    In effect, the diocesan bishop is no longer free to make a determination on his own without, first, consulting the Holy See and, next, agreeing with what the Holy See concludes.  The bishop can investigate and so forth, but in the end his hands are pretty much tied.

Also, I read at CNA that Francis did an interview for 60 Minutes (the long-running CBS interview/investigative show).   That piece posted a tweet (yes, I know it’s X now).  Apparently this is what the producers of 60 Minutes wants us all to take away:

Conservatives are suicidal!

“Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past, but quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box.”

The comments under that tweet express some disagreement with Francis.


Daily Rome Shot 1023

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 and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

In chessy news, something interesting is developing.    There is going to be a “poker” style “buy in” tournament.  Four players each must pitch in $1 million.  Each would play six games of rapid against the others.  1st place $2 million, 2nd place $1.5 million, 3rd place $0.4 million, and 4th place $0.   It would be at the same place where the G.O.A.T. Challenge was, a luxury resort in northern Germany. I think the players are Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and the disagreeable Hans Niemann whom I believe would not fare well. It should be great viewing, especially with beer from the traditional Benedictine monks of Norcia!


Daily Rome Shot 1022: “laymen, vagabonds or dirty people”

From: Instructiones Fabricae et Supellectilis Ecclesiasticae, I, 23 by St. Charles Borromeo:

Even in the most modest church there must be at least two, to keep men distinct from women. If there are many officiants, as in cathedrals and collegiate churches, there will be one for each, always distinct between those reserved for one sex and the other. It must be made of wood, closed on five sides but open on the front, with the possibility however of locking it with a gate or a grate so that “when the confessor is not there, lay people, vagabonds or dirty people cannot sit there and sleep idly, with irreverence of the ministry that is exercised there. It must be divided vertically into two areas, one for the priest and one for the penitent, and must be placed so that the priest is always towards the high altar and the penitent towards the door. The partition between the two areas must be opened by a door which towards the confessor will have a curtain and towards the penitent a rather thick grate with holes the size of a chickpea. On both sides there will be reminder signs for the respective functions.


Nice people! Great service!

In every parish church there will be two confessionals so that the men, often displaying a certain amount of irreverence regarding the holy place or the holy action and not without offence to the pious objects, will not be intermingled with the women, nor crowded together with them when there is a large number for confession, but separated. In this way the men confess in one confessional, the women in the other; as is the case in many of the churches in this province, in which there are distinct parts for men and women; in those cases where the distinction has not been confirmed by a provincial decree, one confessional will be for the use of the parish priest, and the other for that of another confessor priest if, with the permission and approval of the Bishop, it is at times necessary to have him called in when there are a great number of penitents.


The prescribed form to be used in building the confessional is described below. Once this has been observed, some decoration may be added, such as carved moldings on the front or some other type of suitable ornament. First of all the confessional will be made entirely of worked wooden panels, either walnut, or some other type of wood. These will enclose it on both sides and on the back and will cover the upper part, while it will be completely open in the front part, and must not be closed in any way. It can however have, above all in the more frequented churches, a latticework door or a wooden gate, the parts of which are about four ounces apart, furnished with lock and key so that, when the confessor is not there, laymen, vagabonds or dirty people cannot idly sit or sleep therein, with irreverence of the sacred function there exercised.

Black to move and mate in 3.

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 and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

I’d rather not report on the disappointing results of the Classic 2024. Everything changed on a single blunder.

On a happier note, help the traditional Benedictine monks of Le Barroux. Get some of the wine they make from the revived vineyards of the Avignon Popes in southern France.


Each day it is a little harder to recognize our world.

Each day it is a little harder to recognize our world.

Here are a few of scary items.

First… just watch…


Then there is this. I am reminded of the work of many modern painters who clearly hated their subjects. What’n tarnation is goin’ on in this?


And then there is this, just for fun.

Abundant observations are welcome.

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Daily Rome Shot 1022: different kinds of matches

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

Hey s*******! My thank you note was kicked back as undeliverable. New email? Drop me a note, please, so I can update.

White to move. Mate in 2.

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

Code CCT24 for 50% off on premium membership right now

In chessy news, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL) won Division II of the Champions Chess Tour Classic 2024 ($15K) defeating, alas, my guy Wesley So who had fought his way back through 6 opponents in matches in the lower bracket. Wesley even fought back hard against MVL, winning an Armageddon and forcing a reset. Division I concludes today with, I hope, Magnus mopping the board with Alireza Firouzja.

My attention was caught by the new of a the 2024 Speed Chess Championship which will be held 25 July to 9 August. However the final will in Paris 6-8 September and people can be in the e-area to watch in person. This is all e-sport, not over the board. 5+1 and 3+1 blitz with 1+1 bullet in a double-elimination knockout format tournament. They will be present, but with screens between them (I think). That should make for faster play, although it is rather fun to see pieces flying and clocks banging rather than mouse slips and pre-moves. It looks like Magnus and Hikaru (speed rivals who have really battled in the past) will be in it, along with world #2 Fabiano Caruana, Firoujza (who must be defeated), MVL, world champ Ding Liren and, yay, Wesley So who is quite the dangerous speed chess player. More qualifications will be filled through Titles Tuesday dust ups.

In my own life.  I was at OTB yesterday.  Pain.  I analyzed one of my games and found that I was doing quite well into the middle game.  Then, disaster.  Not only did I completely miss my opponent’s hanging piece, I made a move that allowed him to gain tempo and get me reacting.   I did, however, use a zwischenzug effectively.  I been trying to work on in between moves.  I have a small book in a graduating series, containing puzzles which a reader sent from my wishlist.  The complier directs us to set up the position on a board and give it about 10 minutes.  I’m feeling quite sluggish.

In any event, Lord, thank you for this day.

Meanwhile, have you been following the “chess match” between “Beans” and Bp. Barron and his World On Fire empire on account of Bean’s ghastly piece in lib Commonweal?  It has Fishwrap‘s (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) full attention.  The puzzling Larry Chapp even stuck his nose into it, opining in an embarrassing way at Catholic World Report.  I can’t figure him out.  Anyway, Beans, in his usual tedious style of bomb-throwing and non sequiturs linked conservative Catholics with “Trumpism” (whatever that is… I think it is mostly patriotism, which completely confounds and terrifies the Left).  Beans smeared Bp. Strickland and Bp. Barron with the same besmirching brush, provoking Word on Fire to threaten a defamation lawsuit if Commonweal didn’t amend Bean’s piece.  I suspect that this can’t go anywhere in the courts because the bar is really high for public figures.  This will probably wind up in mutual zugzwang and a draw.



Daily Rome Shot 1021

Welcome registrants:


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.

You might have seen this already, but… just in case.

The kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, Harrison Buttker, is a devout Catholic who attends the Traditional Latin Mass. He gave a dose of reality to the graduates of Benedictine College.

In chessy news… the European Senior Team Championships 50+ and 65+ are currently being held in Terme Catez (Slovenia). Over 50 teams! I can appreciate that.

Otherwise, in the Champions Chess Tour Classic 2024 Division I Grand Final it’ll be Magnus Carlsen against Alireza Firouzja. Now that the Candidates is over and Firouzja was somewhat humiliated, especially after his underhanded and ignoble machinations to bump Wesley So in the last days of December, I have relented in my irritation… a little. However, I still want Magnus to wipe the floor with him. If they exhumed the corpse of Paul Morphy to play against Firouzja, I would root for the corpse of Paul Morphy to beat him too.

My guy Wesley lost his first match in Division II, but he has clawed his way back up the ladder the lower bracket. He will face Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in their Grand Final. Go Wesley! Beat MVL!

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

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From “The Private Diary of Bishop F. Atticus McButterpants” – 24-05-12 – Bp. Fatty v. Confirmations

I trust the readership will understand that while I was on my recent Roman Sojourn, I was unable to frequent the usual series of secret dead drops. Therefore collection of entries from the diary were suspended. It is good to do that once in a while anyway, just to relieve any suspicions. Hopefully, we can get the flow of entries going again.

May 12th, 2024

Dear Diary,

Confirmations coming up. Gave out even more delegations to our priests this season for confirmations, since I still gotta conserve my energy. “Long Covid” they said….all I know is that I’m already pooped halfway through the day. Some days I wake up pooped. I feel like Chester looks.

Sure missing my mom on Mother’s Day. Whenever I was sick she’d march me upstairs and put me to bed and bring me all the best stuff — her soups were amazing, and I could have hot tea with honey and arrow root cookies, toast slathered with marjarine and cinnamon, you name it.

But I’m looking forward to getting out to at least some parishes. All those young folks in our great programs.  Well, not much makes me feel better than to wisk that great smelling chrism oil onto their foreheads and say “Receive the seal of the Holy Spirit!”

I know God will look out for these kids. They are so committed to their faith. Sister Randi said she had a lot of them “disappear” on her the last few years once they were confirmed, but that’s probably still just a Covid thing too. Last year was great – not too many kids but the ones who showed up were really into their faith.

Fr. Tommy kept shoving the book in front of me and stabbing his finger at the page.  Like I’ve never done these things before?  I’m the bishop, for crying out loud!  He’s also coughing up a storm again.  This year I’m taking Fr. Gilbert with me instead.

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13 May – Our Lady of Fatima: Three points, one that worries, one that consoles, one that puzzles

On this Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, I give you three points to consider.

First, in today’s Bollettino (daily Vatican Press Office announcement) there is a notice of a presser on 17 May for the presentation of new norms for the investigation of apparitions and other phenomena. Is it a little cynical to connect such a presser with Our Lady of Fatima. After all, it is a Monday. However, it was announced today. And the document itself? There is a penchant recently for signing or release documents that are troubling on certain days. Wasn’t Taurina cacata… sorry Traditionis custodes (Jailers of Tradition) released on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel?

Some have opined that this document, coming from the Dicastery (Congregation) for the Doctrine of the Faith may be intended to cast doubts on even previously approved apparitions. That’s worrisome.

Next, Fr. Longenecker posted a close-up photo of the bullet that nearly felled John Paul II on this day in 1981.


That round was full metal jacket (FMJ). THANK GOD it wasn’t a hollow point or modern self-defense round designed to “mushroom”. FMJ tends to go straight through until energy is spent. Mushrooming rounds do more damage and transfer more energy on impact.

That’s a consolation.

Meanwhile, something was made known to me a while back that I have been pondering.  It involves the enigmatic Third Secret of Our Lady of Fatima.  It vexes me.

A refresher:

The three children who were the seers at Fatima, received three secrets from Our Lady.  Carmelite nun Sister Lúcia, who as a little girl was one of the three children to whom Our Lady appeared, revealed two secrets in 1941.  She did not disclose the third secret until 1943 at the command of the bishop.  She wrote it down and sealed it in an envelope and indicating that it should “opened and read to the world upon her death or in 1960, whichever would happen first.”  It was eventually sent to Rome in 1957 where it was stored away securely.    The text of the description of the vision of the Third Secret was released by the Vatican in 2000.   We have the explanations offered by Our Lady of the first two secrets.   We only have the description from Our Lady to Lúcia, but not the explanation.  Why is that?

There is controversy about the Third Secret.  Firstly, the timing of its release was a problem.  Also, the other secrets have explanations from Mary.  Where’s Mary’s explanation of the Third?

More in this book, CLICK.

Also, the Third Secret was kept in both the archive of the Holy Office and also in a safe in the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace… so it was divided.   That’s consistent with the first two: description and explanation.  Also, there are indications that Popes read the Third Secret for “first time”… twice.  How do you do that if it is one thing?   Was one the text and the other the explanation?

In 2000 Card. Ratzinger gave a theological explanation.  Frankly, his explanation didn’t resolve the questions.  And, with due respect, if I have to choose between Ratzinger’s explanation and what the Mother God might have to say… well…..

In any event, we return to the element in the text of the description of the Third Secret vision that bothers me the most.

Here is the whole text.  The part in question is in bold.

“I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine. After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God: “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it,” a bishop dressed in white. “We had the impression that it was the Holy Father.” Other bishops, priests, men and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two angels each with a crystal aspergillum in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

What bothers me?  Not the part about persecution.  That’s a given.

Note that reference to seeing an image like to that of an image in a mirror.

When you see someone pass in front of a mirror, you see two of them, the real one and the image.  Two.

Hence, in this case, the vision involved seeing two figures dressed in white, one being the real one and the other being the image of the real one.  And, according to the description, Lúcia says she saw whom she took to be the Pope and a figure that was not the Pope but an image like the Pope.


I am one of those who believe that we have not received the entirety of the Third Secret.  We have the description of the vision and I do not doubt its accuracy.  However, I strongly suspect that there is an additional part, Mary’s own explanation of the vision.  She explained the other two, after all.

People speculate about what the vision of the Third Secret means.  If the Holy See wants to reaffirm that we are not bound to believe in even approved apparitions of heavenly things, even less are we bound to believe human explanations of those apparitions.

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13 May 609 – Exorcism, screaming demons, people fainting from fear – Dedication of Santa Maria ad martyres (the Pantheon)

Dear readers, this is the sort of thing that Popes do!  They fight against the forces of Hell and they work for the salvation of souls.

For example, when the ancient obelisk that was in the Circus of Caligula off to the side of St. Peter’s Basilica was moved to the center of the piazza in 1586, Pope Sixtus V caused to be inscribed on its base words from the Rite of Exorcism.  And he exorcized the thing to stand against the approach to the basilica of demons and the possessed  Priests were asked to repeat the words from the exorcism as they approached.   Pope Sixtus took a pagan thing, exorcized it, and made it a bulwark against the demonic.

That was then.

Now, demon idols are brought into the Basilica and placed on the ALTAR over the bones of the first Vicar of Christ.

Here’s another things Popes do.

In 609 Pope Boniface IV took a pagan thing… the pagan thing… exorcised it and made it into a church!

This is the pattern, by the way.  One might say, “This is the way.”  Before things are consecrated, they are exorcized.

There is a constant supernatural battle going on around us, between the holy angels and apostate demons.  We have many helps in this battle, including sacramentals and, especially, the sacraments.

One sacramental is the Rite of Exorcism.  There are “major” exorcisms and “minor”.  Exorcisms can be done over people, things and places.

Church building ought to be exorcized inside and out before they are consecrated.  In the traditional rite of the consecration of a church, first, the building is exorcized at three ascending levels, each with a procession around the building (in the same pattern/direction, btw, as the priest swings incense in circles over the gifts on the altar at the offertory).  The process is repeated inside the church.  Only then are the faithful allowed to enter.  THAT’s “pastoral” (for you libs, so you can understand, pástoral is a more serious version of your “pastóral” or, in extreme cases, “pastórial”).

In 609 the Emperor Phocas gave the magnificent ancient Roman Pantheon, the temple to “all the gods” to the Church. Pope Boniface IV got rid of all the pagan stuff and consecrated it to the Mother of God and the martyrs on this day, 13 May.

Of course before anything is to be consecrated, it first had to be exorcized. This is especially the case with a pagan temple that had been dedicated to demons.

We have an account of the exorcism of the Pantheon before it was consecrated this day.  In Italian HERE.

“In 608 the Byzantine emperor Phoca gave [the temple] to Pope Boniface IV and there was organized an evocative ceremony to consecrate it to the Christian God.   On 13 May 609 a huge crowd gathered near the Pantheon to witness the event. Chronicles recount chaos and chilling screams that were felt from within: the pagan demons were aware of what was about to happen. The doors were thrown open and the Pope, in front of the entrance, began to recite the formulas for the exorcism. The screams from the idols increased in intensity, and the commotion deafened the ears of the onlookers.  Fear gripped the crowd and no one was able to stand on their feet, looking and hearing that terrible spectacle. Only Boniface IV resisted and, undaunted, prayed and consecrated the Pantheon to Christ. It is said that the demons left the ancient temple chaotically and with a great din, fleeing from the open “eye” of the dome or from the main doors.  Once the ceremony was over, the Pope dedicated the building to the Madonna dei Martiri, in memory, perhaps, of the many Christians killed in honor of those filthy idols … “

Messa in Latino also calls to mind a vision of Catherine Ann Emerich:

One of the visions of Bl. Catherine Emmerich was precisely about the exorcism and consecration of the Pantheon: “…  I saw again the whole ceremony of the consecration of the temple: the holy martyrs assisted with Mary at their head.  The altar was not placed in the middle, but was was up against the wall.  I saw carried into church more than 30 carts of holy bones.  Many of these were put into the walls.  Others could be seen, where there were round holes in the wall, closed up with something that looked like glass. (p. Schmoeger, ‘Vie d’Anne Catherine Emmerich’, tomo III, pp. da 69 a 71)

Battles with the Enemy are fought on many levels.  Let us not forget that demons are territorial and legalistic.  Once they claim a toehold, it requires effort to break their hold and get rid of them from places, things and persons.

Pachamama is a DEMON. Use of those demon idols was idolatry.

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Linking Back |
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Daily Rome Shot 1020: Magnus Effect

Nice people! Great service!

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.

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.

I had a note from a friend in Rome:

I hope you’re well back in the USA. Sorry we didn’t get to meet up while you were here, we’ll make up for that lacuna next time you’re in town…

I’ll owe you big if you help me with something. Wednesday morning I am running a 100-mile ultramarathon from Rome to Assisi (not “in stages” but “straight up” – should take around 26 hours). It’s to raise money for a small Catholic medical clinic in Malawi… Dirt poor, no infrastructure, etc. (I am simultaneously working on trying to set up a tobacco company in the same diocese… the Bishop is very excited, it’s the big industry there, and when farmers leave that crop it’s often to grow marijuana – so even the scrupulous will hopefully see the value. The younger generation doesn’t even use it, they need the money from selling it to export. Anyway, it’s to give them a long-term revenue source that’s connected with their own people and the local economy… rather than hand-outs. I can’t run 100 miles all the time and shouldn’t have to.)

The donation page is:

Malawi is especially “hot” right now after their strong response to Fiducia Supplicans… that’s one reason I chose to fund this project rather than another, it’s “been in the news.”

I have an interview with Rome Reports this afternoon. Hopefully a bump from EWTN at least on their Facebook page, and also a story on CNA after the run – successfully completed or not. (I’ve been training for a year, but stuff happens…) But nothing compares with the blog of Fr. Z and his readers!

There’s a WhatsApp group for live updates and location tracking here:

Seems worth support to me!


In chessy news, yesterday was a big day for that force of nature Magnus Carlsen.  He emerged as victor in Warsaw at the Rapid and Blitz by .5 over Wei Yi.  He made up a 2.5 deficit in nine rounds of blitz.  While Magnus snatched one win after another in end games, there was one game between Prag (Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa) and Wei Yi in which it rained blunders. Computer analysis at the end gave them 79.1% and 74.0% percent accuracy, which more like my games than theirs.  At this level, play is about 97-99.  HERE

It wasn’t over for Magnus.  Also yesterday, was the final of the online Divison I Classic in the Champions Chess Tour.  Magnus defeated German GM Vincent Keymer who also was playing OTB in Poland.


Speaking of the Magnus Effect…

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13 May: St. Robert Bellarmine – Pray for us!

Today I greet readers and friends who are blessed with the name “Robert”.  Happy Vetus Ordo Name Day.

You get two Name Days, since the Novus Ordo  day is 17 September.

In particular I remember in prayer His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bishop of Madison.  I am, sincerely, not worried about the state of his soul, but God knows what to do with prayers, which are never in vain.

I have a couple other Roberts to pray for and to congratulate.

Let’s have a look at St. Robert’s entry in the post-Conciliar Martyrologium Romanum of 2005.

Sancti Roberti Bellarmino, episcopi et Ecclesiae doctoris, e Societate Iesu, qui praeclare de theologicis temporis sui controversiis peculiari ac subtili habitu disputavit; cardinalis renuntiatus, ad ministerium pastorale in Ecclesiae Capuana magnopere sese impendit et tandem Romae ad Apostolicae Sedis et fidei doctrinae defensionem plurimos suscepit labores.

Would you all like to stretch your Latin muscles?

St. Robert’s body may be venerated in Rome at the Church of St. Ignatius, Sant’Ignazio, which is a must visit for many reasons.

St. Robert was a Jesuit (a good one), a Cardinal, theology and profession and rector at the Roman College, archbishop of Capua, He was a major figure in the implementation of the Council of Trent and in the Counter-Reformation. He also took a major role in the matters of Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei.  He was a splendid teacher in difficult times who refuted errors much like those we see cropping up in the Church today.  Stories of his great humility can be multiplied.

Not long ago, I was privileged to see a letter with a signature of St. Robert Bellarmine.  HERE

St. Robert Bellarmine was a prolific writer, but a great deal of his work has not yet been translated into English. In recent years there have been good efforts to do just that. One of those efforts has left me a bit in awe.

Behold Controversies of the Christian Faith translated by the erst-while of Homiletic and Pastoral Review Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ.  US HERE probably unavailable– UK [nope]

It’s hardcover only, I believe.  But… look at the size of this thing!

The pages, from fairly subtle paper, are jammed with text.

“But Father! But Father!”, you terrified liberals are quaking, “Ho… ho… how long is this book?!?  How many pages of so-called ‘sound teaching’ are there?  If you are happy about this book, it must be rigid and ossified and … and… AGAINST VATICAN II!  JUST LIKE YOU!”

To which I respond: Tremble, heretics, women’s ordination fans, and Fishwrap schismatics.

Seriously, I am in awe of the discipline it took to translate this opus magnum.

It begins with a Forward and a brief life of the saint.  Fr. Baker says that he did it in a year.  Holy cow.

Next, available also on Kindle (don’t have a Kindle yet? US HERE), Doctrina Christiana: The Timeless Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine translated by Ryan Grant with an introduction by the great Bp. Athanasius Schneider. US HERE – UK HERE

A while back I posted an entry with suggestions for different catechisms.  I think this should be on the list.  This takes the form of a dialogue, rather than simply prose explications of bullet points.

In the forward we read:

In our time of an enormous and general confusion in matters of Catholic faith we do need urgently a crystal-clear, absolute reliable and at the same time simple catechetical text. Such a text represents the famous catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine, which notwithstanding being written 400 years ago, remains nevertheless up to date. This catechism had until the 20th century about 400 editions and has been translated into 60 languages. It was a favorite catechetical tool for the missionaries in the past centuries.

The countries of the so-called Western civilization became today almost neopagan societies and there are even people who named themselves Catholics but are living like pagans. It is therefore obvious that we are living in a missionary. Both inside and outside the church.

The translator adds these interesting notes, which make reference to the first work by Bellarmine with which I started this entry, above:

St. Robert Bellarmine composed two catechisms under the title of Doctrina Christiana(Christian Doctrine), one called his “Small Catechism” which he had written for children and simple souls. This second one, written as a dialogue, called his “Long Catechism,” was intended for teachers and for the well instructed to deepen their understanding of the truths of the faith. The Shorter Catechism was translated in 1614, but the Long, at least to our knowledge, had never been rendered into English until now.

The translation was made from the Latin edition published in Prague in 1732. It seemed to be the most accurate, and it was compiled and edited into a text version book by Anton Repko, whom I especially thank as many of the copies available in electronic form have defects, missing pages etc. Still, as sometimes the Latin edition used complicated phrases from 16th century vernacular Latin that simply would not render into English well, it was necessary to consult Bellarmine’s original Italian to simplify.

This Catechism was written at the express command of Pope Clement VIII, and approved by him in 1598. It quickly became more popular than the Saint’s Controversies, which he is principally known for today. It was also specifically approved by Pope Benedict XIV, and its importance was so great that Pius XI, in his bull of canonization for the Saint, declared of this Catechism:

“Nor may we pass over in silence his sacred sermons and also his catechetical works, especially that catechism, which the use of the ages as well as the judgment of a great many bishops and doctors of the church has approved. Indeed, in that same catechism, composed at the command of Clement eight, the illustrious holy theologian expounded for the use of the Christian people and especially of children, the Catholic truth in a plain style, so brilliantly, exactly and orderly that for nearly three centuries in many regions of Europe and the world, it most fruitfully provided the fodder of Christian doctrine to the faithful.”

In his introduction, the great Bp. Schneider penned, and we cannot but agree:

The corruption of morals and depravity of life is already so great, and ever increasingly greater, not only among uncivilized peoples but even in those very nations that are called Christian. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, repeatedly admonished them in these words: “But immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as become saints; or obscenity or foolish talk” (Eph. 5:34). He also places the foundation of holiness and sound morals upon a knowledge of divine things—which holds in check evil desires: “See to it therefore, brethren, that you walk with care: not as unwise but as wise. . . Therefore, do not become foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-16).” (Encyclical Acerbo nimis from April 15, 1905).

A good and solid knowledge of the Catholic faith has as its aim a virtuous life through which alone with the help of God’s grace one can achieve eternal salvation. Saint Pius X teaches therefore: “Christian teaching not only bestows on the intellect the light by which attains truth, but from it our will draws that ardor by which we are raised up to God and joined with Him in the practice of virtue” (Encyclical Acerbo nimis from April 15, 1905).

The true knowledge of the Catholic faith fills the human mind with a light and this light, in spite of being sometimes obfuscated by a bad will, is usually the effective means of salvation.

The content of our Catholic Faith is not just words and formulae to be memorized.  The true, interior content of the Faith is a Person, the divine Person of the Eternal Word made Flesh, Christ Jesus.  We can have a relationship with a Person.  Coming to know the Faith leads to knowledge of Christ and, in turn, hope and love.  Furthermore, as the bishop pointed out, even if one loses love, that is charity, and loses hope, faith remains long after.  That faith can help to bring you back to hope and to charity.


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Daily Rome Shot 1019

Nice people! Great service!

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

Yesterday in chessy news, it was a tough day for Magnus Carlsen. He played in the Rapid and Blitz – in the Blitz phase – in Warsaw and then played in the Classic. Wei Yi leading in Poland and Magnus is in 2nd. However, in one game against Nodirbek, in a time scramble Magnus hanged his queen and went from completely winning to completely losing in an instant. The moment.

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.

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