Day 6-7 – NS Guantanamo Bay: Of mates and doors and details

My time here at GITMO is paying some dividends.  First, the heat seems to be helping my shoulder and foot, which were injured during the winter.   Also, today I got some writing done for the paper ahead of time.

Some of my time, however, was sucked up by a nasty-ram from amazon, saying that I used their logo somewhere I shouldn’t have.   They threatened my affiliate program.   So, I dealt with that.

Friends… your use of my links provides important income, with which I pay for health insurance and which I put away because I don’t have a diocesan pension.  You know, frivolous stuff.  When I ask you to use my links when you shop on amazon, I ask in earnest.  It makes a big difference at the end of the month when you remember.

Speaking of improving health, I had the opportunity to make a hospital visit.  During the visit I blessed the patient and invoked our angels to help: the person was facing surgical interventions in the morning.   The next day I called for a status report and learned that the patient had been discharged!  Following up with a couple of calls, I found that, during the night, there was a change of condition and the interventions were not thought necessary.  Very cool.  Yay God!

Blessings.   Ask for blessings, friends.   Talk to your angels.

And speaking of very cool, here’s something scacchic.

Alekhine v. Popvich
From a simultaneous clock exhibition at Osijek, Yugoslavia on December 23, 1931.

The last move was Black Bishop to G6… check.

White to move.

This doesn’t happen too often.  Can you get it?   Are you scacchically inclined?

And speaking of set ups, I was queried by a reader about how my Mass vestments were set up on a vestment press the other day.


Is there a prescribed way that vestments have to be laid out?

No, there isn’t.  Each sacristan and/or priests will have his own thoughts about it.  You have I am sure seen the wonderful things that the Sisters in Santa Rosa do with amice ties.

In any event, I lay out my vestments usually in the reverse order that I handle things before Mass.   Do I vary a little?  Sure.  But not much.

Applying common sense, since the chasuble is last to go on, it is the first to lie down, facing down, with the back drawn up  Then on top of that the stole, and, on top of the stole, the maniple.  Before that the cincture.  I put them down so that they can simply be picked up and put on, so the part of the maniple that goes on the wrist is closest and the part of the stole that goes over the neck is closest.  The stole is lain down almost like an M to conserve space.

Note that this maniple has a pin.  Since this maniple has a perfectly shipshape tie, I assume that the pin is intended for fishing spiders and flying critters out of the chalice.   I have a whole post on that point… if you get it.  Otherwise, some maniples are held onto the sleeve of the alb with a pin.

Speaking of albs, it goes down, face down, next with the amice on top of it, the stings coiled up so that they fall free.

Next, since before I put on vestments I dress the chalice, here is the burse and corporal, since they go on top of the chalice after it is charged with purificator, and paten with Host, pall, and the veil is draped.

The veil goes on after the purificator and the pall on the paten.

Obvious, it is a good idea to check the book before anything else so that it can be carried out or it can be placed on the altar before Mass.

I put the biretta on there even though it is the very last thing to you put on because it looks cool, as Semper Gumby admitted.

The other day I showed a photo of the tabernacle.  Today, during Mass, I noticed a curiosity.  Can you spot it before I give a close up?

That little figure, facing out from the corners, is definitely canine.

Significance?   I am not sure.  Except for the idea that sheep dogs guard the lambs, and that this is a tabernacle.  And dogs are sometimes found in religious art to denote fidelity (and cats, the opposite).

Meanwhile, the other day I lamented that the flowers which had been presented to Mary had seen better days.  I mentioned this to one of the ladies here and look what happened!

There is depth in the details, friends.   Details help.

Moving on, today a priest friend texted and mentioned that a young man in Colorado, at the school where the coward gunmen attacked, had charged the attackers to stop them and was killed.  This young man was a Catholic Knight of Columbus and a USMC recruit.

My priest friend wondered if manliness is starting to return.   I think manliness has been horrifically twisted – as it has been from the beginning – by the enemy of the soul.

I have learned of C.S. Lewis Doodles. Speaking of knights and details and laying everything out, here’s the one on chivalry.  Perhaps he can shed some light upon the question.

Lastly, today has been a good day for ZedNet, which some fellow hams using DMR or WiresX have used to chime it.  I have my hotspot tethered to my android phone, using its data stream, and it works just fine! Raspberry pi by rasberry pi, folks.  Today I’ve heard 5 different call signs.  And, with my remote station activated, last night on 20m we had a great open band.  I made contacts in New Zealand and Asiatic Russia.  Very cool.

One of the hams on ZedNet asked for prayers for the young man in Colorado who died trying to save lives.

Surely, that’s an honor.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jacob says:

    Is checkmate in one move, Father?

  2. leftycbd says:

    For white: Rook to c2, checkmate!

  3. veritas vincit says:

    Darn! Beat to the punch! Rc2 mate!

    Appreciate the position, Father Z!

    Alexander Alekhine, the White player, was the world chess champion at the time, holding the title from 1927 to 1935 and again (after losing and then defeating Max Euwe in title matches) from 1937 until his death in 1946.

  4. benedetta says:

    With your reminders, Father, I am using your amazon search box more frequently now.

  5. SuperTrad says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, white’s next move has to be to get their King out of harms way. Which means black’s next move could be A8 Rook to H8 capturing the dangerous Rook. So Black can dodge that one.

  6. cengime says:

    @SuperTrad: White has to protect his king by either moving it, blocking the check, or capturing the piece giving check. White can block the check with Rc2, to which Black probably envisioned a continuation like …Bxc2+ Kb2 Rxh8 with an overwhelming advantage, but unfortunately, Black will never have the opportunity to take with the bishop or pawn because Rc2 is played with a “discovered check” on the king by the bishop on e1, resulting in mate! The black king can not capture the pawn on g2—even though the c2 rook protecting it is pinned to the king by the g6 bishop and would not be able to move, the king is still not allowed to move into its line of fire.

  7. Dan says:

    Louis Tofari over at Romanitas Press website has a couple of good videos on laying out vestments.

  8. Dan says: Louis Tofari over at Romanitas Press

    I looked a little at that video. His way of laying out the vestments is certainly okay. I prefer to have the top part of the maniple and of the stole oriented the other way, toward me, so that they can be picked straight up and kissed before putting them on. Of course nothing prevents the priest from doing that in the Tofari Method. I simply think my way is a little more streamlined.

    He does a good service over there.

  9. Discipula says:

    You can watch the chess game play out here:

    Thanks Fr. Z for the video by C.S. Lewis Doodle. I’ll have to share that channel with my friends.

  10. Unwilling says:

    Maybe the canine heads are of lurking wolves.

    Perhaps some heat treatments at home will give more relief and speed permanent healing.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Rc2# – well done leftycbd. A classic Alekhine win.

    Chess puzzle books are available where White or Black mates in 1, 2, or 3 moves. There are also many books that take a close look at the various Openings, such as the King’s Gambit or the Sicilian Defense.

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    The Necessity of Chivalry by CS Lewis- interesting video.

    Some historians today claim that Chivalry developed from Muslim Spain. They confuse Chivalry and courtly culture. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Islamic Caliphate of Cordoba and its oriental, courtly culture had some influence on European culture (e.g. troubadours). That said, see “The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise” by Dario Fernandez-Morera. From the ISI review of the book:

    “With the money collected from the taxation of Catholics and Jews and from the booty and tribute obtained through military incursions into Catholic lands, Abd-al-Rahman III not only embellished Cordoba, but built for his favorite female slave a splendid palace, Medina-Zahara. It contained 300 baths, 400 horses, 15,000 eunuchs and servants, and a harem— not a Catholic institution— of 6,300 women.”

    Nope, no Chivalry there. Or here:

    “What about the claim regarding the “progressive” status of women in Andalusia? Muslim treatises tell a different story. Ibn Abdun lists numerous rules for female behavior in everyday life: “boat trips of women with men on the Guadalquivir must be suppressed”; “one must forbid women to wash clothes on the fields, because the fields will turn into brothels. Women must not sit on the river shore in the summer, when men do”; “one must especially watch out for women, since error is most common among them.””

    Well now, “…the fields will turn into brothels…” However, centuries earlier Catholic nuns had organized the first hospitals. And St. Benedict’s sister, St. Scholastica, would no doubt raise an eyebrow at Ibn Abdun’s statement.

    My two cents is that Chivalry’s roots extend back to biblical times and is distinctly Catholic. Briefly:

    – the ritual component of Joshua’s conquests, e.g. Jericho. Yes, slaughter was also involved in the conquest of Canaan (but see the Peace of God and Truce of God below). Then there is Gideon (Judges 7) who selected his 300 soldiers because they drank water out of their hand rather than lapping it up like a dog. A proto-Code of Conduct is emerging here.

    – The sacrificial love of Jesus on the Cross and the Eucharist (Luke 22:19), and His words on the Cross (John 19:26-27).

    – the Vigil Mass and the knight’s all-night Vigil of Arms for induction into knighthood (“go into watchful prayer like Christ in Gethsemane”).

    – the 8th century Benedictine influence on the court of Charlemagne.

    – the Church promoted fraternal assemblies in the 9th century.

    – the Catholic Church’s 10th century Peace of God and Truce of God to mitigate feudal warfare (e.g. keep yer’ mitts off the peasants, off the widow’s crops, and knock it off entirely on Sunday (later extended from Thursday to Sunday to honor key events in Christ’s life)).

    – the 10th century Blessing of the Sword and the Mainz Pontifical, for transforming feudal warriors to Christian warriors to achieve additional improvement in behavior.

    Fr. Slattery observes:

    “This spirit of chivalric romanticism continues to be influential into the twenty-first century, clashing however with the dominant secularized culture and its gender ideology. This confrontation is between two utterly irreconcilable world visions: chivalry rooted in Catholicism [versus] hedonism-stimulated individualism.”

  13. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Kendrick Castillo was the young Catholic man killed. He was the guy who wanted to become a Knight of Columbus, following in his dad’s footsteps.

    The USMC guy is Brandon Bialy. He lived, and did a great interview praising Castillo.

    There was another young man who fought back, was wounded, and lived.

  14. OssaSola says:

    I’ll leave the chess to better minds, but I am sick at the loss of that young man. May Heaven welcome his soul home.

  15. jilly4life says:

    I really enjoy CSLewisDoodle, my favorite is the “Men without Chests.”

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    jilly4life: You might be interested in Fr. Z’s post from 22 January 2018:

Comments are closed.