Wolves v. Bear, Windswept House, and the Belgian Waffle Bishops.

Think of a hungry wolf pack and a cornered bear. As the wolves lunge in the bear swats them away with some damage. They keep testing the bear, now this side and now that, one at a time, then two. Eventually the bear gets tired and one of the wolves scores a substantial gain. Eventually Yogi fails.

Imagine Yogi’s thought as he fights for his life.  “Why are these funny looking sheep attacking me?  Something is wrong here.”

Chess works the same way, by the way: if you can attack on both the queen side and king side and have a strong or attacking center, “GG” to your opponent.

Another example.

Think of creeping incrementalism. I remember a scene from Windswept House in which the Card. Bernardin real-life character told a hapless bishop, the Bp. Raymond Lucker real-life character, to make some crazy proposal. The Lucker character balked because he knew he would get shot down. The Bernardin character said that he should then just walk it back. The goal of shifting the needle in their direction just a little would have been accomplished. Peck away. A little at a time.   US HERE – UK HERE

Also, I come from a caucus state in these USA. Quickly you learn that the people who come early, network, are active and vocal, and stay to the end are the one’s who prevail.

This is from the National Catholic Register

Flemish Bishops’ Document Undermines the Spiritual Quest of Homosexual People, Belgian Theologians Warn

[…]

The Flemish bishops of Belgium announced Sept. 20 the creation of a specific liturgy to bless homosexual couples, as well as the establishment of a “contact point” in parishes for homosexual Catholics.

It’s a project that some theologians consider deeply harmful to the spiritual life of homosexual believers, as well as being in contradiction with the content of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on which it claims to be based.

The three-page document, entitled “Being Pastorally Close to Homosexuals: For a Welcoming Church That Excludes No One,” also directly contradicts a March 2021 opinion from the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which stated that the blessing of homosexual unions “cannot be considered licit.”

This initiative of the bishops of Flanders, which has crystallized the current dissension in the Church over the ways in which the same-sex attracted should be welcomed, was somehow foreseeable. Indeed, the outcry that the Vatican congregation’s document caused last year among a very large part of the Belgian episcopate suggested that the debate was far from being closed in that country.

“I feel a vicarious shame for my Church,” Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp wrote in an opinion piece following the publication of the Vatican’s responsum. “I want to apologize to all those for whom this response is painful and incomprehensible. […] Their pain for the Church is my pain today.”

As early as 2014, during the preparation of the Synod on the Family, Bishop Bonny — who represented Belgium at the synod — had announced that he would advocate for the blessing of same-sex couples.

Many other Belgian Catholic leaders also have publicly declared themselves in favor of the blessing of same-sex couples in more recent years, starting with the primate of Belgium himself, Cardinal Jozef De Kesel. The archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and president of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference had indeed already reflected, in 2018, on the possibility of “prayer celebrations” to seal a lifelong union of homosexual couples.

Moreover, the recent text of the Flemish bishops actually echoes a project launched by the Francophone Diocese of Liège in December 2021, which proposed a special prayer for same-sex couples that must be conducted by “a priest, a deacon, a religious or any other layperson mandated for this purpose by the dean or the parish priest of the pastoral unit.”

[…]

That’s part of the landscape.

One of the best reactions I’ve seen is at the Padre Pio Press blog:

Belgian Waffling

Those stalwart Belgian prelates have really done it. Actually, they only have kind of done it. Who likes a half-baked waffle anyway?

Their patriarchal minds are still half-closed. Pity.

Although we all appreciate their attempt at blessing same-sex unions, one is forced to ask, “why should blessings be confined to them?” in other words, why blessings only for sodomites but not for everyone? After all, we all need accompaniment – except those, you know… Trads.

Of course, these blessings can’t be distributed without true accompaniment and discernment which ought to be accompanied by accompaniment. After all, we have standards. Fidelity is the word.

Just imagine what those close-minded Flems couldn’t imagine: arsonists who faithfully pledge their troth to a particular zip code; johns who promise exclusivity to their cocotte, thieves who refuse to steal from more than one store. But don’t lose hope, little flock. The God of surprises isn’t done with them.

— Fr. Cliff Ermantiger

Once it starts, it doesn’t stop.

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Daily Rome Shot 576, etc.

Update on the Rome Trip.  Because of the hurricane, my departure today, Wednesday, for NYC (then Rome on Friday) is impossible.  I was on the phone for a couple hours with Delta trying to figure out how to thread the needle and do so without it costing me a fortune.  Changes to my flight, even with the weather waiver, are going to hurt.  And if I have to do it again, because of weather, and I have to change the Rome departure, oh dear.

So, please pray that God will suppress the force of the hurricane, cut it down to size, head it off, as it were.  It’s coming pretty much right at us now.

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

Black to move and win material.

3:16 isn’t just in John.

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“This has the logo of the Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops. ” Prepare for a rough ride.

When I first saw this, I thought it was a spoof account.

It isn’t.

A first, second and more glances bring one to the conclusion that the people who posted this “art”, approve of the content. Therefore, they hate the Church and are trying to morph it into an NGO. The buck stops on the desk “high atop the thing”.

Let’s imagine that the organizers of the Synod (“walking together”) also asked traditionally minded Catholics for art to express their hope for the Synod (“walking together”).

Are you doing that?  Imagining?

When you are finished laughing, ….

Let’s look at some things. In this one, between the arm and leg “What is revolutionary love?” Yes, what is that? Note the “celebration” area is dominated by “diversity”. This has the logo of the Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops.

In this one, note “Reckless”, divided into two words, because the words on the left side are bad and those on the right are good. On the left: liturgy (I’ll agree with that in a restricted, experiential sense), Scripture (1). On the right, Gospel (?), social change, LGB etc.

The Church “can be” refuge? No, it IS refuge. But they mean for illegal immigrants. Not for us. Note cliche riff on the creation of Adam. This has the logo of the Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops.

And this one… I guess we are making a macrame banner, just like the in 70’s, even with a guitar.  I’ll get you anything that the music note standings for Kumbaya.  Not sure what that thing is in the lower left.  This has the logo of the Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops.

This time the bad stuff is on the right: including LGB… blah blah discrimination and “priest biases” (not grammatical but whatever).  Down in the  aloe plants in the lower left corner, “community”, “acceptance”, “tolerance”, “change”, etc. This has the logo of the Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops.

Finally, note the female in priestly vestments behind the guy with the “pride” shirt.

However, the Traditional Latin Mass must be suppressed because the wrong kind of young people want that.

Remember: It’s not just because they hate and fear the content of the Traditional Mass, they hate and fear the people who desire it.

UPDATE:

There’s more.

Note the two candles on the same side of the altar? This was an Italian nun thing and now, I fear, it is priest thing, too, if you get my drift. Good comment on the church HERE.

UPDATE:

A rough ride. Indeed.

What’s going on here? Here’s clue. This is from tweets, put together with a thread reader. I had to do screen shots to get the whole thing.

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ASK FATHER: Can a Catholic layman officiate at the marriage of non-Catholics?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Is there any situation in which a Catholic layman could officiate a wedding? A friend has been asked to officiate at a non-Catholic wedding ceremony between 2 non-Catholic persons and is unsure whether the Church would approve

In theory, yes. A Catholic layman who is a justice of the peace or a civil/secular judge can officiate at the weddings of two people who are not Catholic.

The Catholic Church only tells Catholics how to marry. It does not tell Lutherans, Jews, Buddhists, or Jesuits… ooops … atheists, etc., how to get married.

Only Catholics are obliged to follow the Catholic canonical form for a wedding. Non-Catholics do not have to.

Two non-Catholics are free to marry in just about any way they choose. The resulting marriage of the two non-Catholic people is valid provided there are no prior bonds. If the parties are baptized (Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.), the marriage is not only valid, but is regarded by the Catholic Church as sacramental even if the Protestants do not believe it to be such.

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Daily Rome Shot 575, etc.

It seems that Magnus Magnus has made a statement.

He’s a puzzle.

And here’s a puzzle.

Black to play.

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.

Support the wonderful Dominican sisters!

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I now may have seen it all.

From my native place.

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Ad repellendas tempestates… Prayers for the repelling of storms.

In the 1962 Missale Romanum there are prayers “in order to repel storms”.  I am using these prayers now in the face of hurricane Ian.

The prayers are ancient, to be found in the 5th c. Gelasian Sacramentary (PL 74) in “XLVII. ORAT. POST TEMPESTATEM ET FULGURA.”  I also found that the Postcommunion was once used as a kind of Oratio super populum  “In dedicatione loci illius ubi prius fuit synagoga… In the dedication of a place where before there was a synagogue.”

COLLECT

A domo tua, quaesumus, Domine, spiritales nequitiae repellantur: et aëreárum discedat malignitas tempestatum.  Per Dominum.

Spiritales from spiritalis can have to do with the spiritual life.  However, it also, in its first classical meaning, deals with breathing and wind and air.  Malignitas definitely conveys “ill-will, malice, envy” and “stinginess”.  Discedo, first of all, is “divide, part asunder” and then “leave, forsake” and “go away”.  In military terms “decamp”.

Super literal:
We beseech You, O Lord, that the blasts of evil be driven from Your house: and the wickedness of the airy storms depart.

One English translation I found:
We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

One of the reasons why the Apostles were so frightened on the waters during the storm is because of the ancient belief that evil spirits (demons) could inhabit the waters and winds.  And, when they saw the Lord walking on water, they at first didn’t know what to think.

SECRET

Offerimus tibi, Domine, laudes et munera, pro concessis beneficiis gratias referentes, et pro concedendis semper suppliciter deprecantes.  Per Dominum.

O Lord we off You praises and gifts, giving thanks for the benefits that You have granted, and always suppliantly begging for those which are to be granted.

Note the humility of the petition.  It isn’t quite like what we had for so long, and still have occasionally in the Novus Ordo: “O God, you are big. Help us to be big too.”

POSTCOMMUNION

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui nos et castigando sanas, et ignoscendo conservas: praesta supplicibus tuis; ut et tranquillitatibus huius optatae consolationis laetemur, et dono tuae pietatis semper utamur.  Per Dominum.

Almighty eternal God, who heal us by chastising, and preserve us by forgiving, grant to Your supplicants that we may both rejoice in the tranquil times of this hoped for consolation and also always make good use of the gift of Your mercy.

Another version:
Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.

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Daily Rome Shot 574, etc.

The impact of the consistory list continues.

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.

US HERE – UK HERE

I saw a terrific puzzle.

White to move.  The situation looks pretty dire for white.  One move changes everything.  Find it and explain.  Again… tempo!

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

I got my part for my Mac, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to work on that with everything I have to do to prepare to depart for Rome and batten down for the storm and my absence.

Meanwhile…

And…

And…

Certain prelates in the Vatican will be quivering in their ballerina slippers.

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ACTION ITEM! Gulf Coast BISHOPS, PRIESTS, LAITY: Pray the Litany against Tropical Storm #Ian

Please retweet and share around.  The buttons are just up there… ↑ … see e’m?   

Tropical Storm Ian is coming.

It will probably be Cat FOUR.

Here’s an action item for you believing priests and bishops out there.   With confidence we can pray the prayers which the Church has designated against storms.

I believe what the Church believes.  Do you?

Therefore….

BISHOPS OF THE GULF COAST AND INTERIOR: Stand on the steps of your respective cathedral churches, dressed in cope and miter and, surrounded by clergy, with crosiers in hand, pronounce from the traditional Rituale Romanum the Litany of Saints with the deprecatory prayers against storms.  [below]   Ring the cathedral bells.

Bells are sacramentals.  They are “baptized” and given names.  They speak.  In valleys of mountainous countries, as storms approached, people would ring the bells and pray the Litany.  That’s one of the reasons why we have consecrated bells!

You all talk to each other: perhaps coordinate your timing.

I know that in every chancery at least one person reads this blog, probably more.  Readers, especially if you know your bishops personally, ask them to do this.

Look, you bishops out there… I know you are nervous about Rome frowning on you because you used a traditional book.  You don’t have to publicize it.  If you are nervous, do in it private.  BUT DO IT.

For the love of God and those in your charge.  Use the God given office and authority of a successor of the Apostles and PRAY DOWN THIS STORM!

PRIESTS OF THE GULF COAST AND INTERIOR: Ditto.  Also, if you have blessed bells, ring the bells of your churches against the storm.

PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST AND INTERIOR: Get on your priests about this.  The prayers of priests and bishop are powerful.  Also, ask your holy angels to protect you and to help you make prudent decisions.

Fathers, Bishops…

Use the old Roman Ritual (yes, the traditional book – you can do it! – it’s the real deal!) and pray the Litany with the deprecatory prayers against storms. A procession could be done around the grounds of the cathedral or even indoors… even with a very few.

You don’t have to be directly in the line of the storm to pray for others!

PROCESSION FOR AVERTING TEMPEST [Better in Latin, but here is the English.]

The church bells are rung, and all who can assemble in church. Then the Litany of the Saints is said, during which – at the right moment, namely, after the invocation, “That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, etc.”, the following invocation is said twice:

From lightning and tempest, Lord, deliver us.

At the end of the litany the following is added:

P: Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 147
P: Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Sion.
All: For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; * He has blessed your children within you.
P: He has granted peace in your borders; * with the best of wheat He fills you.
All: He sends forth His command to the earth; * swiftly runs His word!
P: He spreads snow like wool; * He strews frost like ashes.
All: He scatters His hail like crumbs; * the waters freeze before His cold.
P: He sends His word and melts them; * He lets His breeze blow and the waters run.
All: He has proclaimed His word to Jacob, * His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
P: He has not done thus for any other nation; * He has not made known His ordinances to them.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, show us your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
P: Help us, O God, our Savior.
All: And deliver us, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
P: Let the enemy have no power over us.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.
P: May your mercy, Lord, remain with us always.
All: For we put our whole trust in you.
P: Save your faithful people, Lord.
All: Bless all who belong to you.
P: You withhold no good thing from those who walk in sincerity.
All: Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray.
God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.

Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.

Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
He sprinkles the surroundings with holy water.

Bishops, priests!

You don’t have to advertise this or call in the TV cameras (though that would be great, too).  JUST DO IT.

C’MON!  What do you have to lose?

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ASK FATHER: Hand missals in large print for people with low vision

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Do you know of anyone who prints missals in large print? My wife has what is called low vision. Perhaps one of your regular readers knows this.

Looking around a little I found these.

St Joseph Daily and Sunday Missal Large Type Editions Complete Gift Box 3-Volume Set

Daily Roman Missal – LARGE PRINT Black Leather Bound

1962 Traditional Catholic Sunday Missal Booklet Large Print Edition

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Daily Rome Shot 573, etc.

Please pray down the hurricane advancing into the gulf. Apart from the damage it can cause, it could interfere with my departure for Rome.

Note the Latin!  There’s a story there.  For larger, left-click and open in a new tab.

This afternoon the second day of the two-day final of the Julius Baer Generation Cup will be played between Magnus Carlsen and Arjun Erigaisi.  Carlsen’s play has been terrifying.  He is closing in on 2900.

In other news, the Chess.com Global Championship is has seen the advance of  Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian and Ian Nepomniachtchi.  Prize fund: $1 Million.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Puzzle: White to move. This is difficult.  At least it was for me.  NB: that sniper bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal is sighted in on the promotion square, but his own pawn is blocking the shot. The enemy king is able to move toward the pawn to take it or around it to block it.

You have to “seize the day”, keep the tempo and prevent that black pawn from advancing and opening up that diagonal. But how?

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.

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

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YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS – UPDATED

PLEASE use the sharing buttons! Thanks!

In your charity would you please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

Let’s remember all who are ill, who will die soon, who have lost their jobs, and who are afraid.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Some are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I ask a prayer for myself.  I’m dealing with a particular challenge right now.

Also, I received this note today:

The person who runs the great online Douay-Rheims Bible website www.drbo.org has prostate cancer and no insurance. He is trying to raise money for surgery. I used his website many times each week and refer others to it. It is very helpful to find where something was said in the Bible.

Mail a donation to him at Paul Mann, PO Box 156, St. Mary’s, Ks 66536.
He also listed this need on his website.
https://www.drbo.org/donate.htm

[UPDATE:] Also, I received this note from “Betty”:

Father can you please pray for I am moving in a senior place I am 65 years I have to have $700 dollars for a deposit so can you please pray that I get some help with the deposit.  Thank you and have a Bless Day

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 16th Sunday after Pentecost (N.O. 26th Sunday): “Is there a vice which God must hate more than pride?” Wherein Fr. Z rants.

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 the 16th Sunday after Pentecost (26th Ordinary in the Novus)?

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass.  I hear that it is growing.  Of COURSE.

Any local changes or (hopefully good) news?

A few thoughts of my own for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost.


Is there a vice which God must hate more than pride?

It was pride that brought down Satan and the other apostate angels.

It was pride that brought down the entire human race in our First Parents.

Pride turned angels into devils, turned Paradise into this vale of tears.   What does pride do to your interior landscape?  Your soul?

Pride is worse than the sins of the flesh, for sins of the soul are of a higher order than fleshly, material failings. It is the beginning of other capital or spiritually lethal sins, for it begets, as the venerable Baltimore Catechism says, “sinful ambition, vainglory, presumption and hypocrisy”.  St. Bernard (+1153) taught that pride is the ruin of all virtues and the origin of all vices.

In our Gospel reading for Sunday we hear the account in Luke 14 of the healing of the dropsical man.

Dropsy, a greatly underused medical term along with biliousness, grip and collywobbles, is short for hydropsy, which is edema, that is, the abnormal accumulation of fluids in the soft tissues.  Dropsy makes your limbs and face puff up, even severely.  A person can develop edema, become dropsical, due to, among other things, congestive heart failure, the inability of the heart to circulate the amount of blood needed to prevent fluid from leaking from capillaries into tissues.  Spiritual writers have interpreted the dropsy of the man in Luke as a symbol of pride.  The Lord heals him and then sends him away.

Pride is a spiritual illness more serious than any physical malady.

If you have a problem with your heart, such as congestive heart failure, you need a heart doctor.

If you have a heart swollen from pride, you require a Sacred Heart Doctor.

If you swiftly seek help for a physically failing heart, how much more urgent is action needed if you have the more serious spiritually failing heart?

It is when our hearts fail that we sin, for we have chosen not to love God in the way we were made to love Him: we choose to love something less.

When we examine our consciences before confession – GO TO CONFESSION! – how far do we go?   And I don’t mean driving!

To make a really good examination, we have to be willing to get into the dark spaces, to find what is behind that other thing, that distraction from the real problem.

The image is clear in my mind right now, since I just moved some things in the garage that hadn’t been moved for a while.  It’s amazing what scurrying activity the light of day can incite.  To move that stuff took some resolve.   If you don’t have a garage, think of the back your refrigerator.  When something is wrong in there, you are eventually compelled to do something about it.  How much more the putrescence that results from rotting pride and its attendants?

The problem is that, with pride, though it reeks before God, saints and angels – and our neighbors too, who usually see right through us – the Enemy of the soul is there with all sorts of distractions, shadows and even over-powering air fresheners precisely to prevent you from dealing with the foundational malady.

When Our Lord healed the dropsical man, He was in the house of a ruler of the Pharisees for a meal on the sabbath, a time when all works were forbidden by law.   The dropsical man was present at the meal, purposely on display, as it were: “And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy” (v. 2).  He must have been obviously dropsical, very bad off indeed, noticeable.  Would the famous healer, heal him on the sabbath?   To heal was to perform a forbidden work, which could get Him into hot water with the authorities. Five times the Lord healed on the sabbath, by the way, that’s how much He loved those in need.

The Lord knew that this sabbath meal invitation was a trap, but it was also His opportunity to perform both a corporal work of mercy by healing, as well as a spiritual work of mercy by admonishing: He deflated the dropsical man, so to speak, and then sent him away. Then He deflated the prideful spectators.

At this sabbath meal Our Lord told a mashal, Hebrew for a parable, about a marriage feast. Invited guests have hurried to the places of honor (Greek protoklisía, chief seats or rooms or first reclining place), but their host comes and sends them down to lower places.  He then waves someone far down in the pecking order up to a place of honor saying, “Ascende superius… Come a little higher!”, the secret motto of many a cleric.

With this parable as His starting point, Christ advises his fellow guests not to invite the fancy and the famous to their tables, but rather “the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind” precisely because they have nothing with which they can repay the favor.  The nimshal of the mashal, the twist in the parable that conveys the sometimes counter-intuitive point, is this: it is by being genuinely lowly that we are raised up to real glory.  To receive the honor that really matters – and it’s not passing worldly notice or human recompense – give, serve, and do not expect anything.  Be low, for our recompense is on high (cf. Matthew 20:16).

St. Gregory I – “the Great” (+604) helpfully lists in his Moralia in Iob (23,5) several degrees of pride, namely:

1) to believe that we have through our own efforts what we have received from God;
2) to believe that we have merited what we have gratuitously received;
3) to attribute to ourselves a good we lack, for example, great learning, when we do not possess it;
4) to wish to be preferred to others and to depreciate them.

Do any of those sound familiar?  If we spot any of these blotches in our hearts, we had better seek a remedy, and fast, for we know “neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13) when our hearts will cease to beat.

The spiritual writer Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (+1964) in his Three Ages of the Spiritual Life wrote:

“The remedy for pride is to tell ourselves that of ourselves we are not, that we have been created out of nothing by the gratuitous love of God, who continues freely to preserve us in existence; otherwise we would return to nothingness. And if grace is in us, it is because Jesus Christ redeemed us by His blood.

The remedy for pride is also to tell ourselves that there is in us something inferior to nothingness itself: the disorder of sin and its effects. As sinners, we deserve scorn and all humiliations; the saints have thought so, and they certainly judged better than we.”

Thomas à Kempis (+1471) wrote in the Imitation of Christ,

“Do not think yourself better than others lest, perhaps, you be accounted worse before God Who knows what is in man. Do not take pride in your good deeds, for God’s judgments differ from those of men and what pleases them often displeases Him. If there is good in you, see more good in others, so that you may remain humble. It does no harm to esteem yourself less than anyone else, but it is very harmful to think yourself better than even one. The humble live in continuous peace, while in the hearts of the proud are envy and frequent anger.” (I, 7)

In our Epistle reading, Paul told us, “have Christ dwelling though faith in your hearts” (Eph 3:17). Our best remedy for the congestive swelling failure of the heart that is pride is, therefore, ultimately what Christ asks us to do.  “Learn from me,” he says, “for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29).

When you sense the swelling dropsy of pride, the catalyst of so many sins, ask especially the help of your holy Guardian Angel and of St Michael, whose mighty shout is “Quis ut Deus?  Who is like God?”   We sure aren’t, to turn inside out the pride-riddled lie of the serpent.

Call upon the Handmaid of the Lord, who was, as Dante calls her, the humble daughter of her Son (Par 33.1).  Say aloud Mary’s mighty anti-pride manifesto, the Magnificat. Listen to her and find a cure for the drum-thumping of your own little failing heart.  Learn from the beating of the holy Hearts, Immaculate and Sacred, and beat the sin of pride.

Finally, consider yourselves admonished by 1 Peter 5:

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you.”

 

Posted in GO TO CONFESSION, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged ,
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WDTPRS – Collect 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Novus Ordo): “the bowels of compassion”

Many of you could care less about the Novus Ordo prayers. But remember, when the English translation of the Novus Ordo improved, it was like the old adage that a rising tide raises all boats. All boats. Many of our brothers and sisters do not have easy access to the Traditional Latin Mass or they haven’t yet experienced. They ought to and, with cordial and patient invitations from people like you they may yet. Meanwhile, the Novus Ordo is here, if not to stay, then… to hang out for a while longer.

With that in mind, and keeping in mind that, even if you are pretty much TLM exclusive, you can still gain a lot by drilling into these orations.

COLLECT – (2002MR):
Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam
parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas,
gratiam tuam super nos indesinenter infunde,
ut, ad tua promissa currentes,
caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.

This was, in a slightly different form, in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary. In the 1962 Missale Romanum this Collect was prayed for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost.

Let’s now look at some vocabulary, the nuts and bolts of the prayer.  Parco means, “to spare, have mercy, forbear to injure” and by extension, “forgive.”   This verb is used quite frequently in liturgical prayer as, for example, in the responses during the beautiful litanies we sing as Catholics, especially in time of need: “Parce nobis, Domine… Spare us, O Lord!”  During Lent the hauntingly poignant Latin chant informs our penitential spirit: “Parce, Domine… O Lord, spare your people: do not be wrathful with us forever.” The noun consors comes from the fusion of the preposition cum (“with”) and sors (“lot”, in the sense of a chance or ticket when “casting lots”, destiny, fate).   A consors is someone with whom you share a common destiny. The densely arranged Lewis & Short Dictionary reveals that consors is “sharing property with one (as brother, sister, relative), living in community of goods, partaking of in common.”  The English word “lot” can be both “fate” and a “parcel of land.”

Having been made in God’s image and likeness, we are to act as God acts: to know, will and love.  Since God spares us and is merciful, then we must be similarly merciful and sparing if we want to be sharers and coheirs in the lot He has prepared for us.

Shall we get the obsolete ICEL version out of the way and then get on to what the prayer really says?

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):
Father, you show your almighty power,
in your mercy and forgiveness.
Continue to fill us with your gifts of love.
Help us to hurry toward the eternal life you promise
and come to share in the joys of your kingdom.

SLAVISHLY LITERAL TRANSLATION:
O God, who manifest Your omnipotence
especially by sparing and being merciful,
pour Your grace upon us unceasingly,
so that You may make us,
rushing to the things You have promised,
to be partakers of heavenly benefits.

One of the ways God manifests His almighty nature is by being forgiving and sparing.

God is the creator and ruler, guide and governor of all that is seen and unseen, who keeps everything in existence by an act of His will, and reveals His omnipotence especially (maxime in our Collect) by means of mercy.  By violating God’s will our first parents, i.e. the entire human race, opened up an infinite gulf between us and God.  Since the gulf was immeasurable, only an omnipotent God could bridge that gap and repair it.  God did not repair the breach because of justice. Rather, because in His goodness He is also merciful.

People often slip into the trap of associating manifestations of power with acts of justice.   In this Collect, however, we affirm the other side of power’s coin.

The miracles worked by Jesus in the Gospels, loving gestures to suffering individuals, were acts of mercy often connected to forgiveness of sins.  The affirmation of divine mercy, however, does not diminish God’s justice.

Mercy does not mean turning a blind eye to justice, for that would be tantamount to betraying truth and charity.  Nevertheless, if justice must be upheld because God is Truth, so too must mercy be exercised because God is Love.

For God, balancing justice and mercy is simplicity itself, since He is perfectly simple.  Knowing all things which ever were, are or will be as well as the complexities of each act’s impact and every other throughout history God has no conflicts in the application of merciful justice or just mercy.

For man, especially in times of trial, the simultaneous exercise of mercy and justice is very difficult indeed.  Because of the wounds to our will and intellect, our struggle with passions, it is hard for us at times to see what is good and right and true or rein in our emotions even when we do discern things properly.  We often oscillate between being first just and then merciful. Bringing the two streams of mercy and justice together is a tremendous challenge.

When we encounter a person whom we find able to balance justice and mercy together, we are deeply impressed by him and hold him up as an example of wisdom because he is acting more perfectly as an image of God than many others.  We are moved by his example because deep inside we know how we ought to be conforming to God’s image in us.

One way in which we act the most according to God’s image in us, behaving as the “coheirs” Christ made us to be, authentic Christian consortes, is precisely when we act with compassion.

Is compassion the key to balancing mercy and justice?  In biblical language, such as the Hebrew racham, compassion is often interchangeable with mercy.  The Latin word compassio comes from Latin cum-patior, “to suffer/endure with” someone.  Our whole being is moved and stirred when we witness compassion and suffering because they reveal in a mysterious way who we are as human beings and how we ought to act.

In a now famous passage from the Council’s Gaudium et spes, we are taught that Christ came into the world to reveal man more fully to himself (GS 22).  Christ did this in His every word and deed during His earthly life, but His supreme moment of revelation to us about who we are was His Passion and death on the Cross and subsequent rising from the tomb.  When we imitate His Passion, in sacrificial love and in the genuine “with suffering” which is compassion, we act as we were made by God to act.   In sincere and concrete acts of compassion we, in our own turn, reveal man more fully to himself!  We in our own way show God’s image to our neighbor and our neighbor is moved.  We cannot not be moved unless we are already stony and cold and dead.  Pope John Paul II wrote, “man cannot live without love”, both the love he gives and the love he receives.

When disasters strike communities, when disasters strike families and individuals, we witness acts of genuine compassion from many people in the aftermath.  Something in them has been moved to action.  Each gesture of compassion on the part of rescue workers, medical personnel, members of the military, law enforcement, first responders, relief agency representatives, people near or distant move the heart because in their actions we see that image after which every man, woman and child must resonate and long.

Unmerited acts of charity, mercy, justice, and compassion all make visible to our neighbor the God after whose likeness we ourselves are fashioned. We are moved by these acts because we are seeing in other people something really real. We are also moved by the suffering of others because suffering is a foundational element of human nature now transformed and given meaning by Christ’s Passion.

In sincere and concrete acts of compassion, in our biblical “bowels of mercy”, we in our turn reveal man more fully to himself.  Individuals can by their example effect great changes in a society.  If one person can do much, how much more could be done by armies of men and women thirsting for holiness and righteousness (i.e., a Church), striving to act in compassion, justice and mercy?

By His justice, God will give us what we deserve.

By His mercy, He will not give us certain elements of what we deserve.

By His pouring forth graces upon us, God gives us what we do not deserve.

His justice must be received with joyful trepidation, whether we want it or not.

His mercy we must beg with humble confidence.

His grace, unmerited by us, we embrace with exultant gratitude.

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WDTPRS – 16th Sunday after Pentecost: good works bound up in grace

NADAL_16_post_Pent-lrThis Sunday’s dense Collect survived the scissors and paste-pots of the Consilium during the 1960’s and lived on in the post-Conciliar Missale Romanum as the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time. This prayer, used for centuries, is in the Sacramentarium Hadrianum, a form of the ancient Gregorian Sacramentary.

COLLECT (1962MR):

Tua nos, quaesumus, Domine, gratia semper et praeveniat et sequatur, ac bonis operibus iugiter praestet esse intentos.

Elegance.

This is a lovely prayer to sing. Latin’s flexibility, made possible by the inflection of the word endings, allows for amazing possibilities of word order. Latin permits rich variations in rhythm and conceptual nuances. For example, the wide separation of tua from gratia in the first line is a good example of the figure of speech called hyperbaton: unusual word order to produce a dramatic effect. It helps the prayer’s rhythm and emphasizes tua gratia. The use of conjunctions et and ac is very effective, as we shall see below.

The juxtaposition of praeveniat with sequatur reminds me of a prayer I used to hear at my home parish, greatly missed. The Tuesday night devotions there, which featured the Novena of Our Mother of Perpetual Help by St. Alphonsus Liguori (+1787), always included:

“May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you that He may defend you, within you that He may sustain you, before you that He may lead you, behind you that He may protect you, above you that He may bless you. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Let’s drill into vocabulary.

The adjective intentus, means “to stretch out or forth, extend” as well as “to strain or stretch towards, to extend.” Think of English “tend towards”. The action packed Lewis & Short Dictionary states that intentus is also “to direct one’s thoughts or attention to.”

Looking at a word like this should convince any of you with children that they must study Latin. A firm grip on Latin will give shape to their ability to reason and provide insights into the meaning of our English words. Roughly 80 percent of the entries in an English dictionary reveal roots in Latin. Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. Over 90 percent in the sciences and technology. Some 10 percent of Latin vocabulary merged into English without an intermediary language such as French. Words from Greek origin often entered English indirectly through Latin.

Give your children, and yourselves, this splendid tool.

Latin has several particles that join parts of sentences and concepts together: et, – que, atque or (ac), etiam, and quoque. These little words all basically mean “and” but they have their nuances. For example, et simply means “and” while – que (always “enclitic”, i.e., tacked onto the end of a word) joins elements that are closely enough associated that the second member completes or extends the first. Another conjunction, atque (a compound of ad and – que) often adds something more important to a less important thing. The useful Gildersleeve & Lodge Latin Grammar points out that “the second member often owes its importance to the necessity of having the complement (- que).” Ac, a shorter form of atque, does not stand before a vowel or the letter “h” and is “fainter” than atque. Ac is much like et. Briefly, etiam means “even (now), yet, still”. Etiam exaggerates and precedes the words to which it belongs while quoque is “so, also” and complements and follows the words it goes with. There are some other copulative particles or joining words, but that is enough for now.

Let’s nitpick some more.

Our Collect has two adverbs, semper and iugiter. Semper is always “always”. Iugiter, however, means “always” in the sense of “continuously.” A iugum is a “yoke”, like that which yokes animals together. Iugum (English “juger”, a Roman unit for land measuring 28,800 square feet or 240 by 120 feet), is probably so named because it was plowed by yoked oxen. Moreover, Iugum was the name of the constellation Libra, the Latin for “scale, balance”. Ancient scales had a yoke-shaped bar. Thus, libra is also the Roman the weight measure for “pound”. Ever wonder why the English abbreviation for a pound is “lbs”?

The iugum was the infamous ancient symbol of defeat. The Romans would force the vanquished to pass under a yoke to symbolize that they had been subjugated. Variously, iugum also means a connection between mountains or the beam of a weaver’s loom or even the marriage bond.

Today’s adverb iugiter means “always”, in the continuous sense, because of the concept of yoking things together, bridging them, one after another in a unending chain. We get this same word in the famous prayer written by St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274) used at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament which is the Collect for Corpus Christi:

“O God, who bequeathed to us a memorial of Thy Passion under a wondrous sacrament, grant, we implore, that we may venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, in such a way as to sense within us constantly (iugiter) the fruit of Thy redemption.”

LITERAL WDTPRS TRANSLATION:

We beg, O Lord, that Your grace may always both go before us and follow after, and hence continuously grant us to be intent on good works.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):

Lord,
our help and guide,
make your love the foundation of our lives.
May our love for you express itself
in our eagerness to do good for others
.

Yes… I did a double-take too.  It is a nice little prayer for use on a grade school playground.

CURRECT ICEL (2011):

May your grace, O Lord, we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works.

Back to happier things: copulative particles!

It is important not to get overly picky about particles or exaggerate their nuances. Still, today these conjunctions could be important. That et…et is a classic “both…and” construction. But our Collect has et…et…ac…. The et…et joins praeveniat and sequatur. That pair of verbs is followed by an ac. The author was providing more than a simply change of pace. While ac is not a very strong conjunction, the variation leads to a logical climax of ideas. This is why I add “hence” to my literal version.

As you read or, better yet, listen to the prayer being sung, attend to that tua gratia (“your grace”), underscored by means of hyperbaton. First, that “tua gratia” can be an ancient form of honorific address, as used today in some countries for nobility and certain prelates: “Your Grace”. So, in speaking of the gift, we speak of God Himself. Moreover, tua gratia is the subject of all the verbs. We beg God, by His grace, always to be both before us and behind us. We pray for this in order that we may always be attentive to good works. Our good works bound up in His grace.

We rely on grace so as not to fail in the vocations God entrusts to us.

God gives all of us something to do in this life.

If we attend to our work with devotion He will give us every actual grace we need to accomplish our tasks. He knew us and our vocations from before the creation of the cosmos, and thus will help us to complete our part of His plan, so long as we cooperate. Living and acting in the state of grace and according to our vocations we come to merit, through Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice, to enjoy the happiness of the heaven for which God made us.

In our prayer we recognize that all good initiatives come from God. When we embrace them and cooperate, it is He who ultimately brings them to completion. He goes before. He follows after. Our good works have merit for heaven only because God inspires them, informs them, and brings them to a good completion. He works through us, His knowing, willing, loving servants. The good deeds are truly ours, of course, and therefore the reward for them is ours. But God freely shares with us His merits so that our works are meritorious.

Today’s Collect stresses how important our good works are for our salvation. They are manifestations of God’s grace, indeed, of God’s presence.

We pray God will lavish His graces on us. In turn, we should be generous with our good works.

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Daily Rome Shot 572, etc.

BLACK (my apologies) to move and win! It might be scary, but calculate.

PRAY!  PRAY this coming hurricane DOWN!

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Persecution by Rome of the Bp. of Fréjus-Toulon – UPDATED

I firmly believe that their overreach will overtake them.

Hitherto, Bp. Rey of Fréjus-Toulon in France has been open to accepting traditionally-minded seminarians and religious. Vocations in that diocese were up, unlike the rest of France.

Hence, Rome is now hammering him. Again, they would rather see a smoking crater, than a parish or diocese with happy, committed Catholics who believe the perennial teachings and desire traditional worship. If people aren’t moving toward the sinkhole with their gay flags and population control brainwashing through openness to contraception and climate change “measures”, they won’t rest in the crushing.

From RorateNB: This has had updates over there!

As reported on Gloria-TV, [a source which, over time, I have come to check less and less] Bishop Rey of Frejus-Toulon, who has been placed under curatorship, told a priests’ meeting of further restrictions imposed on him by the Congregation for Bishops following the ban on ordinations scheduled for July.

? All orders and communities in the diocese must undergo a visitation by Vatican commissioners;

? Bishop Rey can no longer admit new communities to the diocese;

? All priests serving in the diocese are required to concelebrate at Chrism Masses and “if necessary” to officiate as presiders at Novus Ordo Eucharistic celebrations;

? The approval of the Council of Priests is required for the admission of new priests to the diocese.

These orders, whose legal admissibility would have to be examined by jurists, are in any case consistently in line with Traditionis Traditores [aka Taurina cacata] and show in an exemplary manner the means by which Rome wants to destroy the traditional liturgy after all, which has proven to be so extremely vital. While the heretics of the Synodal Way and of pseudo-marriage for same-sex couples can continue their work of destruction with the very highest wink, the adherents of the Church of two millennia are marginalized and ever more brutally forced out of the Church. In the new church of the spirit of the age, nothing shall ever again remind us of the past Church of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, the enterprise will fail. The question is how long it will take for this insight to take hold in Rome as well. The second question is how the congregations and communities that want to preserve fidelity to the traditional doctrine and liturgy can best succeed in resisting the pressure exerted on them from all sides by the traitors to the faith.

Michael Charlier
September 22, 2022


UPDATE (September 24):

I was contacted by Fr. Carlos Hamel, who works in the chancery of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, and wished to offer some clarifications. I am happy to publish them here for the record.

“I just wanted to clarify a couple of points of the information you published in Rorate Caeli regarding our diocese. I am of course aware that you published something another person has written. If I am not mistaken, this meeting with priests became known because the diocese itself published the news:
“These measures are not sanctions ‘imposed’ by the Congregation of Bishops, but decisions made by the bishop, and transmitted to the Congregation (cf. diocesan website: l’évêque a exposé les décisions transmises à la Congrégation des évêques).
“There is no visitation scheduled for communities in the diocese. What the bishop wants is a report on the situation of each community (‘état des lieux’). There are no Vatican commissioners visiting communities. Of course, there can be visitations commissioned by the bishop (or the Holy See) in the future, as has been the case in the recent past. I know that the diocesan website speaks about visiteurs, which is of course a source of confusion.
“While it is true that all priests serving in the diocese are expected to concelebrate at the Chrism mass and to say the Ordinary Form when needed, this has been the official policy of the diocese since at least 2020 (and informally since before that). As you can see, the information published by the diocese doesn’t mention this point, as it was not an issue during the meeting. It is important to note that there are no (ex) Ecclesia Dei communities in the diocese.

“Of course, nothing prevents the Holy See from taking action regarding any of the aforementioned points, but I just wanted to clarify the situation as it is today.”
Posted in Be The Maquis, Liberals, Pò sì jiù, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Traditionis custodes | Tagged
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Travel, foreign currency, ATMS and YOU!

As I prepare for my upcoming Roman Sojourn, thanks to readers, I am making sure all my financial tools are tidy and functioning.  Included in these tools is WISE, a nifty way to transfer funds and exchange with low fees and favorable rates.

You can have multiple accounts in Wise with different currencies, receive and send in multiple currencies and transfer funds between them.  If you use your Wise debit card (which you can get) in an ATM you get a low fee and the cash you get comes from the most appropriate currency account (US in these USA, Euro over there, etc.).

On that note, if you have ever travelled overseas and have used an ATM to withdraw local coin of the realm, you have probably seen a confusing option about conversion rates on the screen that you have to get past before you can get your money and keep moving.  I’ve been doing this for a long time and I still look at that message and still have a moment of hesitation.  Wise has a FAQ page to help make the choice.  Here are some useful tips on the FAQ page.

When you use an ATM or a card machine, it may ask if you want the ATM to convert your money for you.

That center section with the options … I printed it out and keep it in my wallet when in Europe.

A friendly public service announcement.  We now return to our regularly scheduled posts.

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It’s Ember Friday in September. Fast and pray for the Church! DO IT!

Chaos is spreading.  Synods loom on the horizon.  Some aspects of the Church’s governance, teaching and worship are hardly to be recognized any longer as authentically Catholic, in continuity with what our forebears received and handed on.

Shepherds at the highest level are going to the globalist, syncretist, homosexualist, climatist, vaxcinist… ZOO!  As if they belonged to another religion, they are snuffing out the treasured accomplishments of our forebears and denying the Catholic faithful their patrimony.  Rocks and scorpions in a time of hunger for truth, reverence and continuity.

Today, a Friday Ember Day, is a great moment to fast and abstain from meats.  Use these reminders of our precious, undeserved days, built into God’s schedule of Creation, to garner spiritual goods.

No prayer ever goes for naught, but you have to pray it.

The Rosary is a mighty tool of spiritual warfare.  Just the mention of it makes the modernists quiver in nervous fits and drives demons to agonized screaming.

What’s preventing you from saying one now?  Or even just a decade?  Now!  Before leaving this page!

Consider also

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

Please pray for me.

To do all of these or some of these effectively, and with merit…

GO TO CONFESSION!

 

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Daily Rome Shot 571, etc.

From a friend in Rome, today.

TAN BOOKS has been faithful for years. Their recent titles are excellent. I’m just now looking at their new edition of the Seven Last Words of St. Bonaventure, due out later.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

White can win a piece with a tactic. White to move.

I recently had a bad slump in my play, online and over the board (OTB). It seemed like I couldn’t win a game to save my life. Anyway, I took a course from this guy, Igor Smirnov, which sounds like a pseudonym or an enemy of moose and squirrel. I’ve won my last 8 straight OTB games against the club’s strongest. I saw that he has an affiliate program so, being a devotee of entrepreneurs, I signed on. I like guys with chutzpah and the drive to do well. It may be that some of you would like to start playing. Others will be more advanced. Use the link.

There are free resources online.  Some are good.  There are lots of chess courses available through the big sites that go into real depth (e.g., chessable, 365chess, etc.). Some of them are greatly informative, but the teachers, who are good players, are not always good teachers. This one is a good teacher, in my estimation.

Also, about paying for courses online when there are lots of resources for free. Okay. Use them. Remember that instruction like this is sort of like translation work. I was recently asked to do some paid Latin translation. Translators can ask a fairly hefty fee. People sometimes think, “why should I pay that much when you can do it so fast?” The thing is, it took me 40 years to learn to do it. It took this chess Grand Master many years to learn his stuff. Dignus est operarius mercede sua.

Here’s a story with a lesson:

A giant ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”

So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.

The man sent a bill that read:

      • Tapping with a hammer………………….. $ 2.00
      • Knowing where to tap…………………….. $ 9,998.00

I’ll be entering tournaments after the Roman Sojourn. I need to see where I’m at. Once upon a time my rating was pretty high, but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

 

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Chess |
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